RE 17-18 RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS: ERASE REPLACE

There are times when you can see things coming for miles and miles. If you have time to prepare, to brace yourself, it makes things easier. Or so they say. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins came to us as a brilliant phenom disguised as a wisp. Since then he has developed in some areas, stalled in others, and lost in the flood that was the McDavid draft. There are better years ahead for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, this one might prove difficult. (Erase Replace).

RNH 2016-17

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.45 (6th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 4.01 (5th among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 49.1
  • Corsi Rel 5×5 %: -1.6
  • DFF Elite 5×5 %: 44.3
  • DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: -3.6 (42 percent of TOI v. elites)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 200 shots/9.0%
  • Boxcars: 82, 18-25-43
  • (All numbers via Puck IQStats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)

RE 17-18: 74GP, 17-28-45 (.608)

  1. God these are boring. RE is running in place! Nuge posted 82gp, 18-25-43 (.524) last season so this represents an improvement of six points. A .524 season in 74 games would be 39 points.
  2. What is wrong with him? A few things, some are self inflicted and others reflect usage.
  3. Let’s talk about what he can control and hasn’t improved. Nuge is poor in the faceoff circle and not getting better. He is 43.3 percent for his career, that’s flat out bad. His number last season, 43.8, ranked him No. 103 out of 110 men who had 500 or more sorties.
  4. That’s very poor. Yes. I’m not one to overrate the faceoff but you want to see progress. Connor McDavid had an ever poorer FO percentage but will improve. Nuge? This was his sixth NHL season, still a problem. Based on reading between the lines and our friend parsing, we can guess coach Todd McLellan is also frustrated. Early in the year, when talking about Leon Draisaitl, McLellan talked about young players working and improving on faceoffs, and about some who were not working on improving. It was a tell, I believe.
  5. Move him to wing? I wouldn’t do it, Nuge does a lot of things after the faceoff that make him a fine center. Excellent in coverage, recognizes his mark, he has terrific edges that allow him to cut off a flight path and close a gap quickly.
  6. Solutions? I think Ryan Strome or another RH center might work as a winger. Strome could take his strong side faceoffs and RNH could do the left side. Todd McLellan did that a lot in San Jose if I recall correctly.
  7. What else is not progressing? His 5×5 offense has been below average for some time.  Since 2011 (his rookie year), 5×5/60 numbers are 1.95, 1.12, 1.50, 1.92, 1.36 and he delivered 1.45/60 this past year. It appears clear Nuge isn’t going to push the offensive river when playing the tough minutes. Not fatal, since he can play a strong two-way game and much of those 5×5/60 numbers come against elites.
  8. Why not play him with McDavid or against the soft parade? Playing with McDavid doesn’t help the faceoff total, although (as stated above) that’s an often overrated aspect. I go back to Nuge’s ability as a two-way center. He is a good player who struggled when facing insane opposition much of the time, similar to the Russian Horcov back in the day.
  9. What are his numbers against elite opponents? Using the brilliant Puck IQ, we know he is 44.30 percent against elites in a gigantic 444 minutes. That represents 42 percent of Nuge’s entire 5×5 deployment, easily the most on the team. Only six centers spent more time against elites last season according to Puck IQ.
  10. What was McLellan thinking? He was asking Nuge to take the bullet while trying to get the McDavid-Draisaitl combination out there in good situations. McLellan did not have another strong option (Letestu, Caggiula and Lander were not strong enough options).
  11. Did it work? I would argue it did. Nuge finished at (basically) 50 percent in possession Corsi for 5×5, and that includes the tough minutes. McLellan can reduce the size of the load for Nuge, but it would increase for McDavid. McLellan could use Leon as the third tough minutes center, but rob 97 of his best wingman. It is a thankless job, but the checks cash every two weeks.
  12. So McLellan should do it again? I believe he should, with a veteran like Jussi Jokinen alongside Nuge this time.
  13. What did Nuge do against the middle competition? Again using Puck IQ we see he played 383 minutes (36 percent) against mid-level opponents. His DFF percentage (this is all 5×5) was 49 percent and he was over 50 percent Corsi for.
  14. Gritensity? You have correctly identified the low-level competition description from Puck IQ. Nuge played 241 minutes (23 percent) against the dregs a year ago and he was 52 percent DFF for on the year. The truth is, none of the major players on Edmonton’s roster play as much as 30 percent against this level competition.
  15. So, a lot of people think Nuge should play with McDavid. Yes.
  16. You do not. Why? I think what we’re talking about here is feature minutes with the best player in the game. I am absolutely a Nuge booster, have made my views on him clear. That said, the team must ask themselves who best to deploy with 97? Who can get the most out of those minutes? The answer is Leon Draisaitl.
  17. Eberle did as well as Draisaitl. Ebere is in Brooklyn.
  18. If Nuge played with McDavid his trade value would increase. I’m pretty sure other general managers know McDavid wouldn’t be part of the deal. If the Oilers really want to spike his value this season, they might want to find a way to get him on the 1PP. The kid is magic.
  19. What would you do, then? I would run Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl as the top line, and try to give Nugent-Hopkins a lot of help on his own line.
  20. Please explain. We’ll talk as we go, but Zack Kassian played 30 percent of his 5×5 time against elites (44.40 percent DFF). Jussi Jokinen was 46 percent DFF and he played 38 percent on his time against elites. I think there might be something there. Maybe Lucic thrives on the McDavid line and McLellan can move Patrick Maroon down to help RNH. I like that idea more than Nuge on McDavid’s wing.
  21. What about the 3line? Maybe Lucic-Strome-Puljujarvi, something like that. Drake Caggiula is in the mix too, maybe we see Anton Slepyshev jump into the fray.
  22. How much longer will Nuge be an Oiler? Until Leon Draisaitl signs, nothing happens in my opinion. Once Leon gets a contract, start the clock.
  23. What will Chiarelli get back? It’ll be another Guerin-for-Carter, Eberle-for-Strome. I’m not saying it is avoidable but a less expensive Nuge is probably the return. Getting it right (on the bet) is going to be key.
  24. Any guesses? Frans Nielsen is an interesting option and saves a little money. I’m not sure Peter Chiarelli can get full value. I also really like Mika Zibanejad if that ever becomes a possibility.
  25. Why this song? The title and the cover photo say it all. The die is cast.

