GRINDHOUSE

It was a difficult, strange week for the Edmonton Oilers, but the final game got the team two important points and their first win of February. Well played? In spurts, and by some. The ice seemed chippy, as did the play, and the Oilers could have scored a couple with better luck and aim. No matter. We are on to holidays.

THE FRENCH SONG, 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: 1-2-0, goal differential -3
  • Oilers after 55, 2015-16: 21-29-5, goal differential -30
  • Oilers after 55, 2016-17: 29-18-8, goal differential +15

Edmonton reaches the week off in a damned good spot, and that’s for sure. This should be the last hurdle for the Oilers on the way to the postseason, and winning yesterday in Montreal was a big step to their goal. I understand it wasn’t a Rembrandt, but two points is all that matters from now through the moment Edmonton clinches a playoff spot.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY

  • On the road to: Nashville, Carolina, Montreal (Expected: 1-1-1) (Actual 1-2-0)
  • At home to: Chicago, Arizona, Philadelphia (Expected: 1-1-1)
  • On the road to: Chicago, Tampa Bay, Florida, Washington, Nashville, St. Louis (2-3-1)
  • Overall expected result: 4-5-3, 11 points in 12 games

I had the club getting three points on the road, they fell shy. No big item, avoiding a losing streak is the key and if they go 2-1-0 next week it will be back to do (re-mi). Cam Talbot had an amazing road trip, going 1-2-0 despite a .947 save percentage.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Davidson—Gryba went 16-7 in 12:25 together, 9-4 against Pacioretty—Danault—Radulov line. The pairing was positive in possession with all lines but Nuge (4-6) and were smooth sailing except for Gryba’s suicide short passes. Needs to stop doing that, poor Letestu is going to get killed.
  • Sekera—Oesterle went 14-11 in 13:39 together. Went 4-6 against Lehkonen—Plekanec—Shaw. I think Oesterle’s speed helped Sekera, who makes really good decisions when he has time and space. As a one-off, Oesterle helped himself in terms of recall.
  • Klefbom—Larsson had the lowest possession number of the pairings, but I thought Larsson was Edmonton’s best defender on the team. He rides forwards out of the play, closes gaps and takes good angles, uses all the time available—but no more. Dozens of little things to like about him. Went 15-14 in 17:13 together, they were just 5-10 with 97 alongside, though. Went 4-5 against Pacioretty—Danault—Radulov line.
  • Talbot stopped 25 of 25. His overall SP is .921 (ranks No. 8), his EV SP is .926 (ranks No. 11), PP .898 (ranks No. 4). That is a fantastic season.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Lander—Letestu—Kassian went 6-2 together, Lander adds to the line and helps the PK. I think the Oilers want Jujhar Khaira there eventually, but Lander is a handy player to have around—and he is a better NHL player today than Matt Hendricks. Events went 3-2 against the Pacioretty—Danault—Radulov line.
  • Maroon—McDavid—Draisaitl line did what they always do, provide the offense (although it came in the shootout) that makes the difference. Shameful Shaw slew foot against McDavid was the nadir of the contest, the Habs have been on my shyte list since I was a kid and that didn’t help. Eight shots for the line, how they didn’t score is a mystery to me (although the referees authored something). Went 8-5 against Lehkonen—Plekanec—Shaw.
  • Lucic—Nuge—Eberle went 11-12 together, and 5-3 against Byron—Desharnais—Galchenyuk. The line had nine shots on goal, but they simply are not a factor in games. Eberle is in real danger of having a Bob Sebra season.
  • Pouliot—Caggiula—Slepyshev worked hard and had some good moments, mostly getting the puck through the neutral zone and into the opposition end. That is the role of the fourth line, and they have had more effective nights. Didn’t give up a goal, that is a good thing.
  • Stats via NHL.com, Natural Stat Trick and HockeyStats.ca.

Tyler Johnson would be a dandy fit, although the price would be substantial (he is RFA after this year, according to CapFriendly).

TYLER JOHNSON IN A BOX (2016-17)

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.50
  • 5×4 points per 60: 5.03
  • Corsi For 5×5 %: 48.8 (last among regular forwards)
  • Corsi Rel: -3.7 percent (last among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 100/16.0
  • Boxcars: 53gp, 16-17-33

Johnson has taken almost 900 faceoffs and is 52.1 percent in the dot—meaning, he could help out there, too. Johnson is not a volume shooter but he is an effective right shot on the power play (5-9-14 this year with the man advantage). What would it take? A good NHL defenseman under control, I imagine.

CURRENT STANDINGS

I was reminded yesterday about how difficult it is to catch anyone in the Bettman era. Entering play yesterday, Calgary had three wins in a row, Edmonton three losses. The Flames had pulled within seven points of their Alberta rival, and could be five back by midnight. Instead, the Oilers grab two points from a game they didn’t score during regular time, and Calgary’s wobble pairing coughs up a game where points were available. Back to nine points behind in a heartbeat. Damned frustrating.

OILERS 5X5 NUMBERS

  • Goals For: 101 (rank No. 9)
  • Goals Against: 93 (rank No. 14)
  • Goals For Percentage: 52.1 (rank No. 10)
  • Shots For Per 60: 29.8 (rank No. 10)
  • Shots Against Per 60: 28.7 (rank No. 10)
  • Fenwick: 50.9 (rank No. 10)
  • Corsi: 50.5 (rank No. 15)
  • Shooting Percentage: 7.63 (rank No. 17)
  • Save Percentage: 92.71 (rank No. 8)
  • PDO: 100.3 (rank No. 13)
  • Source

Those are terrific numbers considering where this team was a year or two ago. The comments I get here and what I read online (less on twitter these, my goodness people hate the Oilers) suggest a real impatience with where the club needs to go, and I understand that for sure. Still, it takes time to build something worthwhile and if we use a five-year window, Peter Chiarelli is less than halfway through. There has been progress, these numbers confirm.

MY COMPLIMENTS TO YOU

I have been waiting for the post here at Lowetide, the DM, or the email, and it never came. I would like to thank you, because it would have been an unnecessary conversation. The communication I expected was something like this: It must pain you greatly to see the Oilers turn north in the season after Hall was traded and Tyler Dellow moved along.

I genuinely expected that to arrive at my inbox long ago. One of the things we have always tried to do here is think beyond to first retort, to go past the I was right, you were wrong verbal that plagues so much of the Al Gore. I believe the Oilers would have been better with Hall and Dellow, some believe other things. Part of the issue, when we tackle these issues and ideas, is keeping an open mind.

I thank you for it, sincerely. If we constantly remind each other of how smart we are, that leaves less time for the actual conversation that leads to a greater knowledge. Did Tyler Dellow help the Oilers find Andrej Sekera? I cannot say for sure, but do know he would have been available, making himself useful, and that some of the success of this Oilers team is probably his doing. Same with Hall, as we see the continued development of Leon Draisaitl this season.

A nuanced conversation. That’s all we can offer each other, but it is quite a lot. Thanks for being you, it makes this place fun when all users bring their best and are open to ideas that do not march in lock step with their own. In this day, in these days, it is a fairly rare forum.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, lots of hockey and Super Bowl talk. Scheduled to appear, TSN 1260, beginning at 10:

  • Scott Burnside, ESPN. Boston Bruins in peril, Oilers in a secure spot.
  • Simon Boisvert, Hockey Insider. Update on Oilers prospect progress, and Simon was involved in the recent California Golden Seals documentary, so we will chat about it.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Tom Brady, Oilers at their break.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. What a special Super Bowl. Best ever?

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

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131 Responses to "GRINDHOUSE"

  1. Clarkenstein says:

    Maybe Dellow would have been a better GM than MacT… hell LT you would have been a better GM than MacT. But probably not!

  2. Lowetide says:

    Clarkenstein:
    Maybe Dellow would have been a better GM than MacT… hell LT you would have been a better GM than MacT.But probably not!

    Haha. Marc Pouliot would have been a great 3C! 🙂

  3. hunter1909 says:

    Thankfully Oilers won last night.

    Eberle and RNH sure stopped driving offense. I’d keep both until one playoff season minimum to assess their heart and desire to play properly, because Eberle plays like he’s Phil Kessel(bad) out there a lot recently. RNH is defensively sound but his offense has similarly vanished.

    Hope they both snap out of whatever ails them soon. “No threat to score” suits neither of these fine players.

  4. Mr. D. says:

    Long suicide passes get you killed. Short passes get you out of the zone. Good for Letestu for supporting his D.

  5. hunter1909 says:

    Clarkenstein: Maybe Dellow would have been a better GM than MacT

    MacT delivered McDavid.

    close thread : p

  6. Jethro Tull says:

    Listed at 5’8″ and 185lbs, Tyler Johnson isn’t your typical Chia type player, unless he has a nasty streak wider than he is tall.

    Habs are reportedly looking for a center, so he could be a better fit there then Hanzel, which was also rumoured.

    My wish list is, in order of dreamy-ness/60:
    F:
    Duchene
    Hanzel
    Johnson
    D:
    Shattenkirk

    Oh, and i don’t want to spend any picks or trade any players for the above and i want guarantees that they sign for extremely friendly contracts.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Mr. D.:
    Long suicide passes get you killed. Short passes get you out of the zone. Good for Letestu for supporting his D.

