WALKING ON A THIN LINE

Years from now, when I am gone and Mrs. Lowetide has turned this place into a blog about 2,000-piece puzzles, Mahjong, and wine, someone somewhere will remember the Edmonton Oilers 2015-16 rookie class. It was a fine group, led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but also including Brandon, Davidson, Darnell Nurse, Iiro Pakarinen, Jordan Oesterle, Jujhar Khaira, Griffin Reinhart, Anton Slepyshev.

Music!

Now, even with McDavid and company, an NHL team has to keep filling holes by various means. Peter Chiarelli has utilized all of them so far, from trades to free agency (NHL and college) and the draft. This is the beginning of the climb, Edmonton is going to need plenty of replacement-level players in the future.

Which makes the current situation so dangerous. The Oilers prospect list is rife with issues, especially at forward. It is now at a point where I think we should be talking about it as a legitimate, front page, concern. Why?

Let’s say the Oilers are in on Brian Boyle, and that the first-round selection is in play. Edmonton, who have less bubbling under than the Sharks, are nowhere close to being as strong as the modern Oakland Seals. Why would Peter Chiarelli trade his first round pick—even in a weaker year—for a player who will be UFA by the time we see warm weather hits our city? I don’t think the Oilers can do it, frankly. Even with Brandon Davidson, also being mentioned as a possible trade chip, Edmonton has to get something in return that has value beyond June.

HOW BAD IS IT?

Important not to take my word for it, I am as prone to hyperbole as the next guy. That rookie crop from 2015 has some nice things in the follow-up group (2016 rookies include Jesse Puljujarvi, Matt Benning, Drake Caggiula, plus Slepyshev and Khaira), but the pipeline needs to have more players in the system.

Especially forwards. During the recent Top 20 prospects listing, I identified 41 names who could be considered Oilers prospects. History tells us that very few will play 200 NHL games, and that isn’t news. What is news, and alarming, is the number of prominent forward prospects who have one or more issues. Here is the list, with the forwards highlighted:

  1. Jesse Puljujarvi—28 games and a quality prospect
  2. Tyler Benson—injured for the second year in a row, and that is a concern
  3. Drake Caggiula—38 games and we don’t know if there is enough offense
  4. Matt Benning
  5. Ziyat Paigin
  6. Ethan Bear
  7. Caleb Jones
  8. Anton Slepyshev—39 games and looks like he might be a player
  9. Jujhar Khaira—18 games and showing promise. NHL-ready depth forward.
  10. Tyler Pitlick—58 games and he could be a free agent July 1.
  11. Filip Berglund
  12. Laurent Brossoit
  13. Griffin Reinhart
  14. Nick Ellis
  15. Aapeli Rasanen—Distant bell
  16. William Lagesson
  17. Dillon Simpson
  18. Markus Niemelainen
  19. Tyler Vesel—May get a contract, uncertain if he has an NHL future.
  20. Dylan Wells
  21. John Marino
  22. Jaroslav Svoboda
  23. David Musil
  24. Matthew Cairns
  25. Jordan Oesterle
  26. Bogdan Yakimov—1 NHL game and we may not see him again.
  27. Kyle Platzer—Not playing a lot in the AHL.
  28. Mitchell Moroz—Traded for Henrik Samuelsson.
  29. Aidan Muir—College man showing some life.
  30. Graham McPhee—Distant bell.
  31. Ben Betker
  32. Joey Laleggia—Now a winger, scoring in the AHL.
  33. Greg Chase—Not playing a lot in the AHL.
  34. Zach Nagelvoort
  35. Jere Sallinen—Veteran of top Euro leagues has been a disappointment.
  36. Patrick Russell—Signed college free agent, playing a depth role in the AHL.
  37. Vincent Desharnais
  38. Joey Benik—AHL only contract, I don’t think he has turned the needle.
  39. Braden Christoffer—Energy player in the AHL.
  40. Evan Campbell—Has a support role in college.
  41. Eetu Laurikainen

How many certainties do you see? I count Jesse Puljujarvi, who should have an NHL career even if he can’t score as hoped, and then we have a group that includes Caggiula, Slepyshev, Pitlick and Khaira who may fill a role for several years.

Not much, folks. Tell me again about trading the first-round pick? Hell, I think Peter Chiarelli should be looking at adding a second-round selection. At the very least, if he is dealing the first rounder and or Brandon Davidson for Brian Boyle, for heaven’s sake get a pick or a prospect added into the deal. And make it a good one!

JOSH HEALEY

  • D Josh Healey. Former Sherwood Park Crusader is an effective college defender for Ohio State. Reportedly has some puck moving ability but most of what I’ve read concentrated on defensive play. Source

Healey was part of the Mother of All Orientation Camps in the summer of 2015, and one hopes it made a good impression on him. Along with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse, guys like Healey surely had a fun time playing elite-level hockey in the middle of the summer.

Bob McKenzie has an article up about Healey, and interest from various teams including the Oilers and Flames. The same article talks about Czech defender Jakub Jerabek. He is 25, and coming off a strong season in the KHL (56gp, 5-27-32, NHLE is 37 points). You would have to think whoever signs Jerabek brings him right to the NHL.

ETHAN BEAR

Young WHL defender passed 20 goals the other night, and posted a big afternoon for Seattle Thunderbirds. He now stands at 54gp, 22-33-55 (NHLE: 9-14-23) and we hope he gets some AHL time after his junior career ends later this spring.

