Diamond Life

History tells us Finnish lungs breathing northern Alberta air equals magic, and Jesse Puljujarvi may be a full force gale by his 20th birthday. I’m not going to insult you by suggesting it’s been a simple transition but in most every way Jesse Puljujarvi arrived right on time.

THE ATHLETIC

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RED RUM, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • January 2016: 4-2-2, goal differential -1 (10 points)
  • January 2017: 5-3-0, goal differential -1 (10 points)
  • January 2018: 4-4-0, goal differential -7 (8 points)

I didn’t think the Oilers could get back to even in January, the club looked so woeful early on. A nice three-game winning streak has saved the month with two more games to go.

AFTER 47, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers 15-16: 19-23-5, goal differential -24 (43 points)
  • Oilers 16-17: 25-15-7, goal differential +10 (57 points)
  • Oilers 17-18: 21-23-3, goal differential -18 (45 points)

The three wins offer some hope for the team, not for the playoffs, but for something around 82-85 points on the year. A wild disappointment to be sure, but several miles from the 70 points of 2015-16. Is there any playoff hope left? Edmonton has won three in a row, if they win seven more, that might represent a four or five point climb on the competition. That means you’d be halfway to just outside.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • At home to: Los Angeles, Anaheim (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Arizona, Vegas (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 2-3-0)
  • At home to: Vancouver, Buffalo, Calgary (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 4-4-2, 10 points in 10 games
  • Current results: 4-4-0, eight points in eight games

And suddenly the Oilers are right back on track with my expectations for the month. Can the club win both games to end the month on a five-game winning streak?

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson were golden last night in 16:00 5×5 minutes, physical, good in coverage, moving the puck, the whole ballgame. Went 23-9, 3-0 GF and 18-4 SCF and 8-2 HDSC for on the night. Were 14-4 with the diabolical Leon line. Were 17-8 against Vanek-Gagner-Boeser line. Nurse started sorties shot out of a cannon and Larsson was smart and mean. Both men are going to be vital to any success down the stretch.
  • Sekera-Russell went 7-11 in 10:16 together, 1-0 GF, 3-3 SC and 2-1 HD. The Draisaitl line was 0-6 with this pairing Russell has added a bizarre reset to his game now. He skates up the ice with the puck gingerly, pauses, stops, quiets the momentum and then makes a pass when everyone has stopped or scoots back to his own net. If Paul Coffey was paying attention, that has to be a bullet in his power point presentation.
  • Klefbom-Benning were the wayward wind. They were 8-18 in 11:12, 0-1 GF and 3-11 (SC) and 0-5 (HDSC). It’s not good, the Oilers have to do something here. Oscar needs a shutdown defender alongside, and Benning needs a veteran. Oscar’s sorties are mostly gone and he isn’t shooting the puck as much lately. Benning has no time to think, and actually makes good plays considering how much he’s being crowded. He needs to be quicker, seems to have lost half a step.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 25 of 27, .926. He made some tremendous early saves, one on a naked Mike Cammalleri turnover.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Pakarinen-Letestu-Kassian went 5-3 in 7:13, 6-2 against the Sutter line. Kassian was skating miles, Pakarinen too, Letestu was effective although his speed was noticeable in the game. No shots on goal for him but a dandy PP look where he fanned on the shot.
  • Lucic-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi were fire, wow what a performance. Accounted for seven points and went 16-11, 2-1 GF and 11-4 SC and 5-0 HDSC. Lucic moved the puck well and Leon worked hard and smart, but the Finn was the straw. Man. Outstanding. He could have had four. JP was physical, a pure ramrod, shot the puck well, drove to the net and made a gorgeous touch pass Doug Weight would be proud of making. Get this kid on an outdoor rink before every game!
  • Khaira-Strome-Cammalleri went 9-8, 0-0 GF and 1-2 HDSC. Khaira scored a fabulous goal (did you see the JP pass? Holy hell) Strome was close and Cammalleri increased the IQ of the forwards by a lot save for the suicide giveaway. He won’t be back (slow boots) but I like him plenty.
  • Maroon-McDavid-Caggiula had a strong game despite the possession numbers. Went 11-21, 1-0 GF and 4-6 HDSC. The Edler-Stecher duo (7-21) owned the trio, and Gaunce-Dowd-Eriksson were 16-4 against the 97 line. The Klefbom-Benning (3-15) and Sekera-Russell (2-6) pairings aren’t golden with McDavid, bet Coffey saw it right away. McDavid is Genesis to Revelations every night, could have had four points in the first period alone. Maroon looked effective on LW, I thought Caggiula did some good things too (he makes smart plays and gets after the puck).

That’s a fine idea, if Paul Coffey is helping every defender in the system, from Darnell Nurse to Oscar Klefbom to Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear. I’m writing on this subject today for The Athletic and believe there could be a few layers to this story.

Maybe the Oilers have their two right wing scorers after all. Yamamoto has been coming on since returning from the WJ’s and looks like he’s going to push for a high boxcar number by season’s end.

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195 Responses to "Diamond Life"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jesse Puljijarvi having that type of game while not being on McDavid’s wing is absolutely huge.

    I’m not sure who was driving that line, Drai or Jesse, I think they may have been taking turns – magic.

    Drai was a beats – not just offensively but all over the ice – numerous fabulous defensive plays to go along with puck transporting and magic in the offensive zone.

    When Drai moves his feet, he’s a top 10 forward in the NHL.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    From accounts, Coffey will be some sort of a skills coach with a focus on the defence and, while he will be helping the organization at all levels, it sounds like his focus will be on the prospects.

    As one of the most skilled players to ever play the game, I have no problem with this and it could turn out to be quite beneficial.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Really looked like the break did Larsson good – I don’t think he’s been healthy for a while – last night looked like a fully healthy Adam Larsson and such a player is fabulous.

    I also think the break helped Kass get healthy – he’d been shy of contact in recent weeks but was full bull last night – great game from Zack.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    I liked the game that Ryan Strome brought last night, again.

    That’s 3-4 solid games in a row, playing quite a bit of center (him and JJ kind of shared the position by my eye).

    Strome made lots of nice plays with the puck in the offensive zone and was solid on the wall. He created offence and could easily have had a couple of goals. He didn’t cash last night, and that’s a potential problem, but, if he can bring that game every night, he can be on my third line every night – not sure about $3M but the player was a plus last night.

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    4 straight multi-point games from Kailer since returning from the Worlds.

    Arrows finally starting to turn the right way and hopefully he has a strong second half and comes in to camp confident and ready to battle for a job (penciled in to Bakersfield but with the option of forcing an NHL job).

  6. Jethro Tull says:

    Why was it left to TMac to explain Coffey’s job?

    Klef is the victim of other player’s bad play and the coaching staff’s inability to recognize this. Didn’t he start the season shooting more than he ever had? And making sorties? Some guys miss their coverage or don’t realize they’re supposed to be covering the pinching D, and all of a sudden, Klef is hamstrung.

    Get the team to play proper coverage amd we have our offensive D. I bet we could have Erik Karlsson on the 3rd pairing, staying in his own half within 10 games. And blaming him for it.

  7. Westchester Oil says:

    LT: Jesse Puljujarvi: Might be his best NHL game.

    Might be?? Whatcha talkin’ about Willis? 🙂

    I hope we just witnessed his official coming out party.

    By the way, his post-game interview with Scott Oake was a hoot as he abruptly ended every answer with ‘YUP’.

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull:
    Why was it left to TMac to explain Coffey’s job?

    This just game up before the game and hasn’t even been formalized as far as I know – McLellan was available to the media as always after the game and was asked about it.

    I don’t think that McLellan talking about it is a story.

    I like the hire – take away the fact that the man played for the Oilers in the 80s and I bet you all Oiler fans would be excited to have such a player work with the young prospects in the organization.

    Change the name from Coffey to Bourque or Leetch and Oiler fans would be over the moon.

  9. Rondo says:

    Puljujarvi had a great game. in a loose checking game. No wonder Vancouver is one of the worst team’s in the NHL. They miss Bo Horvat.

  10. Professor Q says:

    Westchester Oil:
    LT: Jesse Puljujarvi: Might be his best NHL game.

    Might be?? Whatcha talkin’ about Willis? 🙂

    I hope we just witnessed his official coming out party.

    By the way, his post-game interview with Scott Oake was a hoot as he abruptly ended every answer with ‘YUP’.

    And he very well could have had another goal had Maroon passed it to him on the Open Net Goal, or had missed and he finished.

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rondo:
    Puljujarvihad a great game. in a loose checking game. No wonder Vancouver is one of the worst team’s in the NHL. They miss Bo Horvat.

    Yes, I’m sure Bo Horvat is a huge loss for them, very similar to how Nugent Hopkins is a huge loss for the Oil.

    I think Horvat’s return is imminent for them.

  12. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Jesse Puljijarvi having that type of game while not being on McDavid’s wing is absolutely huge.

    I’m not sure who was driving that line, Drai or Jesse, I think they may have been taking turns – magic.

    Drai was a beats – not just offensively but all over the ice – numerous fabulous defensive plays to go along with puck transporting and magic in the offensive zone.

    When Drai moves his feet, he’s a top 10 forward in the NHL.

    I also love how both Maroon AND Khaira were able to play with and were elevated by Puljujärvi and Draisaitl. Maroon isn’t just a McDavid Sidekick.

  13. Dicky94 says:

    Rondo,

    They have some pretty nice talent over there. Couple more years for them yet though.

  14. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    OP, I disagree! (I’m a poet, and just don’t know it!)

