THREE’S A CROWD

Patrick Maroon is having a terrific season for the Edmonton Oilers, and that is impacting the port side. Maroon, an extreme value contract, is above two substantial money deals (Milan Lucic and Benoit Pouliot) on the depth chart. Let’s use the Vollman Sledgehammer to suss it out.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER, LW

  • Patrick Maroon is playing (and scoring) on the McDavid line (18-8-26), and as long as he is productive there is not one chance in hell he moves down the depth chart. Maroon has played 325 productive 5×5 minutes with 97—scoring 2.40/60 at 5×5.
  • Milan Lucic is playing on a line with Drake Caggiula line, but most of his overall offense (11-18-29) came on the power play. I suspect ML will be moving up to the 2line—or a more veteran center is about to be acquired. He has played 414 minutes with Connor McDavid this season—scoring 1.30/60 at 5×5.
  • Benoit Pouliot is playing on a line with Nuge and Eberle, a line that has had real success in the past and is finally rhymin Simon in recent games. He is 5-5-10 in a trying season, and has played 26:52 with CMD this year, no points. Last year? 285:50 with 97, 2.94/60 at 5×5. Huh. Math. The worst. Rave on.
  • Source

TODD MCLELLAN’S TRUST NUMBER (THE POULIOT FILE)

So, if you are keeping track at home, the Oilers traded Taylor Hall, added Milan Lucic, and took one EV minute plus a dollar 24 from Benoit Pouliot on the PP. He did get an extra minute on the PK, though. Now, remember, Pouliot was 2.94/60 a year ago with Connor McDavid on 5×5. I understand it is a different season, and that Taylor Hall was on another line, but 26:52? Huh.

Is this crazy? Well, NHL coaches make all kinds of curious decisions and this appears to be one. I think, and this is the highest level of thought I can manage, the Oilers brought in Milan Lucic to play with 97. When the chem refused to shine, Todd McLellan went to Patrick Maroon and the tumblers clicked to make that magic sound.

Benoit Pouliot’s 2.94/60 just kept idling in the driveway, all dressed up with no place to go. I believe, dear friends, we have what the gambling folks refer to as a tell. We will know in due time if what I have laid out (brilliantly) is true. I have made my bet. I think BP is gone by the deadline.

My goodness what a move, and what a player. I think we know Connor McDavid’s competitive spirit well enough to know he wanted to win that game yesterday. More fuel to drive him starting tomorrow night? Does he need any more? What a fantastic season for McDavid, who at this point has a major shot at the Art Ross and may grab the Hart too—just for fun.

PROJECTED 50-MAN, AFTER THE FLOOD

I am starting to have a look at spring, summer and free agency. One of the first things to look at is how Peter Chiarelli will cull the herd. I think PC can get down to 40 fairly easily (as above) and of course there will be trades. I am planning a post on this subject for 5pm, so if there is a name on this list who shouldn’t be, please make your argument today. Obviously the correct number is 39, since one of these men will be a Golden Knight by Canada Day.

The summer needs list is going to include center, goaltender, RHD, and maybe both wings depending on where and if the club sees Leon Draisaitl and Benoit Pouliot helping in the future. Culling the Leftorium may come this summer, a haircut remains necessary.

CONDORS

SuperNova brings us a great point, as some of the Oilers prospects are finally posting crooked numbers, which means playing time with more prominent names. Kyle Platzer and Greg Chase both delivered some offense this week, and the entire run is here. One of the truly puzzling things about the Oilers is their handling of prospects, specifically the forwards. Chase and Platzer showed pretty well as juniors, before and after their draft day. As a pro, I am still uncertain how much playing time Platzer has been receiving, and suspect Chase was lucky to get some ECHL time one year ago. As of January 1, Eric Rodgers had Platzer at 10 minutes a night (estimate) and Chase at 6 (estimate). AHLblogspot.ca confirms. Folks, if that is correct, I don’t see any way things can continue this way. The Oilers need these players to develop, and six minutes a night is useless. Perhaps this week has been a turning point, as SuperNova suggests.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Heavy on the Oil, scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. A terrific All-Star weekend, Connor McDavid is the fastest man on the planet.
  • Rob Vollman, ESPN, author of Hockey Abstract. We will talk about the Sledgehammer (Player Usage Charts) and what they tell us about the Oilers re: The deadline.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. All-Star weekend and the Pro Bowl in the rear view, we look forward to the final 30 NHL games of the season, and the Super Bowl.
  • Sunil Agnihotri, Copper & Blue plus The SuperFan. Trade deadline, trading the pick, and the week ahead.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

 

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71 Responses to "THREE’S A CROWD"

  1. npanciroli says:

    I was curious about the cap, so I went ahead and signed the UFAs and RFAs you had there (might have missed some AHL guys).

