JUJHAR KHAIRA

If I were making the decision, Jujhar Khaira would be the seventh forward on the Edmonton Oilers 7-3-1 expansion list. Why? The easy answer is that four years of Khaira should have more value than one year of Mark Letestu, but it’s worth looking a little closer at the young forward and his possible impact on the NHL roster.

AHL POINTS-PER-GAME (FORWARD PROSPECTS)

The only worry I really have about Khaira is offense, but after a slow first season (Oilers don’t play 20-year olds much) he improved quickly and last season posted the third best number (AHL Oilers) over recent seasons. Khaira’s skill set is unique compared to both Anton Lander and Anton Slepyshev and he probably fits more easily into a bottom 6F checking role. He still needs to provide some offense and last season’s numbers suggest that is a reasonable expectation.

  • Simon Boisvert: I do think he is NHL-ready. He is very confident now offensively, he reminds me of the Khaira I remember from the BCJHL. This is the year when prospects who have already spent two years in the AHL should be in the NHL—otherwise they become career AHLers. Or tweeners. He is ready for the show. He is their best forward (in Bakersfield), now the question is when will he be called up? Source

Khaira did make it to the show but spent much of his NHL time on the IR. My RE suggested he should post 29gp, 1-3-4, but the injuries kept him to 10gp, 1-0-1. I get stubborn on players, but this is an inexpensive bottom 6F for several years ahead and his original scouting report still rings true.

  • Red Line Report: We believe this kid could be the biggest/best sleeper of the entire draft. Prince George is so far off the beaten path teams don’t even travel there for WHL games, much less BCHL contests, so he gets zero exposure. But this kid is big, mean, aggressive, nasty, and guess what… he can score too. Does the dirty work in the corners, bangs bodies and wins battles, and loves to initiate heavy contact. Powerful stride with great balance and gets leverage on his hits. Has surprisingly soft hands and puck skills with playmaking ability. Creates lots of space for smaller teammates and makes everyone braver. Very raw defensively.

I would protect Jujhar Khaira in the expansion draft. Mark Letestu has value for sure, but his power-play role can be replaced (perhaps by Anton Slepyshev) and his salary is high for a bottom 6F. Khaira may never score 15 goals in an NHL season, but the resume suggests there is some offense and that he can make himself useful in several game states. I understand it’s go time, but this organization badly needs young, inexpensive, complementary forwards with utility. Khaira is such a player.

 QUICK NOTES

Late this afternoon a couple of items from tsn dropped, the links are here.

  • Frank Seravalli has the first Top 30 Trade Bait Board up and live. Jordan Eberle is featured early.
  • Insider Trading has the latest rumors, mostly about the Oilers. Looks like the McDavid and Draisaitl contracts may wrap up and be announced together. Also, Jordan Eberle trade rumors. The video link is here.

More on those items tomorrow morning.

 

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68 Responses to "JUJHAR KHAIRA"

  1. slopitch says:

    I’m with ya LT. I like MT but I don’t think Vegas takes him. I’ve also like JK’s game for a while although I thought he looked better last year. Likely due to injuries. I’d protect kassian over both.

  2. Lowetide says:

    slopitch:
    I’m with ya LT. I like MT but I don’t think Vegas takes him. I’ve also like JK’s game for a while although I thought he looked better last year. Likely due to injuries. I’d protect kassian over both.

    Yes. My list is

    Talbot
    Klefbom, Larsson, Sekera
    Draisaitl, Lucic, Nuge, Eberle, Maroon, Kassian, Khaira.

  3. Ducey says:

    Someday Khaira might be Letestu. He is potentially a useful player. They won’t protect him and he won’t be picked.

    The Oilers need Letestu. As soon as they lose him, they need to find him, and finding useful jack of all trades 3/4 C’s for $1.8 M is not easy.

    I am very much confused by the Eberle rumours. If they trade him for a D, great. But then they need to protect 4 D and 4 F’s. They would protect Nuge, Leon, Lucic, and only one of Kassian, Maroon, Letestu, or Kharia. Can’t see them wanting to lose Kassian or Maroon. Makes no sense.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Ducey:
    Someday Khaira might be Letestu. He is potentially a useful player. They won’t protect him and he won’t be picked.

    The Oilers need Letestu. As soon as they lose him, they need to find him, and finding useful jack of all trades 3/4 C’s for $1.8 M is not easy.

    I am very much confused by the Eberle rumours. If they trade him for a D, great. But then they need to protect 4 D and 4 F’s. They would protect Nuge, Leon, Lucic, and only one of Kassian, Maroon, Letestu, or Kharia. Can’t see them wanting to lose Kassian or Maroon. Makes no sense.

    Trading Eberle has to mean something similar and less expensive coming back. I would guess a forward in the 3-5M range.

  5. CamRent BroBot says:

    Lowetide: Trading Eberle has to mean something similar and less expensive coming back. I would guess a forward in the 3-5M range.

    You don’t think it could be for Hamonic (for example)? I don’t see why Chia couldn’t go 4-4-1 if they were sure of Kassian’s desire to stay (which admittedly I have no knowledge of outside of him getting his stuff back together here). If Vegas were to speak to Kass during the RFA/UFA window and he told them he had zero desire of signing there, there would be no reason to take him.

