TOYS IN THE ATTIC

So by 1975 I had walking around money that was my own. I could save like a demon (growing up in the middle of nowhere helped big time) and made four or five trips a year to Saskatoon to go album shopping. In about June of that year I bought Toys in the Attic by Aerosmith, a band from Boston. It was a good album, hard rock, melodic, lyrics were a little weird but that was fine. I subsequently bought their two previous albums (early albums are always the best, bands have better songs because they’ve been writing for a few years then use their best stuff right away) and those three LP’s are basically the best of Aerosmith. Dream On came from the band’s first album, as an example, it became a hit two years later. Happens all the time.

After Toys in the Attic, Aerosmith ran out of songs. Also happens all the time. The next album was not the equal of the previous three and soonafter the band joined up with Peter Frampton for Sgt Pepper the Movie and that’s all she wrote. By the early 1980’s they were singing pop songs written by others and I’m sure Joe Perry was bored senseless.  Anyway, you can’t credibly argue for Aerosmith now but those first three albums were good rock and roll.

NUGE AND HORC

The night Shawn Horcoff entered the NHL for the first time, the center depth chart above him included Doug Weight, Todd Marchant, Rem Murray and Domenic Pittis. The Oilers also had Mike Comrie and would soon trade for Sergei Zholtok. That’s a fine depth chart at pivot. By 2006 spring, Horcoff was running with Michael Peca, Jarrett Stoll and Marty Reasoner—another rock solid group.

Somewhere along the way, Edmonton stopped focusing on balance, depth and quality. By the time Ryan Nugent-Hopkins entered the NHL for the first time, the center depth chart included Shawn Horcoff, Sam Gagner and Eric Belanger. By his sophomore season Nuge was the top gun and Shawn Horcoff played 112 games as an Oiler while RNH was on the roster.

By this time next season, RNH will be gone. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will be the top two centermen and lordy that’s a helluva depth chart. This season is going to be spent on getting Nuge’s boxcars past 50, even though he has never been an impact 5×5 performer (1.95, 1.12, 1.50, 1.92, 1.36 and 1.45 last year). Now, on the power play, Nugent-Hopkins is a freak (or witch, as Tyler Dellow coined him) but I don’t think anyone is crazy enough to replace 97 on the top 5×4 unit.

So, and I do think we’re going to see it for a time, the Edmonton Oilers are about to talk themselves into moving RNH up to McDavid’s line in an effort to force feed the offense, while asking Leon Draisaitl to take on Everest in his third NHL season. It could work, we are talking about fantastic talents, but why would you do it after everyone has signed their big money contracts. Seems to be some confusion here, Orly. Why not run Nuge against the toughs, have Leon play mirror man with Ryan Strome, and try to win hockey games?

HORC 09-10 AND NUGE 16-17

  • I chose 09-10 for Horcoff because I had the numbers for this specific year. Horcoff was 30 and I know for a fact he was playing tough minutes (as Nuge did this past season).
  • The 5×5 offense is about even, and I think it fair to suggest RNH is not Leon Draisaitl’s equal offensively. On the other hand I don’t think Leon, at his age and experience, is Nuge’s equal as a complete center.
  • Nuge on the 5×4 is just really good, brilliant really. He could help a lot of teams in this area, but as luck would have it RNH plays on the same team as Zeus.
  • Horcoff was much better in the dot than his number from 2009-10 shows, Nuge has an issue in this area. I don’t believe it’s fatal.

Nuge playing with McDavid makes sense in that RNH is a more responsible player than Leon Draisaitl, and if 93 can spend all year with 97 my guess is Peter Chiarelli will fetch a crazy diamond in trade. It isn’t the way I would go, as keeping Nugent-Hopkins just makes all kinds of sense. I’m going to miss him when he’s gone.

