STROMEHOLD

This is the time of year when I take the estimated TOI for Oilers 2017-18 and marry it to performance. You saw some of that in our discussion about Leon Draisaitl yesterday. I find it fun to do, gives me a chance to project next season and see what I can see.

When it comes to Ryan Strome, I can’t project him well. His numbers don’t make sense to me, there’s no distinction in any area, nothing rhymes. He played the minutes, he scored, but there’s not a lot to identify him in the numbers.

RYAN STROME’S WOODMONEY

  • This is all courtesy Puck IQ and the men who built the boat that will save us all. Bless you, men.
  • The Islanders regarded Strome (rightly) as a mid-level player, he got the bulk of his playing time against the middle competition.
  • Strome did not dominate that middle, nor did he dominate the soft parade. His rel number remains the same through all three levels of competition. Whatcha doing Ryan Strome?
  • His 5×5 shooting percentage was 13.58 percent, but he shot at the rate of once every 10 minutes.
  • He scored better with Jason Chimera and Nikolai Kulemin than with the bigger names on the roster. Weird year.
  • I think Strome will get a lot of power-play time compared to a year ago, and he was 69, 11-11-22 at even strength in 2016-17. We might see a season similar to that of Milan Lucic as an Oiler last year. If Edmonton gives Strome a chance in the Letestu role, and that is my projection, we could see 20 goals from the new hire.

DEFENSE WOODMONEY

I’ve been reading a few comments lately about Darnell Nurse as the most logical player to step into the top 4D next season. As Puck IQ shows, Matt Benning is clearly the better option based on last season’s numbers. Now, we should be aware that young players can surprise you (good and bad) but the first option should be Benning.

The problem with going that route (Klefbom-Larsson, Russell-Benning, Nurse-Gryba/Auvitu) is the third pairing gets left out in the cold. Suspect it may end up being Klefbom-Larsson, Auvitu-Russell, Nurse-Benning.

KAILER YAMAMOTO (5.075, 153)

  • Corey Pronman: He’s a plus skater, puck handler and passer. Yamamoto has great agility on his edges, combined with a good top gear. He can create when he is carrying the puck due to his skill, creativity and ability to see the ice. He can come down the wing with speed one shift and quarterback a power play the next. At the WHL level as an 18-year-old, he showed he could be decent defensively, but the main concern going forward is how will he do away from the puck at his size. I have reasonable concerns about that, and it’s why I don’t think he’s at the level of say, Mitch Marner at the same age. However, there is still a lot of promise in his game.
  • HockeyProspect.com:  He is a hound for the puck, as Yamamoto goes anywhere to get it including directly at puck carriers. Kailer plays with explosive feet and attacks sticks when he isn’t possessing the puck using his high tempo motor to cover ground and pressure opponents to make plays, making him quite effective on the penalty kill and in creating shorthanded chances. Below the goal-line, Yamamoto is elusive and can carve his way to the net using extremely strong outside edges. In viewings this season, he consistently skates his way to the net, surprising defenseman with the speed he generates without taking a stride. Yamamoto possesses a dynamic wrist shot that cleanly beats goalies with power and speed, he can shoot from multiple body positions, in motion and off balance with little effect on his shot quality.

I’ve written about the possibility of Yamamoto making the team several times, often get reactions like “why don’t you just be patient?” or “do you seriously believe they would do that?” from readers. First, my preference isn’t really the point. We’re talking about this player and the Oilers organization. The team has been brazen over the last decade in sending kids to the NHL right out of the box. I know this young man is small, but he has terrific speed, something Sam Gagner wasn’t gifted with when the organization gave him a push fall 2007. Taking into account skill set, team need, franchise proclivity, I think there’s a chance this happens.

NEXT YEAR’S FREE AGENTS

I wrote this five days ago, but have been asked about it overnight so will re-publish the free agent list for 2018 summer. Some of these men will get signed but a lot will be spending their final winter in Edmonton.

  • Patrick Maroon, UFA. I think it’ll be a quick negotiation either way. If Maroon scores 27 again, he will have earned a handsome raise. Suspect Edmonton will make an offer well below market value and Maroon will sign elsewhere. This is going to be a theme among McDavid wingers for the next decade.
  • Mark Letestu, UFA. He was the No. 2 playoff scorer this spring and brings lots of utility. He is also 32, so PC will need to be aware of erosion. Suspect Letestu gets a two-year deal.
  • Mark Fayne, UFA. He will not receive an offer from Edmonton.
  • Matt Benning, RFA. Too soon to know, but he may emerge as the most valuable signing next summer. Could $4 million times five get it done? If he repeats his rookie season, getting a long-term deal in place will be a big priority. Has a chance to become the new Dan Boyle in Todd McLellan’s scheme.
  • Darnell Nurse, RFA. A lock to sign long term, the question here is cap. I’ve heard intelligent people suggest $2.5 million times whatever, but doubt that gets it done. This may end up being the most interesting negotiation of the year.
  • Ryan Strome, RFA. If he delivers a strong season, Strome gets signed long-term next summer. The cap hit will probably be mid-level ($4 million?) but he has a chance to be part of the cluster if things break right.
  • Anton Slepyshev, RFA. Anything could happen here, from a trade to long-term deal. Slepyshev is in a good spot but will need to deliver quickly, as the organization will be more patient with Jesse Puljujarvi.
  • Drake Caggiula, RFA. A Chiarelli signing, I expect the second contract gets signed quickly and without fanfare. He plays a physical style and may cash more in year two (had tons of chances). Outside chance he emerges as 97’s scoring winger, hopefully they sign him before that happens.
  • Laurent Brossoit, RFA. His upcoming season will tell us a lot and the range of possibilities is large. He could get a multi-year deal or lose the backup job, or could get thrust into a starting role due to injury. Could also lose ground due to the emergence of another goalie in the system.
  • Iiro Pakarinen, RFA. A fringe winger, tough to say how things roll out. Pitlick’s exit gets him in a better spot to make the team and he does have some scoring ability. If he plays well in a support role, expect the Oilers to bring him back again.

