COLD IN JULY

We are coming up on August, a time when hockey news slows down to a crawl. Oilers fans have the Leon signing to look forward to but the rest of the summer’s business is down. Edmonton’s hockey team has made some moves in previous Augusts:

  • August 9, 1979: Oilers acquired the rights to Dave Semenko and a draft pick in exchange for selection No. 42 (Neal Broten) and No. 63 (Kevin Maxwell). That would have been a steal for the North Stars, but Edmonton used the pick (No. 48) on Mark Messier.
  • August 19, 1982: Oilers acquired Ken Linseman and Don Nachbaur from the Hartford Whalers for Risto Siltanen and the rights to Brent Loney.
  • August 9, 1988: I don’t want to talk about it.
  • August 4, 1995: Oilers acquired Curtis Joseph and Mike Grier for first-round picks in 1996 and 1997.
  • August 2, 2005: Oilers acquired Chris Pronger for Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch.

Maybe we see another massive deal this coming month, and I think a Leon Draisaitl 8-year deal would qualify. Either way, I think you’ll agree the news was cold in July, free agency lacked a ‘wow’ moment despite two very interesting moves and the big trade of summer always comes last week of June.

THE SURE THINGS, 2017

  • The actual lines and pairings aren’t there yet, but I think these 18 men are locks for opening night, with those not appearing here having one or more reasons for it.
  • There is room for a veteran RW and with Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan still out there, don’t rule out the possibility. Foot speed is a factor but Jagr can still play and Iginla can shoot the puck.
  • If Andrej Sekera were here, we’d be talking about the balance photo. Sure as hell.
  • I’d give money to know what Todd McLellan is thinking in terms of lines.
  • We already know his opinion on the pairings (ideally the Swedes stick together) and I think Russell with Benning may end up being second pair.

UNCERTAIN OILERS, 2017

  • The obvious names from this list to ascend are Anton Slepyshev, Jujhar Khaira and Eric Gryba.
  • There are reasons to keep these players in the second tier. Slepyshev can be sent down without waivers, and if Edmonton adds a forward on a PTO that could be a factor. Khaira may get squeezed if the penalty killing looks bad and Gryba could be supplanted if the team needs more of a puck mover (Auvitu) and Stanton shows well.
  • That leaves room for one forward (Laleggia? Malone? Pakarinen? Rattie?) and one defenseman (Auvitu? Stanton? Fayne?).
  • The cap room that will be available to PC makes me hesitant to elevate any of these bubble players at this time. Is he done? He shouldn’t be done.

DISTANT BELLS, 2017

  • If you had to pick one player who forced his way on to the opening night roster? From this list, I’m going to pick Zaiyat Paigin but the Oilers roster is now more mature and will be more difficult to crack.

Fontaine played three full seasons with the Minnesota Wild, they walked him, and he never got back to the NHL. You don’t often see that in any era, but at age 29, with everyone busting a move now that the NHL teams are finalizing things, Fontaine went for the sure thing. Not a man alive can blame him.

Yamamoto is probably going to need to wait one year before pushing for NHL employment, but his skill level compared to the other RW hopefuls is going to have a reckoning. Yamamoto isn’t that much younger than Jesse Puljujarvi and he’s going to be small next year too. I’m saying there’s a chance.

JP, ANTON AND THE DRAKE

Later today I’ll publish the first of three RE’s from these young men, kept waiting and hoping for another shoe to drop. Peter Chiarelli’s actions this summer, cap room through transactions, lead us to one unavoidable conclusion: He believes all three of these men will be productive NHL players. There’s simply no other opinion that can be drawn. Peter Chiarelli is holding back some or all of JP’s bonus money because he believes there is a chance he’ll make those totals. Otherwise, we’d be looking at more than just TC invites that are going to cost no more than $2 million.

This must be the place Peter Chiarelli is in currently, thinking that he’ll make damn good and certain there will be no cap overage in the coming snow. It’s an extremely conservative way to go, I mean the chances of Puljujarvi getting max bonus in his first full season isn’t high. Then again, McDavid.

