AGAINST ALL ODDS

Every training camp offers its own surprises and this one has been especially entertaining. I’m not certain Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan would use the same word but as fans and observers it has been anything but boring this September. It’s interesting to look back on past training camps to see what we were talking about at this exact point in time.

  • September 2013: Oilers claim Luke Gazdic. Source
  • September 2011: Joey Moss introduces the legend of Kirill Tulupov. Source
  • September 2010: Entering Hope. Source

Those were fun days, these are better. The Edmonton Oilers are going to be a good hockey club this season, maybe a great one with some luck, good health and a few giant leaps forward from some kids.

THE CURRENT ROSTER

  • There are 31 names here, four of them injured. If all of these men start the season on IR, it makes getting down to 23 names a lot easier.
  • The top four lines above (12 forwards) plus three pairings (six blue) and two goalies (two goalies) gets us to 20 names. We need three more.

BATTLE OF THE BLUE

  • Yohann Auvitu versus Mark Fayne versus Ryan Stanton. I think Auvitu’s speed beats out Fayne’s defensive acumen, plus Ryan Stanton’s injury robbed him of an opportunity to showcase what he can bring. Seems reasonable to suggest Fayne gets waived, Stanton hits injured reserve and Auvitu wins 7D.

EXTRA CENTER

  • I’m not sure Brad Malone or Chris Kelly make the roster, but would give Malone the edge. Edmonton is close to 50-contracts and Kelly’s addition would give the team another slow forward. I’ll guess the club doesn’t sign Kelly and also guess Malone is sent to the minors.

PHENOM CENTRAL

Based on performance, Kailer Yamamoto has beaten Jesse Puljujarvi for an NHL job. This is my opinion. It could be a big deal because Anton Slepyshev is close to returning and that might mean a decision between JP and KY becomes necessary. In a case of this kind, Yamamoto’s roster finality (if he is sent to junior, only an extreme injury  run could get him back to the NHL roster) works to the young man’s advantage. This is happening, people.

POSSIBLE OPENING NIGHT ROSTER

  • Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Drake Caggiula
  • Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
  • Jussi Jokinen—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Ryan Strome
  • Jujhar Khaira—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian
  • Iiro Pakarinen, Anton Slepyshev
  • IR—Andrej Sekera, Ryan Stanton, Brian Ferlin, Tyler Benson
  • Bakersfield—Jesse Puljujarvi, Brad Malone, Mark Fayne
  • Released—Chris Kelly

If Jesse Puljujarvi doesn’t  win a job inside the top 9F—and he hasn’t—then Bakersfield is his destination. Even if Slepyshev isn’t ready and has to go on the injured list, seems little point in keeping JP here just to sit in the pressbox. It could happen just this way.

The Calgary Flames defense is sublime, goaltending uncertain and the forward group ranges from electric to curious. I’ll admit to not understanding the team’s final roster decisions (Luke Gazdic is on the team at this point, Andrew Mangiapane is not) and there are some questions about the third and fourth lines. I like Sam Bennett a lot, we’ll see how the bottom 6F turn out. I think there are better options in Stockton. By the way, Spencer Foo didn’t make the final cut.

LINEUPS

Tonight is a big night for the bubble players. Any player inserted into the lineup this evening is either under strong consideration or has made the roster. Mark Fayne, Yohann Auvitu, Ryan Stanton (if healthy enough) would all love a chance to play tonight. Kailer Yamamoto playing in Saskatoon would also be a tell and if he plays with a top end center then that’s an even bigger tell. The player I’m most interested in now is Jesse Puljujarvi. Will he get tonight? If he doesn’t, surely Saturday. Right? This would be a fantastic time for the young Finn to get with Jussi Jokinen and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and post a strong 200-foot game. Problem: Trains run on time, prospects do not. That’s a fact.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. We’re going to have fun and learn things! Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Yamamoto, Puljujarvi, Carolina.
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. The are monster teams headed for mlb playoffs. How on earth do we handicap this group?
  • Derek Taylor, TSN. The CFL playoffs start coming into view, the games are more important than ever and can anyone catch Calgary?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. 90 minutes!

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111 Responses to "AGAINST ALL ODDS"

  1. frjohnk says:

    Wonder if they would send Sleppy down for a couple of reasons
    -let him get back into game shape
    -gives the Oilers a spot the can use for a longer look at KY. Also allows them to keep JP up.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    The history of the NHL is litered with fantastic training camp and exhibition game performances that, essentially, mean very little as far as regular season performance.

    Guarded optimism on Yamamoto.

    With that said, if he continues through the last two games its really tough to justify sending him to Spokane unless JP matches him in the last two games and Slepy is good to go.

    I guess there isn’t a risk with him starting the regular season on the roster in particular of Slep is on IR (opening up a roster spot so we don’t have to re-assign or waive somebody to make room).

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    If he performs in the regular season, then a decision will have to be made and an analysis of the materially of his impact vis-a-vis helping the team win games vis-a-vis burning a year of his ELC.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    I simply can’t justify a contract for Chris Kelly when Brad Malone looks like he might be able to perform in the job with an existing contract.

  5. Rondo says:

    Yamamoto has been excellent against AHL teams and 1 NHL team, without any hitting. He should get the 9 games and see where he is.

  6. TO10801 says:

    Rondo:
    Yamamoto has been excellent against AHL teams and 1 NHLteam, without any hitting. He should get the 9 games and see where he is.

    Yeah there is zero pressure to make a decision until 9 games roll around. KY can make the team and so can JP if Sleppy is hurt. KY probably fades as the games get tougher and then you make your decision. If he doesn’t fade then great, but there is no pressure to keep him here past 9 games.

  7. dessert1111 says:

    I think those lines and pairings are close to what we see, but I would suggest that Puljujarvi stays in the top 9 and Slepyshev gets some games in the A to start the year and buy a bit of time with the Yamamoto decision. If Yamamoto is still outplaying Jesse by the time Slepyshev is up to speed, then Slepyshev and Puljujarvi switch places.

