EDGE OF ’17 (STANDING ON THE SHORELINE)

On my blog posts that mark the turning of the new year, there is a certain sadness about the passing of another year, as we come to grips with another failed crop, yet another roster badly wanting for balance and experience. Finding a brand new day has proven to be incredibly difficult, but this season—more than any other I can recall since the Pronger deal—offers hope for the coming year, and beyond.

LANDSLIDE, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-8-2 goal differential -3
  • Oilers in December 2015: 7-6-1, goal differential -9
  • Oilers in December 2016: 7-2-5, goal differential +3
  • Oilers after 38, 2015: 15-20-3, goal differential -23
  • Oilers after 38, 2016: 19-12-7, goal differential +10

November was a difficult month, but the club recovered in December and enter the second half of the season in a playoff spot. The Oilers are a better team than I thought they would be, and have solved more problems than I thought they would in 2016-17. What’s more, the remaining issues are obvious and should be solvable. If management addresses these issues during the summer, standing on the shoreline may involve pure joy one year from now.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • On the road to: Columbus, Boston, New Jersey, Ottawa (Expected Result: 2-1-1)
  • At home to: San Jose, New Jersey, Calgary, Arizona, Florida, Nashville (Expected Result: 3-1-2)
  • On the road to: Calgary, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected Result: 2-1-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota (Expected Result: 0-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-4-3, 17 points in 14 games

Barring injury, I think the Oilers should be able to cash 17 points this coming month. If they do, the overall record will be 26-16-10, good for 62 points after 52 games. At that point, should it come to pass, we may be talking about the possibility of a 100-point season—the first since 1987. Incredibly, this team will have done it while never coming close to balance. Impressive impact from 97, Talbot, Leon and an ever deepening blue line.

THE GOOD

Up front, the story really revolves around young Connor McDavid. He will turn 20 in just 11 days, and is on pace for a 93-point season (30-63-93). Leon Draisaitl is not yet at the point where we can suggest he pushes the river, we need to see him eclipse that 2.00/60 number at 5×5—he is currently at 1.84—and that day may be close at hand (he would need to have scored two more points in his 500 5×5 minutes).

A quick note before we move on, a nod toward three role players who really did perform beyond expectations in the first half of the season. Tyler Pitlick (2.22/60 at 5×5) and Mark Letestu (1.66/60 at 5×5) delivered quality performances and moved the needle for this team in a pretty solid first half run. Patrick Maroon (1.56 5×5/60), has 10 goals at 5×5, which ties McDavid. Maroon could do the Oilers a solid by taking full advantage of the move to 97s line that is taking place as we speak

Among defenders, I would rank Andrej Sekera (50.1 Corsi for 5×5 against toughest competition) and Matt Benning (55.9 Corsi for 5×5 against mid to lower competition) as the two outstanding performers so far this year. Darnell Nurse (53.2) and Eric Gryba (54.0) also deserve mention, although injuries took a chunk out of their first 38 games.

Cam Talbot (2.45, .919) is the only other player on the roster not named McDavid who has a claim on Team MVP status at this time. You can still find detractors, but that is almost always the case when it comes to discussing goaltending.

THE WOBBLES

Several Oilers players have given uneven performances, through injury or slump of lord knows what else. Among this group we find Jesse Puljujarvi (1.52),  who only scores on the McDavid line and Todd McLellan doesn’t put him there, but the young man can do a lot of good things aside from scoring. I think he might be a big story in this second half, if he gets a push on one of the skill lines.

Zack Kassian (1.48) is firing on all cylinders now, the only thing left is the scoring touch and there are signs of that humming, too. If we merely add in his three recent disallowed goals, that 5×5 number spikes to 1.97. He is close, and may cost more in a new contract than we are calculating at this time.

Anton Lander (1.47) and Anton Slepyshev (1.45) are in the minors, but did good things up in Edmonton that should not be forgotten. When the deadline hits, I think one or both men may be back for the stretch run. Slepyshev especially has impressed the coach based on verbal.

Milan Lucic (7.11 5×4/60) and Jordan Eberle (6.03 5×4/60) make the list here due to terrific power-play performances. However, their 5×5 scoring is very poor (1.21 and 1.34, respectively) and that cannot stand. If you are looking for players who have been underperforming in areas where they are established, 5×5 points/60 totals by Lucic and Eberle is a mighty fine place to start.

Drake Caggiula (0.86 5×5/60 and 6.36 5×5/60) makes this list in the same way as Lucic and Eberle—strong 5×4 performance. I am impressed with his game, but consistency is an issue and he isn’t 18. I wonder if he, like Matt Benning, simply got worn out from the pace of the schedule at points in the first half. More rest may be required with this player in the second half of the season.

Oscar Klefbom (52.3 Corsi for 5×5 percentage) makes the wobble list only because of some specific and costly mistakes. I am not one to harp on specific moments in a game, the wider view makes the most sense to me. That said, when a young player repeats vapor lock many times, well, let’s say a few great ones who have been through this town had the same issue (hello, Mr. Coffey). I expect Oscar will have  a long and productive career, hopefully in Edmonton.

Adam Larsson (49.8 Corsi for 5×5 percentage) has been all I thought he would be defensively, facing tough opponents and battling back hard. Teams coming into Edmonton can no longer wheel in the Oilers end as they did in yesteryear, because Larsson has a nasty edge to him. I have placed Larsson in this area because of the lack of offense—more to the point, the lack of effective outlet passing. He needs to improve on it, and that shouldn’t be difficult. We saw glimpses in New Jersey, perhaps it is still a matter of trust and getting his feet on the ground.

Brandon Davidson (51.8) lands here, probably unfair because we haven’t seen much of him. That said, it has taken a little time to get rolling and a couple of nights have been an adventure. I really like his long-term future if he can stay healthy.

Kris Russell (45.6) also makes the list, despite performing poorly in my chosen metric. Russell ranks No. 2 (behind Sekera) in Shots-against per 60, and that appears to be what the Oilers value in a defender. I think Oilers fans who are not especially bullish on Russell may have to come to grips with his presence for the next several years. The Oilers like him, full stop. If he does sign, probably puts the future of men like Klefbom and Davidson in jeopardy as Oilers.

FAILING GRADES

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1.24 5×5/60, and 3.66 5×4/60) is my favorite player, so it gives me no pleasure in placing him here. His recent move up the depth chart to run with better players seems to be helping, perhaps that is the best medicine. Simply put, RNH hasn’t done enough—not in the dot, not at 5×5, not on the power play—to justify a higher grade. I think he is a quality NHL player and hope he has a massive second half, making this grade look silly. Godspeed, young man.

Matt Hendricks (1.33 5×5/60) has been an adventure defensively, and has lost another step. Neither is acceptable for a player of his type, and it is a tribute to Hendricks that he knows it better than anyone. I expect he will go at the deadline, having impressed the hell out of Oilers Nation with his consistent effort and exceptional utility.

Benoit Pouliot (1.09 5×5/60) had a truly weird first half of the season. It is rare to see a veteran lose confidence in his own abilities, but that appears to have been the case here. The veteran winger took some bad penalties, got himself into the doghouse, and solved the problem by being less aggressive—and that is a key to his game. Showing signs of coming out of it, and more important Todd McLellan is showing signs of trust. Oilers need him to be all he can be in order to make the playoffs.

Jonas Gustavsson (6gp, 2.90 .893) has not played well, and fans worry about his starts. That is an interesting curio, but what is alarming is Todd McLellan’s hesitancy to play him. If you are a backup goalie in the NHL, and the coach runs his non-elite starter into the ground in order to avoid playing you, rent everything. Car, house, television.

Coming at 5pm: Who is out there that might be of interest to Edmonton at the deadline, and beyond.

written by

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

146 Responses to "EDGE OF ’17 (STANDING ON THE SHORELINE)"

  1. TsuDhoNimh says:

    “If he does sign, probably puts the future of men like Klefbom and Davidson in jeopardy as Oilers.”

    Lord help us.

  2. frjohnk says:

    I think one of the issues with Drake Caggiula was that he was not 100% when he came back from his injury and was trying to catch up to everybody else.
    I thought he looked better ( quicker) in the last 2 games after the break.

    Chia and McLellan value Hendricks immensely, if we are in the race, Id be surprised he is gone at the deadline.

  3. monsterbater says:

    Great summary LT.

    6 gp for Gustavsson? Is that 4 starts and a couple relief efforts?

    The number just seems higher than my memory

  4. monsterbater says:

    This game tomorrow against Columbus marks game 39 aka the max games JP can be on the NHL roster before he accrues a season towards UFA right? If he isn’t sent down before Thursday then surely he is here to stay all year.

    I thought for sure he was going to get the Drai treatment, but apparently not. The least they could do is give him more minutes, especially in the top 6

  5. frjohnk says:

    My belief

    is that Oilers protect 7F and 3D
    lose Davidson to expansion
    then sign Russell

    I doubt Russell signs before the draft unless he is given a NMC

    Then they trade Klefbom for a top 4 RHD with offense.

    Next year run

    Sekera- new guy
    Nurse- Larsson
    Russell-Benning
    Reinhart

    should be noted that next year if Reinhart is sent down, he has to pass through waivers, Oilers probably dont want to risk losing him for nothing, so Im thinking he is on the team next year)

    EDIT: I believe they go 7F and 3D because they value Maroon, Kassian, Letestu more than Davidson, because Davidson can be replaced by Russell, while the other 3 not so much.

  6. monsterbater says:

    frjohnk,

    This is scary to think, especially with the unknown of what “new guy” could be. That really has the oilers banking on nurse being top 4 ready and sekera not regressing in his early 30’s. You’re probably right in your assessment of what the oilers will do, however i would do it differently.

    Keep Klef as your other top 4 LD interchanging with sekera as play and matchups dictate. walk russell. trade for a petrovic our pysyk out of florida for a lesser asset. Run this new guy, say petrovic, benning and others with nurse on the 3rd pairing, with whoever is playing best getting top 4 time. sign a guy similar to gryba as the number 7

  7. Woodguy says:

    *****SPAM*****

    I like Kris Russell, but the publicly stated reasons Peter Chiarelli signed Russell are not showing up on his results for the Edmonton Oilers this year.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/01/i-like-kris-russell-but-publicly-stated.html

    *****END SPAM*****

  8. Chris says:

    Is it crazy to expose both Eberle and RNH in the upcoming expansion draft? A team can only lose one player, right? If, (and at this point, it’s a big ‘if’) the VGK select one of them, it does free up 6 million to sign CMD to the massive contract extension, plus hire help to replace them. That way you keep Davidson and anyone else we’d miss. Crazy?

  9. russ99 says:

    I’m gunshy on moving Klefbom despite his D-zone weaknesses, since if we’re going to sell that kind of player we need to sell very high. The chance of him putting more of a physical defensive game together when he fills out and gains strength are high.

    So assuming Davidson gets picked by Vegas, and the fact that we don’t have assets to land a top pairing RHD without moving someone like Draisaitl, I like this for next year:

    Sekera – Larsson
    Klefbom – X
    Nurse – Russell
    Benning (replaces Davidson as the low cost extra that will still get 50 games or so.)