BENSON

  • Rick Carriere: “We’re trying to be cautious and make sure we get it right this year, so when he moves into the season, he’s fully prepared to have a successful and productive season. He’s excited about it. He’s going through all the steps he has to from the end of the season, to rehab, into some training, and he’s been skating a little while now with [Oilers skating coach] David Pelletier.”
  • Source

Benson has the resume, but the injuries have already cost him precious development time. It is imperative he gets a full WHL season and is productive.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

It’s a busy show today, beginning at 10 on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Derek Taylor, TSN. A wild and crazy CFL weekend sees the west win everything and the Eskimos remain perfect.
  • Jared Book, Bluebird Banter and Habs Eyes on the Prize. Jays sellers? Habs after an Oilers C?
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Eskimos weekend plus Oilers plans for JP, Slepy and the Drake.

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

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55 Responses to "COLD IN JULY"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Like clockwork every morning at 8 – the debt of gratitude I owe to Lowetide!

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Although I’d be shocked if he’s not on the opening night roster, I don’t think JP should be a lock – he finished last year in the AHL and performed good not great in the AHL – he should have to earn that roster spot.

    I think Gryba is a “sure thing” even if Auvitu performs well enough to make the team.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m excited about Auvitu and I think he’s got a chance to make the team and outperform his contract this year.

    I have one grave concern though – if Auvitu makes the team and the lineup, it likely pushes Russell back over to the right side and I’ve really been looking forward to him improving his puck moving from his natural left side.

    I could get on board with him playing 3RD and PK but we all know the coach will be giving him big ES minutes no matter which side of the ice he’s playing.

  4. Bar_Qu says:

    The one factor I would consider for sending down Yamamoto this fall regardless of how he performs is salary. He would be a much more useful player on a three year ELC starting next year, than if he was only 2 years ELC when McDavid’s contract kicks in.

    My 2 cents

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think part of the reason the available cap space isn’t being used is the 50 contract limit. We are at 48 with the slides – 49 if Yamamoto is pushing for some early games (he’d be signed – would slide if/when he got sent back to junior).

    I think PC wants to see how the youngsters are progressing and saving his contract room for mid-season acquisitions.

    This is also why I think Pouliot was bought out – to get rid of the contract (moreso than the cap hit for now).

  6. Jaxon says:

    I think you’re a bit high on Auvitu. He played more in the AHL than NHL last season on a team with pretty weak D. He got only 4 points in 25GP in the NHL and only .45 pts/gp in 29 AHL gp, which puts him around 55th. And he’s 28 years old, I doubt he improves a lot at this stage. I think, at best, he is a 7th D. And he might quickly get surpassed by Paigin and Jones. He’s got more offence than Stanton, Simpson, Betker, and Lowe, but that isn’t saying much. even in Liiga he didn’t have a lot of offence and it is hard to tell if his last season there was on forward or D (he is listed as both) so 0.44 pts/gp in Liiga doesn’t add up to much in the NHL, especially if those points were scored on LW. .29*.44*82 = 10. His most productive season in Liiga was an NHLE of 10 pts and that may have been on forward as a 26 year old. EDIT: Gryba scored at the same rate (12pts in 75gp) in his 27 year old season as Auvitu did in his 27 year old season (4pts in 25gp). And Gryba brings more in other areas of his game. Sorry, I just don’t see it unless the verbal is something shocking that explains his low production.

  7. Bag of Pucks says:

    Couldn’t sleep last night, so the brain started rattling through some line combos. Landed on this. Liked it. Fell back asleep : )

    Maroon / McDavid / Strome
    RNH / Draisaitl / Slepyshev
    Lucic / Jokinen / Pulijarvi
    Caggiula / Letestu / Kassian

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bar_Qu:
    The one factor I would consider for sending down Yamamoto this fall regardless of how he performs is salary. He would be a much more useful player on a three year ELC starting next year, than if he was only 2 years ELC when McDavid’s contract kicks in.

    My 2 cents

    Although I can’t see him ready to make the team and having a true top 6 impact so its likely a mute point but I agree with you.

    The key for this team going forward is value contracts at wing to replace the experienced wingers that price themselves out of our cap structure (Maroon next year, Strome soon, etc.) – Yamamoto being on his ELC for 3 years starting next year will be very helpful – no need to burn a year unless he’s ready to perform at a top 6 level.