    If none of the young RWs grab a spot? Well, we might see Jagr.

    In any event Caguilla gets my vote to be in the press box at this point.

    I’m more worried about RD than RW to be honest, especially since I think the prospects at that side are at least two years away. Would like to cash in Nurse for a RD based on the current depth chart.

  8. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT! There have been some good discussions about what you say: “Based on performance, Kailer Yamamoto has beaten Jesse Puljujarvi for an NHL job”

    – While that is true based on 5 games against non-NHL rosters, and a tip in goal, and an EN, and a 110% effort from Kailer, vs. 95% effort from the vets, it an interesting discussion…

    – For the record, I’d give Kailer his 9 games, but the team is way more important than small sample size Kailer. If Pool spends the seaon in AHL, that’s a fail IMO:

    1) Having 3 years of Kailer @ 900K with Cmd, vs 2 is huge, way more than
    2) Kailer at 25-40 points isn’t the difference maker for the team next year IMO
    3) Pool, based on AHL/NHL, and his 3 points in pre-season, isn’t “sucking”, and he’s done the development asked of him
    4) Kailer has 5 goals on 8 shots! Small sample size indeed

    * what Rondo said: give him 9 games: a great reward IMO, and with Sleppy injured justifiable

  9. Professor Q says:

    Rondo:
    Yamamoto has been excellent against AHL teams and 1 NHLteam, without any hitting. He should get the 9 games and see where he is.

    He did get hit playing the Jets, and the Jets player was knocked on his arse.

  10. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    I’ll say right off the bat that I think we should send Yamamoto down.

    THat said, this idea that he’ll fade when hitting starts and that he needs to go down to get bigger/stronger is not something I agree with. He needs to go down because he will be better next year and for contract reasons.

    He’s not going to get to the point where he wins puck battles through strength. He doesn’t even win puck battles through strength at the WHL level.

    He’s like Skinner in Carolina. He scores goals because he skates well and gets rid of the puck quickly and accurately, be it a pass or a shot. Opposing players don’t have time to hit him.

    That’s not going to change.

    That’s why Skinner won rookie of the year in his draft plus 1. He didn’t get a whole lot better (production wise) after that year, because it’s not like he needed to grow into his dominant man strength (see Draisaitl, or JP).

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rondo:
    Yamamoto has been excellent against AHL teams and 1 NHLteam, without any hitting. He should get the 9 games and see where he is.

    At this point, he should get a couple NHL games and see where he is – up to 9 but not necessarily nine – in my opinion, of course.

    The games will be vastly different starting October 4.

  12. Melvis says:

    Trains run on time?

    I’ve got a new slogan for Via Rail. Soon come…maybe.

  13. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Good comments from players/coach. I bet he gets his 9-games…:

    – ““We’re obviously concerned about the careers of individual players, but we’re also trying to win games right now,” he said. “And our team is at a different stage than it was three or four years ago.”

    – ““We have a good leadership group. We have some size that can make up for smaller players,” said McLellan. “It’s about the chemistry. If he can stay here and maintain his confidence level, then we’re OK. If he can’t, if he can’t produce, we have to find another spot for him.”

    – “He’s been showing all pre-season long that he can make this team,” said Patrick Maroon. “He just has to keep working hard and doing what he’s doing.”

    “He’s been good, he definitely doesn’t let his size hurt him in any way,” said McDavid. “Just to see how hard he battles against guys who are almost double his weight, it’s cool to see. You can definitely respect it. He’s earning that respect every day.”

    – “If the player can play, and we believe he’s going to get better, let’s play him,” said McLellan “If he takes a job away from somebody, so be it.”

  14. Durag says:

    Is there anything Puljujarvi can do at this point to make this discussion moot? If he plays like a beast and scores 3+ points in his next game, does that buy Yamamoto a ticket to Spokane?

  15. Woogie63 says:

    Is this what the good teams training camps look like???

    No big FA signing that has to make the team (mileage may vary on Russel)
    Competition at nearly every position
    Young Athletes pushing to make the team
    Tough last few decisions
    Coach and GM demanding pros compete for the great roles on the team

    I think we could grow to like this.

  16. OmJo says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    “And our team is at a different stage than it was three or four years ago.”

    This made me chuckle considering its being said in reference to an undersized 18/19 year old first round pick going from the CHL right to the NHL based off a good preseason.

  17. Durag says:

    OmJo,

    To be fair, if this was 3 or 4 years ago, we’d be writing this guy’s name in ink in the top-6, projecting a 55 point season and a Calder nomination.

  18. Brantford Boy says:

    Melvis,

    I believe that’s already taken by Canada Post…

    As for JP vs. KY… my gut tells me KY is the better player and deserves the spot more… I just see JP out of position and lumbering (although at times fast)… lets see how the first 9 games go until Slepy is 100% ready…

  19. Gret99zky says:

    hunter1909:
    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March is back for the 2017-18 season! Looking bigger and better than ever!

    Hunter, put me down for 97 points.

    Thanks!

  20. Psyche says:

    Considering all the hype I was surprised to read the Spencer Foo didn’t make the cut in Calgary. Does anyone have any details on his preseason performance?

  21. McSorley33 says:

    Love all the caveats about Kailer’s success…which are true.

    Except those *same* conditions apply to his RW competitors….

    I totally get that it is inconvenient but it is a competition for jobs as
    all 31 NHL coaches are espousing around the league.

    JP
    Caggs
    Kailer

    So far, I don’t find the competition particularly close even. Not slagging
    JP or Caggs at all.

    As an aside, it sounds like the Winnipeg Jets are on the cusp of making an inconvenient
    choice as well….it looks like Tucker Poolman might make the team. This is after grand
    pronouncements from coaches and management about no player with 0 NHL games likely to make the team.