POSSIBLE ROOKIE CAMP INVITES, VOL. 1

  • LC Grayson Pawlenchuk, Red Deer Rebels. Pawlenchuk is a good skater and plays a fairly complete game. I have spoken to scouts about him and he looks like a player (kind of like Tyler Pitlick) but the numbers have been lagging. Went 19, 4-5-9 last season in an injury-plagued campaign. I marked him for the 2016 draft but didn’t rank Pawlenchuk on my year-end WHL list. He wrote a blog for Guy Flaming’s Coming Down the Pipe and one edition is here.
  • RD Austin Strand, Seattle Thunderbirds. An interesting young player who has reasonable size (6.03, 190) and plays an aggressive and rugged style. Scored 74, 9-23-32 with Red Deer and Seattle a year ago, his handedness makes him an interesting prospect.

Lists from other NHL teams are dropping six at a time, suspect the Oilers will pass along the rookie list here in the next day or two. I think we will see players like these men in addition to Kailer Yamamoto and Ostap Safin.

SHANE DOAN RETIRED

Shane Doan could have been an Edmonton Oiler if not for Steve Kelly, and you know it’s true. Had the Oilers drafted Doan that fateful day 20+ years ago, perhaps the years after would have been written differently. Alas, it was not to be and Doan’s path took a different route. Sail on, Shane Doan, your rugged play and work on the edge of legal would have been adored in this town and is treasured by the desert people. Ain’t it funny how time slips away.

PROJECTED OPENING NIGHT

This is my RE in a box, had a couple of emails asking me where I thought Leon Draisaitl would play and wanted to go back and re-state it. I think LD plays 70 percent of his time with Connor McDavid, which flies in the face of new information (I believe, based on the sheer volume of rumors stating the identical verbal, that the organization will try RNH with 97). That said, Todd McLellan knows McDavid-to-Draisaitl works, expect 93 can play at a similar level with 97. There’s a difference.

I have Benning jumping up with Russell and Nurse playing with Gryba early, but also getting time with Mark Fayne and Dillon Simpson. I also have Laurent Brossoit playing 2-3 games a month, that may seem a little high. Edmonton should have enough wiggle room in the standings to give LB a full try this winter. Those are my opinions.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

I’m on at 9 this morning, will talk to Sarah McLellan from the Arizona Republic about Shane Doan and his retirement.  I’ll also chat with John Horn of TSN about the exciting start to the U.S. Open.

At 10 this morning, I’ll spend an hour with three very smart gentlemen: Tyler Hupka, Darcy McLeod and Bruce McCurdy. We’ll chat about expectations of the Oilers season, possible elevator shafts and I’ll ask each man to predict Edmonton’s finish and a few other projections. I love these round table discussions and am very pleased with this trio.

At 11:05 today the first appearance of Simon Boisvert, our prospect insider. Simon had Kailer Yamamoto ranked No. 24 and Ostap Safin No. 25 this year, we’ll chat about those players and what we might expect from them.

At 11:25 Guy Flaming will pop in and talk about some of the possible invites to Oilers camp, including the two men I’ve guessed about above. Dave Jamieson will pop by around 11:45 to chat and that’s the show! 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. My producer today is Tyler Yaremchuk, who will one day own the company. See you on the radio!

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53 Responses to "TOYS IN THE ATTIC"

  1. russ99 says:

    Looking forward to preseason games to see how Nuge has responded to Todd’s exit interview challenges.

    I also like the idea of running Leon and Strome together, it would make the 2nd line center transition easier on Leon with another center good at holding the puck in our zone, and then Lucic can get back to what he does best rather than out of breath skating a stide behind on the breakout.

    I hope Looch shows up in better shape this year too, would love to see a similar fitness transition as Maroon last year.

    To start camp I’d go with:

    Maroon – McDavid – Puljujarvi
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Strome
    Jokinen – RNH – Slepyshev
    Caggiula – Letestu – Kassian

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Russell – Benning
    Nurse – Gryba

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Great depth at center in 2006.

    What’s amazing is that its actually more high end right now.

    I would consider 1.95 very solid ES performance. I wonder if Nuge can get back there?

    If he does play on McDavid’s wing he likely will be able to.

    I’m a little remiss to move Nuge off center and I think the coach will be as well. I don’t think a coach goes from relying on a player to play C with 42% of his minutes against elites to moving him to the wing.

