HURT SO BAD

The Edmonton Oilers are building a defense that can move the puck efficiently and defend when necessary. The team’s running six received a major blow today when Peter Chiarelli announced an injury to Andrej Sekera. He will miss the next 6-9 months with a torn ACL.

This is a major problem. Edmonton had (imo) reached a point where three of their defensemen (Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson) could be counted on to play NHL defense well. Encouraging additional signs included terrific rookie Matt Benning and improvement by young Darnell Nurse. I’ll rate it about where this Oilers team was in 2001-02 (Janne Niinimaa, Jason Smith, Eric Brewer, plus Tom Poti, Sean Brown and Scott Ferguson), with improvement needed and obvious. Now? Peter Chiarelli has a problem.

  • Chiarelli:  “I want to have Kris back. I thought he was really good for our team. I thought the way he approaches the game, the way he battles, his poise, his skating, I thought was a really good complement for our group.”

I wrote about his media avail over at ON today, won’t bother going over all of the storylines. I also do not want to have a hornet’s nest conversation about how crazy signing Kris Russell for three years will be (should it come to pass). I will say that options are not strong, and (as I have said previously) signing Russell short term may be a reasonable option. Signing Russell doesn’t address the lack of Sekera for 6-9 months and unfortunately (as we talked about today) there are very few reasonable options. Edmonton needs another blue even if they sign Kris Russell, because one of their best defensemen is going to be hurt for half a season (or more). I think we may be talking trade and would look to the Islanders and Panthers.

LEFTY-RIGHTY

I’m not defending Kris Russell either way, and am not going go off half-cocked on the subject of his return. However, I am interested in exploring the idea of Kris Russell as a LHD. I am hopeful we can have an open mind on this subject, and recommend this article as a starting point.

  • It turns out that an unsuitably handed defenseman must have a CorsiRel that is greater than or equal to 6.83 Corsi events /60 better than a suitably handed alternative in order to be the better option to pair with a partner-less defenseman on the roster.”

So, if we work it backwards, does Kris Russell (who has a 46.4 Corsi for 5×5 percentage) become a 53 percent defender from the LH side? My assumption is no, that the would regress closer to 50 percent but simply moving the number over would be unreliable. I will ask Darcy McLeod this exact question tomorrow morning at 10:20 on the Lowdown.

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50 Responses to "HURT SO BAD"

  1. Zelepukin says:

    Horrible news and on the same day that Chia gets nominated ahead of the 30 other Oiler GMs on LT.

  2. frjohnk says:

    That sucks about Sekera.

    Probably our most consistent Dmen during the season.

    No brainer to get Russell back if term and money are decent.

    And Im not so sure anymore that offense dies when Russell is on the ice like I and others have said.

    Dellow found out that Larsson was +14 ( 2nd in the league to Bouwmeester) in goal differential within 5 seconds of coming on the ice after a change on the fly. I would suspect that Russell and the other D who played right side got dinged here.

  3. russ99 says:

    If we’re only going to rate defensemen on metrics involving shots for and not include any defensive metrics, that’s a really myopic view.

    Defense exists and it’s important, especially in the playoffs, and losing Sekera for half a season at least loses our 2nd best defender and unless Benning is a lot more consistent, I don’t see how internal options fix that.

  4. Rake 2.0 says:

    I have not been the biggest russel fan, but I gained a ton of respect for him in game 5 against the ducks. The man is a warrior and leaves it all out on the ice. At a reasonable price he could play on my team any time

  5. Lowetide says:

    russ99:
    If we’re only going to rate defensemen on metrics involving shots for and not include any defensive metrics, that’s a really myopic view.

    Defense exists and it’s important, especially in the playoffs, and losing Sekera for half a season at least loses our 2nd best defender and unless Benning is a lot more consistent, I don’t see how internal options fix that.

    That’s exactly what I say above. The Oilers have no answer for the loss of Sekera. Quoting my item above:

    Signing Russell doesn’t address the lack of Sekera for 6-9 months and unfortunately (as we talked about today) there are very few reasonable options.

  6. Ducey says:

    I am not sure its a big deal if Chia can find the right parts.

    If he had $4 million next year to sign a 2 nd pairing RHD, he now has about $6.5 to $8 million to sign two second pairing defensemen (once you figure the LTIR relief).

    LHD are easier to find than RHD, so this might allow him to spend a little more on the RHD.