    We have to look at the past history of this organisation and how it has historically released news before. This getting out now was no accident. TMac seemed like he knew a little, but he was thrown under the bus.

    The GM or rhe Oilers could have tweeted out or held a presser. It’s not the HC’s job to explain personnel decisions. This indicates that there is more than one faction within the upper echelons of the organisation.

    Once again, the calls arw coming from inside the house.

  15. leeinvan says:

    I like Stromes game, he will never get you Eberle points, but Eberle can’t play center.
    Klefbom needs a steady stay at home solid d man, Benning will never be this player.
    This needs to be fixed or they are wasting Klefbom’s talents.

  16. jtblack says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Jesse Puljijarvi having that type of game while not being on McDavid’s wing is absolutely huge.

    I’m not sure who was driving that line, Drai or Jesse, I think they may have been taking turns – magic.

    Drai was a beats – not just offensively but all over the ice – numerous fabulous defensive plays to go along with puck transporting and magic in the offensive zone.

    When Drai moves his feet, he’s a top 10 forward in the NHL.

    +1

  17. bcoil says:

    One of the benefits Puljujarvi brings to that line is that it forces Dri to move his feet to keep up and that gets Dri into the game .With Lucic Dri doesn’t have to move his feet to keep up .

  18. frjohnk says:

    Watched the game late last night as I PVRed it.

    Was thinking the with 5 day layoff, the team would come out flat, but they looked good. McDavid, man, how many chances does his create? Wow. JP had a great game. What a fun player to watch.

    Calgary and Colorado had big winning streaks, why couldn’t we?

    10 points out.

    For me there is still a flicker of hope for playoffs. Roster is not very balanced, but a hot Talbot and McDavid doing McDavid things, and the team gets hot……..

  19. Clay says:

    If Puljujarvi and Draisaitl can for a successful 5×5 pair, that’s a huge plus. Then all we need is a Kurri for McDavid and the good times should roll (assumption being Maroon is not here next year). Maybe it’s Yamamoto? My knee-jerk reaction is that he + McDavid = not big enough, but if we’ve learned anything this year from Vegas, Tampa Bay, and others, it’s that size has never mattered less.

    Of real concern is Klefbom. Part of the plan was that he would be operating as a strong #3ish-level defenceman. Outperforming the mid-tier opposition, and holding his own against top-level opposition, providing he had a strong partner. He’s really struggled this year. If it’s solely due to injury, with his injury history, the team should be shutting him down for as long as it takes for him to be 100%. If it’s regression, that represents a bigger worry, as he’s making way too much money. We’ve already got a $4m third-pairing guy locked in for several seasons; there’s no way the team can afford two of them.

  20. Dicky94 says:

    Definitely going to get the gears here but I’m one of the few fans that still believe the Oilers make the playoffs this year. I know it’s almost next to impossible but I still think they sneak in. So my question is…What if they go on an epic roll from here on and are within 4 or 5 pts of a playoff at the deadline. What should they do then? Maybe deep down they don’t want that to happen.

  21. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    leeinvan:
    I like Stromes game, he will never get you Eberle points, but Eberle can’t play center.
    Klefbom needs a steady stay at home solid d man, Benning will never be this player.
    This needs to be fixed or they are wasting Klefbom’s talents.

    You mean like a Larsson type player? 😏

  22. Connoreah says:

    The JP development almost makes this season bearable. Ironically he reminds me of Yak in some ways, particularly his raw emotion and childlike love for the game. There’s absolutely nothing not to love about the kid. I cheer hardest when he makes a play.

    I thought Strome looked adequate as 3rd line centre. He needs to prove it for more than a couple of games, but if he can hold that spot then it raises some interesting questions about Nuge’s future with the Oilers. If, for example, Maroon walks or is moved at the deadline, does Nuge finally get a shot on McDavid’s wing or do they cash him in for a RHD or scoring winger this summer?

  23. Professor Q says:

    Clay,

    You never know who else they could end up getting for the LW slot, however. McDavid isn’t small and might put on a few pounds yet while maintaining speed.

    Benson – McDavid – Yamamoto eventually could be a beautiful line. Though it’d be pure skill, so maybe Benson would go with Draisaitl and Puljujärvi (though Khaira seemed good on that line last night as well…).

  24. thehop says:

    Dicky94,

    I don’t think any reasonable poster would be giving you the gears for hoping/suggesting they can make the playoffs.

    I hope you are right!

    All I know is, if they want to make a playoff push, they need to beat teams like Vancouver and Buffalo. The west coast grinder schedule is on its way and they are going to need all the points they can get.

  25. dustrock says:

    Strome is a decent possession center but not much finish. Needs more Finnish.

  26. Scungilli Slushy says:

    For how I see hockey I thought JP was absolutely dominant. The puck was his and though Van is not a good team they had no answer for him. Brilliant.

    That gives the Oilers 3 forwards that can dominate games single handedly. And a couple that can dominate physically.

    Caggiula is not my cup o tea. He did a lot of decent looking things but really accomplished little. ‘Looks like a player’. He is not a fast skater. He is quick but he’s like Gagner with better edges and first step. Little legs churning like crazy but not getting around very fast. Not great top speed. For me players that small have to be faster than other players.

    I much prefer Slepy and I think they are making a mistake if this is a choice betweenk the two. Keep both until someone better comes along. He is much faster than Cags and better fore checker when he’s on his game. I’d give him time.

  27. Professor Q says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    For how I see hockey I thought JP was absolutely dominant. The puck was his and though Van is not a good team they had no answer for him. Brilliant.

    That gives the Oilers 3 forwards that can dominate games single handedly. And a couple that can dominate physically.

    Caggiula is not my cup o tea. He did a lot of decent looking things but really accomplished little. ‘Looks like a player’. He is not a fast skater. He is quick but he’s like Gagner with better edges and first step. Little legs churning like crazy but not getting around very fast. Not great top speed. For me players that small have to be faster than other players.

    I much prefer Slepy and I think they are making a mistake if this is a choice betweenk the two. Keep both until someone better comes along. He is much faster than Cags and better fore checker when he’s on his game. I’d give him time.

    Even defensively he was good, albeit you could notice some rookie mistakes where he’d check someone into the boards easily (due to size and power), yet let up right away and let them either get the puck back or knock it down the line.

    Which will come with time and experience. I can’t wait to see how much he’ll improve next year.

  28. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    From Spector’s piece on Puljujarvi:

    “I try to talk a lot to improve my English, and I heard they are getting me an English teacher. That is a good thing. I could really use one,” Puljujarvi said to Finnish journalist Jouni Nieminen, who translated these quotes. “I have been here almost two years now. It’s been hard. I hope I will learn.”

    Source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/jesse-puljujarvi-figuring-things-off-ice-oilers/

    Jesse is their prized prospect, they bring him over as an 18 year old who doesn’t speak the language AND THEY DON’T HIRE AN ENGLISH TEACHER FOR HIM!?!?!??!??!

    What the actual fuck are these people thinking?

    Who runs a business like this?

    Its no goddamn wonder kids who don’t speak English well fail routinely in this organization, they don’t do fuck all to help them adjust to a new country or even countries if they are in the AHL.

    These fucking idiots couldn’t get out of their own way if they tried.

    This makes me so goddamn angry.

    Assholes.

    Dumb assholes.

  29. jtblack says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Spector’s piece on Puljujarvi:

    “I try to talk a lot to improve my English, and I heard they are getting me an English teacher. That is a good thing. I could really use one,” Puljujarvi said to Finnish journalist Jouni Nieminen, who translated these quotes. “I have been here almost two years now. It’s been hard. I hope I will learn.”

    Source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/jesse-puljujarvi-figuring-things-off-ice-oilers/

    Jesse is their prized prospect, they bring him over as an 18 year old who doesn’t speak the language AND THEY DON’T HIRE AN ENGLISH TEACHER FOR HIM!?!?!??!??!

    What the actual fuck are these people thinking?

    Who runs a business like this?

    Its no goddamn wonder kids who don’t speak English well fail routinely in this organization, they don’t do fuck all to help them adjust to a new country or even countries if they are in the AHL.

    These fucking idiots couldn’t get out of their own way if they tried.

    This makes me so goddamn angry.

    Assholes.

    Dumb assholes.

    If its true, that is Brutal. Invest Millions in 1st round picks …. 1st business of order would be to get them a Mentor (on ice veteran), Language coach and Finnish made / cook.

    BAM!

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull:
    OriginalPouzar,

    OP, I disagree! (I’m a poet, and just don’t know it!)

    We have to look at the past history of this organisation and how it has historically released news before. This getting out now was no accident. TMac seemed like he knew a little, but he was thrown under the bus.

    The GM or rhe Oilers could have tweeted out or held a presser. It’s not the HC’s job to explain personnel decisions. This indicates that there is more than one faction within the upper echelons of the organisation.

    Once again, the calls arw coming from inside the house.

    It doesn’t really matter to me. As I said, if the name was Leetch or Bourque, the move would be cherished by the majority of Oiler fans.

    He’s going to be a skills/development “coach” with a focus on prospects – spending some time in Edmonton but mainly Bakersfield and with the CHL prospects.

    Coffey has been working with the highest levels of youth hockey and is one of the most skilled d-men in the history of hockey – he has wisdom and ideas.

    I’ve got zero issue with our young d-men having access to Paul Coffey.

  31. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar: It doesn’t really matter to me. As I said, if the name was Leetch or Bourque, the move would be cherished by the majority of Oiler fans.

    He’s going to be a skills/development “coach” with a focus on prospects – spending some time in Edmonton but mainly Bakersfield and with the CHL prospects.

