ALMOST BLUE

As we discussed yesterday, it appears Andrej Sekera is a quick healer or a glass half full kind of guy, or both. Either way, the thought of 20 games without him is far easier to handle than 40 games without him. Edmonton’s defense with Sekera healthy would represent bringing back the entire group from the spring playoff, something that must please Todd McLellan.

One thing I’ve been meaning to do is remind you about the progress (or regress) of the Leftorium since Peter Chiarelli arrived.

LEFTORIUM THE DAY PC TOOK OVER

So this would be spring of 2015, before Andrej Sekera and Griffin Reinhart and Eric Gryba. The running total was 15-2 in favor of the lefties.

LEFTORIUM ONE YEAR LATER

This is from July 2016, and things are looking up! Most of the improvement was via the draft though, only Adam Larsson added to the NHL group.

THE LEFTORIUM TODAY

We can argue over how he did it, and God knows we have, but balance has come to the defensive depth chart in Edmonton. I’m reminded of Bill James and his chapter on the Seattle Mariners (maybe 1985 or 1986). He talked about being in the army reserve and running up and down hills in (I think) Texas along with 200 other young males. Premise being the army (and the Mariners) treated young talent like an ever-renewable resource. Works for the army, the Mariners not so much. Just guess which column the Oilers belong in.

  • Percentage of righties the day Chiarelli arrived: 11.8
  • Percentage of righties July 2016: 26.1
  • Percentage of righties as of today: 44.0

The news yesterday about Sekera (not really news but Sekera says he’ll be ready six months from surgery, making it mid-November) may be one reason we haven’t seen an additional defender on the Oilers’ roster. I think the Oilers may run with Eric Gryba or Mark Fayne as 6D, possibly inviting Cody Franson to camp if he can’t find a contract. Edmonton could give him a one-year deal at $1 million and that wouldn’t impact the cap either way.

REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS 2017-18

I’m finalizing numbers for the RE, starts Friday with Connor McDavid and none of you have guessed the song. Right now, I’m at the recalls and how much they will play. You know, we don’t think about it much but the AHL team provides a lot of man games for NHL teams. The full allotment of NHL games for one team, one year is 1,558 plus the times a backup comes into the game (Oilers had six such games, making their total 1,564). Here are the recalls from a year ago (first time only) and the total games played in the NHL after recall:

  • October 17: Laurent Brossoit (8 games)
  • October 17: Matt Benning (62 games)
  • October 19: Ben Betker (0 games)
  • November 5: Dillon Simpson (3 games)
  • November 5: Taylor Beck (3 games)
  • December 7: David Musil (0 games)
  • December 30: Jordan Oesterle (2 games)
  • January 1: Jujhar Khaira (10 games)
  • February 4: Griffin Reinhart (0 games)

I didn’t include players who began the year with the big club (Anton Lander, Jesse Puljujarvi, Anton Slepyshev, Jonas Gustavsson). The GP total is 88, or 5.6 percent of the man games the reprsent the entire season. Matt Benning is the big part of the recall story, obviously. Nine recalls, I have 12 currently in my RE. Last year (2015-16) Edmonton used one dozen recalls including Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse.

It’s a long video but if you have the time check out the Messier trade coverage. Memories flooded back (I knew/know the broadcasters on the show, and remember exactly how I felt) for me, it’s an interesting look back in history.

Oilers look about even with a year ago based on this graph from Sean Tierney. Carolina has enjoyed a strong summer, holy hell Chicago and Washington.

PROJECTED LINES

Everyone’s doing them, thought I would chime in. My idea is to use Ryan Strome as “Mirror Man” for Leon Draisaitl, so I’m going to list them together on these lines in order to avoid misunderstandings about preferences.

  • Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl/Strome
  • Lucic-Draisaitl/Strome-Slepyshev
  • Jokinen-Nuge-Puljujarvi
  • Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian

I suspect we’ll see lots of shuffling early in the year (as we did last season) but keeping the top two lines somewhat intact (Leon with Lucic and Slepy or Leon with McDavid and Maroon) makes the most sense to start. I think Jokinen-Nuge could emerge as a very effective tandem, although the other winger could be JP or Kassian or even Slepyshev. I also think Caggiula could be on the 1line from time to time, Jason Gregor mentioned him as a strong option Friday (we’ll reprise that conversation at 11:05 today on the Lowdown).

PAIGIN & RE PLANNING

I am well into planning the “at-bats” portion of the RE, Andrej Sekera’s news yesterday means a tweak or two. I’ve also had a longer look at the young blue, and think we might see Ziyat Paigin in Edmonton at some point this season. His 95 KHL games and the fact he is 22 give him an edge over Caleb Jones. I mentioned the other day that Jones (and Ethan Bear) would perhaps get a cup of coffee, wonder if Paigin is a candidate to make the club opening night and remain until Sekera is ready. If Paigin can stand up at the blue line while also making that retrieval play, he might be the bridge answer this fall.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We are officially into summer, so we spread our wings and tackle some other sports stories today. Still plenty of Oilers, with some football and basketball thrown in. 10 this morning, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Farhan Lalji, TSN. Week 3 CFL review and a look ahead to the Eskimos game this weekend.
  • Eric Fawcett, Press Basketball. Crazy free agency, Canada wins! Plus Raptors and what are they doing?
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Who plays with McDavid this winter? Where do you slot in Puljujarvi? Who gets the Sekera at-bats?
  • Sunil Agnihotri, Copper & Blue/The SuperFan. Have the Oilers done more harm than good this summer?

