GOD’S FLASHLIGHT

Connor McDavid broke reasonable. Reasonable left town this morning, having lost its mind. It happened somewhere between midnight and the first rays of dawn. This blog pursues reasonable as a way to make sense of it all, Connor McDavid smashes the glass ceiling and sails away to a new shore. Reasonable expectations seemed like a pretty clear goal until 97 came along. Pull back the bias, the performances in short tournaments, the huge moments (good or bad) that might sway the view. We should be able to agree that reasonable expectations are right in the middle, halfway between “he’s been in a car accident” and “that’s Anton Slepyshev with his 30th goal of the season.”

On my trip to reasonable, there are logical and sound steps. I take a three year average, account for age, injury and opportunity within the realm of normal human existence, throw in NHL equivalencies where needed, then stare at the number for a time to see if it makes sense. I found reasonable this summer, wrote it all down. You know what I got for my trouble? A nagging voice in the back of my mind saying “what if Anton Slepyshev wins the McDavid prize, plays all year with him and scores 30?” and that’s the moment when I officially went half bubble off plumb. The answer my friends is blowing in the wind. Connor McDavid broke reasonable.

5X5 60 2016-17 AMONG PROJECTED OILERS FORWARDS

  • Connor McDavid made everyone better, but the Oilers don’t play as well with him off the ice. Logic and reason dictate the club might want to put the best available roster out there with him to push the results even higher. Right?
  • What if the Oilers could find the equvialent of Conor Seary, Jake Guentzel, Brian Rust. You know, inexpensive but skilled linemates for their best player? Two Patrick Maroons?
  • What would that look like?
  • Ryan Strome. Where does he fit?

CONNOR MCDAVID WITH

  • 720 minutes with Patrick Maroon. 58.2 Dangerous Fenwick, 44-28 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
  • 84 minutes with Jesse Puljujarvi. 58.8 Dangerous Fenwick, 8-3 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
  • 67 minutes with Drake Caggiula. 52.2 Dangerous Fenwick, 6-3 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
  • 38 minutes with Zack Kassian. 49.3 Dangerous Fenwick, 3-2 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
  • 21 minutes with Anton Slepyshev. 51.6 Dangerous Fenwick, 2-1 GF-GA. Puck IQ.

Those Patrick Maroon numbers are exceptional, peak McDavid right there. I’m not fond of running Jesse Puljujarvi year two with 97 (he’s 19), so that leaves someone like Caggiula or Slepyshev. Remember, our goal is to have Leon, Nuge, McDavid for the other two lines. Strome on RW gives McDavid a different look and two centers who can take strong side faceoffs. Thoughts?

NUGE WITH

  • 423 minutes with Milan Lucic. 47.1 Dangerous Fenwick, 15-16 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
  • 217 minutes with Zack Kassian. 46.6 Dangerous Fenwick, 7-11 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
  • 83 minutes with Leon Draisaitl. 40.8 Dangerous Fenwick, 4-2 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
  • 60 minutes with Drake Caggiula. 42.5 Dangerous Fenwick, 3-6 GF-GA. Puck IQ.

I always like Nuge with veterans, maybe Lucic and Kassian or Lucic with Jussi Jokinen? Todd McLellan likes pairs, maybe that’s it: Nuge at center, Jokinen on LW, leaving Lucic for Draisaitl on another line. Nuge’s DFF looks bad because he didn’t play with McDavid, faced the toughest minutes on the team and didn’t piss a drop offensively. Hard to be underrated at $6 million a year, but many in the fan base have already moved on. Mistake.

LEON WITH

  • 208 minutes with Milan Lucic. 50.3 Dangerous Fenwick, 8-10 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
  • 110 minutes with Anton Slepyshev. 48.0 Dangerous Fenwick, 6-2 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
  • 107 minutes with Jesse Puljujarvi. 45.3 Dangerous Fenwick, 3-1 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
  • 70 minutes with Drake Caggiula. 49.0 Dangerous Fenwick, 8-3 GF-GA. Puck IQ.

Leon with Lucic seems preordained, Slepyshev seems to be placed with them most often as well. What about Strome with Lucic and Leon? I didn’t run Kassian, he is faster than before and maybe he can wheel with this trio. What do you think?