    With that said, I do think that maybe he will play some wing, if for no other reason than the organization will want/need to see how Strome performs at 3C and to see if we have a fix there medium term.

  3. JDî says:

    Sounds like a great lineup at 10. Will have to dig that one up later.

    You’ll be happy to hear that Aerosmith has been back in the studio.

    Dude looks like an octogenarian…

  4. JDî says:

    Peca was a beauty.

  5. BONE207 says:

    Great work again (as usual) LT.

    I thought Get A Grip was Aerosmith’s best album. Loved half of those songs and Amazing speaks for itself.

    Nuge has made…what…$30+ million? Could Nuge not buck the trend and sign his next contract here for $4 million and spend his prime years on a perennial Stanley Cup contender?

    Perhaps the cap reality will be players who’ll play for less (except the elite) just so they can stay on a contender and play with the elites for longer. Assuming they, of course, play for the love of the game.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    As far as stoaking Nuge’s ES offence, do you think he needs a push with 97 or could his ES offence spike a bit simply by not having to play 42% against elites and more evenly distributing those tough minutes?

  7. Jethro Tull says:

    JDî:
    Peca was a beauty.

    My wife had such a crush on Mr. Peca, *ahem*

  8. commonfan29 says:

    Had the Oilers drafted Doan and Ryan Smyth that fateful day 20+ years ago, perhaps the years after would have been written differently.

    That was two fateful days a year apart, right?

  9. BONE207 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    As far as stoaking Nuge’s ES offence, do you think he needs a push with 97 or could his ES offence spike a bit simply by not having to play 42% against elites and more evenly distributing those tough minutes?

    From what we’ve seen from TMac thus far, I’d say that he’s fairly stubborn and if he likes something, he’ll stick with it. However, with cap hell looming, he might spend more time play Yahtzee with his forwards to see what shakes out. I hope he experiments a little more throughout the season to find some chemistry. Now if Nuge would take a cut in pay, next year’s decisions would be easier.

  10. BONE207 says:

    Jethro Tull: My wife had such a crush on Mr. Peca, *ahem*

    I think Mr. Peca could grow a beard in one period. I believe him to be the hairiest hockey player I’ve seen. What does that say of your wife, Jethro?

  11. Bag of Pucks says:

    RE: Aerosmith running out of songs after Toys in the Attic.

    There’s a pretty good guitar player in town tonight who’d disagree.

    http://www.guitarworld.com/record-changed-my-life-slash-discusses-aerosmiths-rocks

    Toys had the bigger hits but back to front, Rocks is their best album imo and Last Child is quintessential Aerosmith.

    The musical serendipity is strong with this post today. Always considered Axl and Slash to be Tyler and Perry’s bastard stepchildren. +31 tonight. Show should be a scorcher.

  12. Bag of Pucks says:

    LT, did I miss a ‘Sail On’ post for Matt Hendricks?

    If no, is one planned?

  13. Bag of Pucks says:

    BONE207,

    Fun fact about ‘Amazing.’ Don Henley sings backup vocals on that track.

  14. russ99 says:

    BONE207,

    I see the Yahtzee more among the young wingers in order to see who deserves the RFA bump.

    McLellan will put RNH in a position where he knows what to expect. That could be first line if he’s adapting his game or third line if defense is more reliable than offense.

    The big disappointment McLellan had last season where he challenged veteran forwards who have been here a while to lead by example and most spit the bit, many of which are now gone.

    So in a way it’s up to the player.

  15. jake70 says:

    They weren’t the only ones but Aerosmith did manage to do well in early 90s with Get A Grip when the grunge express was rolling through at the time, didn’t hurt they were on SNL a lot and had that Silverstone girl in a couple of videos either.

  16. stush18 says:

    russ99,

    I honestly don’t think lucic has been out of shape in his life. He can’t make a maroon lifestyle change, because maroon had a 20 lb guy to lose. Lucic is solid muscle.

    I think it might be wise for him to cut down on some muscle, lose some weight, and up his overall speed. But that’s never been his game. I think the struggles we saw were a player on a new team with a new system.