    Coffey has been working with the highest levels of youth hockey and is one of the most skilled d-men in the history of hockey – he has wisdom and ideas.

    I’ve got zero issue with our young d-men having access to Paul Coffey.

    I’m extremely concerned; there seems to be a power struggle. This will have an impact. See above post by WG. Mickey Mouse wears an Oilers watch.

    And speaking of “most skilled in history of hockey”, what’s Gretz’s coaching record?

  32. Side says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Spector’s piece on Puljujarvi:

    “I try to talk a lot to improve my English, and I heard they are getting me an English teacher. That is a good thing. I could really use one,” Puljujarvi said to Finnish journalist Jouni Nieminen, who translated these quotes. “I have been here almost two years now. It’s been hard. I hope I will learn.”

    Source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/jesse-puljujarvi-figuring-things-off-ice-oilers/

    Jesse is their prized prospect, they bring him over as an 18 year old who doesn’t speak the language AND THEY DON’T HIRE AN ENGLISH TEACHER FOR HIM!?!?!??!??!

    What the actual fuck are these people thinking?

    Who runs a business like this?

    Its no goddamn wonder kids who don’t speak English well fail routinely in this organization, they don’t do fuck all to help them adjust to a new country or even countries if they are in the AHL.

    These fucking idiots couldn’t get out of their own way if they tried.

    This makes me so goddamn angry.

    Assholes.

    Dumb assholes.

    From Reddit a year ago, for what it’s worth:

    “This video of Puljujärvi is definitely very new as during the WJC’s he had a translator with him during English interviews. He’s been studying English with a private tutor since then which appears to have come from the company that made this video, Delingua. Even the description says that Jesse has been having English lessons since January and this is where he’s at right now”

    EDIT: video with description. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O2rqINuT8lQ&feature=youtu.be

    Video published April 2016, he has apparently had a private tutor since January 2016

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    Connoreah:
    The JP development almostmakes this season bearable. Ironically he reminds me of Yak in some ways, particularly his raw emotion and childlike love for the game. There’s absolutely nothing not to love about the kid. I cheer hardest when he makes a play.

    I thought Strome looked adequate as 3rd line centre.He needs to prove it for more than a couple of games, but if he can hold that spot then it raises some interesting questions about Nuge’s future with the Oilers. If, for example, Maroon walks or is moved at the deadline, does Nuge finally get a shot on McDavid’s wing or do they cash him in for a RHD or scoring winger this summer?

    As I’m sure people are tired of reading, I am quite happy that Strome is likely to get a long look at 3C.

    So far he’s performed adequately (or better) in the last 3-4 games and I thought he was a material positive contributor last night – offensively and in battles.

    Where I disagree is that Strome’s potential success in the role leading to questions about Nuge’s future. To me, Strome being able to handle the role indirectly fills a top 6 winger spot next season (when he have a big hole until a prospect or two might be ready to graduate in 2019/20) – McDavid, Drai and Nuge could all play top 6.

    Wild cards are:

    1) the potential top 3 pick if we win one of the lotteries as picks 2 and 3 could potentially be NHL ready forwards.

    2) Yamamoto being ready but I will not count on that and management should not count on that going in to the off-season.

    3) Re-signing Maroon.

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    Professor Q:
    Clay,

    You never know who else they could end up getting for the LW slot, however. McDavid isn’t small and might put on a few pounds yet while maintaining speed.

    Benson – McDavid – Yamamoto eventually could be a beautiful line. Though it’d be pure skill, so maybe Benson would go with Draisaitl and Puljujärvi (though Khaira seemed good on that line last night as well…).

    Benson is more that skill and offence – he’s a responsible player that is solid on the boards and in battle.

  35. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Spector’s piece on Puljujarvi:

    “I try to talk a lot to improve my English, and I heard they are getting me an English teacher. That is a good thing. I could really use one,” Puljujarvi said to Finnish journalist Jouni Nieminen, who translated these quotes. “I have been here almost two years now. It’s been hard. I hope I will learn.”

    Source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/jesse-puljujarvi-figuring-things-off-ice-oilers/

    Jesse is their prized prospect, they bring him over as an 18 year old who doesn’t speak the language AND THEY DON’T HIRE AN ENGLISH TEACHER FOR HIM!?!?!??!??!

    What the actual fuck are these people thinking?

    Who runs a business like this?

    Its no goddamn wonder kids who don’t speak English well fail routinely in this organization, they don’t do fuck all to help them adjust to a new country or even countries if they are in the AHL.

    These fucking idiots couldn’t get out of their own way if they tried.

    This makes me so goddamn angry.

    Assholes.

    Dumb assholes.

    +1

    You wonder what it would have been like for the other young kids. So what if they know who to speak English. Nail and Jesse should have placed in a family and teachers instantly. Oilers don’t know how to grow their investment

  36. Confused says:

    I for one would like to welcome Paul back.

    Those who claim that Wayne is running the show are probably correct.

    But it is the new OBC, Kevin and Craig are just infantry are this point.

    Waiting for Moose next month.

    Why I like it is because they are, hopefully, doing for the right reasons, love of the club.

    They will make mistakes, but Pete and Todd are not blowing out of the park.

    Needs a miracle but the year is still alive, let’s go!

  37. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: I’m extremely concerned; there seems to be a power struggle. This will have an impact. See above post by WG. Mickey Mouse wears an Oilers watch.

    And speaking of “most skilled in history of hockey”, what’s Gretz’s coaching record?

    Sigh – he’s a skills coach working with the young prospect, mainly in Bakersfield and in the CHL.

    Are we really going to compare his role to that of a head coach in the NHL?

  38. flyfish1168 says:

    Confused:
    I for one would like to welcome Paul back.

    Those who claim that Wayne is running the show are probably correct.

    But it is the new OBC, Kevin and Craig are just infantry are this point.

    Waiting for Moose next month.

    Why I like it is because they are, hopefully, doing for the right reasons, love of the club.

    They will make mistakes, but Pete and Todd are not blowing out of the park.

    Needs a miracle but the year is still alive, let’s go!

    Smitty will be next hire

  39. Professor Q says:

    Confused:
    I for one would like to welcome Paul back.

    Those who claim that Wayne is running the show are probably correct.

    But it is the new OBC, Kevin and Craig are just infantry are this point.

    Waiting for Moose next month.

    Why I like it is because they are, hopefully, doing for the right reasons, love of the club.

    They will make mistakes, but Pete and Todd are not blowing out of the park.

    Needs a miracle but the year is still alive, let’s go!

    Moose is already being paid by the Oilers. Advisory and/or ambassador role unknown.

  40. Professor Q says:

    OriginalPouzar: Benson is more that skill and offence – he’s a responsible player that is solid on the boards and in battle.

    Yes (albeit with injuries, we don’t know how that’ll go in the future). I said I look forward to the line, hopefully they work well together as it has a lot of potential. But seeing him with Drai and Puljujärvi could also be beneficial.

  41. Dicky94 says:

    flyfish1168,

    Good. He can teach Lucic how to tip a puck.

  42. HT Joe says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Jesse is their prized prospect, they bring him over as an 18 year old who doesn’t speak the language AND THEY DON’T HIRE AN ENGLISH TEACHER FOR HIM!?!?!??!??!
    What the actual fuck are these people thinking?
    Who runs a business like this?
    Its no goddamn wonder kids who don’t speak English well fail routinely in this organization, they don’t do fuck all to help them adjust to a new country or even countries if they are in the AHL.
    These fucking idiots couldn’t get out of their own way if they tried.
    This makes me so goddamn angry.
    Assholes.
    Dumb assholes.

    I’ve worked in another country before where I didn’t speak the language. Culture shock is real and spectacular.

    I agree with you 100% … assholes!

  43. meanashell11 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Sigh – he’s a skills coach working with the young prospect, mainly in Bakersfield and in the CHL.

    Are we really going to compare his role to that of a head coach in the NHL?

    Pet peeve when we have these national broadcasts. The talking heads don’t know shit about the Oilers. Mis-pronounce names and last night saying Coffey would be working with the AHL team in Stockton. Dumbasses……..

  44. stephen sheps says:

    Side: Even the description says that Jesse has been having English lessons since January and this is where he’s at right now”

    EDIT: video with description. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O2rqINuT8lQ&feature=youtu.be

    Video published April 2016, he has apparently had a private tutor since January 2016

    According to a few conversations on twitter, this is the same tutor that they had for Yak, whose English is significantly better than it once was. And Yak at least had the advantage of 2 years of high school in Sarnia before he got here.

    However the difference between a tutor and a proper ESL teacher (who hopefully is an actual teacher with a B.Ed. rather than someone who just took the TESOL certification but has little other classroom experience) is night and day. They should have had a teacher in from the start. Really dumb that they didn’t.

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilers on 3 game winning streak (could easily have been four of not for a bad break/call), some definite positive signs from last night to talk about but, nope, lets not enjoy the win, the winning streak or the amazing games by developing studs like Nurse and Puljijarvi (and Khaira) but lets slag the organization for potentially not getting Jesse an English tutor (even though he’s had one for a while) and for giving the CHL and Bakersfield d-men access to a guy like Paul Coffey for some skills help.

    I’m going for a 2nd workout – some sprints – more pleasant vibes in my garage.

  46. meanashell11 says:

    Jethro Tull: Sigh? Not nice. Gloves off?

    Ok. There are 3 options;

    1) You are being deliberately obtuse, in which case, FU.

    2) You are stupid, which I know you’re not, nor is anyone here.

    3) You have limited capacity for abstracts and take tgings too literally. Maybe a sign of mental exhaustion.

    My post meant to highlight that although a small enough addition, it is significant for other reasons, which you choose to ignore for the above reasons.