    That is how competition works. Sometimes people surprise you.

  22. cowboy bill says:

    Just got to say Yamamotto has earned some regular season NHL games . With Slepyshev still on the mend there’s a window until his return . Why not take advantage ? Kailer has edged past Puljujarvi on the depth chart , can’t see Jesse making the opening night roster , it’s to the Bake for him .
    As for Yamamotto’s development , if he gets 9 games with the Oil before returning to junior that would be monumental .

  23. godot10 says:

    //Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Drake Caggiula
    Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
    Jussi Jokinen—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Ryan Strome
    Jujhar Khaira—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian
    Iiro Pakarinen, Anton Slepyshev//

    If Slepyshev were healthy, would Ryan Strome have played himself into the pressbox already, after starting camp on the 1st line?

  24. godot10 says:

    The Flames season rides on Bennett and Lazar.

    The Oilers’ season rides on “Dylan” Strome and Russell (and Lucic returning to form).

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Durag:
    Is there anything Puljujarvi can do at this point to make this discussion moot? If he plays like a beast and scores 3+ points in his next game, does that buy Yamamoto a ticket to Spokane?

    Maybe but maybe not – might depend on Slepy’s availability and if he’s taken a roster spot vs. IR vs. AHL.

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    Psyche:
    Considering all the hype I was surprised to read the Spencer Foo didn’t make the cut in Calgary. Does anyone have any details on his preseason performance?

    It was media-driven hype.

    He was a lesser prospect than Caggulia who’s making the team of camp last year was surprising and potentially not the right decision.

  27. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10:
    //Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Drake Caggiula
    Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
    Jussi Jokinen—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Ryan Strome
    Jujhar Khaira—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian
    Iiro Pakarinen, Anton Slepyshev//

    If Slepyshev were healthy, would Ryan Strome have played himself into the pressbox already, after starting camp on the 1st line?

    If Strome has played himself in to the pressbox then so have McDavid and Lucic and the various other veterans that haven’t done much in the pre-season.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    RNH, Jokinen, Klefbom and Fayne not listed on roster for game in Saskatoon.

    Looks like the 3rd line gets the night off tonight.

    Which 2 of Strome, JP and Yamamoto get to play with McDavid and Drai?

    I think, given the lines yesterday, Strome may get the shifts with the 5th line (presumably Kelly and Malone or something like that – maybe Pak).

  29. godot10 says:

    Brantford Boy:
    Melvis,

    I believe that’s already taken by Canada Post…

    As for JP vs. KY… my gut tells me KY is the better player and deserves the spot more… I just see JP out of position and lumbering (although at times fast)… lets see how the first 9 games go until Slepy is 100% ready…

    Puljujarvi needs to be coached individually in addition to the regular team-focused coaching. Yamamoto much less so. Puljujarvi needs a stable roster sport (either in Edmonton or in Bakersfield) where he can be coached individually, and the kinks get taken out of his game, in the context of a stable roster spot.

    In one full season and a 2nd full training camp, that has not happened, not in Edmonton, and not in Bakersfield.

    Some prospects are high maintenance (Puljujarvi). Some are low maintenance (Yamamoto).

  30. jtblack says:

    KY should get a taste (9 games); then go dominate Junior and play World Juniors. Knowing full well that nxt yr, 1 or 2 RW is his.

    And yes it is nice to have actual competition for jobs!!!

    I know its pre season but that Carolina game was UGLY on a number of levels.

  31. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March is back for the 2017-18 season!

    Here’s how you play: Pick the exact number of points you think the Oilers will have at the end of the season.

    Then, after the usual training camp hypejobs stop and the real NHL starts, Oilers usually lose 2-3 defencemen and spent the rest of the season chasing/debating the lottery. What better way to enjoy those pointless, meaningless games than The Hunter1909 Official Oilers Death March(TM)?

    Last year had well over 300 players. Prizes being sorted as this message gets posted for last season’s winners who will be notified at a later date.

    Contest Entry: Open until puck drop on opening night. Think of a giant guillotine blade – once the first puck drops it’s all over.

  32. OriginalPouzar says:

    Auvitu will play with Larsson tonight.

    Nice push.

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maroon-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Lucic-Drai-Puljujarvi
    Malone-Kelly-Pakarinen
    Khaira-Letestu-Kassian
    Jokinen-RNH-Strome (RNH and Jok not on roster)

  34. hunter1909 says:

    Gret99zky: Hunter, put me down for 97 points.

    Thanks!

    Top marks for originality.

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    Strome will actually play center in Letestu’s spot:

    Maroon-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Lucic-Drai-Puljujarvi
    Malone-Kelly-Pakarinen
    Khaira-Strome-Kassian

  36. pts2pndr says:

    Tnx for doing this Hunter please put me down for 111 points.

  37. Woogie63 says:

    Hunter put me done for 164 points ….what ….the Dolphins did it 🙂

  38. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Strome will actually play center in Letestu’s spot:

    Maroon-McDavid-Yamamoto
    Lucic-Drai-Puljujarvi
    Malone-Kelly-Pakarinen
    Khaira-Strome-Kassian

    – I do worry that McL is doing a little bit of the Dallas Eakins: “I’m-going-to-grind-out-every permutation-to-figure-out-the-magic-formula-in-preseason”, although it’s clear they haven’t figured out where to slot Strome yet…

    – Man that was an awful pre-season Dallas conducted…

  39. pocession charge says:

    godot10: Puljujarvi needs to be coached individually in addition to the regular team-focused coaching.Yamamoto much less so.Puljujarvi needs a stable roster sport (either in Edmonton or in Bakersfield) where he can be coached individually, and the kinks get taken out of his game, in the context of a stable roster spot.

    In one full season and a 2nd full training camp, that has not happened, not in Edmonton, and not in Bakersfield.

    Some prospects are high maintenance (Puljujarvi).Some are low maintenance (Yamamoto).