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74 Responses to "WALKING ON A THIN LINE"

  1. Professor Q says:

    Bobby Ryan moved to the 3rd Line. I know he hasn’t been doing well, but could he have potential with Draisaitl, Nuge, or McDavid?

  2. Professor Q says:

    Also: I just love Bear.

    I know he’s been overlooked by Hockey Canada, but I just feel that there’s something special there with him and Jones.

  3. Dicky94 says:

    I would only use the 1st if it meant a player with term was coming the other way. With all the talk of Boston wanting Landeskog, I would love to see Chia swoop in and get him in the end. Then trade him to Montreal in the summer.

  4. anjinsan says:

    Worthy LT,

    Had Chiarelli picked Barzal and Carlo at 16 and 33 when the stars were aligned for a magnum opus draft … we’d have a summa cum forward prospect and a tough-ass starting RHD now. Lawd have mercy.

    With Carlo ready, there would not have been desperation on RHD. Following up on that, had Hall not been traded things wouldn’t be so thin, eh?

    And, had Schultz’s development not been bungled and he ridiculed out of town, we’d have an excellent PP RHD. Yes, Schultz, consistently over 20 minutes these months and +29 9-30-39.

    I pray Chiarelli wont piss away a 1st and bloat Russell but that’s what Chiarelli does.

  5. stevezie says:

    Now, I’m not saying a deep prospect list isn’t a good thing, or that that we should trade our first for Boyle (no thanks), or not having one is an easy problem to work around.

    But I do think its importance is somewhat overstated.

    Draft picks- even in the first two or three rounds- are just such low percentage bets. Even when they play games in the bigs, how many of those games are they actually helping versus being “developed” and the team would be closer to winning with a cheap vet?

    Every year there are college free agents. Every year there are cheap vets (Gryba, Stepniak). Every year someone is offering a Lander or a McIlrath for free.

    In some ways I think you’re better off without a bunch of maybes. Are low percentage late rounders worth the roster spots they take up which precludes taking a chance on Redmonds and such? If every year you traded your 5, 6, and 7 rounder for a third you not only get a higher percentage pick but you save two roster spots that can be used for waivers and college kids. College kids love the appearance of no depth.

    Would we really be better off having drafted a decent goalie prospect and spent years, roster spots and resources developing him than we are signing Nick Ellis (who saw he had a spot here)?

    Also, with us specifically, we may not have three forwards who have a 30% chance of making the show, but we do have one guy who has a 90% shot (JP). I made those numbers up but you get what I’m saying. We have few guys with real chances but they have such real chances that the odds of getting a contribution from the yutes remain the same. Would we be better off if Musil, Simpson and Reinhart looking better, or with one Matt Benning? He came here because he saw the opportunity.

    Play the percentages!

    I don’t even believe all of this (I loved MacT turning one lottery ticket into several. Play the percentages!), but I kind of believe most of it and am curious if anyone has any thoughts.

  6. sliderule says:

    I too had concern about Jesse’s scoring

    After watching all his goals in AHL it should translate to NHL.

    Watch the last breakaway.Head up ,picks a corner.

    Contrast that to all other oilers not named Connor or Leon.

  7. stevezie says:

    anjinsan,

    I don’t blame him for trading those picks for an NHL ready defender who was just entering his prime and was still a little underrated. That was the smart play. The team needed immediate help and an almost-sure thing 22 year old is worth two hot shit 18s. Definitely the right call.

    I blame him for who he traded them for like crazy. Known at the time, man, it was all known at the time.

    But I’m trying to move forward!!!!

  8. Scungilli says:

    stevezie:
    Now, I’m not saying a deep prospect list isn’t a good thing, or that that we should trade our first for Boyle (no thanks), or not having one is an easy problem to work around.

    But I do think its importance is somewhat overstated.

    Draft picks- even in the first two or three rounds- are just such low percentage bets. Even when they play games in the bigs, how many of those games are they actually helping versus being “developed” and the team would be closer to winning with a cheap vet?

    Every year there are college free agents. Every year there are cheap vets (Gryba, Stepniak). Every year someone is offering a Lander or a McIlrath for free.

    In some ways I think you’re better off without a bunch of maybes. Are low percentage late rounders worth the roster spots they take up which precludes taking a chance on Redmonds and such? If every year you traded your 5, 6, and 7 rounder for a third you not only get a higher percentage pick but you save two roster spots that can be used for waivers and college kids. College kids love the appearance of no depth.

    Would we really be better off having drafted a decent goalie prospect and spent years, roster spots and resources developing him than we are signing Nick Ellis (who saw he had a spot here)?

    Also, with us specifically, we may not have three forwards who have a 30% chance of making the show, but we do have one guy who has a 90% shot (JP). I made those numbers up but you get what I’m saying. We have few guys with real chances but they have such real chances that the odds of getting a contribution from the yutes remain the same. Would we be better off if Musil, Simpson and Reinhart looking better, or with one Matt Benning? He came here because he saw the opportunity.

    Play the percentages!

    I don’t even believe all of this (I loved MacT turning one lottery ticket into several. Play the percentages!), but I kind of believe most of it and am curious if anyone has any thoughts.

    This is how I think as well. Trade the bottom 3 picks for a second and you’ll end up with more players that make it and that are better

  9. leadfarmer says:

    A first for a 3rd line center rental. That’s crazy. We’re not winning the cup this year. I’d keep my powder dry if I was Chia unless its to drive up prices for west coast rivals.

  10. sliderule says:

    For those that think there is no gold in late round drafts here is food for thought.