    He turned the puck over. It was a ridiculous pass by Gryba.

  8. Yeti says:

    LT – how upset (or not) would you be if the Oil do nothing at the deadline, simply stay the course, qualify for a playoff round or two, call it development, and wait for the post-expansion froth to subside before making moves? Is that prudent or stupid?

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Lowetide: Haha. Marc Pouliot would have been a great 3C! 🙂

    He can move up from time to time to the top lines with Jani Rita and of course 600 goal man Schremp.

  10. npanciroli says:

    hunter1909,

    It’s weird watching them. It’s like they lost their creativity. I did see it a bit in 3 on 3 with Eberle but I wonder if they are overthinking the expectations in the O-zone? Hard to say and doesn’t explain Lucic.

    Mr. D.,

    I also noticed this more in the Montreal game. Forwards helped get pucks out of the zone rather than chipping it off the glass. Nice to see.

  11. npanciroli says:

    This feels like the week for a trade? Maybe we see Davidson gone?

  12. meanashell11 says:

    LT, just hit the donate button. Keep up the good work!

    Go Patriots!!!!!

  13. Lowetide says:

    Yeti:
    LT – how upset (or not) would you be if the Oil do nothing at the deadline, simply stay the course, qualify for a playoff round or two, call it development, and wait for the post-expansion froth to subside before making moves? Is that prudent or stupid?

    I would be fine with it, to be honest Depends on what is out there of course, but you have to play the hand dealt.

  14. hunter1909 says:

    Yeti:
    LT – how upset (or not) would you be if the Oil do nothing at the deadline, simply stay the course, qualify for a playoff round or two, call it development, and wait for the post-expansion froth to subside before making moves? Is that prudent or stupid?

    This is a great question. Either answer can work.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    npanciroli: It’s weird watching them. It’s like they lost their creativity.

    I’d agree with RNH. The good part is, he’s valuable out there doing something.

    Eberle however just doesn’t play hard enough. One game a few games back he was motivated and skated twice as far per shift – and got all sorts of action. Who can blame him? The team blows and he wants to see the playoffs. If he still blows who knows, but keep him for Glen Sather’s sake.

  16. kinger_OIL says:

    hunter1909,

    – Great post LT! We used to have Taylor Hall? Who is this Tyler fellow!

    – Seeing Ebs/RNH struggle is a real eye-opener to just how bad this team was pre-Chia. Now granted they aren’t playing with Hall anymore, and that explains some of the drop off but that they aren’t able to post good numbers against lesser comp and Pou has fallen off a cliff. What an awful previous mix

  17. Rocknrolla says:

    Have not heard the term “Clinch” in a long, long, long time while following this team. Thank Gord times, they are a changin…

  18. bendelson says:

    I feel for the Atlanta fans this morning. As a Seahawks fan I know how it feels to gift Brady and Hoodie a Super Bowl. Decision making under pressure – it’s a thing.

    _____

    When was the last time the Oilers played to a 0-0 draw in regulation?
    It doesn’t happened often… And then win the game? Music!

  19. npanciroli says:

    kinger_OIL,

    It’s nice to think about how much better this team is this year.

    22 more pts, 45 increase in goal differential.

  20. DBO says:

    Davidson’s stock will rise. Like most here I hope they find a way to keep him, but with Nurse around the corner, we have so much LD depth, it makes sense to get something for a good asset. Solid asset management turns your surplus into a fix for a glaring need.

    As much as a RD PP guy would help, I really believe 3C is our issue. Unless they plan to let Lander run (I would, give him real linemates and he can help) then they need an upgrade. Caggulia is the new Cogliano. Potential, grit, speed but I believe he will be so much more effective as a Winger then a centre.

    Davidson, Pouliot, next year’s 1st rd pick, 2018 1st rd pick. Seems like the top 4 pieces on table plus the leftorium in the minors. The biggest issue I see is the expansion draft. |Whatever you do, you need to include that factor in order to ensure you aren’t forced to expose someone else (like Maroon).

  21. kinger_OIL says:

    npanciroli:
    kinger_OIL,

    It’s nice to think about how much better this team is this year.

    22 more pts, 45 increase in goal differential.

    – It is remarkable. And that game yesterday showed a lot. I fell in the last 10 years given the schedule, they lose that game every time. They are a lot lot better, even with Ebs RNH and Pou playing well below what we have assumed is their standard level.

    – Ebs is scoring a bit to be fair, but if this was a Stanley Cup team, on the 2nd line they should be a terror to play against. The secondary scoring is coming elsewhere. If they ever find a gear we all believe they have, this team does damage

    – I suspect they will continue to underwhelm, and team will be retooled more in off-season

  22. russ99 says:

    Looking forward to these guys getting off the break and not being so tense, playing more controlled and having success on offense and defense.

    The hockey season is a tough grind, and anytime they can get this kind of time to recuperate can only help us, plus the break is long enough where they can make their own momentum going forward.

    A move or two by Chiarelli before Friday could also work wonders, and be less disruptive than around the deadline.

  23. John Chambers says:

    How’s this guy for a diamond in the rough:

    Nick Holden plays the second most minutes on the Ranger blue at around 20:30 / game. He’s near .5 pts/gm all well swallowing up a ton of PK mins.

    Signed as a UFA from Colorado.

    Who knew? I guess Jeff Gorton.

  24. Bruce McCurdy says:

    npanciroli:
    This feels like the week for a trade? Maybe we see Davidson gone?

    Do you have an acquisition in mind? Or is getting rid of Davidson the end goal here?

  25. stephen sheps says:

    stephen sheps: meanashell11:
    stephen sheps,
    That’s too bad, I love the Patriots! Want to put a $10 wager/donation to LT on the table!
    I don’t normally gamble and it’s not like I’m an actual falcons fan, but yes. yes I do.
    That said, I feel like the loser should put up $20 and the winner $10 so that regardless of the outcome of the game, LT still wins.

    From yesterday’s thread – I’ve done my part. $20 sent via the paypal button.
    Hatrd the result, but it was a hell of a game!

  26. Southern Oil says:

    bendelson:
    I feel for the Atlanta fans this morning.As a Seahawks fan I know how it feels to gift Brady and Hoodie a Super Bowl.Decision making under pressure – it’s a thing.

    Thanks for the sympathies. This one hurts. I would have preferred a blowout loss vs. what happened. This morning I am hung over and pissed off. Not a good combination. Reminds me of the morning after back in 2006.

  27. Brantford Boy says:

    Can someone (LT?) shed some light on the ‘TK’ abbreviation… as in the chart for offense, Slepyshev ‘1 shot, 1 TK etc’… thanks… not getting it for some reason… cheers

  28. npanciroli says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    For me personally, a right handed forward to protect in the 7-3-1. Center that can move to wing always a good idea.

    Hard to see Davidson go though as I love him but sounds like a possibility based on Freidman and Stauffer.

  29. Ryan says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Do you have an acquisition in mind? Or is getting rid of Davidson the end goal here?

    We’re actually thin on defense with all of these injuries.

    What do you think about Linus Ullmark as a potentially cheap backup goalie option?

    First, he’s rumored to be available. Second… well the name is just awesome for Oilers fans…

    His AHL numbers are not good, but he had an okay run of 20 NHL games last season on a brutal Buffalo squad.

    By “buy low” I mean a bucket of pucks and a name off our 50 man.

    The play here is low expense and a player young enough to challenge for the role down the road.

  30. Yeti says:

    DBO: Davidson’s stock will rise. Like most here I hope they find a way to keep him, but with Nurse around the corner, we have so much LD depth, it makes sense to get something for a good asset. Solid asset management turns your surplus into a fix for a glaring need.

    You’re probably right. But if Davidson is the sacrifice we need to make to appease the gods of expansion, isn’t that worthy in its own right?

  31. Ducey says:

    npanciroli:
    This feels like the week for a trade? Maybe we see Davidson gone?

    Only feels like it to an Oiler fan because the team is off.

    Chia will need a trade partner, and lots of them are all in limbo, waiting for the picture to get clearer with the next win, loss, or something in between.

    In the east, only NJ, CAR, and NYI are out of it. In the west, just COL and ARI. All those GM’s are going to hold out hope that someone gets desperate and pays too much. No GM usually ever does.

    If any other GM sells at this point, they are going to be seen as giving up too early.

    I don’t think anything big will happen until much closer to the deadline. Same deal every year.

  32. Ducey says:

    Brantford Boy:
    Can someone (LT?) shed some light on the ‘TK’ abbreviation… as in the chart for offense, Slepyshev ‘1 shot, 1 TK etc’… thanks… not getting it for some reason… cheers

    Take away

  33. JJS says:

    I have always been a big supporter of Nuge but am starting to wonder whether he is a good fit for this team going forward. His last 18 months have been really poor.

    An effective second line center for this team needs to provide consistent offense. And we know the future is Drais.

    Perhaps Nuge is the trade chip for our RHD and a rental right winger is our short term goal for getting Drais back to his natural spot.

