THERE IS A MOUNTAIN

What a friend we have in Connor McDavid. We are about to endure a week of rage about the good ship Oiler, but they probably have enough to win a playoff spot at this point in time. Cam Talbot and Leon Draisaitl are also pulling on the rope, but this team needs some others to join in any time now. I don’t believe you should panic, but an angry murmur and general pissiness is appropriate this morning.

WHAT THE HELL I GOT, 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 in January 2016: 4-5-2, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in January 2017: 9-4-1, goal differential +8
  • Oilers in February 2016: 3-8-2, goal differential -18
  • Oilers in February 2017: 0-2-0, goal differential -3
  • Oilers after 54, 2015-16: 21-28-5, goal differential -29
  • Oilers after 54, 2016-17: 28-18-8, goal differential +15

The Oilers have 12 February games and need 10-12 points to keep their playoff chances at about where they were at the beginning of the month. They are good enough to do it, but an 0-2-0 start with Montreal on the schedule tomorrow is not encouraging. Remember when I was writing the playoffs were not guaranteed, and some of you were telling me to get over it and enjoy the ride? Yeah. Pikes Peak is a scary climb and the early part of the trip is no fun at all.

PETER CHIARELLI SPEAKS OF MANY THINGS

Moose dropped by the comments section last night, he posted information from the general manager—Chiarelli was a guest on Condors radio broadcast between periods:

  • Jesse Puljujarvi: Thought he started good with Oil, lost his game. Want him to play big minutes and get confidence back. Specifically to work on stopping and starting and not swinging around; common w/young players. Same stuff they wanted Leon to work on last year.
  • Jujhar Khaira: Happy with development; back in lineup soon.
  • Griffin Reinhart: Best D-Man in Bakersfield. Happy with progress, more assertive and vocal on-ice (which he thinks is important).
  • Progress of Big Club: Deeper in bottom six because of development of Slepy and JJ and they are more consistent.
  • Also mentioned he may have to call a couple guys up after tonight. Obviously related to Benning injury.

There is a chance Jesse Puljujarvi and Griffin Reinhart get a recall this season to Edmonton, based on what general manager Chiarelli said last night. I wonder if the bonuses in both contracts keeps them in the minor leagues. Reinhart is going to be an interesting name for the expansion draft. PC traded for him, and likes him. I bet George McPhee likes him, too.

CHEMISTRY

We are almost 100 games into Connor McDavid’s NHL career, and we still don’t have an answer to the question surrounding his linemates. It is my opinion that Todd McLellan has found one—Leon Draisaitl—but it is unclear if Peter Chiarelli sees the roster in that way.

If we assume that the top 6F moving forward will include McDavid, Leon, Nuge, Lucic, Maroon and an another, that means Jordan Eberle is odd man out. Should he be? Here are the scoring numbers with McDavid since 2015, by skill player:

  1. Jesse Puljujarvi 2.84
  2. Benoit Pouliot 2.63
  3. Patrick Maroon 2.43
  4. Jordan Eberle 2.14
  5. Leon Draisaitl 1.84
  6. Milan Lucic 1.29
  7. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 0.00 (in 12 minutes, 53 seconds)

The more I think about roster construction, the more I think we have more characters yet to appear in the chapter that discusses Connor McDavid’s linemates. I think the Oilers will find a righty shooter for 97, and it may be Jesse Puljujarvi. He has 27 shots in 10 AHL games so far (2 goals) and may eventually replace Leon on RW. The next question involves LD and whether or not he can carry a line all by his lonesome, and that too is out among the stars.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • The numbers are all over hell’s half acre because of the Benning injury, so I am uncertain what we can know for sure.
  • Oscar Klefbom was 9-13 with Adam Larsson, 5-0 with Andrej Sekera and 1-4 with Kris Russell. Klefbom went 11-5 against the Aho—Staal—Lindholm line, 3-8 against the Skinner—Ryan—Stempniak line. He did go walkabout on the first GA, however. Klefbom made a masterful pass to McDavid for the goal, fantastic bit of head-man passing.
  • Andrej Sekera went 5-11 with Brandon Davidson, 3-4 with Kris Russell and 5-0 with Klefbom. He went 4-6 against the Staal line and 5-3 against the Ryan line. I thought Sekera was everywhere last night, not always successfully.
  • Kris Russell went 2-6 with Larsson and 3-4 with Sekera, 2-1 with Davidson and 1-4 with Klefbom. He went 4-4 against the Lindholm line, 2-8 against the Ryan line.
  • Adam Larsson went 9-13 with Klefbom, 2-6 with Russell, 0-2 with Sekera and 1-2 with Davidson. Went 6-3 against the Lindholm line, 1-6 against the Ryan line.
  • Brandon Davidson went 5-11 with Sekera, 2-1 with Russell, 1-2 with Larsson and 1-6 with Matt Benning. Went 5-8 against the Derek Ryan line.
  • Matt Benning went 1-6 with Davidson.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Stats via NHL.com, NaturalStatTrick, HockeyStats.ca.
  • Ordinarily, I would run down each line and their performance, but this is a money table. LOOK at the gap between the McDavid line and the other nine forwards. Stark. There is nothing more to say here.

The Oilers created a cushion before the All-Star break, so three losses in a row are not a tragedy. I think we can (at this point) look month to month now, and Edmonton should reach the deadline as a buyer. That said, and I have said this all year, the playoffs are not assured. If you enter this morning completely confident the Oilers will fly through without challenges, I think your script may get flipped. If you have a healthy amount of concern, that is probably the correct mindset at this time. If you are worried the sky is falling, I cannot help you. Take a math course. We are 28 games to the end, if Edmonton merely tracks a point-per-game through season’s end they will be close. February is the nut, it is Pikes Peak, but there are good days ahead in March. Oilers need 11 points in February, there are two more available tomorrow.

Put this man in the Hall of Fame! The HHOF could have an entire wing with Drake and his former assistants who have gone on to great things. Clare Drake should already be in the HHOF.

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185 Responses to "THERE IS A MOUNTAIN"

  1. npanciroli says:

    The most concerning thing for me is how they haven’t been outplaying opponents recently. The Anaheim SJ wins were all Talbot.

    I think they need to bump RNH to third line and Draisaitl to second line and hope some other players get their shit together soon.

    Russell also needs his minutes to continue to be limited. Hopefully Benning back soon need him paired with Sekera.

  2. leadfarmer says:

    I don’t understand what Caggula is doing on this roster. Just send him down already. He has a lot of things to work on

  3. dustrock says:

    Measured as always LT. I think it’s been the McDavid line, Klef-Lars, Sekera and Talbot carrying this team (stick tap to Davidson-Benning).

    That is a very expensive 2nd line doing not a whole lot. Eberle zero shots in back-to-back games with the Oilers in playoff position. I know the narrative comes up whenever it’s convenient.

    But it’s rare that we say “disappointing effort from the McDavid line. The RNH line dominated play the entire game.”

  4. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    The sun came up this morning. At least where I am.

    Probably lost in my frustration about the article on Eberle’s lack of value I mentioned that the problems were still clear for me: when the team is McDavid, Talbot and a prayer it is not good enough. But to me the solutions are pretty easily attainable.

    Trade for Vrbata
    Trade for Berglund
    Trade for Nilsson (because it seems they can’t trust Brossoit yet and they are overplaying Talbot).

    Pouliot/Maroon-McDavid-Vrbata
    Lucic-Drai-Nuge (to unlock 2nd line offense)
    Maroon/Pouliot-Berglund-Eberle
    Slepyshev-Letestu-Kassian
    Hendricks/Lander

    Leave D as is
    Talbot
    Nilsson

    If they are planning on recalling Reinhart there is not enough room once Nurse comes back. Your speculation might be pointing to a trade from the leftorium and I start to fear what that might be (e.g. Klef for Shattenkirk)

  5. meanashell11 says:

    They are not trading Klef for a rental. Not a chance. Zero.

  6. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    meanashell11:
    They are not trading Klef for a rental. Not a chance. Zero.

    e.g. means for “example”

    Klefbom
    Sekera (NMC)
    Reinhart
    Russell
    Nurse
    Davidson

    Someone is going. That is what to focus on, not one example. This is why this place’s discussions keep going down the toilet bowl because people decide they have to take opposing sides of things that were not meant to be taken as the central crux of a comment.

    P.s. just because you say something adamantly does not make it true.

  7. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I agree that someone needs to drive offence on 93’s line.

    Until there are new bodies, I’d do this:

    27-97-42 – See if Sleppy can be the RH shooter
    67-93-29 – Get Leon to drive some offence for this line
    19-36-14 – Line of misfit toys
    51-55-44 – The rest

  8. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ordinarily, I would run down each line and their performance, but this is a money table. LOOK at the gap between the McDavid line and the other nine forwards. Stark. There is nothing more to say here.

    Its ugly.

    For the more visually inclined, check out GMoney’s 5v5 Shot location map for each forward line last night: (make sure to click the arrows to see all 4)

    https://twitter.com/OilersNerdAlert/status/827723005748932608

    Un-freaking-real

  9. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    So you keep Caggula on the roster? There is no higher pressing need then sending him to Bakersfield. He is in way over his head. He’s been getting his teeth kicked in long enough

  10. GCW_69 says:

    The Oilers team from last night looked a lot like the Oilers team from last year, and that’s not a good thing.

  11. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    The Line of Misfit Toys. haha. wow. Your lineup for now makea sense.

    One quibble, Nuge is weak on face-offs and when he plays C he seems to really focus on the defensive side. That is why I had him on Leon’s wing, so he can just worry about scoring for a change and can get that aspect of his game going. Thus Drai can handle the middle on that line.

  12. speeds says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I think I’d look at something like:

    Maroon-CMD-Slepyshev
    Pouliot-RNH-Eberle
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Kassian

  13. Ryan says:

    leadfarmer:
    I don’t understand what Caggula is doing on this roster.Just send him down already.He has a lot of things to work on

    We never understood why Justin Schultz was playing #1d minutes for the Oilers either.

    Playing time guarantees to college free agents are a bitch.

  14. Timeisnow says:

    Agree the playoffs aren’t a given. This is a good team if they play like men, but there are too many guys not doing their job.

    It’s disappointing to see RNH,Ebs,Looch, Poo, not doing their jobs, this team needs these guys to play the top 6 roll that they are being paid to do. We have never seen 93 and 14 in this position before.

    I’m confident Looch will step up, and Poo has before so he can. But the other two I’m worried about if this is all they got, when push comes to shove, it’s time to step up and shove back.

  15. Ryan says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I don’t have time right now to check, but didn’t they try 29 with Nuge this season and iirc it didn’t go well?

  16. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    WC Standings this morning via games. 8th place set to 0, ties broken with pts% (games in hand)

    MIN 17
    SJS 12
    CHI 10
    ANA 9
    EDM 6
    NSH 3
    LAK 1
    STL 0
    ——————-
    CGY -1
    VAN -3
    WPG -4
    DAL -4
    ARI -16
    COL -24

    Calgary charging hard at STL. If they continue to make hay on their road trip they might catch them soon.

    Less than a week ago EDM was +10 games over 8th place, but their losses combined with STL, LAK and CGY wins have shrunk the gap.

    Banked points are good to have for the February run.

    Also,

    EC standings via games. 8th place set to 0, ties broken with pts% (games in hand)

    WSH 17
    CBJ 15
    PIT 13
    MTL 9
    NYR 8 – first wild card spot
    OTT 5
    TOR 0
    PHI 0
    ——————–
    NYI -2
    FLA -2
    BOS -2
    CAR -3
    DET -6
    BUF -6
    NJD -6
    TBY -8

    Remember that NYR occupies one wild card spot so you have:

    OTT, TOR, BOS, FLA fighting for 2nd and 3rd in the Atlantic Division behind MTL.

    All of the above plus PHI, NYI, and CAR fighting for the last wildcard spot.

    Fun races to watch.

    Don’t count out FLA, they just got back Huberdeau (1st game last night) and Barkov. (first game since Dec 28 last night)

    That’s like the Oilers missing 97 all year and 29 for 15 games.

    They got through it 3 games over .500 and won their first one last night with both of them back in the line up.

    Maybe the Computer Boys aren’t wrecking that franchise?

  17. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: We never understood why Justin Schultz was playing #1d minutes for the Oilers either.

    Playing time guarantees to college free agents are a bitch.

    Which is another reason why drafting forwards in 2017 is important. That said, Edmonton is still in growth mode, we cannot forget it. If investing at-bats in Caggiula this year gets the Oilers a useful player on a championship team, then I am fine with the investment. One hopes we don’t see it next year, though.

  18. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    speeds:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I think I’d look at something like:

    Maroon-CMD-Slepyshev
    Pouliot-RNH-Eberle
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Kassian

    I want 93 going and outscoring from his line vs the opposition’s best.

    67-93-14 haven’t been able to do that this year.

    He needs high end help to get it done.

    I don’t see Hall on the roster, so the best option is Drai.

  19. Ryan says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I agree with you in principle, but I’d wager a boatload of Woodguy’s money that Chiarelli is loathe to move Nuge to the wing.

    Think of Nuge with that contract and those boxcars… then imagine him perceived as a left wing and not a centre.

    While he might score more in your scenario, if he didn’t then imagine his trade value. That’s a heck of a gamble to make.

  20. Timeisnow says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Ordinarily, I would run down each line and their performance, but this is a money table. LOOK at the gap between the McDavid line and the other nine forwards. Stark. There is nothing more to say here.

    Its ugly.

    For the more visually inclined, check out GMoney’s 5v5 Shot location map for each forward line last night: (make sure to click the arrows to see all 4)

    https://twitter.com/OilersNerdAlert/status/827723005748932608

    Un-freaking-real

    Thats excellent thanks for that. That’s exactly how they game looked as well. I hope TMac has a illustration like this to show everyone.

  21. Glass says:

    For RNH to be successful, it’s looking more and more like you have to throw him on McDavid or Draisaitl’s wing so that he can let them drive the line.

    A lot of the blame has to be on the coaching though. They ring the puck off the glass or lob it into the neutral zone, giving the other team possession. They have constant turnovers at the other team’s blue line. They dump the puck in, and are unable to maintain possession.

    Then on the other end, we tend to give teams easy zone entries & proceed to get hemmed into our end for 2-3 minutes at a time. Not to mention, our penalty kill looked like ass. Just collapsing between the dots and letting their D take free shots.

  22. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ryan:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I don’t have time right now to check, but didn’t they try 29 with Nuge this season and iirc it didn’t go well?