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47 Responses to "RE 17-18 RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS: ERASE REPLACE"

  1. thehop says:

    I believe/hope he plays out his contract with the team. It would be a mistake to jettison RNH now for less than full value. I also don’t think we’ve seen him at his best yet and it pains me to think we will see him at his best(hello j.schultz) on another team.

    A great Gm finds a way to keep this guy here and a great coach figures out how to maximize his abilities and minimize his weaknesses. I think we have one of those two in place at the moment.

    #RNH+Oilers=👌

  2. jeetz says:

    RNH needs half a season to rediscover his offense. Not saying a pump and dump, but getting offense from RNH would be a big deal for the Oilers, the player and the fans. Plus it puts Draisaitl’s numbers into better perspective.

    To start the season:

    Maroon McD RNH
    Lucic Dr Drai Slepyshev

    Top 6. Book it

  3. Thorin says:

    tried to post this in the previous thread but it wouldn’t let me, so I’ll try again here

    “Do you prefer the RE to run in the morning or at night time? I received a massive spike in visits after 5pm and the Lucic post yesterday. Historically, you prefer the hockey news in morning and the projection post in the evening, but I want to make sure. Please let me know.”

    I have trouble keeping up with your posts, I’m frequently late to the party. So anytime is fine with me.

    As for yesterday’s Lucic RE, I’m pissed. Not at the RE, but at the comments. Well, not at the comments, but at the fact that they would have been the perfect thread for me to post in! I’m a Dutch immigrant to Canada, came here as a kid just before my teen years started. I have owned wooden shoes, although in the Netherlands people wear rubber boots way way more often. I know how to swim and handle boats, sail and power, in case of a flood. I lived on a dike. I still eat triple-salted liquorice – you can buy it at The Dutch Store in northeast Edmonton or Grandin Bakery in St Albert. I also eat honing drop (honey liquorice) and stroop wafels and school krijt (aka school chalk, liquorice with a hard white coating). I’m stubborn as hell and happily tell people what I really think. I have a very liberal view of sex and the “stubborn Dutchman” maneuver may not be for me, but I don’t think ill of those who want to do it.

    And then, because I was too busy to read the RE yesterday, I missed the opportunity to be part of that thread! Damnit!

    So yeah, post whenever you feel like, and I might just have to start putting “read Lowetide” in my calendar as a recurring appointment, and block it off so there’s time for me to do so.

    Lowetide:
    Awful news. We all have depression. All of us. I am not your Dad, but I care about you. Please, please, please reach out.