  10. russ99 says:

    Chris:
    Is it crazy to expose both Eberle and RNH in the upcoming expansion draft? A team can only lose one player, right? If, (and at this point, it’s a big ‘if’) the VGK select one of them, it does free up 6 million to sign CMD to the massive contract extension, plus hire help to replace them. That way you keep Davidson and anyone else we’d miss. Crazy?

    Vegas brass has been quoted that they won’t be picking other teams’ salary problems. So no dice on Pouliot or Fayne either, but Maroon (if exposed) is possible.

    Unless we trade them a quality asset to pick a specific player.

  11. square_wheels says:

    russ99,

    I would argue 2 years of Ebs for a team like Vegas would be a great move. He’s a marque talent with all that Team Canada history, the Bunny Hug crowd will take over Vegas home games in full Riders green. I just can’t see him re-signing here anyways, but he has trade value so why throw him away to Vegas.

    Exposing Nuge………no way.

  12. jp says:

    Woodguy,

    Nice post.

    And yeah, please don’t choose Russell over Klefbom/Sekera/Nurse/Davidson.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    *****SPAM*****

    I like Kris Russell, but the publicly stated reasons Peter Chiarelli signed Russell are not showing up on his results for the Edmonton Oilers this year.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/01/i-like-kris-russell-but-publicly-stated.html

    *****END SPAM*****

    Great title!

  14. stephen sheps says:

    Woodguy:
    *****SPAM*****

    I like Kris Russell, but the publicly stated reasons Peter Chiarelli signed Russell are not showing up on his results for the Edmonton Oilers this year.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/01/i-like-kris-russell-but-publicly-stated.html

    *****END SPAM*****

    This is some tasty spam.

    Quite possibly your best work since demonstrating that Talbot is the goods.

    Lowetide,

    RE: Nuge – you couldn’t have said it better. He is also one of my favourite players on the team (and my favourite player type – see my references to Bergeron from earlier in the season). I hope his Sh% starts to regress to his career norms sooner than later. Playing him with more skill (and on the Leon line) should likely help solve some problems, perhaps making this line the Oilers version of the way TMac used the Big Joe/Little Joe line in San Jose. One can hope that’s the case, at any rate.

  15. pocession charge says:

    square_wheels:
    russ99,

    I would argue 2 years of Ebs for a team like Vegas would be a great move. He’s a marque talent with all that Team Canada history, the Bunny Hug crowd will take over Vegas home games in full Riders green. I just can’t see him re-signing here anyways, but he has trade value so why throw him away to Vegas.

    Exposing Nuge………no way.

    He doesn’t have a lot of trade value with that $6M contract. If Hall fetched Larsson, what does Eberle get you in return? I agree with Chris, expose Eberle in the expansion draft and protect the value contracts. There is a chance that VGK don’t take him at that price anyway.

  16. russ99 says:

    If people hated the Hall trade, they’d really hate punting Eberle to Vegas for no return but salary relief.

  17. dustrock says:

    LT, you’re like the white winged dove, sings a song sounds like he’s saying Pul baby Pou baby Nuge

  18. Snowman says:

    Exposing Eberle would be beyond stoopid. He produces at a near elite level. Year after year after year after year.

    Is his contract a bargain? No. Is it terrible? Nope. Its probably a fair deal.

    You can’t lose (I would argue) the only legitimately productive RW this team has for nothing. And people need to quit focusing on what he can’t do and instead focus on what he can do.

    He produces. Consistently. The hardest thing to do in hockey. Every damn year.

    If Chia exposes him, he should be fired. On the spot. That’s the kind of idiotic asset management and roster management that will end your career in hockey management. There is no possible justification for it.

  19. pocession charge says:

    russ99:
    If people hated the Hall trade, they’d really hate punting Eberle to Vegas for no return but salary relief.

    Who cares what people think? Getting off that $6M per year is the benefit. They are already going to overpay Lucic and RNH going forward. In a cap world, it is crucial to get outperforming players on value deals to supplement the stars (CMD and LD).

  20. jake70 says:

    Exposing Eberle is intriguing. My question would be – if Las Vegas does NOT take him, what, if anything, does that do to the Eberle-Oilers relationship? He’s got 2 more years on the contract after this present season.

  21. judgedrude says:

    monsterbater:
    This game tomorrow against Columbus marks game 39 aka the max games JP can be on the NHL roster before he accrues a season towards UFA right? If he isn’t sent down before Thursday then surely he is here to stay all year.

    Some clarification for myself. Is it not 39 GP (like the 9 GP before getting sent back to junior) or is it the ‘on the roster’ games?

  22. pocession charge says:

    Snowman:
    Exposing Eberle would be beyond stoopid. He produces at a near elite level. Year after year.

    Except for this year playing with a generational talent.

    You sound like an unabashed fanman with blinders on. Want to bet that they can find an equivalent producer for CMD for less than $6M/year?

  23. Lowetide says:

    Arizona claims Burmistrov off waivers.

  24. Lowetide says:

    judgedrude: Some clarification for myself. Is it not 39 GP (like the 9 GP before getting sent back to junior) or is it the ‘on the roster’ games?

    On the roster. JP has a season click over if on the roster for G40.

  25. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Arizona claims Burmistrov off waivers.

    Are we calling them “Island of the Misfit Toys” yet?

  26. Centre of attention says:

    Rasanen draws an assist on Finlands goal today.

  27. flyfish1168 says:

    jake70:
    Exposing Eberle is intriguing. My question would be – if Las Vegas does NOTtake him, what, if anything,does that do to the Eberle-Oilers relationship?He’s got 2 more years on the contract after this present season.

    He will need to get over it . Hockey is a business. He is given the the opportunity, TOI and line mates to succeed and he has regressed instead. He needed to raise his level of play.

  28. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Re: Zack Kassian “firing on all cylinders now” how is it that a goalless streak now at 28 (!) games puts him in line for a healthy raise? Falsely crediting him with three goals that were disallowed with cause doesn’t convince me.

    Basically he spent all of 2016 in Edmonton: 71 GP, 5-12-17, -7, 182 PiM. The only thing there that stands out is the PiMs, which have mixed value at best. Toughness = good, but dumb double minors & petulant misconducts = not good.

    $1.5 MM is a very healthy stipend for such an erratic player. Lest we forget, since his strong game in Arizona he has been benched twice in the last three games, once for dumb penalties and once for gawdawful defence. He played under 25 minutes in those 3 games, with 0 points, 11 PiM, & -3.

    When calculating the value of erratic players like Kassian, surely one has to take into account the valleys as well as the peaks.

  29. JOHNNY OPERATOR76 says:

    Rent everything . BAHAHAHA ! Love it. Russell is a keeper IMO. 4yrs 14M

  30. JimmyV1965 says:

    Anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to expose Eberle, or RNH, in the expansion draft, please give your head a shake.

  31. pocession charge says:

    russ99:
    I’m gunshy on moving Klefbom despite his D-zone weaknesses, since if we’re going to sell that kind of player we need to sell very high. The chance of him putting more of a physical defensive game together when he fills out and gains strength are high.

    Klefbom’s physical tools aren’t in doubt. His hockey sense is a bit questionable. I know nobody likes to hear disparaging remarks about their favorite Oiler but this is reality.

  32. Confused says:

    The team is one injury away — Talbot or Larsson — from failing out of the play-offs.

    We need a solid plan to fix this for next year at the latest.

    Can LB or Ellis step up?

    But 2RHD needs a trade from LHD

    Klefbom for Trouba would be ideal.

  33. pocession charge says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to expose Eberle, or RNH, in the expansion draft, please give your head a shake.

    I’m thinking very clearly thanks. Your argument lacks any substance Jimmy. OilersNation is open for business, though.

  34. Hope is a good thing says:

    Woodguy,

    Excellent work and analysis! One question: is it possible that both sides could be right? In other words, if Russell contributes to more or better offensive zone entries, but the attack dies on a winger’s stick, or does lead to a quality scoring chance but the shot is wide or over the net? These things happen many times in a game, and could be the reason for differing views.

    I would also like to add, as much as I am a fan of the Oilers (since their inception), I am equally a fan of this blog, the evidence-based analysis found here, and the willingness of so many thoughtful people to add their many talents to the discussion. Happy New Year all – go Oilers!

  35. supernova says:

    7 Wins in 14 Games in January!

    Sign me up!

    Love that we can start to expect that in January and we aren’t talking about passing 5 teams just to take a glimpse at the cut line.

  36. JimmyV1965 says:

    I think it would also be wise to end the narrative about Eberle’s contract. He is about the 70th highest paid player in the league. And even during this slump he still has 25 pts. Is it a bargain? Probably not. But there are so many much worse contracts in this league it’s too long to list.

  37. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Re: Zack Kassian “firing on all cylinders now” how is it that a goalless streak now at 28 (!) games puts him in line for a healthy raise? Falsely crediting him with three goals that were disallowed with cause doesn’t convince me.

    Basically he spent all of 2016 in Edmonton: 71 GP, 5-12-17, -7, 182 PiM. The only thing there that stands out is the PiMs, which have mixed value at best. Toughness = good, but dumb double minors & petulant misconducts = not good.

    $1.5 MM is a very healthy stipend for such an erratic player. Lest we forget, since his strong game in Arizona he has been benched twice in the last three games, once for dumb penalties and once for gawdawful defence. He played under 25 minutes in those 3 games, with 0 points, 11 PiM, & -3.

    When calculating the value of erratic players like Kassian, surely one has to take into account the valleys as well as the peaks.

    Kassian was 1.84 in 2014-15 with Vancouver, playing mostly with Shawn Matthias and Brad Richardson
    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1568&withagainst=true&season=2014-15&sit=5v5

    He was 1.91 in 2013-14 with Richardson and David Booth
    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1568&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    There is offensive talent there, and if he ends up with one of these talented centers in the second half, Kassian could be trumpeting some solid offensive numbers this summer. He turns 26 later this month, and his career trajectory is all over, but he is arb eligible and Chiarelli may want to sign him long term. I am not saying $5 million a year, but expect there will be an increase, especially if he can get that 5×5/60 number closer to 2.00.

  38. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Expose Eberle and/or RNH? What on Earth?
    That makes no sense. Because you need to replace those players at similar or greater cost. Who are you going to replace Eberle’s goals with. So he is in a slump; it happens.

    Lucic is unlikely to hit 30 goals in a season going forward.
    Draisaitl perhaps may get there.
    McDavid likely will get there next season if not this one.

    This team lacks goal scorers. We do not have the luxury of giving one away for free without having a viable replacement in place. If you are banking on LA not re-signing Toffoli you are on very thin ice.

  39. Lowetide says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I think it would also be wise to end the narrative about Eberle’s contract. He is about the 70th highest paid player in the league. And even during this slump he still has 25 pts.Is it a bargain? Probably not. But there are so many much worse contracts in this league it’s too long to list.