  9. Bag of Pucks says:

    Yamamato definitely won’t play for the Oil this season. He’s got bigger priorities shepherding the ring back to Mordor.

  10. SwedishPoster says:

    I agree with Paigin being the big wild card this training camp he could be anywhere from fighting for ice time in the AHL to being in the lineup opening night imo. Both are ofcourse extremes and if I were to guess he ends up playing top 4 in Bakersfield but it’s very much a guess. On one hand he’s a guy who comes over after a rough season in Russia with injury trouble, lack of ice time, who didn’t play all that well when he did play and has struggled defensively. On the other hand he’s a toolsy 6’6 D who can skate, is a year removed from being a (well deserved) KHL all star and getting a nod with russian NT, who played one game with Bakersfield before the coaches moved him up to the top pairing where he according to reports did very well. He truly is a riddle draped in enigmas.

  11. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: I think PC wants to see how the youngsters are progressing and saving his contract room for mid-season acquisitions.

    I think this is it. They seem to give players the chance to perform and if they don’t move on. There is risk, they could miss the playoffs easily if enough goes wrong and have to rely on inexperienced players like the good old days.

    However the contract # and cap space provide a safety net. By not having his back to a wall with 50 contracts and/or no cap space Chia has a good negotiating position. Another change from before.

  12. Jaxon says:

    SwedishPoster:
    I agree with Paigin being the big wild card this training camp he could be anywhere from fighting for ice time in the AHL to being in the lineup opening night imo. Both are ofcourse extremes and if I were to guess he ends up playing top 4 in Bakersfield but it’s very much a guess. On one hand he’s a guy who comes over after a rough season in Russia with injury trouble, lack of ice time, who didn’t play all that well when he did play and has struggled defensively. On the other hand he’s a toolsy 6’6 D who can skate, is a year removed from being a (well deserved) KHL all star and getting a nod with russian NT, who played one game with Bakersfield before the coaches moved him up to the top pairing where he according to reports did very well. He truly is a riddle draped in enigmas.

    Yup. His 20 year old NHLE of 48pts (with Sochi) the previous season was truly amazing and he did not have many peers who have done that in the past. Actually, nobody I found playing outside the NHL had an NHLE of over 41 in their 20 yr old season, Justin Schultz was the next highest at 41. He outplayed 23 year old Zaitsev that season as a 20 year old. Zaitsev stepped right into the Leafs’ roster and played well enough to get 36 pts playing over 22 minutes per night and didn’t miss a night.

  13. leadfarmer says:

    The chance that Slepy is not on the opening day roster is nil. Anyone on a PTO is not going to be able to beat his combination of size speed and strong shot. If you send hm down there’s a decent chance he demands a trade or doesn’t report and goes home. Is one year of an ageing declining player who wants one last shot worth it? Not at all.

  14. M00se1978 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Yamamato definitely won’t play for the Oil this season. He’s got bigger priorities shepherding the ring back to Mordor.

    I had to sign in just to say this made me laugh.

  15. hags9k says:

    Are we possibly holding back the cap dollars so that we can trade for Doughty or a big splash at the deadline?

  16. Durag says:

    Those are some pretty significant August additions historically (and one loss that won’t be spoken of). I will always remember thinking on August 2, 2005 “what the hell do we need Sean Pronger for?”

  17. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Jaxon: Yup. His 20 year old NHLE of 48pts (with Sochi) the previous season was truly amazing and he did not have many peers who have done that in the past. Actually, nobody I found playing outside the NHL had an NHLE of over 41 in their 20 yr old season, Justin Schultz was the next highest at 41. He outplayed 23 year old Zaitsev that season as a 20 year old. Zaitsev stepped right into the Leafs’ roster and played well enough to get 36 pts playing over 22 minutes per night and didn’t miss a night.

    We hope, but Zaitsev is a right shot which helps a lot, way less comp

  18. LMHF#1 says:

    LT – I’ll reiterate that if they’re going to trade Hopkins, they should do it this summer when they can still get a strong return and a different sort of player that the roster needs. Waiting until next summer is not the play here. Again I look to baseball GMs – in this situation they’d all be looking to deal now.

  19. Jaxon says:

    hags9k:
    Are we possibly holding back the cap dollars so that we can trade for Doughty or a big splash at the deadline?