    If you’re in distress, call 780-482-HELP (4357). If you’re outside of the greater Edmonton region, call our Rural Distress Line at 1-800-232-7288.
    https://edmonton.cmha.ca/programs-services/distress-line/

    We don’t all have depression all the time, but we are all susceptible to depression and it is a sinister disease. I have friends and family with bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and major depressive disorder. The number one thing I’ve done for them is tell them that it is common and that there is nothing wrong with admitting it. And yet, people are loathe to admit.

    So, there are some coping mechanisms. One is to talk to strangers on a help line. The idea is that they’re strangers and don’t know where you live, so there’s no chance of them judging you next week when they see you at Walmart. Another is to see a doctor to get medical help with the illness, whether pharmaceutical or talk therapy or both. What worked for me, when my mind was planning out how to buy the gun and the bullet, was to read about how survivors (wives, parents, siblings, but especially kids) were affected by a suicide, especially a surprise suicide. It rips a kid’s life apart, and affects them for the rest of their life, if you kill yourself during their formative years. As much pain as I was in, I could not imagine causing that much pain to my children.

    Oh, one thing I did learn was that there’s a distinct difference between a surprise suicide and a publicly-planned suicide. If a 60yo man with an incurable cancer with months left to live plans out their end-of-life and lets those close to him know what he’s doing and why, this is a lot easier to deal with than to come home to a dead body and a note (that never has enough answers).

    Okay, this post got maudlin fast.

    WE HAVE THESE IN OUR HOUSE:

    http://www.dutchsouvenir.com/woodenshoe/wooden-shoes-red-windmill.jpg

  4. treevojo says:

    LT

    As far as when you post certain content doesn’t matter to me. This time of year I seem to only get to catch up on both posts in the evening.

    So whichever content you want my one or two posts of pure “gold” in that’s what you should do.

  5. treevojo says:

    Another season of the Nuge not breaking that 50 pt barrier.

    Some day after he can grow a few whiskers it has to happen.

    Maybe next year.

  6. Richard S.S. says:

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has two significant assets that are very benicicial to the Oilers. He’s a very good Center despite being paid very well. He’s also tradeable, when many aren’t.

  7. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Thorin,

    – Great post LT! Thorin: this was all-world post, really enjoyed it: thanks!

    – My take is that someone had to play responsible minutes, and it went to RNH: he’s never been asked to do so before and he didn’t have the right linemates to be that guy

    – He should be fitter and stronger, and he should be getting better at faceoffs

    – We probably win our next Cup with no Steve Austins on it: that’s amazing…

  8. fifthcartel says:

    I wonder if he gets moved for a RW and they run 97-29-Strome at C.

    I could see either RNH for Gallagher for RNH for Pageau (Turris is a UFA and Ottawa is cheap).

    NYR also traded Stepan and I’m not sure how their C depth shakes out.

    Arizona has been rumored with RNH, although I highly doubt they’d move D. Strome for him.

  9. Munny says:

    Your assessment of Nuge’s faceoff issues looks pretty dead-on to me, LT. Sometimes it’s difficult to assess if the issue is coming from the center or linemates, but we’ve had enough time, different linemates, coaches, roles, etc that it’s on Nuge.

    Coaches want to be able to trust their #1 two way center with the defensive zone faceoff, up one with 30 seconds to go. Nuge right now isn’t that guy.

    Also thank you for including everyone’s minutes/percentages for their Woodmoneys. I don’t think it was there for the Lucic post, and it’s important context and super handy if it is right there, so once again, thank you.

    REs at night are my personal preference, but it doesn’t really matter. If traffic spiked when it doesn’t normally and the mornings are holding up, that’s a good thing, right?

    One quibble with the morning post… if we’re using opposite George episode, that would make the Avs Elaine, lol. Chicken salad on rye untoasted worked out pretty good for Georgie.

  10. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Nuge needs to get PO’d and play like his career depends on it. Don’t overthink, go balls out, play dominant like you were the best 17 YO hockey player IN THE WHOLE WORLD once. Forget everything else and let the chips fall where they may.

  11. Halfwise says:

    Thorin,

    As a guy who has volunteered on those help lines, and with a close relative having committed suicide, I thank you for your post.

    We have some sort of design flaw, where at the time we need help the most we are least likely to go looking for it.

  12. jp says:

    I’ll be really sad to see Baby Nuge go whenever it happens. It sure does look pretty much inevitable.

  13. stush18 says:

    fifthcartel:
    I wonder if he gets moved for a RW and they run 97-29-Strome at C.

    I could see either RNH for Gallagher for RNH for Pageau (Turris is a UFA and Ottawa is cheap).

    NYR also traded Stepan and I’m not sure how their C depth shakes out.

    Arizona has been rumored with RNH, although I highly doubt they’d move D. Strome for him.