    Nuge and Drai only played 70 minutes together this year so far

    CF% 47.9%
    GF% 50%

    Nothing went in the either net though.

    GF/60 0.85 (SH% 3.33)
    GA/60 0.85 (SV% .969)

    Ha!

    I’d still go back to it though.

    Not a lot of other options and I don’t think 97 needs 29 to do what he does.

  23. Derek says:

    I think you need to split up the three 3c’s and give Mcdavid all of the speed.

    67-97-42
    27-29-44
    19-93-14
    51-55-36

    Hope that 67 and 42s hands can keep up with their legs and play the 97 line predominantly with Klef for the sweet, sweet outlet passes so this line can do most of their attacking off the rush.

    Hope 27 remembers how to receive a pass and let these three cycle in the offensive end. 44 has hands, they’re just so damn inconsistent.

    Let 19 do the the forechecking and puck retrieval and pray 93 and 14 come alive.

    And…the rest, which will never happen because 51 is 51 and 23 is 23.

  24. pocession charge says:

    Glass:
    For RNH to be successful, it’s looking more and more like you have to throw him on McDavid or Draisaitl’s wing so that he can let them drive the line.

    A lot of the blame has to be on the coaching though. They ring the puck off the glass or lob it into the neutral zone, giving the other team possession. They have constant turnovers at the other team’s blue line. They dump the puck in, and are unable to maintain possession.

    Then on the other end, we tend to give teams easy zone entries & proceed to get hemmed into our end for 2-3 minutes at a time. Not to mention, our penalty kill looked like ass. Just collapsing between the dots and letting their D take free shots.

    These aren’t coaching issues. It’s poor execution by the players.

  25. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    So you keep Caggula on the roster?There is no higher pressing need then sending him to Bakersfield.He is in way over his head.He’s been getting his teeth kicked in long enough

    I was working with the current roster.

    Caggulia should be in the AHL.

    I can’t see Lander being worse, or JJ in that spot.

    I guess I just assumed McLellan would play him so I spotted him in their.

    If JJ is healthy I’d run him at 3C or Lander.

    Caggulia needs to, at the very least, sit in the pressbox.

    He hasn’t missed one game he’s been available for.

    Not good.

  26. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Ryan,

    It was not meant to be a permanent solution. Just for a while to basically say to Nuge, Drai has your back, now go out and attack.

    Knowing Nuge he is still going to be defensively aware and not be seagulling at the opposition blue line, but it will lighten the load. Once he gets going again they can move him around as need be.

  27. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    The Line of Misfit Toys. haha. wow. Your lineup for now makea sense.

    One quibble, Nuge is weak on face-offs and when he plays C he seems to really focus on the defensive side. That is why I had him on Leon’s wing, so he can just worry about scoring for a change and can get that aspect of his game going. Thus Drai can handle the middle on that line.

    Sure, let Leon take faceoffs.

    I think 93 is stronger at defending as F1 in the dzone though, so I leave that alone.

  28. meanashell11 says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    Big difference between Klef for and Russell for…….

  29. Timeisnow says:

    Glass:
    For RNH to be successful, it’s looking more and more like you have to throw him on McDavid or Draisaitl’s wing so that he can let them drive the line.

    A lot of the blame has to be on the coaching though. They ring the puck off the glass or lob it into the neutral zone, giving the other team possession. They have constant turnovers at the other team’s blue line. They dump the puck in, and are unable to maintain possession.

    Then on the other end, we tend to give teams easy zone entries & proceed to get hemmed into our end for 2-3 minutes at a time. Not to mention, our penalty kill looked like ass. Just collapsing between the dots and letting their D take free shots.

    I disagree, TMac is a good coach. If your second line isn’t able to compete and fight for ice and get to net, then there will be problems. It’s not the coaching. It becomes his problem along with the players and the GM. If they players won’t compete then you can guarantee they will be moved out. It’s on them

  30. anjinsan says:

    In days like these I can’t help but sense that the Hall trade and Chiarelli’s priorities and preferences undermined RNH, Eberle, and Pouliot. Lucic being paid on par with term and yet coasting while still being esteemed as the ‘character’ guy can’t sit well.

    Financially, the expensive stadium and keeping Connor McDavid probably dominate everything.

  31. gogliano says:

    I wonder if Chia has noticed the Puljujarvi isn’t really playing big minutes in the AHL. He’s on the 1PP, sure, but 5×5 it seems the Beck line is on the ice every second shift.

    Has any observer done a formal count of JP’s minutes on the farm? I’d guess he’s been at around 15-16 a game.

    It is good to see him down with the now active Iiro Pakarinen. Bakersfield isn’t exactly a cosmopolitan center so having a fellow Finn playing minutes on the team should be helpful.

  32. npanciroli says:

    Hall would certainly help this team, but no one would have guessed Lucic, RNH, Eberle and Pouliot all being this bad and unable to play second line minutes this year. Hell, Pouliot RNH Eberle were dynamite as a first line a couple years ago.

    I would be beyond frustrated if I was Chiarelli or McLellan. Although I wonder how systems play into this.

  33. pocession charge says:

    gogliano:

    It is good to see him down with the now active Iiro Pakarinen.Bakersfield isn’t exactly a cosmopolitan center so having a fellow Finn playing minutes on the team should be helpful.

    Jere Sallinen has been there all year.

  34. pocession charge says:

    npanciroli:
    Hall would certainly help this team, but no one would have guessed Lucic, RNH, Eberle and Pouliot all being this bad and unable to play second line minutes this year. Hell, Pouliot RNH Eberle were dynamite as a first line a couple years ago.

    I would be beyond frustrated if I was Chiarelli or McLellan. Although I wonder how systems play into this.

    RNH wasn’t great last year (sick, injured) but Pouliot and Eberle were fine. Same systems this year with much worse results. Probably not a systems or coaching issue. It’s up to the players in question to get it going.

  35. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    On another note, you can call me crazy but I would try to sign Leon and McDavid to bridge deals.

    2 x 4.25m for Leon
    Handing out big, long-term deals (Steve Austins) based on early potential has handcuffed this team. Eberle never got back to his 34 goal year. Nuge’s offense peaked his rookie year, etc.

    You could say, Leon is different. He has size and a hockey brain and he will score 30 this year. But we have seen him produce with Hall and produce with McDavid. You could also say that he produces a reasomable 5v5 pts/gm number away from Hall and away from McDavid. I concede those points.

    However, we have yet to see him run a line himself without those two high end offensive forces for a long stretch and show he can continue to produce (even if at a lower level).

    Will you sign him to 8 years x 7m now for being a 70-point wing with McDavid? Would you sign him to 8 years x 7m for being a 55-point C on his own line?

    Now, we know Drai is likely a 70-point+ winger for McDavid now and in the future. But we don’t yet know what he could be as a 2C on his own line. I would like to find out in the next two years before we pay him a huge contract.

    2 x 7.5m for McDavid. I then offer McDavid 8 x whatever he wants for the remaining two RFA years and six UFA years. It would be the richest bridge deal in history. I want McDavid in Oiler silks for as long as possible. I would not go 3 years on a bridge deal (same for Drai by the way) so that they are only a year away from UFA. Too risky. But two years away you still have some leverage.

    My reasoning is this. If you sign McDavid to an 8 year deal at, say 10m per, what is your actual breakdown on RFA years vs UFA years? First two RFA years are probably worth arouns 7.5m no? And from there it ramps up until the UFA years are worth 12m or whatever it may be. This is simply separating that out.

    I tell Connor that the lower cap hit on a bridge deal allows the team to build a winner around him. In 2 years a lot of money will be off the books. Eberle, Pouliot, Fayne, etc. etc. The team can spend the next two seasons pursuing guys who can help him win.

    Hopefully there is a Cup run in year 2 of that deal (remember he has one more ELC year left so that is 3 years from now). And that has free agents signing for cheap to play on a winner.

    You then offer the 8 year deal and you get McDavid for a minimum of 13 years in Oiler silks. And you bank on a winning culture and a good team to surround him with.

    If Chia goes and signs Leon and McDavid to 8 year, mega deals too soon, it kills the team’s flexibility in terms of adding key pieces. Then the team has to rely on cheap ELC talent, but as LT has said the prospect cupboard is pretty bare at the moment. That won’t work. Chia is building a team towards competing in the next two years. So if I were him I would add key vets in the next two years while keeping the most flexibility I can. Then Leon can get Eberle money+ if he has proved himself as a 2C, McDavid can still ask for the moon, etc.

    Now, please all proceed to call me crazy and say we need to sign them to 8x7m and 8x11m asap. 🙂

  36. B S says:

    I haven’t read the comments yet, but I assume there is plenty of consternation, and lots of boo Eberle and RNH last night and today.

    Bear in mind these are based on a single game sample size and not statistically significant

    I was at the game last night, so some observations from the lower bowl.

    Davidson:
    Davidson was wonderful. A Carolina fan behind me was raving about him. He is smart and has sound positioning, and isn’t afraid to mix it up in the corners. I saw no obvious mistakes on gap or positioning from where I sat. Question for those better equipped to look into it. Who are Davidson’s most common forwards since coming back from injury? A lot of the problems he had last game seemed to be him getting the puck free and having zero support.

    McDavid
    in person is fantastic. He really makes every shift worthwhile, and is clearly the driving force on this team. You can see him directing the troops and setting plays before the faceoff. He really watches the whole ice, and works very well with Drai. Bear this praise in mind as I lay out the flaws in his game. McDavid doesn’t shoot enough, and I think it’s because he doesn’t have a very quick shot. His accuracy is excellent, the breakaway then backhand on his goal drew a “wow” from many of the Hurricane fans :), but his release is too slow and he doesn’t use a one-timer at all. Also impressed by Maroon, he has skates and he knows how to use them. His stickhandling and north-south speed make him a good match with McDavid and Drai.

    I also think McDavid could be more opportunistic on the backcheck. His defensive game is quite good for a 20 year old superstar, but he can use his speed to catch players more often. I saw a couple of cases where he pulled off to cover position, rather than sneak up on the puck carrier. This may be a “systems” thing, but I think McDavid is quick enough to pull it off without falling to far behind the play,

    Press Box Lucic.
    This is going to be a long rant:
    He was shit last night and he is an drag on that 2nd line. I’m sure there has been much made on the two turnovers that Ebs made and how he is single handedly responsible for the loss or some such nonsense, but the play repeatedly died on Lucic’s stick. Two thirds of that line were buzzing, working harder than the top line at some points in the game. but it takes a whole line to be effective.

    RNH would gain the zone, Ebs would carry the puck down low, get swamped by two or three Carolina players, and Lucic would sit there on the outside of the scrum waiting for the puck. When Eberle did win the puck battle (yes it would happen several times, I was 20 ft away watching him push off bigger players to keep the puck), Lucic would then either pass it to no man’s land or skim it behind the net and around the boards, forcing RNH and Eberle to skate across the Ozone to pick it up, putting them in a position to get swarmed and lose the puck. When Lucic carried the puck in he’d either turn over to the Carolina D or chip it in then get beat to the puck. Before we start blaming Ebs and RNH for not getting the shots, ask why they couldn’t get into those positions in the first place. Lucic was also cherry picking, not what I expected from a stanley cup veteran.

    The third line
    is the problem with offense, nothing happens when they’re on the ice, unless Sleppy has the puck. I think Cagiula will be an decent NHLer, but not yet, and probably not as a center. Oilers biggest need is a third-line center. Not another Dman, not to trade away their only productive RW for the last 6 years when he’s have a career low.

    Sekera and Russell
    Loved Sekera, he’s clearly a veteran and covers well for Russell’s lack of gap control (it’s real and it is bad), had a wonderful sequence where he angled off a forward who had walked Russell, squeezed them off the puck and hit a forward in the Neutral zone. He carries that pairing. I like Russell along the boards, he’s tough, and very good at leveraging the puck out of the corners, not good at stopping zone entries.

    Larsson
    Do NOT take this as a comment on his trade value, lets let that go until at least the end of the season please.
    Larsson may be our best Dman. He’s definitely close to Sekera, maybe better in the Dzone. He does a lot of little things well, always forcing the play to the outside and knocking players off the puck. He was also making excellent passes up the ice and some nice plays in the Ozone to keep the puck down low. Bad things don’t happen much when he’s on the ice. Now he just needs to help make good things happen more often.

  37. Roughneck says:

    Clare Drake content.

    When Edmonton used to host a summer coaching camp Clare would often speak and the adulation and attention that the big name coaches like Babcock, Hitch, PP and the body of attendants gave Coach Drake was amazing.
    I enjoyed Derek Dragers book “hockeys quiet revolutionary” with special notice given to the final two chapters.

    6. The mans fingerprints are all over the game

    7. Clare Drake on coaching………Seriously. Buy the book. Chapter 7 is written by Clare and it is a phenomenal resource for coaches and team builders.

    Ill refrain from the Clare is not in the HHOF argument and observation. Suffice it to say the voting membership may be better capable of seeing the over sight if their heads were removed from the asses of their Leafs onesies.

  38. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    meanashell11,

    Russell for Shattenkirk. Sure. Where do I sign?
    See what I did there? That was clearly not the point of your post, was it. Perhaps you could stop trying to start arguments and instead make some contribution of your own as well. I am all for discussion, disagreement, etc., but focusing on a hypothetical example which was clearly prefaced with an…

    I hope they don’t do something like, e.g. Klef for Shattenkirk

    and then railing against that one line makes no sense to me. So, what are you contributing to our discussion today other than suggesting I am stupid. Totally. 100 percent.

  39. pocession charge says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    On another note, you can call me crazy but I would try to sign Leon and McDavid to bridge deals.

    2 x 4.25m for Leon
    Handing out big, long-term deals (Steve Austins) based on early potential has handcuffed this team. Eberle never got back to his 34 goal year. Nuge’s offense peaked his rookie year, etc.

    You could say, Leon is different. He has size and a hockey brain and he will score 30 this year. But we have seen him produce with Hall and produce with McDavid. You could also say that he produces a reasomable 5v5 pts/gm number away from Hall and away from McDavid. I concede those points.

    However, we have yet to see him run a line himself without those two high end offensive forces for a long stretch and show he can continue to produce (even if at a lower level).

    Will you sign him to 8 years x 7m now for being a 70-point wing with McDavid? Would you sign him to 8 years x 7m for being a 55-point C on his own line?

    Now, we know Drai is likely a 70-point+ winger for McDavid now and in the future. But we don’t yet know what he could be as a 2C on his own line. I would like to find out in the next two years before we pay him a huge contract.