    If for example he gets a LHD for $4 million a season, he can likely trade him once Sekera is ready (around the deadline when D are in demand) and save $1.5 million for 3/4 of the season. He can use this for the RHD. So that RHD might be a $5 million man rather than a $4 million man.

    A guy like Markov, or maybe Oduya might give 3/4 a season for $ 3 to $4 million on the left side?

  7. Merchant says:

    given this piss poor news I am even more interested to see
    how Bear and Jones look in the fall. Russell is looking more likely now. A stats guys worst nightmare -“Russell IS a left D”

  8. Dino says:

    If Russell agrees to a 1 year deal I would hope Chiarelli goes out and acquires a RHD puck mover for the 2nd pair. I wouldn’t mind these pairings:

    77 6
    4 (hamonic, pysyk, faulk)
    25 83

  9. JDI says:

    Merchant: I am even more interested to see
    how Bear and Jones look in the fall.

    Like 20 yr old defenders, straight out of junior?

  10. Professor Q says:

    Rinne pulling off magic so far.

  11. Merchant says:

    JDI: Like 20 yr old defenders, straight out of junior?

    Yea that for sure, but also as potential call ups to the NHL next year. Just curious, not saying they are bettter than Mark Fayne yet, don’t worry

  12. treevojo says:

    “The General Manager of the Year Award is awarded annually National Hockey League general manager as voted by “a 40-member panel that included all 30 general managers, five NHL executives and five media members.”

    I had to look this up to confirm a certain bachelor with a net worth of 7 billion from Gotham city wasn’t on the voting panel.

  13. jtblack says:

    Dino,

    I like this. But think we will also need 1 or 2 5/6 depth D as we will certainly have injuries. Gryba prob gets a contract. Reinhart if hes around. Oesterle?

    Sign a guy like Hainsey, or some veteran 5/6

  14. Diablo says:

    The Sekera situation is a glass half-full, glass half-empty situation.

    On one hand Rej is a terrific D-man that’s going to be impossible to replace during the time he’s out, and it will probably take him some time to get up to game speed when he comes back.

    On the other hand, this will give Nurse, Benning and Reinhart an opportunity for more responsibility when the games are played at a slower pace. All 3 of these guys should be better next season, but as has been said many times, prospects don’t develop in a straight line.

    Additionally, Chia may have his eye on a Euro D-man, who will now look more favourably at Edmonton given the opening available. Perhaps we end up unearthing another Zaitsev. Alternatively, we could flip our first to LV for a RHD (not my first choice, but you’d have to think that LV would interest in stockpiling their system for the long-term).

    Russell coming back is not a bad thing – he has the trust of the coaching staff, and will never be criticized for his effort on any given night. The coaching staff can work with Russell next season to improve his gap coverage. He’s going to want to cash in, but other factors are also at play – he’s been a bit of a journey-man, so one would think he’d eschew getting as much as he can for as long as he can in exchange for being in a stable situation on a team that values what he brings. Sure he could go somewhere else, but there’s that thing about the grass looking greener on the other side …..

    Given what transpired last year for Russell in free agency, I’d think there’s a better than good chance that his agent will not try to push the envelope with respect to his ask.

    And Fayne may even get a chance to win back the hearts and minds of the coaching staff!

    The injury underscores the need for 8 legitimate NHL D on opening night for a contending team.

  15. T0ML says:

    Did I miss something? Hamonic is a puck mover now? A 14 point shut down defender? Last i knew he was basically Larsson Light …. pysyk I havent seen enough, but 17 points on that atrocious D where he received sheltered minutes…..Faulk ill give you and would love him on the oilers D (hope it doesnt cost the Nuge)

    Dino:
    If Russell agrees to a 1 year deal I would hope Chiarelli goes out and acquires a RHD puck mover for the 2nd pair. I wouldn’t mind these pairings:

    77 6
    4 (hamonic, pysyk, faulk)
    25 83

  16. JDI says:

    … he’s getting big, he’s getting strong, he’s 6 foot 1, almost 200 lbs…

    Peter’s voice took on a fatherly tone there for a minute.

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

  17. Jordan says:

    JDI:
    … he’s getting big, he’s getting strong, he’s 6 foot 1, almost 200 lbs…

    Peter’s voice took on a fatherly tone there for a minute.