    Ya I wouldn’t be surprised to see a RNH for Gallagher trade. Montreal could really use a centre.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Thorin: Great post. I have wooden shoes from my birth (they were not in the womb with me though), a wooden shoe bottle opener and a love of dutch treats. I enjoyed all aspects of your post and it was much appreciated.

  15. buck yoakam says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    so agree….if we are waiting for leon to prove it this year…sam for rah…just kill it , have fun…

  16. commonfan29 says:

    I don’t know, LT. You say the other GMs would know that McDavid wouldn’t be part of the package in a trade for a McZoomed Nuge, but Leon’s McZooming of this past year hasn’t been that much of a theme in the main narrative around his contract.

    If Nuge played with McDavid all year and cracked 70 points, I think the narrative around him would completely transform and we’d see that factor into the return.

  17. Lowetide says:

    commonfan29:
    I don’t know, LT. You say the other GMs would know that McDavid wouldn’t be part of the package in a trade for a McZoomed Nuge, but Leon’s McZooming of this past year hasn’t been that much of a theme in the main narrative around his contract.

    If Nuge played with McDavid all year and cracked 70 points, I think the narrative around him would completely transform and we’d see that factor into the return.

    The narrative around Leon’s contract is from the agent and media. The value created from a 70-point season for Nuge would include a stunning WOWY year over year for 93-97.

  18. treevojo says:

    Lowetide: The narrative around Leon’s contract is from the agent and media. The value created from a 70-point season for Nuge would include a stunning WOWY year over year for 93-97.

    The only two contracts this summer which I consider unreasonable both came from the same team.

    Washington.

    Apparently according to the GM the one player had him over a barrel and he decided to take it.

  19. jtblack says:

    “This was his sixth NHL season, still a problem”

    The Majority of Fans are Optimists; especially for a favorite son. But as you stated, RNH has played half a career already. He is what he is. He is a small framed, OK NHL centre with skill. Falls down a lot. Gets crushed by Elites. But overall a 42 – 55 pt Centre.

    I Like him but, similiar to Ebs, I think the Cap Hit means he goes bye bye. It’s not Nuge’s fault MacT backed up the brinks truck for him. 4 more yrs at $6 mil is a little steep vs. production / role.

    I believe this is one more player from the decade of Darkness that was rushed & gifted 1st line ice time / $$. RNH’s was hurt by this, there is no way to dispute that. Most teams do this cause it is a win now league, but the Oilers were guilty many times over and RNH will be the last of that era to go. Good guy. Good player.

  20. jtblack says:

    commonfan29,

    Everyone knows Leon was lofted by McD. The question is how much? Can Leon deliver 60+ pts without the zooming? I think ppl beleive he can. Outside of boxcars Leon is Big, can cycle, can play Center or Wing And without being McZooned; lead the team in Pkayoff scoring.

    McZooming Nuge would simply inflate his boxcars. It wouldnt make him better at faceoffs or forechecking etc

  21. Jordan says:

    If you know you will have to trade nuge, you need to do just as TMac did with Eberle to start last season – play him with McD until the line doesn’t piss a drop, and then try to other linemates to restore the flow. Best case is he has Leon’s season and its easier to trade him. Sure, people will know he got zoomed, but he was good enough to get zoomed. If he can do that, then it shows there is a higher upside there, which has value.

    If you can’t find a way to generate offense with him, all he can be is a salary dump when you have to move him. If you can generate with him, there are more options available to trade him.

    Maybe it does make things harder for McDavid and Leon. But maybe it’s still the right thing to do.

  22. murphy says:

    When nuge gets traded i really hope it’s for a decent cheaper center. Couturier is the dream, even if its a three way with the habs. Philly doesn’t need another center back and may prefer galychenuk.

  23. jtblack says:

    To me if RNH can move the needle a little bit in a few areas his season will be a success.

    Play 40% against Elites again
    Win closer to 47% + of faceoffs
    Score 50 Points

    Those things would be very valuable this Season. I hope he plays all year with the Oilers

  24. Bag of Pucks says:

    Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in the various narratives, we lose the forest for the trees.

    My number one reason for wanting to see an RNH audition alongside McDavid is I think they could be a fantastically productive pairing together. It’s that simple.