    2 x 7.5m for McDavid. I then offer McDavid 8 x whatever he wants for the remaining two RFA years and six UFA years. It would be the richest bridge deal in history. I want McDavid in Oiler silks for as long as possible. I would not go 3 years on a bridge deal (same for Drai by the way) so that they are only a year away from UFA. Too risky. But two years away you still have some leverage.

    My reasoning is this. If you sign McDavid to an 8 year deal at, say 10m per, what is your actual breakdown on RFA years vs UFA years? First two RFA years are probably worth arouns 7.5m no? And from there it ramps up until the UFA years are worth 12m or whatever it may be. This is simply separating that out.

    I tell Connor that the lower cap hit on a bridge deal allows the team to build a winner around him. In 2 years a lot of money will be off the books. Eberle, Pouliot, Fayne, etc. etc. The team can spend the next two seasons pursuing guys who can help him win.

    Hopefully there is a Cup run in year 2 of that deal (remember he has one more ELC year left so that is 3 years from now). And that has free agents signing for cheap to play on a winner.

    You then offer the 8 year deal and you get McDavid for a minimum of 13 years in Oiler silks. And you bank on a winning culture and a good team to surround him with.

    If Chia goes and signs Leon and McDavid to 8 year, mega deals too soon, it kills the team’s flexibility in terms of adding key pieces. Then the team has to rely on cheap ELC talent, but as LT has said the prospect cupboard is pretty bare at the moment. That won’t work. Chia is building a team towards competing in the next two years. So if I were him I would add key vets in the next two years while keeping the most flexibility I can. Then Leon can get Eberle money+ if he has proved himself as a 2C, McDavid can still ask for the moon, etc.

    Now, please all proceed to call me crazy and say we need to sign them to 8x7m and 8x11m asap. 🙂

    I like it. The bridge also ‘guarantees’ the player stays for 10 more years instead of 8.

  40. B S says:

    Glass,

    When RNH carries the puck he gains the zone it’s passing it that loses the puck in the neutral zone. He’s meshing better with Eberle lately connecting passes, getting more one-timers off, but they’re having trouble making that third forward fit. They need someone who can pass and shoot quickly to keep the cycle going. Lucic holds on too long and the flubs the puck into the wrong place.

  41. Derek says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    On another note, you can call me crazy but I would try to sign Leon and McDavid to bridge deals.

    2 x 4.25m for Leon
    Handing out big, long-term deals (Steve Austins) based on early potential has handcuffed this team. Eberle never got back to his 34 goal year. Nuge’s offense peaked his rookie year, etc.

    You could say, Leon is different. He has size and a hockey brain and he will score 30 this year. But we have seen him produce with Hall and produce with McDavid. You could also say that he produces a reasomable 5v5 pts/gm number away from Hall and away from McDavid. I concede those points.

    However, we have yet to see him run a line himself without those two high end offensive forces for a long stretch and show he can continue to produce (even if at a lower level).

    Will you sign him to 8 years x 7m now for being a 70-point wing with McDavid? Would you sign him to 8 years x 7m for being a 55-point C on his own line?

    Now, we know Drai is likely a 70-point+ winger for McDavid now and in the future. But we don’t yet know what he could be as a 2C on his own line. I would like to find out in the next two years before we pay him a huge contract.

    2 x 7.5m for McDavid. I then offer McDavid 8 x whatever he wants for the remaining two RFA years and six UFA years. It would be the richest bridge deal in history. I want McDavid in Oiler silks for as long as possible. I would not go 3 years on a bridge deal (same for Drai by the way) so that they are only a year away from UFA. Too risky. But two years away you still have some leverage.

    My reasoning is this. If you sign McDavid to an 8 year deal at, say 10m per, what is your actual breakdown on RFA years vs UFA years? First two RFA years are probably worth arouns 7.5m no? And from there it ramps up until the UFA years are worth 12m or whatever it may be. This is simply separating that out.

    I tell Connor that the lower cap hit on a bridge deal allows the team to build a winner around him. In 2 years a lot of money will be off the books. Eberle, Pouliot, Fayne, etc. etc. The team can spend the next two seasons pursuing guys who can help him win.

    Hopefully there is a Cup run in year 2 of that deal (remember he has one more ELC year left so that is 3 years from now). And that has free agents signing for cheap to play on a winner.

    You then offer the 8 year deal and you get McDavid for a minimum of 13 years in Oiler silks. And you bank on a winning culture and a good team to surround him with.

    If Chia goes and signs Leon and McDavid to 8 year, mega deals too soon, it kills the team’s flexibility in terms of adding key pieces. Then the team has to rely on cheap ELC talent, but as LT has said the prospect cupboard is pretty bare at the moment. That won’t work. Chia is building a team towards competing in the next two years. So if I were him I would add key vets in the next two years while keeping the most flexibility I can. Then Leon can get Eberle money+ if he has proved himself as a 2C, McDavid can still ask for the moon, etc.

    Now, please all proceed to call me crazy and say we need to sign them to 8x7m and 8x11m asap.

    I’m on board with most of this. I know the team needs to win and Drai and Mcdavid are doing wonderful things together, but you kind of need to separate the two to see how much Drai can do on his own so that we don’t have to pay him a shit ton just to ride Mcdavids coat tails.

  42. speeds says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I would sign McDavid to 8 years if I could, but I would at least look at a bridge for LD if it was sensible, if nothing else a 1yr this summer to increase cap room for McDavid’s last ELC year..

  43. Timeisnow says:

    npanciroli:
    Hall would certainly help this team, but no one would have guessed Lucic, RNH, Eberle and Pouliot all being this bad and unable to play second line minutes this year. Hell, Pouliot RNH Eberle were dynamite as a first line a couple years ago.

    They played great when the team was destined for the basement of the league. The thing is, can they bring it when it matters and the games get tougher and tougher. Now that there’s high expectations and pressure to produce, we will see. I’m hoping they find what they need to be successful.

  44. blainer says:

    Have said the only thing that gets me worried is an injury to Talbot or CMD or both.

    I have been expecting this run of losses. This is a very tough schedule we have for this month.

    For me the sky is defiantly not falling but I do expect a very poor February. Actually somewhere in the 8 point range.

    I am expecting a huge March though as a result of a decent move or two at the deadline and press boxing some players like caggs. I think JJ will surprise but may need some time to get back after the injury.

    I think we lose maybe two or three games in March to come roaring back. we need Nuge back on track big time though.

    Not only do I think we are making the playoffs but I predict we will make some noise when we get there.

  45. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    TOR claims Marchenko.

    Good pick up.

    I’d have to look at their 50 man to see if they are tight but all of:

    COL
    NJD
    VAN
    CGY
    BOS
    LAK

    Could have used him and as of Feb 1 all of those teams were behind TOR in points standings.

  46. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    speeds,

    Derek,

    Yes, I am aware I am more likely to get pushback on a McDavid bridge than a Leon one.

    The ideas are driven by different reasoning.

    For Leon: determine his worth as a 2C first before paying him for his 1RW production.

    For McDavid: adding 2 more years to his “guaranteed” Oiler tenure. And during that time using the lower cap hit to surround him with a winning team.

    At 8 years after his ELC perhaps a contract breaks down to 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 12, 12, 12 with 12 for the UFA years. That works out to 82m/8. But the cap hit the whole way through is 10.25m.

    What I propose is to buy 2 years of time at 7.5m per, giving the team an extra 2.75m in cap flexibility to spend on better players to help McDavid win a Cup during his bridge deal.

    At that point Eberle, Pouliot, Fayne, etc. money is off the books, they can then sign McDavid for 8 years still (and have gotten 2 more years from him) and good veterans may sign on with the Oilers to go for more Cups for cheap. McDavid is also more likely to be happy with the team surrounding him. You can see he has a fire in his belly and he wants to win more than anything else.

    I expect most people to disagree with me, but I am proposing a different approach that is unconventional versus prevailing thinking.

  47. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    TOR puts Corrado on waivers to make room for Marchenko.

    Nice smart move the upgrades a roster spot.

    Do that enough times and you have a very good roster.

    Ribero cleared.

    Ribero : “Trade me!”
    Poile : “I’ve been trying, no one is biting”
    Ribero : “Bullshit!”
    Poile: *waives Ribero, no one grabs him”
    Ribero (on a bus): “Oh”

  48. Lowetide says:

    Wrote about Benning injury worry and his exceptional rookie performance here.
    http://oilersnation.com/2017/2/4/bleeding-benning-injury

  49. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:
  50. speeds says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I understand the reasoning, I just don’t know if it’s worth the risk that he decides to go UFA after 4 RFA years.

  51. Woogie63 says:

    RNH and Eberle are way too comfortable on the perimeter.

    McDavid drives hard to the net and scores a goal, RNH snaps a wrist shot from the face off dot.

    IMO RNH is a 180 foot player, he is missing those lat 20 feet, which should make him an incredible 3C.

  52. blainer says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    speeds,

    Derek,

    Yes, I am aware I am more likely to get pushback on a McDavid bridge than a Leon one.

    The ideas are driven by different reasoning.

    For Leon: determine his worth as a 2C first before paying him for his 1RW production.

    For McDavid: adding 2 more years to his “guaranteed” Oiler tenure. And during that time using the lower cap hit to surround him with a winning team.

    At 8 years after his ELC perhaps a contract breaks down to 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 12, 12, 12 with 12 for the UFA years. That works out to 82m/8. But the cap hit the whole way through is 10.25m.

    What I propose is to buy 2 years of time at 7.5m per, giving the team an extra 2.75m in cap flexibility to spend on better players to help McDavid win a Cup during his bridge deal.

    At that point Eberle, Pouliot, Fayne, etc. money is off the books, they can then sign McDavid for 8 years still (and have gotten 2 more years from him) and good veterans may sign on with the Oilers to go for more Cups for cheap. McDavid is also more likely to be happy with the team surrounding him. You can see he has a fire in his belly and he wants to win more than anything else.

    I expect most people to disagree with me, but I am proposing a different approach that is unconventional versus prevailing thinking.

    I like your way of thinking on this especially concerning Drai. My concern is how it would be received by the McDavid camp.

    If Chia could pull that one off I would be very impressed. It would have to be done long before CMD could be offered a Shea Weber type deal from someone like Philly though.

    Man that would really show CMD’s high commitment to winning.. but alas I expect his agent to play hardball as that is their job.

  53. Timeisnow says:

    I would be interested to see the improved Reinhardt get a game.

  54. PerryK says:

    Ryan:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I agree with you in principle, but I’d wager a boatload of Woodguy’s money that Chiarelli is loathe to move Nuge to the wing.

    Think of Nuge with that contract and those boxcars… then imagine him perceived as a left wing and not a centre.

    While he might score more in your scenario, if he didn’t then imagine his trade value. That’s a heck of a gamble to make.

    Nuge is way better at C (despite the Face Offs which have improved this year). You can have Drai take the face offs like he has been doing on McD’s line. You should be worrying more about the phenom’s face offs if Drai leaves. However, I am willing to bet that he would be just fine even if he’s under 50%.

    Edit: I see that Woodguy already beat me to the same point!

  55. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Lowetide,

    Also did anyone notice that Iiro Pakarinen played for Bakersfield last night?

    I didn’t follow last nights thread and maybe missed it but it seem like its a good thing that he’s back.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Timeisnow:
    I would be interested to see the improved Reinhardt get a game.

    Based on the framing of the verbal by Todd McLellan when they sent him out, there must have been quite a lot of progress.

  57. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    speeds,

    That is why it is a 2 year bridge, not 3. He then still has to wait 2 years. That is also why in order to make this feasible, GM must talk it through with the player and be on the same page. Otherwise you go for 8. The entire premise relies on 97 being on board with the plan to help the team win sooner rather than later.

    You are totally right. There is one risk to the scenario: the team does not become a winner and McDavid decides to ride out two lame duck RFA years to free agency. It is a risk. My idea relies on trust and cooperation between management and player. Both sides have obligations to live up to.

    It is probably, in the end, not worth taking on that risk because the cap hit on his 3rd deal, the 8-year one will rise, thereby negating the short-term benefit, but part of that thinking is hoping the cap begins to go up again after two years of stagnation. If the cap does go up and the team is a contender, you win the bet. If the cap stays flat and the team is a contender it is a saw off. If the cap stays flat and the team sucks you have lost your bet.

    In the end it is probably better to just go 8 years right away. But I just wanted to ask the question.

  58. Pouzar says:

    Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun 2m2 minutes ago
    More
    All goalies must switch to new pants today. Any violation results in a 2-game suspension, $25k fine to team, $1k fine to equipment manager

  59. Ryan says:

    Pouzar:
    Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun2m2 minutes ago
    MoreAll goalies must switch to new pants today. Any violation results in a 2-game suspension, $25k fine to team, $1k fine to equipment manager

    I’ve now learned not to make wagers with you nor try to beat you with posting twitter updates.

    🙂

  60. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Didn’t Toronto just claim Seth Griffith back, which should therefore put Toronto at 30th on the waiver priority?
    So that would mean 28 other teams passed on Marchenko.

  61. Lloyd B. says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I’m not disagreeing with the idea you have presented here regards the 2nd contracts for the 2 centers. I’ve thought of it myself for the same reasons you have outlined.

    Drai does have one extra year of RFA because he was sent down before 40 games in year one of his ELC.

    So you could bridge him for 3 which would leave 2 RFA for the next contract but that extra year to PROVE himself might prove to be very expensive for the OIlers. Think PK Subban

    One wrinkle I haven’t seen discussed from the players point of view is guaranteed contracts.

    Hockey is famous for career ending injuries. The players may want life security by signing an 8 year guaranteed deal now. Set for life.

    Imagine signing a 2 x 4 bridge and having a career ending injury. Yes you have 8 million but you left 40 on the table.

    I’m sure McDavid is already set for life due to endorsements but it is the bridge vs long term contracts we are discussing.

    By going long early the end result is likely a few million less over 10 years that a bridge and 8 could get them.

    How many millions in the bank does it take to make a guy secure? Perhaps a question best answered by WG. 🙂

  62. Scungilli says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    On another note, you can call me crazy but I would try to sign Leon and McDavid to bridge deals.

    2 x 4.25m for Leon
    Handing out big, long-term deals (Steve Austins) based on early potential has handcuffed this team. Eberle never got back to his 34 goal year. Nuge’s offense peaked his rookie year, etc.

    You could say, Leon is different. He has size and a hockey brain and he will score 30 this year. But we have seen him produce with Hall and produce with McDavid. You could also say that he produces a reasomable 5v5 pts/gm number away from Hall and away from McDavid. I concede those points.