    How do you know what kind of coaching tactics have been used on JP in Edmonton or Bakersfield? It stands to reason that they have been working with him on all aspects of his game. If I had to guess, young Jesse didn’t understand much of what they were saying because of the communication barrier. He definitely needs to refine certain aspects of his playing style and I agree with you on the stable role scenario. I think Bakersfield is the best situation for him to tweak his style (straight line, stop/starts, defensive positioning). He’s a bit high maintenance but if he truly has what it takes, a bit of time in the AHL will pay dividends later.

  40. leadfarmer says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – I do worry that McL is doing a little bit of the Dallas Eakins: “I’m-going-to-grind-out-every permutation-to-figure-out-the-magic-formula-in-preseason”, although it’s clear they haven’t figured out where to slot Strome yet…

    – Man that was an awful pre-season Dallas conducted…

    That Eakins preseason lasted the first 10 games of the regular season.

    TMac is very clearly not enjoying what Chia is giving him to work with. I dont disagree with him. Strome was a bad bet and is most likely gone next year. Our first rounder is definitely gone at the trade deadline to shore up that RW slot which should have been filled in the offseason

  41. pocession charge says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – I do worry that McL is doing a little bit of the Dallas Eakins: “I’m-going-to-grind-out-every permutation-to-figure-out-the-magic-formula-in-preseason”, although it’s clear they haven’t figured out where to slot Strome yet…

    – Man that was an awful pre-season Dallas conducted…

    Hmm. I’ve actually thought McLellan has been pretty consistent with his forward pairing deployment. The winger audition has been interesting to watch. I think that Dylan has made a poor first impression on TMc. The demotion, TMc’s presser comments, Strome’s own comments about the pace of Edmonton’s practice not what he was used to — these all point to signs that they are asking for more intensity from the player (and maybe not getting it).

  42. StixMalone says:

    Hunter put me down for 103 points this season please and thank you. Hope my bro Brad makes the team…

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    Looks like the 4th line is acutally:

    Caggiula-Strome-Kassian

    So, if both JP and Yamamoto are in the lineup, I guess Khaira might be battling with Drake for 4LW and a lineup spot.

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    Slepyshev continues to skate with the team and get stronger but isn’t ready to play yet.

    Stanton has a fracture in his foot.

  45. pocession charge says:

    leadfarmer: That Eakins preseason lasted the first 10 games of the regular season.

    TMac is very clearly not enjoying what Chia is giving him to work with.I dont disagree with him.Strome was a bad bet and is most likely gone next year.Our first rounder is definitely gone at the trade deadline to shore up that RW slot which should have been filled in the offseason

    Hard to say if they’ll do that. It really depends on JP’s performance and/or how much time Draisaitl gets on RW by the time the trade deadline rolls around. I would consider trading that 1st rounder for Athanasiou right now.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – I do worry that McL is doing a little bit of the Dallas Eakins: “I’m-going-to-grind-out-every permutation-to-figure-out-the-magic-formula-in-preseason”, although it’s clear they haven’t figured out where to slot Strome yet…

    – Man that was an awful pre-season Dallas conducted…

    I’m not that worried – he’s basically got set pairs for all 4 lines with the RW spot TBD on the top 3 and potentially the 4LW spot TBD.

  47. OriginalPouzar says:

    To have it in one post – full “confirmed” lineup:

    Maroon-McDavid-Yamo
    Lucic-Drai-Puljujarvi
    Caggiula-Strome-Kassian
    Malone-Kelly-Pakarinen

    Auvitu-Larsson
    Russell-Benning
    Nurse-Gryba

    Brossoit

  48. Doug McLachlan says:

    Random thoughts and ill-informed options to follow:

    Spencer Foo probably outplayed Curtis Lazar in Calgary but he has an issue with controlling his stick and he can be sent to Stockton without passing through waivers, Lazar can not. I think the better player in camp, Foo, was sent out to give Lazar more time to work out the kinks in his game. Unfair to Foo but an understandable decision. Gazdic, on the other hand…

    I see that Buffalo picked up Jordan Nolan off waivers from the Kings. Not sure that this was a player that the Oilers would have wanted but the point is we are getting to that part of the pre-season where there are players who might be appealing to the Oilers who won’t pass through waivers and that Edmonton might be wanting to acquire. Especially on D – I’m looking at you Vegas! Interesting times.

    Waiver eligibility is probably a significant factor is our RW discussion. Caggiula won’t be headed down, neither will Pakarinen because the Oilers are not exposing them. Same for Strome who has not really clicked anywhere. Slepyshev really got some bad luck but even if you didn’t have to use the rehab assignment, you can send him to Bakersfield to get up to game speed. Still would like him to get in Saturday’s game.

    As for the JP, KY debate – the issue is 1) what’s best for the team once the pts start to count and 2) what’s best for development of the player. At the moment, that looks like JP gets some California time while KY gets a bit of time in the Show. Good on him, he’s earned it.

  49. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Slepyshev continues to skate with the team and get stronger but isn’t ready to play yet.

    Stanton has a fracture in his foot.

    Well that would certainly make it difficult for him to Stanton it!

  50. Litke 94 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – I do worry that McL is doing a little bit of the Dallas Eakins: “I’m-going-to-grind-out-every permutation-to-figure-out-the-magic-formula-in-preseason”, although it’s clear they haven’t figured out where to slot Strome yet…

    – Man that was an awful pre-season Dallas conducted…

    The difference being of course that Eakins at this point would still have 45 players in camp.

    I think McLellan has been consistent in his pairings for the most part, but the blender has definitely hit the right side. I do wonder if the disappointing starts for Strome, and to a lesser extent JP (he’s been better than Strome, imo), maybe has Chiarelli re-examining a Jagr acquisition. Of course, that is a pipe dream, but it sure would be reassuring going into the season.