    Are we ‘trading away an asset for cents on the dollar’? Not sure but Nuge represents a $6M investment. That is meaningful money.

    Given his history and pedigree – I hope there is a market out there for him.

    I think Drais is the answer to unlocking this team’s potential which circles back to getting a shooter for the first line.

  34. PhrankLee says:

    I think Russell has the highest value he may have ever had in his career right now.

    I am in his camp firmly but he could get us a 2nd at the deadline or a 4th at the draft.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Brantford Boy:
    Can someone (LT?) shed some light on the ‘TK’ abbreviation… as in the chart for offense, Slepyshev ‘1 shot, 1 TK etc’… thanks… not getting it for some reason… cheers

    Takeaway.

  36. Brantford Boy says:

    Ducey,
    LT,

    Thanks!

  37. Edmonton_fan says:

    “I thought Larsson was Edmonton’s best defender on the team. He rides forwards out of the play, closes gaps and takes good angles, uses all the time available—but no more.”

    You just described Jan Hejda when he played in Edmonton – I used to say Hejda was a black hole since opposing forwards would vanish when they got too close to him… 😉

  38. meanashell11 says:

    stephen sheps: From yesterday’s thread – I’ve done my part. $20 sent via the paypal button.
    Hatrd the result, but it was a hell of a game!

    stephen sheps: From yesterday’s thread – I’ve done my part. $20 sent via the paypal button.
    Hatrd the result, but it was a hell of a game!

    Paid mine as well earlier!

    It was a great game, cannot believe how many people hate the Patriots. I would like to point out it was the same way with the Oilers in 1988!

  39. dustrock says:

    Have we ever run the offensive numbers and shooting percentage for RNH before and after his surgery? I think his defensive efforts might be part of the reason why he hasn’t been as effective on offence, but my old and very fallible human memory tells me he never seemed as dynamic after the surgery.

  40. Ryan says:

    JJS,

    There will lots of teams putting together packages for Matt Duchene. If he gets traded, there will be lesser bids that fall short.

    Potentially one of these teams might have a package that works for an RNH trade that we could capitalize on…

    Sort of like a reverse Reinhart trade strictly in the sense that the Oilers had assets burning a hole in their pocket that were originally allocated for a Hamilton trade.

  41. leadfarmer says:

    If woodguy is around could you run Jaccob Slavin through woodmoney. I got a feeling they got Adam Larsson with a 4th round pick. Good drafting. It’s a thing.

  42. Woogie63 says:

    GMoney’s heat mapping of the shots from the 27-93-14 line, explain where the offence has gone ….

  43. Pouzar says:

    How about dat Oesty eh?
    He’s better than Russell right now ffs.

  44. Ryan says:

    leadfarmer:
    If woodguy is around could you run Jaccob Slavin through woodmoney.I got a feeling they got Adam Larsson with a 4th round pick.Good drafting.It’s a thing.

    Okay, now you’re hitting below the belt by bringing up a successful draft pick from the 2012 draft that was selected in the fourth round.

  45. Roughneck says:

    Great post LT. On the veiled topic of the old Al Gore and the bastions of moral (anonymous) superiority.

    The last issue of Scientific american has a nice little piece on the “self enhancement” effect.
    I enjoyed this line a lot.

    “When comparing ourselves versus other people, we tend to rate ourselves more highly on a host of positive measures, including intelligence, ambition, friendliness, and modesty (ha)!”

    the reference to News from Lake Wobegon where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average” ……. was poignant… for the parent in me. LOL.

  46. russ99 says:

    For me the real comparison is RNH at the World Cup and RNH after, and McLellan was the coach of both. Seems like a totally different player.

    I don’t think it’s physical, more like it’s mental.

  47. npanciroli says:

    Pouzar:
    How about dat Oesty eh?
    He’s better than Russell right now ffs.

    I agree with this. Possible Russell signing is my biggest concern going forward.

    If he cost under 2 mil as a third pairing D I wouldn’t be concerned but we all know that isn’t going to happen.

    Ducey,

    I think also the 5 day bye week is a good time for the team to shake things up if they want.

  48. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    WC standings this morning using games. 8th place set to 0. Ties broken with pts% (games in hand)

    MIN 19
    SJS 13
    CHI 12
    ANA 9
    EDM 8
    NSH 3
    LAK 2
    STL 0
    ——————–
    CGY -1
    VAN -3
    WPG -4
    DAL -4
    ARI -14
    COL -22

    I am most fearful of LAK grabbing 3rd in the Pacific and pushing EDM to the wild card.

    Wildcard will play either MIN or SJS and that’s not a fun way to start the playoffs.

    Games tonight that mean something to the WC standings:

    STL @ PHI
    SJS @ BUF
    ANA @ NYR
    CGY @ PIT
    DAL @ TOR
    LAK @ TBY
    VAN @ NSH

    Wow, most of the WC is on a road trip in the EC.

    Pulling for the home teams tonight except I’d prefer VAN to win over NSH.

    WC games that don’t mean too much:

    MIN @ WPG
    MTL @ COL

    GO EC!!

    *clap,clap*

  49. Pouzar says:

    If the Oilers come out of that bye week with the same PP2 configuration I am going to f^cking lose it.
    I am not so thrilled with PP1 either but that McDavid kid gives you a fighting chance.

  50. John Chambers says:

    Ducey: Only feels like it to an Oiler fan because the team is off.

    Chia will need a trade partner, and lots of them are all in limbo, waiting for the picture to get clearer with the next win, loss, or something in between.

    In the east, only NJ, CAR, and NYI are out of it.In the west, just COL and ARI.All those GM’s are going to hold out hope that someone gets desperate and pays too much. No GM usually ever does.

    If any other GM sells at this point, they are going to be seen as giving up too early.

    I don’t think anything big will happen until much closer to the deadline.Same deal every year.

    I think Carolina and the Islanders are right in the thick of things. Either of them could have a good week and skip ahead of Boston.

  51. russ99 says:

    Russell’s re-signing is essential, unless we can replace him with say a Hamonic, which I don’t see us having the assets to do.

    One the expansion draft is over, We’ll have 3 defensemen who are stout defensively, two that are OK depending on the game, and a few unproven prospects.

    To win multiple playoff rounds, two good defensive zone pairs are an absolute requirement.

    Oesterle had a nice game yesterday, but let’s not assume anything with rookies.

  52. wchay says:

    hunter1909,

    Do we try swapping Dr Drai and Nuge? Inherently risky, as Drai hasn’t ever shown an ability to carry a line on his own…. but Nuge isn’t right now either. Is it worth a shot, to see if Drai can generate some 2L offence with Ebs and Lucic, and see if Nuge can deliver with a move to the wing like Drai did? Or am I just desperately grasping at straws?

  53. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    WC standings this morning using games. 8th place set to 0.Ties broken with pts% (games in hand)

    MIN19
    SJS13
    CHI12
    ANA9
    EDM8
    NSH3
    LAK2
    STL0
    ——————–
    CGY-1
    VAN-3
    WPG-4
    DAL-4
    ARI-14
    COL-22

    I am most fearful of LAK grabbing 3rd in the Pacific and pushing EDM to the wild card.

    Wildcard will play either MIN or SJS and that’s not a fun way to start the playoffs.

    Games tonight that mean something to the WC standings:

    STL @ PHI
    SJS @ BUF
    ANA @ NYR
    CGY @ PIT
    DAL @ TOR
    LAK @ TBY
    VAN @ NSH

    Wow, most of the WC is on a road trip in the EC.

    Pulling for the home teams tonight except I’d prefer VAN to win over NSH.

    WC games that don’t mean too much:

    MIN @ WPG
    MTL @ COL

    GO EC!!

    *clap,clap*

    Why do you hate the Jets?

  54. Jethro Tull says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    STL @ PHI
    SJS @ BUF
    ANA @ NYR
    CGY @ PIT
    DAL @ TOR
    LAK @ TBY
    VAN @ NSH

    I have winning:
    PHI
    SJS
    NYR in OT/SO
    PIT by 100,000,000 goals
    TOR
    LAK, but I’m rooting for TBY
    NSH

    Need a couple of weak teams to do us a solid.

  55. Pouzar says:

    russ99: Russell’s re-signing is essential

    said no one ever.

  56. M00se1978 says:

    Let me preface this with saying I love Larsson and love what he brings to the team. I’m having more fun this year watching and enjoying games. BUT

    Watching the game yesterday morning made me realize what event set the Hall trade in motion.

    The Petry situation. Because the Oilers screwed up with Petry so royally and lost him for nothing we suddenly were in a desperate need for a RS defenseman. Enter Larsson, but apparently the only player who could get him could be Hall.

    The Hall trade is all MacTs fault.

    Tell me we wouldn’t be in a better position with Petry and either Demers and or Russell and Hall. As apposed to Larsson, Russel and Lucic. I know which one I’m taking.

    Not to mention not getting a guy like Russel a couple years ago so Schultz could play bottom pairing/PP time.

    I hate to bring the Hall trade up again, but seeing Petry just reminded me of it.

  57. frjohnk says:

    Pouzar: russ99: Russell’s re-signing is essential

    said no one ever.

    Chia’s nickname is “no one ever?”