POSSIBLE PAIRS (FORWARDS)

  • Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavidAnton Slepyshev
  • Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Ryan Strome
  • Jussi Jokinen—Ryan Nugent-HopkinsJesse Puljujarvi

If the Oilers can find two complementary wingers making less than $2 million a year to play successfully with Connor McDavid, we’re looking at a substantial group who can play on the second and third lines. There are four RW options who fit (Slepyshev, Strome, Puljujarvi, Caggiula) and I can’t reasonably put one ahead of the other in terms of odds.

MOST LIKELY PAIRS

  • Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  • Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Anton Slepyshev
  • Jussi Jokinen—Ryan Strome—Jesse Puljujarvi

I’m assuming Drake Caggiula plays with Mark Letestu and Zack Kassian, but Slepyshev has no real hold on a major job nor does Jesse Puljujarvi. They’re all “in the mix” and we’ll see come training camp.

ANDREAS ATHANASIOU

It makes no sense for the Detroit Red Wings to be squeezing a fast train who scored 18 goals in 64 games while playing 13:27 a night, but we are here. Unlike other areas  of NHL negotiations, this sounds like Detroit is looking for an actual lowball signing because of team cap issues. That’s an opportunity. I’d love to see it happen.

ROOKIE ROSTER

My guess is that we see the rookie roster in the next 30 hours and that Jesse Puljujarvi may or may not be on it. Whenever they hit, I’ll have a post on it almost immediately with a follow up at 5pm today or tomorrow. I’m very interested in seeing the invite names.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning as we all get back to work, 10 this morning TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, Oilers Nation. Jon has some big announcement to make this morning, it might be they have electricity in his town. We’ll talk rookie camp and Slepyshev’s chances of playing on a feature line.
  • Don Landry, CFL.ca. The Labor Day Weekend slate of games was insane.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. CFL Power Rankings, how many points for McDavid, hurry up hockey!

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

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51 Responses to "GOD’S FLASHLIGHT"

  1. TO10801 says:

    I hope JP isn’t in Penticton. He should be preparing strictly for training camp. He dominated rookie camp last year, no need to send him there again.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    This statement right here is a key going forward:

    “What if the Oilers could find the equvialent of Conor Seary, Jake Guentzel, Brian Rust. You know, inexpensive but skilled linemates for their best player? Two Patrick Maroons?”.

    Our cap structure is what it is – and what it is is a structure that does not allow us to have high priced wingers (Lucic aside).

    We are going to need to find value contracts that produce on the top two lines and outperform their cap hits. I don’t really see any way around it.

    The great thing is, we have Connor McDavid, he is a player where a “pedestrian” winger with talent can be placed along side him and produce at top 6 levels. At least I project as such.

    It may not be this year and, even if it is this year it may not be every game, however, I think it makes sense to have Drai play 2C in the long term to allow a more “pedestrian” player get a McDavid push.

    Leon will be able to perform with out McDavid,

    Although we will see Leon at 1RW plenty this year, it will be interesting to see if Slep or Strome or Drake or JP can put up significant numbers alongside 97.

  3. Jethro Tull says:

    I posted a few days ago about how it’s increasingly looking like it was winning their version of the lottery (Datsyuk and Zetterberg) that made the Detroit model look good. Also having Lidstrom and co would make anyone look good. I put the split at 50% blind luck and 50% astute scouting and asset management. This current situation may mean i have to revise this split. I wonder if they offered Athanasiou a ‘challenge’ contract…..

  4. russ99 says:

    I still think Connor’s optimal winger is not yet with the club.

    One of the management/coaching staff’s biggest jobs this year is to get a read on all the RFAs and see if they’re worth investing in and having as part of the cup run team.

    I suspect that all the RFA forwards will get a shot with Connor, especially considering that this may be our last season with Maroon and RNH.

    They should also see considerable time without Connor so that those decisions can be made with a full season’s worth of information.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    JPs numbers with McDavid are very intriguing every time I see them – such a small sample size, bordering on needing to be disregarded.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    russ99:
    I still think Connor’s optimal winger is not yet with the club.

    One of the management/coaching staff’s biggest jobs this year is to get a read on all the RFAs and see if they’re worth investing in and having as part of the cup run team.

    I suspect that all the RFA forwards will get a shot with Connor, especially considering that this may be our last season with Maroon and RNH.