    Nope. Doughty isn’t a deadline deal until the 2018-2019 season (think March 1st, 2019). And if they trade for Doughty now, then they’ll have even bigger cap issues next summer. I think that may mean Maroon, Nuge, Kasisan, Letestu, Benning and maybe Nurse all gone and replaced with ELCs and fringe players. He’s got 2 years left at $7M. In the summer of 2019, they could trade both Russell ($4M) and Sekera ($5.5M), though to help pay for Doughty in free agency. Would he play for the Oilers for under $10M? Not sure. I think $10M will be the type of price he fetches though. Fitting him under cap would be tricky for sure.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Couldn’t sleep last night, so the brain started rattling through some line combos. Landed on this. Liked it. Fell back asleep : )

    Maroon / McDavid / Strome
    RNH / Draisaitl / Slepyshev
    Lucic / Jokinen / Pulijarvi
    Caggiula / Letestu / Kassian

    I see what you are doing there but Jokinen is a left winger, not a center. He is good on the draw in limited numbers but he’s a winger. Nuge is a center. Why don’t you switch them and allow them to play their natural positions?

  21. Jaxon says:

    LMHF#1:
    LT – I’ll reiterate that if they’re going to trade Hopkins, they should do it this summer when they can still get a strong return and a different sort of player that the roster needs. Waiting until next summer is not the play here. Again I look to baseball GMs – in this situation they’d all be looking to deal now.

    Agreed, next summer when they’re right up against cap with no alternatives will not give Chiarelli much bargaining power. Right now, they might be able to get something like Gallagher, Coyle, Savard, Jenner, Gudbranson, or Rask for him. But I doubt they get that much when they HAVE TO dump salary and 1 year less left on his contract.

  22. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon:
    I think you’re a bit high on Auvitu. He played more in the AHL than NHL last season on a team with pretty weak D. He got only 4 points in 25GP in the NHL and only .45 pts/gp in 29 AHL gp, which puts him around 55th. And he’s 28 years old, I doubt he improves a lot at this stage.I think, at best, he is a 7th D. And he might quickly get surpassed by Paigin and Jones. He’s got more offence than Stanton, Simpson, Betker, and Lowe, but that isn’t saying much. even in Liiga he didn’t have a lot of offence and it is hard to tell if his last season there was on forward or D (he is listed as both) so 0.44 pts/gp in Liiga doesn’t add up to much in the NHL, especially if those points were scored on LW. .29*.44*82 = 10. His most productive season in Liiga was an NHLE of 10 pts and that may have been on forward as a 26 year old. EDIT: Gryba scored at the same rate (12pts in 75gp) in his 27 year old season as Auvitu did in his 27 year old season (4pts in 25gp). And Gryba brings more in other areas of his game. Sorry, I just don’t see it unless the verbal is something shocking that explains his low production.

    I don’t disagree with you and you are probably right but my optimism with this player is due to his apparent ability to move the puck not necessarily provide box cars from the back-end.

    This team has some upper echelon transition forwards and if he can get them the puck in flight with speed it could lead to good things. D-man production is somewhat a product of the players around the d-man and I think he’s got a better crop of forwards than he did in Jersey (Hall notwithstanding).

    Its not unusual for a d-man to perform better in the NHL than the AHL as far as offence – Klefbom is an example. Talent surrounding.

  23. Jaxon says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t disagree with you and you are probably right but my optimism with this player is due to his apparent ability to move the puck not necessarily provide box cars from the back-end.

    This team has some upper echelon transition forwards and if he can get them the puck in flight with speed it could lead to good things. D-man production is somewhat a product of the players around the d-man and I think he’s got a better crop of forwards than he did in Jersey (Hall notwithstanding).

    Its not unusual for a d-man to perform better in the NHL than the AHL as far as offence – Klefbom is an example.Talent surrounding.

    I understand that, but he hasn’t really performed anywhere that has shown an ability to move the puck. If he’s good at that, it should translate to points somewhere in his career. He had a hard time sticking in Liiga.

  24. Ducey says:

    LMHF#1:
    LT – I’ll reiterate that if they’re going to trade Hopkins, they should do it this summer when they can still get a strong return and a different sort of player that the roster needs. Waiting until next summer is not the play here. Again I look to baseball GMs – in this situation they’d all be looking to deal now.

