Let’s Make a Deal!

Do you ever wonder where trade rumors come from? We can never be sure, but we can make educated guesses. As an example, when you see a flood of rumors, as we did yesterday, seems more likely management or someone from the team was sending out semaphore signals. It was a large group of names for one day (Matt Benning, Anton Slepyshev, Jussi Jokinen) added to the weekend news that Ryan Strome could be had for the right price. Doubt this came from multiple sources (agents, other teams), my guess is Edmonton leaked for several reasons (motivation? stir up interest? Let the fan base know action was being contemplated?).

TRADE VALUE

Based on the list published in the last few days, the most valuable piece out there is Matt Benning. Despite early struggles this season, Benning has real value. He is a righty, can move the puck and is mobile. Plays a rugged game and defends well if sometimes betraying his inexperience.

  • Mark Spector: There is no evidence that the Oilers are shopping Benning, but the sense would be that Chiarelli has targeted other young defenceman and as such, Benning becomes the ask. Source

I wonder if the team is looking for a more dynamic defender, like Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche. Beyond that, I’m uncertain what might be gained in dealing a reasonably priced player like Benning. I will confess bias in this case, for me the youngster was a Godsend and really helps the lefty-righty axis. Either way, if the names being dropped represent the entire pool, Benning’s the man headed out of town. On a team short of value contracts, this looks like a bad idea.

OILERS ROSTER AND CAP

Plenty of talk lately about calling up Jesse Puljujarvi and I’m on board for sure. One of the reasons to wait involves the cap. Trading out (say) Kailer Yamamoto for JP doesn’t change much in salary, but adds $2.5 million in possible bonus cap. Eventually much of these cap bonus issues will burn off, but even if we include only Connor McDavid and assume $500,000 total for the rest of the group, it’s $3 million in cap hit. That would put actual cap room number at $5,653,300. Still we hear about $8 million.

Why is it important? Let’s say the Oilers are talking to the Avalanche about Tyson Barrie. His cap hit ($5.5 million) is basically the amount of cap room available if McDavid reaches max and the rest of the bonuses cash in $500,000. This also includes keeping Jesse Puljujarvi in the minors until all bonuses have been extinguished. Matt Benning’s salary ($925,000) would be your cap room. Depending on ask, trading for Chris Kreider ($4,625,000 cap number) would be a little more comfortable.

A reminder: When you read someone saying “the Oilers have $8 million in cap room!” today, you’ll know they are framing issues. Important to be factual, I believe.

LINES AND PAIRINGS FROM PRACTICE

  • Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Leon Draisaitl
  • Milan Lucic—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Kailer Yamamoto
  • Drake Caggiula—Ryan Strome—Anton Slepyshev
  • Iiro Pakarinen—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian
  • Darnell Nurse—Adam Larsson
  • Oscar Klefbom—Matt Benning
  • Yohann Auvitu—Kris Russell
  • Cam Talbot (Laurent Brossoit)

Every day in the comments section I read about Todd McLellan needing to move Leon Draisaitl to center and with each new shuffle Leon remains on RW. The coach is comfortable running power v. power, so maybe things change with a Chris Kreider trade but I don’t think so.

As for the other changes, maybe this gets Anton Slepyshev going a little. I like the player, that training camp injury really bit him in the ass and he could be in a new town soon. One of the things these rumors tell us is that PC is interested in offloading someone, possibly to sign Chris Kelly. With that in mind, good moment to mention Jujhar Khaira also outside the four lines yesterday (along with Jussi Jokinen).

ANTON SLEPYSHEV

Anton  Slepyshev has a nice range of skills. He has size, skill and speed, plus he boasts a heavy shot. I’m not convinced he’ll be a 20-goal man annually but there are elements in his game that suggest he has a chance to become one. Here were my projections during the RE series for Edmonton’s RW:

  1. Leon Draisaitl 79gp, 26-58-84
  2. Anton Slepyshev 70gp,12-13-25
  3. Jesse Puljujarvi 65gp, 14-14-28
  4. Zack Kassian 74gp, 11-14-25
  5. Iiro Pakarinen 10gp, 1-1-2
  6. Source

That absolutely conveyed the uncertainty of summer, simply no way to correctly suss out what was to come (Kailer Yamamoto). As it stands, including Yamamoto, the Oilers RW boxcars total 11 points. The projections above would have this group posting 20 points after 10 games. It’s been a tragic start to the season.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy day on the radio (snow day!), 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. What does Jon think of McLellan’s new lines? The trade rumors?
  • Corey Graham, TSN1260. Oil Kings are off to an interesting start.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. World Series, Oilers, Habs, Leafs, CFL playoff picture.
  • Simon Boisvert, Prospect Insider. Who among the Oilers young RWers has the most offensive potential?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

 

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102 Responses to "Let’s Make a Deal!"

  1. Professor Q says:

    Looks like Leafs fans are feeling eerily similar to us right now.

    Unexpected struggles. Odd and baffling moves. Players must be moved to fix this (queue discussion of said moves ad nauseum). Underperforming coach and management, which might also need changing.

    “Top two line-drivers” (Matthews and Nylander) are being played together, and play well, and that’s great, but they need to be on their own lines to drive them and make the team better; but how to do so without sacrificing their chemistry together?!

    At least they don’t talk about Kessel, Seguin, and Phaneuf like us Oilers fans do ours. At least not as much.

  2. Jethro Tull says:

    That is such a throw away statement by Spector.

  3. geowal says:

    Professor Q,

    Except for that whole “didn’t fall on their face first 10 games thing”, buying a cushion to ponder things like lineup moves instead of wondering when to start draft talk.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    I’m not sure how it makes sense to trade Benning, our second best right shot defenceman, when one of our biggest holes (if not our biggest hole) is a right shot defenceman for the 2nd pairing.

    Sure, if Benning is packaged with another player/prospect/pick to acquire a superior more proven right shot d-man, that makes sense but, in isolation, a trade of Benning to upgrade at another area (winger) doesn’t make sense to me.

  5. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT!. So the cap estimation is around: +/- $5MM after bonuses

    – Had we not “dumped” Ebs for Strome, we’d have $1.5MM

    – This is another reason why I agreed with Chia not getting another winger before seeing what he’s got internally, and it makes sense this was the rationale

    – Make the right deal when you can with the money you’ve been saving if need be, but not before

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    I generally like the lines, although I’d prefer Puljijarvi over Yamamoto in the near future (bonus issues acknowledged).

    I’m remiss to remove Strome from Nuge’s wing and place him at center as he has performed better this season as Nuge’s winger than 3C, in my opinion.

    With that said, Letestu at 3C should not be an option so the aggregate of the shuffle makes sense to me.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    Very much on board with the defence pairings although I’d still prefer Russell as 3LD to 3RD and would prefer a Russell/Gryba third pairing. That pairing did get caved last game but Russell should be able to transport the puck a bit from the left side and anchor a third pairing from the left side. If not, we are in big trouble with the contract.

    Kudos to Coach Todd for realizing that, as of now, Nurse is the more valuable left shot defender than Russell and giving the ES minutes bump to Nurse. Coming in to the season, we knew that the coach liked and trusted Russell (and I’m sure he still does) but he has been able to see what is going on with Nurse and Russell’s struggles and has made the change.

  8. Mr. D. says:

    Benning is like an off/on switch. Parts of his game are
    very good other parts horrible. You cant be a turnover machine(rim around the boards all the time) and expect the team to do well.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    I am hopeful that the split of Oscar and Adam (at least in the short term) will allow the top two pairs to split the top minutes (similar to last year) and get the minutes for Oscar down a bit.