    Drafts 2004-2008
    2004 3rd round Sekera Edler Franzen
    4th round Kennedy Callaghan
    5th round. Versatel Gray ski
    6 th No players
    7 th Brouwer. Hum wick
    2005. 3rd Rd Russell Letang Quick
    4th Handle Hjalmarsson
    5th. Helm Gerbe
    6th. 0
    7th. Stralman. Horquist
    2006. 3rd Mason Marchand Clutterbuck
    4th. Bellesky
    5th. 0
    6 th Macdonald. Stalberg
    7th. Dorsett
    2007. 3rd Killorn
    4th. Martinez
    5th. Benn
    6th. Hagelin Bonino
    7th. Gunnarson Braun
    2008. 3rd Smith Henrique Stone
    4th. Brodie. Nyquist Weiss
    5th. Calvert Martin
    6th. Spurgeon Atkinson Wingels
    7th. Demers

    There are probably a couple of those names that some will say we’re not that good but there are a several that you would put in star category.
    Not one oiler in the bunch

  11. Scungilli says:

    Draft picks are lifeblood but it is more important to maximize every second of CMD. First fond balance. If a first gets an asset to help Connor at this point do it. There aren’t going to be many jobs in the key roles for years soon. Bottom players aren’t hard to get.

  12. oscarmike says:

    A 1st round pick for Boyle

    1st+ high-end prospect+ young establish D for Duchene

    Does that mean Mcdavid is worth an entire hockey team?

    Mcdavid for Chicago Blackhawks
    I would do that trade.

  13. stevezie says:

    sliderule,

    It’s not that there is no gold, it’s that finding them is pure luck and you can’t count on it. I’d rather be able to lure Matt Benning than try to draft TJ Brodie.

    There is gold in the seventh, but looking for it ain’t free.

    I am not at all sure I’m right on this. It is a very poorly thought out idea that I’m mostly throwing out for conversation and to keep LT on his toes. Are you sure prospect dept matters?

  14. Lowetide says:

    Marino won’t get a point, but looked good on the Hah-vahd powah-play there.

  15. JDï™ says:

    Daaaaaaa Bear!

  16. theres oil in virginia says:

    Years from now, when I am gone and Mrs. Lowetide has turned this place into a blog about 2,000-piece puzzles, Mahjong, and wine

    Don’t look now, but this transition may have already started. 🙂

    No way Chiarelli trades a 1st rd pick for Boyle. Huge overpay. Yuuge!

  17. LubeOil says:

    It isn’t my money (or assets, if you will), but I wouldn’t consider trading a 1st Rd pick for Boyle. I think he would be a benefit to the team but the asking price is too high for my liking.

    TMac and Chia appear to be less than impressed by Lander, would Yzerman consider a one for one trade involving those two? I guess not if he feels a 1st rounder is required.

  18. LubeOil says:

    stevezie,

    I agree with your line of thinking. Even the 1st round can be a crap shoot, and the percentages go down from there. If there is any GM or scout out there that can tell you they knew that a player they had previously drafted beyond the 1st round was sure to be a solid NHL player, then the Oil should hire them. As LT says, evaluating teenagers is a fool’s game. Or something to that effect.

  19. MughalMuggle says:

    Hi LT, just wondering how NHLE is calculated?

  20. Lowetide says:

    MughalMuggle:
    Hi LT, just wondering how NHLE is calculated?

    It takes the air out of junior and minor league numbers and puts them all in 82gp state. Gabriel Desjardins did it first, Rob vollmans version is the one I currently use.

  21. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    We are not at the deadline so prices are high.

    Hence all the talk about trading 1sts for rentals.

    Last year 0 1sts got traded for rentals.

    I expect close to the same number this year.

    NHL GM’s seemed to have learned that 1sts are too valuable in most instances.

    Chiareli hasn’t been a buyer at the deadline since this particular worm has turned, but I hope he’s been paying attention.

    Mind you, I hoped Peter filled out the roster correctly so McLellan could unleash Hall and McDavid for 2/3 of each game, but alas, here we are.

    Hope is a dangerous thing.

    Hope can drive a man insane.

  22. Diablo says:

    anjinsan:
    Worthy LT,

    Had Chiarelli picked Barzal and Carlo at 16 and 33 when the stars were aligned for a magnum opus draft … we’d have a summa cum forward prospect and a tough-ass starting RHD now.Lawd have mercy.

    With Carlo ready, there would not have been desperation on RHD.Following up on that, had Hall not been traded things wouldn’t be so thin, eh?

    And, had Schultz’s development not been bungled and he ridiculed out of town, we’d have an excellent PP RHD.Yes, Schultz, consistently over 20 minutes these months and +29 9-30-39.

    I pray Chiarelli wont piss away a 1st and bloat Russell but that’s what Chiarelli does.

    Are you kidding with this? Bringing up Justin Schultz and stating that Chia made an error trading him away? Did you actually watch him play for us?

    Schultz was getting his head caved in night after night for the Oil – he was beyond terrible. He now plays absolutely butter soft minutes for the Pens – good on him for resurrecting his career, but that was never going to happen playing for the Oil – it was a small miracle that he got a 3rd from the Pens after the total gong show Schultz put on for the past couple of years. That’s not on the coach or the GM, but the player himself – he played like he was allergic to physical contact, and handled the puck like it was a hand-grenade.

    Like several high profile young players who have played for the Oilers, he was gifted everything on a silver platter and never made to earn his place on the team as a top 4 d-man. Then he played himself off of it. It took a trade to another team, and a major haircut in base salary to get him to see the error of his ways.