    YEARS CAP HIT
    Draisaitl, Leon 6 $6,000,000
    Kassian, Zack 2 $1,500,000
    Khaira, Jujhar 2 $900,000
    Laleggia, Joey 2 $950,000
    Lander, Anton 2 $1,000,000
    Oesterle, Jordan 2 $1,000,000
    Pakarinen, Iiro 2 $1,000,000
    Pitlick, Tyler 2 $1,250,000
    Reinhart, Griffin 2 $1,000,000

    Roster: 23 Cap: $73,000,000 Cap Hit: $65,238,667 Bonuses: $7,525,000 Space: $7,761,333

    No trades or expansion or anything with Fayne on the roster.

  2. Lowetide says:

    It will be tough without trades.

  3. DBO says:

    Like defense, our LW is solid. Mind you, that is only if we are shifting our centres and wingers around. Both Lander and Khaira can play centre. (but mostly 4th line work). Caggulia, like Cogliano before him, seems better suited to the wing, but is also left handed. Our issue is our lack of Right handed players, in all spots. We have 1 RH centre, and there aren’t any marinating in the minors either. That is a huge area of need, especially after next season when Letestu is gone.

    So a RH centre and a RH offensive dman should be our targets, either right now or in off season.

  4. Rube Foster says:

    If Chia & Todd cared at all about the metrics of who performed well with McDavid LAST season, one thinks that perhaps our guy Nail might have got at least a few games with McDavid before he was sent away for a 3rd round draft pick.

    Might I be the only person in Edmonton who looks at Letestu’s success as a right handed shooter on the power play and wonders what might have been had we given Yak 10 games to see if he and Connor were still a thing?

    My appologies for the spilt milk.

  5. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Rube Foster:
    If Chia & Todd cared at all about the metrics of who performed well with McDavid LAST season, one thinks that perhaps our guy Nail might have got at least a few games with McDavid before he was sent away for a 3rd round draft pick.

    Might I be the only person in Edmonton who looks at Letestu’s success as a right handed shooter on the power play and wonders what might have been had we given Yak 10 games to see if he and Connor were still a thing?

    My appologies for the spilt milk.

    There is mounting evidence that Nail Yakupov isn’t an NHL hockey player. Could he play a depth role with PP time? Maybe. But not in the city in which he was drafted first overall. The pressure and scrutiny and shame of failing to meet expectations would be too much. Simply wouldn’t work.

    Also, based on metrics from last year, it was a near consensus in the Oilogosphere that the worst winger for McDavid was Maroon. His success was an illusion and unsustainable.

  6. Primetime says:

    Rube Foster:

    Might I be the only person in Edmonton who looks at Letestu’s success as a right handed shooter on the power play and wonders what might have been had we given Yak 10 games to see if he and Connor were still a thing?

    Well Yak shoots left so not sure of the connection to Letestu’s right shot. I would be very interested to see JP or Slepy in that spot though…

  7. russ99 says:

    I see Taylor Beck as a possibility on an AHL vereran or two-way deal, unless he thinks he can stick with another NHL team.

    Fayne likely will be bought out.

  8. Lloyd B. says:

    russ99,

    I don’t see them buying Fayne out. They are going to need the cap space for McDavid. The carry over would tighten up the cap space too much. Bite the bullet for the last year.

    Katz must love throwing millions out the door on these contracts. Not hard to understand why business guys needed to replace hockey players in the Executive suite.

    Hopefully Chiarelli has learned that lesson. And no I don’t think Lucic is one. Well maybe the last year or two but that is a long time away.

  9. Confused says:

    npanciroli,

    Think legs and Pak are gone

  10. Offside says:

    Rube Foster:
    If Chia & Todd cared at all about the metrics of who performed well with McDavid LAST season, one thinks that perhaps our guy Nail might have got at least a few games with McDavid before he was sent away for a 3rd round draft pick.

    Might I be the only person in Edmonton who looks at Letestu’s success as a right handed shooter on the power play and wonders what might have been had we given Yak 10 games to see if he and Connor were still a thing?

    My appologies for the spilt milk.

    I can appreciate using hyperbole to make a point as much as anyone, but I think you’re overstating Todd and Chia’s lack of “caring.” Uncharitably judging someones motives may be all the rage when discussing the political or social beliefs of those you disagree with, but clearly its not helpful in the world of professional sports. Might it be possible that Chia and Todd at least “care” about their jobs and reputation and therefore do “care” about what the stats said regarding effective line combos? and that their analysis of the data and personal knowledge of the situation led them to prefer other options than Yak? or maybe it’s possible that they both achieved professional success despite not caring about these things. I know what I lean towards

  11. Lowetide says:

    Offside: I can appreciate using hyperbole to make a point as much as anyone, but I think you’re overstating Todd and Chia’s lack of “caring.” Uncharitably judging someones motives may be all the rage when discussing the political or social beliefsof those you disagree with, but clearly its not helpful in the world of professional sports. Might it be possible that Chia and Todd at least “care” about their jobs and reputation and therefore do “care” about what the stats said regarding effective line combos? and that their analysis of the data and personal knowledge of the situation led them to prefer other options than Yak? or maybe it’s possible that they both achieved professional success despite not caring about these things. I know what I lean towards

    I think Yakupov was a confused player before McLellan arrived, and it did not get better. I have questions about his handling of some situations on this team, but for me the Yak situation isn’t one. I tthink the player needed a fresh start before the coach got here.