    They should also see considerable time without Connor so that those decisions can be made with a full season’s worth of information.

    Yes, I can see your point re: seeing how each of the young soon to be RFA forwards play with McDavid.

    At the same time, the goal each and every night is not to evaluate any individual player but to win the hockey game and, each and every night, Coach Todd needs to deploy his bench in a way that he believes gives the team the best chance to win the hockey game.

    Last year, for the most part, he clearly thought that was running Leon at 1RW and it led to incomplete information with respect to Leon’s ability as a full-time 2C – that was an issue this summer but there should be no regrets. Winning hockey games is paramount on each game night!

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Anton Slepyshev
    Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Ryan Strome
    Jussi Jokinen—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Jesse Puljujarvi

    I think that third line, which we’ve seen alot, makes ALOT of sense.

    So much verbal re: Nuge moving to wing but none of that has been from inside the organization (including Stauffer’s suggestion). I always default to the coach trusting Nuge to play 42% of his ES minutes at C against elites in the regular season. I can’t see him simply losing that center.

    On the other hand, Chiarelli was express that he sees Strome as a center and, if I’m not mistaken, Capuano had placed Strome on the wing and it wasn’t until Weight put him back at center that he started to regain some of his offensive prowess.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jonathan Willis, Oilers Nation. Jon has some big announcement to make this morning,

    I think Jon has stopped writing at ON and is taking on a different role at the Nation Network.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dreger has been reporting that Athansious is in serious talks with the KHL and indications is he will be heading to Russia.

  10. jake70 says:

    To me, one key is to find inexpensive wingers for 97 with the right contract circumstances that can keep them relatively inexpensive for a while.

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yup – its going to be sad to let him go but it looks like Hattrick Maroon is simply going to price himself out of our cap structure.

    I’m confident his offence on the top line can be replaced internally – the intangibles (and other tangibles) he brings, will not be so easily replaced (skilled size, “play for your teamates” mentality, part of the “swagger” and new identity, etc.).

  12. OF17 says:

    Lucic-Draisaitl-Kassian would be a helluva line. Board domination with enough skill and speed to take advantage of the turnovers. It would give a totally different look from the McDavid line, and few teams are built to beat both styles.

    Leaves the 4th line a little exposed with Letestu carrying two youngsters, but I trust Caggiula and Slepyshev to handle 4th line minutes.

    The defense causes a lot of us to worry, but now that Bonino is in Nashville, we might have the best forward group in the league.

  13. Lowetide says:

    OF17:
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Kassian would be a helluva line. Board domination with enough skill and speed to take advantage of the turnovers. It would give a totally different look from the McDavid line, and few teams are built to beat both styles.

    Leaves the 4th line a little exposed with Letestu carrying two youngsters, but I trust Caggiula and Slepyshev to handle 4th line minutes.

    The defense causes a lot of us to worry, but now that Bonino is in Nashville, we might have the best forward group in the league.

    The interesting thing about Kassian is that extra gear. He isn’t plodding, has clearly lost weight and is in the best shape of his career. I went back and looked at games, he can skate very well. Can he cash some of those passes?

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    OF17: s

    Alot of verbal about the Oilers having the best forward group in the league (or among the best), however, for me, I would have to add a qualifier so that its the potential to have one of the best forward groups in the league.

    There are quite a few players that will likely be asked to play material roles and help with the scoring that have not proven to be able to do that at the NHL level (Slep, Drake, JP, even Strome). If one or two of these young forwards progress and contribute offensively then, yes, it should be a top-end forward group but its unproven in that regard.

  15. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: The interesting thing about Kassian is that extra gear. He isn’t plodding, has clearly lost weight and is in the best shape of his career. I went back and looked at games, he can skate very well. Can he cash some of those passes?

    Zack has the skill to be a 20 goal scorer, of that I have no doubt – I think his production will be largely opportunity based.

    I still love his effectiveness as an aggressive, energy-provider, turnover-creator and PKer in the bottom 6 – he is valuable in that role and its an important role.

  16. JDî says:

    Darren Dreger‏Verified account @DarrenDreger

    Still a sizable gap in contract talks between the Flames and Sam Bennett. Possibility Bennett heads overseas until a deal in Calgary is done
    6:26 AM – 5 Sep 2017

    This puzzles and amuses me to no end.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yup, saw that Dreger tweet earlier. Made me smile as well.

