CHIARELLI’S FREE AGENTS

It’s so easy to forget about the sequence of events as time marches on. On the day Peter Chiarelli took over, he had a herculean task in front of him. My first “Chiarelli’s list” went like this:

  1. Draft McDavid (and sign him)
  2. Find a quality goalie option (this is the Talbot/Lehner item)
  3. Acquire a legit top pairing blue (as always, clear as mud days before bullets fly)
  4. Sign a more offensive two-way F (I’m hoping for Soderberg)
  5. Ignore MacT re: Marincin (Or trade Marincin for someone goooooood)

He did draft and sign McDavid, traded for a goalie, and signed his first Oilers free agent in order to cover off item No. 3. Here are Peter Chiarelli’s free agents as Oilers general manager:

PETER CHIARELL FREE AGENTS 2015-16

  1. July 1, 2015: Signed D Andrej Sekera. Six years, $33 million, $5.5 million AAV. The Sekera signing suggested (to me) the Oilers were now shopping down a better aisle in free agency. He was absolutely one of the best available defensemen that summer and has shown himself to be a worthy part of the key veteran cluster in his two years in Edmonton.
  2. July 1, 2015: Signed RC Mark Letestu. Three years, $5.4 million, $1.8 million AAV. Letestu called it better than anyone on the day he signed. He was a guest on TSN1260’s free agent show and told me he would play in all situations and felt he could help on the power play. He didn’t get a lot of opportunity in year one, but scored 11 with the man advantage this past season.
  3. October 6, 2015: Signed L Braden Christoffer. Three-year entry-level deal, CHL free agent. Rode a hot training camp to an NHL entry-level contract but he hasn’t been able to find the range as a pro player.
  4. March 13, 2016: Signed W Jere Sallinen. One year, $792,500 (same AAV). The Oilers have been signing outlier European players for about one decade now and the success rate is very poor. Sallinen couldn’t get much done in the AHL, never got close to Edmonton.
  5. April 7, 2016: Signed G Nick Ellis. Two year entry level, college free agent. Chiarelli was very aggressive in procuring goalies, and Ellis looks like he might have some NHL potential. His first pro season puts him on a trajectory similar to Laurent Brossoit.
  6. May 6, 2016: Signed F Drake Caggiula. Two-year entry level, college free agent. Caggiula had to deal with injury and playing out of position (I don’t think he’s a center) but by the playoffs he was using that speed to make plays in all disciplines. He may get a long look on a skill line this fall.
  7. May 9, 2016: Signed R Patrick Russell. Two-year entry level, college free agent. The least successful of the college signings of 2016, he shot the puck a lot but couldn’t score for the Condors. An improved shooting percentage seems likely this year.

I think the two major free agents from year one have proven to have impacted things in a positive way. The AAV for Sekera is dear but in full free agency, you  pay in full. For me this was a successful year in free agency. Caggiula was playing a significant role by the end of the season and could be a long-term solution in the top 9F. Ellis is an interesting prospect.

PETER CHIARELL FREE AGENTS 2016-17

  1. July 1, 2016: Signed L Milan Lucic. Seven years, $42 million ($6 million AAV). Chiarelli’s biggest free-agent signing to date, probably the biggest we’ll see during his time as Oilers general manager. Lucic is a unique player, he posted a season with expected boxcars but did not score well at 5×5 (normally an area of strength). He’ll be under a microscope this winter.
  2. July 1, 2016: Signed G Jonas Gustavsson. One year, $800,000 (same AAV). A strange signing from the beginning but a harbinger of the ‘small bet’ activity we saw July 1, 2017. Gustavsson is the least successful free agent of the Chiarelli era.
  3. July 1, 2016: Signed D Mark Fraser. One year, $575,000 (same AAV). Another depth signing, the rugged defender didn’t see the NHL during the 2016-17 season.
  4. August 27, 2016: Signed RD Matt Benning. Two-year entry level, college free agent. This may end up being the best free-agent signing of the Chiarelli era. Former Bruins draft pick when PC was in Boston, Benning was not only a perfect fit but he delivered a stunning rookie season.
  5. Oct 7, 2016 Kris Russell: One year, $3.1 million deal. A training camp invite, who signed a value deal. He was part of the solidification of the defense and in particular, part of Chiarelli’s massive overhaul of right defense. His coverage is the subject of some controversy, but Puck IQ shows him as a good defender.
  6. April 10, 2017: Signed G Shane Starrett. Two-year entry level, college free agent. Nick Ellis version 2.0? We’ll have to wait and see but the college goalie signing idea has a lot of merit. Starrett’s college numbers were excellent and he could be another plug-and-play for the Condors.

The Lucic signing doesn’t look brilliant after one year (I was in favor of the signing and remain hopeful ML has a strong season, but the first one wasn’t close to good enough). Matt Benning signing was a stroke of genius, need to get him signed to that second deal before the cost is too dear.

PETER CHIARELL FREE AGENTS 2017-18

  1. March 28, 2017: Signed LC Joe Gambardella, two-year entry-level deal, college free agent. I expect his offensive potential will limit his pro career, but I am intrigued by his forechecking ability and look forward to seeing if he can score enough to make the NHL.
  2. March 1, 2017: Signed RD Ryan Mantha. Three-year entry-level deal, CHL free agent. PC hasn’t had a lot of success so far with CHL free agents (Christoffer) but this is an area worth pursuing. Mantha has a somewhat unique skill set (Bear will be his competition) for the Oilers pro depth chart.
  3. July 1, 2017: Signed R Ty Rattie. One year, $700,000 (same AAV). This is a sneaky good signing and I wonder if we look back on the addition as being more important than it appeared on first blush. He has a $225,000 minor league salary but $275,000 is guaranteed according to CapFriendly. (All numbers via CapFriendly).
  4. July 1, 2017: Signed LD Ryan Stanton. Two years, $1.4 million ($700,000 AAV). The minor league portion is $300,000 and that suggests to me we are going to see Stanton as a recall over the next two years. The high minor-league salary should be enough to keep teams from claiming Stanton when he is moving between Bakersfield and Edmonton.
  5. July 1, 2017: Signed R Mitch Callahan. Two years, $1.4 million ($700,000 AAV). I think Callahan has a chance to play with the Oilers this coming season. His minor league salary (average) is $250,000 which is a little higher than Rattie’s. Fascinating set of contracts.
  6. July 1, 2017: Signed R Brian Ferlin. One year, $700,000 (same AAV). Chiarelli drafted him for the Bruins, Ferlin has shown promise but is coming off some significant injury issues.
  7. July 1, 2017: Signed G Edward Pasquale. One year, $700,000 (same AAV). AHL backup is my guess, he’s there in case Nick Ellis falters or is needed at the NHL level.
  8. July 1, 2017: Signed LD Keegan Lowe. One year, $650,000 (same AAV). Lowe has had a good pro career so far, don’t know where he lands on the depth chart but it could be slightly above or below Dillon Simpson.
  9. July 1, 2017: Signed LC Grayson Downing. One year, $650,000 (same AAV). There is $215,000 guaranteed at the minor league level, his AHL salary is listed as $175,000. I don’t know enough about this player to properly project him, but expect he’ll be in the minors for the entire year.
  10. July 3, 2017: Signed LC Brad Malone. Two years, $1.3 million ($650,000 AAV). Malone has landed in a very good spot, one occupied by Anton Lander one year ago. I think he may end up making the team out of training camp based on current PK options.
  11. July 7, 2017: Signed L Jussi Jokinen. One year, $1.1 million (same AAV). I don’t think it’s hyperbole to suggest there’s a chance this ends up being Chiarelli’s best NHL free-agent signing. This has a change to be a ridiculous value deal.
  12. July 10, 2017: Signed LD Yohann Auvitu. One year, $700,000 (same AAV). This is a one-way deal, so Auvitu gets the full salary no matter where he plays. I like his chances based on current roster makeup and wonder if the club makes room for him in 2018-19 if this season goes well.