I’ll bet on Matt Benning, Darnell Nurse, Ryan Strome, Drake Caggiula, Anton Slepyshev and Laurent Brossoit returning. After that it’s about what’s left to the cap.

It will have to happen soon if it is going to happen at all. Arizona? No. Nashville? Unlikely. New Jersey? Carolina? Capgeek numbers here.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, your texts will get their own segment (11:25) so send them in! Starts at 10, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Are the Oilers better? Where do you play Strome? Who partners with Kris Russell?
  • Ryan Pike, Flames Nation. Jagr in Calgary?
  • Keegan Matheson, MLB.com. Jays! Are they sellers or straight on ’til morning?

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

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83 Responses to "STROMEHOLD"

  1. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    I’m glad we’ve stopped talking about Yammamoto being slow. He isn’t. He’s not blazing fast high end speed but he’s above average, and quick.

    He reminds me of Jeff Skinner.

    If there is one position where it might be OK to play in the NHL at 18 it’s the wing.

    I’m also of the opinion that the small guys transition to the NHL better than the big guys. The big guys are used to overpowering their opposition at the CHL level and can’t do it until their early 20s at the NHL level (see Draisaitl, Leon). It takes a while to get man strong.

    Yammamoto is used to being too small to win a shoving contest and finds other ways (see Skinner, Jeff). That isn’t much different at the higher levels. While it’s true that the game at the NHL level is also faster, I would argue that the gap in Strength between NHL and CHL players is larger than the gap in speed by a significant degree.

    Not saying we should rush him, I’d actually prefer to send him back. I’m just saying we’ve seen this type of player succeed in these situations in the past.

  2. Jethro Tull says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU4Y3A3oJRM

    For never was a story of more woe. Than this of the Oilers and their Stromeo.

  3. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! The biggest reason Kailer doesn’t make the team IMO is Jessie: assuming he makes the roster,we are beyond the times where we break in 2 rookies, feed them top-9 minutes

    – You don’t win with two rookies that high up the batting order.

    – Plus they need to figure out what they have in Strome: lots of RW’ing problem solving TBD

    – Bruce has a nice piece up on the games played by current roster: less rookies = more wins!

  4. Thinker says:

    I can’t think of a player drafted outside the top 10 who was pushed to the NHL in year 1 by this org. Can you?

  5. Greg says:

    “Kailer plays with explosive feet.”

    This line has me picturing a kid blissfully sitting amongst a pile of ticking feet.

  6. misfit says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!:
    I’m glad we’ve stopped talking about Yammamoto being slow.He isn’t.He’s not blazing fast high end speed but he’s above average, and quick.

    He reminds me of Jeff Skinner.

    If there is one position where it might be OK to play in the NHL at 18 it’s the wing.

    I’m also of the opinion that the small guys transition to the NHL better than the big guys.The big guys are used to overpowering their opposition at the CHL level and can’t do it until their early 20s at the NHL level (see Draisaitl, Leon).It takes a while to get man strong.

    Yammamoto is used to being too small to win a shoving contest and finds other ways (see Skinner, Jeff).That isn’t much different at the higher levels.While it’s true that the game at the NHL level is also faster, I would argue that the gap in Strength between NHL and CHL players is larger than the gap in speed by a significant degree.

    Not saying we should rush him, I’d actually prefer to send him back.I’m just saying we’ve seen this type of player succeed in these situations in the past.

    I’m not so sure. Whenever you hear about guys making the jump to the NHL they always talk about the speed of the game and how much faster everything is. Now, obviously game speed is different than skating speed, but speed (and not the size of the opponents) is what you always hear guys talking about as the biggest difference between the NHL and lower leagues.

  7. Edmonton_fan says:

    What does (5.075, 153) under Kailer’s photo mean??? I thought it would be height & weight but methinks I am wrong…

  8. Professor Q says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    When has anyone suggested that?

    It’s always been known that he is fast.

  9. Durag says:

    If Benning gets $4M on his next contract and Nurse gets over $3M, then we’ve got a cap hit of $25M+ on our top 6, which I don’t think is feasible with Leon and Connor coming in at a combined $20M.