  6. Doug McLachlan says:

    Lowetide: Trading Eberle has to mean something similar and less expensive coming back. I would guess a forward in the 3-5M range.

    Does Montreal make sense?

  7. Rondo says:

    Jordan Eberle last 6 years of goal scoring rankings

    http://www.quanthockey.com/nhl/seasons/last-6-nhl-seasons-players-stats.html

  8. Lowetide says:

    Kinger: Sorry, I keep remembering in the morning and forgetting at night.

    1) Which Oil player will Vegas select?: Griffin Reinhart
    2) Who is our first pick in the Entry Draft? Kristian Vesalainen
    3) Does Ebs get moved? (bonus if you pick for who) Yes. NYI
    4) Does RNH get moved (bonus if you pick for who) No.
    5) Who is our back-up G on game 1? Laurent Brossoit
    6) Total $ amount/years for Russell (0 is an answer) 3.8 times 3. In Calgary
    7) Total $ amount/years of McDavid’s contract? 11 times 5 years
    8) Total $ amount/years of Drai’s contract? 7.5 times eight years
    9) Which 2 D dress with Larsson/Klef/Nurse/Benning on game 1? Campbell, Hamonic
    10) Biggest off-season F acquired in terms of salary?: Spencer Foo
    11) Is Jessie playing in NHL game 1? Yes
    12) How many roster trades does Chia make? Campbell, Hamonic, Oesterle, Khaira, Foo, Pitlick. That’s six. Kinda

  9. Lowetide says:

    Doug McLachlan: Does Montreal make sense?

    I don’t think they fit. Unless Gallagher is available. 🙂

  10. Diablo says:

    Ducey:
    Someday Khaira might be Letestu. He is potentially a useful player. They won’t protect him and he won’t be picked.

    The Oilers need Letestu. As soon as they lose him, they need to find him, and finding useful jack of all trades 3/4 C’s for $1.8 M is not easy.

    I am very much confused by the Eberle rumours. If they trade him for a D, great. But then they need to protect 4 D and 4 F’s. They would protect Nuge, Leon, Lucic, and only one of Kassian, Maroon, Letestu, or Kharia. Can’t see them wanting to lose Kassian or Maroon. Makes no sense.

    No it makes perfect sense.

    First, Kassian does not need to be protected – McPhee is not going to pick a guy who’s fighting a battle with sobriety to go play for a team based in Sin City – that would be beyond the height of stupidity. Given this issue and the fact that he played his way off of 3 other NHL teams, it is also unlikely that other teams would want to trade anything of significant value for him.

    I repeat there is no need to protect Kassian because LV has no incentive to pick him.

    If you can get a good RH top 4 D now for less than the normal extortionist cost, then do it now because D are simply more valuable than forwards like Maroon, Kassian, Letestu or Khaira – you’re only going to lose one of those guys anyways, and you can replace them with greater ease than finding a top 4 D after the expansion draft is over.

  11. Rondo says:

    Lowetide,

    Like your pick in the draft.

  12. digger50 says:

    Finding a peaceful corner where even the dog can’t find me in order to read this blog and get educated on what is going on, this is brilliant. Wonderful thing you do LT.

    I’m still hoping for a trade for our first with a forward coming back and that would put both ML and JJ on the table.

    If Ebs is traded it really needs to be post draft, and Hamonic or Petrovic coming back??? Just so many possibilities. I just hope Peter C is in on the action.

    With Eberle I get sentimental on players. Just sucks to see him go out as the team turns north.

  13. Diablo says:

    Ducey:
    Someday Khaira might be Letestu. He is potentially a useful player. They won’t protect him and he won’t be picked.

    The Oilers need Letestu. As soon as they lose him, they need to find him, and finding useful jack of all trades 3/4 C’s for $1.8 M is not easy.

    This I completely agree with.

    LT – on one hand you want to expose Letestu (our only RH centre) while one the other hand you want Chia to find us more centres (preferably RH). You’re contradicting yourself.

    You’re not going to get a Bonino or Boyle (both LH) to sign with the Oilers for the same 1.8 million that Letestu is making – you might be able to replace him but it will likely cost you twice as much.

    Now I love seeing a brown guy put on the jersey of the team that I’ve been rooting for over 30 years – but even I’m not that optimistic on Jujhar – he’s a long shot to become what Letestu is today. If they leave him exposed and he gets selected, its really not the end of the world.

  14. digger50 says:

    Diablo: No it makes perfect sense.

    First, Kassian does not need to be protected – McPhee is not going to pick a guy who’s fighting a battle with sobriety to go play for a team based in Sin City – that would be beyond the height of stupidity. Given this issue and the fact that he played his way off of 3 other NHL teams, it is also unlikely that other teams would want to trade anything of significant value for him.

    I repeat there is no need to protect Kassian because LV has no incentive to pick him.