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

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117 Responses to "ALMOST BLUE"

  1. Dominoiler says:

    Its Foo Fighters, right?!.. definitely ‘My Hero’ then.. 😉

  2. Professor Q says:

    GWAR/60?

  3. kgo says:

    LT What makes you think Paigin might see NHL time this year? I count him at 17th on the defense depth chart…what am I missing?

  4. speeds says:

    I’ll pick “Breakout”, as I think LT’s RE for McDavid might be something like 78GP 45G 85A 130 pts.

    Right, LT?

  5. Soup Fascist says:

    If Franson does not have a home, why not offer him a $1MM to $1.5MM deal vs camp invite? Affect on the cap is negligible if you send him down. Chews up a roster spot is the only downside.

    Would hate to bring him into camp and then have him sign elsewhere before the season starts, ala Versteeg. Would be a low risk / low cost signing if the market is not there for Franson.

    Still in 20s and has a bomb. Footspeed is an issue but Gryba and Fayne are in same boat without the shot on 2nd PP.

  6. misfit says:

    I was hoping we’d see a trade or one year Markov signing to take us into Sekera’s return.

    You’ve touched on it in previous posts, but my concern isn’t as much with how long until Sekera returns to the roster, but how long after until we have “Sekera” back. Players returning from big knee injuries almost always (from my recollection, I’m certainly not a doctor) return to form, but also nearly always aren’t themselves until the following season.

    I just hope Chiarelli doesn’t see him struggle to regain his form, look at his salary, and deem him expendable next year once the McDavid contract kicks in. Sekera is every bit as important to the success of this defense as Klefbom and Larsson are, IMO.

  7. megahurts says:

    I don’t think Dillon Simpson should be on the right-hand side. Unless there are two on the team?

  8. Soup Fascist says:

    megahurts:
    I don’t think Dillon Simpson should be on the right-hand side.Unless there are two on the team?

    And it could become confusing around All-Star time.

    Signed, Professional Hockey Writers.

  9. Oddspell says:

    speeds:
    I’ll pick “Breakout”, as I think LT’s RE for McDavid might be something like 78GP 45G 85A 130 pts.

    Right, LT?

    In light of his contract signing, I’m going to go with “I’ll Stick Around”. Although I’m not sure the actual lyrics work all that well.

  10. RyMosh4 says:

    The song for Connor should be Everlong, as it may be the best rock song written in the last 20 years. The lyrics fit fairly well, also. But the song is the best, and Connor is the best, and our world is significantly better because both exist.

  11. speeds says:

    misfit,

    I don’t know how much performance will matter there – Sekera looks like the odd man out when his NMC is over anyways?

  12. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Soup Fascist:
    If Franson does not have a home, why not offer him a $1MM to $1.5MM deal vs camp invite?Affect on the cap is negligible if you send him down. Chews up a roster spot is the only downside.

    Would hate to bring him into camp and then have him sign elsewhere before the season starts, ala Versteeg.Would be a low risk / low cost signing if the market is not there for Franson.

    Still in 20s and has a bomb. Footspeed is an issue but Gryba and Fayne are in same boat without the shot on 2nd PP.

    I don’t think Franson would sign a deal that likely puts him in the pressbox or A. He’ll be looking for an NHL role to continue his career. One reason the signed Gryba is that he’ll do the 7th D role. Klef Larsson, Nurse Benning, Russell are going to play. The issue is when Sekera comes back an NHL regular would get sat or demoted. As for depth, they have after Sekera returns Gryba, Fayne and Stanton already.

    My guess is they stand pat unless it’s a bigger deal for a long term option such as Faulk or Barrie. That still means they would have to move one of the other D to make cap room for 2018-2019, and Russell and Sekera would have to waive to be moved until the season after that.

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

    speeds,

    If this turns out to be the stat line for the end of year we should start buying beer right now because we won’t be able to find any once the final buzzer goes. That would be a helluva year.

    I made a semi-drunken bet with a buddy two weeks ago that at some point during his 8 year deal Captain Connor will hit the 150 point mark.

    Now that may seem extreme and I agree its high but I’ve got an inkling that as the current crop of stars age and Connor continues to get stronger, faster and generally better there’s gonna be a two year window when he and all the other young stars today can blow the roof off offensively.

    Also if that rumour from yesterday with Leon at 8×8 is true that is music to my ears (curious on how the signing bonuses will work though).

  14. dessert1111 says:

    I would think Everlong fits rather well for McDavid.

    One RHD acquired that fits above Benning in the depth chart away from balance! (Wouldn’t mind another right wing as well but I think we can get away without it.)

  15. Oddspell says:

    RyMosh4:
    The song for Connor should be Everlong, as it may be the best rock song written in the last 20 years.The lyrics fit fairly well, also.But the song is the best, and Connor is the best, and our world is significantly better because both exist.

    This was choice #2. The lyrics are pretty on point.

    “If anything could ever feel this real for ever. If anything could ever be this good again”

  16. barmstrong says:

    RyMosh4:
    The song for Connor should be Everlong, as it may be the best rock song written in the last 20 years.The lyrics fit fairly well, also.But the song is the best, and Connor is the best, and our world is significantly better because both exist.

    Yup – LT, the song is obviously Everlong:)

    “If everything could ever feel this real forever
    If anything could ever be this good again”

  17. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Would Oilers have any interest in Andrej Nestrasil ?

  18. barmstrong says:

    Oddspell,

    doh

  19. dustrock says:

    Professor Q:
    GWAR/60?

    I’d likely have one of the highest GWAR/60 in terms of musical tastes. Great band, or greatest band?