  58. Jethro Tull says:

    Pouzar: said no one ever.

    Said Kris Russell.

  59. ASkoreyko says:

    M00se1978:
    Let me preface this with saying I love Larsson and love what he brings to the team.I’m having more fun this year watching and enjoying games.BUT

    Watching the game yesterday morning made me realize what event set the Hall trade in motion.

    The Petry situation.Because the Oilers screwed up with Petry so royally and lost him for nothing we suddenly were in a desperate need for a RS defenseman.Enter Larsson, but apparently the only player who could get him could be Hall.

    The Hall trade is all MacTs fault.

    Tell me we wouldn’t be in a better position with Petry and either Demers and or Russell and Hall.As apposed to Larsson, Russel and Lucic.I know which one I’m taking.

    Not to mention not getting a guy like Russel a couple years ago so Schultz could play bottom pairing/PP time.

    I hate to bring the Hall trade up again, but seeing Petry just reminded me of it.

    This is true, but as mentioned above MacT = McDavid.

    If it wasn’t for MacT being the GM that he was, we would of never been in the position to draft McDavid.

    You really need to look at the Oilers as BM (Before McDavid) and AM (After McDavid) and anything that happened in the BM era can be discussed for the purpose of learning but wringing your hands or talking about how a different move in the BM would of set us up better now is foolish.

    McDavid changes everything, even the discourse around what the Oilers could of been.

    Petry might of been responsible for the trade of Hall, but it doesn’t matter as there was no way to ensure that we kept all three (Petry, Hall and McDavid).

  60. Pouzar says:

    Strength of Schedule for remainder.

    Spoiler Alert: EDM = HARD.

    http://www.tsn.ca/buckle-up-for-a-wild-run-to-the-playoffs-1.665607

  61. Jethro Tull says:

    ASkoreyko: This is true, but as mentioned above MacT = McDavid.

    Just should never, ever be used to justify the last deacde of Oilers management. Ever.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHz5cN7G9PY

  62. Pouzar says:

    Former Oilers thriving in KHL.

    https://t.co/BpK2x33XdO

  63. M00se1978 says:

    ASkoreyko,

    Too true, and I’m not normally a hand wringer I live in the present. But the Petry situation has always really bugged me.

  64. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Let’s say you trade Davidson for a forward that you protect under 7-3-1.

    Incoming: forward to protect

    Outgoing: Davidson (trade), Reinhart (expansion draft).

    That better be one helluva forward you are getting.

    Makes more sense to do nothing with Davidson.

    Outgoing: Davidson (expansion draft)

    I spent too much mental capital yesterday explaining the other scenarios involving 4-4-1, etc so won’t go there.

    Davidson is the price you pay for expansion. That’s why you have depth in the leftorium and can sign Russell as a replacement this summer (hopefully not for $4m over many years).

    I feel for you, Southern Oil and your fellow Falcons fans. Unlike many, I don’t hate Brady (a guy who gets picked 199th overall and works his butt off to become one of the legends and gets the girl–well he might be a California pretty boy and serial deflater, but that still earns my respect–would you take away a World Series title because a pitcher was using spit balls?), but I was hoping for someone else to win. And yes, I imagine it is like 2006 in feeling, except probably even worse because it would be the equivalent of being up 3-0 in Game 7 and losing in OT.

  65. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    leadfarmer:
    If woodguy is around could you run Jaccob Slavin through woodmoney.I got a feeling they got Adam Larsson with a 4th round pick.Good drafting.It’s a thing.

    Slavin has played almost all his time with Pesce so really its “their” results.

    46% vs Elite Forwards (1st pair)
    +2.0 DFF RelComp
    -0.5 CF RelComp

    Slavin CF% vs each comp:

    Elite 48.3%
    Middle 54.0%
    Gritensity 62.7%

    Excellent results for such young Dmen.

    I know there is the notion of “you don’t know a Dman until he’s 25” but in my experience of grinding the numbers for the lat 8 years or so, the very good ones are very good early.

    CAR runs two pairs at “1st pairing” comp and shelter the living shit out of their 3rd pair.

    Here’s one guy from each pair:

    Slavin 46% vs Elite Forwards
    Faulk 42% vs Elite Forwards
    Hanifin 18% vs Elite Forwards

    The Oilers hand out their TOI% vs Elites much flatter. 38%, 36%, 25% type of distribution and if Benning is playing 3rd pair the get even flatter.

    All 3 CAR pairs do about the same vs Elite Forwards as well, and they all do good.

    CAR is 3rd in the NHL in raw CF%.

    If they get some money when they move to Quebec or Hartford and add some forwards who can score, add an average goalie, they’re going to be very scary for a long time.

  66. JDï™ says:

    Pouzar: Spoiler Alert: EDM = HARD.

    From their new locker room:

    FAST. HARD. SUPPORTIVE.

    Seriously – who comes up with these slogans? It’s better than ‘Chop Wood’ (sorry Woodguy), but not by much.

  67. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    ASkoreyko,

    The Oilers won McDavid on a bounce of the lottery balls. They did not tank for McDavid. There is no logical way therefore to credit MacT for McDavid unlike crediting Tim Murrary for guaranteeing a minimum of Jack Eichel. There is a difference between the two situations.

    I know K-Lowe was quoted soon after as saying this was all “going to plan,” but that is revisionist , self-serving commentary on his part and simply not true. You can’t plan for lottery luck.

  68. fifthcartel says:

    Pouzar,

    I don’t really get this. Is Home % the amount of games played at home? Because Edmonton would be third in the west, so I don’t get the ‘Hard’ difficulty.

  69. ASkoreyko says:

    M00se1978:
    ASkoreyko,

    Too true, and I’m not normally a hand wringer I live in the present.But the Petry situation has always really bugged me.

    Oh I agree, I think MacT should of been fired into the sun for that. In fact I hope it gets brought up a lot at the Oilers head office so they don’t ever make the same mistake again.

    I am not absolving MacT from what he did, just more stating that what really matters is the AM period of the Oilers history now. We will never forget what transpired, but at least now we are looking onward and upward!

  70. John Chambers says:

    Pouzar:
    Strength of Schedule for remainder.

    Spoiler Alert: EDM = HARD.

    http://www.tsn.ca/buckle-up-for-a-wild-run-to-the-playoffs-1.665607

    So according to Yost Stl has an “easy” schedule because their opposition has a 49.5% Corsi, however only 35% of their games are at home, whilst Edm’s schedule is “hard” because their opponents have a 50.2% Corsi however 57% will be home games.

    I dunno – I’d rather a home game against Boston than a roadie against Dallas.

    Digesting Yost’s analysis there is a razor- thin margin between what qualifies as an easy or hard schedule, and I think the Oilers are in a solid position with fewer games down the stretch and most of them at home.

  71. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Slavin has played almost all his time with Pesce so really its “their” results.

    46% vs Elite Forwards (1st pair)
    +2.0 DFF RelComp
    -0.5 CF RelComp

    Slavin CF% vs each comp:

    Elite 48.3%
    Middle 54.0%
    Gritensity 62.7%

    Excellent results for such young Dmen.

    I know there is the notion of “you don’t know a Dman until he’s 25” but in my experience of grinding the numbers for the lat 8 years or so, the very good ones are very good early.

    CAR runs two pairs at “1st pairing” comp and shelter the living shit out of their 3rd pair.

    Here’s one guy from each pair:

    Slavin 46% vs Elite Forwards
    Faulk 42% vs Elite Forwards
    Hanifin 18% vs Elite Forwards

    The Oilers hand out their TOI% vs Elites much flatter.28%, 36%, 25% type of distribution and if Benning is playing 3rd pair the get even flatter.

    All 3 CAR pairs do about the same vs Elite Forwards as well, and they all do good.

    CAR is 3rd in the NHL in raw CF%.

    If they get some money when they move to Quebec or Hartford and add some forwards who can score, add an average goalie, they’re going to be very scary for a long time.

    My comment pre-game in the vs. CAR game day thread where LT said we were not favoured in that game. I thanked LT for noting that because Carolina has Slavin leading the way on D, with Pesce, and then they have a flurry of riches (see what I did there) with Fleury, Hanifin, Faulk.

    Up front Aho is terrific. Rask good, still have Skinner. If they can get Elias Lindholm to blossom they are going to be a force. Might even be a team the Oilers have a rematch against in a Cup FInal one day.

  72. vinotintazo says:

    We have Nurse, Davidson, Oesterle, Reinhart. I think any of them can replace Russell next year.

    2017-2018 Oilers D.

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Nurse
    (Reinhart/Davidson//Oesterle)-Benning

    I think Las Vegas takes one of Davidson/Reinhart.

  73. Jethro Tull says:

    JDï™: Seriously – who comes up with these slogans?

    Maxi-pads?

  74. John Chambers says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Carolina is the epitome of wandering the desert. They have exactly zero star players and an abundance of 2nd line forwards and 3-4 defensemen meaning they’ll be perpetually around the playoff cutline while not being shitty enough to obtain game-changing players via the draft.

  75. Pouzar says:

    fifthcartel:
    Pouzar,

    I don’t really get this. Is Home % the amount of games played at home? Because Edmonton would be third in the west, so I don’t get the ‘Hard’ difficulty.