    I do think Eberle is in a tough spot right now with PC. He is going to overhaul that RH side over the summer, and I think Eberle, at this point, is still trying to find a way to impact the game in McLellan’s style. Suspect the verbal will increase until Eberle starts scoring again, which, based on history, should be any time now.

  40. dangilitis says:

    pocession charge: Who cares what people think?Getting off that $6M per year is the benefit.They are already going to overpay Lucic and RNH going forward.In a cap world, it is crucial to get outperforming players on value deals to supplement the stars (CMD and LD).

    In mock drafts, Vegas will be lucky if they can acquire any true 1st line forwards, period. Cap will not be an issue whatsoever, they may actually need help getting to cap floor (unless NHL allows them free pass here next year, which they should). So if you expose Eberle or Lucic, they will be taken because of the need to add salary and scoring. At the moment, neither of these contracts require convincing to take on.

    So, why exactly would you do this when the team lacks top 2 line wingers?

    To play devils advocate, I love Leon and he may be the better answer at #2C than RNH. If that is the case, and team management decided to expose a player to get their contract off the books, wouldn’t it make more sense to expose RNH? You can probably afford to pay top line forwards 5-6 mil/season, but can’t afford to pay 6 mil/season to RNH if you foresee him as a 3rd line center a la Hrudey. You also can’t pay him 6 mil/season as a 2nd line winger if he maintains his season’s pace 0.47 points per game (far below his average of 0.72 ppg over his past 4.5 seasons)

    Let me be clear, though, in saying all of this, this year still seems to be the anomaly, and roles have changed for RNH, so I don’t see the logic in exposing either of Lucic, Eberle, or RNH.

    Frankly, I am hoping Pouliot and RNH pick things up big time, then the talk about exposing any of the 6 million dollar men is laid to rest, and we are left with the nice problem of exposing BP and Maroon while knowing one can still be retained.

  41. theres oil in virginia says:

    pocession charge: You sound like an unabashed fanman with blinders on.

    So, we’ve moved from “fanboy” to “fanman”. Is that progress?

  42. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Lowetide,

    While I agree with you, Bruce also has some valid points. I also think it is easier to get to 2.0/60 in limited minutes against weaker competition. Easy test would be to move him up to the 2nd line and see how he does but my guess is that he will not produce enough. He has value as a 4th liner with skill and grit and the ability to move up in the event of injury.

    But using his old Vancouver numbers from a few years ago, well, as you have pointed out he is all over the map.

    I think you pay him like a well-paid bottom sixer, 2 x 2m or so. I would not go more than that. Chia had faith in him when no one else did. He found stability, it seems. Why would he mess that up? That contract is enough to give him some life security. A guy can do just fine with 4m (6m Canadian) in Edmonton. He has enough time that if he truly is on the right path from here on out he can get a nicer deal after that.

    I doubt too many teams will.be lining up to offer him too much more term and money than that?

    Similar to Russell, I hate the idea of bidding against yourself. I am even okay with going to July 1 with both these players and seeing what anyone else will offer them and then matching or beating. I could be wrong in that no one would offer too big of a deal for either but I would be willing to take that risk. Oilers have a plan B in Khaira and plenty of lefties on D. No need to overpay for a luxury when there are all sorts of holes on the roster that still need to be filled.

    Seem reasonable?

  43. Chris says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Expose Eberle and/or RNH? What on Earth?
    That makes no sense. Because you need to replace those players at similar or greater cost. Who are you going to replace Eberle’s goals with. So he is in a slump; it happens.

    Lucic is unlikely to hit 30 goals in a season going forward.
    Draisaitl perhaps may get there.
    McDavid likely will get there next season if not this one.

    This team lacks goal scorers. We do not have the luxury of giving one away for free without having a viable replacement in place. If you are banking on LA not re-signing Toffoli you are on very thin ice.

    I know it sounds offside, but the gist of the question is exposing both will ensure we only lose maximum one, and we save on some valuable assets (like Davidson). IF we lose one of them, the savings will be used elsewhere, including replacing them. I’m not against either player (I love both of them, and to be frank, don’t like all the bashing against them), but from a hockey perspective, what will help the team long term? Can we find a 3 million per year player to replace Ebs? I think RNH would be much harder to replace. On sober second thought, I think I would not expose RNH, but Ebs is a possibility.

    Just spitballing.

  44. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide: Suspect the verbal will increase until Eberle starts scoring again, which, based on history, should be any time now.

    That verbal is always simmering under the surface. I’ve never understood it.

    Eberle has not looked good to me this year in limited viewings. Bobbling pucks, missing open nets, etc. Not sure what’s up. He’s got a consistent, long-term history of goal-scoring though and has seen slumps before.

    The idea that he’s expansion bait is pretty far-fetched. Maybe his trade value isn’t what we would want it to be, but the idea that it’s basically nil is baseless to say the least.

    I’ve long thought (based on player comparisons with older players) that Eberle would be due for a production bump around age 25-27. We’re not seeing it right now. As a corollary, I long had a similar idea about Matt Ryan in the NFL, until last year when I gave up on him because he didn’t deliver on my timeline. These players are not robots and playing in these top-level leagues is incredibly difficult.

  45. theres oil in virginia says:

    Also, has anyone noticed the direction that goal-scoring is taking in the NHL? Fuck you Gary.

  46. Lowetide says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Lowetide,

    While I agree with you, Bruce also has some valid points. I also think it is easier to get to 2.0/60 in limited minutes against weaker competition. Easy test would be to move him up to the 2nd line and see how he does but my guess is that he will not produce enough. He has value as a 4th liner with skill and grit and the ability to move up in the event of injury.

    But using his old Vancouver numbers from a few years ago, well, as you have pointed out he is all over the map.

    I think you pay him like a well-paid bottom sixer, 2 x 2m or so. I would not go more than that. Chia had faith in him when no one else did. He found stability, it seems. Why would he mess that up? That contract is enough to give him some life security. A guy can do just fine with 4m (6m Canadian) in Edmonton. He has enough time that if he truly is on the right path from here on out he can get a nicer deal after that.

    I doubt too many teams will.be lining up to offer him too much more term and money than that?

    Similar to Russell, I hate the idea of bidding against yourself. I am even okay with going to July 1 with both these players and seeing what anyone else will offer them and then matching or beating. I could be wrong in that no one would offer too big of a deal for either but I would be willing to take that risk. Oilers have a plan B in Khaira and plenty of lefties on D. No need to overpay for a luxury when there are all sorts of holes on the roster that still need to be filled.

    Seem reasonable?

    If we use the Bruins under Chiarelli as the template, Kassian would be well below Nathan Horton level and imo above Shawn Thornton level. So, probably third line and fourth if he falters. My guess is that Chiarelli sees him as a 30-point winger on a 3line, somewhere in there.

  47. Confused says:

    Lander for Beck

  48. Lowetide says:

    theres oil in virginia: That verbal is always simmering under the surface.I’ve never understood it.

    Eberle has not looked good to me this year in limited viewings.Bobbling pucks, missing open nets, etc.Not sure what’s up.He’s got a consistent, long-term history of goal-scoring though and has seen slumps before.

    The idea that he’s expansion bait is pretty far-fetched.Maybe his trade value isn’t what we would want it to be, but the idea that it’s basically nil is baseless to say the least.

    I’ve long thought (based on player comparisons with older players) that Eberle would be due for a production bump around age 25-27.We’re not seeing it right now.As a corollary, I long had a similar idea about Matt Ryan in the NFL, until last year when I gave up on him because he didn’t deliver on my timeline.These players are not robots and playing in these top-level leagues is incredibly difficult.

    The funny thing is that Eberle is insanely consistent. As Bruce mentions above, his current streak is noticeable BECAUSE it is unusual when placed against his own past.

  49. Woodguy says:

    judgedrude: Some clarification for myself. Is it not 39 GP (like the 9 GP before getting sent back to junior) or is it the ‘on the roster’ games?

    Its 9 games to burn an ELC year.

    Its 40 games on a NHL roster for an 18 or 19 year old to “accrue a season”

    18 and 19 year old do not “accrue a season” if they are playing in the AHL.

    Drai burned an ELC year (only had two left after) in his first year BUT didn’t burn an “accrued season”, so the Oilers still retained 7 RFA years on him after than season.

  50. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Chris: I know it sounds offside, but the gist of the question is exposing both will ensure we only lose maximum one, and we save on some valuable assets (like Davidson). IF we lose one of them, the savings will be used elsewhere, including replacing them. I’m not against either player (I love both of them, and to be frank, don’t like all the bashing against them), but from a hockey perspective, what will help the team long term? Can we find a 3 million per year player to replace Ebs? I think RNH would be much harder to replace. On sober second thought, I think I would not expose RNH, but Ebs is a possibility.

    Just spitballing.

    I think you work out a trade then, with salary retained. I don’t think you just give away Eberle for free.

    Think about it…you are worried about losing a player with some value but you are looking at it only from the Oilers’ perspective.

    Vegas will select one player from every team. Every team is going to lose at least one player they do not want to lose.

    Which is better, losing Eberle and his 25 goal, 60 point ability for free or giving up a pick to ask Vegas to not take Davidson. I do the latter because replacing Eberle’s production will not be easy. And if you are going to send Eberle out for someone like a Toffoli to come in, you can retain salary on Eberle and get something of value back and come out ahead on the equation vs. just losing him for nothing.

    Scenario A:
    Out: Eberle (1RW at NHL level with proven track record)

    In: 6m in cap room plus whatever you hope to fill 1RW with (no guarantees)

    Scenario B:
    Out: 4th rounder

    In: Nothing, but you keep your 1RW option in place until you can find a replacement without risking having no one.

    Scenario C:
    Out: 4th rounder, Eberle with some salary retained

    In: Asset coming back for Ebs (mid-1st or a 2nd pair RHD with a highish contract for that role…e.g. a Coburn type–not saying him but someone paid 5m or so), say 4m in cap space if you go for a pick back, whatever you are replacing Eberle with on 1RW.

    I prefer the latter scenarios. Unless you have a replacement in place that is a very dangerous game to give away your only proven 1RW.

  51. pocession charge says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Expose Eberle and/or RNH? What on Earth?
    That makes no sense. Because you need to replace those players at similar or greater cost. Who are you going to replace Eberle’s goals with. So he is in a slump; it happens.

    Lucic is unlikely to hit 30 goals in a season going forward.
    Draisaitl perhaps may get there.
    McDavid likely will get there next season if not this one.

    This team lacks goal scorers. We do not have the luxury of giving one away for free without having a viable replacement in place. If you are banking on LA not re-signing Toffoli you are on very thin ice.

    George, I love your analyses but in this instance you are wrong. Even if their scoring tails off a bit next season, they are miles ahead of where they were. Overall team scoring (plus McDavid effect) is better and that hides the contribution of single players. We heard the same argument in the summer with respect to losing Hall. The team traded away its top scorer and now the team is scoring more goals. This isn’t because they traded Hall away. The same applies to Eberle. They won’t score more goals or less, necessarily, without him. I prefer to look for an Eberle replacement that costs half his price. The market is changing — secondary scorers are getting paid less. The whole “who are you going to replace him with” argument doesn’t hold water.