    And even if they had drafted Carlo, which is not a given, nobody except Carlo’s mom believed he would be playing in the NHL this year. It wouldn’t have made one iota of difference last summer regarding whether to trade Hall for Larsson.

    You know I’ve been reading for months that Chia was going to sign Russell – at first it was going to be as soon as it was possible to do so on Jan 1. Now those wearing the tin foil hats think it’ll be after the expansion draft. To me this just sounds like trolls trying to rain in on the parade of our first decent season in a decade.

    What’s going to happen is this – Chia’s going to tell Russell that if he likes playing in Alberta on Connor’s team, then he’ll take a big time discount to do so. And if he doesn’t like it then he’s free to shop his services to the highest bidder. After no one offers him anything better, Russell will come back to the negotiating table later in the summer and sign for around 2 million for 2-3 years. Similar to the way they played hardball with Gryba last year – this is an established pattern in terms of how Chia deals with depth d-men.

    An no he’s not going to trade a 1st for Brian Boyle – that would be fucking asinine.

  23. who says:

    Diablo: Are you kidding with this? Bringing up Justin Schultz and stating that Chia made an error trading him away? Did you actually watch him play for us?

    Schultz was getting his head caved in night after night for the Oil – he was beyond terrible. He now plays absolutely butter soft minutes for the Pens – good on him for resurrecting his career, but that was never going to happen playing for the Oil – it was a small miracle that he got a 3rd from the Pens after the total gong show Schultz put on for the past couple of years. That’s not on the coach or the GM, but the player himself – he played like he was allergic to physical contact, and handled the puck like it was a hand-grenade.

    Like several high profile young players who have played for the Oilers, he was gifted everything on a silver platter and never made to earn his place on the team as a top 4 d-man. Then he played himself off of it. It took a trade to another team, and a major haircut in base salary to get him to see the error of his ways.

    And even if they had drafted Carlo, which is not a given, nobody except Carlo’s mom believed he would be playing in the NHL this year. It wouldn’t have made one iota of difference last summer regarding whether to trade Hall for Larsson.

    You know I’ve been reading for months that Chia was going to sign Russell – at first it was going to be as soon as it was possible to do so on Jan 1. Now those wearing the tin foil hats think it’ll be after the expansion draft. To me this just sounds like trolls trying to rain in on the parade of our first decent season in a decade.

    What’s going to happen is this – Chia’s going to tell Russell that if he likes playing in Alberta on Connor’s team, then he’ll take a big time discount to do so. And if he doesn’t like it then he’s free to shop his services to the highest bidder. After no one offers him anything better, Russell will come back to the negotiating table later in the summer and sign for around 2 million for 2-3 years. Similar to the way they played hardball with Gryba last year – this is an established pattern in terms of how Chia deals with depth d-men.

    An no he’s not going to trade a 1st for Brian Boyle – that would be fucking asinine.

    Love this post and I believe you are right.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    We are not at the deadline so prices are high.

    Hence all the talk about trading 1sts for rentals.

    Last year 0 1sts got traded for rentals.

    I expect close to the same number this year.

    NHL GM’s seemed to have learned that 1sts are too valuable in most instances.

    Chiareli hasn’t been a buyer at the deadline since this particular worm has turned, but I hope he’s been paying attention.

    Mind you, I hoped Peter filled out the roster correctly so McLellan could unleash Hall and McDavid for 2/3 of each game, but alas, here we are.

    Hope is a dangerous thing.

    Hope can drive a man insane.

    Weak draft year may mean we see a little more leeway, but agree overall. We will see what the Oilers do. If you are going to trade a first for a rental, get a second or a good prospect as part of the deal.

  25. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Last year 0 1sts got traded for rentals.

    Ladd?

  26. Centre of attention says:

    I think certain people are being sold a bill of goods with regards to Boyle.

    Boyle’s a generally good corsi player this year, he’s got 12 goals and he’s 50%+ on the dot sure, but he’s also playing with Drouin quite a bit this season and that’s definitely boosting his offensive numbers.

    You take away Drouin and I’m sure Boyle’s fancy stats will plummet as well as his offense.

    It’s a hard pass for me even if it cost next to nothing, asking me for a first round pick? Save the quarter and don’t bother calling.

    On another completely separate note:

    I’ve been watching WHL games as I’ve mentioned before, and on the topic of Bear I don’t know how long of a study this guy will be.

    It really depends on how well defensively they want him to play in the NHL, because IMO he could step onto an NHL power play this fall and contribute.

    Personally I think at least a full season in the AHL to round out his defensive game/skating would be good for Bear. The offense is definitely there, he’s going to score some goals at the pro level if he gets power play time, it’s just a matter of developing his defensive game which would be helped by improved edge work. If he improves his skating even 10%, it would make his defensive game exponentially more effective.

    From what I see, Bear’s reading the play correctly he just sometimes has a tough time with pivots when quick wingers take him wide, or when cutting side to side trying to keep with a guy cycling against him in the d-zone. Quick, darting forwards take advantage. By eye he’s trying to do the right thing, the foot work just isn’t there at times though.

    It’s not like he’s an awful skater, just the finer details get noticed when he’s under pressure.

    None of the negatives I just discussed seem to limit his game from the offensive blue-line in, as his ability to read the play and constantly be in a shooting position nullify his slight lack of mobility. He can deliver the puck on net via laser-accurate wrist shot as well as with a booming slap shot. Bear gets his slap shot off impressively fast as well, without needing a full wind-up to get a hard shot. Bears main weapon is his shot, but not to be ignored is his ability to thread the needle with wonderful stretch passes, at times springing Seattle forwards for break away’s.