    I think its fairly clear that he has struggled and the uptick in his minutes has likely been a large factor in the struggles.

  10. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sure, Slep has size, skill and speed but he has yet to put i together.

    Many like the #freeslepy tag and think he deserves a spot up the lineup, however, aside from a solid stretch of games late last year and in the playoffs (where the entire team was bought in to a system and were playing structured), he hasn’t proven to be a top 6 forward. In fact, he hasn’t proven to be an every day NHLer yet.

    That damn ankle injury really set him back – he could have earned a spot at camp but never got the chance and has started the season behind the 8-ball.

  11. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: Sure, Slep has size, skill and speed but he has yet to put i together.

    He isn’t a driver. He is not going create for his teammates but when he plays with skilled players he is the best option of the bottom 6 wingers imo. He looked good in the playoffs with Drai/Looch and for some inexplicable reason TMc refuses to go back to it.

  12. Pouzar says:

    Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid— JP/Slepy
    Milan Lucic—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Leon Draisaitl
    Drake Caggiula—Ryan Strome—JP/Slepy
    Khaira—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian

  13. John Chambers says:

    You know what might be a good fit: a trade with Las Vegas for Cody Eakin. Oilers could use a cost -controlled 3C, and in exchange we send them someone younger.

    Slepyshev and a 2nd for Eakin.

  14. McSorley33 says:

    I agree a change on the D pairings was needed.

    Just not sure how Benning and Klef will play together.
    ( strikes me as a high event pairing )

    Hopefully, Klef just plays it safe and simple.

  15. McSorley33 says:

    As an example, when you see a flood of rumors, as we did yesterday, seems more likely management or someone from the team was sending out semaphore signals. It was a large group of names for one day (Matt Benning, Anton Slepyshev, Jussi Jokinen) added to the weekend news that Ryan Strome could be had for the right price.
    ******************************************************************************************
    Must be from the Oilers.

    Have a tough time seeing any Gm being really intrigued with the above names.
    ( maybe Benning )

    Our best hope, is to get a draft pick for Jokinen a the trade deadline

  16. Nuclear leak says:

    Wouldn’t you move Strome for Eakin? What the hell does Eakin do to help this teams issues other then add to them? Let me guess chop wood, carry water, blow hot air.

  17. texmex says:

    There is zero chance JP maxes out his bonuses. If he does, that means he is top 10 in the league for goals, assists, ppg and is also in the conversation for the hart trophy, 1st team all star, Conn Smythe among other awards. If he maxes out his bonuses, Edmonton will be in a very good place come the end of the 2018 season.

    At this point, McDavid may not max out his bonuses (I know it’s early).

    So in short, I think $3M in bonus is a very reasonable expectation. I’d take my chances with JP.

  18. oscarmike says:

    Nuge-Leon-Yammy
    Maroon-McD-Puljujarvi
    Lucic-Malone-Strome
    Drake-Letestu-Kassian

  19. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    EDM isn’t that far back of a wildcard spot right now.

    These are “games over .500”

    Top 3 lead the Pacific.

    Los Angeles Kings 7
    Vegas Golden Knights 6
    Vancouver Canucks 3
    —————————————–

    Here’s the fight for the 2 wildcard spots in the West:

    Anaheim Ducks 2
    San Jose Sharks 1
    Colorado Avalanche 1
    Nashville Predators 1
    Minnesota Wild 1
    Chicago Blackhawks 0
    Calgary Flames 0
    Edmonton Oilers -3
    Arizona Coyotes -9

    If they go on a run and get themselves into the mix instead of behind it by the end of November it sets up ok for the rest of the year.

    They need to go on a run though.

    Might be easier to finish in 2nd or 3rd in the Pacific than get in through the wildcard though.

    Not one team in the Central is below .500 (yes I know .500 isn’t .500 in the NHL, its points over games played)

    VGK will fall. They’re about to start a goalie who’s putting up .878 in the WHL.

    If they continue with little GA with below average goalies maybe we’ll have to ask Rickithebear to make his database public.

    VAN might linger up there though.

    I noted in the GDT of game 2 that they had a reasonable Dcorps. Add to that we know that Tanev is Tanev again so far this year so they can play the best very well.

    Add to that Nilsson rocking a crazy +2.5 GSAA/100 (all situations) and they could stick around.

    They are playing Markstom 2 to 1 vs Nilsson and Markstrom’s GSAA/100 is -0.64.

    If they went the other way and Nilsson got 2 to Markstrom’s one and he kept his GSAA up (current level is unpossible to keep up, but last year he put up a +1.25/100 so he might have it figured out.)

  20. Lowetide says:

    texmex:
    There is zero chance JP maxes out his bonuses.

    Still has to be factored in. Edmonton is too far from actual cap to use Sekera for LTIR, so n fact the JP bonus would be a factor for longer than most believe. I’m not making this up, it’s a thing.

  21. JimmyV1965 says:

    How does a team with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisattle have the fewest goals in the league? I just can’t wrap my head around that.

  22. HT Joe says:

    JimmyV1965:
    How does a team with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisattle have the fewest goals in the league? I just can’t wrap my head around that.

    Lack of secondary scorers and lack of top 6 wingers… they’re both things. 😐

  23. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan Stanton is officially on waivers so that he can be assigned to Bakersfield.

    He was hurt in pre-season.

    This is a minor thing but a good thing – he would fight with Simpson for the first call-up and he played well early in camp.

    He’s got 120 games of NHL experience.

    He will be good for the kids in Bakersfield and could provide some solid 3rd pairing play for the team at some point.

  24. SHILL83 says:

    19-97-91
    27-29-58
    18-93-56
    16-55-44
    36-26

    25-6
    77-83
    4-62
    81

    The first two lines are how we ended the playoff run and those were working. Some chemistry was developed and it splits up McD and Drai so hopefully one of those lines gets an easier match up every couple of shifts. The third line is small but they should have some speed and offensive creativity. Works good at home as can try and get a good match up with them. Give them some good Ozone starts. I would send Yamo down after this game and call up Malone or Pul and play them on that third line in Yamo spot. Pul would giv that line some size, Malone would give that line some size and also a strong defensive minded player along with the grit which could help create space for the other two.I would like to seem Malone called up and playing on that fourth line instead of JJ but until a call up and someone is send down that isn’t happening. Jok has been terrible and pak hasn’t done much. Would rather give the ice time to JJ to see what he has so a decision on him can be made.
    As for the defense they look like what is being reported expected for the 3rd pair. Russell is gonna play so keep him on the LHD he looks better there and Gyrba hasn’t been terrible in the 3rd pair dmen minutes. And I like him over Avuitu especially if paired with Russell.

  25. 106 and 106 says:

    My knee is a thing.

    My foot, also a thing.

    This phone, thing.

    All are things.

  26. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide,

    apropos of nothing but the name of today’s post – congrats to your Eagles for winning the NFL trade deadline today, LT.

    Ajayi is exactly what that offence needed. As a Dolphins fan, I am mystified and angry, but your team just snagged a proper 3 down back for what amounts to magic beans (a 4th rd. pick)

  27. russ99 says:

    We have to save cap for the deadline, this team has too many issues to solve with one player, especially if that one player is a puck moving defenseman.

    Also, I’d rather the Oilers be fighting for a playoff spot or playoff position than in first place. When things are going well, this group is way too complacent. We’d be better served next spring if we have to fight for it.