  52. Woodguy says:

    On the road to: Columbus, Boston, New Jersey, Ottawa (Expected Result: 2-1-1)

    Imma gonna quibble here a little bit.

    CBJ and BOS are two very strong team where I’d expect 0-2-0.

    They should beat NJD 1-2-0

    OTT is 3rd in 4 nights and 2nd of back to back on the road so Wacky Arm Flailing Inflatable Goaler Guy will probalby start 0–0-1 is wishful thinking.

    1-2-1 is what I’d go with.

    Your mileage obviously varies, but I wanted to pipe up.

    Also,

    Might as well adjust the rest:

    At home to: San Jose, New Jersey, Calgary, Arizona, Florida, Nashville (Expected Result: 3-1-2)

    3-1-2 is pretty good.

    On the road to: Calgary, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected Result: 2-1-0)

    This is very optimistic. All 3 are playoff teams today and all 3 are at home.

    1-2-0

    At home to: Minnesota (Expected Result: 0-1-0)

    Fair

    Overall expected result: 7-4-3, 17 points in 14 games

    I got 5-6-3 for 13 points.

  53. speeds says:

    Chris:
    Is it crazy to expose both Eberle and RNH in the upcoming expansion draft? A team can only lose one player, right? If, (and at this point, it’s a big ‘if’) the VGK select one of them, it does free up 6 million to sign CMD to the massive contract extension, plus hire help to replace them. That way you keep Davidson and anyone else we’d miss. Crazy?

    Could argue it makes more sense to look at asking Lucic and/or Sekera to waive their NMC’s for expansion purposes, to open up a couple protection spots.

  54. sliderule says:

    I don’t agree those that think it would be easy to replace Eberles .66 pts /game.

    Here are some of pts /game and cap hits for players around his age .

    Mackinnon .69 cap 6
    Landeskog. .42 cap 5.6
    Couture. .62 cap 6
    OReilly ..67 cap 7.5
    E Kane. .52 cap 5.25

    Sometimes you don’t know what you have till it’s gone

  55. pocession charge says:

    dangilitis: In mock drafts, Vegas will be lucky if they can acquire any true 1st line forwards, period. Cap will not be an issue whatsoever, they may actually need help getting to cap floor (unless NHL allows them free pass here next year, which they should). So if you expose Eberle or Lucic, they will be taken because of the need to add salary and scoring. At the moment, neither of these contracts require convincing to take on.

    So, why exactly would you do this when the team lacks top 2 line wingers?

    To play devils advocate, I love Leon and he may be the better answer at #2C than RNH. If that is the case, and team management decided to expose a player to get their contract off the books, wouldn’t it make more sense to expose RNH? You can probably afford to pay top line forwards 5-6 mil/season, but can’t afford to pay 6 mil/season to RNH if you foresee him as a 3rd line center a la Hrudey. You also can’t pay him 6 mil/season as a 2nd line winger if he maintains his season’s pace 0.47 points per game (far below his average of 0.72 ppg over his past 4.5 seasons)

    Let me be clear, though, in saying all of this, this year still seems to be the anomaly, and roles have changed for RNH, so I don’t see the logic in exposing either of Lucic, Eberle, or RNH.

    Frankly, I am hoping Pouliot and RNH pick things up big time, then the talk about exposing any of the 6 million dollar men is laid to rest, and we are left with the nice problem of exposing BP and Maroon while knowing one can still be retained.

    I see the argument for RNH over Eberle, but I think RNH is more important because he’s a center and plays all three aspects (EV, PP, PK). Lucic has a NMC so he’s a non-factor in this debate.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Lander makes the trip with the big team, Taylor Beck goes down after a very quiet visit.

  57. pocession charge says:

    theres oil in virginia: So, we’ve moved from “fanboy” to “fanman”.Is that progress?

    Over-exuberant fan person.

  58. fifthcartel says:

    I like Lander being recalled.

  59. OilClog says:

    so chia waited until the last possible moment to sign Russell in the summer, for next to nothing of what was being asked… Now he’s going to ship out the developing future to keep him on board with a heavy contract and a NMC.

    chance for a Klef/Ebs Duchene/Barrie swap, I kind hate it, but Duchene and Mcdavid would be Tron on ice.

  60. pocession charge says:

    sliderule:
    I don’t agree those that think it would be easy to replace Eberles .66 pts /game.

    Here are some of pts /game and cap hits for players around his age .

    Mackinnon .69 cap 6
    Landeskog. .42 cap 5.6
    Couture. .62 cap 6
    OReilly ..67 cap 7.5
    E Kane..52 cap 5.25

    Sometimes you don’t know what you have till it’s gone

    You are cherry picking stats, sir.

    C Sheary.71 cap 0.575
    P Maroon .45 cap 1.9 (less Ana retained)

    There are lots of examples in favor of my argument, too.

  61. Professor Q says:

    pocession charge: Over-exuberant fan person.

    I used to have a huge metal fan.

  62. Gret99zky says:

    One thing I’d like to see change is the length of the Entry Level Contracts. Make them 5 years.

    It is just too damn difficult for GM’s to keep good young players affordable.

  63. spoiler says:

    Woodguy,

    Lowetide struck me as being far too optimistic here too.

    13 or 14 points is reasonable. 17 needs some luck or some out-performing of existing levels of play… assuming the team across the ice maintains their level of play.

  64. Snowman says:

    pocession charge: Except for this year playing with a generational talent.

    You sound like an unabashed fanman with blinders on.Want to bet that they can find an equivalent producer for CMD for less than $6M/year?

    Yeah he’s on pace for 54 points… what a shmuck. How many players have more points than him on the team? Three. And two are his linemates.

    The next biggest producing right wing? Single digits. On pace for less than 20 points.. But yeah lets expose Eberle.

    He’s the 17th top producing right wing in the league. There are 11 of those who are paid less than him and of those 2 are on ELC. So he’s basically square in the middle. 6 paid more, 9 on contract paid less.

    Should be a piece of cake to get Laine, Simmonds, Voracek, Ehlers, Wheeler, Silverberg, Atkinson, Zuccarello, Radulov, Stone, or Pastrnak right? What do you think it would take to get them?

    Eberle+?

  65. Professor Q says:

    Gret99zky:
    One thing I’d like to see change is the length of the Entry Level Contracts.Make them 5 years.

    It is just too damn difficult for GM’s to keep good young players affordable.

    Or maybe a 7-year one like Gretzky’s?

  66. JimmyV1965 says:

    pocession charge: George, I love your analyses but in this instance you are wrong.Even if their scoring tails off a bit next season, they are miles ahead of where they were.Overall team scoring (plus McDavid effect) is better and that hides the contribution of single players.We heard the same argument in the summer with respect to losing Hall.The team traded away its top scorer and now the team is scoring more goals.This isn’t because they traded Hall away.The same applies to Eberle.They won’t score more goals or less, necessarily, without him.I prefer to look for an Eberle replacement that costs half his price.The market is changing — secondary scorers are getting paid less.The whole “who are you going to replace him with” argument doesn’t hold water.

    I think it might be a tad challenging to find a 25-30 goal scorer for $3 mill. And please don’t come back and say Ebs is a 15 goal guy.

  67. Woodguy says:

    Cam Talbot (2.45, .919) is the only other player on the roster not named McDavid who has a claim on Team MVP status at this time. You can still find detractors, but that is almost always the case when it comes to discussing goaltending.

    Top 15 NHL goalies with at least 550 (~10 gp) 5v5 minutes played this year using Goals Saved Above Average/60

    Player GSAA/60
    COREY.CRAWFORD 1.099
    BRADEN.HOLTBY 0.768
    THOMAS.GREISS 0.689
    MIKE.SMITH 0.681
    CAREY.PRICE 0.660
    SCOTT.DARLING 0.637
    DEVAN.DUBNYK 0.589
    SERGEI.BOBROVSKY 0.587
    MATTHEW.MURRAY 0.570
    CAM.TALBOT 0.502
    FREDERIK.ANDERSEN 0.479
    KARI.LEHTONEN 0.407
    JIMMY.HOWARD 0.404
    ANTTI.RAANTA 0.340

  68. spoiler says:

    Top RW UFAs this summer as it stands now. Many of these won’t make it to UFA, a couple will retire, most control where they want to play…

    JAGR
    DOAN
    IGINLA
    RADULOV
    STAFFORD
    GIONTA
    HEMSKY
    VRBATA
    WILLIAMS
    PURCELL
    NEIL
    EAVES
    VERSTEEG

    This is the list from which you will be replacing Eberle’s scoring. I.e. a dog’s breakfast. I may have missed a player due to improper positional labelling, but I think we all get the point.

    It matters not whether other players are making a discount on 14’s money, oir whether they’re getting paid in line.

    If you send those goals out, then when replacing those goals, here are your options.

  69. Timeisnow says:

    Woodguy:
    *****SPAM*****

    I like Kris Russell, but the publicly stated reasons Peter Chiarelli signed Russell are not showing up on his results for the Edmonton Oilers this year.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/01/i-like-kris-russell-but-publicly-stated.html

    *****END SPAM*****

    WG, good article on Russell. I also like Russell but Oilers are playing him in the deep end because of the lack of true top pairing dmen. You mention that he’s a below average #4. In your opinion who would you consider to be a average to above average #4?

    If you have mentioned this before, I apologize I missed what up said.

    I’m not very good with stats but I see the value. I personally don’t think there is a lot of difference between below average and above average dman within their pairing group. Elite dman is a different story.

  70. Woodguy says:

    pocession charge: Klefbom’s physical tools aren’t in doubt.His hockey sense is a bit questionable.I know nobody likes to hear disparaging remarks about their favorite Oiler but this is reality.

    I think Klef is dreamy and I think this comment is spot on.

  71. Woodguy says:

    Hope is a good thing:
    Woodguy,

    Excellent work and analysis! One question: is it possible that both sides could be right? In other words, if Russell contributes to more or better offensive zone entries, but the attack dies on a winger’s stick, or does lead to a quality scoring chance but the shot is wide or over the net? These things happen many times in a game, and could be the reason for differing views.

    I would also like to add, as much as I am a fan of the Oilers (since their inception), I am equally a fan of this blog, the evidence-based analysis found here, and the willingness of so many thoughtful people to add their many talents to the discussion. Happy New Year all – go Oilers!

    Then the play would only be dying with Russell’s passes and no one else’s (or else the ratio would remain the same)

    That’s just not very probable.

    Thanks for kind words!

  72. Timeisnow says:

    JimmyV1965:
    Anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to expose Eberle, or RNH, in the expansion draft, please give your head a shake.

    Agree 110%, that would be a complete waste of an high end asset. The GM and whoever also thought that was a good idea should be fired.

  73. knighttown says:

    Darcy a couple of comments about your great article.

    I get that you’re just using China’s comments and deciding if he’s made the stated impact (he hasn’t) but the full analysis would ask if there’s any reason why.

    What about role?

    In Calgary he would have most certainly gotten the soft or mid minutes behind two absolute stud defensemen in Gio and Brodie.