  20. Chachi says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUKOtbVnV4M

    Extended version of Everlong on the final Letterman. The best of everything.

  21. misfit says:

    Oddspell: In light of his contract signing, I’m going to go with “I’ll Stick Around”. Although I’m not sure the actual lyrics work all that well.

    “And I wonder
    If everything could ever feel this real forever
    If anything could ever be this good again”

    I took out a line, but it definitely works as the McDavid song, and would’ve been my guess if you hadn’t beat me to the punch.

    If not that, maybe Miracle

    “Hands on a miracle
    I got my hands on a miracle
    Leave it or not, hands on a miracle”

  22. VOR says:

    For those of you who like baseball and like seeing how statistics and analytics play out in baseball (and combined to create the current home run madness in major league baseball) here is a great article from the New York times.

    [You may have to register – but it should be free]

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/sports/baseball/home-runs-major-leagues-first-half.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

  23. Professor Q says:

    RyMosh4:
    The song for Connor should be Everlong, as it may be the best rock song written in the last 20 years.The lyrics fit fairly well, also.But the song is the best, and Connor is the best, and our world is significantly better because both exist.

    Although it was technically written juuuuust over 20 years ago. 😉

  24. Shane8830 says:

    I need a hero by Bonnie Tyler?

  25. RyMosh4 says:

    Professor Q: Although it was technically written juuuuust over 20 years ago.

    And now I just feel old.

  26. bendelson says:

    dustrock: I’d likely have one of the highest GWAR/60 in terms of musical tastes.Great band, or greatest band?

    GWAR – If I was to make a list of my favourite ‘barbaric interplanetary warrior’ bands, they would certainly be top five.

  27. Weighting for more says:

    The problem with ‘my hero’ for Connor is that he is definitely NOT ‘ordinary!’

    So many great Foo songs to choose from but for me I think ‘Learn to Fly” fits. It’s time for the boys to make their way back home (to Stanley) after being stuck in a terrible spell in what seemed like forever.

  28. Jon K says:

    Everlong would have to be strongly considered for McDavid

    Recording of the song began in January 1997. McDavid was born January 13, 1997.

    Dave Grohl has described the song as being about connecting with someone on a deeper level than mere physical or spiritual love.

    It is arguably the best song by one of the best bands to emerge from the 90s.

    Seems about right.

  29. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    For Nugey I propose my personal favorite Foo Fighters song: February Stars

    I’m hanging on
    here until I’m gone
    I’m right where I belong
    just hanging on
    even though I watched you come and go
    how was I to know
    you’d steal the show?

  30. barmstrong says:

    Jon K:

    Dave Grohl has described the song as being about connecting with someone on a deeper level than mere physical or spiritual love.

    Right?

  31. Soup Fascist says:

    Scungilli Slushy: I don’t think Franson would sign a deal that likely puts him in the pressbox or A. He’ll be looking for an NHL role to continue his career. One reason the signed Gryba is that he’ll do the 7th D role. Klef Larsson, Nurse Benning, Russell are going to play. The issue is when Sekera comes back an NHL regular would get sat or demoted. As for depth, they have after Sekera returns Gryba, Fayne and Stanton already.

    My guess is they stand pat unless it’s a bigger deal for a long term option such as Faulk or Barrie. That still means they would have to move one of the other D to make cap room for 2018-2019, and Russell and Sekera would have to waive to be moved until the season after that.

    As of today, he has to beat out Eric Gryba for a job in the top six and Mark Fayne / Ryan Stanton for a job on the roster.

    Where exactly do you see a softer landing spot?

  32. Pescador says:

    speeds:
    misfit,

    I don’t know how much performance will matter there – Sekera looks like the odd man out when his NMC is over anyways?

    If the cap doesn’t rise I doubt that he will outlast his own contract, seems like almost every NHL’r waives their NMC when asked to do so. Only one jackass in OTT that I can think of, although I’m sure there are plenty more.
    Typically its a GM asking a player to waive & the team is shitty so it’s preferable for said player to be traded to a contender. But I’m curious does anyone have an example of a player from a Playoff team being asked to waive ?

  33. jm363561 says:

    Jon K:
    Everlong would have to be strongly considered for McDavid. Recording of the song began in January 1997.

    ===========

    Thank you for pointing out Everlong is a song. I had been briefly trying to figure out which team he was RW for.

  34. Pescador says:

    megahurts:
    I don’t think Dillon Simpson should be on the right-hand side.Unless there are two on the team?

    2nd pairing in Bakersfield,
    D. Simpson. &. Dillon S.

  35. Pescador says:

    jm363561:

    It’s also a showbusiness handle

  36. npanciroli says:

    Pescador,

    “For the sake of privacy let’s call her Lisa S… No that’s too obvious, let’s say L. Simpson.”

  37. StixMalone says:

    Fayne will not play under TMac again ever. Something rubs him the wrong way with TMac perhaps? Back to the Condors he goes for his last season unless he gets traded….

  38. Wonder Llama says:

    While I grudgingly admit “Everlong” is a great song, I’ll guess Paul Simon’s “Cool, Cool River [pusher]” ’cause I’m in Foo denial.

  39. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Soup Fascist: As of today, he has to beat out Eric Gryba for a job in the top six and Mark Fayne / Ryan Stanton for a job on the roster.

    Where exactly do you see a softer landing spot?

    For sure, he’d be on the roster and might see second pairing if Benning has wobbles. I’m thinking more that when Sekera comes back the #6 slot will be pushed off the roster (unless there are a lot of xxxxx, I won’t even type it) and that slot is the right 3rd pair because unless Nurse is horrible it won’t be him in the PB.