    Also, I saw some photos from maroon, and the guy is looking shredded. Those people expecting a regress from him are going to be mistaken I’m thinking.

  17. pocession charge says:

    BONE207: I think Mr. Peca could grow a beard in one period. I believe him to be the hairiest hockey player I’ve seen.

    Then you’ve never seen Dave Babych. Guy could grow a back sweater that an ape would be jealous of.

  18. BONE207 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    BONE207,

    Fun fact about ‘Amazing.’ Don Henley sings backup vocals on that track.

    That is why it is one of my favorite Aerosmith songs. Someone who can actually sing is on it!!! The message it conveys is pretty special too.

  19. BONE207 says:

    pocession charge: Then you’ve never seen Dave Babych.Guy could grow a back sweater that an ape would be jealous of.

    I’ve never seen him in that light. Perhaps he’s a stunt double for King Kong?

  20. pocession charge says:

    Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On’ is a good song. IMO, the best recording of it is on the Last Action Hero soundtrack — Tyler’s voice sounded better as he aged.

  21. jtblack says:

    Great Post …. as usual …

    1st concert ever; Aerosmith 1991. Awesome!

    Smyth was 1994 draft. Doan 1995. someone was asking.

    “Nuge’s equal as a complete center.” …… – is Ryan nugent-hopkins considered a complete Center outside of the Edmonton Oilers fan base? This is a true question and I’m interested to hear some of the answers. I see a player with decent offensive production and good defensive awareness. I see a player who is not physical. I see a player who is terrible on faceoffs. I see a player who has the ability to play against the elites; but his possession stats against them do not bode well.(as per Woodguy).

    No matter what he is; I hope that this year he has a great year and is a part of the team all the way through for a Stanley Cup playoff run.

  22. 106 and 106 says:

    Nuge Faceoff % by year:

    2016-2017: 93rd (43.8%) – (McDavid – 96th, Leon – 68th)
    2015-2016: 91st (44.8%) – (Lander – 24th, Letestu – 41st)
    2014-2015: 87th (45.7%)

    They are not stellar FO%, but he is consistent!

  23. Bag of Pucks says:

    My take is RNH has been miscast as Jordan Staal (two way driver C) when he’s better cast as Thomas Vanek (complimentary winger)

    His PP dominance in junior speaks to his ability to play with skills and produce points in the right situations.

    But he’s not going to be a physical player and he’ll likely never be proficient on the dot.

    At $6mil per, he has to produce like a Top 6 F imo as the contract is too much of a luxury for a 3C who doesn’t dominate the toughs. Guy Carbonneau you could justify. RNH, no.

    I like his wheels, wrist shot, and puck sense. Put him alongside either Connor or Leon and let him rush and make plays in space, and see what he can produce.

  24. godot10 says:

    The rookie douchebag in Calgary got to play with two rock solid veterans in Backlund and Frolik in the middle of the roster last year.

    So why do people keep on putting Puljujarvi in places where he cannot succeed…i.e. with McDavid against the toughest opposition forwards and D, or with a couple of unproven forwards on the third line i.e. like Strom.

    Please, put Puljujarvi with two rock solid veterans in the middle of the roster, and just let him play.

    i.e. Jokinen, Nugent-Hopkins, Puljujarvi or something like that.

  25. jeetz says:

    Barring injuries, I see a 50/50 split with RNH and Draisaitl with McDavid. Probably RNH centering the 2nd line mostly at away games and Draisaitl getting the home ice line matches. RNH would likely have gotten more games with McDavid if Draisaitl signed a ‘show me’ bridge deal. Now the Oilers have to do what they can to keep Draisaitls stats up to save face with his monster contract.

    Still, I really liked the Lucic Draisaitl Slepyshev 2nd line. It was too much for the ducks to handle. Might keep both Draisaitl and lucic’s stats up.

    Also, I think Strome will be firmly planted as 3rd line center until we get him under contract, though
    Jokinen Strome Puljujarvi might be the best 3rd line we have had in a long while.

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10:
    The rookie douchebag in Calgary got to play with two rock solid veterans in Backlund and Frolik in the middle of the roster last year.