    The Russell contract means we can’t afford a good year from both Benning and Nurse. One of them will be gone next summer.

  10. Wolfpack says:

    I have not seen Yamamoto play much so I just watched a bunch of his scoring highlights from last year. Honestly when I see the types of goals he scores it reminds me of Eberle in terms of the great hands in close. Undersized right shot winger who can finish. The one difference is that Yamamoto seemed to score quite often with that one-timer that Eberle never seemed to master. Noticed Yamamoto also played the point a lot on the PP and scored a few of his goals from back there.

    I hope they send him back to junior to dominate for another year. At one time, team need always trumped the best development path for the player, but this team should be beyond that now.

  11. digger50 says:

    I think how Strome does; is of course dependent on where he plays. Huge difference between third line center and Connors right wing, so yeah, impossible task to project.

    But we know a little about Todd M, who likes to stuff as much talent as possable in his top six. If Strome is part of that he does well.

    Marroon. Connor. Strome
    Lucic Drai. Nuge
    Drake Jokipakin. Jessie
    Sleppy / JJ Letestu / Gamardella. Kassian

    If Strome falters, Jessie, Sleppy, Kassian would be oh so happy to jump into that spot.

  12. Richard S.S. says:

    LT, check the Oilers Cap Friendly site for next year. Nuge will be traded. 11-12 guys are signed (Draisaitl ?). To sign any two of those mentioned, nine others will need to be signed to $1.0 Million contracts.

    There is possibly still a $2.0 Million a year gap in negotiations between the Oilers and Draisaitl’s Camp.

  13. Pouzar says:

    Professor Q:
    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    When has anyone suggested that?

    It’s always been known that he is fast.

    +1

  14. dustrock says:

    If Yamamoto is going to make it, he’ll have to show chemistry with either McDavid or Draisaitl.

    We’ve seen that, despite our assumptions, McDavid may not necessarily be “easy” to play with. Maybe Yamamoto has the moto to run with McDavid.

    I also find sometimes when you put skill players with NHL skill players, the transition might be easier for them, as they’re suddenly playing with an entire lineup that thinks the game at the same speed they do, which doesn’t happen in junior.

  15. BowValleyFan says:

    misfit: I’m not so sure.Whenever you hear about guys making the jump to the NHL they always talk about the speed of the game and how much faster everything is.Now, obviously game speed is different than skating speed, but speed (and not the size of the opponents) is what you always hear guys talking about as the biggest difference between the NHL and lower leagues.

    Can teams as organizations do anything to mitigate this? Seems like they would realize the jump from the WHL to the NHL skips a few steps, so of course that perceived speed and intensity is going to jump.

    It’d be like dropping a pee-wee kid onto a Midget AAA team. There’s huge differences in size and strength, but with the right parents and coaches it gets done. But those kids are the McDavid’s. The superstars. For some reason the WHL to NHL jump seems to be accepted as commonplace.

    Guess what I’m trying to say is how much of it is a mindset? If a kid comes in from the Dub thinking the NHL is the next step and gets blown away, how bad is that for them mentally? If they go in thinking: “OK, I skipped over CIS/NCAA, the ECHL, various European Pro Leagues, and the AHL, this is the show.” They get blown away, but understand how close or far away they are. Will it create more hunger to make the jump if the end up in the WHL for another season? Or help keep them pushing if they end up in the AHL?

    A lot gets written about the mindset of the very best players in the world. Would be interesting to see more about late first rounders and what separates the ones who break out, from those that wash out.

  16. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Pouzar,

    Professor Q,

    Every description of Yammamoto on this blog described him as being smart with good offensive instincts but lacking a top gear. The last part started to dissapear later in the spring and seems gone for good now. That was the description taken from some scouting services. I’ve been watching the kid for a while now and didn’t see the same thing. Took issue with it early and often and I’m glad to see it out of the narrative, at least for now.

    He doesn’t have McDavid level top speed but his top gear is on par with some good players. This isn’t Sam Gagner. I wouldn’t describe his speed as a negative, just maybe not as a massive positive. It think that the pointing it out suggested it would be an issue for him: I don’t see it.

    Here’s a link to the WHL candidates from March.
    http://lowetide.ca/2017/03/11/the-oilers-and-the-whl-2017-draft/

    This link is from June 1, the description is gone by then:
    http://lowetide.ca/2017/06/01/the-final-150-2017-draft/

  17. judgedrude says:

    Edmonton_fan:
    What does (5.075, 153) under Kailer’s photo mean??? I thought it would be height & weight but methinks I am wrong…

    I assume that LT has been aged in oak casks long enough that those aren’t metric:

    5.075 m and 153 kg?! Ha! We would have literally drafted a flagpole!

  18. speeds says:

    Thinker:
    I can’t think of a player drafted outside the top 10 who was pushed to the NHL in year 1 by this org. Can you?

    Chiaelli drafted Pastrnak 25OV in 2014, and he played 46 NHL games the first season post draft. A little bit different because Pastrnak could play AHL, but shows he’ll at least look at it?