A terribly unusual free-agent year so far, the Jokinen and Auvitu signings are astute and may have extreme value. I like the Rattie and Callahan signings, we’ll have to wait and see on the others.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

It’s tempting to say Peter Chiarelli’s free agents are identical to his trades: The big moves cost too much for what they bring and the smaller deals end up being the value moves. That’s not strictly speaking true, as Andrej Sekera has delivered value and we’re just one (disappointing) season into the Milan Lucic deal. Maybe the most interesting item is there are only two deals over $2 million dollars through three summers of activity.

I rank the best deal so far as being Matt Benning, with Jussi Jokinen, Sekera, Auvitu and Caggiula also showing well. The value UFA signings of summer 2017 may be the template for coming seasons, when money’s too tight to mention because of the big money contracts at the top of the depth chart.

OPENING NIGHT 2005-06

  • L1: Smyth—Horcoff—Dvorak
  • L2: Torres—Peca—Hemsky
  • L3: Moreau—Stoll—Pisani
  • L4: Harvey—Reasoner—Laraque
  • D1: Pronger—Staios
  • D2: Ulanov—Smith
  • D3: Cross—Bergeron
  • G1: Ty Conklin (Jussi Markkanen)

This is the last roster that came close to balance, the goaltending was not quality but the rest of this roster was beyond splendid. I could stare at this roster all day. ALL day.

POSSIBLE OPENING NIGHT 2017-18

  • Maroon—McDavid—Nuge
  • Lucic—Drasiatil—Slepyshev
  • Jokinen—Strome—Puljujarvi
  • Caggiula—Letestu—Kassian
  • Klefbom—Russell
  • Nurse—Larsson
  • Auvitu—Benning
  • Talbot (Brossoit)

I have Nuge on RW and split up the Swedish pairing. Thoughts? This is probably my least favorite possible lineup, so book it for opening night!

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Things get a little loose in the summer, that’s when the fun begins! Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Nuge at RW? Cap for Leon and ideal pairings with Andrej Sekera on IR.
  • Jesse Spector, FanRag Sports and The Score. MLB Trade deadline.
  • Don Landry, CFL.ca. CFL Week Six on the way.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Oil Kings changing out goaltenders.

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

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109 Responses to "CHIARELLI’S FREE AGENTS"

  1. russ99 says:

    Lucic had an OK year, and considering how he was put on a line with the no-cycle twins (Eberle and RNH) I thought he did pretty well, and had reasonable boxcars.

    Not to mention his steadying veteran influence in the room and able to physically take care of players who were headhunting our kids.

    If he has linemates (Leon, Strome, Slepyshev) better suited to his game – which is not parking in the crease, contrary to current opinion – and better conditioning this year akin to what Maroon did last summer, we’ll be happy with the signing.

  2. McNuge93 says:

    Re defence I would rather see Russell as a LD. Maybe:
    Klefbom Benning
    Nurse Larsson
    Russell Gryba

    And that 2006 roster? It was OKish but it sure looked a lot better after the trade deadline.

  3. russ99 says:

    Klefbom – Larsson: with Sekera gone a while, they’ll need to eat more of the tough minutes, splitting them up hurts our defense, and Benning may not be able to handle the load.

    Russell – Benning: Similar to Sekera-Russell last year but can be as or more effective with Russell likely playing better on his natural side. I see Benning as good as a Demers/Franson type.

    Nurse – Gryba: Would have preferred the Oilers grabbing a better version of Gryba, he hand grenades the puck too often in our zone, but he’s an adequate defensive shelter for Nurse’s learning curve.

  4. Jethro Tull says:

    russ99:
    Lucic had an OK year, and considering how he was put on a line with the no-cycle twins (Eberle and RNH) I thought he did pretty well, and had reasonable boxcars.

    If he has linemates (Leon, Strome, Slepyshev) better suited to his game– which is not parking in the crease, contrary to current opinion –and better conditioning, we’ll be happy with the signing.

    I was just about to post something similar and I did yesterday. The fact that Lucic didn’t play like we expected seems to have blinkered everyone to the fact that he was on the money last year as far as point production goes.

    So if his PP production wasn’t there last season, who replaces it? Jordan wasn’t getting it done, Maroon covered the Lucic role, and Lucic excelled on the PP. Isn’t this the real, true meaning of ‘Balance’? Not when all the players are performing like robots in their allotted tasks and roles, but being able to pick up the slack in when others are faltering?

    It would be nice to say “well, Ebs got X pts on the PP last year, so we’ll pencil him in for that again,” however, now teams are watching for that little mid-slot pop up that Ebs used to do and guard against it. So change tack.

    There have been certain teams that play by rote, and been very good, the Lidstrom Wings, and other teams see their success and wish to emulate, which is strange, because unless you have a hall of famer D with a hall of famer coach, then that’s going to be a hard ask. But the very best teams? Flexibility and adaptation and players you don’t expect doing things you wouldn’t believe.

  5. Jethro Tull says:

    Also, Ethan Bear is fast becoming my favorite prospect.

  6. Brantford Boy says:

    Again, I like the Rattie signing…

    I looked at your line combos and this popped into my rather small brain… I suppose Slepyshev/Puljujarvi could interchange… oh that 2nd line… monsters on ice… I also like the vet Jokinen playing with Nuge.

    Maroon—McDavid—Strome
    Lucic—Drasiatil—Kassian
    Jokinen—Nuge—Slepyshev
    Caggiula—Letestu—Puljujarvi
    Klefbom—Larsson
    Russell-Benning
    Nurse—Gryba (Fayne)
    Talbot (Brossoit)

  7. frjohnk says:

    You missed Kris Russell on your list.

    Unless, he blocked you from writing about him.

  8. Dominoiler says:

    russ99:
    Klefbom – Larsson: with Sekera gone a while, they’ll need to eat more of the tough minutes, splitting them up hurts our defense, and Benning may not be able to handle the load.

    Russell – Benning: Similar to Sekera-Russell last year but can be as or more effective with Russell likely playing better on his natural side. I see Benning as good as a Demers/Franson type.

    Nurse – Gryba: Would have preferred the Oilers grabbing a better version of Gryba, he hand grenades the puck too often in our zone, but he’s an adequate defensive shelter for Nurse’s learning curve.

    This is how i see it too, thanks for doing all the work of verbalising it.. 🙂

    (except I’d take a look at Auvitu as a RD w nurse)

    Maroon—McDavid—Strome
    Lucic—Drasiatil—Slepyshev
    Jokinen—Nuge—Puljujarvi
    Caggiula—Letestu—Kassian
    Klefbom—Larsson
    Russell—Benning
    Nurse—Auvitu

    Talbot (Brossoit)

  9. McNuge93 says:

    Jethro Tull: I was just about to post something similar and I did yesterday.The fact that Lucic didn’t play like we expected seems to have blinkered everyone to the fact that he was on the money last year as far as point production goes.

    So if his PP production wasn’t there last season, who replaces it?Jordan wasn’t getting it done, Maroon covered the Lucic role, and Lucic excelled on the PP.Isn’t this the real, true meaning of ‘Balance’?Not when all the players are performing like robots in their allotted tasks and roles, but being able to pick up the slack in when others are faltering?

    It would be nice to say “well, Ebs got X pts on the PP last year, so we’ll pencil him in for that again,” however, now teams are watching for that little mid-slot pop up that Ebs used to do and guard against it.So change tack.

    There have been certain teams that play by rote, and been very good, the Lidstrom Wings, and other teams see their success and wish to emulate, which is strange, because unless you have a hall of famer D with a hall of famer coach, then that’s going to be a hard ask.But the very best teams?Flexibility and adaptation and players you don’t expect doing things you wouldn’t believe.

    Yes, it had been many years since we had a presence around the crease on the PP like Lucic (Smytty) He is an immoveable object. It really added a new dimension to the PP. Now if we could just get some point shots through.