    I only report the news.

  76. Jethro Tull says:

    Hey, if it wasn’t for Pontius Pilate, we wouldn’t have had………..Bwian.

  77. Pouzar says:

    vinotintazo: We have Nurse, Davidson, Oesterle, Reinhart. I think any of them can replace Russell next year.

    Leftorium. I know. Let’s sign another LD. /Harvard

  78. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    John Chambers,

    I think that was true before, but their drafting has improved in recent years, under the guidance of Ron Francis. I think you are dismissing them based on past history. They have the second longest playoff drought after Edmonton, but they are headed in the right direction.

    That D is a lot better than a collection of 3/4 defensemen. That is what you are missing in the equation, in my opinion.

    P.S. They did draft Hanifin, whom if you will remember about half the posters thought we were going to get (and love) before the lottery balls bounced and came up 97s. They also drafted Elias Lindholm who has underperformed his draft class but has potential. They made up for it by drafting Sebastian Aho in subsequent years.

  79. Shane says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: My comment pre-game in the vs. CAR game day thread where LT said we were not favoured in that game. I thanked LT for noting that because Carolina has Slavin leading the way on D, with Pesce, and then they have a flurry of riches (see what I did there) with Fleury, Hanifin, Faulk.

    Up front Aho is terrific. Rask good, still have Skinner. If they can get Elias Lindholm to blossom they are going to be a force. Might even be a team the Oilers have a rematch against in a Cup FInal one day.

    *spits*

  80. Scungilli says:

    Gryba would be a pretty good 7 D – IF he could handle a puck. He is positionally sound and a great cycle breaker, but he can’t. Puck and skating optional shouldn’t be a part of the Oilers anymore.

    They didn’t miss Russell much it seems. I’m not a fan of his ‘resets’. They need to increase tempo, not slow down. A player can circle back to gain time or spread the opponent out without a full stop behind the net. It’s weird.

    I think the real win was the Edmonton Oilers winning a goalless game. They need to feel they can do that.

  81. prefonmich says:

    Question for all you number crunchers out there… I don’t have them time or know-how to figure this out but it seems to me that this year when the oilers have had a busy schedule, TMac is shortening his bench more and McDavid’s line is playing ridiculous minutes 20+ minutes, up to 25, which also results in not so much of a 4 line game. This has resulted in less goals in those games, not more. When the Oil have had a lighter schedule, like their 6 game homestand and games following in Pacific div, they have rolled 4 lines more and have had more success in both wins and goals scored. This is my observation although I haven’t had a chance to watch much of the past 4 games.
    My question is do the numbers reflect this or am I dreaming? It seems counter-intuitive to me that when the team plays more games in less time that the top line gets relied on so heavily. I would think that a strategy to roll 4 lines more consistently would result in everyone being more involved and all being fresh, which should equal better play. This is a concern I have with TMac- he seems to single out players to bench as a result of perceived poor play and it affects the team as a whole. See for example, Pouliot (sent to 4th line despite better success than Lucic has ever had with RNH and Eberle). Let me know what you think- sorry if this is out of context of other conversations here- just something I am interested in discussing in light of recent games and results.

  82. JimmyV1965 says:

    I think everyone who loves the NHL should be scared that we won a game without scoring a goal and that half the teams playing yesterday didn’t score a goal. Very troubling to say the least.

  83. stephen sheps says:

    meanashell11,

    I don’t hate the patriots because they win, I hate the patriots because I’m a Dolphins fan and have been since the 80s when I was just a young Sheps… Division rivalries run deep.

    Glad we did that though. Normally I never gamble, but the cause was right so I didn’t mind at all.

    And now back to hockey…

    Wait, the Oilers are on a break this week… maybe not. I guess this means I can get caught up on my grading pile?

    Woot?

  84. npanciroli says:

    stephen sheps:

    Glad we did that though. Normally I never gamble, but the cause was right so I didn’t mind at all.

    What was the gambling for? I’d like to chip in even though I wasn’t a part of it.

  85. New Improved Darkness says:

    To fully invest in a counterfactual fork in the road is an act of selective suicide. The further back one travels, the more one discards to the mooning knife. I began to demonstrate a clear talent for mathematics—for patterns, abstractions, and rule-based systems (also called a deck of cards)—at some point during my grade two school year. I wonder where I would be now if this talent were valued by society in the same way that hitting a small white ball into a small cup is valued, or skating a clean figure eight, or carrying a bright tune is valued. But no, the response around me was “oh, no, he’s going to leave the species altogether!” and then the usual poultice: confine him in small rooms with his age-appropriate peers, make sure he’s picked last for every team sport, provide no formal instruction in a mathematical art more complex than reducing fractions, isolate him from any adult roll models who might themselves have flirted with species change a young age.

    So I sometimes wonder where I’d be now in a society that celebrated the other fork in the road.

    Where I’d be is more different from my present self than I am from my brother (we have a nucleus of strong similarity). 80% of my life failures and triumphs that make me the person I am now would instead be the stories of a different man (my core sleep issue was going to take its pound of flesh no matter the road, but even there my response would have been more cats and dogs, rather than apples and oranges).

    It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, living life in your imagination.

    ———

    Imagine you’re in Moria. And you hear drums. Only the drums surprise you. These are not the drums of “dooom”, “dooom”, “dooom” echoing up from the deep.

    ———

    Even Gandalf is puzzled. “That’s just wrong,” says Gandalf. “Those are the drums of … alternative prophecy.”

    “Ooooh,” says Pippin, “I like the sound of that.”

    “I think I’ve got it,” says Sam, whose ears are almost as keen as Legolas’s eyes (all the better for trimming the verge). “Pa rum pum pum pum, ra pum pum pum,” Sam briefly hums along, “and then it goes into an infernal loop”.

    “Beastly,” says Gimli, who only barely succeeds in not saying “feastly”.

    Frodo visibly starts.

    “What was that?” asks Merry.

    “Oh, nothing,” says Frodo; Moria is not the place to confess that you think you’ve just seen a leprechaun milling about in the shadows with a handful of sticks.

    “From above!” cries Legolas, who spies a mote in the distance, riding the sunbeam.” Legolas leaps upon the illuminated sarcophagus and cocks his bow at the sun.

    “What is it?” says Gandalf, so thoroughly thrown for a loop by the wrong drum roll as to completely discard his wizened pretext.

    “It appears to be,” says Legolas, straining to believe, “some kind of swaddled headscarf”.

    Actually, it’s a Turkish headscarf vigorously rubbed against a Turkish carpet, wrapped around a baby, then tossed into the air. Yes, the scarf contains a baby, and it’s using the inclined sunbeam as an ILS landing system.

    Aragorn and Boromir draw their swords. Nuts! They’re both right-handed. Aragorn glowers at Boromir, who ignores his expression. Disgusted, Aragorn flips his blade to his left hand. Together, simulating air-traffic marshalling wands with their two swords, they guide the bundle down the shaft of light, top dead center onto the heavy lid of Balin’s tomb, almost on top of Legolas’s toes, who has taken the smallest and most graceful step backward.

    “It’s a baby!” says Sam, who doesn’t know it yet, but will repeat this line many, many times in his most probable future timelines.

    “Appears to be some kind of wizard child,” pronounces Gandalf.

    “Can’t be,” says Pippin, “its cute little nose is all hook and no bulb”.

    Gandalf scowls at Pippin from under eyebrows the size of small squirrels as if he’s about to say something quite rude, but restrains himself on account of the innocent newcomer.

    “Just when you least expect it,” says Boromir. “Probably yet another king.” This catches Aragorn mid-toss as he’s preparing to resheath. He nearly bobbles the catch.

    “Can’t be,” says Aragorn. “Requires lineage.”

    “And the sons of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Joseph, and the sons of Jehoiadan the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiada, and the sons of Jehoiadan the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiadan the son of Joseph the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiada, and Jehoshaphat the son of Jehoiada” says Boromir (source).

    “Have you lost your mind!?” says Gimli, who can’t entirely see what’s going on. “And we thought those drums were stuck in an infernal loop.”

    “Well, he’s squirming around,” says Boromir.

    “Pssssst—it’s an inscription, on the infant’s forehead, that brightens a bit when he cholics” whispers Legolas to Gimli.

    “I don’t hear any cholic,” says Gimli, annoyed as ever by his low perch.

    “That’s the strange thing,” says Legolas, “this infant is completely silent, but you can see it in his face—steam practically erupts from his tiny ears.”

    As this moment, Gandalf suddenly whitens, halfway slumps to the floor, before staggering heroically to the nearest supportive wall.

    “Gandalf!” cries Frodo. “Are you okay?”

    Clearly Gandalf is stirred but not shaken, his healthy off-white colour immediately returning to his off-white cheeks.”

    “I felt a great disturbance in the legends of Middle Earth, as if an entire cluster cried out in terror, and were yardsaled for frozen horse pucks.”

    “No!” says Merry.

    “Yes!” says Pippin.

    “What’s with you,” says Sam to Pippin.

    “Don’t you remember the frost of ’14?” says Pippin. “It was a blast!”