  19. Chachi says:

    Jethro Tull:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU4Y3A3oJRM

    For never was a story of more woe. Than this of the Oilers and their Stromeo.

    A Strome by any other name would be… one of his brothers probably.

  20. Chachi says:

    Durag:
    If Benning gets $4M on his next contract and Nurse gets over $3M, then we’ve got a cap hit of $25M+ on our top 6, which I don’t think is feasible with Leon and Connor coming in at a combined $20M.

    The Russell contract means we can’t afford a good year from both Benning and Nurse. One of them will be gone next summer.

    Well, Fayne’s 3.6 million comes off the books so that would easily cover the raise to one of Nurse or Benning and hire another d-man to not play on the Oilers just like Fayne for 1 million or less. The Cap probably goes up another 1 or 2 million next off season as well so they’ll have to only find one or two more million to sign Nurse or Benning. It probably means they won’t be able to keep Maroon if he has another big year (which might save the Oilers from themselves), but they will be able to keep all the current roster’s d-men they want to keep and do it fairly easily. There are lots of reasons to dislike the Russell contract without making up more.

  21. commonfan29 says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: He doesn’t have McDavid level top speed but his top gear is on par with some good players.

    If only speed was something that could be measured…

    But even then, how could the measurement be accomplished? The NHL would have to organize some kind of event where all the top prospects get brought together before the draft and measured on a bunch of things…

    It will never not be stupid that we don’t have definitive answers to this question.

  22. Pouzar says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    Why does LT hate Yamsy?

  23. striatic says:

    commonfan29: The NHL would have to organize some kind of event where all the top prospects get brought together before the draft and measured on a bunch of things…

    while I’d really love to see the NHL introduce an on-ice component to the combine, what data we do have from that event speaks extremely highly for Kailer.

    http://spokanechiefs.com/article/chiefs-shine-at-2017-nhl-combine

    VO2 Max Aerobic Fitness (ml/kg/min)
    Yamamoto: 68.0 (1st)

    Pro Agility (left)
    Yamamoto: 4.38 (2nd)

    Pro Agility (right)
    Yamamoto: 4.2 (2nd)

    Wingate Anaerobic Fitness (mean power output)
    Yamamoto: 12.4 (4th)

    Wingate Anaerobic Fitness (peak power output)
    Yamamoto: 17.1 (3rd)

    Pull-Ups
    Yamamoto: 12 (4th)

    Rounding out the top 5 in VO2 Max Aerobic Fitness (ml/kg/min) where Kailer finished first were players at 6’2″ 208, 6’5″ 203, 6’1″ 183 and 5’11” 179.

    The kid has a real motor and all around athleticism. Combined with his light frame, he’s a rare specimen.

  24. jtblack says:

    Strome #’s are not too hopeful …new opportunity … we know he will get chances with McDavid; but I want to see if he be a decent center against softer comp .. if not, he’s not much value ..

    Fingers Crossed

  25. N64 says:

    Point 1 from Friedman’s 30 is offer sheets are coming back.( h/t LT)

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/30-thoughts-summer-market-matt-duchene-still-open/

    Danger to Oil is not accepting 4 firsts or matching but getting stuck with a bridge so short that he’s our rental. More of a late summer risk.

  26. Woogie63 says:

    An 18 year old 147 pound winger is going to struggle in the NHL

    An 18 year old 147 pound winger can’t be successful in TMac’s break-out system.

  27. godot10 says:

    The Leafs had the process discipline to send Marner back to junior. They had the process discipline to send Nylander to the AHL.

    And they did this without blowing a year of an ELC (Draisaitl) OR a year of the ELC and a year towards free agency (Puljujarvi).

    Yamamoto has a kid’s body. 15-year olds should not be in the NHL. Let his body mature.

  28. Munny says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    You’re still overstating the non-issue.

  29. Munny says:

    Thinker:
    I can’t think of a player drafted outside the top 10 who was pushed to the NHL in year 1 by this org. Can you?

    Hey! Stop messing with the narrative! lol

  30. Munny says:

    Edmonton_fan:
    What does (5.075, 153) under Kailer’s photo mean??? I thought it would be height & weight but methinks I am wrong…

    Height and weight… 5′ 7.5″ and 153 lbs.

  31. Professor Q says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    I disagree. When he was drafted there were many lauding his skillsets and his skating and speed. I’ve only ever seen good things about those. From scouting services to the draft lists to bloggers like Lowetide and their audiences. You can see the quotes in Lowetide’s article right above.

    He rocked the combine.

    He’ll develop even further with a few more years in junior amd the AHL.

    I don’t think we’ll have to worry.

  32. Chachi says:

    godot10:

    Yamamoto has a kid’s body.15-year olds should not be in the NHL.Let his body mature.

    I agree he should not be in the NHL this season, but that “kid’s body” sure placed in the top 10 of an awful lot of combine results: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/2017-nhl-combine-results-top-10-drill/

  33. npanciroli says:

    Wasn’t Yamamoto 1 of 3 prospects in last years drafts ranked with elite skating? I remember Makar being another.