  10. Dominoiler says:

    Brantford Boy,

    Yeah, that right side is so interchangeable, none of these options are well established.. except kassian, imo, whom most of us can’t seem to find a role higher then the fourth line.. I’d like to see him hold down a third line role w nuge / new 3rd C, but we’ll see..

  11. Ducey says:

    Ah, LT, you forgot one.

    Here, I will write it for you.

    Oct 7, 2016 Kris Russell: A training camp invite, who signed a value deal. He was part of the solidification of the defense and in particular, part of Chiarelli’s massive overhaul of right defense. Corsi hates him, as do I (apparently) but limits high danger scoring chances by blocking shots.

  12. dustrock says:

    russ99:
    Klefbom – Larsson: with Sekera gone a while, they’ll need to eat more of the tough minutes, splitting them up hurts our defense, and Benning may not be able to handle the load.

    Yeah, after the playoff performance, I wonder if T-Mac is going to play Klef-Lars 25 minutes/game until Sekera is ready ha ha ha.

    But yeah.

  13. Silver Streak says:

    somewhere in the rear portion of my small brain I continue to see Nuge waving goodby wearing a Habs sweater……

  14. Brantford Boy says:

    Silver Streak:
    somewhere in the rear portion of my small brain I continue to see Nuge waving goodby wearing a Habs sweater……

    Tabarnak!!!

  15. 106 and 106 says:

    Name-Name-Name
    Name-Name-Name
    Name-Name-Name
    Name-Name-Name

    Some Guy-Some Guy
    Some Guy-Some Guy
    Some Guy-Some Guy

    The McBlender will make all of your predictions right and all of your predictions wrong.

    By the 2nd period of Game 1.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    I am very hopeful for Russell to be a more efficient puck mover as a LD this season (or for a part of it).

    I don’t think they will split the Swedes to start the year but will have Benning pencilled in as 2RD with Russell at 2LD leaving some chaos with the Nurse/Gryba pairing.

    If that doesn’t work for whatever reason (Benning sinks up the lineup or too much chaos on the 3rd pairing), then they will think about splitting the Swedes.

    In my opinion, Russell should not play top pairing minutes on the right side – if we need to split the Swedes and put Russell up the lineup then he needs to be on the left side but paired with Larsson they might have trouble moving the puck.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Ducey:
    Ah, LT, you forgot one.

    Here, I will write it for you.

    Oct 7, 2016 Kris Russell: A training camp invite, who signed a value deal. He was part of the solidification of the defense and in particular, part of Chiarelli’s massive overhaul of right defense. Corsi hates him, as do I (apparently) but limits high danger scoring chances by blocking shots.

    Bah, new I forgot someone and I thank you. Have corrected and used mostly your words! Thanks!

  18. GCW_69 says:

    Silver Streak:
    somewhere in the rear portion of my small brain I continue to see Nuge waving goodby wearing a Habs sweater……

    2nd and a conditional 5th in return?

  19. Spengler says:

    While there weren’t any big name signings this year, one thing I really liked was the use of the Condors balance sheet to make bets on guys who could contribute. I’ve long felt, and argued, that there is a missed opportunity, in a salary capped league, when teams try to save money on their AHL teams.

    This isn’t a comment on the players signed, as I don’t know enough about any of them. But I do like the process that seems to have lead to them being signed. Of course it could just be a random occurrence that I’ve attempted to squeeze into a narrative. But isn’t that what the internet is for?

  20. anonymous says:

    I think you missed a big point in this analysis. Chia is way to easy on the no movement and no trade clauses. To me, that’s the big problem.

  21. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide: Bah, new I forgot someone and I thank you. Have corrected and used mostly your words! Thanks!

    Shouldn’t Russell be on this year’s FA signing list as well?

    “FA signing Russell was a player on the Edmonton Oilers, an Ice Hockey team in the National Hockey League. He was signed to a contract 2yrs too long and 2mill too much for some people for giving the puck to the opposition then being prepared to block the subsequent shot from the opposition with his face/crotch. Good in the room and sky high gritensity/60.”

  22. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jethro Tull: I was just about to post something similar and I did yesterday.The fact that Lucic didn’t play like we expected seems to have blinkered everyone to the fact that he was on the money last year as far as point production goes.

    So if his PP production wasn’t there last season, who replaces it?Jordan wasn’t getting it done, Maroon covered the Lucic role, and Lucic excelled on the PP.Isn’t this the real, true meaning of ‘Balance’?Not when all the players are performing like robots in their allotted tasks and roles, but being able to pick up the slack in when others are faltering?

    It would be nice to say “well, Ebs got X pts on the PP last year, so we’ll pencil him in for that again,” however, now teams are watching for that little mid-slot pop up that Ebs used to do and guard against it.So change tack.

    There have been certain teams that play by rote, and been very good, the Lidstrom Wings, and other teams see their success and wish to emulate, which is strange, because unless you have a hall of famer D with a hall of famer coach, then that’s going to be a hard ask.But the very best teams?Flexibility and adaptation and players you don’t expect doing things you wouldn’t believe.

    Great points. Another way to say it is you have to find a way to contribute. Players slump, and as you said they also are defended against specifically if they find a niche that really works. But a player has to contribute somehow, including being aggressive physically if nothing else is working.

    The guys that at least did ‘something’ are still around.

  23. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Jethro Tull: Shouldn’t Russell be on this year’s FA signing list as well?

    “FA signing Russell was a player on the Edmonton Oilers, an Ice Hockey team in the National Hockey League.He was signed to a contract 2yrs too long and 2mill too much for some people for giving the puck to the opposition then being prepared to block the subsequent shot from the opposition with his face/crotch.Good in the room and sky high gritensity/60.”

    Russell’s second contract was technically an extension, and was signed while the Oilers held his rights.

    I would argue Gryba’s second Oilers’ contract, signed last October, was done as a true UFA which he had been all summer by then.

  24. godot10 says:

    Nurse, Larsson
    Klefbom, Benning
    X, Y (probably, Russell, Gryba)

    until Sekera gets back.

  25. Jethro Tull says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Russell’s second contract was technically an extension, and was signed while the Oilers held his rights.

    I would argue Gryba’s second Oilers’ contract, signed last October, was done as a true UFA which he had been all summer by then.

    Thanks for the clarification, Bruce, it’s a little grey given that although the Oilers still have his rights, he could have gone anywhere.

    I mean, who trades for an impending UFA? *cough Nikitin cough*

    Pop Trivia: Who was NN trade for to the CBJ?

  26. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jethro Tull: Thanks for the clarification, Bruce, it’s a little grey given that although the Oilers still have his rights, he could have gone anywhere.

    I mean, who trades for an impending UFA? *cough Nikitin cough*

    Pop Trivia:Who was NN trade for to the CBJ?

    Kurt Rusell.

  27. jtblack says:

    “but Puck IQ shows him as a good defender.” – This is interesting. It seems I usually read Russell ranks poorly thru Analytics. Is PuckIQ ysung different metrics? Obviously PC and TMac value Russell.

  28. Side says:

    Taylor Hall.

  29. misfit says:

    I don’t really care for the projected forward lines (I dislike both Nuge at RW and Strome at C), but agree whole heartedly in splitting up Klefbom and Larsson while Sekera is out.

    With Sekera in the lineup, we have 3 very good defensive pairings. With him out, we have 1. By putting one of the Swedes on two of the 3 pairings, we should be back to 2.

  30. Georges says:

    Lucic’s points per game:

    0.61 (career)
    0.61 (career prior to 2016-17)
    0.61 (2016-17)

    Last season, Lucic produced hockey widgets at the same rate as he’s done throughout his career. He produced fewer widgets on Tuesdays than he usually does. But he made up for it by producing more widgets on Thursdays. His employer got exactly what he should have expected for widget production out of Lucic.

  31. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Auvitu played the second half of last season in the AHL as far as I can tell and has 25 games in the NHL as a 28 YO entering next season. He’ll be hard pressed to make the roster and I highly doubt he’d play off hand if he did make it.