    “A blast of cold air that knocked back the verge until late summer,” says Sam. “The frost of ’14 was no welcome blast to this gardener.”

    “Well, we had a blast,” says Pippin.

    “Doing what?” asks Frodo.

    Merry rolls his eyes. “We went outside that morning to blow beautiful smoke rings in the frozen air. Then with his pointy walking stick—I swear he sharpens it deliberately—Pippin one-handed a frozen puck right into my lap. So I got a cracked a bigger stick off the nearest tree, and smacked it right back. Then he got a bigger stick, and the game was on.”

    “What a waste of good tobacco,” says Gimli.

    “What kind of puck?” says Frodo.

    “A pony puck,” says Sam.

    “What pony pucks? We keep the streets of Hobbiton cleaner than the Big Smoke.”

    “It came from a garden by the side of the road,” says Pippin.

    “Whose garden?” says Frodo, alarmed to think of Hobbiton harbouring such a miscreant.

    “Probably my garden”, says Sam.

    “So that’s why you were almost tearful when we loosed Bill the Pony,” says Frodo.

    “Me and him, we had plans,” says Sam.

    “What’s done is done,” says Aragorn, finally interrupting the group hobbit reverie. Besides, Boromir was clearly this close to his first “coochie coochie cooo”. You could see it—his fingers were uncurling toward the infant’s neck, just so. “Tell us your vision, Gandalf. What did you see?”

    “Trust no stairway! Test every step one by one by one. Keep one hand on the hand rail at all times. We should be able to escape these infernal mines with the original fellowship intact if we follow these simple rules.”

    “Are we taking the baby?” inquires Pippin.

    “Of course we are taking the baby. One does not simply abandon the white wizard.” No one was quite sure who had just spoken those words. It sounded a little bit like several of them speaking at the same time, compounded by the Great Hall of Moria.

    “He doesn’t look like a wizard,” says Merry.

    “Give him a week,” says Aragorn.

    “What would you know about it?” says Boromir.

    “Knowing that softie, Galadriel, she’ll dunk this mewling urchin into the very fountain of Eärendil,” says Legolas.

    “You sound bitter,” says Gimli.

    “Just a little healthy elf-realm rivalry,” says Legolas.

    “Onward!” cries Gandalf. “Everyone, remember to mind your steps, and grab the handrails!”

    “He fears the plunging depths of new jersey,” mutters Legolas. “But why?”

    “Not so fast, we haven’t avenged Balin yet!”, says Gimli with hot, wet, piercing eyes.

    “Against what?” asks Gandalf, who is equally perplexed and secretly more vexed by this unexpected “pa rum pum pum pum” than his original worst foreboding. “Many dark paths can be amended with a good smiting. But what to smite? Still, I’m essential to the tale of Middle Earth. Or am I? What I would do for quick peek into an off-season Palantir. Failing that, I must consult my player agent, Celeborn the wise, at the first opportunity.”

    Doubt had now entered the wizard, and not for the first time.

  86. stephen sheps says:

    npanciroli,

    Super Bowl results. Loser donates $20 to LT, winner $10.
    Just a friendly wager to support our local blog-father so that he can continue to provide us with this fine space and the community that comes along with it.

  87. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Thank you kindly. Slavin is the better of the two but Pesce is still a good d man. I had Slavin pegged as maybe the best young d man most people haven’t heard of, but these days everyone wants advanced stats and don’t trust my eyeball.

  88. Pouzar says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I think everyone who loves the NHL should be scared that we won a game without scoring a goal and that half the teams playing yesterday didn’t score a goal. Very troubling to say the least.

    Agreed. Winning hockey is fun but damn these games are boring as F***

  89. npanciroli says:

    stephen sheps,

    Easy donation. Would be much harder going to work everyday without LT’s blog at 8:30. Something to look forward to every morning.

  90. Woogie63 says:

    We are going to the play-off for the first time in 10 years, I don’t see the Oilers trading Davidson to protect and asset in a June expansion draft. He is our 6th or 7th best dman, and we need 8-9 dman if we go on a run.

    If we lose our 6th or 7th best dman in an expansion draft, is there gnashing of teeth?

  91. russ99 says:

    vinotintazo:
    We have Nurse, Davidson, Oesterle, Reinhart. I think any of them can replace Russell next year.

    2017-2018 Oilers D.

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Sekera-Nurse
    (Reinhart/Davidson//Oesterle)-Benning

    I think Las Vegas takes one of Davidson/Reinhart.

    And we lose in the first round of the playoffs since we have a weak defender on each pairing.

    It may not be as certain if out forwards play defense as a team with our defensemen, but that’s not happening unless we change out a significant number of them.

    Also, there’s a slim possibility Talbot steals a playoff round, but not two.

    Defense, goaltending and forechecking win in the playoffs, not speed and scoring, and there’s no Bettman points or 3×3.

  92. npanciroli says:

    russ99,

    I really like my L-R D balance. I like Benning more at 2RD than Russell. I see a fit for Russell on the third pair but then I like Klefbom, Sekera, Nurse more than him. Good for depth D though.

  93. vinotintazo says:

    russ99: And we lose in the first round of the playoffs since we have a weak defender on each pairing.

    It may not be as certain if out forwards play defense as a team with our defensemen, but that’s not happening unless we change out a significant number of them.

    Also, there’s a slim possibility Talbot steals a playoff round, but not two.

    Defense, goaltending and forechecking win in the playoffs, not speed and scoring, and there’s no Bettman points or 3×3.

    You can always sign a vet 4/5 Guy for cheap in the off season. they are always available.
    ie: Holden, Russell, Lovejoy. etc this year. That’s not counting Fayne who I think can play 3rd pair at least.

    I think Nurse is the closest comparable to Russell in terms of how they play. Of course Russell has the experience.

    I still hope they find a RHD in the deadline or next season who can Play the PP and is at least a #4D.

    One can dream.

  94. JDï™ says:

    THIS SNOW CAN F RIGHT OFF!

  95. JimmyV1965 says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    ASkoreyko,

    The Oilers won McDavid ona bounce of the lottery balls. They did not tank for McDavid. There is no logical way therefore to credit MacT for McDavid unlike crediting Tim Murrary for guaranteeing a minimum of Jack Eichel. There is a difference between the two situations.

    I know K-Lowe was quoted soon after as saying this was all “going to plan,” but that is revisionist , self-serving commentary on his part and simply not true. You can’t plan for lottery luck.

    I think he was referring to MacTs incompetence putting us in a position to win the lottery. Everyone here knows the Oilers didn’t tank on purpose.

  96. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Ducey,

    In the east, only NJ, CAR, and NYI are out of it. In the west, just COL and ARI. All those GM’s are going to hold out hope that someone gets desperate and pays too much. No GM usually ever does.

    CAR and NYI are not out.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention TBY and BUF.

    Here’s the EC standings using the same format I do for WC. The straight points standings are very mis-directing as the variability of Games Played is large.

    WSH 19
    CLB 14
    PIT 14
    NYR 9 – 1st wildcard spot
    MTL 8
    OTT 4
    TOR 1
    PHI 0
    ———————
    NYI -2
    CAR -2
    FLA -2
    BOS -3
    DET -5
    BUF -5
    NJD -5
    TBY -8

    Its not a stretch to say that one of NYI and CAR can make it.

    That last wildcard spot might not get locked down until the last day with so many teams fighting for it.

    Also, DET, BUF, and NJD are only one more game back from the last wildcard spot in the EC than WPG and DAL are in the WC.

    I’d stick a fork in all 4 of those teams given how many teams are fighting for that last wildcard spot, but its not a for sure.

  97. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    JDï™: From their new locker room:

    FAST. HARD. SUPPORTIVE.

    Seriously – who comes up with these slogans? It’s better than ‘Chop Wood’ (sorry Woodguy), but not by much.

    Its ok.

    One should usually saw wood, not chop.

  98. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    John Chambers,

    3-4 defensemen

    Its that “they have 3 to 4 good Dmen”

    or

    “Their Dmen are 3/4 on a good roster”

    Curious.

  99. stephen sheps says:

    npanciroli:
    stephen sheps,

    Easy donation. Would be much harder going to work everyday without LT’s blog at 8:30. Something to look forward to every morning.

    I’m much the same – my mornings wouldn’t be the same without it – though I can’t take credit. The wager was actually meanashell11‘s idea. I’m glad it was suggested.

  100. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker":
    John Chambers,

    I think that was true before, but their drafting has improved in recent years, under the guidance of Ron Francis.I think you are dismissing them based on past history. They have the second longest playoff drought after Edmonton, but they are headed in the right direction.

    That D is a lot better than a collection of 3/4 defensemen. That is what you are missing in the equation, in my opinion.

    P.S. They did draft Hanifin, whom if you will remember about half the posters thought we were going to get (and love) before the lottery balls bounced and came up 97s. They also drafted Elias Lindholm who has underperformed his draft class but has potential. They made up for it by drafting Sebastian Aho in subsequent years.

    They have the 3rd best CF% in the league with the 30th payroll in the league.

    Their $57MM payroll is $6MM below 29th place FLA and $7MM below 28th place NJD.