    Forget where I saw that.

  34. Greenberg says:

    Picture this: in the first two exhibition games, with Yamamoto and McDavid on the penalty kill, Yamamoto scores on the first five (over two games) two-on-ones that are set up. Giggle! Giggle.

    Now to prevent this from happening and making sure it doesn’t is McLellan’s job. He has to make sure (a) the two of them are not together on the PK and (2) they are not on the ice ever together.

    Otherwise, Yamamotor will have his 9-game stay in the NHL guaranteed. Giggle! Giggle!

    I hope most of you guys realize that the problems you are talking about now are 375 degrees above the ones you were arguing about two or three years ago. I am just trying to make you see one of the genuine dilemmas that training camp could produce.

    Not all dreams come true, and surely this is one that probably won’t. But look again at this little waterbug shimmering around the ice on his video and imagine a McDavid trying to help him out.

    Almost worth a Pabst Blue Ribbon thinking about that!

  35. Shane says:

    Greenberg,

    “Almost worth a Pabst Blue Ribbon thinking about that!”

    Sooo….not very much then?

  36. misfit says:

    Chachi: I agree he should not be in the NHL this season, but that “kid’s body” sure placed in the top 10 of an awful lot of combine results: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/2017-nhl-combine-results-top-10-drill/

    Wouldn’t those tests (also posted by STRIATIC above) all favour a smaller, lighter player though? I would be very concerned if he DIDN’T rank high in all of those tests.

  37. Chachi says:

    misfit: Wouldn’t those tests (also posted by STRIATIC above) all favour a smaller, lighter player though?I would be very concerned if he DIDN’T rank high in all of those tests.

    Some of them would favour a smaller lighter player who is in outstanding shape, sure.

  38. Thinker says:

    Munny: Height and weight… 5′ 7.5″ and 153 lbs.

    Which is a stupid way to write it. The 0 tells you nothing.

  39. McNuge93 says:

    I guess a good comparable for Yam is Marner. Anybody have numbers to compare them in their draft years.

  40. JJS says:

    Thinker: Which is a stupid way to write it. The 0 tells you nothing.

    The zero is a placeholder that becomes important if someone is 5 feet and three quarters of an inch. That would be 5.0075.

    Without the extra zero, that person become 5 feet, seven and a half inches.

  41. Yeti says:

    Thinker: Which is a stupid way to write it. The 0 tells you nothing.

    Isn’t that the exact point of 0?

  42. Edmonton_fan says:

    Joey LaLeggia signed a contract yesterday.

    https://www.capfriendly.com/players/joey-laleggia

  43. Munny says:

    npanciroli:
    Wasn’t Yamamoto 1 of 3 prospects in last years drafts ranked with elite skating? I remember Makar being another.

    Forget where I saw that.

    On draft day, I posted a tweet from ISS here stating that Makar and Yamamoto were the only two prospects with skating they ranked as “elite”. That might have been it.

  44. Thinker says:

    JJS: The zero is a placeholder that becomes important if someone is 5 feet and three quarters of an inch.That would be 5.0075.

    Without the extra zero, that person become 5 feet, seven and a half inches.

    Now you have two zeros, so the first one is still useless.

  45. Revolved says:

    McNuge93,

    2015 Draft combine:

    Mitch Marner 5’11” 160lbs ranked top 10 in only anaerobic fitness

    Marner scored 2 pts/gm in his draft year

  46. classict says:

    Thinker: Now you have two zeros, so the first one is still useless.

    It’s important if you’re 10 or 11 inches. It’s a placeholder for the 1.
    If someone is
    5 feet 11.5 inches it’s displayed 5.115
    5 feet 7.5 inches it’s 5.075
    5 feet .5 inches it’s 5.005

    Without the zero you have no way to differentiate numbers >10

  47. Jethro Tull says:

    Edmonton_fan:
    What does (5.075, 153) under Kailer’s photo mean??? I thought it would be height & weight but methinks I am wrong…

    Well, 5.075 feet equals 60.9″ (5.075 x 12), so Yama is only 5′ and 9/10ths of an inch tall.

  48. Thinker says:

    Should just use a base 12 number system.

  49. GMB3 says:

    Thinker: Which is a stupid way to write it. The 0 tells you nothing.

    Username does not check out.

  50. classict says:

    Thinker:
    Should just use a base 12 number system.

    But only for the decimal side

  51. misfit says:

    That’s how it’s written. Learn it. Use it. Grow to love it. Make it a part of who you are as a person. Find peace.

  52. Primetime says:

    I think a lot of people are underestimating the opportunity that Ty Rattie will be given on the right side.

    Remember that Chia tried to grab him already through waivers, and he was one of his first targets in free agency (think Rishaug even sent word of a deal pre-July 1st).

    Kailer is the long term Eberle replacement, but I think Ty is the short term answer. I would not be shocked to see him get a long look on the 2RW with Drai-Lucic. Slepy can play on the 4th line or at worst, he’s waiver ineligible, so he can be put somewhere while Rattie gets the long look. If he can hold a place for a few years on the cheap, Kailer (and Jesse for that matter) have time to grow.