    If you can get a good RH top 4 D now for less than the normal extortionist cost, then do it now because D are simply more valuable than forwards like Maroon, Kassian, Letestu or Khaira – you’re only going to lose one of those guys anyways, and you can replace them with greater ease than finding a top 4 D after the expansion draft is over.

    I agree with finding a top 4d during this madness, that would be perfect.

    Not so much about Kassian. He is underestimated and they would grab him in a second.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Diablo: This I completely agree with.

    LT – on one hand you want to expose Letestu (our only RH centre) while one the other hand you want Chia to find us more centres (preferably RH). You’re contradicting yourself.

    Letestu’s power-play minutes can be replaced, possibly by Slepyshev. Bonino plays higher up the depth chart, so he would be paid (and earn) more. Letestu has a great deal of utility and I like him. Protecting him means that one year must have tremendous value. As much as I like him, one year of Letestu isn’t extreme value.

  16. Cassandra says:

    Rondo:
    Jordan Eberle last 6 years of goal scoring rankings

    http://www.quanthockey.com/nhl/seasons/last-6-nhl-seasons-players-stats.html

    40th among active players in pts/game, right between Logan Couture and Alex Steen. But sure let’s trade him for Cody Eakin. That makes a lot of sense.

    Meanwhile Matt Duchene is 58th and apparently is worth the sun and the moon. That makes a lot of sense.

  17. Centre of attention says:

    I just heard an interesting name.

    Valeri Nichushkin.

    Rumblings on twitterverse he is willing to come back to NHL, people in Dallas are 50/50 whether he will actually come back to the team though.

    Maybe he wants to come back but he and his agent have quietly requested a trade? I’ve heard Eberle linked to Dallas, and Nichushkin is definitely more of a Chiarelli power forward type. 6’3” shoots left but plays either wing just fine. I think he played on the right side during his time in Dallas, too. Built like a brick shithouse, or so the kids say.

    Not much other than speculation but enough to make you go hmmm.

    *Edit*

    Maybe it’s two different deals. Eberle for Hamonic , then Slepy and a pick for Nichushkin who will slot into Eberles spot. (or a different prospect, but I’m sure Dallas is asking for a RW)

  18. Psyche says:

    I wonder if Anton Stralman in TB is a target? He’s RH D, 2 yrs left x $4.5 million per, and can play 2nd PP unit. I haven’t watched him play much – since he’s been playing in the East. Not sure what type of player he is. His numbers dipped a bit last season.

  19. Diablo says:

    digger50: I agree with finding a top 4d during this madness, that would be perfect.

    Not so much about Kassian. He is underestimated and they would grab him in a second.

    Don’t misunderstand me – I don’t underestimate Kassian as a player.

    This is my opinion as a physician – do not underestimate what the Oilers have done for him either – from management, to the coaching staff, and his fellow players, they’ve created a very supportive and sheltered environment for him to thrive in both on and off the ice – take him out of that bubble and there is no guarantee that he doesn’t fall off the wagon – sobriety can be very fragile.

    He’s found a great fit in Edmonton, and he’s valuable to this team moving forward – but very few teams can provide him with the kind of environment he needs right now – its a very, very hard thing to do.

  20. JDI says:

    Diablo: I repeat there is no need to protect Kassian because LV has no incentive to pick him.

    Say it a few more times. The bigger the lie, and the more it’s repeated, are the main keys in getting people to believe it.

  21. admiralmark says:

    If rumours are true McDavid and Drai are willing to take somewhat of a hometown discount. Makes sense from the standpoint of how much do you want to win a cup. How much money do you need/want to be content factoring in all the endorsement contracts to come. Question now is how much of a discount are we talking?

    I’m gonna guess a $9.7 x 5 years for McD and $7 x 7 years for Drai. Either way this is very good news for the teams potential to bring home Lord Stanley.

  22. jonrmcleod says:

    McKenzie also said that he thinks McDavid is willing to take a hometown discount.

  23. Bismarck says:

    JDI,

    Not being facetious here, but if you were McPhee and knew about Kassian and his history of addiction, would you take a chance on him? Edmonton did and it has worked out well, but we’re talking about Vegas. He has a different risk profile in Las Vegas as compared to Edmonton.

  24. digger50 says:

    Diablo: Don’t misunderstand me – I don’t underestimate Kassian as a player.

    This is my opinion as a physician – do not underestimate what the Oilers have done for him either – from management, to the coaching staff, and his fellow players, they’ve created a very supportive and sheltered environment for him to thrive in both on and off the ice – take him out of that bubble and there is no guarantee that he doesn’t fall off the wagon – sobriety can be very fragile.

    He’s found a great fit in Edmonton, and he’s valuable to this team moving forward – but very few teams can provide him with the kind of environment he needs right now – its a very, very hard thing to do.

    Roger

    He has found a home here, it’s good to see.

  25. digger50 says:

    Bismarck:
    JDI,

    Not being facetious here, but if you were McPhee and knew about Kassian and his history of addiction, would you take a chance on him? Edmonton did and it has worked out well, but we’re talking about Vegas.He has a different risk profile in Las Vegas as compared to Edmonton.