    Although, perhaps Franson is willing to end up with the black aces for a shot at a cup run? Otherwise he’ll look for a gig with more potential for a regular spot, they all want to play. If that doesn’t happen I could see a PTO.

  40. Yeti says:

    I always presumed the next RE: would be the Counting Crows, given LT’s penchant for Long Decembers.

  41. trencan says:

    Pescador: If the cap doesn’t rise I doubt that he will outlast his own contract, seems like almost every NHL’r waives their NMC when asked to do so. Only one jackass in OTT that I can think of, although I’m sure there are plenty more.Typically its a GM asking a player to waive & the team is shitty so it’s preferable for said player to be traded to a contender. But I’m curious does anyone have an example of a player from a Playoff team being asked to waive ?

    Our cap hell may look this way:
    2018 – RNH
    2019 – Russell
    2020 – Sekera
    2021 – Lucic
    All future lost trades…

  42. Ducey says:

    Soup Fascist:
    If Franson does not have a home, why not offer him a $1MM to $1.5MM deal vs camp invite?Affect on the cap is negligible if you send him down. Chews up a roster spot is the only downside.

    Would hate to bring him into camp and then have him sign elsewhere before the season starts, ala Versteeg.Would be a low risk / low cost signing if the market is not there for Franson.

    Still in 20s and has a bomb. Footspeed is an issue but Gryba and Fayne are in same boat without the shot on 2nd PP.

    Franson signed his last (2yr) contract with BUF on Sept 10, 2015. So he was flapping in the wind the whole summer.

    I am sure he has been offered cheap one year deals. He is likely holding out for more, and maybe is prepared to wait as last time.

    Interestingly, last year BUF only had him play 98 minutes on the PP. He had only 2 points and 11 shots. That’s lousy.

    Ristolainen played by far the most with 230 minutes. Maybe Ristolainen blocked his minutes, or maybe the coach just didn’t find Franson that good on the PP. So he might not be useful there.

    He would seem to be able to help the offense 5 x 5 as he led BUF D in pts/60.

  43. Ducey says:

    trencan: Our cap hell may look this way:
    2018 – RNH
    2019 – Russell
    2020 – Sekera
    2021 – Lucic
    All future lost trades…

    3 of those are UFA signings. If you get anything for them, you are likely ahead.

  44. trencan says:

    Ducey: 3 of those are UFA signings. If you get anything for them, you are likely ahead.

    I like your optimistic view 🙂 And RNH was only drafted…. 🙂

  45. jtblack says:

    trencan,

    I wouldn’t call it “Cap Hell”. ALL good teams have to manage the Cap, it’s that simple. The Oilers will have navigate the same water’s and try and keep as many good players as possible, knowing they cannot sign everyone.

    It is inevitable that the Oilers will lose good players or have to trade good players (already started that).

  46. Zack says:

    Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl/Strome
    Lucic-Draisaitl/Strome-Slepyshev
    Jokinen-Nuge-Puljujarvi
    Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian

    I wonder how Jagr would look with this group?

    Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl
    Lucic-Nuge-Jagr
    Jokinen-Strome-Slepyshev/Puljujarvi
    Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian

    I’m not sure how I like Strome playing center, I thought he was a little weaker in the dot.

    Maroon-McDavid-Strome
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Jagr
    Jokinen-Nuge-Slepyshev/Puljujarvi (AHL)
    Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian

    That’s a pretty solid forward roster if you ask me. As long as Jagr can stay out of the box from taking penalties in the offensive zone I definitely think we’d be a force to reckon with. Plenty of special teams options as well.

    I usually read the RE but Foo Fighters this year, I won’t miss a beat!

  47. trencan says:

    jtblack:
    trencan,

    I wouldn’t call it “Cap Hell”.ALL good teams have to manage the Cap, it’s that simple.The Oilers will have navigate the same water’s and try and keep as many good players as possible, knowing they cannot sign everyone.

    It is inevitable that the Oilers will lose good players or have to trade good players (already started that).

    Yes, I agree, Chia should identify core players and value for money contracts. Very important thing will be draft in next seasons. We should avoid trading our draft picks in the future.

  48. blainer says:

    StixMalone:
    Fayne will not play under TMac again ever. Something rubs him the wrong way with TMac perhaps? Back to the Condors he goes for his last season unless he gets traded….

    This is absolutely correct IMO. I suspect he is way down the recall line as well.

    I really expect Chia to start camp with what he has and if needed after or close to the end of the exhibition season he will or will not add a D based on the play of those trying for the 6/7 D.

    Still think Jones is the wild card here. Training with Seth in the off season is gonna help.

    I really think Caleb will be pushing all of the D for ice time by the end of the season. Watch out for this player…

  49. --hudson-- says:

    VOR:
    For those of you who like baseball and like seeing how statistics and analytics play out in baseball (and combined to create the current home run madness in major league baseball) here is a great article from the New York times.

    [You may have to register – but it should be free]

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/sports/baseball/home-runs-major-leagues-first-half.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    That’s really cool – thanks for posting it! I love how baseball has these new strategies and counter-strategies that are written with high quality.

    This looks like the response to Big Data Baseball.

  50. jtblack says:

    Zack,

    Who has the WOWY”s on Jagr. My understanding was he was an anchor for Barkov and Huberdeau last yr? ??? I think he would be good on PP 1 or 2

  51. Professor Q says:

    Yeti:
    I always presumed the next RE: would be the Counting Crows, given LT’s penchant for Long Decembers.