  32. Bag of Pucks says:

    On the Lucic signing, I would say one aspect that makes it more defensible is Chiarelli’s firsthand knowledge of the player. Pete should have had a good sense of how Milan trains, his injury history and how much gas he’d have left in the tank over the term of the deal. I also suspect Chiarelli and TMac saw a need for a culture change in the room, wanted to give McDavid the C, and felt Lucic would be the perfect leadership mentor in that regard.

    If you look at the boxes the player ticks;

    * Power forward
    * Cup winner
    * Consistent EV scorer
    * Enforcer
    * 28 years old at time of FA signing (i.e. prime of career)

    In the FA market, you’ll always have to overpay with $ and term for a player with this checklist.

    Let’s hope the big man lights it up this season. My take is he plays better angry. Hopefully he brings a bit more of that this season.

    I also think a Lucic/Drai/Kassian cycle line could be an absolute matchup nightmare for many teams (particularly in the East).

  33. godot10 says:

    Georges:
    Lucic’s points per game:

    0.61 (career)
    0.61 (career prior to 2016-17)
    0.61 (2016-17)

    Last season, Lucic produced hockey widgets at the same rate as he’s done throughout his career. He produced fewer widgets on Tuesdays than he usually does. But he made up for it by producing more widgets on Thursdays. His employer got exactly what he should have expected for widget production out of Lucic.

    All widgets are not of equal value. Widgets produced on Tuesday are more valuable, and more indicative the current performance level.

  34. digger50 says:

    russ99:
    Lucic had an OK year, and considering how he was put on a line with the no-cycle twins (Eberle and RNH) I thought he did pretty well, and had reasonable boxcars.

    Not to mention his steadying veteran influence in the room and able to physically take care of players who were headhunting our kids.

    If he has linemates (Leon, Strome, Slepyshev) better suited to his game– which is not parking in the crease, contrary to current opinion –and better conditioning this year akin to what Maroon did last summer, we’ll be happy with the signing.

    I give lots of credi to Lucic for his veteran presence and physical play, but just want to expand on these thoughts.

    In regards to Lucic preventing headhunting, I think Marroon. Kassian and Gryba brought a lot more to the table. I remember only two games where Lucic was an actually physical deterant, and that was when he was playing pissed off.

    Still like the physical Looch, just think he gets too much credit for this so we can factor it into his contract value.

    Gryba physically hurts the most opponents but does not get the same credit. Nor is it factored in to Kassian or Marroons contracts.

    Add Nurse to this conversation as well. So far he has come across as a rookie trying to prove himself (physically) I think this year he becomes a true force.

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

    godot10,

    Last time i checked Lord Stanley’s Cup doesn’t give a rats behind if you score the game 7 winner in overtime on a PP, shorthanded or 5v5. All goals are equal in the end.

    Here’s a video of Lucic’s offseaon training buddy destroying Kris Letang’s ankles in an agility drill

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BW_Lq9Chu4D/

    I’m not that worried about Milan Lucic, you don’t train with a former NFL All-Star WR to work on your strength and leadership qualities, he knows where his weakness was last year and it appears that he took a very direct route to try and rectify it.

  36. frjohnk says:

    Georges:
    Lucic’s points per game:

    0.61 (career)
    0.61 (career prior to 2016-17)
    0.61 (2016-17)

    Last season, Lucic produced hockey widgets at the same rate as he’s done throughout his career. He produced fewer widgets on Tuesdays than he usually does. But he made up for it by producing more widgets on Thursdays. His employer got exactly what he should have expected for widget production out of Lucic.

    While playing with McDavid may have boosted the amount of widgets Lucic usually produced on a Thursday. His Thursday widget production was at the top of the league. Was last years Thursday widget production an outlier?

    On the other hand, Lucic has a pretty good history of producing a nice number of widgets on Tuesday. His Tuesday widget production was in line with what Benoit Pouliot produced. Was last years Tuesday widget production an outlier?

    I dont think last years PP production will be replicated and his PP scoring will regress. But, I also believe his 5 on 5 play will be better.

  37. Jethro Tull says:

    Georges:
    Lucic’s points per game:

    0.61 (career)
    0.61 (career prior to 2016-17)
    0.61 (2016-17)

    Last season, Lucic produced hockey widgets at the same rate as he’s done throughout his career. He produced fewer widgets on Tuesdays than he usually does. But he made up for it by producing more widgets on Thursdays. His employer got exactly what he should have expected for widget production out of Lucic.

    Yes, but he produced widgets in a way that i find abhorrent, therefore he is dead to me. Said some Oiler fans. Probably.

  38. John Chambers says:

    Side:
    Taylor Hall.

    He was the Oilers biggest star since Messier.
    The biggest locker room cancer since Corson.
    He was ruined by incompetent management.
    He doesn’t have enough heart to make it to the post-season.
    He’s a river-pusher, goddammit!
    His defensive game is to be admonished by the likes of Lars Eller for playing too much like a Junior player.

    Please select the a fact / hyperbole from the above list to frame your sentiment regarding Taylor Hall.

  39. Georges says:

    godot10: All widgets are not of equal value.Widgets produced on Tuesday are more valuable, and more indicative the current performance level.

    Right, I forgot the memo. Thursday widgets are worth 3/4 of Tuesday widgets because working conditions are so much harder on Tuesdays. Maybe working 0 Tuesday shifts with Eberle next season will help his Tuesday production. After all, when we hired him, Lucic had a pretty good resume. Put up some good numbers for some pretty good firms. But, yeah, next time I’ll make sure I put one of the new cover sheets on my TPS report.

    EDIT: All in jest, godot. If that reads hostile, it wasn’t intended.

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

    Georges,

    Absolutely amazing last sentence “clap clap clap”

  41. jtblack says:

    John Chambers,

    How about Taylor Hall is a Great hockey player who was traded. This is like many Great Hockey Players who have played for the Oilers. Gretz, Mess, Coffey, Smyth , Pronger, Hemsky, Eberle, etc …… Hall is a well compensated professional athlete. 1 of the risks when a player does not have a NMC, is the risk of being traded. Good Guy, Great Player – Unfortunately he will be plyng his skills on the East Coast for a few years. Oiler Nation wishes him well, as we have past Oilers who have moved on.

  42. jtblack says:

    Avs fail to sign Hobey Baker Winner. They are heading to their own decade of Darkness.

  43. Munny says:

    It’s funny how we give some players a break when shooting percentage drops from their career average and other players have “disappointing” seasons.

    If we are not even-handed with stats, the stats movement will self-destruct, killed by its own advocates.

    Not only was Lucic’s shooting percentage below career average, so was the percentage of both of his most common linemates.

    That he was able to make up the drop in scoring in other ways strikes me as an accomplishment.

  44. Revolved says:

    I also hate that lineup LT.

    I think that Russell – Benning may perform surprisingly well with Russell on his strong side.

    Why is everyone satisfied with Letestu as our 4C? He is a possession black hole and we have four better centers. Winning the fourth line minutes count like all the rest.

  45. jtblack says:

    Revolved,

    “Why is everyone satisfied with Letestu as our 4C?” …. I have to agree with you. I think by year end Letestu may be in and out of the lineup, depending on Injuries.

  46. Georges says:

    frjohnk: While playing with McDavid may have boostedthe amount of widgets Lucic usually produced on a Thursday.His Thursday widget production was at the top of the league.Was last years Thursday widget production an outlier?

    On the other hand, Lucic has a pretty good history of producing a nice number of widgets on Tuesday.His Tuesday widget production was in line with what Benoit Pouliot produced.Was last years Tuesday widget production an outlier?

    I dont think last years PP production will be replicated and his PP scoring will regress.But, I also believe his 5 on 5 play will be better.

    This seems fair.

  47. Bank Shot says:

    digger50: I give lots of credi to Lucic for his veteran presence and physical play, but just want to expand on these thoughts.