  12. digger50 says:

    All metrics aside, I think Chia and Tmac simply did not “like” Yak’s game. Believe the same is true of Pouliot and I do think LT has it framed correctly. Pouliot is playing like he knows this and does not seem to be giving full effort.

    Secondary point I draw is the attempts to match chemistry with McDavid. Hall was not a match, Lucic only so-so, Eberle….. the list goes on and while many do okay, they were not building highlight reel goals. Best matches have been Mathews and Drai. Not sure if you can conclude anything but maybe:

    A) look at youth (Strome) better yet, JP will be ready in near future
    B) be cautious when picking up a veteran FA winger who you think might have chemistry with McDavid, odds are they will be no better then present options.

  13. Evilas says:

    Zach Redmond on waivers. $612,500 cap hit, 1 more year remaining on his contract. As per Wood Money he was a good bet as a 3rd pairing RHD target this summer. Would he be a reasonable target or has that ship sailed? 16 GP 5 Assists +6 PiMs 2

    Comments?

  14. pts2pndr says:

    Hi LT, I have been sitting back and enjoying the teams success! I am somewhat confused by why some posters are so quick to trade various players with miniscule better stats. The team with the “best players” on paper does not always win the cup! Pouliot has value both for the PK and as insurance on top 6 left wing moving forward. I can see moving him this summer however. This team for the first time since seemingly forever play for one another! The best Team wins the cup! Chemistry while being an intangible is a large part in the success of a TEAM! I now am reasonably compfortable with the management team and am waiting to see what moves will be made prior to trading deadline! I like the team moving forward and am hoping they do not move draft choices for rentals. Love your site and the wealth of knowlege ie woodguy etc. Go Oilers, clap clap

  15. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: There is mounting evidence that Nail Yakupov isn’t an NHL hockey player.

    ‘Mounting’ or ‘a mountain of?’

  16. Bag of Pucks says:

    pts2pndr:
    Hi LT, I have been sitting back and enjoying the teams success! I am somewhat confused by why some posters are so quick to trade various players with miniscule better stats. The team with the “best players” on paper does not always win the cup! Pouliot has value both for the PK and as insurance on top 6 left wing moving forward. I can see moving him this summer however. This team for the first time since seemingly forever play for one another! The best Team wins the cup! Chemistry while being an intangible is a large part in the success of a TEAM!I now am reasonably compfortable with the management team and am waiting to see what moves will be made prior to trading deadline! I like the team moving forward and am hoping they do not move draft choices for rentals. Love your site and the wealth of knowlege ie woodguy etc. Go Oilers, clap clap

    I can’t speak for anyone else but my desire for Chiarelli to explore trade possibilities is driven by:

    1) The entirety of the second line (RNH, Eberle, Pouliot) is under-producing relative to expectations associated with their individual cap hits.
    2) As a result of #1, the Oilers are a top heavy team a tad too reliant on the production from their first line.

    Top heavy teams don’t tend to do well in the Cup chase. With this in mind, it’s imperative that either the guys we have now start producing more or we find cap efficient players who can.

  17. Bag of Pucks says:

    Anyone care to hazard odds as to whether Yakupov plays in the KHL next year?

    Would think Larionov would see it as a good opportunity to rebuild his confidence and hopefully get the ‘bust’ stink off of him.

    The X-Factor is this being Hitchcock’s last season. If Yeo and Nail have some simpatico, he might see an opportunity with the new HC next season.

  18. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    People talking about McDavid’s chemistry…we have not seen him yet with a right handed shooter. A guy who does not like to hold the puck and skate with it (Eberle) but just find the seams, stick on ice, ready to finish.

    Arizona has one such player. He played with the brilliance of the Sedins and did well. I still think he could be a great fit.

    Only issue is the cost if Chayka’s asking prices are as high as reported by Friedman.

  19. Ryan says:

    Evilas:
    Zach Redmond on waivers.$612,500 cap hit, 1 more year remaining on his contract.As per Wood Money he was a good bet as a 3rd pairing RHD target this summer.Would he be a reasonable target or has that ship sailed?16 GP 5 Assists +6 PiMs 2

    Comments?

    Paging Mr. Woodguy…

    He wrote about him in the summer.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Evilas:
    Zach Redmond on waivers.$612,500 cap hit, 1 more year remaining on his contract.As per Wood Money he was a good bet as a 3rd pairing RHD target this summer.Would he be a reasonable target or has that ship sailed?16 GP 5 Assists +6 PiMs 2

    Comments?