    However, we have yet to see him run a line himself without those two high end offensive forces for a long stretch and show he can continue to produce (even if at a lower level).

    Will you sign him to 8 years x 7m now for being a 70-point wing with McDavid? Would you sign him to 8 years x 7m for being a 55-point C on his own line?

    Now, we know Drai is likely a 70-point+ winger for McDavid now and in the future. But we don’t yet know what he could be as a 2C on his own line. I would like to find out in the next two years before we pay him a huge contract.

    2 x 7.5m for McDavid. I then offer McDavid 8 x whatever he wants for the remaining two RFA years and six UFA years. It would be the richest bridge deal in history. I want McDavid in Oiler silks for as long as possible. I would not go 3 years on a bridge deal (same for Drai by the way) so that they are only a year away from UFA. Too risky. But two years away you still have some leverage.

    My reasoning is this. If you sign McDavid to an 8 year deal at, say 10m per, what is your actual breakdown on RFA years vs UFA years? First two RFA years are probably worth arouns 7.5m no? And from there it ramps up until the UFA years are worth 12m or whatever it may be. This is simply separating that out.

    I tell Connor that the lower cap hit on a bridge deal allows the team to build a winner around him. In 2 years a lot of money will be off the books. Eberle, Pouliot, Fayne, etc. etc. The team can spend the next two seasons pursuing guys who can help him win.

    Hopefully there is a Cup run in year 2 of that deal (remember he has one more ELC year left so that is 3 years from now). And that has free agents signing for cheap to play on a winner.

    You then offer the 8 year deal and you get McDavid for a minimum of 13 years in Oiler silks. And you bank on a winning culture and a good team to surround him with.

    If Chia goes and signs Leon and McDavid to 8 year, mega deals too soon, it kills the team’s flexibility in terms of adding key pieces. Then the team has to rely on cheap ELC talent, but as LT has said the prospect cupboard is pretty bare at the moment. That won’t work. Chia is building a team towards competing in the next two years. So if I were him I would add key vets in the next two years while keeping the most flexibility I can. Then Leon can get Eberle money+ if he has proved himself as a 2C, McDavid can still ask for the moon, etc.

    Now, please all proceed to call me crazy and say we need to sign them to 8x7m and 8x11m asap. 🙂

    I agree . I commented in the thread where this was discussed a bit that the other big reason to bridge players is trying to avoid the UFA contract being signed at about 28 YO. That is at peak value because. Of age. A bridge can give a team a player into their 30’s meaning the team gets their peak and has time to trade them at peak value.

    Teams should retire very few players,only Connor should. It’s the only way to stay competitive in a capped league. When I broke down the numbers it comes out very close for the player as they get into a higher contract sooner. I also posit it is fine to pay top players what they are worth, its about timing contracts to the players age. It’s overpaying lesser players that creates issues.

    I also agree it’s a bit early to crown Leon superstar despite what a marvellous player he is so far.

    Edit, the bridge should aim to create a scenario where the big contract secures them into their thirties, depends on the players age. Resigning at 29/30 is not good for the team. You pay top$ and buy lots of decline. To avoid that you have to trade them when they are at their best meaning the team loses the best part of their career typically. An 8 year RFA contract at 25 is perfect.

  63. Lowetide says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    Lowetide,

    Also did anyone notice that Iiro Pakarinen played for Bakersfield last night?

    I didn’t follow last nights thread and maybe missed it but it seem like its a good thing that he’s back.

    Yes. He received a minor penalty but ran a clean slate aside from the 2pims for goalie interference
    http://theahl.com/game-summary?game_id=1016549

  64. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Fayne?

    Dungeon.

  65. verite says:

    Lowetide,

    Absolute idiocy
    After ten years of being out of the playofffs, you cares about player development
    As the last ten has show, it is for losers
    Making the playoffs last year should have been the Oiler objective, this year it is imperative
    Fire Chiarelli this afternoon, and get some one in with the will to gut this team, starting with putting RNH and Eberle on waivers this afternoon

  66. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Don’t count out FLA, they just got back Huberdeau (1st game last night) and Barkov. (first game since Dec 28 last night)
    That’s like the Oilers missing 97 all year and 29 for 15 games.

    Splitting hairs, but I think Draisaitl is good and know McDavid is better.
    I also think Huberdeau is good, but I believe Barkov is better.

  67. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Didn’t Toronto just claim Seth Griffith back, which should therefore put Toronto at 30th on the waiver priority?
    So that would mean 28 other teams passed on Marchenko.

    Doesn’t it re-set every month?

    I’ll check the CBA

  68. speeds says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I love looking at all these kinds of scenarios, I just think in this particular case, I’d be looking to go “conservative” and sign an 8 year deal if I could, vs. getting tricky and potentially watching the best player in the world walk away at 25.

    With Draisaitl I very much agree with your reasoning, plus EDM has him for 5 RFA years instead of the 4 with McDavid post ELC. You can’t be entirely sure what you have when LD has to carry a line himself, the bridge helps your cap situation for a year, so if you can get the information at a reasonable price, I think you should at least look at that. If he’d sign cheap enough long term this summer, sure, you ignore that and sign LD long term.

  69. --hudson-- says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I love the idea, cause we don’t know how good Drai is on his own (he has been great all year but not prolonged success on his own).

    One concern from the McDavid camp will be the CBA expiry in 2022. The last two times the CBA has been renegotiated the player salaries were rolled back, unlikely he’ll want to lose much money that way. The good news imo, if this era of Oilers management does their job McDavid will be happy to stay despite labor conditions (I see this how TB was able to sign Stamkos)

  70. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 18m18 minutes ago

    Jujhar Khaira & Matt Benning have been placed on IR.

    Damn.

  71. CalVag says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    At first I thought you were crazy, but then I actually started to like it. So let me ask you this…do you have enough faith in Chia that he would be able to make enough “other good bets” within those two years? I wish I could say yes but my answer is probably more like “kind of” lol.

  72. PerryK says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    On another note, you can call me crazy but I would try to sign Leon and McDavid to bridge deals.

    2 x 4.25m for Leon
    Handing out big, long-term deals (Steve Austins) based on early potential has handcuffed this team. Eberle never got back to his 34 goal year. Nuge’s offense peaked his rookie year, etc.

    You could say, Leon is different. He has size and a hockey brain and he will score 30 this year. But we have seen him produce with Hall and produce with McDavid. You could also say that he produces a reasomable 5v5 pts/gm number away from Hall and away from McDavid. I concede those points.

    However, we have yet to see him run a line himself without those two high end offensive forces for a long stretch and show he can continue to produce (even if at a lower level).

    Will you sign him to 8 years x 7m now for being a 70-point wing with McDavid? Would you sign him to 8 years x 7m for being a 55-point C on his own line?

    Now, we know Drai is likely a 70-point+ winger for McDavid now and in the future. But we don’t yet know what he could be as a 2C on his own line. I would like to find out in the next two years before we pay him a huge contract.

    2 x 7.5m for McDavid. I then offer McDavid 8 x whatever he wants for the remaining two RFA years and six UFA years. It would be the richest bridge deal in history. I want McDavid in Oiler silks for as long as possible. I would not go 3 years on a bridge deal (same for Drai by the way) so that they are only a year away from UFA. Too risky. But two years away you still have some leverage.

    My reasoning is this. If you sign McDavid to an 8 year deal at, say 10m per, what is your actual breakdown on RFA years vs UFA years? First two RFA years are probably worth arouns 7.5m no? And from there it ramps up until the UFA years are worth 12m or whatever it may be. This is simply separating that out.

    I tell Connor that the lower cap hit on a bridge deal allows the team to build a winner around him. In 2 years a lot of money will be off the books. Eberle, Pouliot, Fayne, etc. etc. The team can spend the next two seasons pursuing guys who can help him win.

    Hopefully there is a Cup run in year 2 of that deal (remember he has one more ELC year left so that is 3 years from now). And that has free agents signing for cheap to play on a winner.

    You then offer the 8 year deal and you get McDavid for a minimum of 13 years in Oiler silks. And you bank on a winning culture and a good team to surround him with.

    If Chia goes and signs Leon and McDavid to 8 year, mega deals too soon, it kills the team’s flexibility in terms of adding key pieces. Then the team has to rely on cheap ELC talent, but as LT has said the prospect cupboard is pretty bare at the moment. That won’t work. Chia is building a team towards competing in the next two years. So if I were him I would add key vets in the next two years while keeping the most flexibility I can. Then Leon can get Eberle money+ if he has proved himself as a 2C, McDavid can still ask for the moon, etc.

    Now, please all proceed to call me crazy and say we need to sign them to 8x7m and 8x11m asap.

    I think you are making some fine points! Very rational. So, alas it is sure to not take place!

  73. verite says:

    Woogie63,

    RHN is hockey garbage
    Cant this just be admitted?
    Flush him this afternoon.

  74. speeds says:

    Just to add re: CMD’s potential contract extension this summer:

    FWIW, Crosby and Stamkos both signed 5 year deals out of their ELC’s, it’s not necessarily a given McDavid will be looking at an 8 year deal.

  75. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Lloyd B.,

    Yes. Good points. Subban was known to be a star already at that point. That was poorly conceived.

    But we did also think the Nuge deal was going to be a very good one.

    There are going to be examples supporting each side.

    The point about injuries and career safety is a good one that I did not consider here, however.

  76. Woogie63 says:

    Right now are we a one line team?

    I don’t have confidence we will score unless McDavid is on the ice.

  77. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Klima’s_Bucket:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Didn’t Toronto just claim Seth Griffith back, which should therefore put Toronto at 30th on the waiver priority?
    So that would mean 28 other teams passed on Marchenko.

    I don’t see anything about re-setting waiver priority based on taking a player.

    Interestingly, the NHL uses pts%, not straight points to determine waiver priority standings:

    13.19 If only one Club makes a claim for the Player on whom Waivers have been requested,
    such Player shall be transferred to that Club. In the event that more than one Club makes a claim
    for such Player, he shall:

    (i) be transferred to the claiming Club having earned the lowest percentage of possible points in the League standing at the time of the request for Waivers,

    or (ii) if Waivers are requested outside the Regular Season, or the successful Waiver claim is made
    (i.e., the date the Player would be transferred to a successful claiming Club per this Section),
    before November 1st then the priority shall be determined by the final standing in the League’s
    Regular Season schedule in the preceding Regular Season.

    In the event that two (2) or more claiming Clubs in (i) above have the same percentage of possible points in the League standing at the time of the Waiver claim, the Player will be transferred to the claiming Club:

    (1) with the lowest winning percentage at the time of the request for Waivers (excluding games won in the Shootout)
    (2) if there are claiming Clubs that remain tied following (1), then to the Club (of such remaining Clubs) that has earned the fewest number of points in games against each other (to be determined consistent with the procedures used to determine the final League standings, particularly the manner in which “odd games” are eliminated from the analysis)
    (3) if there are claiming Clubs that remain tied following (2), then to the Club (of such remaining Clubs) with the lowest differential between goals for and goals against as determined on a per game basis from National Hockey League official statistics used for purposes of determining League standings (i.e., the difference obtained by subtracting the Club’s total goals against from the
    Club’s total goals for is divided by the number of games played by the Club). These tie-breaking
    procedures are subject to change consistent with any change adopted to the League’s tie-breaking
    procedures for determining League standings, however, for purposes of this provision any steps
    in such updated procedures shall be calculated and/or applied on a per game basis where possible (e.g., winning percentage as opposed to wins and goal differential on a per game basis as
    opposed to goal differential).

    13.20 (a) The Club acquiring a Player by Waiver claim shall take an Assignment of the
    Player’s SPC. Nevertheless, if the Commissioner determines that a Player acquired by Waiver
    claim is not physically fit at the time the claim is made, the Club making the claim may refuse to
    take an Assignment of such Player’s SPC and the request for Waivers shall be canceled.

    (b) A Player who has been acquired by Waiver claim shall not be Traded to another
    Club until the termination of Playoffs of the season in which he was acquired unless he is first originally and the offer has been refused.

    13.21 (a) When a Club desires to terminate a Player’s SPC for any reason, such action may
    not be taken until Unconditional Waivers have been requested and cleared in conformity with
    this Article. Notwithstanding this provision, a Player with a no-move clause shall have the rights
    set forth in Section 11.8.

    (b) Subsection (a) hereof is not applicable to a Player whose name is being placed on
    the Voluntarily Retired List.

    13.22 When a Club claims a Player on Regular or Unconditional Waivers, and, subsequently,
    in the same season it requests Waivers on the same Player and the original owning Club is the
    successful and only Club making a Waiver claim, then the original owning Club shall be entitled
    to Loan such Player to a club in another league within thirty days without further Waivers being
    asked; provided that such Player has not participated in ten or more NHL Games (cumulative)
    and remained on an NHL roster more than thirty days (cumulative) following such successful
    claim.

    13.23 In the event a professional or former professional Player plays in a league outside North
    America after the start of the NHL Regular Season, other than on Loan from his Club, he may
    thereafter play in the NHL during that Playing Season (including Playoffs) only if he has first
    either cleared or been obtained via Waivers. For the balance of the Playing Season, any such
    Player who has been obtained via Waivers may be Traded or Loaned only after again clearing
    Waivers or through Waiver claim. This section shall not apply to a Player on the Reserve List or
    Restricted Free Agent List of an NHL Club with whom the Player is signing an NHL SPC or is
    party to an existing SPC with such NHL Club.

  78. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Maybe it does, I wasn’t aware of that.

  79. PerryK says:

    B S,

    I agree with every thing you observed. That is exactly how i saw last night’s game. I remember Craig Simpson, who was a warrior and spent most of his time taking a beating in front of the net look a lot like Lucic the last season that he played due to a severe back issue. I had heard that Lucic also has some back trouble. If that is the case, the perimeter play, quick passes to nowhere before contact, etc. makes sense and it is amazing that he plays at all! It may be best to shut him down for the year and get him all the help that he needs. After all we have him for many more years!

  80. Scungilli says:

    B S:
    I haven’t read the comments yet, but I assume there is plenty of consternation, and lots of boo Eberle and RNH last night and today.

    Bear in mind these are based on a single game sample size and not statistically significant

    I was at the game last night, so some observations from the lower bowl.

    Davidson:
    Davidson was wonderful. A Carolina fan behind me was raving about him. He is smart and has sound positioning, and isn’t afraid to mix it up in the corners. I saw no obvious mistakes on gap or positioning from where I sat. Question for those better equipped to look into it. Who are Davidson’s most common forwards since coming back from injury? A lot of the problems he had last game seemed to be him getting the puck free and having zero support.