    Well, you don’t know what you got ’till it’s gone…

  52. GMB3 says:

    LT, which Bill James book is that from? I’m in need of a new summer read

  53. BlueNoteNorth says:

    FF : “I’ll Stick Around”. Yea!

  54. Ford Prefect says:

    Pescador,

    Thornton, Marleau, Phaneuf all come to mind as players asked to waive that were on playoff teams and declined. I am sure there are others.

    Edit: Mats Sundin!

  55. LadiesloveSmid says:

    jtblack:
    Zack,

    Who has the WOWY”s on Jagr.My understanding was he was an anchor for Barkov and Huberdeau last yr? ???I think he would be good on PP 1 or 2

    Jagr was the opposite of an anchor dragging them down. Still so so good at his age. Curious to see if Barkov can hold his own (quite as well) without him.

  56. McNuge93 says:

    jtblack:
    Zack,

    Who has the WOWY”s on Jagr.My understanding was he was an anchor for Barkov and Huberdeau last yr? ???I think he would be good on PP 1 or 2

    My concern is his scoring in the playoffs. Someone mentioned this on an earlier blog and when I checked he was correct. The last 30 or so games in the playoffs Jagr has barely scored. We need experienced guys that help us in the playoffs.

  57. Shane says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    I could see Connor getting close to 150 points. Especially if he starts ‘getting the calls’ from the officials as he gets older and gains ‘more respect’.

    Now if they make the nets bigger……?

  58. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Oilers sign LT’s guy!

    Auvitu 1 year deal

  59. digger50 says:

    Would love to see Connor put up 130 points, as mentioned. However, i think he only does it with Leon on the wing, so that’s the trade off.

  60. druds1 says:

    Jaromir will only work as a top six player and I do not think the Oilers need a top six 45 year old winger who might be ok on the PP2. That boat has sailed….

  61. Ducey says:

    druds1:
    Jaromir will only work as a top six player and I do not think the Oilers need a top six 45 year old winger who might be ok on the PP2. That boat has sailed….

    Fun fact. In Jagr’s rookie year (90-91), his salary was $150,000.

  62. Nuclear leak says:

    Auvitu is an Oiler…. balance is within sight

  63. Soup Fascist says:

    Soup Fascist:
    If Franson does not have a home, why not offer him a $1MM to $1.5MM deal vs camp invite?Affect on the cap is negligible if you send him down. Chews up a roster spot is the only downside.

    Would hate to bring him into camp and then have him sign elsewhere before the season starts, ala Versteeg.Would be a low risk / low cost signing if the market is not there for Franson.

    Still in 20s and has a bomb. Footspeed is an issue but Gryba and Fayne are in same boat without the shot on 2nd PP.

    Who was the goofball calling for a Franson signing when Auvitu was available?

  64. digger50 says:

    Is Auvitu similar to Osterle?

    Older, similar size, not too physical.

    Interested to hear the expectations on Auvitu come in.

  65. dustrock says:

    Chiarelli must have been reading this site.

    Congrats, Assistant GM and President of Musical Operations for the Oilers, Allan Mitchell!

  66. dustrock says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/bargain-bin-adds-teams-should-consider-in-free-agency-1.800747

    Yost gets into a review of Auvitu here.

    Notice how frequently the ice seemed to tilt in New Jersey’s favor with him on the ice. Whether you want to measure his few hundred minutes of ice time by goals or by shots, the story is generally the same – the Devils were demonstrably better when he was taking shifts.

    Now, a counterargument could be the pointing to one of myriad issues (limited sample size due to games played; relatively ‘soft’ minutes with frequent deployment in the offensive zone, etc.), and they’d all carry some degree of validity. But 25 games of data is absolutely better than zero games of data, and in what we saw, Auvitu generally out-performed both his teammates in New Jersey and defenders around the league.

    If anything, this is precisely the guy you do want to bet on – surely on a no-term, risk-free contract – to try to begin to test whether last year’s results were legitimate. If they were, Auvitu could really come into his own as a second-pairing/third-pairing tweener and just about two-thirds of the teams in the league are looking for exactly that type of player.

  67. Soup Fascist says:

    From Wiki:

    He (Auvitu) is fluent in five languages – French, English, Finnish, Russian and German.

    Holy United Nations Batman!

  68. dustrock says:

    Does this cap us at 50 contracts now?

  69. jtblack says:

    dustrock,

    Congrats, Assistant GM and President of Musical Operations for the Oilers, Allan Mitchell! ” – they could use some better tunes during the Games!

  70. Gerta Rauss says:

    dustrock:
    Does this cap us at 50 contracts now?

    Yes but with the expectation that Benson and Wells play junior this year, so 48

  71. Gerta Rauss says:

    So, is that it for the summer..?…are we done…?

    After the Draisaitl contract and a couple of RFA contracts, is this the team we start the season with..?

    I think it is

  72. russ99 says:

    dustrock,

    It’s a nice low risk signing, and rarely in an NHL season do you only use 6 or even 7 defensemen.

    My concerns are who you’d pair him with, as his defensive game isn’t there yet, and he’s prone to making Nurse-like coverage mistakes that ended up in the back of the net with New Jersey.

  73. TO10801 says:

    russ99:

    I think this is insurance for the Sekera injury. For example, Gryba will play if Benning can handle the minutes as Russell’s partner. If Benning struggles, then Nurse moves up with Russell and Auvitu can play left side with Benning on third pair. You cant have Gryba and Fayne make it I don’t think, so it will be between Auvitu and Stanton for #6-7 D with Gryba.