    So why do people keep on putting Puljujarvi in places where he cannot succeed…i.e. with McDavid against the toughest opposition forwards and D, or with a couple of unproven forwards on the third line i.e. like Strom.

    Please, put Puljujarvi with two rock solid veterans in the middle of the roster, and just let him play.

    i.e.Jokinen, Nugent-Hopkins, Puljujarvior something like that.

    That is a actually a line projected by many (potentially with Strome in the middle as opposed to Nuge depending on Nuge’s deployment).

  27. pocession charge says:

    godot10:
    The rookie douchebag in Calgary got to play with two rock solid veterans in Backlund and Frolik in the middle of the roster last year.

    So why do people keep on putting Puljujarvi in places where he cannot succeed…i.e. with McDavid against the toughest opposition forwards and D, or with a couple of unproven forwards on the third line i.e. like Strom.

    Please, put Puljujarvi with two rock solid veterans in the middle of the roster, and just let him play.

    i.e.Jokinen, Nugent-Hopkins, Puljujarvior something like that.

    I don’t think that you are giving Tkachuk enough credit for his performance. Begrudgingly, he was an impact rookie and that was not a direct result of his line mates. I’m sure they helped but you have to give credit where credit is due.

    As for Puljujarvi, if he cannot deliver playing up and down the lineup, then he isn’t ready for the NHL. I realize you are getting ready to blame TMc in advance for JP’s deployment but it is up to the player to perform regardless of line mates.

  28. season not played says:

    I’m not really sure why the expectation has ever been that RNH can put up 5X5 offence. He didn’t in junior and doesn’t in the NHL.

    In fact I remember calling Stauffer and telling him RNH needed to go back to junior to work on his even strength scoring but was informed RNH would help the Oilers win hockey games on the PP alone. So a failed Yakupov later that decision by the Oilers is still paying dividends.

    All roads to McDavid.

  29. leadfarmer says:

    If Drai is not ready to handle the second toughs than why did we just give him #1C money.
    Dont worry I think he is.
    As far as Nuge goes bumping his trade value as high as you can should be the game plan. People call him a 2 way center but hes not really that good at his own end or in the opposition end

  30. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: That is a actually a line projected by many (potentially with Strome in the middle as opposed to Nuge depending on Nuge’s deployment).

    But Strome is an unproven and marginal NHL’er trying to establish himself at this point, plus he is a right shot centre, and ideally one would want to play Puljujarvi with a left shot centre.

    Strome should be on right wing somewhere on this roster, or if he is playing centre, playing with a veteran like Lucic, rather than trying to establish himself and carrying what is basically still a rookie in Puljujarvi. Draisaitl and Strome as mirror men on this roster makes much more sense than Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins as mirro men.

    I’d weld Puljujarvi to Nugent-Hopkins, and make sure one of the vet LW’ers was always playing with them.

    We saw what Eakins and not providing Yakupov a rock solid veteran centre to play with ruined Yakupov. Krueger and Nelson gave Yakupov a stable spot and role. Eakins did not, and McLellan was basically disinterested in the player.

  31. digger50 says:

    I was interested to learn that Woodguy had Oilers defence ranked third, possibly second last in the Pacific.

    And although we love to discuss prospects there are few difference makers in the pipeline. I count Jessie as already on the team and Kailer having an outside chance.

    And we are ready to move Nuge and run with two 21 year old centers?

    I think the discussion should be how much we need Nuge right now and cannot afford to lose him. Particularly worried about loss of skill and replace with picks.

    We need Nuge front and center again playing his natural position. Give him good wingers, put Drai and Lucic on his wings and turn them lose. Maybe Nuge is mirror man 30% of the time to boost numbers but we need him at center.

    Back to my original thoughts; we have won nothing yet. We should get better through internal development but after that we don’t have many bullets left to spend. Thus if we don’t improve enough, where will the talent come from to get us over the top?

    Not intended as a doomsday post. Just a worry to ponder as I look back at the off season we have had.

  32. Melvis says:

    If Nuge was into cross dressing he’d look a lot like Liv Tyler.