    In regards to Lucic preventing headhunting, I think Marroon. Kassian and Gryba brought a lot more to the table. I remember only two games where Lucic was an actually physical deterant, and that was when he was playing pissed off.

    Gryba and Kassian fall into the same category of player that the Oilers had loads of when the Oilers were getting bullied all over the ice in the dark times. They aren’t on the ice as much as skill guys so they can’t help as much.

    Lucic is the only one of those guys that is downright scary. Since 2012, Prout is the only guy he’s lost a fight too. When Lucic dropped them two years ago with Maroon, Maroon just hung on for dear life.

    It’s tough to determine if there is any real link between intimidation and reduced headhunting, but if there is a link, Lucic is definitely the number one deterrent on the Oilers and top five in the league.

  48. Lowetide says:

    I’m just dropping in to make sure we all still agree that 5×5 scoring has more value than 5×4 scoring, which on some level, is partly a product of being on the ice for power plays. Also agree with several posters who have said it’s likely Lucic recovers 5×5 scoring. He’s certainly a player I was comfortable expecting strong 5×5 numbers one year ago.

  49. Professor Q says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    godot10,

    Last time i checked Lord Stanley’s Cup doesn’t give a rats behind if you score the game 7 winner in overtime on a PP, shorthanded or 5v5. All goals are equal in the end.

    Here’s a video of Lucic’s offseaon training buddy destroying Kris Letang’s ankles in an agility drill

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BW_Lq9Chu4D/

    I’m not that worried about Milan Lucic, you don’t train with a former NFL All-Star WR to work on your strength and leadership qualities, he knows where his weakness was last year and it appears that he took a very direct route to try and rectify it.

    Maybe Nurse can get McNabb to join in with them as well?

  50. leadfarmer says:

    Revolved:
    I also hate that lineup LT.

    I think that Russell – Benning may perform surprisingly well with Russell on his strong side.

    Why is everyone satisfied with Letestu as our 4C? He is a possession black hole and we have four better centers. Winning the fourth line minutes count like all the rest.

    Cause unlike all the other centers he can win a faceoff and all the verbal coming out of the org about the player suggests it’s silly to bet on him to not have the position locked up. And since Chia and TMac don’t listen to any of us here it’s no sense in arguing about it. Hendricks was in the lineup for over a year since the wheels came off although with fewer appearances. Which shows these guys respect these veteran players and they did just use a protection slot on him.

  51. Durag says:

    Side:
    Taylor Hall.

    I disagree

  52. Ducey says:

    jtblack:
    Avs fail to sign Hobey Baker Winner.They are heading to their own decade of Darkness.

    Sounds like they could have signed him last year and Roy vetoed it.

    http://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/11/will-butcher-denver-pioneers-not-signing-with-avs/

  53. Bank Shot says:

    Ducey: Sounds like they could have signed him last year and Roy vetoed it.

    http://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/11/will-butcher-denver-pioneers-not-signing-with-avs/

    In fairness, this Butcher guy sounds more like Andy Miele than Jack Eichel.

  54. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m just dropping in to make sure we all still agree that 5×5 scoring has more value than 5×4 scoring, which onsome level, is partly a product of being on the ice for power plays. Also agree with several posters who have said it’s likely Lucic recovers 5×5 scoring. He’s certainly a player I was comfortable expecting strong 5×5 numbers one year ago.

    This is true for a given value of true. Depends on the situation. Seems like we’re starting to blur team stats and individual stats and giving more onus to the ones we personally believe in.

    So, to that end, 5×5 is more important why? Because it’s harder to accomplish, and correlates strongly to the notion of what we think makes a good player. But it’s almost the bastard son of our old friend +/-.

    But what about 5×4? If your not scoring on the PP as a team, this is a bad thing, no?

    To return to the blurring – good 5×5 scoring as a team is only great if you win the game as a result, whilst 5×5 individual means you’re probably good at the ice hockies.

    Good 5×4 scoring as a team means you better not give us PP, and as an individual means you can be counted on in special teams situations.

    It is possible to have individuals that are good at 5×5, but still lose games. But if you have guys that are bad at 5×4 scoring, then you find it hard to either put that distance between you and the other team or claw your way back into a game when on the PP.

    Can’t help feeling that 5×5 is the new flavour of the month in our quest to find the perfect stat.

    And does anyone know how many GWG’s are from 5×5 vs. 5×4?

    In summary, 5×5 may have more value in the bigger picture than 5×4. In the small picture, if you’re losing and you get thrown a PP lifeline, you better have people that can convert.

  55. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    godot10: All widgets are not of equal value.Widgets produced on Tuesday are more valuable, and more indicative the current performance level.

    – But all goals are equal (where do empty netters get slotted?). There is a narrative in the fancy stat community that only 5×5 is a measure of talent, or effectiveness; the PP scoring seemingly dismissed, even though scoring on the PP is a more likely outcome, and scoring on the PP matters, a lot, given the dearth of scoring.

    – Some dismiss power-play goal scorers:this is a mistake IMO

    – 5×5 scoring has more value than 5×4 scoring: this simply isn’t true: only goals matter

  56. Side says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – But all goals are equal (where do empty netters get slotted?).There is a narrative in the fancy stat community that only 5×5 is a measure of talent, or effectiveness; the PP scoring seemingly dismissed, even though scoring on the PP is a more likely outcome, and scoring on the PP matters, a lot, given the dearth of scoring.

    – Some dismiss power-play goal scorers:this is a mistake IMO

    – 5×5 scoring has more value than 5×4 scoring: this simply isn’t true: only goals matter

    I completely agree.

    If player A scores 10 goals all year at ES but scores 0 on the PP, and Player B scores 0 goals at ES but 10 on the PP all year, they both put up 10 goals. How can someone say “oh but Player A is more valuable” when the result (goals) is the same? (For arguments sake, lets assume Player A and B are getting the same opportunities at ES and on the PP)

  57. jtblack says:

    Lowetide,

    I think 5×5 has to have more value given a players % of time at 5×5 vs 5×4. Someone will have that number but it has to be about 80% 5×5. In a goal starved League I think ANY Goals now have tremendous value.

    Lucic has to be better. A lot of high prized Free Agents struggle with their new burden of expectations. I think Looch tried to hard to “Replace Hall, Be McDavids Wingman, Protect his teammates and Lead.” With less pressure next year I beleive his 5×5 should be back to 1.60 – 1.90 range.

  58. jtblack says:

    jtblack,

    EDIT: There are fewer PP opp’s during Playoffs, thus further putting an emphasis on 5×5 play and 5×5 scoring.

  59. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Revolved:

    Why is everyone satisfied with Letestu as our 4C? He is a possession black hole and we have four better centers. Winning the fourth line minutes count like all the rest.

    1) The “possession black hole” started twice as often in the D-zone as the O-.
    2) His most common linemates at evens were Kassian, Hendricks, Caggiula, Lander, Slepyshev, Pitlick.
    3) Despite 1) and 2) he was a 5v5 outscorer this past season.
    4) At any given time one of the “four better centres” will be playing wing.
    5) He is a major player on both special teams.
    6) His 35 points were the most by any Oiler averaging under 15 minutes a night this decade.
    7) He is Edmonton’s most-experienced pivot by a wide margin.
    8) He is Edmonton’s best faceoff option — see 1) above

    His versatility has a tremendous amount of value to me, especially in the hands of a coach who deploys him masterfully as McLellan did this past season. Replacing this savvy vet with a shiny new toy would be a mistake in my view.

  60. John Chambers says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m just dropping in to make sure we all still agree that 5×5 scoring has more value than 5×4 scoring, which onsome level, is partly a product of being on the ice for power plays. Also agree with several posters who have said it’s likely Lucic recovers 5×5 scoring. He’s certainly a player I was comfortable expecting strong 5×5 numbers one year ago.

    One thing that may be worth pointing out is that despite poor scoring 5×5, Lucic finished the season a mere -3 (using that antiquated stat).