    I think Bennett will bend before Treliving.

    I can’t see how they aren’t coming to deal on a 2 year deal at $2.5M/year (give or take).

    Is Treliving low-balling him or is Bennett being ridiculous?

  18. Brantford Boy says:

    OF17,

    I have mentioned this line up before, and would love to see it… I feel Kassian is essentially our Swiss army knife and can play on pretty much any line at all (is he a Pisani?)… I agree with LT’s assessment that he is built for the bottom 6, but he has played with skill in the past for sure… whatever they do, just make sure he plays opposite #9 when we play NJ this year!

  19. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Yup, saw that Dreger tweet earlier.Made me smile as well.

    I think Bennett will bend before Treliving.

    I can’t see how they aren’t coming to deal on a 2 year deal at $2.5M/year (give or take).

    Is Treliving low-balling him or is Bennett being ridiculous?

    Considering they’ve gone through the same thing with Gaudreau et al., this is likely a management issue. Clearly they’ve facilitated the culture where players feel like they have to hold out due to whatever reasons.

  20. Todd Macallan says:

    Apologies if this has been mentioned previously, but it appears there is an invite leaked to rookie camp, one Austin Strand:

    http://sports.mynorthwest.com/333937/thunderbirds-drop-a-5-2-decision-to-spokane-to-fall-to-0-3-in-preseason/

    Ex teammate of Bear, decent numbers in the playoffs and after the move from Red Deer. Decent size, RHD.

  21. John Chambers says:

    Two Maroons?

    They have a second Maroon. He’s got the wheels, the grit, and a low-dollar contract and his name is Zack Kassian.

    It also serves the benefit of activating the offense on the 2nd line running: Lucic-RNH-Draisaitl where Drai takes the faceoffs.

  22. JDî says:

    Professor Q: Clearly they’ve facilitated the culture where players feel like they have to hold out due to whatever reasons.

    And in this case, it’s because of 26 points and a -16 on the stats line.

  23. stush18 says:

    Brantford Boy:
    OF17,

    I have mentioned this line up before, and would love to see it… I feel Kassian is essentially our Swiss army knife and can play on pretty much any line at all (is he a Pisani?)… I agree with LT’s assessment that he is built for the bottom 6, but he has played with skill in the past for sure… whatever they do, just make sure he plays opposite #9 when we play NJ this year!

    Ya I mentioned him as a Pisani as well.

    Most take issue with zacks penchant for penalties. I also dunno if he really is the mentor for a young line.

    Honestly jokinen might be our pisani this year. We could easily see

    Jokinen-strome-JP

    With jokinen taking left side draws and strome playing centre and taking right side draws.

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    Willis asked who the best winger for McDavid is Nuge as he thinks Drai needs to be on the 2nd line.

  25. danny says:

    Anthanasiou trade / signed to a 4 year affordable contract would solve two things…

    A cheap skilled speedy scoring winger to play with McDavid, (without worrying about inflating his next contract for 4 years)

    It keeps Strome from playing with McDavid and inflating his next contract when he hits RFA in a couple seasons.

    Managing the contracts of who plays with McDavid is a real and important thing.

  26. OF17 says:

    Lowetide: The interesting thing about Kassian is that extra gear. He isn’t plodding, has clearly lost weight and is in the best shape of his career. I went back and looked at games, he can skate very well. Can he cash some of those passes?

    I think that speed really is the key. Without it, you’d never get the puck back on the forecheck. With it though, Lucic can play secondary support and position himself to turn turnovers into possession. Kassian pokes it out or rushes a pass, Lucic or Draisaitl scoops it up, and then good luck getting it back. It’s built to keep things in the offensive zone, which I like, and Kassian provides a measure of defensive failsafe as well. I hadn’t seriously thought of that line before, but it might be my new favorite look.

    All we need out of Draisaitl’s RW is ~15G and ~20A. I think Kassian could do that if he plays with skill.

  27. N64 says:

    Todd Macallan: Apologies if this has been mentioned previously, but it appears there is an invite leaked to rookie camp, one Austin Strand:

    Cheaper way to keep the Austin count up.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    danny:
    Anthanasiou trade / signed to a 4 year affordable contract would solve two things…

    A cheap skilled speedy scoring winger to play with McDavid, (without worrying about inflating his next contract for 4 years)

    It keeps Strome from playing with McDavid and inflating his next contract when he hits RFA in a couple seasons.