    Nuge has skill, wheels and thinks the game well at pace, but he sucks on the dot and is not lighting it up at C. To me, all those things scream A) position change & B) can potentially play well with Connor

    Finding a way to get legitimate Top 6 production out of Nuge is far preferable to having to trade another 1OV at discount prices imo. The pump & dump is moot for that reason. If you can turn RNH into Luc Robitaille alongside McJesus, why trade him? Push Maroon and Lucic down the depth chart and tick another box off the balance checklist.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    My number one reason for wanting to see an RNH audition alongside McDavid is I think they could be a fantastically productive pairing together. It’s that simple.

    That’s an interesting view. I want the Oilers to win hockey games and believe Todd McLellan should deploy his team in a way that gets wins. McDavid-Draisaitl are imo superior to McDavid-Nuge. My belief doesn’t mean the previous sentence is a fact.

  26. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: That’s an interesting view. I want the Oilers to win hockey games and believe Todd McLellan should deploy his team in a way that gets wins. McDavid-Draisaitl are imo superior to McDavid-Nuge. My belief doesn’t mean the previous sentence is a fact.

    I actually think we’re in agreement on this LT. I agree Leon needs to thrive against the toughs before a position change for Nuge becomes more palatable for overall roster balance and deployment . Where we differ is I see Drai forcing that issue sooner rather than later.

    Where we fully agree I suspect is we both appreciate RNH’s cerebral play and all the subtle and thus largely thankless things he does to help the team positionally. For that reason, I loathe selling him at a discount. There’s a smart skilled player here that’s simply been miscast at the pro level.

    Why I really like the position change is we know coming out of junior, he was a power play witch. He can produce offence, but it’s SO tough doing that from the pivot slot, especially in the WC. Connor is a such a matchup nightmare, he can create a ton of open space for Nuge. I think the lad could feast from that extra time and space.

    Optimally, you want fast break offence from Connor, not half court. I think Nuge can play fast break with Connor. Of course, this could be the selfish fan in me talking too cos scoring off the rush is the pretty Oilers hockey we were weaned on : )

  27. dustrock says:

    It might be unfair but man if RNH’s line scores 2-3 goals against Anaheim we were likely in the Conference Finals.

    The knock on RNH is that he maxes out as Horcoff in the good years; not what you expect from a #1 overall. Yeah he’s smart, he’s crafty, but I don’t see him adding skills over the years. His shot has gotten worse.

    I say it every time we talk about Nuge, but what happened to the guy who deked out Datsyuk and scored 5 points against the Nucks on HNIC? You can’t tell me usage is to blame for him losing all creativity.

    He hasn’t been the same player since the shoulder injury.

  28. commonfan29 says:

    jtblack: Everyone knows Leon was lofted by McD. The question is how much? Can Leon deliver 60+ pts without the zooming? I think ppl beleive he can. Outside of boxcars Leon is Big, can cycle, can play Center or Wing And without being McZooned; lead the team in Pkayoff scoring.

    There’s plenty of storytelling to be done about Nuge if he were to have a big McYear.

    Former first overall pick re-captures his old offensive magic…

    Finally put back into a scoring role and proving he can step up…

    A mature player coming into his own now that he’s the last of his buddies left on the squad…

    All these things would be written, sometimes backed up with anonymous quotes from other unnamed Western Conference GMs.

    One could say that’s all media creation that doesn’t influence GM behaviour, but the relationship between GMs and the MSM is pretty incestuous in hockey and I think they shape each other’s thinking more than we know.

    In any case, I’d rather trade Nuge after a year closer to like Leon just had than after one like Eberle had.

  29. commonfan29 says:

    dustrock: He hasn’t been the same player since the shoulder injury.

    Finally healthy again and thriving like he always should have.

    Another angle.

  30. Bank Shot says:

    dustrock:
    I say it every time we talk about Nuge, but what happened to the guy who deked out Datsyuk and scored 5 points against the Nucks on HNIC? You can’t tell me usage is to blame for him losing all creativity.

    He hasn’t been the same player since the shoulder injury.

    It was Lidstrom that RNH deked out. And that might have been the only defenseman he’s beat one on one in his career. lol.

    If he actually was a creative player, we’d have all kinds of memories of him doing things like that. But there’s only one.

    I guess Marleau didn’t really break out until his 8th season so there is still a glimmer of hope, but its pretty damn faint for Hopkins.

    Here’s hoping he’s the one in a thousand.

  31. jp says:

    Thorin,

    Great post. Thanks.

  32. jp says:

    commonfan29: There’s plenty of storytelling to be done about Nuge if he were to have a big McYear.

    Former first overall pick re-captures his old offensive magic…

    Finally put back into a scoring role and proving he can step up…

    A mature player coming into his own now that he’s the last of his buddies left on the squad…

    All these things would be written, sometimes backed up with anonymous quotes from other unnamed Western Conference GMs.