    Huh?

    Baseball GM’s don’t all act the same way. Most would not be trading a starting pitcher who has an expensive but digestible contract and is under control for 4 years. Baseball does not have a cap. There would be no reason to trade Nuge.

    Further, when TMc puts Leon on RW, the Oilers need to have a 2C. That is not Jokinen and Strome has not shown any ability to handle anything close to that. He put up 30 points playing 3 line minutes last year.

    Finally, the time to trade a big contract was in June. Lots of teams can’t take on that salary now.

    The play is to bridge Leon. Then the Oilers can have Leon and Nuge.

  25. Bag of Pucks says:

    OriginalPouzar: I see what you are doing there but Jokinen is a left winger, not a center.He is good on the draw in limited numbers but he’s a winger.Nuge is a center. Why don’t you switch them and allow them to play their natural positions?

    Nuge is 43.2% on the dot lifetime playing his ‘natural’ position. Really like the possibilities of activating more offense from him on the wing, and putting him alongside Leon equips the new 2C with some good defensive responsibility and C play mentorship to help ease the transition for Drai. In other words, you can flip Leon out to the wing on occasion if he’s having a rough night at pivot.

    Could slot Strome into 3C but Jussi has played some C and I like him riding shotgun alongside our young Finn phenom with Lucic also providing a nice vet presence. JP and Milan also have the size and potential to form a nice cycle unit – which helps setup Jussi for success at C.

    Based on draft pedigree, Puli projects as a potential river pusher so you’ve got the potential for one on each line in your Top 9 eventually (McDavid, Drai, JP).

  26. Rosco says:

    Based on the verbal from the coach and gm, the cap space left for bonuses, and the possible high contract coming for Drai, I think we can expect the opening lineup to look like this…

    Maroon McD Drai (Get the season started off right)
    Lucic Strome Slep (Looch gets his rh centre)
    Jussi Nuge Pool (Jussi is the Pisani on this line)
    Cags Letestu Kassian (Speed with a little grit and scoring)

    Any combo will disappear by the second period at the latest though. At least the gm gave his coach some good balance at forward which will allow his to mix and match as the game goes along.

  27. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ducey: Huh?

    Baseball GM’s don’t all act the same way. Most would not be trading a starting pitcher who has an expensive but digestible contract and is under control for 4 years. Baseball does not have a cap. There would be no reason to trade Nuge.

    Further, when TMc puts Leon on RW, the Oilers need to have a 2C. That is not Jokinen and Strome has not shown any ability to handle anything close to that. He put up 30 points playing 3 line minutes last year.

    Finally, the time to trade a big contract was in June. Lots of teams can’t take on that salary now.

    The play is to bridge Leon. Then the Oilers can have Leon and Nuge.

    The bridge for Leon costs the team more in the longterm. IMO, you shorten the competitive window for cup contention if you bridge Draisaitl now. You’re basically ‘Subbaning’ him out the door with that approach.

  28. russ99 says:

    Auvitu – Russell isn’t a bad idea. Fits with McLellan’s one mover/one defender template.

    But I think Russell – Benning could be even better, with Russell on his natural side and Benning our best young defender and a good puck mover.

  29. Jethro Tull says:

    Bag of Pucks: The bridge for Leon costs the team more in the longterm. IMO, you shorten the competitive window for cup contention if you bridge Draisaitl now. You’re basically ‘Subbaning’ him out the door with that approach.

    But Subban resigned with the Habs. He was traded for Shae Weber. So we bridge Drai, he signs the next deal and is traded for someone with less term, but arguably the same talent? Where is the problem with this? Subban never chose to leave MTL.

  30. Leonnor McDraivid says:

    Why isn’t Thomas Vanek on a cheap one year deal getting more love? The Oilers need more depth on right wing and Vanek can score goals.

  31. McNuge93 says:

    leadfarmer:
    The chance that Slepy is not on the opening day roster is nil.Anyone on a PTO is not going to be able to beat his combination of size speed and strong shot.If you send hm down there’s a decent chance he demands a trade or doesn’t report and goes home.Is one year of an ageing declining player who wants one last shot worth it?Not at all.