    As we were just chatting. I think there is temptation everywhere if you go looking so I’m not a big believer in Vegas itself would be bad. However removing him from this comfort he has built, he may not transition well and thus to your point, is it a risk worth taking for McPhee. With that in mind now I would pass if I was in McPhee’s shoes.

  26. Diablo says:

    Lowetide: Letestu’s power-play minutes can be replaced, possibly by Slepyshev. Bonino plays higher up the depth chart, so he would be paid (and earn) more. Letestu has a great deal of utility and I like him. Protecting him means that one year must have tremendous value. As much as I like him, one year of Letestu isn’t extreme value.

    If we knew for sure that Bonino or Boyle would sign here, then you could take the risk of exposing Letestu. But right now the Oilers have no one who can replace him in the line up. If you lose Letestu AND fail to sign Bonino/Boyle, then you enter next season with only 3 natural centres on the NHL roster.

    Khaira has not proven that he can play a regular shift in the NHL, let alone replace a special teams demon like Letestu. I pulling for Khaira big time (there are so few brown guys in the NHL), but I’ve long since learned to stop getting attached to specific players.

    Furthermore, Slepyshev has done nothing to prove that he can replace Letestu’s production on the PP – I like Slepy fine and believe that he has a place on the NHL roster, but he didn’t score a single goal off a one-timer the way Letestu did repeatedly last year. He likes to shoot the puck, but I see no evidence that he can do it better than Letestu. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, but he hasn’t shown us that yet – he needs to earn those minutes, not be gifted them.

    And lets not gloss over the fact that Letestu is more than just the designated RH shooter on PP1 – he also takes a significant number of face-offs as well – Slepy can’t replace that – in fact there is no RH player in the Oilers organization that can.

    And I don’t get why you’re so focused on the fact that he has one year left on his deal – he’s a local boy, whose got a coach that believes in him and Connor McDavid as his captain. If the Oilers want him back, it should not be a problem to resign him.

  27. Ducey says:

    Bismarck:
    JDI,

    Not being facetious here, but if you were McPhee and knew about Kassian and his history of addiction, would you take a chance on him? Edmonton did and it has worked out well, but we’re talking about Vegas.He has a different risk profile in Las Vegas as compared to Edmonton.

    Kassian likely has a fair amount of value around the league. Nothing saying Vegas can’t just flip him.

  28. Glass says:

    Diablo: This I completely agree with.

    LT – on one hand you want to expose Letestu (our only RH centre) while one the other hand you want Chia to find us more centres (preferably RH). You’re contradicting yourself.

    You’re not going to get a Bonino or Boyle (both LH) to sign with the Oilers for the same 1.8 million that Letestu is making – you might be able to replace him but it will likely cost you twice as much.

    Now I love seeing a brown guy put on the jersey of the team that I’ve been rooting for over 30 years – but even I’m not that optimistic on Jujhar – he’s a long shot to become what Letestu is today. If they leave him exposed and he gets selected, its really not the end of the world.

    I’m not uber SJW, but it’s annoying that you’d have to bring race into this. Khaira is a big, mean, physical forward with more than adequate skating (on par with Slepyshev), and has solid puck skills/shot. It’s possible we see a Gambardella/Khaira/Pitlick line develop, which would be very fun. Kassian may even get pushed down by depth to the 4th, making that line something that gives the opposition fits.

  29. Diablo says:

    Ducey: Kassian likely has a fair amount of value around the league. Nothing saying Vegas can’t just flip him.

    I can see your point, though I think that speaks to how, as a society, we are far too flippant about how hard it is overcome substance abuse, both for the person themselves and for the people around him providing him support. Moving him out of Edmonton would be a mistake for which ever team acquired him, and a disservice to the player.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Diablo: If we knew for sure that Bonino or Boyle would sign here, then you could take the risk of exposing Letestu. But right now the Oilers have no one who can replace him in the line up. If you lose Letestu AND fail to sign Bonino/Boyle, then you enter next season with only 3 natural centres on the NHL roster.

    Khaira has not proven that he can play a regular shift in the NHL, let alone replace a special teams demon like Letestu. I pulling for Khaira big time (there are so few brown guys in the NHL), but I’ve long since learned to stop getting attached to specific players.

    Furthermore, Slepyshev has done nothing to prove that he can replace Letestu’s production on the PP – I like Slepy fine and believe that he has a place on the NHL roster, but he didn’t score a single goal off a one-timer the way Letestu did repeatedly last year. He likes to shoot the puck, but I see no evidence that he can do it better than Letestu. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, but he hasn’t shown us that yet – he needs to earn those minutes, not be gifted them.

    And lets not gloss over the fact that Letestu is more than just the designated RH shooter on PP1 – he also takes a significant number of face-offs as well – Slepy can’t replace that – in fact there is no RH player in the Oilers organization that can.

    And I don’t get why you’re so focused on the fact that he has one year left on his deal – he’s a local boy, whose got a coach that believes in him and Connor McDavid as his captain. If the Oilers want him back, it should not be a problem to resign him.