  74. Truth says:

    On the awesome PuckIQ site, Auvitu and Hall are the only players shown to have above 50% CF in playing more than 60 minutes against Elites. The righting of the Russell signing!

    http://puckiq.com/teams/NJD

  75. John Chambers says:

    Defensive depth seems set for the beginning of the season:

    Klef – Lars
    Russell – Benning
    Nurse – Gryba

    Auvitu – Fayne

    I can live with that bottom-pair and 7-8 depth until the return of the Rej. Gryba deserves a shot at playing regularly, even if it’s just a couple months.

  76. Wonder Llama says:

    dustrock:
    Chiarelli must have been reading this site.

    Congrats, Assistant GM and President of Musical Operations for the Oilers, Allan Mitchell!

    AGMPMOO – I like it. Rolls off the tongue.

  77. druds1 says:

    So sad to see what Sather got for Messier….Bernie “pumper”Nicholls….oh god that guy sucked and they called the deal a “youth movement” for the Oilers…LOL
    There was a conspiracy theory that Sather gave NYR the sweetheart deal as a down-payment for future employment. I dont believe it , it was simply a salary dump, but it looks suspicious when tied to future events.

  78. Ducey says:

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/fireandice/2017/04/17/season-review-yohann-auvitu/100564908/

    Auvitu sounds like MAB. Interesting he was the best Dman in Sweden before he came over.

    Keep him away from Talbot!

    The downside is they have a crap load of defenseman. Some of the younger ones might have trouble finding ice:

    Simpson – Lowe
    Stanton – Auvitu
    Paigan – Mantha
    Jones – Bear
    Betker – Fayne 🙂

    That’s a lot of defenseman.

  79. Evilas says:

    Here is an interesting read about Auvitu:

    http://www.tsn.ca/the-unlikely-emergence-of-yohann-auvitu-1.594766

    The man is driven

  80. Truth says:

    John Chambers:
    Defensive depth seems set for the beginning of the season:

    Klef – Lars
    Russell – Benning
    Nurse – Gryba

    Auvitu – Fayne

    I can live with that bottom-pair and 7-8 depth until the return of the Rej. Gryba deserves a shot at playing regularly, even if it’s just a couple months.

    That Russell – Benning pairing could be real trouble if Benning sees any sophomore slump. I don’t think Gryba will be able to keep Russell afloat if Benning can’t

  81. N64 says:

    dustrock:
    http://www.tsn.ca/bargain-bin-adds-teams-should-consider-in-free-agency-1.800747

    Yost gets into a review of Auvitu here.

    Notice how frequently the ice seemed to tilt in New Jersey’s favor with him on the ice. Whether you want to measure his few hundred minutes of ice time by goals or by shots, the story is generally the same – the Devils were demonstrably better when he was taking shifts.

    Now, a counterargument could be the pointing to one of myriad issues (limited sample size due to games played; relatively ‘soft’ minutes with frequent deployment in the offensive zone, etc.), and they’d all carry some degree of validity. But 25 games of data is absolutely better than zero games of data, and in what we saw, Auvitu generally out-performed both his teammates in New Jersey and defenders around the league.

    If anything, this is precisely the guy you do want to bet on – surely on a no-term, risk-free contract – to try to begin to test whether last year’s results were legitimate. If they were, Auvitu could really come into his own as a second-pairing/third-pairing tweener and just about two-thirds of the teams in the league are looking for exactly that type of player.

    Was going to paste that in yesterday but it was too fresh. Chia punched first. That Yost article also looked at Pirri.

  82. McNuge93 says:

    druds1:
    So sad to see what Sather got for Messier….Bernie “pumper”Nicholls….oh god that guy sucked and they called the deal a “youth movement” for the Oilers…LOL
    There was a conspiracy theory that Sather gave NYR the sweetheart deal as a down-payment for future employment. I dont believe it , it was simply a salary dump, but it looks suspicious when tied to future events.

    Yes, that set the stage for the first decade of darkness.

  83. Lowetide says:

    I wrote about Auvitu at ON, AND tell you how to pronounce his name!
    https://oilersnation.com/2017/06/27/who-in-the-wide-world-of-sports-is-yohann-auvitu/

  84. Ducey says:

    dustrock:
    http://www.tsn.ca/bargain-bin-adds-teams-should-consider-in-free-agency-1.800747

    Yost gets into a review of Auvitu here.

    Notice how frequently the ice seemed to tilt in New Jersey’s favor with him on the ice. Whether you want to measure his few hundred minutes of ice time by goals or by shots, the story is generally the same – the Devils were demonstrably better when he was taking shifts.

    Now, a counterargument could be the pointing to one of myriad issues (limited sample size due to games played; relatively ‘soft’ minutes with frequent deployment in the offensive zone, etc.), and they’d all carry some degree of validity. But 25 games of data is absolutely better than zero games of data, and in what we saw, Auvitu generally out-performed both his teammates in New Jersey and defenders around the league.

    If anything, this is precisely the guy you do want to bet on – surely on a no-term, risk-free contract – to try to begin to test whether last year’s results were legitimate. If they were, Auvitu could really come into his own as a second-pairing/third-pairing tweener and just about two-thirds of the teams in the league are looking for exactly that type of player.

    Pretty clear he was carrying Hall 🙂

  85. season not played says:

    druds1:
    So sad to see what Sather got for Messier….Bernie “pumper”Nicholls….oh god that guy sucked and they called the deal a “youth movement” for the Oilers…LOL
    There was a conspiracy theory that Sather gave NYR the sweetheart deal as a down-payment for future employment. I dont believe it , it was simply a salary dump, but it looks suspicious when tied to future events.