    Price is right, suspect another team in front of Edmonton will claim him.

  21. Lowetide says:

    pts2pndr:
    Hi LT, I have been sitting back and enjoying the teams success! I am somewhat confused by why some posters are so quick to trade various players with miniscule better stats. The team with the “best players” on paper does not always win the cup! Pouliot has value both for the PK and as insurance on top 6 left wing moving forward. I can see moving him this summer however. This team for the first time since seemingly forever play for one another! The best Team wins the cup! Chemistry while being an intangible is a large part in the success of a TEAM!I now am reasonably compfortable with the management team and am waiting to see what moves will be made prior to trading deadline! I like the team moving forward and am hoping they do not move draft choices for rentals. Love your site and the wealth of knowlege ie woodguy etc. Go Oilers, clap clap

    I agree Pouliot has value, this blog has always been a booster. That said, I think there is growing evidence the coach doesn’t see him as a key component, and that is an issue. Why spend $4M in cap on a player who the coach doesn’t see as being a plug and play on the McDavid line? I think that is a misuse of funds.

  22. Evilas says:

    Lowetide,

    Further info from: http://thehockeywriters.com/nhl-news-james-wisniewski-contract-zach-redmond-waived/

    “Redmond may find himself in a new sweater soon. Though his offensive totals are meager, he’s posted solid possession numbers in his limited time, leading all Montreal defenders with a 5.3 CF%Rel and a 57% CF%. With the small sample size, there’s certainly no expectation that he’s Superman, but there are teams struggling with injuries and to manage their blue line depth. With a cap hit of just $612,500 this year and next, Redmond is a manageable option for many teams.”

  23. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide: I agree Pouliot has value, this blog has always been a booster. That said, I think there is growing evidence the coach doesn’t see him as a key component, and that is an issue. Why spend $4M in cap on a player who the coach doesn’t see as being a plug and play on the McDavid line? I think that is a misuse of funds.

    Pouliot still has to be better. He has proved he can do it, but nobody in their right mind would put him with McDavid at the moment. And especially not since Maroon is doing so well. He’s been put on a line with guys he’s had success with before, Nuge and Ebs seem to be coming around, but not Benny. Even in Nuge and Ebs dry spell, they played a pretty solid game overall. Benny’s still there with the 200ft penalties, but now he hasn’t got the production to negate them.

    I’m rooting for him, I really am, but at what point do you say “you have to start carrying your weight?” Where’s the line in the sand? I don’t think he’s being shopped, as his value isn’t that great, but I think if a team offered a 2nd or even 3rd, he’s gone.

    Don’t forget, we like to spin the narrative that “he doesn’t fit with the coach’s plan” etc, but they seem to be good guys too, and want the best for Pou, and if that’s a fresh start somewhere else, so be it.

    I just find it a little glib to put it on the coach not using a player properly to explain a dip in form. Seems like an easy out.

  24. Evilas says:

    Evilas,

    For those interested, based on quick look Edmonton would be 12th in line to claim him.

    Claim order based on current standings and previous waiver claims (this is an unofficial list):

    1. Buffalo
    2. Winnipeg
    3. Dallas
    4. Tampa Bay
    5. NYI
    6. LA
    7. Calgary
    8. St. Louis
    9. Boston
    10. Philadelphia
    11. Ottawa
    12. Edmonton

  25. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Initially I was thinking both Pouliot and Hendricks could be moved for picks at the deadline and Chia would in a way be both a seller and a buyer at the same time.

    I think with the cap hit and term remaining on Pou’s deal, it is unlikely he moves at the deadline (i.e., he won’t be picked up as a rental) and more likely he will be retained, exposed in the expansion draft, then moved in a summertime deal if he is not claimed.

    Redmond seems like a good no-cost pickup but I doubt he makes it to Edmonton on the waiver priority.

    I would like to still see if Vrbata and Michalek could be acquired. Taking on Michalek’s salary of $3.2m this year might reduce the acquisition cost of Vrbata. Real dollars matter to the Coyotes organization a lot and Michalek is down on the farm.

    A left-handed D prospect, a forgotten forward prospect (like a Yak2) and a conditional 3rd that could become a 2018 2nd if Vrbata re-signs might be doable?

    Maroon-McDavid-Vrbata
    Lucic-Leon-Puljujarvi
    Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle
    Slepyshev-Letestu-Kassian
    Lander/Hendricks

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Benning
    Russell-Michalek/Gryba
    Davidson

  26. Lowetide says:

    Jethro Tull: Pouliot still has to be better.

    I think BP is caught a little on this roster now. Maroon has taken up a lot of the at-bats, and Lucic is going to get a push, too. $4M on the 3line is a lot to spend, especially on a winger. I think he could play well and still be dealt, as PC must get some more cap room. It may come at the deadline.