  28. russ99 says:

    Pouzar: He isn’t a driver. He is not going create for his teammates but when he plays with skilled players he is the best option of the bottom 6 wingers imo. He looked good in the playoffs with Drai/Looch and for some inexplicable reason TMc refuses to go back to it.

    He’s one of our best players on the wall in the offensive zone. If we’re going to play these systems, we should properly utilize players that play well within them.

  29. dustrock says:

    russ99:
    We have to save cap for the deadline, this team has too many issues to solve with one player, especially if that one player is a puck moving defenseman.

    Also, I’d rather the Oilers be fighting for a playoff spot or playoff position than in first place. When things are going well, this group is way too complacent. We’d be better served next spring if we have to fight for it.

    I don’t like deadline deals. You’re getting a player who’s played with a different team for 3/4 of the season and try to force chemistry.

    How often has it actually, dramatically improved a team’s chance of success?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to make a move at this point in the season, both for acquisition cost, and for time to develop chemistry?

  30. stush18 says:

    russ99: He’s one of our best players on the wall in the offensive zone. If we’re going to play these systems, we should properly utilize players that play well within them.

    I’m a big slepy fan, but I’m not sure about this.

    He can hold intoned possession well along the wall. But most of the time it amounts to low percentage shots.

  31. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: EDM isn’t that far back of a wildcard spot right now.

    And it’s still only October!

  32. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    hunter1909: And it’s still only October!

    Progress!!

  33. russ99 says:

    stush18: I’m a big slepy fan, but I’m not sure about this.

    He can hold intoned possession well along the wall. But most of the time it amounts to low percentage shots.

    That depends on who’s doing the shooting. We seem to be able to get possession but everything is forced back, rarely to the man in the crease or open areas of the ice.

    I’m getting frustrated of the out of hand dismissal of the cycle / longing for the MacT era of everybody on the rush with no defense.

    Many other teams play this way and score goals, why can’t we?

    Not to mention it took McLellan a tough year to get player buy in, and it led us to a grabbed goalie pad away from the Conference Finals. Why abandon it now? Just because you’re pissed about Hall and Eberle?

  34. delooper says:

    I don’t see a reason to panic. The Oilers are a good NHL team, and good NHL teams go through stretches like this. If they were guaranteed to start the season on a hot streak, they wouldn’t be just a good NHL team they’d be an over-the-top epic dynasty. As far as I can tell, they’re not that and likely have no chance of being that good.

    If a “lull” such as this happened mid-season after a hot streak, people would be far more relaxed about it. Well, nothing is too small for some Oilers fans to panic about. . . But hopefully my general sentiment is communicated.

  35. OriginalPouzar says:

    russ99:
    We have to save cap for the deadline, this team has too many issues to solve with one player, especially if that one player is a puck moving defenseman.

    If a move isn’t made sooner than the new year, there is a decent chance we are sellers at the deadline.

    I wonder what we could get for Maroon – he’d be a good pick-up for a contender looking to add some toughness and scoring depth.

    I hope that isn’t the case but its definitely not an unreasonable proposition.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    dustrock: I don’t like deadline deals.You’re getting a player who’s played with a different team for 3/4 of the season and try to force chemistry.

    How often has it actually, dramatically improved a team’s chance of success?

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to make a move at this point in the season, both for acquisition cost, and for time to develop chemistry?

    Spacek, Samsanov, Roloson.

  37. Cassandra says:

    russ99: That depends on who’s doing the shooting. We seem to be able to get possession but everything is forced back, rarely to the man in the crease or open areas of the ice.

    I’m getting frustrated of the out of hand dismissal of the cycle / longing for the MacT era of everybody on the rush with no defense.

    Many other teams play this way and score goals, why can’t we?

    Not to mention it took McLellan a tough year to get player buy in, and it led us to a grabbed goalie pad away from the Conference Finals. Why abandon it now? Just because you’re pissed about Hall and Eberle?

    I don’t understand the notion that the Oilers somehow don’t play cycle hockey. Indeed, if Woodguy’s analysis that the Oilers are getting a disproportionate of shots from the point, then this is evidence that the Oilers cycle the puck more than other teams since it is off the cycle that these shots are generated.

  38. hunter1909 says:

    delooper: The Oilers are a good NHL team, and good NHL teams go through stretches like this. If they were guaranteed to start the season on a hot streak, they wouldn’t be just a good NHL team they’d be an over-the-top epic dynasty. As far as I can tell, they’re not that and likely have no chance of being that good.

    LOL so in other words you’re just if not more miserable than everyone else.

  39. hunter1909 says:

    Make me the freaking GM.

    The first announcement I make is this: No more bonuses.

    If players get a contract extention/raise, that’s the bonus.

    The simple fact that a hard cap is forced to endlessly deal on some wack variable makes me want to vomit.

  40. godot10 says:

    John Chambers:
    You know what might be a good fit: a trade with Las Vegas for Cody Eakin. Oilers could use a cost -controlled 3C, and in exchange we send them someone younger.

    Slepyshev and a 2nd for Eakin.

    Isn’t Cody Eakin the #1C in Vegas?

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    hunter1909:
    Make me the freaking GM.

    The first announcement I make is this: No more bonuses.

    If players get a contract extention/raise, that’s the bonus.

    The simple fact that a hard cap is forced to endlessly deal on some wack variable makes me want to vomit.

    Well, if a player is a getting a raise, unless they are 35 plus, they aren’t getting any bonuses.

    Bonuses are only available in ELCs and plus 35 contracts.

    The market provides for substantial bonuses for any player drafted in the top 5 and some level of bonuses for most first rounders.

    JP deserved his bonus structure with his pre-draft play.

    Yamamoto, drafted in the back end of the 1st round, has max bonuses of $230k for each year of his ELC.

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    Unfortunately, we will probably not like the bonuses that Chiarelli gives to Russell when he signs his plus 35 contract to play 2RD for the Oilers in a few years.

  43. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Unfortunately, we will probably not like the bonuses that Chiarelli gives to Russell when he signs his plus 35 contract to play 2RD for the Oilers in a few years.

    He’s already on the third pair.

  44. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Unfortunately, we will probably not like the bonuses that Chiarelli gives to Russell when he signs his plus 35 contract to play 2RD for the Oilers in a few years.

    This is hands down the most terrifying thing I’m going to see this Halloween.

  45. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar: If a move isn’t made sooner than the new year, there is a decent chance we are sellers at the deadline.

    I wonder what we could get for Maroon – he’d be a good pick-up for a contender looking to add some toughness and scoring depth.

    I hope that isn’t the case but its definitely not an unreasonable proposition.

    Eaves netted a conditional second.

  46. Lewis Grant says:

    OriginalPouzar: Many like the #freeslepy tag and think he deserves a spot up the lineup, however, aside from a solid stretch of games late last year and in the playoffs (where the entire team was bought in to a system and were playing structured), he hasn’t proven to be a top 6 forward. In fact, he hasn’t proven to be an every day NHLer yet.

    The perceived value of players is disproportionately determined in the playoffs. The league knows about Slepyshev because of his good stretch of games. His value may never be higher than it is now.

    Some might argue that you don’t trade a player until you know what you have. But we traded Paajarvi during that stage – and just after he had some big up arrows. That trade worked out pretty well. Slepyshev might be the same. (And if we had traded Gagner and Yakupov before we knew what we had, we would have gotten a lot more.)

  47. Ryan says:

    OmJo: This is hands down the most terrifying thing I’m going to see this Halloween.