    Not sure what your definition of sucked is but you should probably have a look at the career of Bernie Nicholls.

  86. JustWatt says:

    Interesting that Chia just added another Finnish speaker. Doubt it means much but that’s, what, three now? More potential support for PJ.

  87. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide:
    I wrote about Auvitu at ON, AND tell you how to pronounce his name!
    https://oilersnation.com/2017/06/27/who-in-the-wide-world-of-sports-is-yohann-auvitu/

    It’s pronounced “Jim”, isn’t it?

  88. LMHF#1 says:

    season not played: Not sure what your definition of sucked is but you should probably have a look at the career of Bernie Nicholls.

    Irrational disdain for players like Bernie Nicholls seems to be a thing.

    But hey, guys that can score 70 goals in a season grow on trees – right?

  89. Jordan says:

    Sorry I’m late to the “guess which Foo song is for CMD” game.

    I’m all in on “Miracle”. Especially after he’s signed. =D.

  90. godot10 says:

    Sather traded Messier to the Rangers to guarantee that Gretzky and Messier would never be re-united in the NHL in the Western Conference in LA. The return was not the priority, although the fact that the Rangers could thrown in a “few” dollars didn’t hurt because of Pocklington’s financial woes.

    Edit: Oops. stuck a double negative in there. wouldn’t never. removed it.

  91. Professor Q says:

    godot10:
    Sather traded Messier to the Rangers to guarantee that Gretzky and Messier wouldn’t never be re-united in the NHL in the Western Conference in LA.The return was not the priority, although the fact that the Rangers could thrown in a “few” dollars didn’t hurt because of Pocklington’s financial woes.

    So, he did it to assure that they’d be reunited in the Western Conference? He failed, sadly.

  92. Ducey says:

    JustWatt:
    Interesting that Chia just added another Finnish speaker. Doubt it means much but that’s, what, three now? More potential support for PJ.

    Nope. They signed him because he speaks German. That was the big impasse in the Drasaitl negotiations.

    That, and $9 Million or so.

  93. Dunduress says:

    I don’t know if this has been suggested, but maybe McDavid’s RE song is going to be “I Am a River”. It seems fitting as he isn’t just pushing the river, he is the river.

  94. russ99 says:

    Truth: That Russell – Benning pairing could be real trouble if Benning sees any sophomore slump. I don’t think Gryba will be able to keep Russell afloat if Benning can’t

    I see it the other way. Regardless of a sophomore slump or not, Benning is the best defender after our top two pairs from last year.

    So we can at least count on good coverage and shot quality reduction the 10-12 minutes a night Russell – Benning is on the ice, which was the real problem with Sekera being out so long.

    Offense is bonus, not the main reason why these guys are on the ice.

  95. John Chambers says:

    LMHF#1: Irrational disdain for players like Bernie Nicholls seems to be a thing.

    But hey, guys that can score 70 goals in a season grow on trees – right?

    I remember enjoying the ’91’92 season and Damphousse-Nicholls-Murphy as the Pipe Line in the playoffs, where they were money on the PP.
    Nichols went 16 8-11-19, while Joe Murphy went 16 8-16-24, each with 4 PPGs in the post-season, marching over a road of bones in LA and Vancouver before getting stomped by Chicago.

    I think what frustrates me the most about that team is that they had a good core of players who were still quite young (Damphousse and Murphy 24, Craig Simpson 24, Mellanby 25, Dave Manson 24, Beaukeboom 26, Luke Richardson 22), but then seemed to lose every trade where we degraded the value of each player into nothing.

    Damphousse – Corson & Gilchrest
    Nicholls – Ciger and Todd Elik
    Simpson – can’t remember because it was nothing
    Mellanby – lost in expansion

    Thank God Sather won the Tikkanen for Weight trade so resoundingly, or else the little team that could might never have emerged, but in hindsight the little team that could might’ve been much stronger and without the mini-re-build that fans endured from 93-97.

  96. Thinker says:

    Connor has to be “All my Life”

  97. McSorley33 says:

    Love the bet on Auvitu…..but I have to ask:

    In taking a look at what NJD has on D – and it is **ugly** – why would they not retain this guy?

  98. Ducey says:

    John Chambers:
    Simpson – can’t remember because it was nothing

    Josef Cierny and a 4th that they used on someone named Jussi Tarvainen. Hopefully Jokinen helps because previous Jussies have been duds in EDM.

    Good think they traded Simpson though. He hurt his back in Dec the next year. He only played about 50 games after he left EDM.

  99. McSorley33 says:

    blainer,

    I really think Caleb will be pushing all of the D for ice time by the end of the season. Watch out for this player…
    ***************************************************************************************
    He is my pick to emerge out of all of our D prospects…..his skating really separates himself from Bear, Mantha., etc,

    My horizon for him does not start until the following year…get him a full year of at bats in the AHL.

    Willing to bet he really impresses down in the A …starting about January.

  100. stephen sheps says:

    Ducey,

    I seem to recall one Jussi Markkanen being a pretty solid Oiler. That shutout in game 6 was as impressive a playoff win as any I’ve ever seen.

    He was a fairly good goalie when used properly (1B/high end backup)

  101. Ducey says:

    Capfriendly has Auvitu as LD/LW. And making $700K one way. That’s a sign they likely plan to keep him in the NHL

    Who knew that LaLeggia needed a mirror man?