    Also, the abstract takeaway would ve that although he may be one of the best players of all time, it doesn’t automatically follow that he will be a good coach. Like Gretzky.

    So, we can move on, you can choose to be a dink, and so can I. Or you can accept I have a point of view on this. Either way is fine with me.

    Little early for this is it not?

  47. leadfarmer says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Spector’s piece on Puljujarvi:

    “I try to talk a lot to improve my English, and I heard they are getting me an English teacher. That is a good thing. I could really use one,” Puljujarvi said to Finnish journalist Jouni Nieminen, who translated these quotes. “I have been here almost two years now. It’s been hard. I hope I will learn.”

    Source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/jesse-puljujarvi-figuring-things-off-ice-oilers/

    Jesse is their prized prospect, they bring him over as an 18 year old who doesn’t speak the language AND THEY DON’T HIRE AN ENGLISH TEACHER FOR HIM!?!?!??!??!

    What the actual fuck are these people thinking?

    Who runs a business like this?

    Its no goddamn wonder kids who don’t speak English well fail routinely in this organization, they don’t do fuck all to help them adjust to a new country or even countries if they are in the AHL.

    These fucking idiots couldn’t get out of their own way if they tried.

    This makes me so goddamn angry.

    Assholes.

    Dumb assholes.

    Man this is horrible. I thought they would hire a prospect like this a language teacher and a cook. You are halfway around the world from home and a prized prospect you’d think they want the kids to at least feel comfortable. I assume they did the same with Yakupov. I wonder how many home cooked meals a year do these kids get? I think I can rightly assume most of them dont cook much and they are already on the road a lot and eat out a ton

  48. Side says:

    stephen sheps: According to a few conversations on twitter, this is the same tutor that they had for Yak, whose English is significantly better than it once was.

    However the difference between a tutor and a proper ESL teacher (who hopefully is an actual teacher with a B.Ed. rather than someone who just took the TESOL certification but has little other classroom experience) is night and day. They should have had a teacher in from the start. Really dumb that they didn’t.

    Do we know whether the tutor is just a tutor (TESOL certification)? Or does the tutor also have a teaching background?

    Maybe, the tutor they have been using who has been teaching other Oilera like Nail how to speak English is having a hard time with Jesse. Jesse said he’s having a hard time with English, so maybe they’re bringing in someone else who can reach him.

    I mean unless this is the thing we hate on today. A lot of people seemed to enjoy hating the Coffey hire yesterday, even without knowing the details about it.

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: Sigh? Not nice. Gloves off?

    Ok. There are 3 options;

    1) You are being deliberately obtuse, in which case, FU.

    2) You are stupid, which I know you’re not, nor is anyone here.

    3) You have limited capacity for abstracts and take tgings too literally. Maybe a sign of mental exhaustion.

    My post meant to highlight that although a small enough addition, it is significant for other reasons, which you choose to ignore for the above reasons.

    Also, the abstract takeaway would ve that although he may be one of the best players of all time, it doesn’t automatically follow that he will be a good coach. Like Gretzky.

    So, we can move on, you can choose to be a dink, and so can I. Or you can accept I have a point of view on this. Either way is fine with me.

    Of course being a HOF hockey player does not necessarily translate in to being a great coach, however, to use Gretzky’s failure as a head coach – the highest coaching level possible in the world to what Coffey’s role will be (pretty much the lowest level possible for a pro organization – working with junior and minor league prospects on skills) is not a good comparison.

    Can I not just turn it around with the Adam Oates example – one that is actually more comparable to Coffey, in my opinion

    I have zero issue with Coffey going to meet with Samorukov and Caleb Jones and provide some insight and thoughts and tips.

    I would have a problem if Coffey was on the Oilers bench helping run the defence and devising game plans and strategies.

    I see zero risk in this hire – its such a low level position and, again, I profess that if the last name of the hire was Leetch, it would be lauded by Oiler fans.

  50. Jethro Tull says:

    HT Joe: I’ve worked in another country before where I didn’t speak the language.Culture shock is real and spectacular.

    I agree with you 100% … assholes!

    Yep, I have worked all over the world too. My biggest shock was finding out that virtually no other country believes in “our diversity is our strength.”

    Most believe that you are a foreigner, but nearly all were exceptionally kind and will help you integrate, if that’s what you want.

    The Germans were awesome if you tried to say hello in German.

    The Balkans were extremely friendly, treated you luke family.

    Egyptians liked blonde hair but were outwardly hostile to red haired people.

    I guess NYC would have some good idiosyncrasies of certain regions.

    But yeah, you can feel awfully lonely, awfully fast. Top marks to JP for the outdoor rink visits. That’s how you immerse.

  51. Jethro Tull says:

    meanashell11: Little early for this is it not?

    You are right. Deleted the post. But to start off a post with ‘sigh’? Yeah. I’m the bad guy. Later ‘gators.

  52. Shane says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Oilers on 3 game winning streak (could easily have been four of not for a bad break/call), some definite positive signs from last night to talk about but, nope, lets not enjoy the win, the winning streak or the amazing games by developing studs like Nurse and Puljijarvi (and Khaira) but lets slag the organization for potentially not getting Jesse an English tutor (even though he’s had one for a while) and for giving the CHL and Bakersfield d-men access to a guy like Paul Coffey for some skills help.

    I’m going for a 2nd workout – some sprints – more pleasant vibes in my garage.

    ,+1

  53. razor says:

    Lowetide said “Oscar needs a shutdown defender alongside, and Benning needs a veteran”. Russell = shutdown D, Sekera = Veteran. Time for McLellan to split the D pairings.

  54. Side says:

    It’s amazing the kind of picture people paint based on an excerpt from an interview. Jesse says “english is hard, i’m having a hard time with it. They’re bringing in a teacher”

    And people take from that.. “No one has been teaching Jesse english THIS WHOLE TIME?! No one has been hanging out with Jesse?! No one has welcomed him into their home?!”

    It could very well be that Jesse has had an English tutor this whole time but he has been struggling still. It’s not uncommon for someone to struggle with a topic, even if they are learning from the best teacher. Could be teaching style, could be that Jesse just has a hard time grasping it, who knows.

    Like the Coffey hiring, I, for one, will not be screaming from the rooftops about how outrageous it is until I know the details.

  55. stephen sheps says:

    As to the Coffey hire, other than the fact that he’s a part of the OBC (in a way – he did have a nasty divorce from the org at one point), I am less enraged than others.

    I know someone brought up the ‘well Gretz was the greatest but was a crap coach’ example, but it’s not like this is a HC hire or even an assistant coaching role.

    A few weeks back, when the sky was falling and the special teams play looked historically awful rather than the ‘just kind of bad’ it’s been recently, people around here were debating whether or not Adam Oates ought to be considered an option to replace Woodcroft. Given that Oates’ thing is a private skills coach for individual players, how is this any different?

    At this point we don’t have the precise details of Coffey’s role, but if it’s a skills development role for the D both here and on the farm, why are people so angry? How can an extra set of eyes and some one-on-one coaching/development time for the franchise’s young defenders be a bad thing?

    Ex Oiler players as coaches have a mixed to good record of success, actually. As executives they’re pretty terrible, but coaching is not the problem here at all.

    Ron Low – The little teams that could were wonderful teams. I’ll hate Hitch forever because of all the heartbreak, but those teams were very well coached.

    Gretz – bad NHL coach. Didn’t have much to work with, but he was out of his depth for sure.

    Mac-T – above average HC, poor executive.

    Lowe – Decent coach in limited time, average executive until he wasn’t.

    Huddy – Great coach, we’d likely be thrilled if he was hired to replace Johnson in the off-season

    Simpson – Perfectly fine assistant coach; the team had an above average power play when he was behind the bench, though that might have been the Pronger effect and a career year from Jarrett Stoll but it certainly wasn’t terrible. (Edit: they scored 88 PPG goals that season, good for a success rate of 18.14% against a league average of 17.68% – thanks hockey-reference.com)

    Buchburger – we really don’t know if he was good or bad, but he wasn’t a great HC in the minors. Weight clearly believed in him enough to bring him to Brooklyn on his staff, but his actual role is a mystery to me.

    Steve Smith – Wasn’t part of the problem or the solution in Edmonton, seems to be doing pretty well in charge of developing a good young defence in Carolina

    Doug Weight – One year later, he looks like a bona fide NHL HC, good for him.

    I bring up the ex-Oiler player coaches to provide a bit of a counterpoint to the narrative that all ex-Oilers must be bad based on the few ex-Oilers who are bad at management. Coaching and management are two separate and distinct skill-sets. Other than the optics, I really don’t get the uproar against the Coffey hire at all.

  56. Bling says:

    I’d like to respond to Hunter from the previous thread, on Pacioretty being a no-show in the playoffs.

    In the two longest playoff runs the Canadiens have had (13/14 and 14/15), Patches had 10 goals and 8 assists for 18 points in 28 games. That’s a 30 goal pace. To put that kind of point production into perspective, post-season hero Milan Lucic’s point/game production in the playoffs is 0.65. On those two long runs, Patches was at 0.64.

    Last year, Pacioretty had 1 assist in 6 games. In his first playoffs (12/13), he had 0 points in 4 games.

    I think calling him a playoff no-show is a bit disingenuous. He’s had two very successful, long playoff runs, and two unsuccessful, short-lived playoff appearances on flawed rosters.

    Hardly a deal breaker for me.

    I actually think his production is actually quite good given that he hasn’t had a good centre to play with his entire career. Any of McDavid/Draisaitl/Nuge would be a significant upgrade on anyone he has played with.