    I predict Slepy traded for either a Desharrnais type return or more likely a 4rth round pick to make room on the 50 man to sign Kelly.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan: He’s already on the third pair.

    Yes, I know, I was just joking….

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan: I predict Slepy traded for either a Desharrnais type return or more likely a 4rth round pick to make room on the 50 man to sign Kelly.

    Check that: that is the scariest thing any Oiler fan will see this Halloween!

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    Larsson was not on the ice for practice this morning.

    Not sure why at this point – he was on the ice yesterday as far as I know.

  51. New Improved Darkness says:

    Kailer didn’t go 22nd on ability. He went 22nd on net present value, after discounting his upside, his upside of possibly being too good to send back to junior without hampering his future development (aka bad asset management).

    And yet, keeping him in the NHL during his year of junior eligibility—upper deck of the NHL depth chart, no less—is sure to blow a statistical hole in whatever column he occupies, until he’s fully acclimated (nurtured under a patient, fluffy hen of no fixed window).

    Present losses while paying that price are a bitter pill, one that begins to compound immediately.

    If Kailer sucked more, the bitter pill would have become a bare cupboard in xmas future, Under the blinking neon lights of New Management.

    Whether that interest ever comes due depends on whether one takes up a seasonal roost or a permanent tenancy in the Bleachers of Blue Ruin.

    I was amused at the hon. Minister of Justice telling the hon. leader of the opposition that he was preaching blue ruin now. A few years ago the hon. minister himself was preaching blue ruin. The people of this country should understand that when one party is in power it is all lovely with them, and the other party is preaching blue ruin. I know that the gentlemen forming the ministry, and their supporters, always preached blue ruin until they got into power … — Canadian Senate, 1899

    Refreshed during the year of the glaring gap by the guess who (skill-testing question available in print, only):


    They all started out with bad directions
    And the girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear
    One for every year he’s away, she said
    Such a crumbling beauty
    Ah, there’s nothing wrong with her that a hundred dollars won’t fix
    She has that razor sadness that only gets worse
    With the clang and the thunder of the Southern Pacific going by
    And the clock ticks out like a dripping faucet
    Till you’re full of rag water and bitters and blue ruin
    And you spill out over the side to anyone who will listen
    And I’ve seen it all
    I’ve seen it all through the yellow windows of the evening train

  52. New Improved Darkness says:

    Schremp, Nilsson, Cogliano, Gagner.

    And to think, I could once have nicked myself Tots on a Tram.

    L’esprit de l’escalier, thou art truly a stairway to heaven with no ground floor.

  53. Doug McLachlan says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    EDM isn’t that far back of a wildcard spot right now.

    These are “games over .500”

    Top 3 lead the Pacific.

    Los Angeles Kings7
    Vegas Golden Knights6
    Vancouver Canucks3
    —————————————–

    Here’s the fight for the 2 wildcard spots in the West:

    Anaheim Ducks2
    San Jose Sharks1
    Colorado Avalanche1
    Nashville Predators1
    Minnesota Wild1
    Chicago Blackhawks0
    Calgary Flames0
    Edmonton Oilers-3
    Arizona Coyotes-9

    If they go on a run and get themselves into the mix instead of behind it by the end of November it sets up ok for the rest of the year.

    They need to go on a run though.

    Might be easier to finish in 2nd or 3rd in the Pacific than get in through the wildcard though.

    Not one team in the Central is below .500 (yes I know .500 isn’t .500 in the NHL, its points over games played)

    VGK will fall.They’re about to start a goalie who’s putting up .878 in the WHL.

    If they continue with little GA with below average goalies maybe we’ll have to ask Rickithebear to make his database public.

    VAN might linger up there though.

    I noted in the GDT of game 2 that they had a reasonable Dcorps.Add to that we know that Tanev is Tanev again so far this year so they can play the best very well.

    Add to that Nilsson rocking a crazy +2.5 GSAA/100 (all situations) and they could stick around.

    They are playing Markstom 2 to 1 vs Nilsson and Markstrom’s GSAA/100 is -0.64.

    If they went the other way and Nilsson got 2 to Markstrom’s one and he kept his GSAA up (current level is unpossible to keep up, but last year he put up a +1.25/100 so he might have it figured out.)

    By way of historical perspective, the Western Conference Finalist Nashville Predators were also -3 vs .500 on October 31, 2016. Made it on the last weekend of the season – but made it.

    The year previous the Ducks made the playoffs, indeed won the division, from even further back. Anaheim were -6 on October 31, 2015 and finished with 103pts (though they were knocked out by wild-card Nashville in the first round).

    Please return the panic buttons to their stowage compartments. This is fixable.

  54. GMB3 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Sure, Slep has size, skill and speed but he has yet to put i together.

    Many like the #freeslepy tag and think he deserves a spot up the lineup, however, aside from a solid stretch of games late last year and in the playoffs (where the entire team was bought in to a system and were playing structured), he hasn’t proven to be a top 6 forward.In fact, he hasn’t proven to be an every day NHLer yet.

    That damn ankle injury really set him back – he could have earned a spot at camp but never got the chance and has started the season behind the 8-ball.

    Hasn’t he dominated the shot shares so far this season? I don’t know what else you expect him to accomplish in limited ice with line mates who are weak offensively. To my eye it looks like more good than bad happens when he is on the ice

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    Please return the panic buttons to their stowage compartments.This is fixable.

    Agreed, however, the accumulation of points needs to start pretty soon or it will no longer be fixable.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    GMB3: Hasn’t he dominated the shot shares so far this season? I don’t know what else you expect him to accomplish in limited ice with line mates who are weak offensively. To my eye it looks like more good than bad happens when he is on the ice

    Yup, he’s got great Corsi and Fenwick, 33% goal share mind you.

    The entire team is dominating the shot shares though……

    Sure, he hasn’t had great linemates and he didn’t get the opportunity to continue where he left off last year because of the injury, however, since he’s been back, he just hasn’t shown that much on the ice.

    With that said, his healthy scratch came right after two games where I though he had finally started to skate better so that was a bit buzzling.

    Anyways, my point is simply that, while I’m happy to try Slep in the top 6 for a period of games, his career to this point does not indicate true top 6 player and he is still not fully established as an every day NHL player.

    Opportunity notwithstanding.

  57. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Re: Slepy

    Here’s his On Ice Shot Share for the last 4 games:

    PHI 66.7%
    PIT – Scratched
    DAL 88.9%
    WSH 75%

    0GF 0GA

    When I read guys like Rishaug (who I like) say “Sleppy has to show the coach something” I can’t understand it.

    Cagguila same games:

    PHI – Still on IR
    PIT – 47%
    DAL – 80%
    WSH – 44%

    0GF 1GA

    OIler forwards shots on net/60
    Player Shots on net /60
    KAILER.YAMAMOTO 12.45
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 10.60
    JUSSI.JOKINEN 9.09
    LEON.DRAISAITL 8.56
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 8.40
    PATRICK.MAROON 7.85
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 7.40
    RYAN.STROME 7.28
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 7.26
    ZACK.KASSIAN 6.55
    MILAN.LUCIC 6.35
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 5.46
    MARK.LETESTU 4.44

    Oiler Forwards Fenwick/60 (unblocked shots including on net and misses)
    Player Unblocked shots/60
    KAILER.YAMAMOTO 15.73
    JUSSI.JOKINEN 13.63
    CONNOR.MCDAVID 13.25
    OSCAR.KLEFBOM 12.79
    ANTON.SLEPYSHEV 11.10
    PATRICK.MAROON 10.59
    LEON.DRAISAITL 10.54
    RYAN.STROME 9.88
    MILAN.LUCIC 8.79
    DRAKE.CAGGIULA 8.73
    RYAN.NUGENT-HOPKINS 8.22
    ZACK.KASSIAN 7.74
    MARK.LETESTU 7.40

    Jussi is up there too.