    I mention that because my eyes told me last year that Lucic was a fairly responsible own-zone player, and often matching up against the other team’s best he would help break the cycle and tie up the opposing RW.

    I suppose what I’m trying to contribute here is that even though #27 had trouble scoring 5×5 he didn’t get scored on much either, which is just as important a factor when looking at EV play.

  61. DaveWatchesHockey says:

    Georges:
    Lucic’s points per game:

    0.61 (career)
    0.61 (career prior to 2016-17)
    0.61 (2016-17)

    Last season, Lucic produced hockey widgets at the same rate as he’s done throughout his career. He produced fewer widgets on Tuesdays than he usually does. But he made up for it by producing more widgets on Thursdays. His employer got exactly what he should have expected for widget production out of Lucic.

    I must disagree.

    The accurate statement would be something like:

    0.45 (first three years)
    0.69 (Next 6 years through 2016)
    0.61 (2016 – 2017)

    At the beginning of his widget apprenticeship Milan Lucic produced less widgets, but once he became fully widget trained his widget production was strong. After signing with his new employer his widget production slightly dipped causing some small concern about his future in the widget business.

    Dave

    Professional widget consultant.

  62. Lowetide says:

    jtblack:
    Lowetide,

    I think 5×5 has to have more value given a players % of time at 5×5 vs 5×4.Someone will have that number but it has to be about 80% 5×5.In a goal starved League I think ANY Goals now have tremendous value.

    Lucic has to be better.A lot of high prized Free Agents struggle with their new burden of expectations.I think Looch tried to hard to “Replace Hall, Be McDavids Wingman, Protect his teammates and Lead.” With less pressure next year I beleive his 5×5 should be back to 1.60 – 1.90 range.

    For me, he seemed to be almost top heavy, his wheels didn’t turn. I’m not talking speed, he seemed like a tank out there. I wonder if it is conditioning, not that he was in poor condition, but that he lost some mobility through training. He seemed to have a hard time finding the puck when it was right beside him. I hope he finds Maroon’s trainer, that guy improved a lot. Lucic is one of my favorite players, hope he can post numbers that are in line with career expectations.

  63. Side says:

    jtblack:
    jtblack,

    EDIT: There are fewer PP opp’s during Playoffs, thus furtherputting an emphasis on 5×5 play and 5×5 scoring.

    I would argue that PP becomes even more valuable in the playoffs, because playoff hockey at 5×5 seems so evenly matched that the teams that can produce 5×4 would be at an advantage.

    I say I “would argue” this, but I am lazy and don’t have numbers to back it up so going purely on theory here.

  64. Bruce McCurdy says:

    jtblack:
    jtblack,

    EDIT: There are fewer PP opp’s during Playoffs, thus furtherputting an emphasis on 5×5 play and 5×5 scoring.

    Oilers had 2.99 powerplay opportunities per game in the regular season and 3.23 in the playoffs.
    Oilers were shorthanded 2.72 times per game in the regular season and 3.77 in the playoffs.

  65. Chachi says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Oilers had 2.99 powerplay opportunities per game in the regular season and 3.23 in the playoffs.
    Oilers were shorthanded 2.72 times per game in the regular season and 3.77 in the playoffs.

    You are doing the hockey gords’ work today. Thank you.

  66. Jordan says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – But all goals are equal (where do empty netters get slotted?).There is a narrative in the fancy stat community that only 5×5 is a measure of talent, or effectiveness; the PP scoring seemingly dismissed, even though scoring on the PP is a more likely outcome, and scoring on the PP matters, a lot, given the dearth of scoring.

    – Some dismiss power-play goal scorers:this is a mistake IMO

    – 5×5 scoring has more value than 5×4 scoring: this simply isn’t true: only goals matter

    I agree with you – Goals matter.

    However, I will always prefer a player who scores better 5v5 than a player who scores 5v4, as there is more time in the game played at 5v5.

    Additionally, 5v5 scoring rates are more important in high-stake games like those in the playoffs, because of the mentality of referees who don’t want to decide the game by over-distributing powerplays to one team. We saw that many times this post-season, with Kesler *spits* mauling McDavid and nothing happening.

    You’re not going to get as many powerplays when the games matter more, so players who produce better on the powerplay in the regular season with have an overall decrease in production in the post season, when you equalize results for shooting percentage variance.

    That’s my belief, and I am certain there are players out there who will get on a hot streak and produce like mad in the playoffs and make my argument look stupid.

    But they will be the outliers, and they will be few and far between.

    In general 5v5 scoring is rates are better indicators of overall hockey ability than 5v4. As there is substantially more time played 5v5, those scoring rates are less likely to be affected by statistical noise caused by small sample sizes.

    Edit:
    And there’s Bruce, helping to reduce the ignorance of us all. I want to call him a Jerk, but he’s a great guy, and really I’m just mad at myself.

    As Hobbes said, “Hell is truth seen too late”.

    Sigh.

  67. jtblack says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks Bruce. Guess I was clearly incorrect on this. I really thought less got called.

    I still put more value on 5×5. But could be pursuaded

  68. Bruce McCurdy says:

    John Chambers: One thing that may be worth pointing out is that despite poor scoring 5×5, Lucic finished the season a mere -3 (using that antiquated stat).

    The more modern 5v5 GF% had Lucic at 55.0%, based on 44 GF / 36 GA = +8 at true even strength. The extra minuses came on shorties and empty netters against, the fundamental flaw of that “antiquated” stat.

  69. Bruce McCurdy says:

    jtblack:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks Bruce.Guess I was clearly incorrect on this. I really thought less got called.

    I still put more value on 5×5.But could be pursuaded

    Not sure about league-wide, but I was struck by how penalty calls went up in the playoffs for Oilers games. Especially penalties called *against* the Oil.

    I double checked Oilers playoff games from the previous 10 years but couldn’t locate any data for some reason. 😐

  70. Professor Q says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Oilers had 2.99 powerplay opportunities per game in the regular season and 3.23 in the playoffs.
    Oilers were shorthanded 2.72 times per game in the regular season and 3.77 in the playoffs.

    Could this be due to the shorter sample spread? Or perhaps just *that* many more infractions occurring during playoffs that you see more being uncalled as well as called (something about a rising boat lifting all waters or the like…)?

  71. Georges says:

    DaveWatchesHockey: I must disagree.

    The accurate statement would be something like:

    0.45 (first three years)
    0.69 (Next 6 years through 2016)
    0.61 (2016 – 2017)

    At the beginning of his widget apprenticeship Milan Lucic produced less widgets, but once he became fully widget trained his widget production was strong.After signing with his new employer his widget production slightly dipped causing some small concern about his future in the widget business.

    Dave

    Professional widget consultant.

    Bah! Consultants…

    I want to argue with you about first looking at a data set and then selecting boundaries that fit a narrative but I did the same thing in building an argument against Hall. So, crap!

    I have to go with the much less fun 0.61 isn’t statistically different from 0.69 in an 82-game sample. Easily within the limits of random fluctuation.

    I still blame Eberle…

  72. Bank Shot says:

    Keep in mind Lucic had to spend a fair bit of time as babysitting detail with Caggiula and Slepyshev when that was a line.

    Also he had to spend a lot of time riding shotgun with the Nuge who as we all know has always been an underwhelming even strength player.

  73. Pink Socks says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Someone is on fire today. Thank you Bruce!

  74. jtblack says:

    The Beauty of 2017 Oilers – Off years by Lucic, RNH and maybe Ebs to a degree AND still 103 points.

    Some others will dip this coning year but a nice bounce back by RNH and Lucic will help the Balance

  75. Pink Socks says:

    A very entertaining thread today 5×5 vs 5×4. This type of debate is the one that helps find that one true magical statistic that accurately measures the value of a player.

  76. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I calculated for the league as a whole & powerplays were up from 5.97 per game (both teams) in the regular season to 6.25 in the playoffs. Some tiny fraction of the “extra” penalties would have occurred in extended overtime periods. But certainly no evidence that the refs put their whistles away to any greater extent than they did all season long.