    They have a real shot at a playoff spot as well.

    If they get bought by someone with money they have ~16MM to add some scoring to an already very good and young Dcorps.

    I was a Nordique fan due to the Stastnys when I was a kid. Even went so far as to make Nordique “jerseys” for my table hockey game to cover the TOR jerserys that were printed on the players.

    Oiler fan first of course, but for some reason I latched on to The Nords too.

    If Quebecor buys CAR, I’m adopting them as my second team again.

  101. Ducey says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I don’t know why I said CAR and NYI were out. They are not.

    I looked at BUF and TB and note they likely have a better chance of getting top 3 in the Atlantic than getting a wildcard. They are 6 pts back with games in hand on BOS. Of course they have to climb over TOR and FLA, but those GMs are not likely to give up yet.

    Just proves my point that very few teams are in sell mode right now. The chances of Chia getting a trade done this week are very low, unless he goes dumpster diving.

  102. commonfan14 says:

    If Vegas decides to actually select 30 NHL players in the expansion draft, I assume that the 7 they’d have to send down to get to a 23 player roster limit would be subject to waivers, right?

    If so, it’s an interesting switch-up where it quickly becomes Vegas that has to start trading players to avoid losing them for nothing.

    Should be some intriguing deals on both sides of the actual draft.

  103. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    My take on the rest of the Oilers schedule:

    4 categories of games:

    Home vs Playoff team (as of today) – 8
    Home vs Non-playoff team – 8

    Away vs Playoff team – 7
    Away vs Non-playoff team – 4

    So they play 15 vs playoff teams and 12 vs non. That’s not easy.

    7 Away vs Playoff compared to 4 Away vs Non-playoff isn’t great either.

    4 of the Non playoff games are vs teams that aren’t “easy outs” in FLA (away), NYI (home), DAL (home), and BOS (home)

    I’d say its “not easy” and probably “tough”

  104. spoiler says:

    New Improved Darkness,

    Kundalini kraftwerk and kettle drums… just divine, fine Sir. I have puzzled long over the Second Coming and feel your scrying into the Past is most accurate with one black rider of qualification (or lack thereof).

    MacT should have fallen into the deep well of Moria… the Gords thus appeased…

  105. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Gostisbehere healthy scratched for the 3rd straight game. If only he were a righty

  106. geowal says:

    One of the things we have always tried to do here is think beyond to first retort, to go past the I was right, you were wrong verbal that plagues so much of the Al Gore.

    I honestly think I would have substantially quit the internet altogether by now if not for this place, so thanks for keeping me connected….I think.

  107. geowal says:

    commonfan14: If Vegas decides to actually select 30 NHL players in the expansion draft, I assume that the 7 they’d have to send down to get to a 23 player roster limit would be subject to waivers, right?

    I thought they were required to select 1 player per team. The nuance is that some will be minor league prospects for a future farm team but vie for a job in training camp. Hence the occasional consideration of Reinhardt or Brossoit being selected around here.

  108. fifthcartel says:

    What might help the Oilers is 8/27 of the games remaining have the Oilers facing a team on the second night of a back to back.

    Chicago
    Arizona
    Flyers
    Nashville- Away
    Detroit
    Boston
    Los Angeles
    Canucks – but Oilers on second of a B2B too

    Oilers only play B2B 3 times.

  109. Bruce Wayne says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I think everyone who loves the NHL should be scared that we won a game without scoring a goal and that half the teams playing yesterday didn’t score a goal. Very troubling to say the least.

    This.

    And what I have learned from how happy Oiler fans are this season, despite the abject mediocrity of the team, is that Bettman is right. Fans are more interested in cheering for the home team than they are in excellence, and cheering for the home team is aided and abetted by low scoring games.

    We get the NHL we deserve.

  110. John Chambers says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    John Chambers,

    3-4 defensemen

    Its that “they have 3 to 4 good Dmen”

    or

    “Their Dmen are 3/4 on a good roster”

    Curious.

    I can certainly appreciate that the WoodMoney stats demonstrate solid possession numbers for their emerging defensemen – Pesce and Slavin, but amongst their D corps it’s hard to say any one guy is a legit top-pair player (Faulk comes closest, but Staples has convinced me he’s a mediocre defender).

    Aside from Faulk none of their rearguards have posted 20 points.

    So from there I can say that Faulk, Pesce, Slavin, are all decent defenders, but none who are bona fide top-pair guys. Perhaps they have one of those guys or Hanifin develop into an all-minutes killer, but none of those guys are there yet. Cracking the league’s top-60 blueliners (hence top-pair for 30 teams) is indeed the hardest button to button – I don’t think we can say they’re there yet and I’m not of the opinion that they all get there.

    IMO as a group they likely emerge into a top-15 foursome in the league, but there isn’t a Doughty, Karlsson, Subban, etc among the bunch. Also, Carolina’s forwards are one of the league’s weakest – how they acquire one or two offensive drivers to compete with the Pens, Caps, or CBJ seems like a tall order.

  111. John Chambers says:

    commonfan14:
    If Vegas decides to actually select 30 NHL players in the expansion draft, I assume that the 7 they’d have to send down to get to a 23 player roster limit would be subject to waivers, right?

    If so, it’s an interesting switch-up where it quickly becomes Vegas that has to start trading players to avoid losing them for nothing.

    Should be some intriguing deals on both sides of the actual draft.

    LV will at least be in the enviable position of having a number of players who they will be immediately able to cash for draft picks.

    For example, Colorado could send a couple of 2nd round picks to LV for Davidson and, I dunno, Jason Zucker.

    I think George McPhee will have tendency to take players like Rick Nash and Pouliot off the hands of fellow GM’s in exchange for a mountain of 2nd and 3rd round picks, ultimately fielding an expensive and mediocre lineup in the early going, but owning a disproportionately large number of draft assets in 2017 through 2020.

    Needless to say I doubt he’ll worry much about losing valuable players on waivers.

  112. commonfan14 says:

    geowal: I thought they were required to select 1 player per team. The nuance is that some will be minor league prospects for a future farm team but vie for a job in training camp. Hence the occasional consideration of Reinhardt or Brossoit being selected around here.

    They are indeed required to select 1 player per team, but it’s possible they might decide to select a few Landeresque pros once they have a full roster of firmly established NHL players.

    Lander could clear waivers and help their farm team. If they pick 30 firmly-established NHL players, they’ve got to make moves or will lose 7 of them for nothing.

    Even non-established players who are still solid prospects like Griff and Brossoit would get claimed.

  113. prefonmich says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I was interested to compare other teams who Oilers are competing against for playoff spots. I started this below:
    Anaheim has 9 Home vs Playoff, 6 Home vs NonPlayoff, 8 Away vs Playoff and 5 Away vs Non-playoff so perhaps a tougher sched than Oilers.

    SanJose has a very even schedule, 7 Home vs playoff, 7 Home vs Non-playoff, 8 Away vs Non-playoff.
    so perhaps a little easier than the Oilers.

    I then was interested to try to calculate what this will mean points wise so I went through the Oilers games played and calculate their ‘points percentage’ of games played so far- this is inaccurate because I calculated based on 2 pts available per game which of course is not always the case in the Bettman era.
    In home vs playoff they gathered 54% of 26 available points so far
    In home vs non-playoff, they have gathered 63%
    Away vs playoff 47%
    Away vs non-playoff, a staggering 86% of the available points!!

    If I multiply these percentages by the games in each of the categories, it comes to roughly 32.18 expected points for the Oilers the rest of the way which would leave them at 98.18 points – hopefully playoffs.

    I have no interest in doing this exercise for the other teams though!

  114. Scungilli says:

    commonfan14: They are indeed required to select 1 player per team, but it’s possible they might decide to select a few Landeresque pros once they have a full roster of firmly established NHL players.

    Lander could clear waivers and help their farm team. If they pick 30 firmly-established NHL players, they’ve got to make moves or will lose 7 of them for nothing.

    Even non-established players who are still solid prospects like Griff and Brossoit would get claimed.

    Try drafting a team on Capfriendy, it’s hard man! They will draft an NHL team and the rest will be prospects I think.

  115. --hudson-- says:

    Going back to yesterdays thread and Bob Cole… I understand he’s not the same as he used to be, maybe he never was a great play by play guy. But when I hear his call it takes me back to important moments in Oiler history and I will miss him when he’s gone.

    Here are two of his calls that I could listen to over and over again.

    “It’s been said in the past about these Edmonton Oilers that they haven’t won anything yet! Well they look like a happy group down there now, they’ve won something now. Folks there’s a new bunch on the block in the National Hockey League, the Edmonton Oilers by name. The Oilers have won the Stanley Cup!” 1984
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cqHcTZfGGs

    1987 SCF game 7 insurance goal
    https://youtu.be/z5kwOlFeCPA?t=5m11s

    He’s also the voice of Todd Marchant in 1997 or Fernando Pisani in 2006. He’s part of the memory for me and I feel the need to defend him.

    (I feel similar when someone will criticize a Rod Phillips call. Yeah technically he’s not painting a perfect picture of the action, maybe his timing is off, but there is en emotion and nostalgia that few others bring.)