    As far as Canadiens fans go and what they say about players (“Patio-ready”, haha), living in this city I can say that they hate just about every player who is any good. Why? Because good players handle the puck more and make more mistakes for that reason. Habs fans, speaking in broad strokes, do not get that.

    Passionate fans, but IMO they are overly antsy and fidgety, the way coke addicts are on a long flight. The long list of good players they have run out of town speaks to that.

  57. stephen sheps says:

    Side: Maybe, the tutor they have been using who has been teaching other Oilera like Nail how to speak English is having a hard time with Jesse. Jesse said he’s having a hard time with English, so maybe they’re bringing in someone else who can reach him.

    These are great points. We don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. Maybe the tutor was struggling, maybe the team wasn’t giving the tutor enough access, maybe lack of continuity between tutors here vs. Bako hurt his language learning development. It can be tricky if you’re learning from multiple voices with different teaching styles. Often (but not always of course), tutors don’t have the background to reach students who might need a learning style the tutors aren’t comfortable with, but we simply don’t know enough to know what kind of instruction he’s received.

    I’m not jumping into the ‘wow this is yet another reason to burn Kingsway to the ground’ camp – more just as an educator myself, I’m curious as to what the arrangement looked like. It does seem pretty short sighted to have not had someone full time with him from the get-go. At least they’re addressing it, but my concern is about why it wasn’t that way from day 1.

  58. HenryDrix says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Spector’s piece on Puljujarvi:

    “I try to talk a lot to improve my English, and I heard they are getting me an English teacher. That is a good thing. I could really use one,” Puljujarvi said to Finnish journalist Jouni Nieminen, who translated these quotes. “I have been here almost two years now. It’s been hard. I hope I will learn.”

    Source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/jesse-puljujarvi-figuring-things-off-ice-oilers/

    Jesse is their prized prospect, they bring him over as an 18 year old who doesn’t speak the language AND THEY DON’T HIRE AN ENGLISH TEACHER FOR HIM!?!?!??!??!

    What the actual fuck are these people thinking?

    Who runs a business like this?

    Its no goddamn wonder kids who don’t speak English well fail routinely in this organization, they don’t do fuck all to help them adjust to a new country or even countries if they are in the AHL.

    These fucking idiots couldn’t get out of their own way if they tried.

    This makes me so goddamn angry.

    Assholes.

    Dumb assholes.

    Absolutely agree. Indeed, iit is no way way to run a successful business. Any successful business person will tell you their greatest asset is their people. A 4 year old could tell you that the most important thing for a successful hockey team is its players. Something all the Masters Degrees in the front office can’t seem to grasp. Maybe they still think it is all about them.

  59. Brantford Boy says:

    When some players play bad, I can get on them… so when they play well I try to give them the merit they deserve… Obviously JP was on fire last night but Drai and Lucic were both solid… best game I’ve seen Lucic play since before Christmas…

    OP said it best: “When Drai moves his feet, he’s a top 10 forward in the NHL.” +1

    I think there are 3 (4 including Coffey’s return) other stories today…

    1. I believe JP ‘was’ fatigued before the break and that’s why he wasn’t dominant lately, this happens to younger players over the long stretch of a full NHL season… the break obviously did him well

    2. Speaking of rest, I think Klef’s shoulder is buggered (I have no proof), but agree with LT his shot has disappeared and this screams injury to me. Is it bad enough for surgery is the question.

    3. Surprisingly no one mentioned the HNIC Coach’s Corner segment. Sometimes I find it hard to believe our GM and Coach were up for awards last year and there heads are on the chopping block this year. Make no mistake I’m not starting a Chia is shit thread (or Hall thread), we all know the mistakes hes made and lately I’ve shrugged off the notion he will be fired… however, when Grapes calls out that nugget about Hall still playing with McDavid ‘his best friend’, I can’t help but wonder that Don didn’t single handedly put the nail in Chiarelli’s coffin as GM… when Don speaks, people listen, and anyone in the OBC wanting him out has that video on there phone in Katz’s office as we speak… just my two cents.

  60. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I know the Oilers need wingers but JP seems like a centre. Two way play skating size and is all over the puck. Fantastic distribution skills and vision.

    Maybe he could play 3C, Strome at wing and Khaira at 4C, run 4 lines which is key for playoffs and keeping players more fresh. Skating centres on 4 lines.

  61. HenryDrix says:

    Professor Q: Moose is already being paid by the Oilers. Advisory and/or ambassador role unknown.

    Has been showing up to Katz Jr. Birthday parties for years. Still, does, but now he brings some ladies with him too.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    stephen sheps:
    As to the Coffey hire, other than the fact that he’s a part of the OBC (in a way – he did have a nasty divorce from the org at one point), I am less enraged than others.

    I know someone brought up the ‘well Gretz was the greatest but was a crap coach’ example, but it’s not like this is a HC hire or even an assistant coaching role.

    A few weeks back, when the sky was falling and the special teams play looked historically awful rather than the ‘just kind of bad’ it’s been recently, people around here were debating whether or not Adam Oates ought to be considered an option to replace Woodcroft. Given that Oates’ thing is a private skills coach for individual players, how is this any different?

    At this point we don’t have the precise details of Coffey’s role, but if it’s a skills development role for the D both here and on the farm, why are people so angry? How can an extra set of eyes and some one-on-one coaching/development time for the franchise’s young defenders be a bad thing?

    Ex Oiler players as coaches have a mixed to good record of success, actually. As executives they’re pretty terrible, but coaching is not the problem here at all.

    Ron Low – The little teams that could were wonderful teams. I’ll hate Hitch forever because of all the heartbreak, but those teams were very well coached.

    Gretz – bad NHL coach. Didn’t have much to work with, but he was out of his depth for sure.

    Mac-T – above average HC, poor executive.

    Lowe – Decent coach in limited time, average executive until he wasn’t.

    Huddy – Great coach, we’d likely be thrilled if he was hired to replace Johnson in the off-season

    Simpson – Perfectly fine assistant coach; the team had an above average power play when he was behind the bench, though that might have been the Pronger effect and a career year from Jarrett Stoll but it certainly wasn’t terrible. (Edit: they scored 88 PPG goals that season, good for a success rate of 18.14% against a league average of 17.68% – thanks hockey-reference.com)

    Buchburger – we really don’t know if he was good or bad, but he wasn’t a great HC in the minors. Weight clearly believed in him enough to bring him to Brooklyn on his staff, but his actual role is a mystery to me.

    Steve Smith – Wasn’t part of the problem or the solution in Edmonton, seems to be doing pretty well in charge of developing a good young defence in Carolina

    Doug Weight – One year later, he looks like a bona fide NHL HC, good for him.

    I bring up the ex-Oiler player coaches to provide a bit of a counterpoint to the narrative that all ex-Oilers must be bad based on the few ex-Oilers who are bad at management. Coaching and management are two separate and distinct skill-sets. Other than the optics, I really don’t get the uproar against the Coffey hire at all.

    Great post and I agree completely.

    His official title is “Skills Development Coach” and he will be tasked with working with our young D, mostly in Bakersfield and those in the CHL.

    I am sure the likes of Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Dimitri Samorukov, etc. are quite thrilled to have one of the most skilled d-men of all time work with them on developing their skills.

  63. smellyglove says:

    There’s hope for Jesse Puljujarvi yet.

    15th youngest player in the NHL, a teenager until May 2018. If you filter players by age, and look at only those with 10 games played or more, Jesse is the 9th youngest in the NHL.

    He’s just a touch older than Pierre-Luc Dubois, CLB’s pick, who I wanted badly for the Oilers. In retrospect given our C depth and shit on the wings, it’s good that the Oilers have Jesse.

    (On a side note, how about that Jesper Bratt? Who? New Jersey’s 6th round draft pick from 2016. 5′ 10″ and 175 lb, plays left wing, he has 30 points in 44 NHL games and is even younger still than Jesse).

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    I know the Oilers need wingers but JP seems like a centre. Two way play skating size and is all over the puck. Fantastic distribution skills and vision.

    Maybe he could play 3C, Strome at wing and Khaira at 4C, run 4 lines which is key for playoffs and keeping players more fresh. Skating centres on 4 lines.

    Has he played center at any level?

    I don’t disagree that he seems to have the skillset to be a center, however, on the assumption that he’s been a winger his entire “pro life”, I would be remiss to ask him to learn a new position with new and improtant responsibilities just as he’s starting to take giant steps forward right in front of our eyes.

    Nuge is hurt but we currently have amazing center depth – shit, we have Strome, Letestu and Khaira as 4, 5 and 6 on our center depth chart – that’s pretty amazing.

  65. JimmyV1965 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Spector’s piece on Puljujarvi:

    “I try to talk a lot to improve my English, and I heard they are getting me an English teacher. That is a good thing. I could really use one,” Puljujarvi said to Finnish journalist Jouni Nieminen, who translated these quotes. “I have been here almost two years now. It’s been hard. I hope I will learn.”

    Source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/jesse-puljujarvi-figuring-things-off-ice-oilers/

    Jesse is their prized prospect, they bring him over as an 18 year old who doesn’t speak the language AND THEY DON’T HIRE AN ENGLISH TEACHER FOR HIM!?!?!??!??!

    What the actual fuck are these people thinking?

    Who runs a business like this?

    Its no goddamn wonder kids who don’t speak English well fail routinely in this organization, they don’t do fuck all to help them adjust to a new country or even countries if they are in the AHL.

    These fucking idiots couldn’t get out of their own way if they tried.

    This makes me so goddamn angry.

    Assholes.

    Dumb assholes.