    In Edmonton the coach sees a pseudo top 4 with Russell, Klef, Larson and Sekera. There’s a cliff after those four to Davidson, Benning, Gryba and Nurse. Not talent wise but usage wise. And all four of those second tier are having good to great seasons by RelCorsi.

    Benning is the perfect juxtaposition. He’s safely playing 3rd pairing and destroying it; the age-old killing the softs.

    I don’t believe Russell’s minutes are comparable to Bennings but they are comparable to his partners in the Big 4.

    Wouldn’t it then make sense that when the centers play with Russell they are against Getzlaf and Crosby and when they are on with Benning they are playing Shore and Holland?

    I would expect therefore that Nuge would do better with Benning because when he’s with Benning he’s facing easier competition.

    I know it isn’t the point of your analysis but wouldn’t a fair measure of his worth be how he’s performing versus Sekera, Larsson or Klefbom. We know he is playing the same competition level with the same teammates. If he’s comparable to these guys who are all well established good players making more money isn’t that a sign of success?

  74. russ99 says:

    pocession charge: Klefbom’s physical tools aren’t in doubt.His hockey sense is a bit questionable.I know nobody likes to hear disparaging remarks about their favorite Oiler but this is reality.

    Well, 6 of one and a half-dozen of the other. He has the tools, but doesn’t use them in the defensive zone away from the wall, so maybe it is hockey sense rather than physicality.

    I see no reason why he can’t play a similar defensive style that Larsson does at some point in his development curve.

  75. Woodguy says:

    RE: Eberle

    Here are all the forwards over the last 4 years who have scored close to Eberle or better in terms of Points/60 – all situations.

    Which ones can you get to replace him for less money?

    If you give Eberle away, you also need to trade a valuable asset to get the ones under contract as their teams would value them highly:

    CROSBY, SIDNEY 3.4
    MALKIN, EVGENI 3.38
    MCDAVID, CONNOR 3.27
    KANE, PATRICK 3.24
    SEGUIN, TYLER 3.23
    BENN, JAMIE 3.1
    PANARIN, ARTEMI 3.08
    TARASENKO, VLADIMIR 3.06
    TAVARES, JOHN 2.86
    BACKSTROM, NICKLAS 2.85
    KUCHEROV, NIKITA 2.84
    THORNTON, JOE 2.83
    SPEZZA, JASON 2.82
    STAMKOS, STEVEN 2.81
    GAUDREAU, JOHNNY 2.8
    OVECHKIN, ALEX 2.79
    PAVELSKI, JOE 2.76
    GETZLAF, RYAN 2.74
    PERRY, COREY 2.73
    VORACEK, JAKUB 2.73
    GIROUX, CLAUDE 2.71
    HALL, TAYLOR 2.65 …….. man ……
    DATSYUK, PAVEL 2.62
    OKPOSO, KYLE 2.61
    KESSEL, PHIL 2.61
    PACIORETTY, MAX 2.59
    WHEELER, BLAKE 2.59
    JOHANSEN, RYAN 2.59
    HUDLER, JIRI 2.58
    DUCHENE, MATT 2.58
    ALFREDSSON, DANIEL 2.56
    KUZNETSOV, EVGENY 2.55
    HARTNELL, SCOTT 2.54
    SIMMONDS, WAYNE 2.54
    STONE, MARK 2.54
    SHARP, PATRICK 2.51
    VANEK, THOMAS 2.51
    CARTER, JEFF 2.49
    STEPAN, DEREK 2.47
    KREJCI, DAVID 2.47
    NASH, RICK 2.47
    COUTURE, LOGAN 2.46
    ZETTERBERG, HENRIK 2.46
    FORSBERG, FILIP 2.46
    JAGR, JAROMIR 2.46
    HORNQVIST, PATRIC 2.45
    PASTRNAK, DAVID 2.44
    HOFFMAN, MIKE 2.44
    FOLIGNO, NICK 2.44
    SCHWARTZ, JADEN 2.43
    STEEN, ALEXANDER 2.42
    ZUCCARELLO, MATS 2.42
    PARISE, ZACH 2.41
    EBERLE, JORDAN 2.41*******
    TOFFOLI, TYLER 2.4
    SEDIN, HENRIK 2.4
    PALAT, ONDREJ 2.39
    KOPITAR, ANZE 2.39
    SEDIN, DANIEL 2.37
    NEAL, JAMES 2.37
    SAAD, BRANDON 2.37

  76. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Lander makes the trip with the big team, Taylor Beck goes down after a very quiet visit.

    Welcome back Landie!!!

  77. sliderule says:

    pocession charge: You are cherry picking stats, sir.

    C Sheary.71 cap 0.575
    P Maroon .45 cap 1.9 (less Ana retaine

    There are lots of examples in favor of my argument, too.

    I picked players about his age and salary cap so if you call that cherry picking .

    Let it be.

    At least I was able to name five players while you cherry picked only two.

    Maroon at .45 pts /game is not an example of replacing Ebs .66

  78. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    pocession charge: George, I love your analyses but in this instance you are wrong.Even if their scoring tails off a bit next season, they are miles ahead of where they were.Overall team scoring (plus McDavid effect) is better and that hides the contribution of single players.We heard the same argument in the summer with respect to losing Hall.The team traded away its top scorer and now the team is scoring more goals.This isn’t because they traded Hall away.The same applies to Eberle.They won’t score more goals or less, necessarily, without him.I prefer to look for an Eberle replacement that costs half his price.The market is changing — secondary scorers are getting paid less.The whole “who are you going to replace him with” argument doesn’t hold water.

    I am a firm believer in bird in the hand theory.
    I am not saying you can’t replace Eberle’s goal scoring, what I am saying is that unless you have a viable plan for doing so it is not a good idea to give him away for free in the expansion draft. Why give away an asset like that for nothing.

    You can trade him and get an asset back that is valuable and then reposition yourself to replace him. I do believe Chia is thinking this way. I would be shocked if Chia kept Eberle only to expose him in the expansion draft.

  79. Woodguy says:

    pocession charge,

    I prefer to look for an Eberle replacement that costs half his price.

    I too want a BMW 750i and want to only pay for a BMW 328i

  80. Woodguy says:

    spoiler:
    Woodguy,

    Lowetide struck me as being far too optimistic here too.

    13 or 14 points is reasonable.17 needs some luck or some out-performing of existing levels of play… assuming the team across the ice maintains their level of play.

    Yeah, I think the QoC is pretty good in January and this team has had trouble with some “soft spots” like Saturday’s game.

    I’d be pretty happy with 14 points in January.

  81. Woodguy says:

    fifthcartel:
    I like Lander being recalled.

    I really hope McLellan runs 51-55-44, that line was a strength when 23 was out and has been leaking oil (most games, not all) since he got back in.

  82. Woodguy says:

    Timeisnow: WG, good article on Russell. I also like Russell but Oilers are playing him in the deep end because of the lack of true top pairing dmen. You mention that he’s a below average #4. In your opinion who would you consider to be a average to above average #4?

    If you have mentioned this before, I apologize I missed what up said.

    I’m not very good with stats but I see the value. I personally don’t think there is a lot of difference between below average and above average dman within their pairing group. Elite dman is a different story.

    I separated his 2nd pair play into LHD and RHD in the piece.

    I said he’s “slightly below average LHD and below average RHD”

    His play in CGY as a LHD was almost strictly with Wideman on the other side, otherwise he was in a Lefty-Lefty pairing and that can influence results quite a bit.

    When Russell has been played in the top 4 his results are below his results as a 3rd pairing guy.

    I consider Larsson a big below average top 4, Klef slightly above average and Sekera above average, but agree than none of them scream “Top pair guy” today, but think that Sekera and Klef can do it (because they have done it) with some success.

  83. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Woodguy: Yeah, I think the QoC is pretty good in January and this team has had trouble with some “soft spots” like Saturday’s game.

    I’d be pretty happy with 14 points in January.

    Moi aussi. 14 points would be my line in the sand as well. Tougher schedule than December. Anything else would be gravy. Like you I think CBJ, Boston should be losses and Ottawa 3rd in 4 nights and that is a decent team. I would hope they can beat Jersey at least.

  84. gogliano says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate here, should we expose Connor McDavid and replace him with a few cheaper players? Dude has been off pace since November and he is going to get a whale of a contract being the Hockey Jesus and all.

  85. Bling says:

    Woodguy,

    What do you think of Larsson’s expected +/- figure?

    https://twitter.com/ChartingHockey/status/815260069441011712

    Looks like he stacks up pretty well. Seems like an above average top 4 by this metric, though I agree his puck moving needs to improve for him to take the next step.

  86. pocession charge says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I am a firm believer in bird in the hand theory.
    I am not saying you can’t replace Eberle’s goal scoring, what I am saying is that unless you have a viable plan for doing so it is not a good idea to give him away for free in the expansion draft. Why give away an asset like that for nothing.

    You can trade him and get an asset back that is valuable and then reposition yourself to replace him. I do believe Chia is thinking this way. I would be shocked if Chia kept Eberle only to expose him in the expansion draft.

    Ok I’ll buy that argument. Fans are going to be so upset when they see what he returns on the open market.

  87. OilClog says:

    DUCHENE, MATT 2.58

  88. pocession charge says:

    sliderule: I picked players about his age and salary cap so if you call that cherry picking .

    Let it be.

    At least I was able to name five players while you cherry picked only two.

    Maroon at .45 pts /game is not an example of replacing Ebs .66

    Trust me I can find many more examples if you’d like. I’d rather have Maroon at $1.5M than Ebs at $6M.

  89. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Woodguy: I separated his 2nd pair play into LHD and RHD in the piece.

    I said he’s “slightly below average LHD and below average RHD”

    His play in CGY as a LHD was almost strictly with Wideman on the other side, otherwise he was in a Lefty-Lefty pairing and that can influence results quite a bit.

    When Russell has been played in the top 4 his results are below his results as a 3rd pairing guy.

    I consider Larsson a big below average top 4, Klef slightly above average and Sekera above average, but agree than none of them scream “Top pair guy” today, but think that Sekera and Klef can do it (because they have done it) with some success.

    I think if we do not run out of patience we will be talking about Klef-Larsson as a bonafide, below-average top pair D combo.

    I know that sounds odd, but if there are 31 top pairings in the league, I would say that these guys will wind up in the range of average-to-below average. That’s not bad. Pittsburgh certainly makes it work with high end Cs and the Oilers have two, and a solid 3rd at the moment. The real kicker will be if they can find one more guy to come in over the top of Klefbom-Larsson. Like if Nurse could put it all together (or they find some other gem–maybe from outside the org. or maybe inside like a Caleb Jones or something).

    A lot of this comes down to MacT decisions:
    Risto over Nurse
    Keeping Petry–things could have looked mighty different, potentially.

    If they found a way to still sign Sekera

    Sekera-Petry
    Klefbom-Ristolainen
    Davidson-Gryba/Russell

    And forward group would have had one more river-pusher.

    So I don’t blame Chia for this. He is rebuilding a decimated D group that was downright awful when he arrived.

  90. pocession charge says:

    Woodguy:
    pocession charge,

    I prefer to look for an Eberle replacement that costs half his price.