    I apologize for being so long winded and hope my scouting report is found useful by at least one person here, I appreciate anybody else chipping in with their own opinions of what they have seen from young Ethan. Finally another D prospect to get excited about!

  27. Pouzar says:

    Centre of attention,

    Boyle’s CF% is better away from Drouin (53.1 with, 54.1 without).
    Drouin’s CF% is much worse away from Boyle (50.2)

  28. Mr. D. says:

    Ryan is a slug. Below Avery skating to the point of laughable. Lateral moevent of a bowling ball. He and Lucy are both overpaid weak skaters and no mobility. I’m sure Ottawa would trade for Eberle straight up but we’d lose that trade.

    Professor Q:
    Bobby Ryan moved to the 3rd Line. I know he hasn’t been doing well, but could he have potential with Draisaitl, Nuge, or McDavid?

  29. Centre of attention says:

    Pouzar:
    Centre of attention,

    Boyle’s CF% is better away from Drouin (53.1 with, 54.1 without).
    Drouin’s CF% is much worse away from Boyle (50.2)

    Oh really? I hadn’t actually looked at the WOWY’s.

    That’s probably due to the fact when Boyle is away from Drouin he’s not getting near the defensive attention as when he’s with Drouin. Lower QoC = better shot share

    And when Drouin is away from Boyle, he’s probably up the line up with Johnson / Palat / Kucherov and definitely getting more attention. higher QoC = takes a hit in the shot share

    I would have to do more digging to fully prove my opinion but that doesn’t change the fact I pass on Boyle. Ok maybe if the cost is little I would have a bit of time for him but by all accounts the cost is probably something we’re going to hate.

  30. Pouzar says:

    Centre of attention: Oh really? I hadn’t actually looked at the WOWY’s.

    Yeah for this year. That’s as fancy as I can get right now. SuperNova had a good analysis of Boyle weeks ago.

  31. Centre of attention says:

    Pouzar: Yeah for this year. That’s as fancy as I can get right now. SuperNova had a good analysis of Boyle weeks ago.

    Check my last comment again, I edited it because my first try didn’t make any sense haha.

    Do you get what I’m saying with regards to Quality of Competition?

    Maybe it’s the wobbly pop talking but I think I have a point there lol.

  32. Pouzar says:

    Centre of attention: Check my last comment again, I edited it because my first try didn’t make any sense haha.

    Do you get what I’m saying with regards to Quality of Competition?

    Maybe it’s the wobbly pop talking but I think I have a point there lol.

    Hee hee…

    I think the Woodmoney says he does well against the Top comp too though???
    Not sure if that is with Drouin or not.

  33. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Would anyone trade Looch for Ryan? not sure I would

  34. oscarmike says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    We are not at the deadline so prices are high.

    Hence all the talk about trading 1sts for rentals.

    Last year 0 1sts got traded for rentals.

    I expect close to the same number this year.

    NHL GM’s seemed to have learned that 1sts are too valuable in most instances.

    Chiareli hasn’t been a buyer at the deadline since this particular worm has turned, but I hope he’s been paying attention.

    Mind you, I hoped Peter filled out the roster correctly so McLellan could unleash Hall and McDavid for 2/3 of each game, but alas, here we are.

    Hope is a dangerous thing.

    Hope can drive a man insane.

    Andrew Ladd was traded to the BlackHawks last year for a 1st round pick. This year Ladd plays for NYI

  35. Centre of attention says:

    Pouzar,

    Can we both agree that we shouldn’t pay too much for Boyles services? That’s putting things in much simpler non-fancy terms haha.

  36. npanciroli says:

    4-0 Arizona!

  37. Pouzar says:

    Centre of attention:
    Pouzar,

    Can we both agree that we shouldn’t pay too much for Boyles services? That’s putting things in much simpler non-fancy terms haha.

    Oh hell yeah. I like the player but a 1st rd pick is batshit crazy.

  38. flyfish1168 says:

    npanciroli:
    4-0 Arizona!

    Smith is on his game tonight. I hope he is not in the net against is tomorrow

  39. CamRent BroBot says:

    Did anyone watch Marino in the Beanpot tonight? I’m stuck studying so I couldn’t watch but I’m curious how he did.

  40. OF17 says:

    Centre of attention,

    I, for one, really enjoyed the scouting report. Thank you.

  41. Diablo says:

    Personally I don’t think the Oilers will do much trading this year.

    We might see another reclamation project ala Pat Maroon, and probably a backup goalie.

    Maybe they fetch a vet RW like Vrbata or Sharpe for Davidson.

    Our first isn’t going anywhere, unless Sakic bites on an RNH + Davidson for Duchene deal – I’d be fully on board if that went down.

    Neither Nurse or Puljujarvi are going anywhere.

    I would not be surprised if Chia took advantage of the market and sent Russell packing. The room will get over it.

  42. rickithebear says:

    Slidrule:

    when referencing a late round picked player as an indication of a teams great drafting
    consider this.
    DET 1998 drft
    Fisher D #25 305gm
    Barnes L #55 2gm
    Valtonen L #56 0gm
    Mccraken G #84 0gm
    Hobday L #111 0gm
    C. Steen C #142 0gm
    Deleeuw L #151 0gm

    the detroit scouting staff thought these players were better than Datsyuk.
    Great drafting?
    No!
    F…….g Lucky!

  43. Chachi says:

    Diablo: Are you kidding with this? Bringing up Justin Schultz and stating that Chia made an error trading him away? Did you actually watch him play for us?