    Something is lost in translation here. There’s no way a team goes two years without hiring a tutor and then suddenly figures it out, not even the Oilers.

  66. Bruce McCurdy says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Really looked like the break did Larsson good – I don’t think he’s been healthy for a while – last night looked like a fully healthy Adam Larsson and such a player is fabulous.

    I also think the break helped Kass get healthy – he’d been shy of contact in recent weeks but was full bulllast night – great game from Zack.

    Best game from Larsson since before his stint on IR. Was positively frisky in the offensive zone, darting deep into the zone seemingly at random. Not sure his teammates quite have him figured out when he does that but on such nights the old saw “stay-at-home” doesn’t apply. Better yet was when he crushed #17 white — it was the “wrong” #17 if you follow me, but did my heart good all the same.

    As for Kassian he was really feeling it, 4 shots (which is 4 more than he’s had a lot of nights), 7 hits, & some strong skating. Fully-engaged Kassian is a force to b reckoned with.

    Liked Pakarinen’s game a lot & thought that was the most effective fourth line we’ve seen for quite some time.

  67. Woogie63 says:

    I get he is “Paul Coffey” but…

    At 56 is his CV only has his son’s Bantam AAA has real life experience.

    This club does not look very far and wide for the best management talent… which was a problem for the last 12 years.

    We know have the Management clusters;
    TMac brings his friends
    Gretzky, Lowe, MacT, Coffey, Howson group
    PC, Gretzky
    Bobby Nic, Bobby Green, and few minor coaches are the only independents

  68. stephen sheps says:

    Woogie63: This club does not look very far and wide for the best management talent… which was a problem for the last 12 years.

    I get where you’re coming from, but Coffey was hired as a coach…

    To borrow a turn of phrase from another “Steve” who used to post frequently around these parts, I’m not sure ‘management’ means what you think it means… 😉

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    I agree Bruce.

    I think Pak only had around 8 minutes but they were effective.

    WIth that said, I think the 4th line had a solid game mainly because of Zack – from my eye, Zack had been intentionally avoiding contact over the last number of weeks which is why I think he was banged up and maybe got healthy over the break (I guess Cabo is the place one goes to heal).

    Zack was skating and super aggressive on the forecheck with the body – when he does that, he creates energy and space for the entire line. It makes Letestu look faster.

    I liked Pak last night as well but he generally has a few nice games (solid and aggressive) when back in the lineup after a healthy scratch (or a stint in the minors) – my issue with Pak is that his game generally deteriorates when he playes 3, 4, 5 games in a row and he becomes a non-factor.

    If he can play like he did last night, I have zero issue with him getting 10 minutes at evens plus PK time on a nightly basis.

  70. Side says:

    stephen sheps: These are great points. We don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. Maybe the tutor was struggling, maybe the team wasn’t giving the tutor enough access, maybe lack of continuity between tutors here vs. Bako hurt his language learning development. It can be tricky if you’re learning from multiple voices with different teaching styles. Often (but not always of course), tutors don’t have the background to reach students who might need a learning style the tutors aren’t comfortable with, but we simply don’t know enough to know what kind of instruction he’s received.

    I’m not jumping into the ‘wow this is yet another reason to burn Kingsway to the ground’ camp – more just as an educator myself, I’m curious as to what the arrangement looked like. It does seem pretty short sighted to have not had someone full time with him from the get-go. At least they’re addressing it, but my concern is about why it wasn’t that way from day 1.

    I agree 100%.

    Definitely do not believe Jesse has been without a tutor or teacher this whole time.

  71. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woogie63:
    I get he is “Paul Coffey” but…

    At 56 is his CV only has his son’s Bantam AAA has real life experience.

    This club does not look very far and wide for the best management talent… which was a problem for the last 12 years.

    We know have the Management clusters;
    TMac brings his friends
    Gretzky, Lowe, MacT, Coffey, Howson group
    PC, Gretzky
    Bobby Nic, Bobby Green, and few minor coaches are the only independents

    but I don’t believe this is a standard job – that is, I don’t think most NHL teams employ skills coaches directly – I think this is a fairly novel idea and there isn’t a huge pool of established “skills coaches” to choose from.

    Given the foregoing, they are testing out a new type of formal development coach with one of the most skilled d-men of all time.

    He’s not running the NHL PP or game-planing at the NHL level or involved in running the bench – he’ll be travelling from Bakersfield to Guelph, etc. to watch and provide some thoughts/tips to junior and young AHL prospects.

  72. JimmyV1965 says:

    stephen sheps: According to a few conversations on twitter, this is the same tutor that they had for Yak, whose English is significantly better than it once was. And Yak at least had the advantage of 2 years of high school in Sarnia before he got here.

    However the difference between a tutor and a proper ESL teacher (who hopefully is an actual teacher with a B.Ed. rather than someone who just took the TESOL certification but has little other classroom experience) is night and day. They should have had a teacher in from the start. Really dumb that they didn’t.

    I’m all for crapping on mngt and everything, but when people start seriously discussing the lack of English tutors it has reached an hysterical level. There’s no way Jesse didn’t have a tutor. And to start discussing the quality of that tutor brings the discussion to a new level of hysteria

  73. thehop says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Agreed… That would be a terrible idea.

    I do see how one could see him playing centre because he is very..very good on the defensive side of the game and in the neutral zone.

    I remember thinking the same thing about Pajaarvi when he played here. But I think it has more to do with the style of Euro hockey in Sweden and Finland and less to do with him being an actual NHL centreman.

  74. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Has he played center at any level?

    I don’t disagree that he seems to have the skillset to be a center, however, on the assumption that he’s been a winger his entire “pro life”, I would be remiss to ask him to learn a new position with new and improtant responsibilities just as he’s starting to take giant steps forward right in front of our eyes.

    Nuge is hurt but we currently have amazing center depth – shit, we have Strome, Letestu and Khaira as 4, 5 and 6 on our center depth chart – that’s pretty amazing.

    No idea. I’m not sure we have Nuge for long. JP just seems like a natural centre and if he can adjust would be the guy that can give the coach options, effective options that Strome can’t.

    I’m ok with Strome but he has to be under 3M because he is a bottom 6. He’s a decent player but is not a finisher, is not fast. I like Grabner for the vet winger needed. He’s a goal scorer, has his legs, and shouldn’t break the bank if he wants to come. Maroon might be back as well if he’s not able to get a big contract which I think is very likely.

    Nuge or Klef are the players they will use to get what they want IMO. Scary.

  75. thehop says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Reluctantly… I agree.

    He did look good and I hope he can sustain it for the second half of the season.
    That fourth line looked great as well.

  76. thehop says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    I was thinking that last night.

    I was thinking Draisaitl would be the piece to get the pieces needed to win a cup but the more I think on it… The more I think you are right.

    Nuge and Klefbom could also fetch the pieces needed to win a cup.

  77. Professor Q says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    From Spector’s piece on Puljujarvi:

    “I try to talk a lot to improve my English, and I heard they are getting me an English teacher. That is a good thing. I could really use one,” Puljujarvi said to Finnish journalist Jouni Nieminen, who translated these quotes. “I have been here almost two years now. It’s been hard. I hope I will learn.”

    Source: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/jesse-puljujarvi-figuring-things-off-ice-oilers/

    Jesse is their prized prospect, they bring him over as an 18 year old who doesn’t speak the language AND THEY DON’T HIRE AN ENGLISH TEACHER FOR HIM!?!?!??!??!

    What the actual fuck are these people thinking?

    Who runs a business like this?

    Its no goddamn wonder kids who don’t speak English well fail routinely in this organization, they don’t do fuck all to help them adjust to a new country or even countries if they are in the AHL.

    These fucking idiots couldn’t get out of their own way if they tried.

    This makes me so goddamn angry.

    Assholes.

    Dumb assholes.

    I know that it’s easy to dismiss Edmonton’s efforts, but I *do* remember that when they drafted him and when they were thinking of sending him to Bakersfield the verbal was that he had a few fundamentals to work on, and also needed time to work on English and that they were helping him with that.

    In fact, it was one of the reasons mentioned by McLellen and Chiarelli as to why he needed to go to the AHL – have time to improve English.

    I do know that it would be extra difficult to supplant him from Finland to Edmonton, try to teach, then have him bounce down to an even stranger land in Bakersfield (in the U. S., of all places!) with different teamates and have the process start all over again and reach out to new and different English teachers (or tutors, or whatever).

    So, I do think Edmonton was trying, but their execution was terrible and does show poorly. Just not as bad as your freakout (but still not good, really). Now they’re trying to make up for that (and yes, a bit late…) by hiring a dedicated teacher with likely better credentials and more availability than previous tutors (we do know his English has gotten better, at least).

    Although he did say that he only had one real teacher as of this interview from before the 2016 draft (link below).

    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/nhl-draft-s-jesse-puljujärvi-battles-language-barrier-to-stardom-162515309.html

    “Puljujärvi said he’s had one teacher in trying to learn English, and he’s learning “more and more.” Is it a tough language to learn?

    “Little bit, yes,” he said.

    In speaking to him, there are flashes of his personality overcoming the language barrier. For example, who is dressing him for the NHL Draft?”

    So, only one English teacher and Oli Juolevi had tried to teach him English before getting to Edmonton. In his entire life.

    Maybe a year in the OHL, if Edmonton could have had him sign with London, would have helped him, much more than bouncing around between the AHL and NHL. Especially with a full-fledged English teacher at that point, along with Finnish teamates who were already assisting him.

  78. stephen sheps says:

    JimmyV1965,

    legit criticism. thanks. not trying to stir up more hysteria in the slightest.
    please see my follow-up post for my more nuanced take.