    We’ll see how Auvitu goes tonight with Larsson. A big night for him, and he likely he locks up the #7 spot. Perhaps prevents Chia from pulling the trigger on a move for a Vegas defenceman. If it were me, I’d be making the call regardless. Auvitu has had his moments, but has enough ?’s so far to make a person sweat. Same goes for Gryba.

    EDIT: I take that back. Hard to imagine Chia looks at the right side of his D and doesn’t come away thinking he needs to add a body, no matter how Auvitu performs this evening.

    **If anyone in Edmonton is looking for a good night of entertainment Saturday night, check out the races at Northlands Park. 2 big races going for over 100K each. Should be some phenomonal racing. **

  51. mit167 says:

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet or not, but the amount of missed opportunity this training camp and pre-season has been disturbing.

    Ty Rattie – This was your chance. Pulij opened the door and you didn’t walk through

    Pulijarvi – Still might make the team despite showing a lot of inconsistency.

    Kassian – You want to be something more than number 4. Nobody else wants 1RW 2RW or 3RW… Take it.

    Slepyshev – This injury prevented him a chance to show off that one timer taking sweet feeds from Drai or McD

    Strome – Gifted McD and was so forgettable that the coach calls him by his brother’s name and sends him to 3RW

    Cags – Scores a few but gets called out by the coach.

    KY – 18 and a buck fifty and the only one on the team to say… Hey if nobody else wants McD I’ll take him… Nothing else better to do then hang out in Spokane anyways.

    ——

    And the sad thing is… Until the last game we’ve been perfect in wins, so there was really nothing to complain about. Just missed opportunities.

  52. Dee Dee says:

    18 year old rookie comes into camp and outscores EVERYONE ON THE TEAM

    Nevermind all the RW’s competing for the job.

    He’s earned a look. Give him 9 games that count with linemates that count against opponents that count and see what happens.

    Sending the kid back now is doing him a disservice.

    Professional sports is a cruel Mistress. She rewards the players who perform, and punishes those who don’t. And she doesn’t listen to excuses.

  53. Doug McLachlan says:

    Litke 94,

    You send Slepyshev to Bakersfield to rehab and get up to game speed. Expect recall soon.

    You send JP back to Bakersfield to get the loops out of his game. Expect recall soon.

    You give KY a couple of games to start and see where it goes.

    You sign Jagr on a one-year deal. With KY you are at 50 contracts so you may need to make a move.

    Edit to add: As you say, this may be where you see what can be done to address the RHD issue. If Vegas is actually open to dealing Miller, you bite the bullet and bring him in. Nurse – Miller as your bottom pair could really calm things down.

    Forward lines could be particularly fun:

    Maroon – McDavit – Yamamoto – Need for speed
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Jagr – Possession monsters
    Jokinen – Nuge – Strome/Caggiula – Jack of all trades
    Kharia – Letestu – Kassian – Solid 4th line
    Caggiula/Strome – Pakarinen

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Russell – Benning
    Nurse – Gryba
    Auvitu

    Talbot
    Brossoit

  54. CrazyCoach says:

    Opened up a pack of Tim Horton’s hockey cards this morning and the very first card I pulled out?

    Taylor Hall, NJ Devils.

    I’m taking trade requests.

    What ya got?

  55. russ99 says:

    Pretty astute move trying Strome at center in preseason.

    Got mixed signals from last year on the island:

    At RW he was Capuanoed as a grinder and faltered,
    At C under Weight: more offense, less reliable defense.

    My take is that he’s a better fit at RW in Todd’s systems in a top 4 role due to his puck skills under pressure, but it doesn’t hurt to see where he is at C and see if the Draisaitl swap would cause any issues.

  56. russ99 says:

    Doug McLachlan:
    Litke 94,

    You send Slepyshev to Bakersfield to rehab and get up to game speed.Expect recall soon.

    You send JP back to Bakersfield to get the loops out of his game.Expect recall soon.

    You give KY a couple of games to start and see where it goes.

    You sign Jagr on a one-year deal.With KY you are at 50 contracts so you may need to make a move.

    Forward lines could be particularly fun:

    Maroon – McDavit – Yamamoto – Need for speed
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Jagr – Possession monsters
    Jokinen – Nuge – Strome/Caggiula – Jack of all trades
    Kharia – Letestu – Kassian – Solid 4th line
    Caggiula/Strome – Pakarinen

    Klefbom – Larsson
    Russell – Benning
    Nurse – Gryba
    Auvitu

    Talbot
    Brossoit

    Sending JP to Bakersfield is a bad idea after last season, and the same staff in place and even less skilled forwards to play with.

    Not as bad as Yak and his agent, but close. Instead of a more rounded player we could get back a dispirited and declining one. If he’s not going to impact the NHL roster, send him to play vs. men in the SEL.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Looking forward to seeing Fleury:

    Canes in SSK:

    Skinner-Ryan-Necas
    Aho-Rask-Lindholm
    McGinn-Kruger-Jooris
    Di Giuseppe-Roy-Zykov

    Fleury-TVR
    Bean-Dahlbeck
    Carrick-Chelios

    Ward

  58. Litke 94 says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    Have to say, with it listed all out there like that, with the addition of Jagr, that lineup sure as hell does look fun. And just a helluva lot of options.

    I would very much prefer Miller to Gryba at this point, even at the cost of acquisition.

  59. Snowman says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:

    – For the record, I’d give Kailer his 9 games, but the team is way more important than small sample size Kailer.If Pool spends the seaon in AHL, that’s a fail IMO:

    1) Having 3 years of Kailer @ 900K with Cmd, vs 2 is huge, way more than
    2) Kailer at 25-40 points isn’t the difference maker for the team next year IMO
    3) Pool, based on AHL/NHL, and his 3 points in pre-season, isn’t “sucking”, and he’s done the development asked of him
    4) Kailer has 5 goals on 8 shots!Small sample size indeed

    * what Rondo said: give him 9 games: a great reward IMO, and with Sleppy injured justifiable

    I agree with most of this as I said yesterday. However, Pool spending the year in the AHL isn’t a fail. He hasn’t at any point looked like an NHLer this whole preseason to my eyes. If he’s not ready for the NHL this year, not playing him in the NHL is a successful decision made by the organization.

