FINDING DAYLIGHT

The Edmonton Oilers reached free agency with cash in hand and some clear needs. July 1 this year began in a curious fashion, Ryan Rishaug breaking the news with the first signing of Ty Rattie a little after 11am. That announcement was followed by six more, none of them for more than $1 million. It was the most curious day of July 1 free agency in memory, offering fans an unusual group of unproven free agents to ponder. From the point of view of Ty Rattie? Signing in Edmonton made a lot of sense.

  • Ty Rattie: “Opportunity was a big thing I looked at this offseason. I made the Blues out of camp last year, but only played four games over four months. The opportunity may be there (with Edmonton) and I want to take full advantage of it.”  Source

Why did he sign in Edmonton? Daylight. Rattie was no doubt aware of the Jordan Eberle trade June 22 and the depth chart is out there for all the world to see. Assuming one of Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Ryan Strome will occupy the 1R slot, and Zack Kassian another position on the depth chart, there are two regular spots plus an extra for opening night. Adding to the intrigue is the presence of Iiro Pakarinen, who is well suited to an extra job but perhaps a little shy of contending for a feature role. That leaves two terrific opportunities open for competition.

THE COMPETITION (VIA NHLE)

  • These numbers are NHL equivalencies, expressing goals.
  • These are the major players (in my opinion) for the 2R role, and I would include Zack Kassian as a possibility for the third line.
  • Rattie was a fantastic junior, adjusted well to the AHL (scored a ton at 20) and has been pushing for NHL time for four years now. The Oilers were a fantastic spot for Rattie to land, good on his agent and good for the player. I’ll also give some credit to Peter Chiarelli, when you’re looking for an inexpensive scoring winger, Ty Rattie’s a damned good choice.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi was 18 in the AHL and he could spike and put this all to rest. I think he’s going to be a solid NHL player but the goal-scoring required for 2R may not appear this season.
  • Drake Caggiula has a chance, and we should remember the young man has some chem with Connor McDavid.

There are other options, including the veteran Jussi Jokinen and the previously mentioned Iiro Pakarinen. Ty Rattie chose well, because there are as many as two job openings here and that’s with everyone healthy. His time is now and the way is clear.

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21 Responses to "FINDING DAYLIGHT"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m not sure if the organization will do it, but Rattie could be decent cover early in the season as a scoring option if they want to send Puljijarvi to Bakersfield.

    At the end of the day, I think that Rattie is fighting with Parkarinen for the last forward spot (I guess you could throw JJ in there but I believe he is ahead of the other two, even with Pak being eligible for waiver).

    If they keep 14, Rattie is likely on the team out of camp.

    He should play some games this year and he may surprise and put up some boxcars, the man does have some skill.

  2. Westchester Oil says:

    I’ve been following Rattie for a few years and I agree he has got some upside with his scoring ability. That said, he had a sharp drop-off in production last year – any idea why?

  3. Lowetide says:

    Westchester Oil:
    I’ve been following Rattie for a few years and I agree he has got some upside with his scoring ability. That said, he had a sharp drop-off in production last year – any idea why?

    He didn’t get used a lot, NHL and AHL. Picked up on waivers and then didn’t play much. Prospects Stats.com estimated he played fewer than 10 minutes a night with the Wolves.

    http://prospect-stats.com/AHL/2016/forwards/?state_selected=5v5

    A look at the roster suggests theteam wasnt loaded, so who knows?

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0026742017.html

  4. flyfish1168 says:

    A good start to the season is to important and against same division opponents. This is why i feel we need to keep Leon with Connor to start and build some breathing room early. We can experiment if the game is won or we are good in the standing. JMHO

  5. stush18 says:

    I’m honestly not convinced JP is going to make the team out of camp. I can see him more as a Christmas callup

    Rattie will surprise. He played in a good organization for years. Hitchcock made some strange decisions when he was their, coaches all develop favourites.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    A good start is extremely important. The Oilers have a fairly “comfortable” schedule to start the year and, if they don’t take advantage of it, it could lead to them fighting for a wild card spot.

    With that said, you post basically implies that McDavid together with Draisaitl gives them the best chance to win hockey games. That may be true and, if that is the case, they need to play together simply because it gives the team the best chance to win hockey games.

    Yes, we need Leon to play 2C at some point. Yes, we need to see if Strome can handle 3C duty. These things are true but, notwithstanding the foregoing, Coach Todd needs to deploy his bench in the way that gives his team the best chance to win the game, each and every night – irrespective of contracts, future contracts, etc.