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

    Whether it’s a fatherly tone, or it’s a salesman’s pitch, the effect is the same. Building value and setting the tone for the Oilers’ off-season.

    Pete is not going to devalue his assets. Pete does not speak badly of his players – whether they are on his team now, or after they leave. I really REALLY like how well be couches his language. It’s like listening to Pendergast talk about prospects, except he doesn’t sound like he’s shitting rainbows out of his mouth – it sounds genuine about real NHL players.

    He builds his assets and he doesn’t sell them for less than they are worth.

    He sees real value and makes smart bets.

    It’s like having a real NHL GM.

    =D

  18. JDI says:

    Jordan: … he doesn’t sell them for less than they are worth.

    Where were you last June 😉

    Agreed on Pete building up his assets, but I took something from his RNH comments that seemed very genuine I can see him becoming a man…

  19. Diablo says:

    So Poile getting a nod for executive of the year I get – he deserves it after the highway robbery he pulled getting Subban from Montreal.

    But Dorion? He basically brought but the same team aside from the Zibanejad for Brassard trade.

    I thought for sure Lou was going to get the nomination.

    Doubt Chia wins it though – too many in the media can’t get over the “value” lost in the Larsson deal.

  20. Diablo says:

    T0ML:
    Did I miss something? Hamonic is a puck mover now?A 14 point shut down defender?Last i knew he was basically Larsson Light …. pysyk I havent seen enough, but 17 points on that atrocious D where he received sheltered minutes…..Faulk ill give you and would love him on the oilers D (hope it doesnt cost the Nuge)

    Neither Pysyk nor Hamonic are “puck movers” in the sense that Faulk is, but both are mobile D. Larsson and Hamonic are definitely pretty similar in style and substance. Having 1 is good, having 2 would be great.

    But Snow would be a fool to trade him away.

    I hope Chia can pry him loose.

  21. MrEd says:

    Wow.
    Russell is suddenly much more important .
    As an LD.
    He knows the systems, players and culture.
    Trust is a factor.
    Is there money in the bank to offer him a couple of pretty rich years?
    Next year he’ll earn it.
    The year after you have to hope that Nurse or GR will eat his lunch.
    Tricky spot for Chia.
    2x$5?
    After 2 years i have a hard time typing.

  22. MrEd says:

    JDI,

    RNH is wicked.
    My choice as a thread.

  23. eastcoastoil says:

    Hi lowetiders,
    Long time reader, third time poster. I have a question on the cap. Gregor has a article up saying that the oilers have 22 million in cap and only have to sign drai, jujhar and zach. I have a friend who is as big as fan as I am and he is saying let’s go shopping. I don’t understand where this number is coming from. Capfriendly has a projected cap for oilers at 68.5 leaving about 4.5 million. The last lowetide article that I, very quickly, looked up had us with a 69.5 after losing ebs and adding a few pieces. Where does Gregor, whom I respect, get this number from? How much room do we actually have?
    Do we have to trade ebs or nuge to achieve balance?
    Thanks for the site mr Mitchell, I’ll go back to lurking now.

  24. Tarkus says:

    Can someone enlighten this Tier 2 fan with the origin of Sekera’s nickname Reggie?

  25. Ray says:

    The best predictor of the future is the past…

    Last time Chia negotiated with Russell he waited him out and eventually got him on a reasonable contract with reasonable term. I like his chances of getting the same. If Calgary or Vegas “swoop in” it isnt the end of the world as there should be a few reasonable stop gaps available as UFAs just as Russell was last year.

    This isnt good news but Chia still has a very good chance to ice a better team for game one of next season than the one that finished the past year

  26. Blackwolf says:

    Tarkus,

    Teammate couldn’t pronounce Andrej. Became reg, then Reggie.

  27. MrEd says:

    Ray,

    Yup. And Russell needs to ask himself a big question.

  28. treevojo says:

    Tarkus:
    Can someone enlighten this Tier 2 fan with the origin of Sekera’s nickname Reggie?

    andREJ.

    play on the last three letters of his name

  29. Professor Q says:

    How sweet is it that the Nashville winning goal was due to Kesler messing up?

  30. treevojo says:

    MrEd:
    Wow.
    Russell is suddenly much more important .
    As an LD.
    He knows the systems, players and culture.
    Trust is a factor.
    Is there money in the bank to offer him a couple of pretty rich years?
    Next year he’ll earn it.
    The year afteryou have to hope that Nurse or GR will eat his lunch.
    Tricky spot for Chia.
    2x$5?
    After 2 years i have a hard time typing.