    Schultz was getting his head caved in night after night for the Oil – he was beyond terrible. He now plays absolutely butter soft minutes for the Pens – good on him for resurrecting his career, but that was never going to happen playing for the Oil – it was a small miracle that he got a 3rd from the Pens after the total gong show Schultz put on for the past couple of years. That’s not on the coach or the GM, but the player himself – he played like he was allergic to physical contact, and handled the puck like it was a hand-grenade.

    Like several high profile young players who have played for the Oilers, he was gifted everything on a silver platter and never made to earn his place on the team as a top 4 d-man. Then he played himself off of it. It took a trade to another team, and a major haircut in base salary to get him to see the error of his ways.

    And even if they had drafted Carlo, which is not a given, nobody except Carlo’s mom believed he would be playing in the NHL this year. It wouldn’t have made one iota of difference last summer regarding whether to trade Hall for Larsson.

    You know I’ve been reading for months that Chia was going to sign Russell – at first it was going to be as soon as it was possible to do so on Jan 1. Now those wearing the tin foil hats think it’ll be after the expansion draft. To me this just sounds like trolls trying to rain in on the parade of our first decent season in a decade.

    What’s going to happen is this – Chia’s going to tell Russell that if he likes playing in Alberta on Connor’s team, then he’ll take a big time discount to do so. And if he doesn’t like it then he’s free to shop his services to the highest bidder. After no one offers him anything better, Russell will come back to the negotiating table later in the summer and sign for around 2 million for 2-3 years. Similar to the way they played hardball with Gryba last year – this is an established pattern in terms of how Chia deals with depth d-men.

    An no he’s not going to trade a 1st for Brian Boyle – that would be fucking asinine.

    Diablo bringing the heat and the truth.

  44. Centre of attention says:

    OF17,

    Yeah I’m interested in hearing if anyone else has noticed the skating thing.

    To me, if he could spend one solid summer with the Oilers skating coach, just purely on edges and cutting corners tighter he would be completely fine defensively.

    The problem is not that he’s failing to recognize his assignment, or that he’s getting lost system wise in the defensive zone, its just sometimes the feet won’t let him stick with his guy even though it’s clear he’s trying to.

    Example, on a rush against Bear is backing up just fine, he’s in his lane, suddenly the forward fakes cutting to the middle before wheeling out wide. Bear is usually toast. He can’t do the stutter step to begin cutting to the middle before jumping back to his other foot to cut towards the boards and stay with his man. Either he doesn’t bite on the fake and risks giving up access to the slot, or he bites and has zero chance of catching the guy wide due to difficulty with the edges.

    Another quick example: he’s checking his guy behind the net, trying to advance the puck up the boards. Suddenly the forward button hooks and spins off of him. He has trouble quickly pivoting and maintaining body position, and often loses a step on the guy as he cuts to the net.

    Just fixing those two motions I mentioned would unlock massive potential in the player. You can also begin to understand why maybe he fell a couple rounds when he was ranked as a second rounder on some lists. Skating is important in today’s game, we are lucky it can be learned.

    It is also to be mentioned that at the junior level, Bear is only really exposed like I described against the smaller, more agile guys who can make those types of darting motions. Average speed guys he has no problem with due to fantastic positioning and ability to read the play. Very cerebral player.

  45. leadfarmer says:

    Going back to last thread. Jumbo Joe has been their pp qb from the halfwall for years. Their pp is struggling cause the team is suffering from long playoff runitis. They were top 5 last year. They won’t remain 20th. They will get hot now that they’re getting ready for a run

  46. who says:

    Wonder about Calgary dropping gaudreau to the 4th line tonight. Don cherry isn’t right about a lot of things, but he did say keeping your best player happy seems to be a good recipe for job security. Interesting decision being made tonight in Calgary.

  47. Scungilli says:

    “batshit crazy”

    I just renamed my second son that. I think it is memorable, especially for Lowetidians. He’s not too happy but he’ll like it later – Zappa kid’s names.

    In his defense it might have been easier at birth!

  48. Woogie63 says:

    How will next year’s team improve?

    Reinhart, Kahaira, Puljarjavi from Bakersfield

    Nurse, Pitlick – for a full year

    Klefblom, Benning, Davidson, McDavid, Draisaitl, Caggiula, Slepyshev – getting better

    Sekera, Larrson, Kassian, Russell, Letestu – Good asset in the peak of their career

    Wild cards for next year

    RNH, Eberle, Lucia, LB, Hendricks, – is this just one down year?

    That is 17 players that are peaking in their career or getting better

    We are in a great position even if we choose to not make a move.

  49. digger50 says:

    Diablo: Are you kidding with this? Bringing up Justin Schultz and stating that Chia made an error trading him away? Did you actually watch him play for us?

    Schultz was getting his head caved in night after night for the Oil – he was beyond terrible. He now plays absolutely butter soft minutes for the Pens – good on him for resurrecting his career, but that was never going to happen playing for the Oil – it was a small miracle that he got a 3rd from the Pens after the total gong show Schultz put on for the past couple of years. That’s not on the coach or the GM, but the player himself – he played like he was allergic to physical contact, and handled the puck like it was a hand-grenade.

    Like several high profile young players who have played for the Oilers, he was gifted everything on a silver platter and never made to earn his place on the team as a top 4 d-man. Then he played himself off of it. It took a trade to another team, and a major haircut in base salary to get him to see the error of his ways.

    And even if they had drafted Carlo, which is not a given, nobody except Carlo’s mom believed he would be playing in the NHL this year. It wouldn’t have made one iota of difference last summer regarding whether to trade Hall for Larsson.