  77. John Chambers says:

    Bruce McCurdy: The more modern 5v5 GF% had Lucic at 55.0%, based on 44 GF / 36 GA = +8 at true even strength. The extra minuses came on shorties and empty netters against, the fundamental flaw of that “antiquated” stat.

    Thirty-six goals against all season for a guy who played a regular shift at 5×5 and 82 games is remarkable.

    Had his line popped a half-dozen more GF during the year it would be laudable 5×5 performance.

  78. Pink Socks says:

    jtblack:
    The Beauty of 2017 Oilers– Off years by Lucic, RNH and maybe Ebs to a degree AND still 103 points.

    Some others will dip this coning year but a nice bounce back by RNH and Lucic will help the Balance

    Paging Hunter. The Death March this year should have:

    Point total
    Lucic 5×5 Pts/60 above 1.22 from 16/17
    RNH 5×5 Pts/60 above 1.45 from 16/17

  79. Professor Q says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I calculated for the league as a whole & powerplays were up from 5.97 per game (both teams) in the regular season to 6.25 in the playoffs. Some tiny fraction of the “extra” penalties would have occurred in extended overtime periods. But certainly no evidence that the refs put their whistles away to any greater extent than they did all season long.

    The League surprisingly disagrees with you, however, hence why they’re investigating on how to take those increased uncalled infractions out of playoff hockey. They usually take the opposite stance and support the refs bar-none.

  80. roggy says:

    Georges,

    Tuesday’s widgets are made after drinking rye all weekend, and contractor is still hungover…while Thursday’s widgets, the contractor is all happy that the weekend is coming around again and have something to look forward too !!

  81. Melman says:

    Bank Shot: Gryba and Kassian fall into the same category of player that the Oilers had loads of when the Oilers were getting bullied all over the ice in the dark times. They aren’t on the ice as much as skill guys so they can’t help as much.

    Lucic is the only one of those guys that is downright scary. Since 2012, Prout is the only guy he’s lost a fight too. When Lucic dropped them two years ago with Maroon, Maroon just hung on for dear life.

    It’s tough to determine if there is any real link between intimidation and reduced headhunting, but if there is a link, Lucic is definitely the number one deterrent on the Oilers and top five in the league.

    While there are lots of tough customers (Gryba, Kassian) there are only a handful of “don’t even think about it” players who can also play a top role. Lucic is one, Chara also comes to mind. This is fun because it’s value – real or perceived – fits squarely in the old timey vs. analitics debate. How do you measure the extra 2 inches and 10 lbs. that Caggiula feels knowing that Looch is on the bench, allowing him to fore check that little bit more aggressively?

  82. Pink Socks says:

    Lucic Zone Starts vs Pts/60 & GF%

    Past 4 seasons:

    16-17 – 32.9% OZ / 28.2% DZ – 4.7% OZ>DZ – 1.22 Pts/60 – 55.0 GF%
    15-16 – 36.6% OZ / 26.8% DZ – 9.8% OZ>DZ – 2.04 Pts/60 – 61.4 GF%
    14-15 – 36.6% OZ / 31.2% DZ – 5.4% OZ>DZ – 1.69 Pts/60 – 57.7 GF%
    13-14 – 39.1% OZ / 25.9% DZ – 13.2% OZ>DZ – 2.03 Pts/60 – 65.5 GF%

    There is a direct correlation between the delta of offensive zone starts and defensive zone starts to go along with Lucic’s Pts/60 and GF%. Obviously this a generally true statement for all players, but it appears as though TMac is starting Lucic much closer percentage wise in the defensive zone that his two recent years over the 2.0 Pts/60 seasons.

    If Lucic gets the gap back closer to 10% more OZ starts than DZ starts one could then assume we could again be looking at a player closer to 2.0 Pts/60 and a GF% above 60 and the discussion throughout the year is much different about this player.

  83. Bruce McCurdy says:

    John Chambers: Thirty-six goals against all season for a guy who played a regular shift at 5×5 and 82 games is remarkable.

    Had his line popped a half-dozen more GF during the year it would be laudable 5×5 performance.

    Yep, it worked out to +2.33 / -1.90 per 60. Pretty solid.

    His PDO was 1008 which is good but hardly exceptional. It was his seventh straight season over 1000 so I’m guessing it’s not entirely a fluky thing.

  84. McNuge93 says:

    Melman: While there are lots of tough customers (Gryba, Kassian) there are only a handful of “don’t even think about it” players who can also play a top role.Lucic is one, Chara also comes to mind.This is fun because it’s value – real or perceived – fits squarely in theold timey vs. analitics debate.How do you measure the extra 2 inches and 10 lbs. that Caggiula feels knowing that Looch is on the bench, allowing him to fore check that little bit more aggressively?

    Yes, I definitely saw a few after the whistle skirmishes that were developing and suddenly fade away because Lucic skated into the area.

  85. DaveWatchesHockey says:

    Georges: Bah! Consultants…

    I want to argue with you about first looking at a data set and then selecting boundaries that fit a narrative but I did the same thing in building an argument against Hall. So, crap!

    I have to go with the much less fun 0.61 isn’t statistically different from 0.69 in an 82-game sample. Easily within the limits of random fluctuation.

    I still blame Eberle…

    Choosing the most optimal data to fit a story is what we consultants are good at.

    Dave.

    ps. Lucic is awesome!

  86. Thinker says:

    I’m afraid of Lucic. Mostly because that is the face of a man who has nothing to lose by fighting.

  87. Revolved says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Happy to have attracted the ire of a professional. I was not implying that Letestu should not play, but that center might not be his best spot.

    My suggestion has actually been that he play on McDavid’s wing. Despite how crazy that might sound, He clearly has a wicked accurate one timer and would help a lot with face offs.

    It seems accepted that 4C is his spot, but I think Strome would outplay those minutes better with weaker comp and mates. Of the mates you listed, he had the worst GF% except Hendricks.

  88. Georges says:

    Lowetide:
    I’m just dropping in to make sure we all still agree that 5×5 scoring has more value than 5×4 scoring, which onsome level, is partly a product of being on the ice for power plays.

    This is very confusing. When did we all agree? Please reference post so I can get up to speed.

  89. Georges says:

    Bruce McCurdy: The more modern 5v5 GF% had Lucic at 55.0%, based on 44 GF / 36 GA = +8 at true even strength. The extra minuses came on shorties and empty netters against, the fundamental flaw of that “antiquated” stat.

    Someone is sure to play the CMD card…

    … any minute…

    (perfectly valid card to play here)

  90. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Lowetide: For me, he seemed to be almost top heavy, his wheels didn’t turn. I’m not talking speed, he seemed like a tank out there. I wonder if it is conditioning, not that he was in poor condition, but that he lost some mobility through training. He seemed to have a hard time finding the puck when it was right beside him. I hope he finds Maroon’s trainer, that guy improved a lot. Lucic is one of my favorite players, hope he can post numbers that are in line with career expectations.

    I worry about his spinal disease. It did look like he couldn’t move his upper body much.

  91. Jethro Tull says:

    Georges: Someone is sure to play the CMD card…

    … any minute…

    (perfectly valid card to play here)

    The CMD = The Connor of Mass Destruction?

  92. Georges says:

    Jethro Tull: The CMD = The Connor of Mass Destruction?

    Yes, the WOWY’s.

  93. Jordan says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Oilers had 2.99 powerplay opportunities per game in the regular season and 3.23 in the playoffs.
    Oilers were shorthanded 2.72 times per game in the regular season and 3.77 in the playoffs.

    The Anaheim Ducks were the most penalized team in the league during the regular season 2016-17 at 3.43 penalties per game. How much does the limited number of teams played in the playoffs and their playing style impact the penalties called Bruce?

  94. Scungilli Slushy says:

    All goals count the same. But even strength play indicates the quality of a team. Even strength is the great majority of the game.