  58. GMB3 says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    I don’t understand it either. Don’t get me started on Leavins game grades at the CoH

  59. Bag of Pucks says:

    The coach is ‘comfortable’ running Draisaitl alongside McDavid.

    I agree with this.

    In fact, I wonder if he’s so ‘comfortable’ with this that it eventually costs him his job?

    1) The GM is on the record stating he prefers Leon at C.

    2) Recent video on CBC’s after hours would seem to indicate that playing C is Leon’s longterm hope as well.

    3) To date, both are respectful of that decision being the HC’s call. But I doubt that goodwill lasts forever, particularly if the team continues to struggle to find balanced scoring throughout the lineup.

    MacLellan’s decision to utilize his roster advantage (i.e. center depth with McDavid, Draisaitl, RNH, Strome) within his Top 6 exclusively has to be one of the key tactical question marks of this season. Not only questionable in that it may be turning a strength into a weakness, but what does it say about the alignment between the GM’s roster construction and the HC’s roster deployment?

    As LT says, is MacLellan sending a message to Chiarelli that he needs a legitimate 1RW? If so and I’m Chiarelli, I might question why I’ve given my HC strength down the middle and he refuses to use it? Either a Nuge or Leon led line could be feasting on softer opposition right now and MacLellan insists that the bigger priority is giving the league MVP another river pusher playmate? Weird how Pitt doesn’t take this approach with Crosby?

    Godot, with every day that goes by where TMac refuses to run Leon at C, you’re winning another convert to #mediocrecoach.

  60. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    GMB3:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    I don’t understand it either. Don’t get me started on Leavins game grades at the CoH

    Its best to avoid those.

  61. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    I’m actually looking forward to a 91-18-58 3rd line.

    This team needs depth scoring and that’s the best 3 not in the top 9 and they’re together.

    Give them all the ozone starts possible.

    Also,

    I read that Larsson wasn’t at practice today.

    Didn’t see if it was mentioned in the thread.

    Uhoh.

  62. OmJo says:

    Ryan: I predict Slepy traded for either a Desharrnais type return or more likely a 4rth round pick to make room on the 50 man to sign Kelly.

    And then 4 years down the road…

    OriginalPouzar:
    Unfortunately, we will probably not like the bonuses that Chiarelli gives to Russell when he signs his plus 35 contract to play 2RD for the Oilers in a few years.

    Oil Change: Halloween Edition.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    I don’t believe Coach Todd playing Leon at 1RW is any message to Chiarelli nor a tactic that may get him fired.

    McLellan has mentioned numerous times that he talks to Chia on a regular basis – oubviously a good thing.

    Yes, Chia has expressed that he sees Drai as a center, long term. I wouldn’t consider playing Leon at center for the first quarter of year 1 of an 8 year contract interfering with the “long term plan”.

    Over the next few years, we have the following potential wingers to play in the top 6 under value contracts – Yamamoto, Puljijarvi, Benson, Safin, Maksimov.

    The last two are a few years away but the first three are anywhere from a couple games to a year (or two) away – if ever (in the case of Benson).

    Right now there is a lack of scoring wingers on this team but that will change as time goes on and, when it does, Leon will be the 2C on the team – this could happen as soon as next week (if Puljijarvi gets recalled and never looks back ala Leon), or potentially some time in the next few months if Chia makes an acquisition or, most likely, next year when we graduate a prospect or two that can actually play that role and be effective.

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    I read that Larsson wasn’t at practice today.

    Didn’t see if it was mentioned in the thread.

    Uhoh.

    Well then you don’t read my posts – not the worst idea ever, most of them are without value and I’m sure you aren’t the first *joke*.

    Anyways, McLellan wasn’t asked about Larsson after practice and, obviously, he didn’t volunteer any info but, apparently, Larsson fully participated in practice without issue yesterday so Spector (on Oilers Now) speculated that maybe he is under the weather – likely not hurt.

  65. Bag of Pucks says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I don’t believe Coach Todd playing Leon at 1RW is any message to Chiarelli nor a tactic that may get him fired.

    McLellan has mentioned numerous times that he talks to Chia on a regular basis – oubviously a good thing.

    Yes, Chia has expressed that he sees Drai as a center, long term. I wouldn’t consider playing Leon at center for the first quarter of year 1 of an 8 year contract interfering with the “long term plan”.

    Over the next few years, we have the following potential wingers to play in the top 6 under value contracts – Yamamoto, Puljijarvi, Benson, Safin, Maksimov.

    The last two are a few years away but the first three are anywhere from a couple games to a year (or so) away.

    Right now there is a lack of scoring wingers on this team but that will change as time goes on and, when it does, Leon will be the 2C on the team – this could happen as soon as next week (if Puljijarvi gets recalled and never looks back ala Leon, or potentially some time in the next few months if Chia makes an acquisition or, most likely, next year when we graduate a prospect or two that can actually play that role and be effective).

    None of Sheary, Rust, Kuhnackel or Guentzel were proven scoring wingers until they ran alongside Crosby or Malkin either. And yet, Pittsburgh finds a way to resist the temptation to run Crosby with Malkin other than in spot situations, and instead deploys their river pushers on separate lines.

    We shouldn’t look at the Oilers’ decisions in isolation. Too easy to stay in a bubble with that approach.

    The larger question is why does TMac feel his generational talent needs his 2nd best player riding shotgun when almost every other team in the league is striving to balance their scoring across multiple lines?

    Connor and Leon are the type of players that make their linemates better and more productive. So what, we’re using both of them to make Maroon better? Wouldn’t it be much more desirable if say, Leon was making Lucic and Sleppy better while McDavid was doing the same for Maroon and Strome or Caggiula?

    MacLellan is starting to remind me of a guy who hides his money in his mattress instead of buying a passive income investment.

  66. 106 and 106 says:

    “For me, it’s getting that swagger back when we come to the rink. We lost that swagger.” -Maroon

    It’s back:

    Swagger/60 is going to be upped.

  67. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: Well then you don’t read my posts – not the worst idea ever, most of them are without value and I’m sure you aren’t the first *joke*.

    Anyways, McLellan wasn’t asked about Larsson after practice and, obviously, he didn’t volunteer any info but, apparently, Larsson fully participated in practice without issue yesterday so Spector (on Oilers Now) speculated that maybe he is under the weather – likely not hurt.

    It is flu season in Edmonton, so very likely.

  68. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Bag of Pucks:

    The larger question is why does TMac feel his generational talent needs his 2nd best player riding shotgun when almost every other team in the league is striving to balance their scoring across multiple lines?

    – Great post LT!

    – Maybe TMac is getting the rest of the team to play moar hard, the way he wants,

    – Then he splits up McD and Drai: spreads out the talent, then he’s cooking with fire…

    – The rest of team has to learn to saw off without another super-star, rather than rely

    – Plus Drai as 2nd C, you don’t have much left for RNH @ 3C. RNH needs good wingers

  69. OmJo says:

    Bag of Pucks: None of Sheary, Rust, Kuhnackel or Guentzel were proven scoring wingers until they ran alongside Crosby or Malkin either. And yet, Pittsburgh finds a way to resist the temptation to run Crosby with Malkin other than in spot situations, and instead deploys their river pushers on separate lines.