    Managing the contracts of who plays with McDavid is a real and important thing.

    What is the acquisition cost? Obviously not cap hit can be going back.

    What is the number AAV/cap hit that works for both parties?

  29. Todd Macallan says:

    N64,

    I see what you did there.

  30. McSorley33 says:

    Nuge with:

    423 minutes with Milan Lucic. 47.1 Dangerous Fenwick, 15-16 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
    217 minutes with Zack Kassian. 46.6 Dangerous Fenwick, 7-11 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
    83 minutes with Leon Draisaitl. 40.8 Dangerous Fenwick, 4-2 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
    60 minutes with Drake Caggiula. 42.5 Dangerous Fenwick, 3-6 GF-GA. Puck IQ.
    **************************************************************************************************
    Let there be no doubt that Nuge should move to the wing…….

    Drai is getting paid to C and drive his own bus…..

  31. JDî says:

    Rookie camp roster: https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/release-oilers-announce-roster-for-rookie-camp-and-young-stars-classic/c-290853702

    Of note: Austin Strand – 6′ 2″, 159 lbs.

    That must be a typo.

  32. OF17 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Alot of verbal about the Oilers having the best forward group in the league (or among the best), however, for me, I would have to add a qualifier so that its the potential to have one of the best forward groups in the league.

    There are quite a few players that will likely be asked to play material roles and help with the scoring that have not proven to be able to do that at the NHL level (Slep, Drake, JP, even Strome). If one or two of these young forwards progress and contribute offensively then, yes, it should be a top-end forward group but its unproven in that regard.

    Sure it’s unproven, but so are a lot of elements of other top F groups. Outside of Pittsburgh’s big four, they’re counting on guys like Hagelin, Sheary, Reaves, Guentzel, Archibald, Rust, and Kuhnhackl to get it done. Some nice pieces in that list, for sure, but there are a lot of question marks too. Not a whole lot different from our situation.

  33. Side says:

    JDî:
    Rookie camp roster: https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/release-oilers-announce-roster-for-rookie-camp-and-young-stars-classic/c-290853702

    Of note: Austin Strand – 6′ 2″, 159 lbs.

    That must be a typo.

    Corey Hill disagrees.

  34. haters says:

    Inexpensive forwards that can score.

    Tyler Pitlick says bye !

    Honestly Connor could make the worst player in the League decent.
    For instance.
    Patrick Marroon is not overly good at hockey. (Doughty agrees)
    He’s getting paid next year though. Not sure it should be us though. Love that guy though. His hands and personality his biggest assests.

  35. Oilanderp says:

    FINALLY we get to see Pakarinen on McDavid’s wing! 😃

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    JDî:
    Rookie camp roster: https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/release-oilers-announce-roster-for-rookie-camp-and-young-stars-classic/c-290853702

    Of note: Austin Strand – 6′ 2″, 159 lbs.

    That must be a typo.

    Beat me to it.

    Great to see Safin confirmed.

    I wonder if Benson confirmed means he’ll be able to play?

  37. VOR says:

    Re: Austin Strand – there is a huge difference between the weight and for that matter height from Elite Prospects and Hockeydb. The hockeydb numbers 6’3″ and 190 are probably much closer. Having seen Strand play there is no way he is only 159 lbs.

    Strand is a punishing hitter who sure looks like he has some real muscle mass to throw around. He can also move the puck, and is a plus skater. Still learning to play defense which is why he isn’t highly regarded. You can’t ever tell which kids will figure out the intricacies of the position and which won’t.

    Strand was a handful in last year’s playoffs. He was good at both ends of the ice, turned out to have a very good point shot, directed traffic in his own end really well, was a way above average passer under pressure, threw big checks, and got back really fast on defense. Still spent a lot of time out of position in his own end and gave up entry to his own end way too easily. In the playoffs anyway he had poor gap control. And he consistently tried to do too much.

    The thing is you can see that two or three years from now he could be a really solid defender in the way Jason Smith was. Definitely a late bloomer and we need to see a full season of him playing big minutes in Seattle but he is exactly the kind of player you want to see at your rookie camp.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    Interesting to see how Jujhar’s brother plays. I don’t know much about him. His PIMs stand out more than his points.