  27. Offside says:

    Lowetide: I think Yakupov was a confused player before McLellan arrived, and it did not get better. I have questions about his handling of some situations on this team, but for me the Yak situation isn’t one. I tthink the player needed a fresh start before the coach got here.

    I’d say most people would agree with you on the confused part. The areas of intense discussions are a) when did he become confused? b) whose fault is it? and c) can it be undone? I tend to think there was a perfect storm of events causing b). But yeah – the Oilers needed to turn north in a hurry and TMac did have the patience or luxury to find out the answer to c)

  28. digger50 says:

    Bag of Pucks: I can’t speak for anyone else but my desire for Chiarelli to explore trade possibilities is driven by:

    1) The entirety of the second line (RNH, Eberle, Pouliot) is under-producing relative to expectations associated with their individual cap hits.
    2) As a result of #1, the Oilers are a top heavy team a tad too reliant on the production from their first line.

    Top heavy teams don’t tend to do well in the Cup chase. With this in mind, it’s imperative that either the guys we have now start producing more or we find cap efficient players who can.

    The interesting thing about the Oilers is they do not have to be a top heavy team, they choose to be.

    They have several options to put up on the wing (either side) who could as well or almost as well. Those present wingers could then boost secondary scoring. They choose not to, which is fine.

    As for under producing, I agree, but want to point out some other variables.

    Lucic for example, his numbers are low, but he just may be producing exactly what he’s being asked to do right now. Lead the team and hold that third line together. I’m not privy to anything, just my opinion.

    On the top heavy line though, in today’s NHL if one line can consistently produce a couple of goals a game. Your going to win a lot if games. Playoffs I certainly concede if that line is shut down, others must produce. I am really hoping Nuge can turn it on this second half.

  29. digger50 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: needed

    Looks like you forgot Larson. But the forwards are looking like a hell of a group.

  30. Yeti says:

    digger50: Looks like you forgot Larson. But the forwards are looking like a hell of a group.

    Yes, but I quite like the idea of a Nurse – Larsen pairing in due time. Quite punishing to play against!

  31. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide,

    LT. I agree however by the deadline pouliot only costs aprx 1.2 for balance of the season and then can be offloaded in the summer. I do think that if the return at the deadline is appropriate he will be gone. He does have playoff experience and is bonifide. Interesting times and I believe we need as many of the kids as possible to get playoff experience and the team bonding that goes with going to playoff wars together! The playoff loss to NYI was a major building block for the success the Oil had in the eightys.

  32. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    digger50: Looks like you forgot Larson. But the forwards are looking like a hell of a group.

    doh! ha ha. will fix

  33. Glass says:

    We wouldn’t be such a top heavy team if we went out and searched for a cost effective RW that can play with McDavid and push Drai down to 2C.

    Trocheck is a great target, being that he is right handed and can play C. He has a great shot and is a legitimate shoot first kind of guy. Todd can run him on McDavid or Drai’s RW, or choose to play him 2C while Drai plays 1RW. Nice to have that RH option for the draw within your top 6.

    Makes either Nuge or Eberle expendable, and saving 1.25 million while your at it (signed at 4.75 for the next 5 years). He likely costs too much, and I doubt Florida would want to move someone who is just now really emerging as a player.

    We might see Eberle & Nuge moved out in favor of finding players with lower cap hits. Not because they are bad, but you need to save money where you can.

    Edit: McDavid & Drai are great together, but if that line can’t produce, what are the chances we are going to win? Find alternatives that work, but don’t put all your eggs in that basket.

  34. Lowetide says:

    I also wonder if JessePuljujarvi might be part of the post-deadline solution. We shall see.

  35. Ducey says:

    I don’t see Pou getting traded this season.

    They don’t have a logic replacement top 3 LW.

  36. Bag of Pucks says:

    I suspect Chiarelli will have to eat some salary to trade Pouliot at the deadline.

    Might be a better player to trade in the offseason to a team looking to stay above the cap floor.

    No assets were expended to acquire this player beyond the FA contract, so I’d be impressed if Chia could deal him at the deadline for a nice prospect or trending lottery pick.

  37. Glass says:

    Ducey,

    For the Oilers to get a decent return on Pouliot it seems like they’d have to retain some salary.

    If you trade Pouliot, you could either try Caggulia or Lucic LW. Or instead, find a RW rental for the McDavid line, move Drai down, play Nuge LW & Ebs RW. Then you’d be left with Lucic/Caggulia with either Kassian or Slepyshev. Perhaps the 3rd line makes strides by the deadline and we reconsider 3C.

  38. oscarmike says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    You wanted to trade Hendricks? ??a guy who fought and bleed for this team when no Oilers wouldn’t. Hendricks deserves to be with the Oilers when they make play offs. It’s unbelievable how quick some fans turn on some players now that the Oilers are winning. I understand if a player isn’t doing their job, but how rude is that to take a player who is doing good and use them to make play offs just to trade for a fading players who had no part in this special moment of the Oilers finally making playoffs in 10 years.