    We shouldn’t look at the Oilers’ decisions in isolation. Too easy to stay in a bubble with that approach.

    The larger question is why does TMac feel his generational talent needs his 2nd best player riding shotgun when almost every other team in the league is striving to balance their scoring across multiple lines?

    Connor and Leon are the type of players that make their linemates better and more productive. So what, we’re using both of them to make Maroon better? Wouldn’t it be much more desirable if say, Leon was making Lucic and Sleppy better while McDavid was doing the same for Maroon and Strome or Caggiula?

    Good points. Excellent questions at the end.

    “Wouldn’t it be much more desirable if say, Leon was making Lucic and Sleppy better while McDavid was doing the same for Maroon and Strome or Caggiula?”

    The number from last season shows McDavid produced at essentially the same rate whether 29 or 14 was his RW. Production was affected by LW. Somebody should show that to TMac if he’s worried without Draisaitl McDavid might not still be McDavid.

    When Draisaitl was out and Yamamoto was on McDavids RW, the numbers took a hit. Maybe that’s where TMac got the idea from that Draisaitl maximises McDavids output. I’ve seen a few people suggest it over the last week or so, too. One reason Yamamoto had such a negative impact on production is that 0% shooting percentage. One reason for that 0% shooting percentage is just shit luck.

    I don’t see any reason why the playoff top 6 hasn’t been tried again. I wish somebody in the media would ask TMac your questions.

  70. Mr. D. says:

    I agree that we don’t play an EFFECTIVE cycle game. To be effective you need 2 or 3 players on the move creating a breakdown in coverage. Our cycle is most often a single give and go which barely fits the term. We never bring a dman in.

    Cassandra: I don’t understand the notion that the Oilers somehow don’t play cycle hockey.Indeed, if Woodguy’s analysis that the Oilers are getting a disproportionate of shots from the point, then this is evidence that the Oilers cycle the puck more than other teams since it is off the cycle that these shots are generated.

  71. PunjabiOil says:

    “If you brought in either guy (Pacioretty or Krieder), you wouldn’t be re-signing Patrick Maroon” – Stauffer

    _________

    This is where the Lucic contract hurts. Removed all flexibility.

    Would think if either of those players come in, RNH or Puljujarvi would be the players out.

    I’d prefer to keep Maroon irrespective – and if you have to go 6 year * 3M would you do it?

  72. Rake 2.0 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    RNH needs good wingers

    He’s doing ok carrying around Lucic and strome. Imagine if he had good wingers.

  73. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: None of Sheary, Rust, Kuhnackel or Guentzel were proven scoring wingers until they ran alongside Crosby or Malkin either. And yet, Pittsburgh finds a way to resist the temptation to run Crosby with Malkin other than in spot situations, and instead deploys their river pushers on separate lines.

    We shouldn’t look at the Oilers’ decisions in isolation. Too easy to stay in a bubble with that approach.

    The larger question is why does TMac feel his generational talent needs his 2nd best player riding shotgun when almost every other team in the league is striving to balance their scoring across multiple lines?

    Connor and Leon are the type of players that make their linemates better and more productive. So what, we’re using both of them to make Maroon better? Wouldn’t it be much more desirable if say, Leon was making Lucic and Sleppy better while McDavid was doing the same for Maroon and Strome or Caggiula?

    MacLellan is starting to remind me of a guy who hides his money in his mattress instead of buying a passive income investment.

    The change right near the end of pre-season to move Drai to 1RW and then start the season on that note was a head-scratcher.

    With that said, I can understand the reasoning for putting them together the last two games.

    When Drai was out, the team couldn’t score a lick, not even the top line (Yamamoto was the main RW and Connor wasn’t even scoring at evens with Kailer).

    Drai’s first game back and he was centering a line and, again, the team couldn’t score.

    They reunite the pair and they dominate offensively against Dallas and we win the game.

    I believe they should place Strome at 1RW and leave him there for 5-6 games – give them time to potentially develop some chemistry while Drai and Nuge hopefully center lines to provide some secondary scoring.

    My issue with Todd right now is him simply not sticking with anything for any period of time. The only thing he stuck with for a period of time was Kailer at 1RW and that was a failure throughout the experiment.

  74. OriginalPouzar says:

    When Draisaitl was out and Yamamoto was on McDavids RW, the numbers took a hit. Maybe that’s where TMac got the idea from that Draisaitl maximises McDavids output. I’ve seen a few people suggest it over the last week or so, too. One reason Yamamoto had such a negative impact on production is that 0% shooting percentage. One reason for that 0% shooting percentage is just shit luck.

    Shit luck for sure but some shit finish as well – that wide open net he missed was not luck, it was lack of finish by a junior hockey player.

  75. godot10 says:

    JimmyV1965:
    How does a team with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisattle have the fewest goals in the league? I just can’t wrap my head around that.

    The OIlers D is taking ~35% of the shots, and not from great locations, so longer than one might expect.

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    OriginalPouzar: The change right near the end of pre-season to move Drai to 1RW and then start the season on that note was a head-scratcher.

    With that said, I can understand the reasoning for putting them together the last two games.

    When Drai was out, the team couldn’t score a lick, not even the top line (Yamamoto was the main RW and Connor wasn’t even scoring at evens with Kailer).

    Drai’s first game back and he was centering a line and, again, the team couldn’t score.

    They reunite the pair and they dominate offensively against Dallas and we win the game.

    I believe they should place Strome at 1RW and leave him there for 5-6 games – give them time to potentially develop some chemistry while Drai and Nuge hopefully center lines to provide some secondary scoring.

    My issue with Todd right now is him simply not sticking with anything for any period of time.The only thing he stuck with for a period of time was Kailer at 1RW and that was a failure throughout the experiment.

    Full agree particularly with your last paragraph. The conundrum here is he does need to let this chemistry develop, but he’s also bought into this idea of fixed line pairs and has been very stubborn about those staying relatively static: Maroon and McDavid, Lucic and RNH, Letestu and Kassian.

    My new starting point for fixed pairs would be McDavid+Strome, Draisaitl+Lucic, and RNH+Kassian with Maroon, Sleppy and Cags rotating accordingly.

  77. OmJo says:

    PunjabiOil:
    “If you brought in either guy (Pacioretty or Krieder), you wouldn’t be re-signing Patrick Maroon” – Stauffer

    _________

    This is where the Lucic contract hurts.Removed all flexibility.

    Would think if either of those players come in, RNH or Puljujarvi would be the players out.

    I’d prefer to keep Maroon irrespective – and if you have to go 6 year * 3M would you do it?

    I’m weary of giving Maroon 6 years. I like him on the roster but the idea of having our LW locked at Lucic and Maroon for 5 years doesn’t sound too good to me. I’d like us to find somebody faster to play on the LW. Hopefully by then Benson is a real option for 1LW.

    If we can unload Lucic first, then I wouldn’t have any issue signing Maroon to a 6yr 3M contract.

  78. Yeti says:

    Media reporting on a projected Benning for Engelland + 6th rounder swap.

    [It’s Halloween, I’m allowed to scare the living shit out of people].

  79. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: Shit luck for sure but some shit finish as well – that wide open net he missed was not luck, it was lack of finish by a junior hockey player.

    No argument from me here. He’s just not ready to be an effective NHL player yet.