    Interesting that Lagesson is listed – I thought he was off to the SEL – aren’t they already playing or are they behind the KHL?

  39. JDî says:

    OriginalPouzar: I wonder if Benson confirmed means he’ll be able to play?

    I dunno – there’s a nasty cough going around.

  40. JDî says:

    Zach Laing‏ @zjlaing 14m14 minutes ago

    Zach Laing Retweeted Kristen Odland

    A friendly reminder that the Flames have both Luke Gazdic AND Tanner Glass at camp.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    Some new jersey numbers for this coming season:

    Caggiula – 91
    Khaira -16
    Slepyshev – 58

    Also:

    Jokinen – 36
    Auvitu – 81

  42. GMB3 says:

    So if Drai struggles centring his own line, what do the Oilers do? Makes it tough to move on from RNH then.

    If Stromes thrives in a new environment and scores 45-55 points with little time with McDavid besides PP1, do we give him RNH’s contract and move on from RNH as he could potentially be a right handed center for us? Or do we trade his RFA rights?

    Have there been any notable trades of RFA rights in the past where the team trading the aforementioned RFA receive any significant value in return?

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    RFAs should receive full value in a trade.

  44. Jethro Tull says:

    JDî:
    Zach Laing‏ @zjlaing 14m14 minutes ago


    Zach Laing Retweeted Kristen Odland

    A friendly reminder that the Flames have both Luke Gazdic AND Tanner Glass at camp.

    Said it before – I hope Calgary keep focusing on keeping their face-punchers in a separate category. Our gracious site host has opined many times, and has been agreed upon, that in today’s NHL, they’re a luxury few can afford. Face-punchers that can play are a little more palatable, but the best would be players that can face-punch. Like Lucic or Maroon. Even Kassian would be in this category if given a more prominent role. Guys not taking up depth positions and only getting two minutes a night.

    Calgary are going to have to let the tigers tiger, as in, let their skill players use their skill. I thought they were getting better at that when they got rid of Hartley.

    Moral of the story, move with the times, or become a victim of them. I wonder what Calgary’s player development plan for Tkachuk is……

  45. JDî says:

    Jethro Tull: I wonder what Calgary’s player development plan for Tkachuk is…

    Hire Doan as a cheap-shot coach?

  46. jm363561 says:

    Really enjoyable post, miraculously so given it is the first week of September. Many thanks.

    I think Nuge is gone next year but wonder if Maroon might resign (or is it re-sign). All the GMs know this is a journeyman pro who has been zoomed by McD. I think he may be affordable.

    I recall a poster some weeks ago (possibly Vor or Georges) saying they had looked again at the early games of last season and compared the team performances with those at the end. His point was the team had improved considerably over the year. The last 14 regular season games less-than-fantastic DD came in, Caggs moved to his correct position, and we went 11-3. In the excitement of the playoffs this has often been overlooked. I am not overly optimistic by nature but this looks a young, exciting team that could do really well.

  47. N64 says:

    Todd Macallan:
    N64,

    I see what you did there.

    Hey there’s more. TC invites to Austin Strand from Red Deer Rebels and Austin Glover from the Red Deer Rebels. And we have one of the original Austins from the Red Deer Rebels. Keep them both and we’re up to 4 Austins counting Looch.

  48. stush18 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Some new jersey numbers for this coming season:

    Caggiula – 91
    Khaira -16
    Slepyshev – 58

    Also:

    Jokinen – 36
    Auvitu – 81

    I love euros. They always seem to take the strangest/best numbers

  49. JDî says:

    stush18,

    I thought for sure that OV2 would take 82. Missed it by that much.

  50. JDî says:

    Edmonton Oilers‏Verified account @EdmontonOilers 51m51 minutes ago

    A very smiley @Jpuljujarvi mentioned his main area of focus this off-season was speed as he hopes to crack the #Oilers roster out of camp.

    Can’t wait to see JP with a full off-season of work behind him.

  51. OriginalPouzar says:

    A key note is that JP was healthy going in to the off-season so, presumably took advantage of the opportunity for a full training regimen. Last year he had to rehab that material knee injury.

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