  53. Wolfpack says:

    godot10:
    The Leafs had the process discipline to send Marner back to junior.They had the process discipline to send Nylander to the AHL.

    And they did this without blowing a year of an ELC (Draisaitl) OR a year of the ELC and a year towards free agency (Puljujarvi).

    Yamamoto has a kid’s body.15-year olds should not be in the NHL.Let his body mature.

    I agree.

    I remember seeing Johnny Hockey last year on an After Hours and thinking that he looked like the kids in my daughter’s junior high. He is absolutely tiny. Looked like a hobbit between the two announcers. And as much as I hate to admit it, I am impressed that a guy that size can be successful in the NHL. But he has to be an exception, with Marty St. Louis at the top of that very short list.

    Ahhhh, I just realized what I did there…

    Anyway, let him grow a bit more in the WHL. He’ll have to put up with a bit more of a physical push now that he is a first round pick.

  54. Durag says:

    Chachi: Well, Fayne’s 3.6 million comes off the books so that would easily cover the raise to one of Nurse or Benning and hire another d-man to not play on the Oilers just like Fayne for 1 million or less. The Cap probably goes up another 1 or 2 million next off season as well so they’ll have to only find one or two more million to sign Nurse or Benning. It probably means they won’t be able to keep Maroon if he has another big year (which might save the Oilers from themselves), but they will be able to keep all the current roster’s d-men they want to keep and do it fairly easily.There are lots of reasons to dislike the Russell contract without making up more.

    For argument’s sake, let’s say Benning and Nurse come in at a combined cap hit of $7M next year. That’s just a hair under $25M committed to your top 6. Let’s conservatively estimate Leon at $7.5, add him to Connor and Lucic and that’s another $26M. Assume Broissoit or another backup makes $1.5, and that’s $5.5M committed to goalies. That’s $56.5M gone, and you still need to pay a 7th defenceman and 10 more forwards with $18.5M. The NHLPA already used the escalator this year, so I’m not sure you can confidently state that the cap is going up. I can’t see it working.

    I don’t think there’s been a team in the salary cap era that has paid all of its top-6 defencemen $3.5M or more. THis is my reason for not liking the Russell contract and I’m sticking to it.

    edit: forgot that Pouliot’s buyout eats up another 1.3!

  55. frjohnk says:

    Durag: For argument’s sake, let’s say Benning and Nurse come in at a combined cap hit of $7M next year. That’s just a hair under $25M committed to your top 6. Let’s conservatively estimate Leon at $7.5, add him to Connor and Lucic and that’s another $26M. Assume Broissoit or another backup makes $1.5, and that’s $5.5M committed to goalies. That’s $56.5M gone, and you still need to pay a 7th defenceman and 10 more forwards with $18.5M. The NHLPA already used the escalator this year, so I’m not sure you can confidently state that the cap is going up. I can’t see it working.

    I don’t think there’s been a team in the salary cap era that has paid all of its top-6 defencemen $3.5M or more. THis is my reason for not liking the Russell contract and I’m sticking to it.

    edit: forgot that Pouliot’s buyout eats up another 1.3!

    They have to bridge Nurse and Benning until they can trade Russell and or Sekera
    If Benning and Nurse are not bridged and get $7M + between them next year, then one of them is probably gone.

    No way Nuge is here next July. He will be gone for picks/prospects

    Same with Maroon. He will be an in house rental. We will lose him to UFA.

    Strome at over $4M next year will make things interesting. Maybe he is gone as well.

  56. Chachi says:

    Durag: For argument’s sake, let’s say Benning and Nurse come in at a combined cap hit of $7M next year. That’s just a hair under $25M committed to your top 6. Let’s conservatively estimate Leon at $7.5, add him to Connor and Lucic and that’s another $26M. Assume Broissoit or another backup makes $1.5, and that’s $5.5M committed to goalies. That’s $56.5M gone, and you still need to pay a 7th defenceman and 10 more forwards with $18.5M. The NHLPA already used the escalator this year, so I’m not sure you can confidently state that the cap is going up. I can’t see it working.

    I don’t think there’s been a team in the salary cap era that has paid all of its top-6 defencemen $3.5M or more. THis is my reason for not liking the Russell contract and I’m sticking to it.

    edit: forgot that Pouliot’s buyout eats up another 1.3!

    The sky is certainly falling. Under the current CBA here are the years the salary cap didn’t go up:

  57. Chachi says:

    frjohnk: They have to bridge Nurse and Benning until they can trade Russell and or Sekera
    If Benning and Nurse are not bridged and get $7M + between them next year, then one of them is probably gone.

    No way Nuge is here next July.He will be gone for picks/prospects

    Same with Maroon.He will be an in house rental.We will lose him to UFA.

    Strome at over $4M next year will make things interesting.Maybe he is gone as well.