    I agree, would rather develop from within. Slepy has a season plus some playoff experience and played well. If we find we are lacking we can always trade for one of those aging vets at the deadline.

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    Leonnor McDraivid:
    Why isn’t Thomas Vanek on a cheap one year deal getting more love? The Oilers need more depth on right wing and Vanek can score goals.

    Depth is good but Vanek was one of the most sheltered forwards in the NHL last year and I don’t think his one-dimensional nature fits with the team right now. Given we are at 50 contracts (48 with slide), I don’t think it makes sense to fill up a spot with Vanek severely limiting the ability to make in-season moves.

  33. blainer says:

    Bottom line here on the extra cap space.. IMO that is the way it will stand until Drai is signed. Offer sheets can still come.

    I do not see any more moves until his contract is put to bed.

    After it is done I still don’t think we see any moves until September and I also think Sleppy will be lights out this year.

    BoP, not sure if you heard but the coach has already said that Nuge is staying at center. I would like To see JP playing with two vets .. Maybe Nuge and Jussi ..if not play him with CMD.

    There will be a few different lineups during the season IMO. One for the road and one at home.. one for the teams that are skilled and fast and one for the teams that play a more physical game.

  34. godot10 says:

    russ99:
    Auvitu – Russell isn’t a bad idea. Fits with McLellan’s one mover/one defender template.

    But I think Russell – Benning could be even better, with Russell on his natural side and Benning our best young defender and a good puck mover.

    Russell with anyone but Sekera will be barely adequate to horrific.

  35. godot10 says:

    Leonnor McDraivid:
    Why isn’t Thomas Vanek on a cheap one year deal getting more love? The Oilers need more depth on right wing and Vanek can score goals.

    The Oilers already have too many wingers that they have to shelter. Vanek adds nothing. Lucic is going to play the power play. And Letestu has already shown that he can play the right shot shooter role on the power play (and they added Strome who will probably get a trial there also). Vanek doesn’t kill penalties. So in the context of the Oilers, he is a forward that has to be protected who can’t or is not needed to play special teams.

  36. russ99 says:

    godot10: Russell with anyone but Sekera will be barely adequate to horrific.

    Nice narrative.

    Sekera was worse in 2015-16 with Nurse and Fayne than he was with Russell.

  37. season not played says:

    I like this

    Nurse Larsson
    Klefbom Benning
    Russel Gryba

    until Sekera gets back.

  38. Bruce McCurdy says:

    My memory of that trade with the North Stars was it was #42 & 63 for Semenko along with 48 & 69 — technically a 2nd & a 3rd for a 3rd & a 4th but better viewed as two trade-downs by six spots each. As LT points out 42 was Broten & 48 was Messier but the Oilers also turned 69 into Glenn Anderson.

    Suffice to say that not all deals in the summer of ’79 wee very transparent, especially those built around the expansion draft &/or WHA teams recovering rights to their own players as happened with Semenko in this case. But if indeed the trade was as described above with the Oilers getting “just” the Messier pick from this trade, then how did eh independtly get the #69 from Minny?

    ___

    The Cujo & Grier for picks trade was effectively a deal for Shayne Corson, who the Blues had signed as a free agent with those two picks being the compensation. The teams then agreed to alternate compensation in the form of two players instead of those picks which reverted right back to St Louis. So the end result was Corson for Cujo and Grier, a deal I described at the time as a “three for zero trade — we got Cujo, we got Grier, & we got RID of Corson.”

    Arguably the best trade in the history of the Oilers. In a stroke, turned the page on the ugly years of the mid-90s for which Corson was the frigging poster boy, & acquired two key pieces of the Little Team That Could. Glen Sather’s finest hour.

  39. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    I’d always considered Carson, McClelland and a 5th for Klima, Murphy, Graves and Sharples as Slat’s finest hour, but you’re right, that 3 for zero is some damn fine horsetrading by the master.

  40. Bag of Pucks says:

    Jethro Tull: But Subban resigned with the Habs.He was traded for Shae Weber.So we bridge Drai, he signs the next deal and is traded for someone with less term, but arguably the same talent?Where is the problem with this?Subban never chose to leave MTL.