    You want to use 2 bottom 6 players like Vbrata and Puljujarvi in the top 6? And this will make Oilers into a Stanley Cup contender. Then you want a fading player like Vbrata to re-sign???

  39. Doug McLachlan says:

    Lowetide:
    I also wonder if JessePuljujarvi might be part of the post-deadline solution. We shall see.

    Similar thought here. I would be surprised if JP doesn’t return to the Oilers before the end of the season and into the playoffs (even if only part-time).

    Really curious to see who his center will be and if he’s already on the roster.

    Any thoughts on whether Colorado’s Joe Colbourne might be a target? He has one year left after this one at $2.5M but he was a real Oiler killer when he was with the Flames and he has absolutely cratered in terms of counting stats with the Avalanche after a very nice break-out season (with an unsustainable 19% shooting percentage) last year in Calgary.

    6’5″

  40. stush18 says:

    Ducey:
    I don’t see Pou getting traded this season.

    They don’t have a logic replacement top 3 LW.

    Agreed. Plus it’s easier to move players in the offseason, and teams will be looking for replacements for lost players from the expansion draft.

    I expect put top nine to remain relatively stable. Maybe a declining UFA vet for a late pick.

  41. stush18 says:

    Doug McLachlan: Similar thought here.I would be surprised if JP doesn’t return to the Oilers before the end of the season and into the playoffs (even if only part-time).

    Really curious to see who his center will be and if he’s already on the roster.

    Any thoughts on whether Colorado’s Joe Colbourne might be a target?He has one year left after this one at $2.5M but he was a real Oiler killer when he was with the Flames and he has absolutely cratered in terms of counting stats with the Avalanche after a very nice break-out season (with an unsustainable 19% shooting percentage) last year in Calgary.

    6’5″

    I think he’s worth it. Leftie again though. Would look good at 3c.

  42. Ducey says:

    Glass:
    Ducey,

    For the Oilers to get a decent return on Pouliot it seems like they’d have to retain some salary.

    If you trade Pouliot, you could either try Caggulia or Lucic LW. Or instead, find a RW rental for the McDavid line, move Drai down, play Nuge LW & Ebs RW. Then you’d be left with Lucic/Caggulia with either Kassian or Slepyshev. Perhaps the 3rd line makes strides by the deadline and we reconsider 3C.

    This is a playoff team. One of the top teams in the NHL (at least in the standings). The impetus will be to stay the course.

    I really doubt Chia is going to sell low on Pou, eat some of his salary, and start up the blender on the rest of his lineup.

    The smart money is on a RH 3C to replace the Drake. Ideally someone who can win a faceoff and play some RW. Then coach has all kinds of flexibility up front.

  43. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Glass:
    We wouldn’t be such a top heavy team if we went out and searched for a cost effective RW that can play with McDavid and push Drai down to 2C.

    Trocheck is a great target, being that he is right handed and can play C. He has a great shot and is a legitimate shoot first kind of guy. Todd can run him on McDavid or Drai’s RW, or choose to play him 2C while Drai plays 1RW. Nice to have that RH option for the draw within your top 6.

    Makes either Nuge or Eberle expendable, and saving 1.25 million while your at it (signed at 4.75 for the next 5 years). He likely costs too much, and I doubt Florida would want to move someone who is just now really emerging as a player.

    We might see Eberle & Nuge moved out in favor of finding players with lower cap hits. Not because they are bad, but you need to save money where you can.

    Edit: McDavid & Drai are great together, but if that line can’t produce, what are the chances we are going to win? Find alternatives that work, but don’t put all your eggs in that basket.

    Why would Florida trade him? He might very well be their best forward, certainly in the range of Barkov and well past Huberdeau in my book. Between that, his age, and his contract, there is 0 reason they would deal him.

  44. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    oscarmike,

    You failed in your reading comprehension and no amount of hysterics on your part can mask that.

  45. stush18 says:

    Ducey: This is a playoff team. One of the top teams in the NHL (at least in the standings). The impetus will be to stay the course.

    I really doubt Chia is going to sell low on Pou, eat some of his salary, and start up the blender on the rest of his lineup.

    The smart money is on a RH 3C to replace the Drake. Ideally someone who can win a faceoff and play some RW. Then coach has all kinds of flexibility up front.

    Why don’t we move letestu up to 3c? He’s been performing like it all year.

  46. Zelepukin says:

    Ducey: This is a playoff team. One of the top teams in the NHL (at least in the standings). The impetus will be to stay the course.

    I really doubt Chia is going to sell low on Pou, eat some of his salary, and start up the blender on the rest of his lineup.

    The smart money is on a RH 3C to replace the Drake. Ideally someone who can win a faceoff and play some RW. Then coach has all kinds of flexibility up front.

    Exactly. You would expect that as the playoff race intensifies, vets like Ebs, Pou, Lucic, Hendricks, are going to really pour on the effort.