  116. mujidog says:

    LOWETIDE has the gumption to THANK me??
    Thank me?! NO. Thank YOU Lowetide.
    I love this little blog. Enjoy your radio show too (I listen most days in podcast form).

    Appreciate your open mind, your humour, and the reasonable and constructive discussion you both provide and encourage. It makes being an Oilers fan extra fun.

  117. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    John Chambers,

    IMO as a group they likely emerge into a top-15 foursome in the league, but there isn’t a Doughty, Karlsson, Subban, etc among the bunch. Also, Carolina’s forwards are one of the league’s weakest – how they acquire one or two offensive drivers to compete with the Pens, Caps, or CBJ seems like a tall order.

    Here’s some info you might find interesting.

    Slavin and Pesce both turn 22 this year.

    If we look at 5v5 pts/60 and 5v5 P1/60 (Primary points, only goals and 1st assists, which is a superior metric to predict future scoring) for Doughty and Subban at 22 we see:

    Age 22
    Pts/60
    Slavin 0.87
    Doughty 0.86
    Subban 0.81
    Pesce 0.68

    Primary pts/60
    Doughty 0.63
    Pesce 0.48
    Slavin 0.47
    Subban 0.45

    Looks like they are on track in regards to Subban’s 5v5 offence.

    Something interesting about Doughty though. He was worse in his 23 year old season:

    Pts/60 0.52
    P1/60 0.32

    I wouldn’t be so sure these guys “aren’t those guys” at this stage.

    Especially when the forwards corps they pass too today are not that great.

    I would have included Karlsson, but he only played 17 games in the NHL in his 22 year old year.

    Karlsson is on a different planet though. He’s Paul Coffey.

    Not being Erik Karlsson is something that every other Dman in the NHL is guilty of though, even 1st pairing guys.

  118. ASkoreyko says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    ASkoreyko,

    The Oilers won McDavid ona bounce of the lottery balls. They did not tank for McDavid. There is no logical way therefore to credit MacT for McDavid unlike crediting Tim Murrary for guaranteeing a minimum of Jack Eichel. There is a difference between the two situations.

    I know K-Lowe was quoted soon after as saying this was all “going to plan,” but that is revisionist , self-serving commentary on his part and simply not true. You can’t plan for lottery luck.

    Oh I agree completely, I am not giving any of the previous management any actual credit for McDavid. Rather I am looking at it from the lens that these bumbling idiots at least managed to land us McDavid despite their best efforts to actually ice a competitive hockey team. This was recognized within the organization I think with the swift changes that happened in management afterwards.

    What I am trying to say, is that if MacT didn’t waste Petry, we probably would of picked up a few more points and those lottery balls would not of clicked in our favor.

    Similar to how Patrick Thoresen cost the Oilers Patrick Kane with that meaningless win at the end of the season.

    MacT was awful and had every intention of winning that season and just couldn’t, that will always sit on him. However without his ineptitude we wouldn’t be watching the McDavid.

  119. John Chambers says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Yeah I can see why you’re bullish but that these talented young players “could be” rather than “are” bona fide represents a wide chasm.

    Last year Dallas was going to produce a number of studly young Dmen like Klingberg, Nemeth, and Johns and now the shine-o is off that ball-o. Arizona has Stone, Connor Murphy, and DeAngelo / Chkryn alongside OEL and have been terrible, while FLA has Ekblad, Matheson, and Pterovic to go alongside their vets and have been pedestrian.

    Car also plays in the league’s toughest div.

    Their young D may be preventing them from being awful, but I don’t see a pot of gold emerging out of the rain.

  120. Ducey says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Gostisbehere healthy scratched for the 3rd straight game. If only he were a righty

    Don’t count your Bennings until they’ve hatched.

  121. LadiesloveSmid says:

    I do like the idea of RNH on 97’s wing to jump start him. Maybe even him AND Eberle.

    McDavid and Drai should be on separate lines, they are towing the boat up front.

  122. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    John Chambers:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Yeah I can see why you’re bullish but that these talented young players “could be” rather than “are” bona fide represents a wide chasm.

    Last year Dallas was going to produce a number of studly young Dmen like Klingberg, Nemeth, and Johns and now the shine-o is off that ball-o. Arizona has Stone, Connor Murphy, and DeAngelo / Chkryn alongside OEL and have been terrible, while FLA has Ekblad, Matheson, and Pterovic to go alongside their vets and have been pedestrian.

    Car also plays in the league’s toughest div.

    Their young D may be preventing them from being awful, but I don’t see a pot of gold emerging out of the rain.

    My only quibble with “could be” is that Slavin and Pesce are playing the toughest comp today and thriving.

    That’s the toughest thing for Dmen to do,and they are doing it today.

    Also,

    Subban went to “another level”, but Doughty not so much in terms of 5v5 pts/60 and 5v5 P1/60

    Last 3 years (including this one)

    5v5 Pts/60
    Player P60
    DREW.DOUGHTY 14/15 0.94
    P.K..SUBBAN 14/15 1.23

    DREW.DOUGHTY 15/16 0.65
    P.K..SUBBAN 15/16 1.25

    P.K..SUBBAN 16/17 0.92
    JACCOB.SLAVIN 16/17 0.87
    DREW.DOUGHTY 16/17 0.79
    BRETT.PESCE 16/17 0.68

    5v5 P1/60
    DREW.DOUGHTY 14/15 0.62
    P.K..SUBBAN 14/15 0.68

    DREW.DOUGHTY 15/16 0.32
    P.K..SUBBAN 15/16 0.80

    P.K..SUBBAN 16/17 0.74
    BRETT.PESCE 16/17 0.48
    JACCOB.SLAVIN 16/17 0.47
    DREW.DOUGHTY 16/17 0.45

    Now, they have to repeat these performances and improve, but what they are doing today is pretty special given how much TOI% vs the NHL’s best forwards they see.

  123. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Games tonight that mean something to the WC standings:
    STL @ PHI
    SJS @ BUF
    ANA @ NYR
    CGY @ PIT
    DAL @ TOR
    LAK @ TBY
    VAN @ NSH
    Wow, most of the WC is on a road trip in the EC.
    Pulling for the home teams tonight except I’d prefer VAN to win over NSH.
    WC games that don’t mean too much:
    MIN @ WPG
    MTL @ COL
    GO EC!!
    *clap,clap*

    These are actually tomorrow’s game.

    Doh!

    Only WC playing tonight is STL in PHI.

  124. Jethro Tull says:

    I’m Hearing the #Oilers & #TBLighting are working on a deal. Sounds like Brandon Davidson for Brain Boyle could be the moving parts… #NHL

    — Joshua Marshall (@JMarshyBosco93) February 6, 2017

    No idea who this guy is. Looking back through his previous tweets, a la David Jones and Dennis Wideman to the Oilers, could be a smart troll.

  125. jm363561 says:

    russ99:
    For me the real comparison is RNH at the World Cup and RNH after, and McLellan was the coach of both. Seems like a totally different player.

    I don’t think it’s physical, more like it’s mental.
    =======

    Good morning from Manila. I totally agree with this point. The team is better because of McD, Talbot (both of whom are being over worked) and a more resilient D corps, little or none of which is down to TMac. He has a good roster but too many players are underperforming. I am delighted with the results if not the performances, bored by many of the games, still hoping that Nuge, Ebs, Pou and the power play can ignite – if they can we might do some damage.

  126. commonfan14 says:

    The one monkey wrench pick with Vegas is the third goalie. They have to take three, so will have to trade or waive one.

    And since there’s not likely to be that big a trade market for the third best goalie of the ones that get left exposed, there’s a pretty significant chance they end up having to just waive the guy.

    Brossoit getting claimed really is the best-case scenario. It’s entirely possible we’d just end up getting him back for free off waivers.

  127. prairieschooner says:

    Should the Oilers go hell for leather to go as deep as possible in the play off ?
    Should we try for the cup this year?

    How much of your “currency” would you spend this year?
    What about the expansion draft and next season?

  128. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Thanks for providing requested info and then defending my opinion for me. The question with Slavin isn’t how good is he, he’s pretty damn good, but how good he will end up. If he was on a Canadian team everyone would talk about how amazing this kid is.

  129. geowal says:

    classict:
    commonfan14,

    Is it decided anywhere that the players they send down will actually have to pass through waivers? I imagine they’ll get a window after the expansion draft to set up the team

    I can’t imagine the NHLPA tolerating otherwise. The whole point of waivers is firstly to prevent established players from being sent to the hinterlands without a chance to play elsewhere. Parity being the other.

  130. Rocknrolla says:

    commonfan14:
    The one monkey wrench pick with Vegas is the third goalie. They have to take three, so will have to trade or waive one.

    And since there’s not likely to be that big a trade market for the third best goalie of the ones that get left exposed, there’s a pretty significant chance they end up having to just waive the guy.

    Brossoit getting claimed really is the best-case scenario. It’s entirely possible we’d just end up getting him back for free off waivers.

    Does there not seem like they will have an opportunity to assign some of these prospects to the ahl before the season starts, technically avoiding waivers? I can see if they bring up then they are fair game but I bet there is a rule in there where those 7 are protected.

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