    I hear that both Russell and Lucic have problems with their equipment. It makes them really itchy. This year they’ll be fine to play, but next year that darn itch might get real bad. Not enough to retire or anything, but one or both of them may have to go on LTIR because of that darn itch…

  58. frjohnk says:

    Chachi: I hear that both Russell and Lucic have problems with their equipment. It makes them really itchy. This year they’ll be fine to play, but next year that darn itch might get real bad. Not enough to retire or anything, but one or both of them may have to go on LTIR because of that darn itch…

    I also heard Katz hired Mike Richards as a driver to move “supplies” back and forth across the border. Richards may need Lucic and/or Russells help next summer.

  59. Munny says:

    Durag,

    That’s all of $700k more than Nurse, Benning and Fayne’s present collective cap hit. You can take care of most of that by signing a cheaper Gryba or Letestu, or by not doubling your backup’s salary. And that’s not including a cap increase or other trades.

    Not liking the Russell contract for something that hasn’t–and might never–happen seems a little strange, but to each their own.

  60. Chachi says:

    frjohnk: I also heard Katz hired Mike Richards as a driver to move “supplies” back and forth across the border. Richards may need Lucic and/or Russells help next summer.

    It’s fun to joke about it, but teams have and will find new and novel ways to get out from self-inflicted salary cap issues. The NHL’s treatment of the Marian Hossa jock itch LTIR will be a fascinating one to follow.

  61. Durag says:

    Munny,

    Well and Connor is getting a $9M raise…

    I’m not saying the sky is falling, I’m saying we’re going to have to trade away one or both of our current promising 3rd pairing guys and replace them with someone cheaper.

  62. Munny says:

    Durag,

    I think you and I have different notions of “have to.”

  63. frjohnk says:

    Chachi: It’s fun to joke about it, but teams have and will find new and novel ways to get out from self-inflicted salary cap issues.

    yup.

  64. Munny says:

    Thinker:
    Should just use a base 12 number system.

    Sexagesimal never gets any love any more. Was a hot prospect once upon a time.

  65. frjohnk says:

    Looking at cap friendly at the Oilers roster for next year and if we sign the following players over the next year

    Draisaitl at $8M
    Cags at $1.5M
    Sleppy at $1.5M
    Nurse at $3M
    Benning at $3M
    Broisant at $1.5M
    4th line center at $1.5M
    Strome at $4M
    Maroon at $4M
    Pak at $1m
    Jokinen $1m

    gives us a cap hit of $83.2M, plus there is the bonus of $2.5M with JP.

    If we get rid of RNH and Maroon and replace with $1m forwards, this shaves off $8M.

    Depending on how much the cap rises next year, and also if one of the young prospect D are ready for full time duty in 18-19, we may need to lose one of Benning/Nurse to shave off another $2M or so.

  66. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk:
    Looking at cap friendly at the Oilers roster for next year and if we sign the following players over the next year

    Draisaitl at $8M
    Cags at $1.5M
    Sleppy at $1.5M
    Nurse at $3M
    Benning at $3M
    Broisant at $1.5M
    4th line center at $1.5M
    Strome at $4M
    Maroon at $4M
    Pak at $1m

    gives us a cap hit of $83.2M, plus there is the bonus of $2.5M with JP.

    If we get rid of RNH and Maroon and replace with $1m forwards, this shaves off $8M.

    Depending on how much the cap rises next year, and also if one of the young prospect D are ready for full time duty in 18-19, we may need to lose one of Benning/Nurse to shave off another $2M or so.

    That is some interesting ciphering.

  67. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Chachi: It’s fun to joke about it, but teams have and will find new and novel ways to get out from self-inflicted salary cap issues. The NHL’s treatment of the Marian Hossa jock itch LTIR will be a fascinating one to follow.

    Marian Hossa scored 26 goals last year and is generally considered one of the better defensive wingers in the game. That’s tied for 11th among RWs in the NHL last year. All with a cap hit of 5.25million/year.

    I get the Blackhawks wanting to get out from under that deal eventually, but I don’t see why they would be in a rush to do it next year.

    More likely, the medical condition he’s complaining about is an actual medical condition.

  68. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: That is some interesting ciphering.

    Not saying that the window is closing, but when McDavids contract kicks in there will be an adjustment period. Meaning we will have to lose some higher priced players and add more cheap options to fill the roster.

  69. LadiesloveSmid says:

    What is Nurse gonna do this year to deserve more than 2-2.5M. Not going to put up much for points and not particularly good defensively.

    Bending id be worried about, taking Sekera’s PP spot.

  70. Lowetide says:

    frjohnk: Not saying that the window is closing, but when McDavids contract kicks in there will be an adjustment period.Meaning we will have to lose some higher priced players and add more cheap options to fill the roster.

    I liked the rational estimates. I think it comes down to trading Nuge or getting Sekera/Lucic to waive.

  71. GMB3 says:

    Is Kris Russell tradeable this season? Say Sekera comes back from injury without missing a step, and one of Benning or Nurse can prove they can play in the top 4?

    That’s my dream

  72. Professor Q says:

    GMB3,

    Why would you trade him this season? If they’re doing that well then depth would help for a Cup run.