  47. CMcD4PM says:

    Serious question 1: Has Dubnyk gotten that much better (e.g. technique, confidence, etc.)? Or does the Wild play a defensive style that suits him well (e.g. emphasis on net front clearance so he can see the puck)? Whereas Cannot is better at picking up the puck in a crowd and therefore better able to cope with an Oiler weakness?

  48. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Evilas:
    Zach Redmond on waivers.$612,500 cap hit, 1 more year remaining on his contract.As per Wood Money he was a good bet as a 3rd pairing RHD target this summer.Would he be a reasonable target or has that ship sailed?16 GP 5 Assists +6 PiMs 2

    Comments?

    I think he’s a high end 7/8 and a competent 6.

    I would consider him an upgrade on Gryba, and I like Gryba for what he is.

  49. Lowetide says:

    CMcD4PM:
    Serious question 1: Has Dubnyk gotten that much better (e.g. technique, confidence, etc.)? Or does the Wild play a defensive style that suits him well (e.g. emphasis on net front clearance so he can see the puck)? Whereas Cannot is better at picking up the puck in a crowd and therefore better able to cope with an Oiler weakness?

    I don’t know who Cannot is, but Dubnyk has certainly become a better goalie since leaving Edmonton. We (I) call it confidence, but it is probably angles and following the puck and glove hand. Plus luck, that elusive and beautiful lady.

  50. CMcD4PM says:

    *Edit “Cambot™”

  51. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ryan: Paging Mr. Woodguy…

    He wrote about him in the summer.

    Here’s that: http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2016/06/oilers-right-shot-dman-search-6-zach.html

  52. Rocknrolla says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    oscarmike,

    You failed in your reading comprehension and no amount of hysterics on your part can mask that.

    LOL

  53. Rocknrolla says:

    stush18: Why don’t we move letestu up to 3c? He’s been performing like it all year.

    Said this yesterday as his stats match. Folks were saying he likely couldn’t handle the minutes increase. Does solve the problem though and JJ or Lander can be 4C. Good to know we actually do have an internal plan B. Test has been amazing this year. See him as being a clutch guy in playoffs too. Pisani type?

  54. Woogie63 says:

    If Detroit is going to miss the play-offs, why would they keep UFA Thomas Vanek?

    He is a big body, shoots RW and has a proven track record of scoring goals. At $2.6M he is “almost free”. He plays left and right wing and seem like he would be a great option for a play-off run.

    If he can allow Draisaitl to move to 2C and Hopkins to 3C that is a win.
    If Maroon goes cold – Vanek-McDavid – Draisaitl looks good to me.
    At this point in time is a better player than JP
    Is really good on the shoot-out .

  55. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Re: Doobie

    He is better, but he’s also on a serious High Danger Save Percentage heater.

    Here’s his last 7 years of HDSV%:

    Season Team HDSv%
    10/11 EDM 79.10
    11/12 EDM 81.85
    12/13 EDM 80.83
    13/14 EDM/NSH 80.67
    14/15 ARI/MIN 82.40
    15/16 MIN 81.09
    16/17 MIN 88.06

    You can see the giant jump from last year to this year.

    No goalie sustains that over time, but lots of goalies can go on a heater for a while

    Doobie has played 1830 5v5 minutes so far.

    If we set the bar at 1800 5v5 minutes here are the 10 best HDSV% goalie performances since 2010/11:

    DEVAN.DUBNYK 16/17 88.06
    CAREY.PRICE 14/15 87.27
    TIM.THOMAS 10/11 87.17
    HENRIK.LUNDQVIST 12/13 86.9
    TUUKKA.RASK 13/14 86.32
    COREY.CRAWFORD 13/14 86.08
    BEN.BISHOP 13/14 85.82
    MIKE.SMITH 11/12 85.82
    COREY.CRAWFORD 15/16 85.81
    JIMMY.HOWARD 12/13 85.79

    We can see what an outlier this season is historically too.

    I love Doobie, think MacT was more concerned with sounding clever than managing people, and I hope like hell he wins the Vezina this year.

    That said, this is not a new level of ability for Doobie, but a heater of a lifetime. imo

  56. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    As far as “Does the MIN Dcrops make him look better?”:

    Corsica.hockey has a stat called Goals Saved Above Average.

    Its basically the same data that Manny uses for Expected Goals in terms of the “quality” of the shot.

    He check the goalies SV% on the same “quality” of shot vs league average for 10 years to determine how many “goals are saved above/below average”

    Here’s the top 10 Goalies in GSAA/60 this year (min 1000 min) using all data (not just 5v5)

    BRADEN.HOLTBY 0.830
    THOMAS.GREISS 0.621
    COREY.CRAWFORD 0.553
    KARI.LEHTONEN 0.517
    CAM.TALBOT 0.496
    CAREY.PRICE 0.496
    DEVAN.DUBNYK 0.495
    MATTHEW.MURRAY 0.494
    SERGEI.BOBROVSKY 0.380
    MIKE.SMITH 0.370

    Poor Lehtonen gets his game together in time for DAL to have crap Dcorps.