  33. jimmers2 says:

    Melvis,

    Well, this made me laugh but then again you know that Arwen was hard matched against the Nazgul with hobbits as line mates. She didn’t wrack up offensive stats but saved the day with smarts and agility and finally ended up being the line mate of the new King…

  34. Justthestatsman says:

    BONE207: I’ve never seen him in that light. Perhaps he’s a stunt double for King Kong?

    On the Oilers front, Lee Fogolin was a pretty hairy dude and I expect Stan Weir was as well, just because he’s, well Stan Weir.

  35. oscarmike says:

    I think the decision to keep or trade will depend on how well Nuge plays vs how well Drake, Nurse, Benning, Puljujarvi and or Strome play. If Nuge comes out and plays with McDavid or on the 1st unit PP with McDavid where he can accumulate a lot of points, and lets say Drake doesn’t play that good, why then resign Drake. Maybe next year Oilers decide not to resign Drake or Maroon and put Nuge on McDavids LW. My point is if Nuge can play better than a $6million man the Oilers will find a way to keep him. There is also the injured factor to consider. If one or two of McDavid, Leon, Strome, Or Letestu get hurt it will be nice to have Nuge.

  36. digger50 says:

    While I’m on the dark posts today…….

    Let me ask. “Do you think Peter was hired by Edmonton to win the Stanley Cup?”

    I think he was not. I think he was hired to rebuild the organization into a solid franchise, to turn it around, to rebuild the brand, the pride, the new OEG. Perhaps that is more Nicholson job, but I see it lining up with Peters job description as well.
    And in this pursuit I give Peter full credit as he is doing a wonderful job.

    He has signed his leadership, he has his star players, lots of youth coming up, depth, turnover, working on the support teams ( AHL, WHL) Peter has not done this alone but wow, he has done well. All his moves have been aligned with this goal. We are almost there and Oil will be in good shape as an organization for years to come.

    Back to my question though, was he hired to win Stanley? I think not exactly. You might argue both goals are the same, go hand in hand. Mostly true.

    When I find myself critical of Peter it is because not all his moves align with pursuing Stanley. He could have went further, done more, shopped harder, bargained better, been more aggressive, squeezed more out of assets. It’s hard to win Stanley and sometimes you need to sacrifice.

    When it comes to sacrifice Peter has chosen to build the club over sacrifice for Stanley on several occasions. That’s why I feel he has done a fine job given his appointed task, but was not hired to winStanley as his first priority.

    Lucky we have Connor who has shown that winning the cup has just become number one priority.

  37. matt says:

    Chiarelli should avoid the Seguin/Hall/Eberle trade pattern of putting himself in a box, and then going to market where the market can take advantage of that box. He should identify folks in need of a powerplay 2C (Montreal?) and offer Nuge *opportunistically*. If the return offer sucks, he walks away. He should have been doing that from the moment that Leon started playing like a bona fide 2C (two years ago this Christmas), and has until the start of next season to pull it off, cap-wise. An Eberle-for-Strome type trade, with a 3C back, is always going to be out there. It’s Chiarelli’s job to do better than that.

  38. JustWatt says:

    digger50,

    I think I’m missing something, Chia was hired AFTER the Oilers won the McDavid lottery. Your last sentence kinda undercuts the rest of your argument.

  39. JustWatt says:

    I wonder if we see a difference in home/road deployment of Nuge/Leon at 2C. It’s got to be easier to run Leon at 2C at home with last change, could be a nice way to wade him into the job. Then let Nuge tough out the toughs on the road and load up the top line with 97/29 and dare the other team to shut them down.

  40. McNuge93 says:

    digger50:
    While I’m on the dark posts today…….

    Let me ask. “Do you think Peter was hired by Edmonton to win the Stanley Cup?”

    I think he was not. I think he was hired to rebuild the organization into a solid franchise, to turn it around, to rebuild the brand, the pride, the new OEG. Perhaps that is more Nicholson job, but I see it lining up with Peters job description as well.
    And in this pursuit I give Peter full credit as he is doing a wonderful job.