  79. meanashell11 says:

    Jethro Tull: You are right. Deleted the post. But to start off a post with ‘sigh’? Yeah. I’m the bad guy. Later ‘gators.

    I just don’t want us to devolve into “that yesterday” thing!

    Sometimes I find it crazy the things that set this place off!

  80. JimmyV1965 says:

    stephen sheps:
    JimmyV1965,

    legit criticism. thanks. not trying to stir up more hysteria in the slightest.
    please see my follow-up post for my more nuanced take.

    I’m not trying to be a jerk, honestly. I was just shocked that this even became a discussion.

    If there are some issues with JP learning English it has to be nuanced argument. The team would have hired him a tutor from Day 1. I have no proof of this, but it defies common sense to think they didn’t. Maybe JP struggled with his tutors. But that’s not on the team. They’re not teachers, they’re hockey players. Everyone learns differently and a second language is tremendously difficult for some people, especially adults. But it’s unreasonable to expect the team to know the ins and outs of teaching a second language. They hire a tutor and if it doesn’t work they look for answers.

  81. Confused says:

    Woogie63,

    I understand, but we hired Pete and Todd because they were available not necessarily the best.

    Getting the best to Edmonton is always going to be hard.

    What advantages do we have, actually if properly engaged the OBC is the most likely answer.

    Who would not get excited by Paul, Wayne, etc taking an interest in you.

  82. JimmyV1965 says:

    I was way more concerned about the Coffey hire before I found out what his role would be. But it does show the continued insular thinking from the team. If you want a skills coach, do a proper search and get the best one possible. Don’t scroll through the contact list on your phone and pick one that way. I like the idea though and it shows a bit a growth in their thinking. But the OBC thing is very disconcerting.

  83. stephen sheps says:

    JimmyV1965,

    that’s pretty much what I said in my second post on the subject – just simply speaking as an educator myself, I am curious about what the process actually was, since language learning is really difficult (as is second-language instruction). What we know is that he’s had a tutor for a while, and now he has a teacher. The differences between the two are significant, but beyond that, we don’t know what the team’s involvement in the process was, how much access Jesse had to this resource and if there was continuity between program (and teaching style) while in Edmonton vs. his time in Bakersfield. I’m definitely not going to jump all over Kingsway about this because there is far too much we don’t know, but if he had a part-time tutor and is just now getting a full-time teacher, that’s definitely at least a little bit alarming (on the surface at any rate) given the deficiencies in English that he readily acknowledged having on draft day.

    However at this point we don’t have nearly enough information to know what his tutor/teacher arrangement looked like last season vs. now or why Jesse made that statement, but it is definitely a good thing that he has someone now, especially if perhaps the person he was working with before wasn’t as successful with Jesse as with prior ESL players on the team like Yak (who did play in Sarnia for 2 years, giving him a major head start comparatively speaking).

  84. Professor Q says:

    You know, Saku Koivu was heavily critized about his poor French. He had tried to learn, but had difficulties and said he had enough difficulty learning English coming from Finland (where he didn’t have an emphasis on either language). Plus the whole fighting and beating cancer battle which took the front burner in his life.

    It was like his 13th season or so in Montréal when it became a real problem, when the public started witch hunting the Captain for daring not to try harder when he is the Captain, after all. He even talked about Bob Gainey being a trend setter and inspiration for Montréal Captains learning French if they hadn’t already. But what can one man do if life has more pressing demands?

    By the time he put more effort into learning, however, he would soon be on another team anyways.

  85. smellyglove says:

    JimmyV1965:
    I was way more concerned about the Coffey hire before I found out what his role would be. But it does show the continued insular thinking from the team. If you want a skills coach, do a proper search and get the best one possible. Don’t scroll through the contact list on your phone and pick one that way. I like the idea though and it shows a bit a growth in their thinking. But the OBC thing is very disconcerting.

    JimmyV1965,

    Exactly. It could be that Coffey is an incredible skills coach or whatever he ends up doing. But this is how business works: establish criteria for the hire you want. Find the best possible person to fill that role. Repeat.

    It could be that Howsen, Lowe, MacT, Gretzky, Messier, Coffey are the best possible managers/executives/scouts available. But more likely it isn’t. If you conclude that, then the only alternative to consider is that the leadership group is making decisions based on reasons outside winning. That is to say nepotism.

    It stinks. It all stinks, and this is not an indictment against Paul Coffey. Wish him all the best. What we are seeing is an insular managerial group that looks to shallow pools for solutions. The whole “get all the Oil Kings from five years ago” strategy.

    Take a look at this list, just look at it: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0047162013.html

    There are eight Oilers players drawn from ONE TEAM, in ONE league. Nevermind the OHL/QMJHL/US or Finnish or Russian or Swedish leagues.

  86. godot10 says:

    Potentially, #PuljujarviIsTheNewHossa, a right shot one at that.

  87. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Side: Do we know whether the tutor is just a tutor (TESOL certification)? Or does the tutor also have a teaching background?

    Maybe, the tutor they have been using who has been teaching other Oilera like Nail how to speak English is having a hard time with Jesse. Jesse said he’s having a hard time with English, so maybe they’re bringing in someone else who can reach him.

    I mean unless this is the thing we hate on today. A lot of people seemed to enjoy hating the Coffey hire yesterday, even without knowing the details about it.

    @mig14 is a great follow on twitter and she’s a teach who knows the tutor.

    She’s going to ask her how often she met with JP next time she get’s the chance:

    https://twitter.com/mig14/status/955117558134333440

    It doesn’t sound like it happened too often.

  88. AsiaOil says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Best game from Larsson since before his stint on IR. Was positively frisky in the offensive zone, darting deep into the zone seemingly at random. Not sure his teammates quite have him figured out when he does that but on such nights the old saw “stay-at-home” doesn’t apply. Better yet was when he crushed #17 white — it was the “wrong” #17 if you follow me, but did my heart good all the same.

    As for Kassian he was really feeling it, 4 shots (which is 4 more than he’s had a lot of nights), 7 hits, & some strong skating. Fully-engaged Kassian is a force to b reckoned with.

    Liked Pakarinen’s game a lot & thought that was the most effective fourth line we’ve seen for quite some time.

    I think a lot of guys have been banged up this year but have been playing through it. The defense in particular seemed like a MASH unit many nights. Larsson was very active last night and added some offense to the usual snarl. The 2RD issue is getting clearer if Nurse/Larsson are a thing. Get Klef a Larsson lite to play with or have Sekera shift over to RD next year. Davey in and Benning out next game.

    Strome with another strong game and IMHO he’d be an effective playoff guy. Need to get him some faster boots on RW though and I’d iike to see Kass there. No idea why he’s been relentlessly chained to Letestu (who is done like dinner) on the 4th line. Why the hell didn’t we resign Pitlick. Perfect bottom 6 guy, good size, fast, hits like a truck. Strange.

    Good to see JP mature and there was a reason that Columbus passed. I think they were very worried about his maturity and ability to adapt to life in N America. Dubois (who I like a lot) was simply a safer pick. Can’t believe all this stuff about his English tutor. JP has always been very up front – he didn’t like school – he liked being outside and playing hockey. To teach someone they have to be motivated to learn, and I don’t get the impression that JP was very motivated in that area. Looks like he’s adjusting though and the package of size, skill and speed is awesome.

  89. JimmyV1965 says:

    stephen sheps:
    JimmyV1965,

    that’s pretty much what I said in my second post on the subject – just simply speaking as an educator myself, I am curious about what the process actually was, since language learning is really difficult (as is second-language instruction). What we know is that he’s had a tutor for a while, and now he has a teacher. The differences between the two are significant, but beyond that, we don’t know what the team’s involvement in the process was, how much access Jesse had to this resource and if there was continuity between program (and teaching style) while in Edmonton vs. his time in Bakersfield. I’m definitely not going to jump all over Kingsway about this because there is far too much we don’t know, but if he had a part-time tutor and is just now getting a full-time teacher, that’s definitely at least a little bit alarming (on the surface at any rate) given the deficiencies in English that he readily acknowledged having on draft day.

    However at this point we don’t have nearly enough information to know what his tutor/teacher arrangement looked like last season vs. now or why Jesse made that statement, but it is definitely a good thing that he has someone now, especially if perhaps the person he was working with before wasn’t as successful with Jesse as with prior ESL players on the team like Yak (who did play in Sarnia for 2 years, giving him a major head start comparatively speaking).

    For sure. I agree with all of this and I didnt mean to be a jerk. I just don’t expect the team to have a handle on this type of thing because it’s not what they do. And maybe they should have reacted faster to some troubles JP was having, but I doubt we will ever know that. Now the Coffey thing is a completely different matter. lol.

  90. Slightly Insane Scientist Seeks Ninjas to Shave Sasquatches says:

    I don’t know much, but what I do know is that no one really knows what they don’t know.

    There are quite a few reactionary posts here based on a single translated interview or the presence of another one of the BOTB.

    Coffey’s presence is clearly another sign of a pending Gretzky Coup, I know, right? What I do know is that we will always find what we are looking for if we look hard enough. Even if it isn’t really there.

    But carry on….

  91. Mantis says:

    Jethro Tull:
    OriginalPouzar,

    (I’m a poet, and just don’t know it!)

    But your feet show it,
    Cuz they’re Longfellows…

    … Sorry, I’ll show myself out!

  92. stephen sheps says:

    JimmyV1965,

    No worries, Jimmy, and for the record I didn’t think you were being a jerk!
    Good conversation and reasonable criticism is always welcome as far as I’m concerned.

  93. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Seems to me the last time Oilers had a roaming skills coach it was Bucky.