    One could say that’s all media creation that doesn’t influence GM behaviour, but the relationship between GMs and the MSM is pretty incestuous in hockey and I think they shape each other’s thinking more than we know.

    In any case, I’d rather trade Nuge after a year closer to like Leon just had than after one like Eberle had.

    Add in: 6th most time in the league against elite comp according to PuckIQ.

    Agreed that scoring success in any role should boost Nuge’s trade value.

    A damn shame we can’t keep him though.

  33. GMB3 says:

    Lowetide: That’s an interesting view. I want the Oilers to win hockey games and believe Todd McLellan should deploy his team in a way that gets wins. McDavid-Draisaitl are imo superior to McDavid-Nuge. My belief doesn’t mean the previous sentence is a fact.

    We don’t know that yet though. My only memory of RNH and McDavid on the ice together besides the occasional 5-3 is McDavid setting up Nuge for a bar down snipe on the PP (may have just been top ched). I stress my belief that the gap between Drai and Nuge is smaller than most here assume, if there is even a gap at all. I think I’d rather have RNH at 6 mill than Drai at 8+. Find him a RW that can help with the faceoffs and is better in his own end than Ebs was. That may be what he needs to succeed. That was the type of return I was hoping to see for the Eberle trade, and it is yet to be seen if Strome can be that guy.

    The Oilers may end up paying a guy 8.5 million who posts Nuge levels of offense driving his own line. That’s going to make it very tough to find good enough supporting players and stay under the cap, and it could be a potentially long term issue that limits the potential of the Oilers. It’s a big risk.

    This problem sure beats the hell out of Mark Arcobello at 2C though. How things have changed!

  34. stush18 says:

    GMB3: We don’t know that yet though. My only memory of RNH and McDavid on the ice together besides the occasional 5-3 is McDavid setting up Nuge for a bar down snipe on the PP (may have just been top ched). I stress my belief that the gap between Drai and Nuge is smaller than most here assume, if there is even a gap at all. I think I’d rather have RNH at 6 mill than Drai at 8+. Find him a RW that can help with the faceoffs and is better in his own end that Ebs was. That was the return I was hoping to see for the Eberle trade, and it is yet to be seen if Strome can be that guy.

    This problem sure beats the hell out of Mark Arcobello at 2C though. How things have changed!

    Jesus member those days?

    Nuge
    Arcobello
    Gordon
    Lander

    ? I can’t even remember. It’s like I blacked out those seasons.

  35. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    murphy:
    When nuge gets traded i really hope it’s for a decent cheaper center. Couturier is the dream, even if its a three way with the habs. Philly doesn’t need another center back and may prefer galychenuk.

    PHI only has 5 Dmen under contract.

    They might be able to spare a C with Giroux, Fippula, Lehtera and Couturier all on the roster.

    I bet marketing Donavan McNabb’s big, mean and tough nephew would work great for them.

    Nurse for Couturier.

    RNH for something else.

    All after Drai is signed of course.

    Couturier is signed at $4.33MM for 5 more years and in my opinion is the 2nd best tough minute C in the NHL behind Bergeron.

  36. russ99 says:

    We’ll know about RNH early on.

    If he embraces Todd’s exit interview challenge and adjusts his game to go to tough areas and play the system, there’s an outside shot he could still be here next year, if not and he’s playing the puck above the circles and making easy shots to save from far off, he’ll be gone by the deadline.

    I’m against putting him with McDavid because we need him as a defensive center and the rebuild era of pretty offensive hockey is over, it’s about winning, not scoring nice goals, which if we need that, McDavid does plenty of it anyway.

    It would suck to dump RNH and a few years down the road he turns into a lesser version of Datsyuk, but the team needs to make tough decisions at the cap about best fit, and not the best possible case a player might be.

  37. digger50 says:

    I really enjoyed your RE on the Nuge, some interesting thoughts on how he should be utilized.

    I see him top six and that six have so many ways they could be deployed. I would like to see him with Connor just cause. Would like to see chemistry.

    I would also like to see him with Leon and Marroon just cause. I see him a more effective center than dominating the boards. Have we ever seen Nuge in a cycle game? Can’t recall. Usually he does not have the wingers for a cycle game.

    Last year I have no complaints, he was asked to do a job and he did it. It cost him some points and he did struggle but for the most part he kept the game even when Connor was not on the ice.

    That’s what we needed and will need again. If coach wants him to score, help him out. Give him some cover and some wingers. Discourage him making all those safe plays and encourage the offence.