    He has signed his leadership, he has his star players, lots of youth coming up, depth, turnover, working on the support teams ( AHL, WHL) Peter has not done this alone but wow, he has done well. All his moves have been aligned with this goal. We are almost there and Oil will be in good shape as an organization for years to come.

    Back to my question though, was he hired to win Stanley? I think not exactly. You might argue both goals are the same, go hand in hand. Mostly true.

    When I find myself critical of Peter it is because not all his moves align with pursuing Stanley. He could have went further, done more, shopped harder, bargained better, been more aggressive, squeezed more out of assets. It’s hard to win Stanley and sometimes you need to sacrifice.

    When it comes to sacrifice Peter has chosen to build the club over sacrifice for Stanley on several occasions. That’s why I feel he has done a fine job given his appointed task, but was not hired to winStanley as his first priority.

    Lucky we have Connor who has shown that winning the cup has just become number one priority.

    Well I think winning the cup is one of the objectives, of course. And yes, he was hired to turn around the team and turn it into a solid franchise and regain respect around the league and by its fans. I think also a big factor was all the rumors (out of Toronto) that McDavid was unhappy being drafted by the Oilers and maybe wouldn’t sign with us. I think that was the ultimate catalyst to clean out management and put a credible (actually credible +) GM and coach in place.

  41. Professor Q says:

    Oops, posted this on the wrong post, sorry.

    I know you believe Puljujärvi is almost a lock for the Top-9 for this season, but why wouldn’t he also participate in the Rookie Torunament to freshen up etc. due to injury loss last year?

    I know it could take it away from Yamamoto and camp invitees from whom Edmonton might get some prospects but they could make it work.

    I also think more Bakersfield time would be good for him yet alas I guess beggars can’t always be choosers…

  42. pocession charge says:

    matt:
    Chiarelli should avoid the Seguin/Hall/Eberle trade pattern of putting himself in a box, and then going to market where the market can take advantage of that box.He should identify folks in need of a powerplay 2C (Montreal?) and offer Nuge *opportunistically*.If the return offer sucks, he walks away.He should have been doing that from the moment that Leon started playing like a bona fide 2C (two years ago this Christmas), and has until the start of next season to pull it off, cap-wise.An Eberle-for-Strome type trade, with a 3C back, is always going to be out there.It’s Chiarelli’s job to do better than that.

    Do you mean MacT put Chiarelli in a box by trading Petry for nothing? And Eberle sunk his value with his playoff performance. The other GM’s aren’t dumb. Market value is what it is.

  43. Melvis says:

    jimmers2,

    And here I thought I was a cultural voyeur/producer;-)

  44. anjinsan says:

    1975, eh? Toys in the Attic. Yes, indeed, LT, we’re contemporaries.

    Regarding Aerosmith being done after that, yes. Very few groups or individuals have a second stage of growth in em. The Beatles did, but no one else in rock comes to mind. In literary circles it is said that he spend all your life writing that one great book or you write the same book over and over.

    Back to things Oilers — while you worry about Puljujarvi’s offense, I worry about what happen$ when Puljujarvi establishes himself as a better player than Hall, the same or more offense and solid D with a physical game. I also worry about losing Nurse when he reaches his potential.

    In short order, Mr. Chiarelli, in over-paying/terming for Lucic and Draisaitl, Sekera and Russell, Reinhart and Larsson, and not recognizing what he had in Schultz and making it right, has really cast/cemented a rather constraining die for the team going forward. With what he’s done, going forward, changes to the Oiler team will be tinkering on the margins.

  45. stush18 says:

    JustWatt:
    I wonder if we see a difference in home/road deployment of Nuge/Leon at 2C. It’s got to be easier to run Leon at 2C at home with last change, could be a nice way to wade him into the job. Then let Nuge tough out the toughs on the road and load up the top line with 97/29 and dare the other team to shut them down.

    I think that’s a good idea. On the road

    Maroon-mcdavid-drai
    Lucic-nuge-jokinen
    Cags-strome-JP
    Slepy-letestu-kass

    And at home

    Maroon-mcdavid-strome
    Lucic-drai-slepy
    Jokinen-nuge-JP
    Cags-letestu-kass

  46. Lowetide says:

    Professor Q:
    Oops, posted this on the wrong post, sorry.