    As I said yesterday, I agree 25-40 points of Yamo isn’t worth burning a year, but I think the organization is pondering the idea that he might fall in the 40-65 point range. Having a 50 point winger is worth burning a year. Winning this year is as important as winning next year or the year after no?

    5 goals on 8 shots is obviously not sustainable. However, his shots and goals have mostly been in or near the kill zone with the exception of the EN goal. He’s in places where goals are scored and he’s been scoring goals… makes sense to me. Obviously not sustainable % wise but I don’t think its a coincidence that he’s scored either.

    I’m not as sold on Slepy as a top 6 winger as a lot of people are. Lots of moving parts. Hopefully the people with the big brains can do the team building arithmetic and come up with an answer that wins hockey games..

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    Gregor is stating that, although he’s skating, Slep isn’t ready for “twisting/turning battles” yet.

    To me that means he’s a little ways away and won’t be ready for opening night.

    What I don’t know is if he’ll (a) simply be on the roster and taking up one of the 23 sports or (b) not on the roster either (i) via assignment to Bakersfield (he does not have to clear waivers) or (ii) IR (out for a minimum of a week).

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    So many posters/fans speak of “signing Jagr”.

    I’m fairly confident this is simply not an option.

    I’m fairly confident the man has no interest in coming to the far west to travel tens of thousands of more miles than he ever has before.

    He’s played a total of 30-something games for a Western conference team and that was DAL.

    Can anyone realistically seeing him coming to the North West at the age of 45?

    If we was willing to come to EDM/CGY, he would have a contract, I’m fairly confident.

  62. Litke 94 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    That’s a good point. It takes two to tango, and the most northern city in the NHL might not be the most appealing place for a 45 year old, who just spent a couple years in the Florida sun.

    The only things that make me draw pause and wonder, however, is a) his lack of other offers (that we know of) and b) the chance to ride shotgun with #97.

    Point B, I would have to imagine, is at least somewhat tantalizing to a guy like Jagr.

  63. OmJo says:

    Dee Dee:
    18 year old rookie comes into camp and outscores EVERYONE ON THE TEAM

    Nevermind all the RW’s competing for the job.

    He’s earned a look. Give him 9 games that count with linemates that count against opponents that count and see what happens.

    Sending the kid back now is doing him a disservice.

    Professional sports is a cruel Mistress. She rewards the players who perform, and punishes those who don’t. And she doesn’t listen to excuses.

    Yak came in and outscored the team and league rookies in his first year. That didn’t garner him any special (for lack of a better word) treatment the following year.

    We tried this game with both Draisaitl and Puljujarvi and it didn’t work. Just like with Paajarvi. Just like with Yak. And arguably (to some) like with Nuge and even Schultz. All it did was either waste a year of their very important ELCs – more important now than back then – or even worse it really hampers their development.

    Yamamoto has immense skill and will likely be a very good player for a very long time. But his RW competition aren’t really established NHL players to begin with… Outscoring guys like McDavid and Draisaitl IMO means little in preseason, at least to me, because I highly doubt they are giving it their all, they know they’ve made the team.

    So you give him a 9-game look, and Tkachuk takes him out in game one. Or Buff gives him a hard check in game 3 or 4. Then instead of him dominating the WHL and getting even better, he’s sitting with Benson recovering from an injury at 19 years old. Yes I know the same can happen to McDavid or Draisaitl but they’re well adapted to survive in the NHL by now.

  64. Brantford Boy says:

    CrazyCoach,

    Auvitu and a 1st?

  65. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I’m not sure if the Oilers are interested to begin with. I don’t think any other contender has the roster spot and cap space to give Jagr a contract and a chance to end his career hoisting a cup beside the next face of the NHL than Edmonton. That’s usually a once in a lifetime opportunity, although not necessarily for Jagr.

  66. Brantford Boy says:

    mit167,

    +7

  67. Buckys move says:

    Hunter, I was going to say 97 but I don’t want to split the $1 mil prize with so many others. Put me down for 56×2= 112 please and thank you.

  68. OriginalPouzar says:

    Starting to sound more and more like Slepy will be on IR to start the year so will not take up a spot on the 23 man roster.

    What does that look like for Kailer and Puljijarvi?

    Maroon/Connor/Yamamoto
    Lucic/Drai/Puljijarvi
    Jokinen/Nuge/Strome
    Drake/Letestu/Kassin

    Khaira and Pakarinan

    Klef/Larsson
    Russell/Benning
    Nurse/Gryba

    Auvitu

    The right wingers and 4LW are in flux but I think that’s the roster – the only change I could foresee is either Yamamto to Spokane or Puljijarvi to Bakersfield which gets Khaira in the lineup at they keep 8D (Fayne).

    My guess is they don’t do that and look at re-assignment of Kailer or Puljijarvi once Slep is ready to come off IR.

  69. digger50 says:

    leadfarmer: That Eakins preseason lasted the first 10 games of the regular season.

    TMac is very clearly not enjoying what Chia is giving him to work with.I dont disagree with him.Strome was a bad bet and is most likely gone next year.Our first rounder is definitely gone at the trade deadline to shore up that RW slot which should have been filled in the offseason

    Sad but this becoming clearer. I think Strome can play but not fill the role planned for him.

    In hindsight my belief is Peter should have made a trade work for Hamonic. Trade centers around Eberle and sweetened as required. That would put us sittin prettyright now.

    Would not have solved RW problem but then again the trade he did make has not solved RW problem (so far) anyway so we basically received very little.

  70. OmJo says:

    digger50: Sad but this becoming clearer. I think Strome can play but not fill the role planned for him.