    5 mil seems high for a defensive defenseman.

    Can’t be many 1 goal scorers/14 pters out there make 5 mil a year?

  31. DBO says:

    So do they sign Russell for 2 years around $3.5 or the $3.0 from last year ? Would Russell take a two year deal at a seemingly discounted price to stay in one spot for 2 years?

    That allows us money to spend on a 2RD. I still advocate for Green from Detroit for a prospect. 1 year left on deal for $6 mill so Detroit may look to clear salary. Moves the puck well, can QB the PP, and is decent in his own end. Allows us to shelter the third pairings a bit, and buys another year for Bear, Jones, etc. Also opens big cap space next year when McDavid gets paid, and if he has a big year and prices himself out then great, cause that means he had a great year. If he is solid, maybe we get him on a discount to fill a PP need and provide a better complement then Russell.

    And when Sekera is back, it’s not a terrible thing to force Nurse to sit. He’ll have to earn his spot, and as we have seen, dmen go 8 deep at least during the year so having that depth is huge.

    Issue with a UFA like Franson, who I would be OK with, Is term. Would he sign a 1 or 2 year deal?

  32. jp says:

    frjohnk:

    No brainer to get Russell back if term and money are decent.

    And Im not so sure anymore that offense dies when Russell is on the ice like I and others have said.

    He certainly activated and got involved more in the offence down the stretch. And he actually started putting up points at a decent rate.

    Before the trade deadline: 52-1-5-6 49 shots (9Pts/82 pace)
    After the trade deadline: 29-0-11-11 35 shots (31Pts/82 pace)

    More in line with his career numbers. He won me over a bit in the playoffs – would be quite happy with a Russell signing as long as they don’t break the bank.

  33. MrEd says:

    treevojo,

    That’s the issue.
    What’s the ceiling on retention?

  34. Tarkus says:

    Blackwolf:
    Tarkus,

    Teammate couldn’t pronounce Andrej.Became reg, then Reggie.

    treevojo: andREJ.

    play on the last three letters of his name

    You are scholars and gentlemen.

    I appreciate your efforts.

  35. Diablo says:

    DBO:

    That allows us money to spend on a 2RD. I still advocate for Green from Detroit for a prospect. 1 year left on deal for $6 mill so Detroit may look to clear salary.

    Green has an NTC.

    There’s an article on the Nation about all the teams that are looking for D. Its still a very expensive market to play in. LV would be wise to select as many D as they can, then offer them up to the highest bidder for picks and waiver exempt prospects.

  36. MrEd says:

    Tarkus,

    Sek?

  37. treevojo says:

    Professor Q:
    How sweet is it that the Nashville winning goal was due to Kesler messing up?

    Would have been sweeter if in a fit of anger Kesler slammed his stick off the crossbar snapping his blade in half ricocheting off the glass and sticking in his forehead.

    He could then be known as the mystical keslercorn.

  38. treevojo says:

    MrEd:
    treevojo,

    That’s the issue.
    What’s the ceiling on retention?

    No too sure.

    But I just skimmed over capfriendly’s cost per point feature and most of the low scoring dman at that type of cap hit I would consider anchors.

    I wouldn’t want to pay him more then 4 mil*2 but that might not get it done.

    I like Russel but not at an overpayment.

  39. Lowetide says:

    eastcoastoil:
    Hi lowetiders,
    Long time reader, third time poster. I have a question on the cap. Gregor has a article up saying that the oilers have 22 million in cap and only have to sign drai, jujhar and zach. I have a friend who is as big as fan as I am and he is saying let’s go shopping. I don’t understand where this number is coming from. Capfriendly has a projected cap for oilers at 68.5 leaving about 4.5 million. The last lowetide article that I, very quickly, looked up had us with a 69.5 after losing ebs and adding a few pieces. Where does Gregor, whom I respect, get this number from? How much room do we actually have?
    Do we have to trade ebs or nuge to achieve balance?
    Thanks for the site mr Mitchell, I’ll go back to lurking now.

    Capfriendly is your friend
    https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/oilers

    They have $22M in space with 16 players signed. Leon, Zack, Khaira, Russell, Reinhart. That gets you to 20. Oilers have room, and should be able to sign a nice player to a one-year deal, but 97’s contract hits next season and that is a worry.