    McDavid
    in person is fantastic. He really makes every shift worthwhile, and is clearly the driving force on this team. You can see him directing the troops and setting plays before the faceoff. He really watches the whole ice, and works very well with Drai. Bear this praise in mind as I lay out the flaws in his game. McDavid doesn’t shoot enough, and I think it’s because he doesn’t have a very quick shot. His accuracy is excellent, the breakaway then backhand on his goal drew a “wow” from many of the Hurricane fans :), but his release is too slow and he doesn’t use a one-timer at all. Also impressed by Maroon, he has skates and he knows how to use them. His stickhandling and north-south speed make him a good match with McDavid and Drai.

    I also think McDavid could be more opportunistic on the backcheck. His defensive game is quite good for a 20 year old superstar, but he can use his speed to catch players more often. I saw a couple of cases where he pulled off to cover position, rather than sneak up on the puck carrier. This may be a “systems” thing, but I think McDavid is quick enough to pull it off without falling to far behind the play,

    Press Box Lucic.
    This is going to be a long rant:
    He was shit last night and he is an drag on that 2nd line. I’m sure there has been much made on the two turnovers that Ebs made and how he is single handedly responsible for the loss or some such nonsense, but the play repeatedly died on Lucic’s stick. Two thirds of that line were buzzing, working harder than the top line at some points in the game. but it takes a whole line to be effective.

    RNH would gain the zone, Ebs would carry the puck down low, get swamped by two or three Carolina players, and Lucic would sit there on the outside of the scrum waiting for the puck. When Eberle did win the puck battle (yes it would happen several times, I was 20 ft away watching him push off bigger players to keep the puck), Lucic would then either pass it to no man’s land or skim it behind the net and around the boards, forcing RNH and Eberle to skate across the Ozone to pick it up, putting them in a position to get swarmed and lose the puck. When Lucic carried the puck in he’d either turn over to the Carolina D or chip it in then get beat to the puck. Before we start blaming Ebs and RNH for not getting the shots, ask why they couldn’t get into those positions in the first place. Lucic was also cherry picking, not what I expected from a stanley cup veteran.

    The third line
    is the problem with offense, nothing happens when they’re on the ice, unless Sleppy has the puck. I think Cagiula will be an decent NHLer, but not yet, and probably not as a center. Oilers biggest need is a third-line center. Not another Dman, not to trade away their only productive RW for the last 6 years when he’s have a career low.

    Sekera and Russell
    Loved Sekera, he’s clearly a veteran and covers well for Russell’s lack of gap control (it’s real and it is bad), had a wonderful sequence where he angled off a forward who had walked Russell, squeezed them off the puck and hit a forward in the Neutral zone. He carries that pairing. I like Russell along the boards, he’s tough, and very good at leveraging the puck out of the corners, not good at stopping zone entries.

    Larsson
    Do NOT take this as a comment on his trade value, lets let that go until at least the end of the season please.
    Larsson may be our best Dman. He’s definitely close to Sekera, maybe better in the Dzone. He does a lot of little things well, always forcing the play to the outside and knocking players off the puck. He was also making excellent passes up the ice and some nice plays in the Ozone to keep the puck down low. Bad things don’t happen much when he’s on the ice. Now he just needs to help make good things happen more often.

    Great comments. I now see Larsson as our second best player. Sekera is better carrying the puck, but he loses his net coverage regularly in the D zone as does Russell. Klef on is also not good in front of the net. For such a big kid he plays a small mans game. I don’t suggest he starts banging but nobody should be able to outmuscle or get position on a guy that size with those wheels.

  81. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I wonder if its a paper transaction for the bye week coming up?

    Chia said last night that JK was close to returning.

    Get some guys up for practice days with the big club to see what you have while these other two heal up?

    Might make sense with Pak down on the farm playing (likely a conditioning stint)

  82. Pouzar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    The Line of Misfit Toys. haha. wow. Your lineup for now makea sense.

    One quibble, Nuge is weak on face-offs and when he plays C he seems to really focus on the defensive side. That is why I had him on Leon’s wing, so he can just worry about scoring for a change and can get that aspect of his game going. Thus Drai can handle the middle on that line.

    Nuge and Ebs have absolutely forgotten how to play hockey. I have no idea how it got to this point.

  83. blainer says:

    Woogie63:
    Right now are we a one line team?

    I don’t have confidence we will score unless McDavid is on the ice.

    This week on the road.. Maybe. We were actually getting goals from unlikely players earlier when Connor only had a point or two over a five game span.

    I wouldn’t be too concerned. I would be ready though to be pissed off with this team over the next few weeks. I expect the comments section to very critical for this month.

    I really look forward to reading it in March April AND May.. Not sure about June until after the deadline.

  84. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    To all since there are a lot of great replies.

    1) The bet is on Chia and Nicholson to deliver a winner during McDavid’s RFA years, yes. But is that not already the case? Otherwise, who is to say McDavid does not leave after the minimum amount of time regardless? So I am comfortable putting my belief in Chia/Nicholson (I reserve the right to still criticize individual moves, of course, but I believe they are working towards forming a winner).

    2) Thanks for the reminder that Leon will have 5 RFA years, not 4. So you cam go 3 years on a bridge with him and still leave 2 RFA years, protecting yourself from a one year lame duck walk status.

    3) Of course, if Leon would sign for 8 years at 5.5m sign me up tomorrow! I am proposing this scenario if the number he wants is more like 7+

    4) 2 year bridge for McDavid gives me 3 years after this year to build a winner around him. A true winner, division titles, at least a pennant, maybe even a Cup.

    5) Of course I present McDavid with all options. This is not trying to haggle with him. Hi Connor, we could offer you an 8 year deal right now, or here is the richest 2 year bridge deal ever made under this CBA and that gives us some flexibility to build a winner now. We get more money off the books in 3 years time and then we can sign you to an 8 year deal to lead a winning team.

    6) As speeds says we are assuming McDavid would sign for 8 years automatically. What if he says he wants to see the direction the team is going so he wants a shorter commitment? Like Crosby or Stamkos or Tavares, for example. The 2 year bridge is thus a potential solution. That gives 3 years to build a good team then have him sign for 8 more.

    7) The CBA expiry does cause some concern, on both sides. If he signs a bridge then he can get max term right before that if he wants and is concerned that there might be changes. Would that not be helpful to him?

  85. Scungilli says:

    speeds:
    Just to add re: CMD’s potential contract extension this summer:

    FWIW, Crosby and Stamkos both signed 5 year deals out of their ELC’s, it’s not necessarily a given McDavid will be looking at an 8 year deal.

    This. I also think McDavid wants to win more than anything. Another critical point is NA players at his level will have lifetime earnings from hockey so I don’t think they necessarily are looking for every penny like guys who will mostly make their money from their NHL deals.

    In fact you could view hometown discounts as an investment in overall earnings because the more he wins the greater his legend and earning potential post career. If he only wins one Cup *spits* it would diminish his stature overall.

  86. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    Agree. Meant to post that and got sidetracked. They get to draw NHL salary for a week while they also get a look at Reinhart.

  87. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!: Get some guys up for practice days with the big club to see what you have while these other two heal up?

    They don’t practice during the bye week though:

    The league and the NHLPA have committed to building a “five-day bye week” for each team into the schedule next season. The league will schedule one for each club between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28 next season.

    Players won’t have to report for practice until after 4 p.m. on the fifth day if they have a game on the sixth day, a source said. If the players don’t have a game on the sixth day, they would have the entire fifth day off.

    Source: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/report-nhl-teams-will-get-a-bye-week-during-the-2016-17-season/

  88. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar: Nuge and Ebs have absolutely forgotten how to play hockey. I have no idea how it got to this point.

    Its killing me.

    All of Nuge, Eberle, Lucic have been 1st line players in this league for a long time and are not at the age where they fall apart.

  89. Scungilli says:

    Pouzar: Nuge and Ebs have absolutely forgotten how to play hockey. I have no idea how it got to this point.

    To me it’s a combo of things. Friedman said he thinks the brass feels Eberle needs a change of scenery. I also feel this. The difference in tempo from McDavid’s line is worrisome. Of course no one will be at his level, but usually a player like that elevates team play, it’s not happening and I see a few things.

    A lot of the forwards don’t play with a sense of urgency and are passive. They don’t attack the net,they aren’t hungry enough to score. G’s shot maps really show it.

    I believe the big contracts to Nuge and Eberle affected their growth. I think they try hard and care, but it is human nature to relax a bit when you are that young and get career deals. Eberle was coddled until McLellan came defensively, Nuge was thrown to the wolves before he was ready and given he was know to be shy offensively it lead him to where he is.

    I think Nuge needed time to get his offence established and Eberle needed to keep his offence while learning D play.

    I’m not sure Nuge will turn it around as an Oiler. Eberle has looked bad the last few games but he always has against teams like the Wild and Preds. Watching last night I thought Pou Eberle and Nuge need a shake up, the kind that usually happens after a trade sadly. They need to amp up the passion level a fair bit. They play on their heels and too slowly, like thinking too much.

  90. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    B S,

    Awesome trip report.

    Thanks for that.

  91. Pouzar says:

    Ryan: I’ve now learned not to make wagers with you nor try to beat you with posting twitter updates.

    lol

  92. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Pouzar: lol

    I was a year too early on my Schultz bet 🙁
    ha ha ha. Timing, as they say, is everything!

  93. Chachi says:

    speeds:
    Just to add re: CMD’s potential contract extension this summer:

    FWIW, Crosby and Stamkos both signed 5 year deals out of their ELC’s, it’s not necessarily a given McDavid will be looking at an 8 year deal.

    I am sure that if McDavid signs anything other than an 8 year contract the reaction from the media in Toronto will be measured and will not at all be filled with speculation about how he is just marking time until he can sign a contract with Toronto on the day he first becomes a UFA. Nope, that won’t be a shit show at all.

  94. Timeisnow says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    speeds,

    That is why it is a 2 year bridge, not 3. He then still has to wait 2 years. That is also why in order to make this feasible, GM must talk it through with the player and be on the same page.Otherwise you go for 8. The entire premise relies on 97 being on board with the plan to help the team win sooner rather than later.

    You are totally right. There is one risk to the scenario: the team does not become a winner and McDavid decides to ride out two lame duck RFA years to free agency.It is a risk. My idea relies on trust and cooperation between management and player. Both sides have obligations to live up to.

    It is probably, in the end, not worth taking on that risk because the cap hit on his 3rd deal, the 8-year one will rise, thereby negating the short-term benefit, but part of that thinking is hoping the cap begins to go up again after two years of stagnation.If the cap does go up and the team is a contender, you win the bet. If the cap stays flat and the team is a contender it is a saw off. If the cap stays flat and the team sucks you have lost your bet.

    In the end it is probably better to just go 8 years right away. But I just wanted to ask the question.

    I think it’s a great idea. If Connor has a slight hesitation then you can’t do it. KCH(keep Connor happy)!

  95. rickithebear says:

    marchenko was a top 60 hd sh dman in his career up till nov.
    have not mnaually checked since then.

  96. russ99 says:

    IMO, Nuge is just as likely to go as Eberle and Pouliot.

    Rightfullly or not, these are MacT’s guys and have not performed under Chiarelli and McLellan.

  97. Pouzar says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I was a year too early on my Schultz bet
    ha ha ha. Timing, as they say, is everything!

    I was lucky.

    I give up trying to figure out hockey.

  98. Centre of attention says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I remember not even two weeks ago when Eberle had a 4 point night and Nuge was scoring a bit every other game and everything seemed fine.

    Before all star break: 15 goals 3 wins 3 games played

    After all star break: 3 goals 0 wins 3 games played

    My issue is the inconsistency. We need to find a way to stop the night-and-day transition of this team. I’ve watched this team go full-on Harlem globe trotters over some very good teams this season. All 4 lines rolling, getting extended zone time. Then I see games like the Minnesota one or last nights one where the lack of engagement is shocking.

    It’s quite often I watch Nuge play a game and come away thinking “How did he not at least get a point tonight, he was all over it” I think LT calls it “Hitting line drives” and both Nuge & Ebs have been doing it. (shooting % hell is real)

    They need to find a happy medium. The constant high-low swings are characteristic of what you would call a “up and coming team” without much winning experience beyond a small handful of grizzled vets.

    I expect the GM to add more of the grizzled variety as the team matures, and the Nuges and Eberles of the world will be left on the outside looking in, themselves old and mature now but wondering where all the time went.

    I think Pou was complimenting that line well and then all of a sudden Lucic is added in his place just when things seemed to be working, curious really. Over all, I don’t like the coaches blender. It is rather unexpected whether he will tinker or just “let them play out of it”. It seems he gives the McDavid line (who ever is involved) a lot more rope, with the other 3 lines in constant flux.

    At a certain point you can’t really blame the coach. It’s up to the GM to find pieces that fit. Make a trade, Peter.

    PS, Daveys as good as gone:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 38m38 minutes ago
    With Benning going on IR, and Russell nicked up Davidson could see increased minutes.
    Pro scouts ask about him all the time

    I expect the Oilers to deal davidson over the by-week, probably in a package for Hanzal or someone of that ilk. The Yotes front office folks are smart and use numbers, so they obviously see that Davidson could contribute.

  99. Bruce Wayne says:

    All talk of accountability is just chatter so long as Lucic is rolled out time after time to dragged down everyone with him. I thought the contract was awful when were getting good Lucic. This guy is the worst player on the team.

    As for the systems play and why off the glass and out is awful hockey, here is a nice video on a similar topic, “the rim is a lazy play.” It talks about how a former coach of Alexander Mogilny would be on him about not doing anything, and Mogilny responded how am I supposed to do anything if never get the puck in a position to make something happen.

    The infuriating thing about this team isn’t the losses, I don’t really care about winning, it is how mediocre they are even when they win. This team has Connor McDavid, and yet they are a boring team. How is this possible?

    http://howtohockey.com/dont-rim-puck/

    Those comments from Chiarelli are irritating. Puljujarvi is sent to the minors to play big minutes and yet he isn’t.

  100. Lloyd B. says:

    Chachi,

    Toronto is going to have their own concerns with all the young bucks they have there.

    They won’t be able to afford McDavid without trading Matthews. They are already proclaiming Matthews is better.

  101. bassguy says:

    beautiful post!, bassguy

    B S:
    I haven’t read the comments yet, but I assume there is plenty of consternation, and lots of boo Eberle and RNH last night and today.

    Bear in mind these are based on a single game sample size and not statistically significant

    I was at the game last night, so some observations from the lower bowl.