    Letestu’s power-play numbers are excellent but let’s not give him too much credit. He’s on the ice with brilliant offensive players who get him the puck in good to great spots. Slepyshev has a superior shot, I think we can agree.

    At 5×5, Letestu’s possession numbers have not been strong and he scored three goals in 723 minutes. That is poor. I’d prefer to keep both of them, but one season of Letestu, he of the 45.8 Corsi for 5×5, sits just outside my top 7 names.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Wrote about the unique opportunity Anton Slepyshev gives to the Oilers
    https://oilersnation.com/2017/06/02/expansion-opportunities-2/

  32. Diablo says:

    Glass: I’m not uber SJW, but it’s annoying that you’d have to bring race into this. Khaira is a big, mean, physical forward with more than adequate skating (on par with Slepyshev), and has solid puck skills/shot. It’s possible we see a Gambardella/Khaira/Pitlick line develop, which would be very fun. Kassian may even get pushed down by depth to the 4th, making that line something that gives the opposition fits.

    I’m a brown guy.

    There are 1.3 billion people in India, and yet we just suck at sports. So its a rare and wonderful treat for me to see a Indo-Canadian put on the jersey of my favourite team.

    He’s a good prospect for sure – . I’m pulling for him – I hope he stays with the Oilers for a long time. But there have been many players with as much or more talent who couldn’t sustain a career in the NHL

    OTOH Letestu is a legitimate NHL RH centre who can help Edmonton win now – Jujhar does not replace that and Edmonton has no else in the system ready to step in and do so either. If it comes down to Letestu vs Khaira – I’m choosing Letestu.

    For me its not about what the player looks like, what round he was drafted in, whether he’s good in the room or any of that other noise – I only care about the logo on the front of the jersey and its place in the NHL standings.

  33. Doug McLachlan says:

    Centre of attention:
    I just heard an interesting name.

    Valeri Nichushkin.

    Rumblings on twitterverse he is willing to come back to NHL, people in Dallas are 50/50 whether he will actually come back to the team though.

    Maybe he wants to come back but he and his agent have quietly requested a trade? I’ve heard Eberle linked to Dallas, and Nichushkin is definitely more of a Chiarelli power forward type. 6’3” shoots left but plays either wing just fine. I think he played on the right side during his time in Dallas, too. Built like a brick shithouse, or so the kids say.

    Not much other than speculation but enough to make you go hmmm.

    *Edit*

    Maybe it’s two different deals. Eberle for Hamonic , then Slepy and a pick for Nichushkin who will slot into Eberles spot. (or a different prospect, but I’m sure Dallas is asking for a RW)

    Fascinating thought but it would be insane to suggest that Nichushkin could replace Eberle’s production. Your edit suggests that there might be a lesser deal. Nichushkin is a really intriguing prospect but I can’t see him clicking with Hitch any more than Ruff.

  34. Lloyd B. says:

    Diablo: Don’t misunderstand me – I don’t underestimate Kassian as a player.

    This is my opinion as a physician – do not underestimate what the Oilers have done for him either – from management, to the coaching staff, and his fellow players, they’ve created a very supportive and sheltered environment for him to thrive in both on and off the ice – take him out of that bubble and there is no guarantee that he doesn’t fall off the wagon – sobriety can be very fragile.

    He’s found a great fit in Edmonton, and he’s valuable to this team moving forward – but very few teams can provide him with the kind of environment he needs right now – its a very, very hard thing to do.

    A solid piece of that continued and supportive environment would be to show Kassian that you believe in him.

    So you protect him. Then sign him to a reasonable 3 year deal.

    Both sides win and this type of move clearly shows the players you are interested in them as people, not just pieces of meat. A strong team culture for sure.

    A culture that is needed to win. Something like this could go a long way to identifying Chiarelli as a GM that builds a strong team that has nothing to do with free agent signings or trades.

    If he were a player, it would be said he brings the intangibles that the stats don’t identify.

  35. NSmitty says:

    Would Colorado do a 1-for-1, Duchene for Eberle trade? I think they might after the horror show of a season they just had.

    Both men are signed for 2 more seasons at $6 mil.

    Imagine what McDavid and Duchene could do off the rush. Their speed would break the NHL.

  36. Barcs says:

    I think if one of our other Centres can improve their faceoff skills next year that would open a spot for Slepy to replace Letestu on the PP.

    Otherwise, I think this coaching staff would prioritize faceoffs over Slepy’s better shot.

  37. Diablo says:

    Lowetide: Letestu’s power-play numbers are excellent but let’s not give him too much credit. He’s on the ice with brilliant offensive players who get him the puck in good to great spots. Slepyshev has a superior shot, I think we can agree.

    At 5×5, Letestu’s possession numbers have not been strong and he scored three goals in 723 minutes. That is poor. I’d prefer to keep both of them, but one season of Letestu, he of the 45.8 Corsi for 5×5, sits just outside my top 7 names.

    Slepy shoots a lot and he’s got a heavy shot – off the rush he’s definitely got a better shot.

    But I’m talking specifically about the PP one-timer – Slepy has NEVER scored an NHL goal off a one-timer. Letestu did it repeatedly last year.