    The issue is in the player(s) you have to shed because of Leon’s higher cap hit after the bridge OR in losing the unicorn (i.e. big, skilled C) altogether. In a couple seasons, there’s not many F for F hockey trades you can make to get fair value back for Leon imo. Safer to just lock him up and enjoy the stellar 1/2 punch down the middle.

  41. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    season not played:
    I like this

    Nurse Larsson
    Klefbom Benning
    Russel Gryba

    until Sekera gets back.

    – Nurse is too high here IMO. Nurse on 1st pairing is fail big time

    – Suspect Russel, who is the vet, and also can play both sides, he gets at different times:

    Auvitu Russell
    Russell Gryba
    Paigin Russell
    Russell Fayne

    – This allows Klef Larsson to continue as 1st pair, and Nurse Benning as sometimes 3rd pair, or 2nd depending on the match-up, how they progress and how Russell/XXX matches up

    – 5 of 6 D are slotted properly, and you blame Russel for any messes

  42. leadfarmer says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Nurse is too high here IMO. Nurse on 1st pairing is fail big time

    – Suspect Russel, who is the vet, and also can play both sides, he gets at different times:

    Auvitu Russell
    Russell Gryba
    Paigin Russell
    Russell Fayne

    – This allows Klef Larsson to continue as 1st pair, and Nurse Benning as sometimes 3rd pair, or 2nd depending on the match-up, how they progress and how Russell/XXX matches up

    – 5 of 6 D are slotted properly, and you blame Russel for any messes

    Just pencil in Russell as second pair. That’s were he’s going to be. No need to argue with it, neither one of us has the ability to change it given how he was handled last year. And I don’t think moving him to his natural side is goin to bump him down either

  43. kgo says:

    Re: Benson

    I’m not sure how important a full WHL season is for his development. I think achieving full health and strength is paramount. Look at Klefbom’s development curve, he missed tons of development time immediately after his draft.

    Even if Benson sacrifices the first half and has a slow start as a result, I don’t think think hurts his chance of becoming an impact NHLer in his draft +5 season.

  44. Scungilli Slushy says:

    The decisions will come down to who executes the defensive plan. I can’t think of any NHL coach that makes decisions based on offense. Because only a handful of players can drive offense to a level their defensive play is secondary.

    Most one way players get outscored, and loose defensive play does not work in the playoffs, even if it wins some games reg season. This is why good point producing one dimensional forwards get moved more than lesser scoring but productive 2 way forwards.

    As far as D, if Klefbom has upped his D zone play, or keeps his year end level I could see him heading the second pair. But if he reverts at all he wouldn’t be a good partner for Benning and would likely stay under Larsson’s wing.

    I think the pairs will be based on defensive anchors as the coach sees them, paired with whomever is working the best with them at the time. If Benning struggles at all

    Klef Larsson
    Russell Gryba
    Nurse Benning

    or

    Russell Larsson
    Klef Gryba
    Nurse Benning

    I can’t see any less experienced D on the team without injury woes.

  45. stush18 says:

    Russel kills all offense. Opposing team and the oilers.

    I’d put him with our best puckmover until sekera is back

    Klefbom-Russell
    Nurse-Larsson
    Auvitu-Benning

    Now you might think Benning is too low, but every time we have a break out year by a dman (Schultz, marinicin, Davidson) we immediately begin slotting him on the next pairing.

    Let’s see if he can continue his results on the third before we elevate him.

    I really like the idea of Larsson mentoring nurse. He’s a good fit for his rambunctious style
    Imo.

    Russell isn’t a poor defender. He’s just a poor puckmover.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    season not played:
    I like this

    Nurse Larsson
    Klefbom Benning
    Russel Gryba

    until Sekera gets back.

    Could happen but likely not to start the season as Coach Todd has been express that he’d like to keep Larsson and Klef together so I think we’ll see them together to start the season. If the other two pairings (or one of them) is causing issues and its costing us games then he may have to break up the Swedes.

  47. Georges says:

    On Russell’s effect on offense and defense:

    Here’s Russell’s 5v5 GF60 and GA60 and ranking for the past 3 seasons among defensemen who’ve played 1000+ minutes in that particular season.