  80. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    Over the next few years, we have the following potential wingers to play in the top 6 under value contracts – Yamamoto, Puljijarvi, Benson, Safin, Maksimov.

    They’ve already blown one cheap year of Puljujarvi inexplicably last year, and are on the verge of blowing one cheap year of Yamamoto. One shouldn’t be wasting years of entry level contracts when the top prospects are barely if at replacement level.

  81. OmJo says:

    Yeti,

    Rumour has it that Chiarelli is the kind of guy who laughs during horror movies.

    Be careful what you wish for. Don’t give him any ideas.

  82. stush18 says:

    russ99: That depends on who’s doing the shooting. We seem to be able to get possession but everything is forced back, rarely to the man in the crease or open areas of the ice.

    I’m getting frustrated of the out of hand dismissal of the cycle / longing for the MacT era of everybody on the rush with no defense.

    Many other teams play this way and score goals, why can’t we?

    Not to mention it took McLellan a tough year to get player buy in, and it led us to a grabbed goalie pad away from the Conference Finals. Why abandon it now? Just because you’re pissed about Hall and Eberle?

    Im not sure why what you’re lashing out it at?

    I think it’s pretty obvious that I’ve felt the trade for Hall was a fair trade. I’ve spoken on this issue lots, and it’s nothing to do with Hall as a player. I just feel it was a fair trade.

    I’ve also been pleased with how stromes playing. Not a fan of how he’s getting jerked around

    I’ve also always been a big supporter of cycling. It’s necessary to have a blend.

    I’ve also defended chiarelli more than most lately. I’m a big believer that this team is going to push through whatever’s plagued this team.

  83. OmJo says:

    Can we just take a minute to admire the greatness that is @FakeOilersGM?

    Attention GMs: Ryan Strome is available! I’m looking for a useful forward in need of a change of scenery – someone like Jussi Jokinen.

    Nice try McPhee. You think I’m dumb enough to acquire Griffin Reinhart for free? My trade offer of Yamamoto + 2nd for Reinhart still stands.

    I have NO interest in acquiring Griffin Reinhart UNLESS I need to give up a 1st and 2nd round pick in a deep draft for him.

    Pure gold.

  84. Whatif says:

    Years ago Leaf fans regularly fell in love with various prospects and considered them to be much better than they actually were. A good part of this resulted from hope and hype rather than looking at facts.

    Somewhat the same situation appears to be developing with regard to the supporting cast for the current Oilers.None of Khaira, Pakarinen, Caggiula, Jokinen or Slepyshev appear to have the skills to become solid offensive contributors.Yet we seem to be trying to shoehorn them into positions above their level of ability on the hope that they will somehow blossom. To me this is a suckers game and does not bode well.

    If PC were able to acquire a few players with upside the picture could change very quickly but he is not a good negotiator. I am therefore concerned. Are you?

  85. LMHF#1 says:

    I’m not sure how much discussion of the new PP lines has taken place as I haven’t been following along today – but I’m really questioning what’s in the Coach’s head these days.

    That “first” unit basically relies on McDavid to do it all. No help for him, which is crazy.

    The “second” unit will be better, but has the wrong defenceman for the structure.

  86. stush18 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I dunno man.

    Benn and Seguin
    Bergeron and Marchand
    Stamkos and kucherov
    Mathews and nylander
    Gaudreau and monohan

    All of these pairings are ran with “lesser” 3rd players. Maroon, namestikov, etc.

    Honestly the only teams that don’t seem to run the two players together is teams that don’t have two legit “superstars”. Or maybe these teams just have more depth?

    Ottawa blends Ryan, turris, stone, Hoffman
    NYR blend zibinajed, Nash, Kreider
    LA blends Carter kopitar brown toffoli Pearson

    Or am I off on thinking this? Seems like there is a lot of teams putting their best two forwards together at even strength.

  87. OmJo says:

    Whatif:
    Years ago Leaf fans regularly fell in love with various prospects and considered them to be much better than they actually were. A good part of this resulted from hope and hype rather than looking at facts.

    Somewhat the same situation appears to be developing with regard to the supporting cast for the current Oilers.None of Khaira, Pakarinen, Caggiula, Jokinen or Slepyshev appear to have the skills to become solid offensive contributors.Yet we seem to be trying to shoehorn them into positions above their level of ability on the hope that they will somehow blossom. To me this is a suckers game and does not bode well.

    If PC were able to acquire a few players with upside the picture could change very quickly but he is not a good negotiator. I am therefore concerned. Are you?

    It was only us who did this, management and coaching staff did, too. I wasn’t happy with the lack of RW depth on the team going into the season. But I won’t pretend like I wasn’t expecting at least one of Slepyshev, Cagguila, Puljujarvi to step up. Likewise with Jokinen.

    The thing is we haven’t given them opportunities to do so. Draisaitl and Yamamoto are the only two Fs who’ve played significantly with McDavid so far on RW. The other potential RWs have been struggling in the bottom 6. An offensively weak bottom 6.

    A lot of the expectation surrounded those 3 (Cagguila, Slepyshev and Puljujarvi) was the idea of them playing in the top 6 and having McDavid and Draisaitl help them step up to the next level. Until we see it tried for more than a few shifts in the 3rd period, I’m not willing to say Cagguila and Slepyshev are write-offs. They showed glimpses in the playoffs of what they can do. We’ll never know until they try.

  88. Bag of Pucks says:

    stush18:
    Bag of Pucks,

    I dunno man.

    Benn and Seguin
    Bergeron and Marchand
    Stamkos and kucherov
    Mathews and nylander
    Gaudreau and monohan

    All of these pairings are ran with “lesser” 3rd players. Maroon, namestikov, etc.

    Honestly the only teams that don’t seem to run the two players together is teams that don’t have two legit “superstars”. Or maybe these teams just have more depth?

    Ottawa blends Ryan, turris, stone, Hoffman
    NYR blend zibinajed, Nash, Kreider
    LA blends Carter kopitar brown toffoli Pearson

    Or am I off on thinking this? Seems like there is a lot of teams putting their best two forwards together at even strength.

    Stush, look at Cup winners by contrast.

    Malkin and Crosby
    Kane and Toews
    Kopitar and Carter

    They all get their studs to anchor separate lines. Last team to win it with the buddy approach was the Ducks with Getzlaf and Perry

    In some of your examples, I think you also need to consider that some of these clubs have some pretty good talent on other lines (Krejci, Marner, JVR, Palat, Johnson) so they are spreading the scoring out.

    It’s 100% possible that the Oil don’t have the scoring depth through their Top 9 that some of the other upper echelon clubs do. But for me, that’s all the more reason to utilize their strength (depth at C) to spread some scoring through the lineup.

    MacLellan did this top heavy approach in SJ too. It didn’t serve him well come playoff time.

    The challenge of course is that it’s not enough to have your Gretzky and Messier. You absolutely have to have your Kurri and Anderson’s too.

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    Yeti:
    Media reporting on a projected Benning for Engelland + 6th rounder swap.

    [It’s Halloween, I’m allowed to scare the living shit out of people].

    That’s not a possible real thing, can’t be.

    Why would we down grade our current lineup for a 6th rounder?

  90. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: They’ve already blown one cheap year of Puljujarvi inexplicably last year, and are on the verge of blowing one cheap year of Yamamoto.One shouldn’t be wasting years of entry level contracts when the top prospects are barely if at replacement level.

    The 10 games played threshold for eating up the first year of an ELC is a little over blown and not that big of a deal. In reality, it will often make the 2nd contract cheaper as the player will be less established – granted the 2nd contract will kick in a year earlier.