    Hot special teams can win games. But they are not usually hot over time. If your opponent doesn’t get penalties how do you score?

    People have looked into it before, maybe Bruce or Woodguy remember who. Teams that go deep into playoffs are usually strong in Corsi, have league top goal diffs which both indicate quality, and at least average goaltending.

    Usually good special teams but not always. I don’t know the exact number but if a team gets 4-5 PP a game that’s 50 minutes of ES play to win. In a string of games you might win only scoring PP goals, but over time that indicates weak team play and over time it wouldn’t work.

    Another point is that there are penalties against, and that will basically wash the PP points for most teams, meaning the games are won outscoring at evens.

  95. SwedishPoster says:

    Is noone working on bloody wednesdays anymore?

  96. Georges says:

    Melman: While there are lots of tough customers (Gryba, Kassian) there are only a handful of “don’t even think about it” players who can also play a top role.Lucic is one, Chara also comes to mind.This is fun because it’s value – real or perceived – fits squarely in theold timey vs. analitics debate.How do you measure the extra 2 inches and 10 lbs. that Caggiula feels knowing that Looch is on the bench, allowing him to fore check that little bit more aggressively?

    I want to believe you. But I watched the Ducks series and stupid Getzlaf and stupid Kesler. Lucic lined them up a couple of times, but the Ducks never played like they were physically intimidated. Getzlaf lines got the better of Lucic lines in very important situations. If intimidation is part of the Lucic arsenal, he left it on the bench in that series. Which would’ve been fine if he could have made just one or two extra hockey plays in very important situations. 3-8 GF-GA at 5v5 in that series, including being on the ice and not making a play (with chances to make a play) on the series-winning goal.

    It might not sound like it from all that, but I’m a supporter. We needed him to be better. I think he knows it. I hope he knows it…

  97. russ99 says:

    Georges: I want to believe you. But I watched the Ducks series and stupid Getzlaf and stupid Kesler. Lucic lined them up a couple of times, but the Ducks never played like they were physically intimidated. Getzlaf lines got the better of Lucic lines in very important situations. If intimidation is part of the Lucic arsenal, he left it on the bench in that series. Which would’ve been fine if he could have made just one or two extra hockey plays in very important situations. 3-8 GF-GA at 5v5 in that series, including being on the ice and not making a play (with chances to make a play) on the series-winning goal.

    It might not sound like it from all that, but I’m a supporter. We needed him to be better. I think he knows it. I hope he knows it…

    Refs swallowed the whistles against the Ducks, and then the Ducks intimidated the refs. Had he done more, we’d be complaining about all the penalties Lucic drew.

    Now that McDavid is going into his third season and the Oilers becoming legitimate contenders, we can hope that the brutal officiating we’ve seen the last 10 years finally getting closer to even.

  98. Thinker says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Is noone working on bloody wednesdays anymore?

    Not working at all. Goddamn economy.

  99. thehop says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Hump day is a real thing..

  100. SwedishPoster says:

    Professor Q: The League surprisingly disagrees with you, however, hence why they’re investigating on how to take those increased uncalled infractions out of playoff hockey. They usually take the opposite stance and support the refs bar-none.

    I would suggest that the sense that refs “lets everything go” during the playoffs while as Bruce has shown the number of penalties called stay about the same is simply because the number of infractions skyrocket during the playoffs but the number of calls don’t. The intensity and stakes are on a different level which obviously causes the players to test the limits of what’s allowed. Thing is a lot of fans, a lot of hockey people like the fact that playoff hockey is a bit of rough and tumble so while they/we complain about refs not calling stuff at the same time there’s a romantic view on breaking the rules during playoff hockey. I personally can’t stand the interference, hooking and holding stuff but don’t like when every little touch is called. Reffing is not an easy job, at all.

  101. Thinker says:

    russ99: Refs swallowed the whistles against the Ducks, and then the Ducks intimidated the refs. Had he done more, we’d be complaining about all the penalties Lucic drew.

    Now that McDavid is going into his third season and the Oilers becoming legitimate contenders, we can hope that the brutal officiating we’ve seen the last 10 years finally getting closer to even.

    When CFP and other outstanding citizens aren’t the key people put in charge of discipline, we might see a change.

  102. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – On this 5×5 vs PP stuff:

    1) Of Edmonton’s 243 goals (actually 233: 10 empty netters): 56 were PP. 1/4 of the goals

    2) But they scored those 56 goals in 245 PP opportunities. Call it 490 mins.

    3) In the other 4,430 mins approx, they scored 177 goals

    4) So PPG = 6.9/60, 5×5 G = 2.40/60

    5) Oil 3x as likely to score a goal on a PP than any other 2 minutes in a game

    – PP goals matter a lot: they happen more frequently, you game plan for them, you can set up

    – Intuitively, PP rewards talent, puck movement, passing more than 5×5.

    – Goals matter: they are harder to score 5×5 for sure. But don’t dismiss the PP

    – Ovechkin has scored the most PP goals over the last three years: tell me he isn’t important

  103. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Georges: I want to believe you. But I watched the Ducks series and stupid Getzlaf and stupid Kesler. Lucic lined them up a couple of times, but the Ducks never played like they were physically intimidated. Getzlaf lines got the better of Lucic lines in very important situations. If intimidation is part of the Lucic arsenal, he left it on the bench in that series. Which would’ve been fine if he could have made just one or two extra hockey plays in very important situations. 3-8 GF-GA at 5v5 in that series, including being on the ice and not making a play (with chances to make a play) on the series-winning goal.

    It might not sound like it from all that, but I’m a supporter. We needed him to be better. I think he knows it. I hope he knows it…

    Getzlaf turned away from Lucic several times. Getzlaf was a bully, looked to injure, and was smug beyond belief. I have no respect for him anymore.

    If the Oilers had gone into that series without enough shotguns I can’t imagine what a goon show the refs would have allowed.

  104. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – On this 5×5 vs PP stuff:

    1) Of Edmonton’s 243 goals (actually 233: 10 empty netters): 56 were PP.1/4 of the goals

    2) But they scored those 56 goals in 245 PP opportunities.Call it 490 mins.

    3) In the other 4,430 mins approx, they scored 177 goals

    4) So PPG = 6.9/60, 5×5 G = 2.40/60

    5) Oil 3x as likely to score a goal on a PP than any other 2 minutes in a game

    – PP goals matter a lot: they happen more frequently, you game plan for them, you can set up

    – Intuitively, PP rewards talent, puck movement, passing more than 5×5.

    – Goals matter: they are harder to score 5×5 for sure.But don’t dismiss the PP

    – Ovechkin has scored the most PP goals over the last three years: tell me he isn’t important

    Nobody dismisses PP, but the game is won and lost at evens over time. 75% of goals right?

  105. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Nobody dismisses PP, but the game is won and lost at evens over time. 75% of goals right?

    – Yup: but in 9 x as much minutes…If you don’t score a lot on the PP your in trouble

  106. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks Bruce.Guess I was clearly incorrect on this. I really thought less got called.

    I still put more value on 5×5.But could be pursuaded

    There may have been more overall PPs/game in the playoffs but the number of infractions committed was up by a huge degree. The refs were still letting way way way way more go even though they ended up calling more PPs/game – from my eye test.

  107. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    I calculated for the league as a whole & powerplays were up from 5.97 per game (both teams) in the regular season to 6.25 in the playoffs. Some tiny fraction of the “extra” penalties would have occurred in extended overtime periods. But certainly no evidence that the refs put their whistles away to any greater extent than they did all season long.

    I speak to this in my previous post and I think its a very valid point.

  108. treevojo says:

    Thinker:
    I’m afraid of Lucic. Mostly because that is the face of a man who has nothing to lose by fighting.

    Late to the party!

    But I am sure you “think” you are very pretty?

  109. Munny says:

    John Chambers,

    Exactly why I brought up his line’s shooting percentage.

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