    You know I’ve been reading for months that Chia was going to sign Russell – at first it was going to be as soon as it was possible to do so on Jan 1. Now those wearing the tin foil hats think it’ll be after the expansion draft. To me this just sounds like trolls trying to rain in on the parade of our first decent season in a decade.

    What’s going to happen is this – Chia’s going to tell Russell that if he likes playing in Alberta on Connor’s team, then he’ll take a big time discount to do so. And if he doesn’t like it then he’s free to shop his services to the highest bidder. After no one offers him anything better, Russell will come back to the negotiating table later in the summer and sign for around 2 million for 2-3 years. Similar to the way they played hardball with Gryba last year – this is an established pattern in terms of how Chia deals with depth d-men.

    An no he’s not going to trade a 1st for Brian Boyle – that would be fucking asinine.

    Are you kidding with this??

  50. npanciroli says:

    I’ve never seen a defenceman quit on a team as much as Schultz. What an embarrassment.

  51. Gerta Rauss says:

    I stumbled across this on Capfriendly

    2017 5th round pick* (*Conditional- becomes 4th round pick if Larsen maintains a 0.3Pts/Gm avg in 2016-17 (min of 42 gms)
    VAN
    Philip Larsen

    He’s back playing after a lengthy injury(the Hall hit)

    He’s got 6 points in 20 games with 26 games remaining, so he’s a little shy, and that assumes he plays the minimum of games

  52. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great post LT! LT says: ” I count Jesse Puljujarvi, who should have an NHL career even if he can’t score as hoped”.

    – I actually fault this blog a lot for this opinion on pool-party. He was consensus #3 pick. He fell into our lap. He should be a fine player.

    – I don’t get how if we be all about stats, we ignore his garbage NHLE’s There is nothing in his background that suggests elite scorer. I’m happy we got him, but I never got the whole “next Kurri”.

  53. JDï™ says:

    5 days of rust, divided by one game, times 2 days of rust = ?

    C’mon mathletes – help a brutha out!

  54. oscarmike says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    I stumbled across this on Capfriendly

    2017 5th round pick* (*Conditional- becomes 4th round pick if Larsen maintains a 0.3Pts/Gm avg in 2016-17 (min of 42 gms)
    VAN
    Philip Larsen


    He’s back playing after a lengthy injury(the Hall hit)

    He’s got 6 points in 20 games with 26 games remaining, so he’s a little shy, and that assumes he plays the minimum of games

    If VAN is smart they will scratch Larsen for a few games especially if they aren’t making playoffs.

  55. Chachi says:

    kinger_OIL:

    – I don’t get how if we be all about stats, we ignore his garbage NHLE’sThere is nothing in his background that suggests elite scorer.I’m happy we got him, but I never got the whole “next Kurri”.

    You are right. Puljujarvi actually had a better 17 year old season in the Finnish league than Kurri did. He’s not going to be the next Kurri he’s going to be better than Kurri!

  56. GMB3 says:

    Alexander Mogilny scored 76 goals one season in the early 90’s. Being too young to remember that, how did things like that happen? Where were the goalies? Did anyone play defense? How many more penalties were called then than now?

    He basically scored a goal per game. If guys can get a point per game, they are the elite point producers in todays NHL. What a shitty era of hockey for the fans.

  57. JDï™ says:

    GMB3: Alexander Mogilny scored 76 goals one season in the early 90’s.

    It was in 92/93 that he did that, and save for a couple of other seasons near 50 goals, he never approached that total again.

    Teemu Selanne also scored 76 goals in 92/93, and other than four season near 50 goals (spread out over a long career), he never came close to that lofty total again either.

    Goals per game in the league for the first few years of the 90s:

    1990 6.91
    1991 6.96
    1992 7.25
    1993 6.48
    1994 5.97
    1995 6.29
    1996 5.83

    A slight rise in GPG in the Selanne/Mogilny 76 goal season, but nothing that points to a dramatic difference in opponents.

  58. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL:

    – I actually fault this blog a lot for this opinion on pool-party.

    Here is my RE on Puljujarvi. What, specifically, do you disagree with?
    http://lowetide.ca/2016/08/02/re-16-17-jesse-puljujarvi-powderfinger/

  59. Diablo says:

    digger50,

    No. Schultz was both entitled and terrible. He needed to move on – it was the best thing for both the player and the organization. Discussing the numbers that he’s putting up now, and insinuating that moving him was some kind of blunder, completely disregards everything that came before.

    All the doomsayers who keep stating with absolute certainty that Chia is going to sign Russell to 4×4 – where the proof? A few MSM guys floating around speculation is all I see, which then gets retweeted a bunch of times, and reblogged a bunch more times. Most of Chia’s moves we don’t see coming.

  60. Professor Q says:

    Mr. D.:
    Ryan is aslug. Below Avery skating to the point of laughable. Lateral moevent of a bowling ball. He and Lucy are both overpaid weak skaters and no mobility. I’m sure Ottawa would trade for Eberle straight up but we’d lose that trade.

    Gaudreau is on the 4th in Calgary, too. Lots of trouble in lots of places.

  61. MrEd says:

    Good Gord was Pitlick ever a treasure to watch this year.

  62. stevezie says:

    Diablo: And even if they had drafted Carlo, which is not a given, nobody except Carlo’s mom believed he would be playing in the NHL this year. It wouldn’t have made one iota of difference last summer regarding whether to trade Hall for Larsson.

    Small point of clarificaton:

    The tragedy is not that we don’t have Carlo and Barzal, it’s that we don’t have the defenceman we needed when we traded them.