    I think people severely underestimate just how hard that skill is to master. I played goalie for over 25 years – I never worried about the cherry picker standing at the top of the circle with his stick cocked, because almost certainly they’d miss high or wide or they’d flub it across the ice and it would hit my pad as I pushed across the crease.

    Getting your body in position to take that shot, timing it just right, and then making sure that it is high enough to get over the goalies pad but not too high such that it goes over the net and rings around and out of the zone – man that is just so hard to do. And Letestu makes it look easy.

  38. admiralmark says:

    NSmitty:
    Would Colorado do a 1-for-1, Duchene for Eberle trade? I think they might after the horror show of a season they just had.

    Both men are signed for 2 more seasons at $6 mil.

    Imagine what McDavid and Duchene could do off the rush. Their speed would break the NHL.

    Not a chance. But I like the thought.

  39. Diablo says:

    Lloyd B.: A solid piece of that continued and supportive environment would be to show Kassian that you believe in him.

    So you protect him.Then sign him to a reasonable 3 year deal.

    Both sides win and this type of move clearly shows the players you are interested in them as people, not just pieces of meat.A strong team culture for sure.

    A culture that is needed to win.Something like this could go a long way to identifying Chiarelli as a GM that builds a strong team that has nothing to do with free agent signings or trades.

    If he were a player, it would be said he brings the intangibles that the stats don’t identify.

    That’s a pretty reasonable way to look at things – I do believe that is in fact the way the Oilers view it as well.

    That said if there is an opportunity to get a top 4 RHD for Eberle before the expansion draft (last summer established that he’s not worth that) then you have to do it. At the moment, we are one more injury away from a 3rd pairing of Reinhart-Fayne right now.

  40. jtblack says:

    LT: i agree on both players assessments. Also I would add, Letestu is 32. Protect Khaira who may be an option for 2 — 6 yrs.

  41. Ryan says:

    Diablo: That’s a pretty reasonable way to look at things – I do believe that is in fact the way the Oilers view it as well.

    That said if there is an opportunity to get a top 4 RHD for Eberle before the expansion draft (last summer established that he’s not worth that) then you have to do it. At the moment, we are one more injury away from a 3rd pairing of Reinhart-Fayne right now.

    Ha.

    Now you’re sounding like me.

    Except if Vegas takes Reinhart…

    Then what?

  42. Acumen says:

    Kinger:

    1) Which Oil player will Vegas select? Griffin Reinhart
    2) Who is our first pick in the Entry Draft? Robert Thomas.
    3) Does Ebs get moved (bonus if you pick for who)? Yes. Ilya Kovalchuk.
    4) Does RNH get moved (bonus if you pick for who)? Yes. Justin Faulk, post expansion.
    5) Who is our back-up G on game 1? Laurent Brossoit
    6) Total $ amount/years for Russell (0 is an answer)? 3 x 3, NTC (he gives up money, we give up term)
    7) Total $ amount/years of McDavid’s contract? 9 mil x 6 (see above)
    8) Total $ amount/years of Drai’s contract? 7 mil x 8
    9) Which 2 D dress with Larsson/Klef/Nurse/Benning on game 1? Russell and Faulk, on the same pair
    10) Biggest off-season F acquired in terms of salary?: Martin Hanzal, I hope.
    11) Is Jessie playing in NHL game 1? Yes
    12) How many roster trades does Chia make? 3

    Played this somewhat conservative, but I’m still praying to the voodoo Gods that Chia will do things to piss off Blues fans and acquire Parayko (refer to the Dellow article from yesterday), mirroring his attempts for Hamilton back in the day. Parayko is probably my favorite player in the league right now. I would die.

  43. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I would not be surprised to see more than PC is letting on in the next weeks. The biggest hurdle he faces is that all of the centres except his 4th liner are left shot and faceoffs are a problem. Nobody in the pipeline.

    If Mackinnon is actually available, and he is on the trade bait list, how much would you pay? How aggressive are the Oilers willing to be with any player that had a weak season and doesn’t help in the top six as expected?

    I would be willing to rock the boat quite a bit. McDavid, Leon and MacKinnon as the core forwards. Yikes!

  44. highgloveside says:

    Guarantee you Chairelli plans to resign Letestu before he becomes a UFA. Thats why they protect him. I would do the dame, Letestu gives you great value with even better flexibility.

  45. Ryan says:

    Diablo: No it makes perfect sense.

    If you can get a good RH top 4 D now for less than the normal extortionist cost, then do it now because D are simply more valuable than forwards like Maroon, Kassian, Letestu or Khaira – you’re only going to lose one of those guys anyways, and you can replace them with greater ease than finding a top 4 D after the expansion draft is over.

    I would say that I concur, but this is a concept I have previously espoused on this blog.

    There will be a first sale on NHL defenseman prior to expansion. Buy! Buy! Buy!

    The market will correct itself after and the cost of NHL dmen will subsequently skyrocket.

  46. Lowetide says:

    Diablo: Slepy shoots a lot and he’s got a heavy shot – off the rush he’s definitely got a better shot.