    Davidson:
    Davidson was wonderful. A Carolina fan behind me was raving about him. He is smart and has sound positioning, and isn’t afraid to mix it up in the corners. I saw no obvious mistakes on gap or positioning from where I sat. Question for those better equipped to look into it. Who are Davidson’s most common forwards since coming back from injury? A lot of the problems he had last game seemed to be him getting the puck free and having zero support.

    McDavid
    in person is fantastic. He really makes every shift worthwhile, and is clearly the driving force on this team. You can see him directing the troops and setting plays before the faceoff. He really watches the whole ice, and works very well with Drai. Bear this praise in mind as I lay out the flaws in his game. McDavid doesn’t shoot enough, and I think it’s because he doesn’t have a very quick shot. His accuracy is excellent, the breakaway then backhand on his goal drew a “wow” from many of the Hurricane fans :), but his release is too slow and he doesn’t use a one-timer at all. Also impressed by Maroon, he has skates and he knows how to use them. His stickhandling and north-south speed make him a good match with McDavid and Drai.

    I also think McDavid could be more opportunistic on the backcheck. His defensive game is quite good for a 20 year old superstar, but he can use his speed to catch players more often. I saw a couple of cases where he pulled off to cover position, rather than sneak up on the puck carrier. This may be a “systems” thing, but I think McDavid is quick enough to pull it off without falling to far behind the play,

    Press Box Lucic.
    This is going to be a long rant:
    He was shit last night and he is an drag on that 2nd line. I’m sure there has been much made on the two turnovers that Ebs made and how he is single handedly responsible for the loss or some such nonsense, but the play repeatedly died on Lucic’s stick. Two thirds of that line were buzzing, working harder than the top line at some points in the game. but it takes a whole line to be effective.

    RNH would gain the zone, Ebs would carry the puck down low, get swamped by two or three Carolina players, and Lucic would sit there on the outside of the scrum waiting for the puck. When Eberle did win the puck battle (yes it would happen several times, I was 20 ft away watching him push off bigger players to keep the puck), Lucic would then either pass it to no man’s land or skim it behind the net and around the boards, forcing RNH and Eberle to skate across the Ozone to pick it up, putting them in a position to get swarmed and lose the puck. When Lucic carried the puck in he’d either turn over to the Carolina D or chip it in then get beat to the puck. Before we start blaming Ebs and RNH for not getting the shots, ask why they couldn’t get into those positions in the first place. Lucic was also cherry picking, not what I expected from a stanley cup veteran.

    The third line
    is the problem with offense, nothing happens when they’re on the ice, unless Sleppy has the puck. I think Cagiula will be an decent NHLer, but not yet, and probably not as a center. Oilers biggest need is a third-line center. Not another Dman, not to trade away their only productive RW for the last 6 years when he’s have a career low.

    Sekera and Russell
    Loved Sekera, he’s clearly a veteran and covers well for Russell’s lack of gap control (it’s real and it is bad), had a wonderful sequence where he angled off a forward who had walked Russell, squeezed them off the puck and hit a forward in the Neutral zone. He carries that pairing. I like Russell along the boards, he’s tough, and very good at leveraging the puck out of the corners, not good at stopping zone entries.

    Larsson
    Do NOT take this as a comment on his trade value, lets let that go until at least the end of the season please.
    Larsson may be our best Dman. He’s definitely close to Sekera, maybe better in the Dzone. He does a lot of little things well, always forcing the play to the outside and knocking players off the puck. He was also making excellent passes up the ice and some nice plays in the Ozone to keep the puck down low. Bad things don’t happen much when he’s on the ice. Now he just needs to help make good things happen more often.

  102. Chachi says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Chachi,

    Toronto is going to have their own concerns with all the young bucks they have there.

    They won’t be able to afford McDavid without trading Matthews.They are already proclaiming Matthews is better.

    We know this, but the media there will be all over McDavid to Toronto whether or not it is in the realm of possibility.

  103. fuzzy muppet says:

    Wasn’t there supposed to be an issue with Bonus money if they called up Reinhardt?

    Am I making that up?

    I think its time to pull the trigger on a deal to bring in a shooting winger or 3 C. Give the team as much time as possible to gel.

  104. godot10 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    The sun came up this morning. At least where I am.

    Probably lost in my frustration about the article on Eberle’s lack of value I mentioned that the problems were still clear for me: when the team is McDavid, Talbot and a prayer it is not good enough. But to me the solutions are pretty easily attainable.

    Trade for Vrbata
    Trade for Berglund
    Trade for Nilsson (because it seems they can’t trust Brossoit yet and they are overplaying Talbot).

    Vrbata hasn’t been traded because the bonus structure of his contract could impact teams with large bonus provisions this season, and could possibly impact teams in a flat cap next year if bonuses are required to be rolled into next year.

    Vrbata’s bonus heavy contract means the Oilers probably cannot trade for him….see Reinhart, Puljujarvi.

  105. Timeisnow says:

    Lowetide: Based on the framing of the verbal by Todd McLellan when they sent him out, there must have been quite a lot of progress.

    Do you activate him for the game tomorrow? Do you see what he’s made of?

  106. meanashell11 says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    I’m not suggesting you are stupid. Go back and look at my record, I never start arguments, I do not participate in them. I merely pointed out there is zero chance they trade Klef for a rental. As they say in Quebec my globetrotting friend, slack le moteur!

    McDavid on a bridge deal???

    You are crazy!

  107. Lloyd B. says:

    Chachi,

    Ah of course. the old center of the universe vortex. Don’t forget Lou is there now so there may be a way.

  108. Chachi says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Chachi,

    Ah of course.the old center of the universe vortex.Don’t forget Lou is there now so there may be a way.

    I can barely believe Lou didn’t manage to figure out a way to get McDavid to Toronto in the Vegas expansion draft. I guess there is still time.

  109. godot10 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    On another note, you can call me crazy but I would try to sign Leon and McDavid to bridge deals.

    2 x 4.25m for Leon
    Handing out big, long-term deals (Steve Austins) based on early potential has handcuffed this team. Eberle never got back to his 34 goal year. Nuge’s offense peaked his rookie year, etc.

    You could say, Leon is different. He has size and a hockey brain and he will score 30 this year. But we have seen him produce with Hall and produce with McDavid. You could also say that he produces a reasomable 5v5 pts/gm number away from Hall and away from McDavid. I concede those points.

    However, we have yet to see him run a line himself without those two high end offensive forces for a long stretch and show he can continue to produce (even if at a lower level).

    Will you sign him to 8 years x 7m now for being a 70-point wing with McDavid? Would you sign him to 8 years x 7m for being a 55-point C on his own line?

    Now, we know Drai is likely a 70-point+ winger for McDavid now and in the future. But we don’t yet know what he could be as a 2C on his own line. I would like to find out in the next two years before we pay him a huge contract.

    2 x 7.5m for McDavid. I then offer McDavid 8 x whatever he wants for the remaining two RFA years and six UFA years. It would be the richest bridge deal in history. I want McDavid in Oiler silks for as long as possible. I would not go 3 years on a bridge deal (same for Drai by the way) so that they are only a year away from UFA. Too risky. But two years away you still have some leverage.

    My reasoning is this. If you sign McDavid to an 8 year deal at, say 10m per, what is your actual breakdown on RFA years vs UFA years? First two RFA years are probably worth arouns 7.5m no? And from there it ramps up until the UFA years are worth 12m or whatever it may be. This is simply separating that out.

    I tell Connor that the lower cap hit on a bridge deal allows the team to build a winner around him. In 2 years a lot of money will be off the books. Eberle, Pouliot, Fayne, etc. etc. The team can spend the next two seasons pursuing guys who can help him win.

    Hopefully there is a Cup run in year 2 of that deal (remember he has one more ELC year left so that is 3 years from now). And that has free agents signing for cheap to play on a winner.

    You then offer the 8 year deal and you get McDavid for a minimum of 13 years in Oiler silks. And you bank on a winning culture and a good team to surround him with.

    If Chia goes and signs Leon and McDavid to 8 year, mega deals too soon, it kills the team’s flexibility in terms of adding key pieces. Then the team has to rely on cheap ELC talent, but as LT has said the prospect cupboard is pretty bare at the moment. That won’t work. Chia is building a team towards competing in the next two years. So if I were him I would add key vets in the next two years while keeping the most flexibility I can. Then Leon can get Eberle money+ if he has proved himself as a 2C, McDavid can still ask for the moon, etc.

    Now, please all proceed to call me crazy and say we need to sign them to 8x7m and 8x11m asap. 🙂

    What if McDavid says he will only sign a 4 x $10 million dollar deal? Because he wants to wait for the next CBA and the escrow problem to be solved before signing long term.

    He certainly knows that he can go out into the market and get a 4 x $10 million dollar offersheet.

  110. B S says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    bassguy,

    Scungilli,

    PerryK,

    Thanks, I’m glad it was appreciated. Tickets were a Christmas gift that was worth it, even if the Oil did lose.

    I know there is a lot of hyperbole regarding some of the players. Personally I think Nuge and Ebs will be fine if we keep them another year. Both players are having career bad years, well below their typical level of play, and not something to bet on. It’s important to remember that they are playing the other teams best forwards each game, and trying to prevent scoring (they’ve generally been good at that this season, but not the last three games). They will be better if we give them a LW that can keep up with them. Pouliot is a good match, but has been all over the place in execution this season, mostly bad.

    I would keep both through McDavid’s entry level deal. If neither is producing by then, or we can’t keep both along with Drai (I don’t bet on Drai yet either, one good season is not a career), Nurse, and McDavid, then I would agree with moving them for cap room and assets. They are veteran, skilled players at positions the oilers are weak at.

    Sekera is absolutely the better puck carrier compared to Larsson at this stage, such an underrated Dman for this team.

  111. JJ says:

    Lowetide,
    Thanks for lighting a candle for Clare Drake and the HHOF. Also, thank you for this blog. I think there is a story about all the coaches he has taught and influenced. You could tell it well, here and on the radio.

    Also, does anyone know where I can get a copy of Clare Drake – The Coach’s Coach – Hockey’s Quiet Revolution by Derek Drager?
    Thank you all!

  112. Scungilli says:

    Centre of attention: PS, Daveys as good as gone:
    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 38m38 minutes ago
    With Benning going on IR, and Russell nicked up Davidson could see increased minutes.
    Pro scouts ask about him all the time
    I expect the Oilers to deal davidson over the by-week, probably in a package for Hanzal or someone of that ilk. The Yotes front office folks are smart and use numbers, so they obviously see that Davidson could contribute.

    I hope they keep Davidson unless used to fix problems long term, and I am not surprised teams have noticed how good he is. I would see it as a waste of assets to move him for a declining UFA for 30 games.

    Hanzal’s Rel.SCF% (relative scoring chance for %) is -9.67 and Rel.xGF% (relative expected goals for %) is -3.64.

    He isn’t playing well compared to his team and the game is moving away from 6’6″ 223 lb forwards – too slow. The Oilers already have Lucic, Maroon, Eberle, Hendricks, Letestu, and sometimes Kassian in the slower department.

    Lander is as good IMO and free. He’s small but he gets his nose dirty.

  113. godot10 says:

    Pouzar: Nuge and Ebs have absolutely forgotten how to play hockey. I have no idea how it got to this point.

    The coach is telling them how to play offense, and there are playing his systems. The coach is asking them to play a puck retrieval game instead of a puck possession game. Nugent-Hopkins wouldn’t have been the #1OV pick if he played a puck retrieval game…he would have been an afterthought.

  114. Woogie63 says:

    I am in Las Vegas on boys trip. I am reminded you have to have a spectacular product to break through here… serious sensory overload.

    I don’t see McPhee getting all jazzed for a 5-7 dman like Grif or Davy in this city.

  115. Centre of attention says:

    Scungilli,

    I agree, I would hesitate to trade Davey outside of getting another young partially established Right shot D.

    But I was just speculating on what the Oilers will do. Davidson for a rental is such an Oiler thing to do you could probably “book it”.

    I also wouldn’t be shocked if they managed to sign Hanzal to an extension before Chiarelli even hung up on the phone with Chayka.

    C’est la vie Oiler fans. Chiarelli has a plan, and come hell or high water he’s sticking to it. Bigger. Puck protection. Cycle. Grit. That is Hanzal’s scouting report.

    The deal is probably already done they are just waiting until the by-week so its more convenient for all partys involved.

  116. Moose says:

    I’m starting to become really intrigued with Joey Laleggia as a prospect. Potted his 10th of the season last night, and I’m fairly certain all of those are as a forward.

    At the very least he has to be in the frame as a skilled bottom six guy. It’s probably too simplistic to assume he’d be responsible defensively because he played defense before, but he should be, right?!?!

  117. Centre of attention says:

    godot10,

    I disagree slightly here on Nuge. I’ll get to that in a second, but first heres my take on Eberle.

    I do think Eberle struggles at times with the type of forcheck system Todd uses, when the puck gets fired in he needs to seal the boards there and make a play either deep or to the line under pressure. He folds like a cheap suit at times but that’s not the worst part.

    If the entry is successful he has Eberle set up to high in the zone. Eberle has been in that spot long enough for me to hazard a guess that it’s system based. But the system is flawed, Eberle needs to be below the hash marks and almost more centralized. He had a spot last season that was money, just below the left circle and much closer to the net 97 was finding him regularly and he was scoring.

    Now Todd has him set up almost on the half boards after a successful entry, more as a distributor and again he has trouble when people get him up against the glass and shove him off the puck, especially because the center is usually behind the net and can’t immediately support and the D-man is put in a tough spot if he pinches down to support.

    I’ve lost track of how many times Eberle has been put in that tough spot against 2 defenders, loses the puck, our LHD pinches and misses the puck, odd man rush against.

    I think its time to either get a player who can execute on the boards to the coaches preference, or figure out a different spot for Eberle. (Hint: Watch video from last year)

    Eberle does have success at times being the guy who carries it in, it allows him to drop it off to the d-man and shake coverage a little easier. Todd should also try this more.

    Now, to Nuge: He’s playing the coaches system pretty well IMO. He needs more support on the wings. Nuge is a play maker first and foremost (though his shot is underrated) and he needs to be dishing to guys who can execute or the points won’t come.

    Just my 2 cents on the Nuge Eberle thing. Nuge is trying really hard without a lot of help, and Eberle is stuck at a fork in the road. Really hard to change your game at 26 years old. IMO this leads to the “Needs a fresh start” verbal.

  118. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    godot10: What if McDavid says he will only sign a 4 x $10 million dollar deal?Because he wants to wait for the next CBA and the escrow problem to be solvedbefore signing long term.