  73. LadiesloveSmid says:

    GMB3:
    Is Kris Russell tradeable this season? Say Sekera comes back from injury without missing a step, and one of Benning or Nurse can prove they can play in the top 4?

    That’s my dream

    NMC for 2 years and then partial NMC

  74. dustrock says:

    Munny: On draft day, I posted a tweet from ISS here stating that Makar and Yamamoto were the only two prospects with skating they ranked as “elite”. That might have been it.

    Yeah, I posted the same thing on Yamamoto and Makar being the only “elite” level skaters.

  75. Bruce McCurdy says:

    At least one of Nurse/ Benning will be signed to a shorter-term bridge deal. Their UFA years are a long ways off. Hard to imagine the club locking up its entire top 6 into the next decade.

  76. treevojo says:

    Loving the the Nurse doubt.

    He will earn every bit of his next contract starting this year.

    I won’t be surprised if he is top 2 even toi amongst defenders from Christmas on.

    He is going to be a stud.

  77. GMB3 says:

    treevojo:
    Loving the the Nurse doubt.

    He will earn every bit of his next contract starting this year.

    I won’t be surprised if he is top 2 even toi amongst defenders from Christmas on.

    He is going to be a stud.

    I seriously doubt he gets more TOI than Larsson and Klef

  78. Chachi says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: Marian Hossa scored 26 goals last year and is generally considered one of the better defensive wingers in the game.That’s tied for 11th among RWs in the NHL last year.All with a cap hit of 5.25million/year.

    I get the Blackhawks wanting to get out from under that deal eventually, but I don’t see why they would be in a rush to do it next year.

    More likely, the medical condition he’s complaining about is an actual medical condition.

    His shooting percentage was 15.6%. His best since he was in Ottawa in 2003/2004. He had the lowest shots on goal total he’s had for a full season in his entire career. He is done being an impact player as you would imagine would happen to someone his age. I have no doubt his medical condition is real. I have no doubt he would play through it if it came down to playing or not getting paid. LTIR is a win-win for the team and the player.

  79. misfit says:

    I’ve always seen Nurse as Sekera’s ultimate replacement. Signing him to a 2 year bridge deal would take him to Sekera’s final year. At that point, he should have around 300 games under his belt and there should be little question as to whether or not he’s capable of replacing Andrej.

    If we need the space, Sekera is very movable at that point. He’ll be 33, with only a year left on his deal that pays him a million less than his cap hit, and he should still have a couple of good years of hockey left. Teams will have interest.

    Russell would probably be my preferred cap casualty, but I wonder how much interest other teams would have in trading for him despite being $1.5M lower cap hit and $2M cheaper in real dollars.

    Or maybe you offer 2 year deals to both Benning and Nurse for the same reason (to replace the incumbent 2LD and 2RD)

  80. Munny says:

    frjohnk,

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Agreed on the bridge deal(s). And I doubt Broissoit is going to double his salary. There’s elbow room, but there’s likely to be a little fancy dancing along the way nonetheless.

    LT might be on to something with putting Strome at C. This year could be a test run to see if he can replace Nuge (with easier opp) for less money.

    It’s not a bad bet to make, especially considering you should get a do-over, if you want/need one, with the future Nuge trade. If the bet doesn’t work out, you get a serviceable winger closer to the cluster than Ebs.

  81. frjohnk says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    At least one of Nurse/ Benning will be signed to a shorter-term bridge deal. Their UFA years are a long ways off. Hard to imagine the club locking up its entire top 6 into the next decade.

    I think the best play is to bridge these two for at least 2 years.

    Dumba was bridged for 2 years at 2.5M after a 26 point season.
    Orlov was at 2M for 2 years and 2.5M for 1 year after his ELC
    Trouba was bridged for 2 years at 3.3M and 2.8M ( because he started after the season started)
    R.Murray was bridged for 2 years at 2.8M ( he signed during his 25 point season)

    These would be some of the recent comparables of what the bridge signings for Benning and Nurse could look like.

    Maybe we could get both for 5.5M all in.

    Defense for 18-19

    Sekera 5.5
    Klef-4.1
    Larsson 4.1
    Russell 4
    Nurse 2.75
    Benning 2.75
    Gryba .9

    That’s 24.1M for the 7 D.
    That would be 31.2% of a $77M salary cap.
    7 players is 30.4% of the 23 man roster.

  82. sliderule says:

    For those wondering about Yamomotos skating there is testing done for CHL players at top prospect game.
    Weave agility he was second
    Weave agility with puck he was first
    Reaction. He was third

    In straight ahead speed with or without the puck he was not top three so we don’t know how he ranked.All the NHL teams would have this data and no idea why they don’t publicize it.

    The weave agility would show he has great edge control much like Marner showed in his testing when he ranked just below Connor .

  83. wchay says:

    I haven’t read all comments so apologize if someone already made this point….

    I think “franchise proclivity” is a mistake to consider. It’s not the same franchise as the one that pushed Gagner in ’07. New leaders everywhere: management, coaching, scouting, etc. Oiler “tendencies” from the decade of darkness probably need to be significantly downplayed in relevance to future plans.

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