  63. GMB3 says:

    MrEd:
    Good Gord was Pitlick ever a treasure to watch this year.

    He is the type of guy that would be a playoff hero. Crashes the net and scores the ugly goals. Those huge ones in playoff series.

  64. kinger_OIL says:

    Lowetide: Here is my RE on Puljujarvi. What, specifically, do you disagree with?
    http://lowetide.ca/2016/08/02/re-16-17-jesse-puljujarvi-powderfinger/

    – Your RE is wonderful on him actually. So why say even if he doesn’t score as hoped. Heck I “hope” that Kassian becomes the next Cam Neely. But I know better

    – Based on all I’ve read on Pulju, I don’t see how one could peg him as a significant goal-scorer

    – Now if he can play effectively with McD (next year’s Drai) that changes things. I like him a lot, but, scouting, RE, actual performance suggest less offensive upside than say a Yak

    *ducks*

  65. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pouzar,

    oscarmike,

    Thanks for the correction.

    I used the TSN trade tracker and it didn’t go back far enough, just to last year’s deadline date.

    I also blame my phone.

    I had forgotten that Bowman spent some assets to get the band back together.

    Not smart when he Dcorps was a weak point past Hjarlmasson and Keith last year.

    Their Dcorps is performing much better this year with Kempny and Campbell stabilizing 2nd and 3rd pair.

  66. Lowetide says:

    kinger_OIL: – Your RE is wonderful on him actually.So why say even if he doesn’t score as hoped.Heck I “hope” that Kassian becomes the next Cam Neely.ButI know better

    – Based on all I’ve read on Pulju, I don’t see how one could peg him as a significantgoal-scorer

    – Now if he can play effectively with McD (next year’s Drai)that changes things.I like him a lot, but, scouting, RE, actual performance suggest less offensive upside than say a Yak

    *ducks*

    Haha. Well, I don’t think we really disagree. The HOPE is that JP ends up playing with CMD, and that could mean 30 goal seasons (it should mean 30 goal seasons for every winger he ever plays with). Puljujarvi may be shy of that, but he can shot the puck and if he can learn to gi to—and stay in—scoring areas, I think he will be fine.

  67. frjohnk says:

    stevezie: Small point of clarificaton:

    The tragedy is not that we don’t have Carlo and Barzal, it’s that we don’t have the defenceman we needed when we traded them.

    Larsson is what Chia had hoped Reinhart would be. Unfortunately to bring in one top 4 Dman by trade it cost Hall, the 16th and the 33rd

  68. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Pouzar,

    oscarmike,

    Thanks for the correction.

    I used the TSN trade tracker and it didn’t go back far enough, just to last year’s deadline date.

    I also blame my phone.

    I had forgotten that Bowman spent some assets to get the band back together.

    Not smart when he Dcorps was a weak point past Hjarlmasson and Keith last year.

    Their Dcorps is performing much better this year with Kempny and Campbell stabilizing 2nd and 3rd pair.

    Your Winnipeg correspondent at your service! Although Spector is infringing on my territory. His love for the Jets is only surpassed by JDï™

  69. Pouzar says:

    Benoit Pouliot missed Monday’s practice due to an undisclosed injury.

    Pouliot sustained the injury during a drill on Sunday when he lost his balance and crashed into the boards. He’s doubtful for Tuesday’s contest.

  70. sliderule says:

    kinger_OIL: – Your RE is wonderful on him actually.So why say even if he doesn’t score as hoped.Heck I “hope” that Kassian becomes the next Cam Neely.ButI know better

    – Based on all I’ve read on Pulju, I don’t see how one could peg him as a significantgoal-scorer

    – Now if he can play effectively with McD (next year’s Drai)that changes things.I like him a lot, but, scouting, RE, actual performance suggest less offensive upside than say a Yak

    *ducks*

    I was concerned about Jesse after his lack of goal scoring in his NHL debut.

    I don’t think Yak is a good comparison.

    Yak with zero goals with a team that went to finals at WJC should have been a note of caution for oilers.

  71. russ99 says:

    Vegas is getting a roster head start, though it’s looking like in time for deadline deals is a bit iffy.

    Since they need to fill an NHL roster and expansion picks won’t be high-salary veterans in all cases except where they can swing trades, I suspect them to sign a large chunk of the best available college FAs since they can promise 82 NHL games next year and others may not.

    So this route would be closed or diminished for Chiarelli this year, which means we’ll need a strong draft to refill the system with skill forwards.

    The Hawks were very successful at promoting young skill and two-way forwards to replace veterans they couldn’t afford when at the cap, and we’ll be there next summer. It would behoove us not to ignore the system.

  72. kinger_OIL says:

    Lowetide: Haha. Well, I don’t think we really disagree. The HOPE is that JP ends up playing with CMD, and that could mean 30 goal seasons (it should mean 30 goal seasons for every winger he ever plays with). Puljujarvi may be shy of that, but he can shot the puck and if he can learn to gi to—and stay in—scoring areas, I think he will be fine.

    – Yeah for wingers there should be a score-adjusted McD-NHLE booster!

  73. frjohnk says:

    sliderule: I was concerned about Jesse after his lack of goal scoring in his NHL debut.

    I don’t think Yak is a good comparison.

    Yak with zero goals with a team that went to finals at WJC should have been a note of caution for oilers.

    Its been suggested that if JP can track like what Rantanen has done, then I have no worries about JP.

    I caught the Avs play the Ducks when I was in California, Rantanen is gonna be a very good player for a long time.

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