    The 40 game on the roster which creates a year of service towards UFA is more material – passing that threshold was the mistake with Jesse.

  91. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: That’s not a possible real thing, can’t be.

    Why would we down grade our current lineup for a 6th rounder?

    It’s the price you gotta pay.

  92. SwedishPoster says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    I’m actually looking forward to a 91-18-58 3rd line.

    This team needs depth scoring and that’s the best 3 not in the top 9 and they’re together.

    Give them all the ozone starts possible.

    Also,

    I read that Larsson wasn’t at practice today.

    Didn’t see if it was mentioned in the thread.

    Uhoh.

    Yeah, I’m cautiously intrigued by that line as well. For all the flack he’s been getting, Strome has made quite a few almost plays where he’s shown some vision and creativity but slightly lacking execution, either from him or his teammates. Slepy also feels like he’s played well in part but it hasn’t quite clicked. Slepy needs to find a way to be more efficient, he needs to find better ice offensively and place his shots better, he’s got good power but tends to just blast it straight into the goalie.
    Slepy and Caggiula are both fairly good on the forecheck and the trio feel like they could complement each other well on the ice. Hopefully the blender stays quiet long enough for them to build some chemistry.

  93. Doug McLachlan says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Regarding Leon with McDavid, we keep talking about Leon’s value as a shooter/playmaker – which is clear – but I think part of TMac’s thinking is that Leon is a much stronger faceoff man than Connor. Currently around 47% to McDavid’s 33%.

    Nuge has been much, much improved on the faceoff dot (54%) and Letestu leads the center group (56%) if you don’t count Malone (63% in 3 GP).

    I suspect TMac would like to have two centers on every line but Strome (just under 41%) is not doing it.

    Interesting and encouraging that in a very small sample Jujhar have a nice number on the dot (54%).

    [Note, this comment is not meant to endorse any MSM narratives about the oversized value of FOW and FO% – I get it, it’s just nice to start the shift with the puck and all.]

  94. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: None of Sheary, Rust, Kuhnackel or Guentzel were proven scoring wingers until they ran alongside Crosby or Malkin either. And yet, Pittsburgh finds a way to resist the temptation to run Crosby with Malkin other than in spot situations, and instead deploys their river pushers on separate lines.

    We shouldn’t look at the Oilers’ decisions in isolation. Too easy to stay in a bubble with that approach.

    The larger question is why does TMac feel his generational talent needs his 2nd best player riding shotgun when almost every other team in the league is striving to balance their scoring across multiple lines?

    Connor and Leon are the type of players that make their linemates better and more productive. So what, we’re using both of them to make Maroon better? Wouldn’t it be much more desirable if say, Leon was making Lucic and Sleppy better while McDavid was doing the same for Maroon and Strome or Caggiula?

    MacLellan is starting to remind me of a guy who hides his money in his mattress instead of buying a passive income investment.

    Good post, agreed all points.

    There is a growing body of work in the fancystats community showing that:

    -Elite players matter way more than everyone thinks

    -Spreading your elite talent across multiple lines will do more good than creating a “super line”

    This isn’t the post I was trying to find, but it’s still interesting reading on the subject:

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/hockey-graphs.com/2017/03/14/strong-and-weak-links-talent-distribution-within-teams/amp/

  95. stush18 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    You’re reaching a bit I think.

    Kane plays with Toews whenever they are trailing.

    LA separates but has doughty.
    PITT has two of the greatest players ever on one team.

    Not sure how’s comparable we are to these teams.

    Tampa has scoring depth, but is palat, Johnson, killorn, Callahan and point really that different from nuge, lucic, maroon, strome and JP?

    Toronto has the best depth in the league, and still run two stars with a grinder (Hyman)

    I bet most teams are running there two best players together at 5v5.

    And I’m not saying it’s what I would do. Just that lots seem to donit

  96. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OmJo: It is flu season in Edmonton, so very likely.

    Had a staff member and his daughter with this year’s flu.

    Its a week to get through it.

  97. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar: The 10 games played threshold for eating up the first year of an ELC is a little over blown and not that big of a deal.In reality, it will often make the 2nd contract cheaper as the player will be less established – granted the 2nd contract will kick in a year earlier.

    The 40 game on the roster which creates a year of service towards UFA is more material – passing that threshold was the mistake with Jesse.

    The theory is sound.

    Drai and his $8.5 suggest those rules may not apply to Chiarelli.

  98. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Stush, look at Cup winners by contrast.

    Malkin and Crosby
    Kane and Toews
    Kopitar and Carter

    They all get their studs to anchor separate lines. Last team to win it with the buddy approach was the Ducks with Getzlaf and Perry

    In some of your examples, I think you also need to consider that some of these clubs have some pretty good talent on other lines (Krejci, Marner, JVR,Palat, Johnson) so they are spreading the scoring out.

    It’s 100% possible that the Oil don’t have the scoring depth through their Top 9 that some of the other upper echelon clubs do. But for me, that’s all the more reason to utilize their strength (depth at C) to spread some scoring through the lineup.

    MacLellan did this top heavy approach in SJ too. It didn’t serve him well come playoff time.

    The challenge of course is that it’s not enough to have your Gretzky and Messier. You absolutely have to have your Kurri and Anderson’s too.

    Yeah, TBY is deeeeeeep up front.

    Palat is in the top 20 in 5v5 pts/60 in the last 5 years too.

    Dripping in talent.

    My pick for the Cup.

    They just keep coming at you no matter who is on the ice.

  99. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    SwedishPoster: Yeah, I’m cautiously intrigued by that line as well. For all the flack he’s been getting, Strome has made quite a few almost plays where he’s shown some vision and creativity but slightly lacking execution, either from him or his teammates. Slepy also feels like he’s played well in part but it hasn’t quite clicked. Slepy needs to find a way to be more efficient, he needs to find better ice offensively and place his shots better, he’s got good power but tends to just blast it straight into the goalie.
    Slepy and Caggiula are both fairly good on the forecheck and the trio feel like they could complement each other well on the ice. Hopefully the blender stays quiet long enough for them to build some chemistry.

    Agreed.

    Shooters need good passers to pass to them.

    Strome’s biggest issue is that he’s not quite as good as Gagner in ozone and just like Gagner when the puck is not in the ozone.

    I see why Capuano was frustrated.

  100. GMB3 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Good post, agreed all points.

    There is a growing body of work in the fancystats community showing that:

    -Elite players matter way more than everyone thinks

    -Spreading your elite talent across multiple lines will do more good than creating a “super line”

    This isn’t the post I was trying to find, but it’s still interesting reading on the subject:

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/hockey-graphs.com/2017/03/14/strong-and-weak-links-talent-distribution-within-teams/amp/

    Would you rather have McDavid and Drai on the ice for a third of the game or have McDavid or Drai on the ice for over half the game? Makes sense to me. I think RNH and Drai together wouldn’t be a bad idea as I’m not sure Drai is a Toews or Malkin

  101. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: The theory is sound.

    Drai and his $8.5 suggest those rules may not apply to Chiarelli.

    Imagine what Drai would get for a cap hit on his second contract if he signed after another season similar to last (and he’s currently over a PPG) – we’d have to add entire digit.

  102. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy, thanks for sharing that article.

    Doug M, fully agree on the faceoff factor. I think that’s a major consideration in MacLellan’s deployment. Suspect HCs rate that very highly, especially in key game situations.

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