  7. stevebergeron97 says:

    Yamamoto 1 G 1 A & +2 tonight vs Seattle 👍

  8. Lowetide says:

    stevebergeron97:
    Yamamoto 1 G 1 A & +2tonight vs Seattle 👍

    A nice start for him, 2gp, 2-2-4 and all at evens
    http://whl.ca/stats/team_players/261/215

  9. Georges says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    A good start is extremely important.The Oilers have a fairly “comfortable” schedule to start the year and, if they don’t take advantage of it, it could lead to them fighting for a wild card spot.

    With that said, you post basically implies that McDavid together with Draisaitl gives them the best chance to win hockey games. That may be true and, if that is the case, they need to play together simply because it gives the team the best chance to win hockey games.

    Yes, we need Leon to play 2C at some point.Yes, we need to see if Strome can handle 3C duty. These things are true but, notwithstanding the foregoing, Coach Todd needs to deploy his bench in the way that gives his team the best chance to win the game, each and every night – irrespective of contracts, future contracts, etc.

    “… notwithstanding the foregoing…” Masterful work, especially the middle paragraph.

    I think Coach Todd is coaching the most talented team in the Pacific. If he leads that team to a fight for the wild card spot, i.e., finishing behind 3(!) other teams in the division, his bench better have a lot of unfamiliar faces playing an unexpectedly high number of games.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m a corporate lawyer, I can’t help it.

  11. OmJo says:

    stevebergeron97:
    Yamamoto 1 G 1 A & +2tonight vs Seattle 👍

    Lowetide: A nice start for him, 2gp, 2-2-4 and all at evens
    http://whl.ca/stats/team_players/261/215

    He’s going to dominate in Spokane this year 😇

  12. Georges says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Yes, I remember you saying that. Just admiring.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo:
    He’s going to dominate in Spokane this year

    and in BUF over the holidays.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Georges:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Yes, I remember you saying that. Just admiring.

    I’m honestly note sure if you are being facetious or not.

  15. Bank Shot says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    Yes, we need Leon to play 2C at some point.Yes, we need to see if Strome can handle 3C duty. These things are true but, notwithstanding the foregoing, Coach Todd needs to deploy his bench in the way that gives his team the best chance to win the game, each and every night – irrespective of contracts, future contracts, etc.

    Do we ever need Draisaitl to play 2C?

    When the Red Wings won their last cup in 07-08 Zetterberg played pretty much exclusively with Datsyuk.

    Having a guy that can carry the second line helps, but there is precedent that it’s not necessary.

  16. LeonorMcdraivid says:

    I think too, that it’s not necessary,but the possibilty To do it makes the Team more unpredictable.
    It brings a kind oft depth on RW and C.

    Ty Rattie is a good Addition and a player with a good age,who can surprise next season.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bank Shot: Do we ever need Draisaitl to play 2C?

    When the Red Wings won their last cup in 07-08 Zetterberg played pretty much exclusively with Datsyuk.

    Having a guy that can carry the second line helps, but there is precedent that it’s not necessary.

    I think that we are a better team and a tougher team to play against with Drai at 2C but, if that’s not the case and Drai at 1RW gives this team the best chance to win, so be it.

    I don’t agree that, because of contract, Drai must drive his own line.

    Coach has a 23 man roster under the cap – he needs to deploy the roster in the manner that gives the team the best chance to win the game that night.

  18. godot10 says:

    Do we need Draisaitl to play centre? To get out of the division, we have to best Anaheim (Getzlaf), LA (Kopitar/Carter), and San Jose (Couture, Pavelski/Thornton). In the regular season, perhaps not. But in the playoffs, where matchups become everything…

  19. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    Do we need Draisaitl to play centre?To get out of the division, we have to best Anaheim (Getzlaf), LA (Kopitar/Carter), and San Jose (Couture, Pavelski/Thornton).In the regular season, perhaps not.But in the playoffs, where matchups become everything…

    A lot of this was about finding out about Leon before the big contract, as in “before he gets paid let’s make sure he can drive a line and push a river” but that ship has sailed. Todd McLellan is a veteran NHL coach, he likes two centers on the same line. Perhaps it’s Leon, perhaps it’s Nuge (playing with 97). We all have our own opinions but the fever was broken with the contract. The point is moot.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10:
    Do we need Draisaitl to play centre?To get out of the division, we have to best Anaheim (Getzlaf), LA (Kopitar/Carter), and San Jose (Couture, Pavelski/Thornton).In the regular season, perhaps not.But in the playoffs, where matchups become everything…

    I don’t think the answer to this question is necessarily, yes.

    The question is, what is the best way to deploy the bench on the ice in order to give the team the best chance to win the game that night?

    Is that a different deployment against ANA as it is against Nashville?

    Can we beat Nashville with Drai as 1RW but need Drai as 2C to beat ANA?

    I’m not sure the answer to those questions are yes. I’m not sure the answer to those questions are no.

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