  57. Rocknrolla says:

    Woogie63:
    If Detroit is going to miss the play-offs, why would they keep UFA Thomas Vanek?

    He is a big body, shoots RW and has a proven track record of scoring goals. At $2.6M he is “almost free”.He plays left and right wing and seem like he would be a great option for a play-off run.

    If he can allow Draisaitl to move to 2C and Hopkins to 3C that is a win.
    If Maroon goes cold – Vanek-McDavid – Draisaitl looks good to me.
    At this point in time is a better player than JP
    Is really good on the shoot-out .

    Wow that’s cheap…guessing there will be lots of interest. What does it take?

  58. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    With all the Doobie talk, I did see this tweet from Mike Russo (beat writer for MIN) on the weekend:

    Michael RussoVerified account
    ‏@Russostrib

    Darcy Kuemper likely starting in Edmonton, Devan Dubnyk in Calgary

    #mnwild

    https://twitter.com/Russostrib/status/825827169251135488

    That would be cool.

    If true, I wonder if Bruce is looking to get at least one win out of Alberta so is loading up vs the weaker team?

    They play in EDM tomorrow and CGY on Wednesday.

  59. Woogie63 says:

    Rocknrolla: Wow that’s cheap…guessing there will be lots of interest.What does it take?

    Last year Lee Stempnaik and Juri Hudler cost a 2nd and 4th pick and Purcell got is a 3rd rounder, that range sounds right?

  60. spoiler says:

    Woogie63: Last year Lee Stempnaik and Juri Hudler cost a 2nd and 4th pick and Purcell got is a 3rd rounder, that range sounds right?

    It doesn’t really work like that.

    Depends on who else wants him, how many who else’s there are, and how badly they want him.

    What if MTL wants him bad, in their Price window, with their two 2nd rounders?

    TOR has 11 picks to blow this draft, they could pony up in a bidding war.

    Etc.

  61. Glass says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    I don’t know!! lol. One can dream.

  62. Glass says:

    @Lowetide

    Do you see Chiarelli making another few signings this year on solid prospects or players from other leagues? Such as college & KHL free agents?

  63. Woogie63 says:

    spoiler: It doesn’t really work like that.

    Depends on who else wants him, how many who else’s there are, and how badly they want him.

    What if MTL wants him bad, in their Price window, with their two 2nd rounders?

    TOR has 11 picks to blow this draft, they could pony up in a bidding war.

    Etc.

    If the bidding for a players services is too … just say no

  64. leadfarmer says:

    I was wondering who people think Vegas picks for their goalies? Murray, Howard? Maybe Raanta?

  65. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer:
    I was wondering who people think Vegas picks for their goalies?Murray, Howard?Maybe Raanta?

    Murray from PIT?

    He won’t be exposed.

  66. spoiler says:

    Woogie63: If the bidding for a players services is too … just say no

    I agree. We is weak in the picks department too so can’t really join in the bidding war and getting a backup goalie might burn another. There is Brandon Davidson though… would you do him for a Vanek rental and possible re-sign?

  67. Lowetide says:

    Glass:
    @Lowetide

    Do you see Chiarelli making another few signings this year on solid prospects or players from other leagues? Such as college & KHL free agents?

    Yes. College, KHL, maybe a few stray draft picks. Just wrote an item on it, posted above. 🙂

  68. spoiler says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I think VAN should trade Miller for Fleury.

    PIT gets out from the final two years, and has an opportunity to sign a mentor for Murray at reduced cost.

    Miller gets to go back East and to a contender.

    VAN gets a starting goalie, 4 years young, $250k per yr cheaper good enough to give them some solid help in-season while rebuilding.

  69. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    spoiler:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I think VAN should trade Miller for Fleury.

    PIT gets out from the final two years, and has an opportunity to sign a mentor for Murray at reduced cost.

    Miller gets to go back East and to a contender.

    VAN gets a starting goalie, 4 years young, $250k per yr cheaper good enough to give them some solid help in-season while rebuilding.

    That’s interesting.

    Really depends on what Benning thinks of Markstrom. He did sign him for 3 more years at $3.67MM.

    Also, after two pretty good years, Fleury is back to “meh”

    I think DET might try to trade Mzarek instead of Howard as they could actually move Mzarek (Howard is tough to move due to terms, price and age) and Howard has been better this year.

    I think CGY might be a landing spot for Mzarek.

    Bishop needs to land somewhere too, although he’s not having a good year.

    There will be a lot of player movement before the expansion draft so we’re shooting in the dark quite a bit here.

  70. spoiler says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    True dat.

  71. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Have to expose a goalie. Fleury has a 12 team NMC clause. He can make life difficult. I doubt he wants to go to Vancouver

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