    But most likely they need another defensively minded center and if Nuge doesn’t do it who will? He

  38. Bank Shot says:

    GMB3: We don’t know that yet though. My only memory of RNH and McDavid on the ice together besides the occasional 5-3 is McDavid setting up Nuge for a bar down snipe on the PP (may have just been top ched). I stress my belief that the gap between Drai and Nuge is smaller than most here assume, if there is even a gap at all. I think I’d rather have RNH at 6 mill than Drai at 8+.

    The Oilers may end up paying a guy 8.5 million who posts Nuge levels of offense driving his own line. That’s going to make it very tough to find good enough supporting players and stay under the cap, and it could be a potentially long term issue that limits the potential of the Oilers. It’s a big risk.

    Well Draisaitl has scored over 2 ppg/60 at ES 2 years in a row now, and Nuge has never done it so I would say there is a gap there offensively at least.

  39. Thorin says:

    Kinger, LT, Halfwise, JP – thanks, took me a few tries to get it posted 🙂 just saw it on the phone now (was posting from the computer earlier), and I didn’t realize how much I’d written.

    Halfwise, you’re right, our brains betray us at the worst time. Thank you for manning the phones, I don’t think I could do that as I know I have low empathy. I’d be too likely to say the wrong thing, and that’s the wrong time to say the wrong thing.

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Nugent-Hopkins over the years, his edge work is sublime. I honestly think he’ll have a bounce-back year, but your Reasonable Expectation is very reasonable.

  40. 106 and 106 says:

    Hey LT,

    Can yor RE question guy ask a question about how they played in the playoffs?

    The die was cast for Eberle when Corey Perry came down on Ebs with Ill will on his mind.

    The same was true with RNH and his performance in the heavy tough playoffs.

    Would seem to thrive on the east coast.

  41. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Thorin:
    tried to post this in the previous thread but it wouldn’t let me, so I’ll try again here

    “Do you prefer the RE to run in the morning or at night time? I received a massive spike in visits after 5pm and the Lucic post yesterday. Historically, you prefer the hockey news in morning and the projection post in the evening, but I want to make sure. Please let me know.”

    I have trouble keeping up with your posts, I’m frequently late to the party.So anytime is fine with me.

    As for yesterday’s Lucic RE, I’m pissed.Not at the RE, but at the comments.Well, not at the comments, but at the fact that they would have been the perfect thread for me to post in!I’m a Dutch immigrant to Canada, came here as a kid just before my teen years started.I have owned wooden shoes, although in the Netherlands people wear rubber boots way way more often.I know how to swim and handle boats, sail and power, in case of a flood.I lived on a dike.I still eat triple-salted liquorice – you can buy it at The Dutch Store in northeast Edmonton or Grandin Bakery in St Albert.I also eat honing drop (honey liquorice) and stroop wafels and school krijt (aka school chalk, liquorice with a hard white coating).I’m stubborn as hell and happily tell people what I really think.I have a very liberal view of sex and the “stubborn Dutchman” maneuver may not be for me, but I don’t think ill of those who want to do it.

    And then, because I was too busy to read the RE yesterday, I missed the opportunity to be part of that thread!Damnit!

    So yeah, post whenever you feel like, and I might just have to start putting “read Lowetide” in my calendar as a recurring appointment, and block it off so there’s time for me to do so.

    We don’t all have depression all the time, but we are all susceptible to depression and it is a sinister disease.I have friends and family with bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and major depressive disorder.The number one thing I’ve done for them is tell them that it is common and that there is nothing wrong with admitting it.And yet, people are loathe to admit.

    So, there are some coping mechanisms.One is to talk to strangers on a help line.The idea is that they’re strangers and don’t know where you live, so there’s no chance of them judging you next week when they see you at Walmart.Another is to see a doctor to get medical help with the illness, whether pharmaceutical or talk therapy or both.What worked for me, when my mind was planning out how to buy the gun and the bullet, was to read about how survivors (wives, parents, siblings, but especially kids) were affected by a suicide, especially a surprise suicide.It rips a kid’s life apart, and affects them for the rest of their life, if you kill yourself during their formative years.As much pain as I was in, I could not imagine causing that much pain to my children.

    Oh, one thing I did learn was that there’s a distinct difference between a surprise suicide and a publicly-planned suicide.If a 60yo man with an incurable cancer with months left to live plans out their end-of-life and lets those close to him know what he’s doing and why, this is a lot easier to deal with than to come home to a dead body and a note (that never has enough answers).

    Okay, this post got maudlin fast.