    In hindsight my belief is Peter should have made a trade work for Hamonic. Trade centers around Eberle and sweetened as required. That would put us sittin prettyright now.

    Would not have solved RW problem but then again the trade he did make has not solved RW problem (so far) anyway so we basically received very little.

    You bring in Harmonic and let Russell walk, that clears up enough cap space to sign Vrbata and Jagr/Iginla to replace Eberle and leaves you with a better defence than what we currently have while leaving the Flames defence a little bit worse.

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    digger50: Sad but this becoming clearer. I think Strome can play but not fill the role planned for him.

    In hindsight my belief is Peter should have made a trade work for Hamonic. Trade centers around Eberle and sweetened as required. That would put us sittin prettyright now.

    Would not have solved RW problem but then again the trade he did make has not solved RW problem (so far) anyway so we basically received very little.

    How is it becoming clear? I mean, he’s played a couple pre-season games – i don’t think any determinations can be made from a few exhibition games.

  72. Silver Streak says:

    Jeese…. Jesse better perform tonight….why does a whole lot about his game and name remind me of Paajarvi….skating stride as long as a dutch / Finnish canal….hope he figures out how to shorten his stride and get more uuumph behind a quick wrister.

  73. digger50 says:

    OriginalPouzar: How is it becoming clear?I mean, he’s played a couple pre-season games – i don’t think any determinations can be made from a few exhibition games.

    Not confusing Ryan’s performance as the indicator of success. The fact is Ryan is not substantially better than many other options. What is becoming clear is that having that RHD would have substantially improved the defence, allowed more options with Russel, and affected the RW position minimal.

  74. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: How is it becoming clear?I mean, he’s played a couple pre-season games – i don’t think any determinations can be made from a few exhibition games.

    “Dylan” has a history…a large existing sample size, unllike Yamamoto or Puljujarvi. If the current small sample size looks much like the large existing sample size…Q.E.D.

  75. godot10 says:

    Silver Streak:
    Jeese…. Jesse better perform tonight….why does a whole lot about his game and name remind me of Paajarvi….skating stride as long as a dutch / Finnish canal….hope he figures out how to shorten his stride and get more uuumph behind a quick wrister.

    Puljujarvi, like Paajarvi was, is in need of detailed coaching around a stable defined role.

  76. OmJo says:

    godot10,

    Throw Yak on that list too, IMO.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: “Dylan” has a history…a large existing sample size, unllike Yamamoto or Puljujarvi.If the current small sample size looks much like the large existing sample size…Q.E.D.

    What about his sample size with Doug Weight as coach and playing center versus his sample size with Jack Capuano as coach and playing wing with gritensity linemates?

  78. SoCaloil says:

    Re Fayne: When is the most likely time for getting claimed off waivers? Another week? That’s when He will be sent down.
    Nolan doesn’t move the needle. The Kings had Kyle Clifford n Nolan and realistically both are 13F
    Buffola are getting some serious left overs w Nolan n Pouliot in the lineup

  79. Thinker says:

    To be fair, strome is a bonifide 3line rw, which is better than caggiula or slepyshev last year. Problem is we had to create a hole at 1/2line rw, and we still haven’t addressed the hole at 2rw. Unless our firsts are for real.

  80. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: What about his sample size with Doug Weight as coach and playing center versus his sample size with Jack Capuano as coach and playing wing with gritensity linemates?

    Todd McLellan is “closer” to Jack Capuano than he is to Doug Weight.

  81. digger50 says:

    On Yamamoto:

    Smaller players usually peak early. They do get better and stronger but not the same rate as a lanky teen who still needs to master full coordination of mind and body.

    The Junior leagues and Uni leagues are full of small excellent players who peaked and could not make the next level. Not so much because of thier size in itself, but due to size inhibiting development whereas thier larger peers can keep progressing.

    This is just my opinion, but I say because I think if Yamamoto peaks early, perhaps his time is now.

  82. OriginalPouzar says:

    SoCaloil:
    Re Fayne: When is the most likely time for getting claimed off waivers? Another week? That’s when He will be sent down.
    Nolan doesn’t move the needle. The Kings had Kyle Clifford n Nolan and realistically both are 13F
    Buffola are getting some serious left overs w Nolan n Pouliot in the lineup

    Doubt that is their thinking.

    Don’t need the cap space this year but likely need the player to play NHL games.

    Keegan Lowe starts creeping up the depth chart when d-men ahead of him get moved out. Do we want to see him in the lineup? Sure don’t. How about Jones? Not this year.

  83. dustrock says:

    godot10: Todd McLellan is “closer” to Jack Capuano than he is to Doug Weight.

    Let’s just quote this for posterity

  84. Thinker says:

    OriginalPouzar: Jag

    I think there’s a lot of assumptions in that narrative that simply haven’t been confirmed. We can regurgitate that rhetoric, but fact is nobody really knows how he feels, and it makes just as little sense to say there’s no chance, as to say it’s guaranteed.

  85. Thinker says:

    I think the injury aspect of being small in the NHL is a pretty big myth. Cogs is ironman ffs. You don’t not play the bpa because he might get hurt.

  86. hunter1909 says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Opened up a pack of Tim Horton’s hockey cards this morning and the very first card I pulled out?

    Taylor Hall, NJ Devils.

    I’m taking trade requests.

    What ya got?

    I’ve got a game worn Rob Schremp hockey card, plus a half eaten Tim Horton’s doughnut.

  87. hunter1909 says:

    Thinker:
    I think the injury aspect of being small in the NHL is a pretty big myth. Cogs is ironman ffs. You don’t not play the bpa because he might get hurt.

    Please. Cogs was an ineffective small Oiler until he went to a real hockey team that told him how to play the game should he wish to remain in it etc.

    Anyway. Current Oilers mgmt thinks more like me than you/Lowe+MacT on the “small forwards” front. Bruisers like Lucic, Kassian + Maroon instead of Gagner, Cogliano and Zack Stortini.