    But I’m talking specifically about the PP one-timer –Slepy has NEVER scored an NHL goal off a one-timer. Letestu did it repeatedly last year.

    I think people severely underestimate just how hard that skill is to master. I played goalie for over 25 years – I never worried about the cherry picker standing at the top of the circle with his stick cocked, because almost certainly they’d miss high or wide or they’d flub it across the ice and it would hit my pad as I pushed across the crease.

    Getting your body in position to take that shot, timing it just right, and then making sure that it is high enough to get over the goalies pad but not too high such that it goes over the net and rings around and out of the zone – man that is just so hard to do. And Letestu makes it look easy.

    The key for Letestu’s spot is positioning for pass or deflection. Sam Gagner did it last season in CBJ and killed it. I think the position itself is worth a lot of goals, and (given time) I’m confident Slepyshev could do the job. He has a hammer, but that doesn’t mean there are no other tools in the box.

  47. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: The key for Letestu’s spot is positioning for pass or deflection. Sam Gagner did it last season in CBJ and killed it. I think the position itself is worth a lot of goals, and (given time) I’m confident Slepyshev could do the job. He has a hammer, but that doesn’t mean there are no other tools in the box.

    I’m with you here. Letestu had a heck of a season, but he’s old, small, and slow. Time is luck as they say and there’s a very limited supply of either for journeyman NHL’ers.

  48. MrEd says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Would you like to be the guy that’s responsible for inflation?
    Even if the CBA excuses it?
    It’s almost as if CMD has the perfect flurry.
    5 years at a dollar amount that respects the current situation.

    After that he’s James.

  49. Lloyd B. says:

    Diablo: That’s a pretty reasonable way to look at things – I do believe that is in fact the way the Oilers view it as well.

    That said if there is an opportunity to get a top 4 RHD for Eberle before the expansion draft (last summer established that he’s not worth that) then you have to do it. At the moment, we are one more injury away from a 3rd pairing of Reinhart-Fayne right now.

    Sekera is hurt long term and Russel is not signed.

    The OIlers are staring at Reinhart-Fayne as the third pairing as we speak.

    With Nurse-Benning as the 2nd pairing.

    Pretty clear what Chiarelli needs to do this summer.

  50. Bad Seed says:

    Diablo: Don’t misunderstand me – I don’t underestimate Kassian as a player.

    This is my opinion as a physician – do not underestimate what the Oilers have done for him either – from management, to the coaching staff, and his fellow players, they’ve created a very supportive and sheltered environment for him to thrive in both on and off the ice – take him out of that bubble and there is no guarantee that he doesn’t fall off the wagon – sobriety can be very fragile.

    He’s found a great fit in Edmonton, and he’s valuable to this team moving forward – but very few teams can provide him with the kind of environment he needs right now – its a very, very hard thing to do.

    But the guy spends his off seasons in LA. Plenty of temptation there.

  51. Professor Q says:

    NSmitty:
    Would Colorado do a 1-for-1, Duchene for Eberle trade? I think they might after the horror show of a season they just had.

    Both men are signed for 2 more seasons at $6 mil.

    Imagine what McDavid and Duchene could do off the rush. Their speed would break the NHL.

    McDavid and MacKinnon were amazing together in the World Cup.

  52. dustrock says:

    If Letestu wasn’t RHC would be a pretty easy choice.

    I get the love affair with Khaira even less than I got the love affair with Pitlick.

    These guys are easily replaceable.

    Letestu is the Leatherman for the Oilers. If you have a RHC replacement then great but otherwise I take him over Khaira 10/10

  53. Acumen says:

    Professor Q,

    Wasn’t it Nuge and MacKinnon? With McDavid and Matthews on the top line?

  54. Professor Q says:

    Acumen:
    Professor Q,

    Wasn’t it Nuge and MacKinnon? With McDavid and Matthews on the top line?

    It started with McDavid and Eichel, with Nuge, MacKinnon, and Matthews together I think, indeed, but then they switched.

    So McDavid, Matthews, and MacKinnon were together for the latter part of the tournament and showed really good chemistry. For some reason Eichel and McDavid didn’t play well together.

  55. Diablo says:

    Ryan: Ha.

    Now you’re sounding like me.

    Except if Vegas takes Reinhart…

    Then what?

    Yep that would be very bad, then it would be Simpson – Fayne.
    Or Jones-Bear (2 years before they’re ready).

    I’d be fine with 4-4-1

  56. russ99 says:

    Letestu’s PP points aren’t why I want to keep him, it’s for his contributions in all facets of the game, PK ability and own-zone faceoffs.

    Had Lander stayed, I’d be a bit more ok with leaving him unprotected.

    And you know Vegas is looking for exactly what Letestu can offer for the price point.

    I firmly believe if he’s unprotected, he’ll be selected, then we’ll need to add two centers in the offseason. As we saw with Desharnais and Korpikoski, a good 3-4 center under $2M is tough to find, and you don’t really know what you got until he plays here.

    Khaira doesn’t seem to have the third line chops, and that’s with a little more offense. I don’t see him being much more than a 4th line checker/cycler.