    I too want a BMW 750i and want to only pay for a BMW 328i

    CMD can elevate a lesser player. The goal is to find a value deal (say 75% of Eberle’s production but at a fraction of the cost). They sort of attempted this with Kris Versteeg but it didn’t work out.

  91. Ryan says:

    Woodguy:
    *****SPAM*****

    I like Kris Russell, but the publicly stated reasons Peter Chiarelli signed Russell are not showing up on his results for the Edmonton Oilers this year.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/01/i-like-kris-russell-but-publicly-stated.html

    *****END SPAM*****

    Should we be concerned that Chiarelli believes that it’s possible for a denfenseman with no particular offensive ability could even in theory drive a team’s on ice shooting percentage?

  92. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    pocession charge: Ok I’ll buy that argument. Fans are going to be so upset when they see what he returns on the open market.

    Well, we already have some pretty good indication that Chia tried to shop Eberle to get back a top 4D (possibly Hamonic, likely Larsson) and got no bites. So I don’t think those paying attention will be upset.

    From the day the ink dried on his $6m per contract I thought it was going to be a “full value” contract at best and a bit of an anchor at worst. I think if you see my post history I mentioned it at the time: Hall’s will be good value, Eberle’s too much.

    That said, I think if you retained 25% on Eberle to get his cap hit down to $4.5M for another team the conversation would change. A one dimensional 60 point winger at $4.5M is fair value and should return a mid-1st or a serviceable, but not wonderful 2nd pair D on a similar contract. Someone like a Niskanen or Leddy or…shudder, Demers. 😉

  93. Woodguy says:

    All NHL forwards over the past 4 years with their points/60 production in all situations and their salary. (3000+ minutes ~160 games)

    All players within 5% +/- of Eberle’s 2.41 (2.53-2.29)

    SHARP, PATRICK 2.51 – $5.90
    VANEK, THOMAS 2.51 – $2.60
    CARTER, JEFF 2.49 – $5.27 (tail)
    STEPAN, DEREK 2.47 -$6.50
    KREJCI, DAVID 2.47 – $7.25
    NASH, RICK 2.47 – $7.80
    COUTURE, LOGAN 2.46 – $6.00
    ZETTERBERG, HENRIK 2.46 – $6.08
    FORSBERG, FILIP 2.46 – $6.00
    JAGR, JAROMIR 2.46 – $4.00
    HORNQVIST, PATRIC 2.45 – $4.25
    HOFFMAN, MIKE 2.44 – $5.19
    FOLIGNO, NICK 2.44 – $5.50
    SCHWARTZ, JADEN 2.43 – $5.35
    STEEN, ALEXANDER 2.42 – $5.80
    ZUCCARELLO, MATS 2.42 – $4.50
    PARISE, ZACH 2.41 – $7.53
    EBERLE, JORDAN 2.41 – $6.00
    TOFFOLI, TYLER 2.4 – $3.25 (RFA)
    SEDIN, HENRIK 2.4 – $7.00
    PALAT, ONDREJ 2.39 – $3.33 (RFA)
    KOPITAR, ANZE 2.39 – $10.00
    SEDIN, DANIEL 2.37 – $7.00
    NEAL, JAMES 2.37 – $5.00
    SAAD, BRANDON 2.37 – $6.00
    TOEWS, JONATHAN 2.35 – $10.50
    HOSSA, MARIAN 2.35 – $5.275 (tail)
    GALCHENYUK, ALEX 2.33 – $2.80 (RFA)
    RYAN, BOBBY 2.33 – $7.25
    MACKINNON, NATHAN 2.32 – $6.30
    NYQUIST, GUSTAV 2.32 – $4.75
    SCHEIFELE, MARK 2.31 – $6.13
    MARCHAND, BRAD 2.3 – $4.50
    LUCIC, MILAN 2.29 – $6.00
    LANDESKOG, GABRIEL 2.29 – $5.57

    (RFA) means the player is an RFA after their current contract expires.

    (tail) means the player makes much more than their contract number as they have an older contract with the long tails that dropped the AAV.

  94. Woodguy says:

    Bling:
    Woodguy,

    What do you think of Larsson’s expected +/- figure?

    https://twitter.com/ChartingHockey/status/815260069441011712

    Looks like he stacks up pretty well. Seems like an above average top 4 by this metric, though I agree his puck moving needs to improve for him to take the next step.

    I don’t fully understand DTMA’s xPM stat so I’m hesitant to comment.

    The fact that his most common partner rates much higher by the same metric tells me his results are being zoomed a bit.

  95. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    Eberle’s been under two points per hour since the lockout shortened season.

    Where are you getting an average of 2.41 points per hour?

    Not that teams primarily pay offensive players by their points per hour at evens.

  96. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy: I don’t fully understand DTMA’s xPM stat so I’m hesitant to comment.

    The fact that his most common partner rates much higher by the same metric tells me his results are being zoomed a bit.

    Corsica has his expected +- at – 3.13, which puts him 203rd ( min 50 min) Only Russell with an expected +- of 5.06 is worse.
    Here are how our D look
    MATTHEW.BENNING 4.62
    ANDREJ.SEKERA 0.51
    DARNELL.NURSE -0.16
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM -0.35
    ERIC.GRYBA -0.76
    BRANDON.DAVIDSON -1.47
    ADAM.LARSSON -3.13
    KRIS.RUSSELL -5.06

    Amazing that Sekera is positive, even he has played more than half his time with Russell who is at -5.06.

  97. Woodguy says:

    knighttown,

    Russell played 38% of his time last year (don’t have the year before) vs. Elite Forwards

    He’s 36% this year, so essentially getting the same minutes.

    He played top 4 in Calgary and Dallas and you really can’t hide a 2nd pair Dman unless you go super heavy vs Elite with the top pair.

    Off the top of my head CHI and NJD did that last year, but very few did and CGY/DAL didn’t.

  98. Woodguy says:

    knighttown,

    I know it isn’t the point of your analysis but wouldn’t a fair measure of his worth be how he’s performing versus Sekera, Larsson or Klefbom. We know he is playing the same competition level with the same teammates. If he’s comparable to these guys who are all well established good players making more money isn’t that a sign of success?

    I did that in my 23 game review of all the Oilers DMen here: http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2016/12/an-in-depth-look-at-oiler-dmen-at-23.html

    I only used Fenwick there, but I could re-visit it.

    You’re right that I was very specific in what I looked at as my goal was to:

    1) Test the veracity of the claims of the micro-stats
    2) Not to use shot metrics to do it as it would be dismissed out of hand by many as Peter has stated he prefers metrics which tend to be goal based metrics

  99. frjohnk says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I think if we do not run out of patience we will be talking about Klef-Larsson as a bonafide, below-average top pair D combo.

    I know that sounds odd, but if there are 31 top pairings in the league, I would say that these guys will wind up in the range of average-to-below average. That’s not bad. Pittsburgh certainly makes it work with high end Cs and the Oilers have two, and a solid 3rd at the moment. The real kicker will be if they can find one more guy to come in over the top of Klefbom-Larsson. Like if Nurse could put it all together (or they find some other gem–maybe from outside the org. or maybe inside like a Caleb Jones or something).

    Right now we have 2 2nd pairing pairs if we look at Q of T and Q of C which is evenly distributed between the top 4 in TOI/game

    Rank Player TOI/game ( all situations)
    61 Andrej Sekera 21.7
    65 Kris Russell 21.4
    68 Oscar Klefbom 21.3
    94 Adam Larsson 20.1

    Sekera is our best Dman, Id probably slot him as a 2/3, Klefbom and Larsson are 3’s, Russell a 4/5

  100. Ryan says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Ryan,

    “all situations”

    Thanks.

    I’ll chalk that up to my iPhone and some other distractions. Sorry guys.

  101. Woodguy says:

    OilClog:
    DUCHENE, MATT2.58

    If Peter can pry Duchene out of COL I *might* start to forgive the Hall trade.

    Might.

  102. Woodguy says:

    pocession charge: CMD can elevate a lesser player.The goal is to find a value deal (say 75% of Eberle’s production but at a fraction of the cost).They sort of attempted this with Kris Versteeg but it didn’t work out.

    I agree that CMD doesn’t need the high priced help.

    RNH and Drai do though, as do all centers not named Crosby or McDavid.

  103. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    frjohnk: Right now we have 2 2nd pairing pairs if we look at Q of T and Q of C which is evenly distributed between the top 4 in TOI/game

    Rank Player TOI/game ( all situations)
    61Andrej Sekera21.7
    65Kris Russell21.4
    68Oscar Klefbom21.3
    94Adam Larsson20.1

    Sekera is our best Dman, Id probably slot him as a 2/3, Klefbom and Larsson are 3’s, Russell a 4/5

    Yup, no argument from me. I believe I said “in a couple of years. ”
    That would put Klefbom at ~ 300 games played–still 100 shy of where I think D-men need to get to before we can get to where we can say we have the player surrounded. Larsson is at 312 games played. so 160 on top would have him at ~475 and Klef at just over 300.

    I believe if the Oilers stick with these two they will be a below average top pair, with neither one a true number one, but both solid #2s.

    Edit- BAH I may have forgotten to put the “in a couple of years” part, which was crucial to my whole argument!! D’oh! My apologies.

  104. Woodguy says:

    Ryan: Should we be concerned that Chiarelli believes that it’s possible for a denfenseman with no particular offensive ability could even in theory drive a team’s on ice shooting percentage?

    I would be.

    I’m not sure Peter actually believes it though.

    I think he was defending his move more than anything.

  105. Woodguy says:

    frjohnk: Corsica has his expected +- at – 3.13, which puts him 203rd ( min 50 min)Only Russell with an expected +- of 5.06 is worse.
    Here are how our D look
    MATTHEW.BENNING4.62
    ANDREJ.SEKERA0.51
    DARNELL.NURSE-0.16
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM-0.35
    ERIC.GRYBA-0.76
    BRANDON.DAVIDSON-1.47
    ADAM.LARSSON-3.13
    KRIS.RUSSELL -5.06

    Amazing that Sekera is positive, even he has played more than half his time with Russell who is at -5.06.

    That’s because Sekera and Benning absolutely owned souls when they play together.

    59.2% CF and 66.7% GF.

    Imma wanting that as the 2nd pair.

  106. Woodguy says:

    Ryan: Thanks.

    I’ll chalk that up to my iPhone and some other distractions.Sorry guys.

    Only fools blame their phone.

  107. Timeisnow says:

    Woodguy,

    Yes I misread what you said with regards to Russell. You mentioned him as a Top 4. I thought you were referring to Russell as a #4 dman. I agree he’s a below average top 4.

    I like to look at dmen as top pairing, second paring, and bottom paring. Oilers, in my opinion don’t have a #1 dman. Sekera as a average #2 or above average #3 dman. Klef and Larsson average to below #3 dman. Russell an average #4 to above #5 dman. Benning and Nurse average #4 dman.

    I realyl like Benning and think he could and up being a #2 in the Sekera mold.