    WE HAVE THESE IN OUR HOUSE:

    http://www.dutchsouvenir.com/woodenshoe/wooden-shoes-red-windmill.jpg

    I will say it here. Some of you probably have guessed that, although others think my life is a product of nepotism.

    I don’t want it repeated anywhere. I don’t want a sympathy card or any of your pity.

    What I do want is for any of you who is thinking about doing something because you’ve lost all hope to send me a private message on Twitter @Gmanbackpacker or instagram @ggnb

    My dad took his own life when I was a teenager and I have lived everything in my life since then with that lens on. Finally I found my way of expressing myself in photography but every project I shoot is personal.

    But had I followed through on how I felt when I was 21 none of you would know me and none of my photos would exist.

    So really, message me. And I will call you.

    And everyone else, do not respond to my post, please. I want to be a regular whisky swilling curmudgeon like the rest of you, debating Hall v Larsson forever while I tell you to get off my lawn.

    But. Do not give in. You have a purpose and a gift to give, even when you are years away from ever knowing what that might be.

    Edit- Oh. And if any of you tells my mom I spilled the beans all earlier overtures are negated. I will have to kill you.

  42. Revolved says:

    Nuge is not a killer, but is a fine (though overpaid) tough minutes C that gives others valuable breathing room. If he is not at C, who is eating those minutes?

    I posted WOWYs for Nuge a few threads ago, and I suggested Maroon and Slepy as partners for him. They both helped him in possession and have a heartbeat in the O zone. The guys who do not help in those tough minutes are the rookies and Kassian.

    Although I like the idea of the Finns flanking him, I don’t think this is the role we should be casting Puljujarvi into at such a young age. If he must be traded, then give him a chance to succeed in the tough minutes role. The numbers WG tweeted out did not make him look valuable.

  43. deankb says:

    Lastly on this before it fades away into digital dust…

    If you have someone close to you that you know has mental health issues, don’t be afraid to tell them you love them, ever. I did so several times last night… I was rocked again yesterday by Chester and it took me a while to get back to normal. I did what I always do to get back to my normal, I tore a room apart. The new ceiling will look great when it’s done!

    The other thing, listen to your spidey sense. If you haven’t heard from them or they are not getting back to you, keep trying! You’re probably right and they need a lift up.

    K, on to a new day.

  44. Pink Socks says:

    Woodguy v2.0: PHI only has 5 Dmen under contract.

    They might be able to spare a C with Giroux, Fippula, Lehtera and Couturier all on the roster.

    I bet marketing Donavan McNabb’s big, mean and tough nephew would work great for them.

    Nurse for Couturier.

    RNH for something else.

    All after Drai is signed of course.

    Couturier is signed at $4.33MM for 5 more years and in my opinion is the 2nd best tough minute C in the NHL behind Bergeron.

    Agree with all of this. Does either team entertain RNH + Nurse for Couturier + Gudas with some pick balancing?

    Keeps Russel on the left side, keeps cover for Benning, gives Auvitu a shot to slide in the 3rd pairing. Great for us but as you said, PHI isn’t exactly overflowing with D, let alone RHD. A dream I suppose.

  45. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Pink Socks: Agree with all of this.Does either team entertain RNH + Nurse for Couturier + Gudas with some pick balancing?

    Keeps Russel on the left side, keeps cover for Benning, gives Auvitu a shot to slide in the 3rd pairing.Great for us but as you said, PHI isn’t exactly overflowing with D, let alone RHD.A dream I suppose.

    PHI can’t take on more salary in any deal.

    They’re pretty tight to the cap with $5MM left to spend and 20 players signed.

    That’s one reason they do that deal, as they get some relief.

  46. godot10 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: PHI can’t take on more salary in any deal.

    They’re pretty tight to the cap with $5MM left to spend and 20 players signed.

    That’s one reason they do that deal, as they get some relief.

    The Flyers don’t have to sign anyone if they don’t want to. They have young D like Hagg, Morin, Sanheim, and Myers who are probably ready to compete at the bottom of the roster, and enough replacement level 4th liners to fill out the last three roster spots.

  47. Labo says:

    Out of the three kids, I will miss Nuge the most.

    For all his faults, I’m still a huge fan. Here’s a guy who has taken the role the team needed him to without complaint. He was never in the media for doing stupid things, he approaches the game like a professional.

    And when McDavid and Leon came around, I feel like he got fed to the wolves to make the right matchups for McD and Leon.

    I still think he’s a hell of a player, and I hope there is some way we can keep him around. If not, I hope he has a great career.

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