    I know you believe Puljujärvi is almost a lock for the Top-9 for this season, but why wouldn’t he also participate in the Rookie Torunament to freshen up etc. due to injury loss last year?

    I know it could take it away from Yamamoto and camp invitees from whom Edmonton might get some prospects but they could make it work.

    I also think more Bakersfield time would be good for him yet alas I guess beggars can’t always be choosers…

    O sure, I’ve mentioned a few times JP could be invited. I’d love to see him back.

  47. anjinsan says:

    digger50,

    Very well said. Excellent overall picture. Salvage the franchise; make good on the new stadium. Thanks be to McDavid.

    As a fan of the great Oiler teams and thus loving truly great hockey, I wish he Chiarelli had aimed to build a team that would have dominated for years, and he could have, but didn’t.

  48. JustWatt says:

    stush18: I think that’s a good idea. On the road

    Maroon-mcdavid-drai
    Lucic-nuge-jokinen
    Cags-strome-JP
    Slepy-letestu-kass

    And at home

    Maroon-mcdavid-strome
    Lucic-drai-slepy
    Jokinen-nuge-JP
    Cags-letestu-kass

    I like at home:

    Maroon – McDavid – RNH
    Lucic – Drai – Slepyshev
    Jokinen – Strome – PJ
    Cags – Letestu – Kass

    On the road:

    Maroon – McDavid – Leon
    Lucic – RNH – Slepyshev
    Jokinen – Strome – PJ
    Khaira – Letestu – Kass

    So pretty similar really. This lineup reflects LT’s current idea that RNH-Leon will be mirror men to start instead of Leon-Strome.

  49. jake70 says:

    Chiarelli doesn’t have an important tool at his disposal, the back-diving contract enjoyed by some (most?/all?) cup winners since 2006. We’ll see.

  50. russ99 says:

    JustWatt: I like at home:

    Maroon – McDavid – RNH
    Lucic – Drai – Slepyshev
    Jokinen – Strome – PJ
    Cags – Letestu – Kass

    On the road:

    Maroon – McDavid – Leon
    Lucic – RNH – Slepyshev
    Jokinen – Strome – PJ
    Khaira – Letestu – Kass

    So pretty similar really. This lineup reflects LT’s current idea that RNH-Leon will be mirror men to start instead of Leon-Strome.

    Strome is not a defensive center, it’s one of his weak points. McLellan isn’t going to trust him with tougher minutes without some shelter, or a good defensive winger with skates to be the first forward back. And as we saw the last two years, he doesn’t believe in using a soft minutes line, every line needs to handle a specific load.

    That’s why I think it’s either first line for Nuge for offense or third line for defense between Jokinen and a cycle RW like Slepyshev or Kassian.

  51. digger50 says:

    JustWatt:
    digger50,

    I think I’m missing something, Chia was hired AFTER the Oilers won the McDavid lottery. Your last sentence kinda undercuts the rest of your argument.

    I’m saying Connor has changed the timeline.

    Peters moves have to catch up to Connor, who is playing to win now.

    Get him what he needs Peter and he will bring back the up.

  52. Lowetide says:

    digger50: I’m saying Connor has changed the timeline.

    Peters moves have to catch up to Connor, who is playing to win now.

    Get him what he needs Peter and he will bring back the up.

    McDavid changed everything. Oilers are in a window to win the Stanley now, they were in a window to win a lottery before. That’s as big an impact as any one individual could have.

  53. NativeNotFrench says:

    Lowetide: McDavid changed everything. Oilers are in a window to win the Stanley now, they were in a window to win a lottery before. That’s as big an impact as any one individual could have.

    It still doesn’t feel real that we get to cheer for that Phenom for the next 9 years, hopefully more! You said on a post last year that Connor gives everyone a reason to wait for a stoppage in play to run to the bathoom and my wife commented the same thing to me during the playoffs. Must Watch TV

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