    He certainly knows that he can go out into the market and get a 4 x $10 million dollar offersheet.

    In that scenario he could say that he only wants a deal that ends with CBA epxiry in any instance. So, neither 8 years nor 2 plus 8 applies.

  119. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    meanashell11:
    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    You are crazy!

    Of that there is little doubt.

    On the Oilers making a bad trade to cull the leftorium herd, it is possible. I used one example, like a worst case scenario. I said I worry a little about what a trade may look like. I did not say Klef for Shattenkirk would happen.

    The point of the post was that most of the current issues look fixable with small tweaks that did not require major moves.

    Reinhart is Chia’s guy. Sekera, Benning, Russell, Larsson too. The others are not: Davidson, Nurse, Klef. If PC wants to get a good look at Reinhart before making a decision regarding the expansion draft you may see a deal.

    Now I sure hope it does not resemble a Klef for Shatty deal, and that was only one hypothetical worst case scenario.

    It could be Davidson that goes. Unlikely it is Nurse, given the injury.

  120. Confused says:

    Centre of attention,

    I think this is pretty accurate. TMac wants to run a single simp!s concept, perhaps he does not believe that they can cope with anything else without risking massive defensive breakdowns.

    Problem is the scheme does not suit most of the team.

  121. Gerta Rauss says:

    JJ: Also, does anyone know where I can get a copy of Clare Drake – The Coach’s Coach – Hockey’s Quiet Revolution by Derek Drager?
    Thank you all!

    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&an=drager&tn=drake+coach&kn=&isbn=

  122. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    godot10: Vrbata hasn’t been traded because the bonus structure of his contract could impact teams with large bonus provisions this season, and could possibly impact teams in a flat cap next year if bonuses are required to be rolled into next year.

    Vrbata’s bonus heavy contract means the Oilers probably cannot trade for him….see Reinhart, Puljujarvi.

    This could be a good point because Drai will hit his.

  123. OilClog says:

    the system the Oilers are playing is counter punch, it’s not working at all.

    To play chip and chase, you need to have a above quality cycle game, the Oilers have zero cycle game. This much talent and nothing but chip into the corners, turn over possession, and back to defending the cycle in their own zone.. it’s alil maddening to watch.

    There’s far more talent then being shown with this squad, Coaches need to figure out they got to let the players play alil more naturally with the puck. Keeping possession while entering the zone would be a good start when you have any of your top 6 out there.

    Big flag why Hall was the one shipped out imo, he’s not a chip and chaser, and his success when he went against the wants of the coach wasn’t a battle the org wanted within the dressing room.

  124. Android says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I think your ideas about the bridge deals could give some insight into this sort of trade.

    While I don’t think it’s wise to deal in absolutes, I do believe that Klefbom is the least likely to get traded, for the same reasons that McDavid and Drai will hopefully be signed to bridge deals.

    The Oilers should be a contender for the foreseeable future, and a big part of that is cap management. Given the comments posted yesterday about Chiarelli supposedly being extra mindful of the cap, I do think he’d be unlikely to trade away one of our best value contracts, particularly given that Klef is a defenseman.

    Davidson, Benning and Nurse are all trending well, and have cheap contracts now, but they’re all going to need to be paid in the next couple of years, and I don’t know if we can get the same kind of value contract Klef has, particularly with Nurse.

    If Chia is truly serious about wanting to win, I would think that Klef and Larsson are glued to this organization for at least the remainder of their contracts.

  125. Confused says:

    Chip and chase is defensively quite safe.

    I think TMac is happy to for a 0 – 0 with the hope that McD steals him one either in regulation or OT

  126. RMGS says:

    Centre of attention:
    godot10,

    I disagree slightly here on Nuge. I’ll get to that in a second, but first heres my take on Eberle.

    I do think Eberle struggles at times with the type of forcheck system Todd uses, when the puck gets fired in he needs to seal the boards there and make a play either deep or to the line under pressure. He folds like a cheap suit at times but that’s not the worst part.

    If the entry is successful he has Eberle set up to high in the zone. Eberle has been in that spot long enough for me to hazard a guess that it’s system based. But the system is flawed, Eberle needs to be below the hash marks and almost more centralized. He had a spot last season that was money, just below the left circle and much closer to the net 97 was finding him regularly and he was scoring.

    Now Todd has him set up almost on the half boards after a successful entry, more as a distributor and again he has trouble when people get him up against the glass and shove him off the puck, especially because the center is usually behind the net and can’t immediately support and the D-man is put in a tough spot if he pinches down to support.

    I’ve lost track of how many times Eberle has been put in that tough spot against 2 defenders, loses the puck, our LHD pinches and misses the puck, odd man rush against.

    I think its time to either get a player who can execute on the boards to the coaches preference, or figure out a different spot for Eberle. (Hint: Watch video from last year)

    Eberle does have success at times being the guy who carries it in, it allows him to drop it off to the d-man and shake coverage a little easier. Todd should also try this more.

    Now, to Nuge: He’s playing the coaches system pretty well IMO. He needs more support on the wings. Nuge is a play maker first and foremost (though his shot is underrated) and he needs to be dishing to guys who can execute or the points won’t come.

    Just my 2 cents on the Nuge Eberle thing. Nuge is trying really hard without a lot of help, and Eberle is stuck at a fork in the road. Really hard to change your game at 26 years old. IMO this leads to the “Needs a fresh start” verbal.

    I have no idea if any of this is the case, but I love reading this kind of systems/tactics based analysis. Thanks and more, please!

  127. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Android,

    I think your reasoning makes sense and I hope that you are right. If the verbal on Reinhart is an indication, and this organization seems to do this with the media, then we could be seeing Davidson out, Reinhart in. Or at least the window is open if Reinhart is up to the task.

    I think PC would prefer not to lose Reinhart for nothing.

  128. N64 says:

    Lowetide: Ay. Yiy yiy.

    “we might want to prepare for an alignment that includes 8D after the deadline”. (LT, Feb 2).

    Presto. We’re here early.

    Most of the ELC bonuses require 42 games. We know for sure that you have to have room for any bonuses you can reach even if you don’t reach them. But do you have to have room for bonuses that are impossible when you are called up late in the season? And even if so the room would only be pro-rata for games up. So I suspect GR’s eval starts early and 8D gives them the flexibility to coach and motivate and send back down for playing time. Then Nurse comes back and the trade deadline in whichever order. Interesting times for 8.

  129. N64 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Android,

    I think your reasoning makes sense and I hope that you are right. If the verbal on Reinhart is an indication, and this organization seems to do this with the media, then we could be seeing Davidson out, Reinhart in. Or at least the window is open if Reinhart is up to the task.

    I think PC would prefer not to lose Reinhart for nothing.

    Any progress he’s making in Bakersfield was probably visible to Vegas so might as well check what was in the oven. Still may go back down and up again before the end.

  130. Scungilli says:

    godot10: The coach is telling them how to play offense, and there are playing his systems.The coach is asking them to play a puck retrieval game instead of a puck possession game.Nugent-Hopkins wouldn’t have been the #1OV pick if he played a puck retrieval game…he would have been an afterthought.

    I think you’re right that they are being asked to play a certain way. It’s not easy to suss tough, because their scoring is up a lot overall, possession is good and way better, their team play isn’t great still, Mclellan had the World Cup kids playing an attack style which was very effective so it’s in him, league wide a lot of players are off.

    One thing I’m seeing is that they cycle well and are better against it, but like the 00 Oilers they can cycle like crazy but do not get the puck to the net well consistently. Cycling without attack is pointless because your playing against the boards, safely away from the net.

  131. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    N64,

    Yep. No issue with checking what is there. Just pointing out they like to have us read the tea leaves in this organization so they are laying the groundwork for an eventual move.

  132. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Scungilli,

    I remember watching Hall, Nuge Ebs cycle like demons against the Getzlaf and Perry line several years ago, playing keepaway, getting numerous shots and beating the bigger but slower Ducks’ stars to the loose pucks, and thinking the team was on the cusp of terrific things.

    Not a criticism. Just a memory.

  133. McSorley33 says:

    The body of work by some forwards – playing behind McDavid – is becoming something to behold.

    LT’s summary of RNH was deadly accurate. And it is a summary we could repeat a lot down the final stretch…..

    Talbot and McDavid….but there is a darker flip side to that oiler coin and they both make 6 million dollars per year.

    This summer there may be a sail on caption coming…..

  134. Centre of attention says:

    McSorley33,

    Pretty sure the coach and the GM “have time” for Nugent Hopkins. He does what he’s told and besides getting sick / injured at times, he’s usually pretty consistent in his effort.

    I’m equally sure that Eberle doesn’t finish his current contract as an Oiler.

  135. McSorley33 says:

    npanciroli,

    There were a few posters last year that questioned RNH’s game and the PR machines offerings of his play.

    My how things change in here……

  136. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Moose: Put this man in the Hall of Fame! The HHOF could have an entire wing with Drake and his former assistants who have gone on to great things. Clare Drake should already be in the HHOF.

    No kidding. I’ve been banging that drum myself for quite some time, as have a whole lot of actual hockey people, 33 of whom supported his Hall of Fame nomination that was somehow ignored by the selection committee. As I keep saying, that glaring omission says more about the Hall of Fame itself than it does about Clare Drake.

    Amazing to me that a person can claim (or more to the point, that someone else could claim on his behalf cuz he’s too modest) one degree of separation from Canada’s first men’s Olympic team (1920) to Canada’s last men’s Olympic team (2014). Oh yeah, and to the first women’s Olympic team (1998). Just a wonderful legacy.

  137. GCW_69 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I want 93 going and outscoring from his line vs the opposition’s best.

    67-93-14 haven’t been able to do that this year.

    He needs high end help to get it done.

    I don’t see Hall on the roster, so the best option is Drai.

    Leon is a left shot. You could run:

    Maroon – McDavid – Sleppy

    Leon – Nuge – Eberle

    Lucic – Drake/Lander – Pouliot/Kassian

    Pouliot has done some time on the off wing in the past, and has he not?

    The third line would be an adventure, but the top two lines should work.

    I still think they should take a run at Ryan Strome. Having him as an option to flip between 3C and 1RW really helps this roster.

  138. Scungilli says:

    I hope Reinhart gets chosen to save Chiarelli from himself. My greatest fear when he was hired was turning the Oilers into a plodding team. I really don’t like slow plodding hockey, and it doesn’t usually win in the end, speed and skill does. LA is the anomaly in the last 10 years and is increasingly worse every year since.

    That is not Oiler hockey, it’s east coast hockey from 10 years ago. The league has moved far away from what worked on his cup run, and if Vigneault didn’t have his team play like thugs right into the Bruins playbook Vancouver would have taken Boston out in 5 IMO.

    The Oilers especially with McDavid should be a high tempo fast attack based team that can defend. The hard to get pieces are already there. I think teams today are best built with good defending mobile D that can pass and fast aggressive skilled forwards, a good goalie and a top end defenseman that can score if you can find one, but that isn’t necessary. Sort of like the glory Oilers actually.

  139. GCW_69 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Its killing me.

    All of Nuge, Eberle, Lucic have been 1st line players in this league for a long time and are not at the age where they fall apart.

    It may be a systems thing. TMac wouldn’t be the first coach so in love with his system he forgets to check if his players are a fit with it.

  140. Bruce McCurdy says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    Wasn’t there supposed to be an issue with Bonus money if they called up Reinhardt?

    Am I making that up?

    I think its time to pull the trigger on a deal to bring in a shooting winger or 3 C. Give the team as much time as possible to gel.

    No, it’s a thing, but a lot less of one after 42 GP after which Reinhart is formally ineligible to earn some of those bonuses. The Oilers do have a little room under the cap, though how much isn’t too clear given the bonuses of McDavid & Draisaitl which are not just hypothetical beasts but will actually be paid out to a significant degree.

    Does anybody know of any source that records bonuses actually paid? You always see the dichotomy between salary and salary plus bonuses, but a past history saying “McDavid earned $2.1 MM of his bonuses in 2015-16” would be a useful reference.

  141. verite says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    They are garbage
    Admit it

  142. --hudson-- says:

    The Oilers just recalled Griff and Oesterle

    I wonder who gets dressed tomorrow

    Edit: never mind, it happened about 4 hours ago
    https://mobile.twitter.com/EdmontonOilers/status/827930354589790215

  143. verite says:

    McSorley33,

    Some of us knew he was garbage years ago
    But this blog senselessly defends him
    flush him out of town this weekend

  144. bendelson says:

    It seems clear this team will go only as far as the Steve Austins will take them…
    The good news is they can be rebuilt – better, stronger, faster.
    The bad news is TMac is no Oscar Goldman.

  145. Android says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I Definitely agree on Reinhart. It must be bad enough for Chia that the trade didn’t pan out at all the way he had wanted. Losing him to LV for nothing would be rubbing chlorine into the wounds.

    If Reinhart can get a foot in the door here, I think it will spell the end of someone’s tenure as an Oiler.

  146. N64 says:

    Confused: Chip and chase is defensively quite safe.

    On any night your cycle game is poor and your opponent enters easily its not a safe choice.

  147. treevojo says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    On another note, you can call me crazy but I would try to sign Leon and McDavid to bridge deals.

    2 x 4.25m for Leon
    Handing out big, long-term deals (Steve Austins) based on early potential has handcuffed this team. Eberle never got back to his 34 goal year. Nuge’s offense peaked his rookie year, etc.

    You could say, Leon is different. He has size and a hockey brain and he will score 30 this year. But we have seen him produce with Hall and produce with McDavid. You could also say that he produces a reasomable 5v5 pts/gm number away from Hall and away from McDavid. I concede those points.

    However, we have yet to see him run a line himself without those two high end offensive forces for a long stretch and show he can continue to produce (even if at a lower level).

    Will you sign him to 8 years x 7m now for being a 70-point wing with McDavid? Would you sign him to 8 years x 7m for being a 55-point C on his own line?

    Now, we know Drai is likely a 70-point+ winger for McDavid now and in the future. But we don’t yet know what he could be as a 2C on his own line. I would like to find out in the next two years before we pay him a huge contract.

    2 x 7.5m for McDavid. I then offer McDavid 8 x whatever he wants for the remaining two RFA years and six UFA years. It would be the richest bridge deal in history. I want McDavid in Oiler silks for as long as possible. I would not go 3 years on a bridge deal (same for Drai by the way) so that they are only a year away from UFA. Too risky. But two years away you still have some leverage.