    GF60

    14-15 2.95 (7 out of 128)
    15-16 2.64 (14 out of 124)
    16-17 2.04 (90 out of 133)

    GA60

    14-15 2.31 (78 out of 128)
    15-16 2.90 (123 out of 124)
    16-17 1.69 (7 out of 133)

    So, we can clearly say that Russell…

  48. Melman says:

    I think opening night it’ll be

    The Swedes
    Russell- Benning
    Nurse- Gryba

    TMac is familiar with all and keeping the Swedes together gives him a reliable 1st pair. Nurse’s wheels on 3L help with Gryba’s skating and keeps him slotted in the right spot. Gryba’s been making sure everyone can see he’s working out like a demon this off season.

  49. Optimism is like heroin says:

    One thing i wonder about here is why everyone wants to throw Kassian on the 4th line. IMO there is a better player there that should play up the line up.

    Off ice issues aside
    scouting report is good
    ASSETS:
    Has tremendous size and strength, as well as the ability to dominate in the corners. Is aggressive, can fight and boasts some decent playmaking skills.
    FLAWS:
    Has had a lot of off-ice issues, which have hurt his chances of reaching his full potential as a power forward in the NHL. Takes bad penalties on occasion.(from hockey news)

    What do you want to start with? Let’s go 5×5 scoring. At 1.74 per 60, he trailed only the top line and Jordan Eberle in the measure. That’s exceptional production considering he wasn’t on a skill line this year.(lowetides RE)

    He has the skill and speed to play with talent as a complementary player. A line with Looch and Draistl could feasibly spend a lot of time cycling the puck and wearing down a defense. (Think drai would be the small skill forward on that line)

  50. Optimism is like heroin says:

    Georges,

    over a good sample size and no matter the corsi there is a .4 goals/60 difference when on the ice.

  51. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Optimism is like heroin:
    Georges,

    over a good sample size and no matter the corsi there is a .4 goals/60 difference when on the ice.

    Which is ok if it’s against top comp

  52. Woogie63 says:

    I was minding my own business fly fishing on the Bow River in Canmore yesterday , and Mark Messier, his son and a local guide float by, they stop for a little visit and moved along.

    Oddly he did not remember as well as I did, the night the Oilers’ showed up at Barry Ts with the Stanley Cup and Mark and I drank a beer out of the cup together …. weird

  53. GMB3 says:

    Woogie63:
    I was minding my own business fly fishing on the Bow River in Canmore yesterday , and Mark Messier, his son and a local guide float by, they stop for a little visit and moved along.

    Oddly he did not remember as well as I did, the night the Oilers’ showed up at Barry Ts with the Stanley Cup and Mark and I drank a beer out of the cup together …. weird

    Surprised he wasn’t busy on the phone trying to call Connor

  54. stush18 says:

    Optimism is like heroin:
    One thing i wonder about here is why everyone wants to throw Kassian on the 4th line.IMO there is a better player there that should play up the line up.

    Off ice issues aside
    scouting report is good
    ASSETS:
    Has tremendous size and strength, as well as the ability to dominate in the corners. Is aggressive, can fight and boasts some decent playmaking skills.
    FLAWS:
    Has had a lot of off-ice issues, which have hurt his chances of reaching his full potential as a power forward in the NHL. Takes bad penalties on occasion.(from hockey news)

    What do you want to start with? Let’s go 5×5 scoring. At 1.74 per 60, he trailed only the top line and Jordan Eberle in the measure. That’s exceptional production considering he wasn’t on a skill line this year.(lowetides RE)

    He has the skill and speed to play with talent as a complementary player.A line with Looch and Draistl could feasibly spend a lot of time cycling the puck and wearing down a defense.(Think drai would be the small skill forward on that line)

    This is a really good point. I think everyone saw a younger slepy play well in the playoffs there, and we’re all pulling for him.

    Kassian and nuge did not work out well at all. So he can’t really play the third.

    Anyone see how he did with mcdavid? He def has boots to match, I dunno if he fits that style with maroon playing crash the net.

    Maroon-mcdavid-kassian
    Lucic-drai-slepy
    Cags-nuge-strome
    JJ-letestu-Jokinen

    I think it comes down to everyone wanting to give slepy a shot in the top nine.

  55. Scungilli Slushy says:

    When I look at that pic of Connor I see is a young angry John Cleese in an Oiler jersey. Good, but weird st the same time.

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