  108. JimmyV1965 says:

    I really detest the Hall trade, but I do think Chia has done a remarkable job of rebuilding this defence. We don’t have an Ace but we have as many face cards as any team in the league. Ironically, his best deals have been the small moves.

  109. russ99 says:

    Good article on the increasing value of good NHL defensemen:

    http://www.prohockeyrumors.com/2017/01/disastrous-drafting-defensemen.html

  110. russ99 says:

    Woodguy: That’s because Sekera and Benning absolutely owned souls when they play together.

    59.2% CF and 66.7% GF.

    Imma wanting that as the 2nd pair.

    Small sample size.

    Also, I firmly believe that Sekera needs a good defense-first pairing mate to play his best, and Benning has had his shaky moments in the D-zone, as most rookies do.

  111. whale says:

    Regarding Russell. Could the Oilers sign him for 2-3 years and not protect him. Probably won’t lose him and I think he’s good for second/third pairing. He seems to be able to get the puck out of the zone fairly well. I know stats are against him but by eye seems to get the job done most times. 3M per year sounds about right.

  112. YKOil says:

    In regards to expansion I think McPhee would jump at a Pouliot expansion pick if, say, Lander and Musil were made available in a trade that flips 7th round picks.

    McPhee gets:

    In Pouliot:

    – two years of an established veteran NHL forward, with speed, scoring ability and the ability to play 18+ min a night
    – $4 million towards the salary floor now and value at the 2018 trade deadline

    In Lander:

    – control over an established (practically a veteran) 4th line forward who excels at faceoffs, is quite competent on the PK and is capable of playing all 3 spots
    – said forward is also young enough to be ‘young’, is of remarkable character (to my eye), is looking for the opportunity to make a difference, has offensive potential that may yet by untapped and is affordable going forward

    In Musil:

    – control over a 1st pair AHL defender who will, on a team with depth as poor as that of Vegas (remember, Vegas will be dumping a fair number of the expansion draft d-men they take at the trade deadline) be ready to play spot-duty in the NHL

    Vegas will get 30 players with which to stock an NHL team AND an AHL team – quality, young, depth will be high on their shopping list. I also think PC could dump Fayne on them.

    – veteran RHD
    – will bring anywhere from a 2nd to a 4th round pick at the trade deadline (depending on playing time and performance) and
    – the $2 million Vegas would spend on his salary is a small price to pay for a shot at a 2nd (if things break right)

    For PC expansion represents a chance to correct some mistakes (Fayne), deal with some leftorium (Musil) and [potential] cap issues (Fayne/Pouliot) and protect existing assets he values (Davidson/Russel).

    I know Vegas has said they won’t take teams salary dumps but there is a big difference between Fayne (expiring contract almost immediately tradeable) and, say, Dustin Brown (albatross contract that will never die).

    My 2 cents.

    In regards to the post LT – great work as always. I have no doubt RNH will rebound in the 2nd half with better line usage. I fear the Russell contract; I do, I do.

  113. Lowetide says:

    whale:
    Regarding Russell. Could the Oilers sign him for 2-3 years and not protect him. Probably won’t lose him and I think he’s good for second/third pairing. He seems to be able to get the puck out of the zone fairly well. I know stats are against him but by eye seems to get the job done most times. 3M per year sounds about right.

    I think it would be folly for him to sign a deal before the expansion draft that allows him to be selected. He is in the driver’s seat now, in this regard.

  114. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Only fools blame their phone.

    This blog needs a ‘save quote until you need it’ option.

  115. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Lowetide: I think it would be folly for him to sign a deal before the expansion draft that allows him to be selected. He is in the driver’s seat now, in this regard.

    Agreed, and that’s why if I am Chia I offer him a fair deal with no NMC now and if he refuses then I let him go to July 1 and tell him to shop around for a better offer and then let Chia know so he can choose to match/beat/pass. He would be doing Russell a solid either way, and let’s not forget Russell had no deal going into camp. I hate bidding against yourself when in this type of situation. I get it if you find a real gem or have a blossoming RFA and want to lock him up quick, but neither applies here.

  116. OF17 says:

    Lowetide: I think it would be folly for him to sign a deal before the expansion draft that allows him to be selected. He is in the driver’s seat now, in this regard.

    Protection issues aside, Russell would be passing up an extremely rare opportunity to get concrete offers from two teams before the free agent period if he signed before the expansion draft. I believe Vegas gets a couple of days to negotiate with UFAs before the expansion draft, and should they reach a contract with them, they can sign immediately and count as the player lost for their former team. Russell’s camp talks to the Oilers, talks to the Knights, and if the Knights’ offer is better, you can maybe get more from Edmonton, assuming that’s where you want to stay. If the Vegas offer is worse, you’re back where you started, no harm no foul.

    If Russell’s camp can get a good enough offer to sign with a promise of being protected, I don’t think they’ll need to use that advantage, but it’s an unusual one for UFAs this year. Don’t think Chiarelli would need to give a NMC. A promise to protect should be enough, since Chiarelli’s reputation would be so greatly damaged by reneging that I can’t see him backing out if it’s part of the agreement.

  117. Professor Q says:

    gogliano:
    Just to play devil’s advocate here, should we expose Connor McDavid and replace him with a few cheaper players?Dude has been off pace since November and he is going to get a whale of a contract being the Hockey Jesus and all.

    Technically he’s already exempt. I understand the humour but in McDavid’s case it’s moot anyway.

  118. JDï™ says:

    YKOil,

    It will be interesting to see if McPhee agrees to any side deals to not take a certain player from any team.

    I can’t imagine what it felt like to have his boss issue a seven no SIX season Cup guarantee at their press conference. If the Knights aren’t competitive by the end of year two, I think McPhee is going to be feeling more than just desert heat.

    So aside from hitting the entry draft out of the park in the first three seasons, McPhee is going to have to choose wisely in the expansion draft, and of course he’s probably going to build from the back end out.

    The good news for him is that there should be a good goalie available, but I can’t see him picking Pouliot over an impressive young defender like Davey, unless that side deal is very attractive.

  119. russ99 says:

    OF17: Protection issues aside, Russell would be passing up an extremely rare opportunity to get concrete offers from two teams before the free agent period if he signed before the expansion draft. I believe Vegas gets a couple of days to negotiate with UFAs before the expansion draft, and should they reach a contract with them, they can sign immediately and count as the player lost for their former team. Russell’s camp talks to the Oilers, talks to the Knights, and if the Knights’ offer is better, you can maybe get more from Edmonton, assuming that’s where you want to stay. If the Vegas offer is worse, you’re back where you started, no harm no foul.

    If Russell’s camp can get a good enough offer to sign with a promise of being protected, I don’t think they’ll need to use that advantage, but it’s an unusual one for UFAs this year. Don’t think Chiarelli would need to give a NMC. A promise to protect should be enough, since Chiarelli’s reputation would be so greatly damaged by reneging that I can’t see him backing out if it’s part of the agreement.

    The only curveball is that not many veterans are going to want to play in Vegas unless they really like it there, for weather reasons, and/or the money is vastly better, since the Golden Knights are sure to be a losing team for multiple seasons. Being one of the few veterans being leaned on by kids is a difficult NHL role, as we’ve seen here.

    I see Russell vastly preferring to re-sign with a good young up and coming playoff team and a coach who knows how to utilize him here.

  120. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    russ99,

    Weather reasons? Vegas in winter and spring has pretty good weather. Only rare snow.

  121. Professor Q says:

    Tarasenko would look so nice next to McDavid.

  122. OF17 says:

    russ99: The only curveball is that not many veterans are going to want to play in Vegas unless they really like it there, for weather reasons, and/or the money is vastly better, since the Golden Knights are sure to be a losing team for multiple seasons. Being one of the few veterans being leaned on by kids is a difficult NHL role, as we’ve seen here.

    I see Russell vastly preferring to re-sign with a good young up and coming playoff team and a coach who knows how to utilize him here.

    That’s true. I think this season has bought us a lot of sway with potential UFAs. We’re no longer such a wild card, and verbal from opposing coaches and players pegs us as a team to not take lightly. I’d imagine Russell isn’t the only one who might feel that way. “Mr. Oshie, how would you like playoff games on McDavid’s wing?”

    Hanzal, Berglund, Vanek, Bonino, all of those guys are more attainable now. No idea what it means for other forwards, but adding one of those guys would certainly be nice.

  123. Hairbag says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Jmho – I think Russell had other offers long before training camp but was waiting for two shoes to drop in Calgary 1) Calgary needed to settle Jonny Hockey’s contract and 2) I think the Flames were hoping to dump Wideman freeing up 5+million. He’s a Caroline kid who loved playing in Calgary close to friends and family. I haven’t looked at their cap situation for next season but I could the Flames signing Russell in free agency on July 1. I would prefer to keep Davidson if possible…..

  124. JimmyV1965 says:

    Lowetide: I think it would be folly for him to sign a deal before the expansion draft that allows him to be selected. He is in the driver’s seat now, in this regard.

    I’m not sure what you mean LT. Why should Russell wait until after the expansion draft and why is he in the driver’s seat? I would think he’s not in the driver’s seat.

  125. JimmyV1965 says:

    JDï™:
    YKOil,

    It will be interesting to see if McPhee agrees to any side deals to not take a certain player from any team.

    I can’t imagine what it felt like to have his boss issue a seven no SIX season Cup guarantee at their press conference. If the Knights aren’t competitive by the end of year two, I think McPhee is going to be feeling more than just desert heat.

    So aside from hitting the entry draft out of the park in the first three seasons, McPhee is going to have to choose wisely in the expansion draft, and of course he’s probably going to build from the back end out.

    The good news for him is that there should be a good goalie available, but I can’t see him picking Pouliot over an impressive young defender like Davey, unless that side deal is very attractive.

    What really sucks for McPhee is his first draft and the team’s first ever pick will likely be blah.

  126. fifthcartel says:

    I think a Kris Russell contract extension would be pretty bad, but some comments here make me think it won’t happen.

    I find it doubtful, although not impossible, they would protect Russell in the expansion draft (3D = Klefbom/Larsson/Sekera) . It would make more sense if they waited until after if they wanted to protect 4D + sign Russell.

    But even if they wait, that means Russell’s agent can talk to whoever, even though that didn’t go as well last summer. There’s been some stuff about Russell wanting to stay in Alberta but I feel like that’s just the agent pandering to the Oilers/fans.

    Waiting post-expansion makes the most since for the Oilers for either option, and I have a feeling (and hoping) that once he hits free agency they take a better offer than Edmontons.

  127. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: This blog needs a ‘save quote until you need it’ option.

    I was also going to put something about LH/RH in there too, but didn’t want to make it too easy.

  128. jm363561 says:

    pocession charge: Who cares what people think?Getting off that $6M per year is the benefit.They are already going to overpay Lucic and RNH going forward.In a cap world, it is crucial to get outperforming players on value deals to supplement the stars (CMD and LD).

    That is my way of looking at it.