  102. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Pescador: If the cap doesn’t rise I doubt that he will outlast his own contract, seems like almost every NHL’r waives their NMC when asked to do so. Only one jackass in OTT that I can think of, although I’m sure there are plenty more.Typically its a GM asking a player to waive & the team is shitty so it’s preferable for said player to be traded to a contender. But I’m curious does anyone have an example of a player from a Playoff team being asked to waive ?

    Fleury

  103. barmstrong says:

    BTW, am I the only one that thinks Paigin is a dead ringer for a young John Candy?

  104. blainer says:

    digger50: )

    I think so. To me this looks like a depth D signing and agree will be very similar to Osterle. He may very well end up with fewer games played in the NHL this season but will be there for depth at a position you can never have too may of.

  105. Munny says:

    As the only person for miles around who said the Oil should and would bring in a LH defenseman and not a RHD, y’all owe me a shot of whiskey.

    Have the Foo been confirmed? If so, there’s only one Dave Grohl-related song worthy of 97:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lK4cX5xGiQ

  106. Thinker says:

    What do you guys think Nuge would get on his next contract? I think that affects whether he stays over Lucic and Sekera.

    Couturier makes 4.33. Schenn make 5.125.

  107. Nuclear leak says:

    Truth: That Russell – Benning pairing could be real trouble if Benning sees any sophomore slump. I don’t think Gryba will be able to keep Russell afloat if Benning can’t

    Russell moves back to the right and Nurse moves up?

    Why is it assured that it won’t be Nurse/Russell as the second pair?

    Nurse is going to be leaps and bounds better then last season, where he was leaps and bounds better then the season before. Which he frankly was nowhere near as bad as some posters have tried to suggest.

  108. Nuclear leak says:

    Thinker,

    Nuge will receive roughly the same as his current contract, he’ll be 27 or so? Depending on the cap growth, could be $7+

  109. Lowetide says:

    Nuclear leak: Russell moves back to the right and Nurse moves up?

    Why is it assured that it won’t be Nurse/Russell as the second pair?

    Nurse is going to be leaps and bounds better then last season, where he was leaps and bounds better then the season before. Which he frankly was nowhere near as bad as some posters have tried to suggest.

    I hope Nurse takes a giant step but it is dangerous to assume it happens. Young players don’t develop in a straight line.

  110. Ducey says:

    Thinker:
    What do you guys think Nuge would get on his next contract? I think that affects whether he stays over Lucic and Sekera.

    Couturier makes 4.33. Schenn make 5.125.

    I don’t think they will worry about signing Nuge next year. Its three years off from then.

    I also think they can likely keep Nuge next year. So much will depend upon his play vs Strome.

    They have $52 M right now for Connor, Nuge, Lucic, Kassian, JP and Kharia, their top 4 D and Talbot.

    If they add $8 for Leon, that’s $60 M

    If they can get Benning and Nurse for a total of $4 M, Slepy and the Drake for $3 M total, they will have their top 7 D, 9 forwards, and Talbot for $67 M. They lose Letestu, Strome, and Maroon.

    Then they just need 4 forwards, a back up G. Its close but they should be able to do that for $8 Million. If the Cap goes up, maybe they bring Strome or Maroon back.

  111. slopitch says:

    Dunduress:
    I don’t know if this has been suggested, but maybe McDavid’s RE song is going to be “I Am a River”. It seems fitting as he isn’t just pushing the river, he is the river.

    Well now you’re getting into Garth Brook’s wheelhouse

  112. Bank Shot says:

    Ducey: I don’t think they will worry about signing Nuge next year. Its three years off from then.

    I also think they can likely keep Nuge next year. So much will depend upon his play vs Strome.

    They have $52 M right now for Connor, Nuge, Lucic, Kassian, JP and Kharia, their top 4 D and Talbot.

    If they add $8 for Leon, that’s $60 M

    If they can get Benning and Nurse for a total of $4 M, Slepy and the Drake for $3 M total, they will have their top 7 D, 9 forwards, and Talbot for $67 M. They lose Letestu, Strome, and Maroon.

    Then they just need 4 forwards, a back up G. Its close but they should be able to do that for $8 Million. If the Cap goes up, maybe they bring Strome or Maroon back.

    Maybe they should throw $2 million X 5 years at Caggiula. If I had to pick an RFA to have the biggest jump in points this season. That’s my guy.

    No forward saw a bigger jump in icetime from regular season to playoffs than Drake.

    Seems like Mclellan really likes him, and I could see him getting a fair amount of time with McSaviour this season.

  113. Yeti says:

    Professor Q: Well, you don’t know what you got ’till it’s gone…

    I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower

  114. Dunduress says:

    slopitch: Well now you’re getting into Garth Brook’s wheelhouse

    This has gone straight over my head… maybe it is because I haven’t listened to a lot of Garth Brooks, or that I don’t know much about him other than the fact that he can sell a show out every night here in Saskatchewan… Or maybe I’m being dense 😂

  115. VOR says:

    You know a dream is like a river
    Ever changin’ as it flows
    And a dreamer’s just a vessel
    That must follow where it goes

    Garth Brooks, The River

  116. Lewis Grant says:

    I really think Caleb will be pushing all of the D for ice time by the end of the season. Watch out for this player…
    ***************************************************************************************
    He is my pick to emerge out of all of our D prospects…..his skating really separates himself from Bear, Mantha., etc,

    I tend to agree. Jones looked excellent on Team USA’s first pairing at the WJCs last year (and that team won gold). Unless you think he was simply being zoomed by Charlie McAvoy, that’s a very good sign.

  117. Evilas says:

    Lewis Grant,

    Agreed as well.

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