  40. Barcs says:

    Lowetide,

    Have you heard any word on if there were overages from rookie bonus contracts this year? McD, Drai, Nurse, Benning, Caggiula, Pulju, maybe others.

    Would affect next year’s cap, if so.

  41. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: Capfriendly is your friend
    https://www.capfriendly.com/teams/oilers

    They have $22M in space with 16 players signed. Leon, Zack, Khaira, Russell, Reinhart. That gets you to 20. Oilers have room, and should be able to sign a nice player to a one-year deal, but 97’s contract hits next season and that is a worry.

    It is not just McDavid next year….but McDavid, Nurse, Benning, Caggiula, Slepyshev, Maroon UFA, Letestu UFA…well over $15 million in internal salary growth.

    Spend carefully this summer or Nurse and Benning might be offersheeted next year.

    I think the #2RD has to be added via trade with one of Eberle or Nugent-Hopkins going, barring a miracle of somehow getting out from under Fayne’s and Pouliot’s contracts.

  42. Bling says:

    I think “internal improvement” is a precarious thing, and agree that Chia should pursue an adequate replacement for Sekera.

    With the latter out, you are one more injury to the D away from being outside the playoff picture. The Oilers struggled noticeably without Sekera in game 7. Now imagine losing a Klef/Larsson/Benning for any length of time.

    I really doubt that any of Bear/Jones/Paigin will be ready next season for any kind of meaningful role.

    I think the play is to acquire Hamonic. When Sekera returns at the deadline next season, that becomes a championship caliber defence.

  43. Diablo says:

    Kulikov intrigues me – IIRC the math liked and this blog really liked him a couple years ago.

  44. Professor Q says:

    treevojo: Would have been sweeter if in a fit of anger Kesler slammed his stick off the crossbar snapping his blade in half ricocheting off the glass and sticking in his forehead.

    He could then be known as the mystical keslercorn.

    This is an amazing visual.

  45. Lowetide says:

    Barcs:
    Lowetide,

    Have you heard any word on if there were overages from rookie bonus contracts this year? McD, Drai, Nurse, Benning, Caggiula, Pulju, maybe others.

    Would affect next year’s cap, if so.

    Yes. $850,000 is the latest estimate I have heard.

  46. Glass says:

    How much would you have to add to Eberle to get one of Tanev, Hamonic, Manson, or offensive D like Vatanan, Stecher, and Dumba? Would I add a first? If it means securing our top 4 for 3-4 years then absolutely. It’s only a matter of Nurse developing after that.

  47. Professor Q says:

    Glass:
    How much would you have to add to Eberle to get one of Tanev, Hamonic, Manson, or offensive D like Vatanan, Stecher, and Dumba? Would I add a first? If it means securing our top 4 for 3-4 years then absolutely. It’s only a matter of Nurse developing after that.

    Probably a lot more to inter-division heated rivals like Vancouver and Anaheim than Minnesota or New York.

  48. Evilas says:

    During last year’s quest for that missing RHD I kept circling back to a Damon Severson acquisition, with thoughts of acquiring a bubbling under future offensive star dman who could be brought in without breaking the prospect bank. In retrospect, I was in the neighborhood, but I still missed the target like almost everyone else.

    This year, the Dman that sits squarely in my sights is Collin Miller of the Bruins; he who was the fastest skater and had the hardest shot in the 2015 AHL Allstar game and he who was a Calder Cup Champion with Manchester and he who was part of the Lucic to LA trade.

    With Carlo, Kevan Miller, McQuaid and now Charlie McAvoy ahead of him on the depth chart, as well as the refrain being heard in Boston that their D corps was a big disappointment (and Colin Miller being a poster boy of this to frustrated fans) he is IMHO, a very big target of opportunity.

    But perhaps that’s how Vegas sees him as well. We shall see.

  49. --hudson-- says:

    In 2013 the Boston Celtics traded 4 veterans for 3 first round draft picks, rights to swap first round draft pick this year, and a few replacement players.

    Tonight they earn the right to draft first overall. A disastrous trade for the Nets.

    Please Chia, always lottery protect your first round draft pick trades. Imagine if he was able to flip picks with NJ in the Hall trade 😉

  50. Yeti says:

    MrEd:
    Ray,

    Yup.And Russell needs to ask himself a big question.

    I’m fairly certain the answer is 42.

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