  129. JimmyV1965 says:

    OF17: That’s true. I think this season has bought us a lot of sway with potential UFAs. We’re no longer such a wild card, and verbal from opposing coaches and players pegs us as a team to not take lightly. I’d imagine Russell isn’t the only one who might feel that way. “Mr. Oshie, how would you like playoff games on McDavid’s wing?”

    Hanzal, Berglund, Vanek, Bonino, all of those guys are more attainable now. No idea what it means for other forwards, but adding one of those guys would certainly be nice.

    No offence, but I’m hoping our days of needing to sign big name free agents is over. I think the really good teams don’t do this because you always overpay for the big guns.

  130. Primetime says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: Well, we already have some pretty good indication that Chia tried to shop Eberle to get back a top 4D (possibly Hamonic, likely Larsson) and got no bites. So I don’t think those paying attention will be upset.

    Agree NYC…there were definitely suggestions that Ebs wasn’t returning much in trade, probably worth more to us at the time than to other teams.

    That being said, as you know, markets change. In the summer, Snow was playing hardball with Hamonic and his trade request. He held the asset, with no desire to move him unless the perfect deal came. At the time, the Isles were an up and coming team, with expectations to do well.

    Now look at today…near bottom of conference, flagging attendance, and perhaps most importantly, a franchise player one year away from free agency. Many players that Tavares has liked playing with have been traded away (Moulson, Okposo, Neilsen)…no problem while he was under contract, but now they need to convince him to re-up in a place where the future looks less bright than a year ago (queue the stories of little Johnny T’s childhood Maple leafs PJs that he dreamt in every night).

    Would giving him a bona fide RW/friend/Team Canada WJC linemate be part of a pitch to keep Tavares? Does keeping the steady but unspectacular Hamonic help sign JT or attract attendance, especially if you are not winning?

    Would holding back enough salary on Ebs ($1 mill) to make salaries equal ($5 mill/year) get you Hamonic straight up now that NYI situation has changed? Would you do it? That allows you to NOT sign Russell and use that cash to find a mid range RW replacement/Play Pulju…keep 2 of Davidson/Reinhart/Nurse for 3 D pair with Benning?

  131. Woodguy says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m not sure what you mean LT. Why should Russell wait until after the expansion draft and why is he in the driver’s seat?I would think he’s not in the driver’s seat.

    Russell is a UFA in June.

    If he is not signed to a contract and exposed in the expansion draft he cannot go to Vegas.

    Technically he could be selected by Vegas (from EDM’s roster) but Russell could sign somewhere else on July 1, 2017.

    So by not signing a contract, Russell can guarantee he’s not going to Vegas and is free to sign anywhere, he’s in the driver’s seat.

    If Russell does sign a contract without a NMC he could be exposed in the expansion draft and selected by Vegas and forced to play there.

  132. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Hairbag:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Jmho – I think Russell had other offers long before training camp but was waiting for two shoes to drop in Calgary 1) Calgary needed to settle Jonny Hockey’s contract and 2) I think the Flames were hoping to dump Wideman freeing up 5+million.He’s a Caroline kid who loved playing in Calgary close to friends and family.I haven’t looked at their cap situation for next season but I could the Flames signing Russell in free agency on July 1.I would prefer to keep Davidson if possible…..

    Thanks for offering your take. If that is true does that not help Chia’s cause? Only Calgary can offer that proximity to home. Russell is familiar with both. Calgary’s blue is more established than Edmonton’s.

    Chia can say, look Kris, I know you want to stay, and we want you to stay, but I am going 7-3-1 and I can’t give you an NMC because I need to protect some other assets. I am thinking ballpark 4 years and 14m total for you. If that works for you, you can sign now and risk getting claimed, or we can have a conversation in the summer come July 1.

    Chia can say this knowing Russell’s desires. If he is about money he signs even without the NMC. If location matters and he does not want to risk Vegas then Chia can revisit in the summer knowing it is Calgary or Edmonton (and can even trade him for a pick at the deadline).

    Or am I way off base?

  133. Lowetide says:

    JimmyV1965: I’m not sure what you mean LT. Why should Russell wait until after the expansion draft and why is he in the driver’s seat?I would think he’s not in the driver’s seat.

    If Russell signs a three-year, $9 million deal with Edmonton, without a protection guarantee, he could well end up there. Why would he risk it? From what we hear, NHL general managers believe PC got a steal in Russell, meaning his value is on the rise at this time.

    Any agent worth his salt is going to push for some kind of advantage. Perhaps the Oilers can give Russell a deal that overpays him, thereby making him unattractive to the new team in LV. My guess is that Edmonton and Russell have a deal in place for after the expansion draft and that is when it will be announced.

    That said, as long as Russell doesn’t sign a contract, he is in fact in the driver’s seat. His own GM has gone public with a desire to sign him, and other GMs reportedly think PC got a steal of a deal. Pretty good position imo.

  134. jm363561 says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Also, has anyone noticed the direction that goal-scoring is taking in the NHL?Fuck you Gary.

    =======

    I stumbled across this article on a satisfaction survey of NHL fans by Yahoo Sports:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/how-do-fans-rate-the-nhls-current-product-162828924.html

    There are quite a few complaints on this site but the survey indicates a pretty high degree of satisfaction with NHL hockey – 21% Excellent; 47% Good; just 2% poor. Highest ratings came from younger supporters and those who consider themselves die hard hockey fans. (Are LoweTide posters disproportionately old, lukewarm fans? Hmmm. Of course, we all know how accurate these surveys are!)

  135. PigeonCamera says:

    I’m not an Eberle fan. Full stop…just qualifying my comments.

    He irritates the crap out of me with his fly-by defense and stupid break out collapses. That being said, when he is committed and digs for the puck, which he does ever so selectively, I become an Eberle fan, because, man…what a player. I want/don’t want to see him go. I want that committed Ebs who is balls out awesome. I want to see his shooting coach roasted over an open fire. I want to look at the 14 jersey hanging on my wall and say…man…there’s a player! I don’t want to see him given away like Hemsky, Petry, and all other players ending in eeee. If he’s moved, there had better be a fucking back up plan, because Yak’s a Blue, and the cupboard has a couple of dry beans and a can of sardines from 1978. I think I’d be a bit more dispassionate about Ebs if Yak was still here, but he’s eating a lot of Hitch’s popcorn at the moment, and that train has sailed.

    Kick ass, EbsSeabass. Please? Seriously, I’m begging here.

  136. PigeonCamera says:

    Also, I love the Dread Pirate Lander, and I’m glad to seem him back!!

  137. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    PigeonCamera,

    Sardines or sea bass, Dread Pirate Lander…some great references, not to mention a great handle (had not heard that song in a long time–thanks for reminding me). Hat tip to you sir/ma’am.

  138. PigeonCamera says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Sir, and I’m blushing. 🙂

    I’ve been following you on twitter for ages, so right back at you. Amazing photos. Much obliged.

  139. Jethro Tull says:

    3Rd in division, 6th in conference. + infinity over the last ten years.

    +10 gd, +33 from last year.

    Who have we to blame for this bullshit situation?

    Why, Jordan Eberle of course. And possibly Kris Russell and Adam Larsson.

    The goat triumvirate abides!

  140. jm363561 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I am a firm believer in bird in the hand theory.
    I am not saying you can’t replace Eberle’s goal scoring, what I am saying is that unless you have a viable plan for doing so it is not a good idea to give him away for free in the expansion draft. Why give away an asset like that for nothing.

    You can trade him and get an asset back that is valuable and then reposition yourself to replace him. I do believe Chia is thinking this way. I would be shocked if Chia kept Eberle only to expose him in the expansion draft.

    ======

    You can, of course, trade Ebs and get something back, similarly Davidson et al. Unless you trade away all players of value above the protected number someone is exposed. I would prefer not to expose Davidson and Maroon, and expose Ebs, assuming no trades or deals. There is a degree of calculated risk here as I doubt Vegas would take Ebs – Brossoit may be more likely. JMHO.

    How would we score goals without him? We said the same thing when THall left and, so far, no problem. (And, finally, ALander has been recalled. That replaces one goal. 😀).

  141. YKOil says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I hate bidding against yourself when in this type of situation. I get it if you find a real gem or have a blossoming RFA and want to lock him up quick, but neither applies here.

    This is one of my fears on the deal. My read on PC is that he makes his worst moves when he thinks he ‘has’ to make a move. I think we will be lucky if the deal is for less than $3.5 million a year and less than 4 years. I be expecting bad things.

  142. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    jm363561: You can, of course, trade Ebs and get something back, similarly Davidson et al. Unless you trade away all players of value above the protected number someone is exposed. I would prefer not to expose Davidson and Maroon, and expose Ebs, assuming no trades or deals. There is a degree of calculated risk here as I doubt Vegas would take Ebs – Brossoit may be more likely. JMHO.

    How would we score goals without him? We said the same thing when THall left and, so far, no problem. (And, finally, ALander has been recalled. That replaces one goal. ).

    Hmm, yes, the first portion of your comment addresses mine and I am in agreement with you: if you are going to move Eberle, I think you make a deal. At this time I cannot get behind the idea of exposing him to the expansion draft and risking losing him for nothing.

    If you decide to trade him, trade him with salary retained and get a good deal, and then replace him with someone who has room to grow with 97.

  143. theres oil in virginia says:

    jm363561: I stumbled across this article on a satisfaction survey of NHL fans by Yahoo Sports:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/how-do-fans-rate-the-nhls-current-product-162828924.html

    There are quite a few complaints on this site but the survey indicates a pretty high degree of satisfaction with NHL hockey – 21% Excellent; 47% Good; just 2% poor. Highest ratings came from younger supporters and those who consider themselves die hard hockey fans. (Are LoweTide posters disproportionately old, lukewarm fans? Hmmm. Of course, we all know how accurate these surveys are!)

    Key phrase:

    According to a new Yahoo Sports/YouGov poll, 68 percent of U.S. hockey fans believe the currently [sic] product is “good.”

    Note: “U.S. hockey fans”

    I’m not going to comment further, except to say these two things:

    1) What do most Americans know about hockey? This includes Florida, Texas, Tennessee, etc which have NHL teams. Not exactly hotbeds of the sport.

    2) 68% is not exactly a seal of approval.

    Alright, one more comment:

    A year or so ago, when I was religiously watching Oilers games, I generally watched the non-Oilers feed, for reasons I won’t elaborate on here. I noticed that in certain markets, namely St. Louis, Dallas, Nashville, and the Florida markets, etc, the commercials advertising the NHL games featured fights and crushing hits at least as prominently as they featured anything resembling skill plays.

    Alright one more more comment:

    A couple of months ago, on ESPN radio, I heard some jackass show-host state something to the effect that he much prefers blue-collar toughness over the pansy skill of Sidney Crosby, and he thought the NHL would be much better without players like him.

    Sooo, about that survey…

  144. theres oil in virginia says:

    jm363561: There is a degree of calculated risk here as I doubt Vegas would take Ebs – Brossoit may be more likely.

    I really struggle to see how you can come to the conclusion that an expansion team, with zero NHL talent to start with, would take an AHL goalie who has struggled in limited NHL action, (but has some potential) over an established 25+ NHL goal scorer.

Leave a Reply

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