  57. Diablo says:

    Lowetide: The key for Letestu’s spot is positioning for pass or deflection. Sam Gagner did it last season in CBJ and killed it. I think the position itself is worth a lot of goals, and (given time) I’m confident Slepyshev could do the job. He has a hammer, but that doesn’t mean there are no other tools in the box.

    Lol LT – on ON you’re trading Slepy away!
    I keed, I keed.

    Though I’d love to get Boone Jenner here.

  58. LMHF#1 says:

    Letestu’s PK work dropped off, and he’s unlikely to reproduce that powerplay production next season. That’s why it’s okay to lose him.

    Vegas wouldn’t take him though.

  59. YKOil says:

    Would keep Khaira over Letestu – but would look to see what I could get for Letestu first before leaving him out there and giving Vegas a chance to flip him.

    Would still leave him open and protect Khaira instead.

    That said, knowing a guy like Fayne has 3rd round pick value at the trade deadline (my opinion anyways), if Vegas is really looking hard at Reinhart then I flip them a 4th and the rights to Lander to ensure they take Reinhart and, also, Fayne.

    They get their guy and a 4th now plus a 3rd at the deadline and the rights to Lander don’t harm them – he being KHL bound – but he remains an interesting asset for a new team and it is better to have more assets than less. Fayne, at full salary, either makes the team or passes through waivers (no one wants to pay full freight on him) so that is a no harm, no foul situation as well.

    We get rid of the Fayne salary.

  60. trencan says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    I would not be surprised to see more than PC is letting on in the next weeks. The biggest hurdle he faces is that all of the centres except his 4th liner are left shot and faceoffs are a problem. Nobody in the pipeline.

    If Mackinnon is actually available, and he is on the trade bait list, how much would you pay? How aggressive are the Oilers willing to be with any player that had a weak season and doesn’t help in the top six as expected?

    I would be willing to rock the boat quite a bit. McDavid, Leon and MacKinnon as the core forwards. Yikes!

    You want Mackinnon? I would say they will ask for Klefbom + Puljujarvi + 1st round 2017. And still not sure whether it is enough for Avalanche. But probably it gives you Duchene. I wouldnt pay that much in any case, none of this trade is good for Oilers.

  61. Pouzar says:

    LMHF#1:
    Letestu’s PK work dropped off, and he’s unlikely to reproduce that powerplay production next season. That’s why it’s okay to lose him.

    Vegas wouldn’t take him though.

    He was abysmal in the 2nd half on the PK. Gets owned 5 on 5 and is not getting any younger or faster. The narrative of “all around player” is mystifying.

  62. jp says:

    russ99:

    As we saw with Desharnais and Korpikoski, a good 3-4 center under $2M is tough to find, and you don’t really know what you got until he plays here.

    Imagine their surprise when they realized Korpikoski doesn’t play C 🙂

  63. dustrock says:

    He and Eberle were the only RH shots on the PP. If LV grabs Letestu, fine, but then we need to grab someone RH.

  64. Professor Q says:

    trencan: You want Mackinnon? I would say they will ask for Klefbom + Puljujarvi + 1st round 2017. And still not sure whether it is enough for Avalanche. But probably it gives you Duchene.I wouldnt pay that much in any case, none of this trade is good for Oilers.

    They might ask for that, but won’t get it.

    Especially for a player who seems increasingly liklier to want out day by day.

    The market will not be greater than what Hall or Johansen got. Most likely much less.

  65. Louis Levasseur says:

    Centre of attention,

    I haven’t seen Nishushkin play a lot, but I did see him play in the World Championship. He wasn’t all that impressive. To quote Harry Neale “lots of tools, but no tool box”. Even Ray Ferraro said his on ice vision is terrible. For sure he would be an interesting guy to get a look at, but I’m not giving up much for him at this point. I don’t think he has any more value than Yakupov did when the Oil dumped him.

  66. Louis Levasseur says:

    I don’t believe that McPhee would avoid taking Kassian because he’d be worried about him falling into the trappings of Sin City. If McPhee believes that Kassian will be able to help the team more than another available Oiler, or if he believes Kassian has trade value, then he will pick him. McPhee will be picking players that become assets and not necessarily because they are going to be expected to pull on the Vegas uniform.

    I believe the Vegas would be bad for Kassian is overblown. If he is going to fall off the rails he can do that anywhere.

  67. godot10 says:

    Professor Q: It started with McDavid and Eichel, with Nuge, MacKinnon, and Matthews together I think, indeed, but then they switched.

    So McDavid, Matthews, and MacKinnon were together for the latter part of the tournament and showed really good chemistry. For some reason Eichel and McDavid didn’t play well together.

    Scheiffle was McDavid’s RW in the World Cup. MackInnon was Nugent-Hopkins RW. At even strength.

  68. Professor Q says:

    godot10: Scheiffle was McDavid’s RW in the World Cup. MackInnon was Nugent-Hopkins RW.At even strength.

    You’re right. I forgot about Scheiffele (although switching out Eichel for Matthews made that line DEADLY). And Nuge with MacKinnon and Gaudreau. I knew it was an Oiler with MacKinnon.

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