    My reasoning is this. If you sign McDavid to an 8 year deal at, say 10m per, what is your actual breakdown on RFA years vs UFA years? First two RFA years are probably worth arouns 7.5m no? And from there it ramps up until the UFA years are worth 12m or whatever it may be. This is simply separating that out.

    I tell Connor that the lower cap hit on a bridge deal allows the team to build a winner around him. In 2 years a lot of money will be off the books. Eberle, Pouliot, Fayne, etc. etc. The team can spend the next two seasons pursuing guys who can help him win.

    Hopefully there is a Cup run in year 2 of that deal (remember he has one more ELC year left so that is 3 years from now). And that has free agents signing for cheap to play on a winner.

    You then offer the 8 year deal and you get McDavid for a minimum of 13 years in Oiler silks. And you bank on a winning culture and a good team to surround him with.

    If Chia goes and signs Leon and McDavid to 8 year, mega deals too soon, it kills the team’s flexibility in terms of adding key pieces. Then the team has to rely on cheap ELC talent, but as LT has said the prospect cupboard is pretty bare at the moment. That won’t work. Chia is building a team towards competing in the next two years. So if I were him I would add key vets in the next two years while keeping the most flexibility I can. Then Leon can get Eberle money+ if he has proved himself as a 2C, McDavid can still ask for the moon, etc.

    Now, please all proceed to call me crazy and say we need to sign them to 8x7m and 8x11m asap.

    If I’m Connors agent.

    I am telling chiarelli the only contract my client is willing to sign is 4x 9.7 mil.

    And then tell Chiarelli the third contract will be extended based on his ability to build a winning team around my client.

  148. Centre of attention says:

    Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 3m3 minutes ago
    More
    Sources say Coyotes ownership shocked by ASU’s decision yesterday to pull out of arena project. Doesn’t sound like there’s a backup plan…

  149. stevezie says:

    bendelson: The bad news is TMac is no Oscar Goldman.

    “Is that the six million dollar man’s boss? Why do you have this???”
    “That’s worth a lot of money. That’s much more valuable than Steve Austin.”
    Oscar Goldman. Classic.

    Android:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    I Definitely agree on Reinhart. It must be bad enough for Chia that the trade didn’t pan out at all the way he had wanted. Losing him to LV for nothing would be rubbing chlorine into the wounds.

    If Reinhart can get a foot in the door here, I think it will spell the end of someone’s tenure as an Oiler.

    disagree. No one hated that trade at the time more than me (I’m hella smart), but the “get over it” crowd is right.

    Reinhart is not his acquirement cost. He is only Reinhart. If we lose him it means we didn’t lose someone better.

    That trade has already been long lost. Reinhart to LV might actually be the best way to salvage it.

  150. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    treevojo,

    Of course if I am going to be like Boras’ hockey equivalent and break new ground for contracts, absolutely.

    If that is the direction things are going 8 years, 2 years the discussion is moot.

    9.7m per for 4 RFA years would be unprecedented. It will get ugly if thinga go in that direction.

  151. meanashell11 says:

    treevojo: If I’m Connors agent.

    I am telling chiarelli the only contract my client is willing to sign is 4x 9.7 mil.

    And then tell Chiarelli the third contract will be extended based on his ability to build a winning team around my client.

    And in year 3 he gets a career ending injury. May have to fire that agent.

  152. Scungilli says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker":
    Scungilli,

    I remember watching Hall, Nuge Ebs cycle like demons against the Getzlaf and Perry line several years ago, playing keepaway, getting numerous shots and beating the bigger but slower Ducks’ stars to the loose pucks, and thinking the team was on the cusp of terrific things.

    Not a criticism. Just a memory.

    None taken. They had their moments for sure, I think consistency was a problem though, like now. I also think Hall and Nuge did the yoeman’s work 🙂

    I came across this article and I hope this is what McLellan is trying to do. I think they are grooming the players and what we see now isn’t the end goal. With the skill they have they should be able to do more. Aggressiveness, give the players mental room to play:

    http://www.twincities.com/2016/10/12/minnesota-wild-bruce-boudreau-st-louis-blues-anaheim-ducks/

  153. treevojo says:

    meanashell11,

    Malkin signed his second contract.

    5 x 8.7

  154. speeds says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Also Puljujarvi is off the roster now,; I haven’t done the math on that, but that could be an issue.

  155. treevojo says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    treevojo,

    Of course if I am going to be like Boras’ hockey equivalent and break new ground for contracts, absolutely.

    If that is the direction things are going 8 years, 2 years the discussion is moot.

    9.7m per for 4 RFA years would be unprecedented. It will get ugly if thinga go in that direction.

    What choice would chia have?

    It’s not that off the wall.

    Malkin and stamkos only gave up one ufa year.

    Worked out for both those players and both those teams in the long run.

    I think I would rather 4 x 9.7 then say 8 x 12.5.

  156. treevojo says:

    Looking things over again I would go 5 years x 9.7.

    The 5th year would be max signing bonus for the lockout coming up.

    This would also give me the ability to negotiate the 3rd contract under the new cba if I choose or sign my 8 year extension if it looks like the contractual landscape will be worse post cba.

  157. bassguy says:

    thanks so much for your great work LT!

  158. B S says:

    treevojo: 8 x 12.5.

    would be absurd. it would be more than Kane and Toew’s 3rd contracts, after they’d won stanley cups, and it would be half rfa years. I won’t be surprised if the agent asks for that, but it would cripple the team out of contention for at least a few years, assuming the cap ever goes up. Even for McDavid I think Chia would be a fool to sign that, so would McDavid if he wants a cup or 4.

  159. Lloyd B. says:

    treevojo,

    38.8Mil vs 100M guaranteed. I’d go long. No injury risk.

    He’ll only be 29 years old at the end of the deal. Still a few bucks to be made.

    Agree with BS though. Handcuffs the team for long term success.

    I’m hoping he goes 8 x 8.5AAV. I know it’s light compared to what he could get.

    Crosby, Malkin, Tavares range. Those two contracts in Chicago will be millstones.

    Endorsements for a multiple cup winning, Olympic champion, face of the league player, will more than make up the difference.

  160. godot10 says:

    meanashell11: And in year 3 he gets a career ending injury. May have to fire that agent.

    Escrow is around 20%. 8 x $9.7 million locks one into a bad deal. Better to go 4 x $9.7 million, wait for the new CBA to fix the escrow problem, and buy injury insurance.

    4 years also keeps the heat on Chiarelli and McLellan. The superstar player loses “control” if he signs for 8 years.

    If McDavid signs an 8 year deal, with the uncertainty of the new CBA, and the existing escrow problem it is likely going to be 8 x the NHL max, which is 20%(?) of the cap.

  161. Android says:

    stevezie: disagree. No one hated that trade at the time more than me (I’m hella smart), but the “get over it” crowd is right.

    Reinhart is not his acquirement cost. He is only Reinhart. If we lose him it means we didn’t lose someone better.

    That trade has already been long lost. Reinhart to LV might actually be the best way to salvage it.

    I just want to clarify that I wasn’t saying that it would be horrible to have LV take Reinhart in terms of sunk costs.

    What I meant was that from Chiarelli’s point of view, it would probably sting for him to lose Reinhart after paying the cost and taking the flak he has, especially after his bet didn’t pay off like he had hoped.

    It’s easy enough for us to move on from him. I think it will be a lot harder for Chia.

  162. treevojo says:

    godot10: What if McDavid says he will only sign a 4 x $10 million dollar deal?Because he wants to wait for the next CBA and the escrow problem to be solvedbefore signing long term.

    He certainly knows that he can go out into the market and get a 4 x $10 million dollar offersheet.

    Hey godot

    Just caught up to this point on the comments.

    I see we are thinking the same thing.

    The more I think about it the more I think this or something similar is the line his agent will take.

  163. godot10 says:

    Scungilli: None taken. They had their moments for sure, I think consistency was a problem though, like now. I also think Hall and Nuge did the yoeman’s work 🙂

    I came across this article and I hope this is what McLellan is trying to do. I think they are grooming the players and what we see now isn’t the end goal. With the skill they have they should be able to do more. Aggressiveness, give the players mental room to play:

    http://www.twincities.com/2016/10/12/minnesota-wild-bruce-boudreau-st-louis-blues-anaheim-ducks/

    McLellan sounds more like the anti-Boudreau than another Boudreau.

    Minnesota is playing loose and free. Most of the Oilers veteran forwards are playing like they have balls and chains on both legs.

  164. Scungilli says:

    Lloyd B.:
    treevojo,

    38.8Mil vs 100M guaranteed.I’d go long.No injury risk.

    He’ll only be 29 years old at the end of the deal.Still a few bucks to be made.

    Agree with BS though.Handcuffs the team for long term success.

    I’m hoping he goes 8 x 8.5AAV.I know it’s light compared to what he could get.

    Crosby, Malkin, Tavares range. Those two contracts in Chicago will be millstones.

    Endorsements for a multiple cup winning, Olympic champion, face of the league player, will more than make up the difference.

    I don’t want them to have to sign McDavid at 29 as a UFA. That will be when he is most expensive.

  165. stevezie says:

    Android,

    Ah yes. The demon ego. True, true.

  166. who says:

    Scungilli: I don’t want them to have to sign McDavid at 29 as a UFA. That will be when he is most expensive.

    I think most fans would be happy to see him stay here until he is 29. There is a very reasonable chance he could be gone at 25, or earlier if it doesn’t look like he wants to sign long term.

  167. Chachi says:

    godot10: Escrow is around 20%. 8 x $9.7 million locks one into a bad deal.Better to go 4 x $9.7 million, wait for the new CBA to fix the escrow problem, and buy injury insurance.

    4 years also keeps the heat on Chiarelli and McLellan.The superstar player loses “control” if he signs for 8 years.

    If McDavid signs an 8 year deal, with the uncertainty of the new CBA, and the existing escrow problem it is likely going to be 8 x the NHL max, which is 20%(?) of the cap.

    Escrow is currently around 15%. If revenue holds about the same as last year players will get 2-3% back.

  168. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    The whole “one line team” got me thinking about how the Oilers stack up so I wrote a bit today on it.

    *****SPAM******

    New Because Oilers:

    Are the Oilers a one line team? I look at every team with their star on/off ice to find out.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.ca/2017/02/how-good-are-nhl-teams-when-their-best.html

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

  169. pocession charge says:

    The Leafs have really been struggling lately. Must be the coaching/systems. Babcock likely changed his systems in January — that would explain it.

  170. pocession charge says:

    godot10: McLellan sounds more like the anti-Boudreau than another Boudreau.

    Minnesota is playing loose and free.Most of the Oilers veteran forwards are playing like they have balls and chains on both legs.

    Boudreau must wait for playoff game 7’s to add the balls and chains.

  171. fifthcartel says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I think they need to move Draisaitl off McDavid’s line.

  172. treevojo says:

    Lloyd B.:
    treevojo,

    38.8Mil vs 100M guaranteed.I’d go long.No injury risk.

    He’ll only be 29 years old at the end of the deal.Still a few bucks to be made.

    Agree with BS though.Handcuffs the team for long term success.

    I’m hoping he goes 8 x 8.5AAV.I know it’s light compared to what he could get.

    Crosby, Malkin, Tavares range. Those two contracts in Chicago will be millstones.

    Endorsements for a multiple cup winning, Olympic champion, face of the league player, will more than make up the difference.

    Ya sorry to confuse.

    I went away from being his agent and was thinking personally as an oiler fan I would rather 4 x 9.7 rather then 8 x 12.5.

    If I’m his agent I take 8 x 12.5. I do work for commission after all.

    If I’m Connor I’m thinking that may limit the ability of having a quality team around me so I’m not sure.

    But 100mil would be hard to say no to.

  173. spoiler says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Very nice!

    That SCF% WO97 is a pretty scary number, geez.

  174. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Playoff odds must have dipped 10-12% in the past 3 games. Pretty disconcerting. Knew february would be tough but this stretch is bad. Eberle’s going to be traded for a nickel just like Hall and will regress hard to the meat when all is said and done. Maybe Pulju isn’t the sniper we thought he would be, 3 professional goals in NA with a shit load of rubber thrown on net. Arghh

  175. Android says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    Hope this cheers you up a bit:

    Hockey Reference has the Oilers at 95.4% to make the playoffs.
    http://www.hockey-reference.com/friv/playoff_prob.cgi

    Sports Club Stats has them at 97.9%
    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html

    And Playoff Status has them at 91%.
    http://www.playoffstatus.com/nhl/nhlpostseasonprob.html

  176. Android says:

    stevezie,

    Let’s hope he beats his demons. 😉

  177. Bruce McCurdy says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Playoff odds must have dipped 10-12% in the past 3 games. Pretty disconcerting. Knew february would be tough but this stretch is bad. Eberle’s going to be traded for a nickel just like Hall and will regress hard to the meat when all is said and done. Maybe Pulju isn’t the sniper we thought he would be, 3 professional goals in NA with a shit load of rubber thrown on net. Arghh

    For a nickel, eh.

  178. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    spoiler:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Very nice!

    That SCF% WO97 is a pretty scary number, geez.

    Thanks!

    yeah, it blew me away.

    yeeeeesh

  179. rickithebear says:

    puljujarvi:
    14-15 SM-ligga reg 6.2 SH%
    15-16 SM-ligga reg 7.4 SH%
    15-16 SM-ligga playoff 8.3 SH%
    16-17 NHL reg 2.4 SH%
    16-17 AHL reg 7.4 SH%

  180. Pouzar says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker":
    Scungilli,

    I remember watching Hall, Nuge Ebs cycle like demons against the Getzlaf and Perry line several years ago, playing keepaway, getting numerous shots and beating the bigger but slower Ducks’ stars to the loose pucks, and thinking the team was on the cusp of terrific things.

    Not a criticism. Just a memory.

    Exactly how I remember it as well. No clue what happened.

  181. stevezie says:

    Pouzar,

    I have been (and remain) a vocal Chia critic, but I think I have to cut him a bit of slack for the one-line team- Chia clearly built a two-line team*. I cannot tell you why Nuge and Eberle are having so much trouble this year.

    That said, I think a lot of it is perception. Most of their scoring deficit is from the dearth of powerplay production. Even strenght they’re not that far off their usual pace.

    Could be the problem is Lucic and Pouliot are both having the worst season of their careers at the same time.

    Or maybe Godot is right? I don’t know, but as a Nuge believer I am frustrated.

    *Could have been a three line team but I digress.

  182. godot10 says:

    Pouzar: Exactly how I remember it as well. No clue what happened.

    The Oilers fired the flexible coaches who adapted systems to the talent at hand, and hired fixed systems coaches instead.

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