  88. OriginalPouzar says:

    What do people want to see from Strome?

    He’s got 3 goals in 3 exhibition games – he’s a “veteran” working on his timing and adjusting to a new team, coach, systems, etc.

    Has he dominated games out there? No, but he’s gone to the tough areas of the ice and scored goals while getting his game up to speed.

    Would he look better if he did some toe trags and backhand shelf goals?

  89. godot10 says:

    dustrock: Let’s just quote this for posterity

    In terms of being a defensive-oriented systems coach than Weight who is a coach more open to offensive dynamism.

  90. CrazyCoach says:

    Brantford Boy,

    Do you have the special limited edition, Griffin Reinhart?

  91. CrazyCoach says:

    hunter1909,

    SOLD!!!!!

    I was gonna hold out for a Jason Bonsignore, but life is funny

  92. Spoils says:

    here’s the yam of it. he keeps scoring and defending well, he stays in the lineup. our RW is weak, and the game is primed for smart speed.

    hey, since I am not a GM let alone a journalist, let me be the first to say this. The Yammer will keep it up and surprise for our first ever Calder (why not take the bait and lose the plot, it’s just fun).

    and JP will be in the NHL playing well mid-year.

    RW ends as a strength.

    YAMADAMADOOOOOOO

  93. Thinker says:

    hunter1909: Please. Cogs was an ineffective small Oiler until he went to a real hockey team that told him how to play the game should he wish to remain in it etc.

    Anyway. Current Oilers mgmt thinks more like me than you/Lowe+MacT on the “small forwards” front. Bruisers like Lucic, Kassian + Maroon instead of Gagner, Cogliano and Zack Stortini.

    Not sure what I wrote to make you go off on that tangent…

  94. McSorley33 says:

    CrazyCoach,

    Opened up a pack of Tim Horton’s hockey cards this morning and the very first card I pulled out?
    Taylor Hall, NJ Devils.
    I’m taking trade requests.
    What ya got?
    *******************************************************
    I have an Adam Lars….nah, I better not.

  95. OmJo says:

    Thinker:
    I think the injury aspect of being small in the NHL is a pretty big myth. Cogs is ironman ffs. You don’t not play the bpa because he might get hurt.

    Cogs is 30lbs bigger than Yamamoto.

  96. McSorley33 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    What do people want to see from Strome?
    He’s got 3 goals in 3 exhibition games – he’s a “veteran” working on his timing and adjusting to a new team, coach, systems, etc.
    Has he dominated games out there? No, but he’s gone to the tough areas of the ice and scored goals while getting his game up to speed.
    Would he look better if he did some toe trags and backhand shelf goals?
    ************************************************************************************
    Ask Todd Mclellan.

    Ryan has already been talked to about his play by the coach. Surely you agree
    Ryan earned that conversation?

  97. CrazyCoach says:

    McSorley33,

    But I need it…

    Never mind

  98. CrazyCoach says:

    Spoils: The Yammer will keep it up and surprise for our first ever Calder

    But I hear the Leafs have this Liljegren kid…

  99. leadfarmer says:

    OriginalPouzar: What about his sample size with Doug Weight as coach and playing center versus his sample size with Jack Capuano as coach and playing wing with gritensity linemates?

    Sure, you can ignore a 220 game sample size because a 1/2 season sample size makes us happier

  100. voxwah says:

    I feel Pool Party and Yamamoto have both outplayed Cagguila.

    Cagguila could get set down as well. Doesn’t need to clear waivers. Lots of options.

    The best available players should play.

    GoOilers!

  101. OmJo says:

    CrazyCoach:
    Opened up a pack of Tim Horton’s hockey cards this morning and the very first card I pulled out?

    Taylor Hall, NJ Devils.

    I’m taking trade requests.

    What ya got?

    Would a right-handed Pikachu be enough? I think it should be enough.

  102. Pouzar says:

    I need a drink.

  103. Pouzar says:

    31 Thoughts

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/31-thoughts-olympic-roster-decisions-starting-take-shape/

    1. Word out of Wednesday’s Board of Governors’ meeting is that the possibility of an $80-million cap was floated for the 2018-19 season. A bit more context: this year’s cap could have been close to $79 million had both the NHL and NHLPA applied the full inflator. Other factors — Canadian dollar, revenue projections, escrow/inflator — will affect the final outcome, so it is impossible to pin down at this early time. But cap-strapped teams and GMs will like that possibility.

  104. Profit says:

    Pouzar,

    In a similar vein, Edmonton and Patrick Maroon sure made it sound last week that there is mutual interest in getting something done. The term and cash won’t be as high as T.J. Oshie, but the philosophy could very well be. An extra year or two in exchange for a lower average annual value. Makes a lot of sense.

    //

    I should hope cash/term aren’t TJ Oshie level!

  105. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: Sure, you can ignore a 220 game sample size because a 1/2 season sample size makes us happier

    Should we ignore is 50P and 9 plus shots/60 season as well?

  106. CrazyCoach says:

    OmJo,

    Throw in a pog of your choice and the deal is done.

  107. Pouzar says:

    Profit: I should hope cash/term aren’t TJ Oshie level!

    Pretty scary indeed.

  108. New Improved Darkness says:

    My comment about winding up in the spam filter was also marked as spam.

    Well, I’m not going to sit here and summarize ten years of what my time here meant to me in ten words, so that’s only the version I’m offering up.

  109. Pechetr says:

    leadfarmer,

    The guy has played 3 games and has 3 pts. It’s pre season and the guy is a ppg player. Maybe pump the brakes a little on running him out of town just yet.

  110. OmJo says:

    CrazyCoach,

    Darn, you got more than Chiarelli did for the actual Hall.

    Too soon? 😇

  111. CrazyCoach says:

    OmJo,

    Has it ever been too late to overananlyze?

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