    I’ll take the guy with actual skills, thanks.

  94. --hudson-- says:

    Interview with Chiarelli is up:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frkoKgUPE9g

    This was a Chia/McLellan hire and not one decided by the OBC

  95. OriginalPouzar says:

    smellyglove: JimmyV1965,

    Exactly. It could be that Coffey is an incredible skills coach or whatever he ends up doing. But this is how business works: establish criteria for the hire you want. Find the best possible person to fill that role. Repeat.

    It could be that Howsen, Lowe, MacT, Gretzky, Messier, Coffey are the best possible managers/executives/scouts available. But more likely it isn’t. If you conclude that, then the only alternative to consider is that the leadership group is making decisions based on reasons outside winning. That is to say nepotism.

    It stinks. It all stinks, and this is not an indictment against Paul Coffey. Wish him all the best. What we are seeing is an insular managerial group that looks to shallow pools for solutions. The whole “get all the Oil Kings from five years ago” strategy.

    Take a look at this list, just look at it: http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0047162013.html

    There are eight Oilers players drawn from ONE TEAM, in ONE league. Nevermind the OHL/QMJHL/US or Finnish or Russian or Swedish leagues.

    As I posted earlier, this isn’t an established position with a plethora of candidates. I know Oates has his business but I don’t believe NHL teams have hired skills coaches to make the rounds through their organizations and help their prospects and young NHLers.

    There isn’t a lengthy search of qualified skills coaches out there. The Oilers, to me, are essentially creating a new position in the NHL.

    I don’t get the argument that they didn’t do an exhaustive search to hire the best skills coach out there with established experience with NHL prospects – that doesn’t exist yet.

  96. OriginalPouzar says:

    AsiaOil:

    Strome with another strong game and IMHO he’d be an effective playoff guy. Need to get him some faster boots on RW though and I’d iike to see Kass there. No idea why he’s been relentlessly chained to Letestu (who is done like dinner) on the 4th line. Why the hell didn’t we resign Pitlick. Perfect bottom 6 guy, good size, fast, hits like a truck. Strange.

    Pitlick wasn’t re-signed because, as Pitlick himself expressed, he got a unbelievable offer from Dallas that he couldn’t turn down. He went in to free agency just hoping that a team would offer him a one-way contract and was blown away when Dallas offered him 3 years and said he had to jump on it ASAP.

    Yes, the cap hit can essentially be buried in the minors but Oiler fans would have been all over management if they signed him for a 3 year term.

    It was an off the charts contract.

  97. Slightly Insane Scientist Seeks Ninjas to Shave Sasquatches says:

    Slightly Insane Scientist Seeks Ninjas to Shave Sasquatches:
    I don’t know much, but what I do know is that no one really knows what they don’t know.

    There are quite a few reactionary posts here based on a single translated interview or the presence of another one of the BOTB.

    Coffey’s presence is clearly another sign of a pending Gretzky Coup, I know, right?What I do know is that we will always find what we are looking for if we look hard enough.Even if it isn’t really there.

    But carry on….

    The point I clearly have not made here is that for those who use numbers and do A LOT of dilligent work as the evidence to support a narrative/reason/explanation of why things are what they are. The legal minds here would be able to state this more clearly.

    There so many posters who I respect that are too quickly jumping to conclusions IMO.

    The evidence we have is JP speaks terrible English, but you know, I would say it is better than last year. As one poster pointed out, Yak’s English improved considerably year over year. In fact his English was close to JP’s when he arrived in Edmonton I would say, but by the 3rd or 4th year, his English was shockingly good.

    Paul Coffey is part of the 80’s Oilers worshipped by Katz, yup. But he was also one of the most amazing offensive players that hockey has ever seen. Just because Gretzky sucked at coaching doesn’t mean Coffey will. Besides Coffey is working with individuals, rather than the team and he MIGHT actually be good at this.

    I don’t expect any funny business, even though my frequent reading of the blog has helped me to form a different opinion of the coach and GM than I had last year.

    I guess what I am really trying to say without coming off as a materially vicious dink is: “Calm Your Tits” people.

    That is all

  98. OmJo says:

    Hope they keep Lucic – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi together for the rest of the season. Let them build chemistry and we have a good 2nd line right there for next season. Now just find players for McDavid. It seems whenever some of us here aim our pitchforks at a player they have an amazing game to shut us up lol.

    If Klefbom is injured, just sit him out. No point having him out there struggling on the 3rd pair, risking aggravating his injury further. Give Davidson a look, or call up Simpson. If we’re in the race late in the 3rd quarter of the season we’ll need a healthy Klefbom. Put Russell as 3LD and Davidson as 2RD maybe. Or give Sekera a right-handed RD (Benning) to play with until he gets up to speed.

  99. jtblack says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    I know the Oilers need wingers but JP seems like a centre. Two way play skating size and is all over the puck. Fantastic distribution skills and vision.

    Maybe he could play 3C, Strome at wing and Khaira at 4C, run 4 lines which is key for playoffs and keeping players more fresh. Skating centres on 4 lines.

    Hes played Wing all along. Not an easy transition to C. Droiun struggling with that transition.

    But interesting thought …. JP looked great last night

  100. jtblack says:

    OmJo,

    “Hope they keep Lucic – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi together for the rest of the season. Let them build chemistry and we have a good 2nd line right there for next season. Now just find players for McDavid”

    +1

    Keep them Together and give them 10 games or more to find Chemistry. looked Great last night

  101. Lowetide says:

    for The Athletic
    Is Paul Coffey a skills coach or the first hire of a new administration?

    https://theathletic.com/218012/2018/01/21/lowetide-is-paul-coffey-a-skills-coach-or-the-first-hire-of-a-new-administration/

  102. Slightly Insane Scientist Seeks Ninjas to Shave Sasquatches says:

    Lowetide:
    for The Athletic
    Is Paul Coffey a skills coach or the first hire of a new administration?

    Really dude?

    https://theathletic.com/218012/2018/01/21/lowetide-is-paul-coffey-a-skills-coach-or-the-first-hire-of-a-new-administration/

  103. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide:
    for The Athletic
    Is Paul Coffey a skills coach or the first hire of a new administration?

    https://theathletic.com/218012/2018/01/21/lowetide-is-paul-coffey-a-skills-coach-or-the-first-hire-of-a-new-administration/

    Just speed reading the comments here today and if I got it right, Coffey is an English skills coach hired to tutor JP right?

  104. JimmyV1965 says:

    OriginalPouzar: As I posted earlier, this isn’t an established position with a plethora of candidates.I know Oates has his business but I don’t believe NHL teams have hired skills coaches to make the rounds through their organizations and help their prospects and young NHLers.

    There isn’t a lengthy search of qualified skills coaches out there.The Oilers, to me, are essentially creating a new position in the NHL.

    I don’t get the argument that they didn’t do an exhaustive search to hire the best skills coach out there with established experience with NHL prospects – that doesn’t exist yet.

    I’m not going to poop on the move too much, but the optics are not good. And with this team’s history, and this fan base, that’s something they should consider. Next thing you know they are bringing in Fuhr as an English tutor. LOL. I couldn’t resist the urge to be a jerk.

  105. OmJo says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Seems to me the last time Oilers had a roaming skills coach it was Bucky.

    I’ll take the guy with actual skills, thanks.

    #Savage

  106. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: Pitlick wasn’t re-signed because, as Pitlick himself expressed, he got a unbelievable offer from Dallas that he couldn’t turn down.He went in to free agency just hoping that a team would offer him a one-way contract and was blown away when Dallas offered him 3 years and said he had to jump on it ASAP.

    Yes, the cap hit can essentially be buried in the minors but Oiler fans would have been all over management if they signed him for a 3 year term.

    It was an off the charts contract.

    Was it really off the charts?

    Idk how to properly copy tweets on my phone.

    https://twitter.com/TSNRyanRishaug/status/880868002442477569
    Tyler Pitlick definitely moving on from Edmonton. Lots of interest out there and likely to land multi year deal at over 1m per.

  107. OmJo says:

    jtblack:
    OmJo,

    “Hope they keep Lucic – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi together for the rest of the season. Let them build chemistry and we have a good 2nd line right there for next season. Now just find players for McDavid”

    +1

    Keep them Together and give them 10 games or more to find Chemistry. looked Great last night

    Take the MacBlender away from TMac!

    You can theoretically play anybody with McDavid, so there are your two lines for next season. LW can be switched out on the Draisaitl – Puljujarvi pair.

  108. Side says:

    Woodguy v2.0: @mig14 is a great follow on twitter and she’s a teach who knows the tutor.

    She’s going to ask her how often she met with JP next time she get’s the chance:

    https://twitter.com/mig14/status/955117558134333440

    It doesn’t sound like it happened too often.

    I am incredibly intrigued now.

    Good find!

  109. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo: Was it really off the charts?

    Idk how to properly copy tweets on my phone.

    https://twitter.com/TSNRyanRishaug/status/880868002442477569
    Tyler Pitlick definitely moving on from Edmonton.Lots of interest out there and likely to land multi year deal at over 1m per.


    Yes, a 3 year one-way contract to a player who struggled to stay healthy for 30 games year over year was an off the charts contract – the player himself was blown away by it (as he said).

  110. Munny says:

    Another day of stupid over-reactions from posters with little information.

    Shocking.

  111. GMB3 says:

    Munny:
    Another day of stupid over-reactions from posters with little information.

    Shocking.

    Another day of shitty condescending posts from Munny!

    Shocking.

  112. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yes, a 3 year one-way contract to a player who struggled to stay healthy for 30 games year over year was an off the charts contract – the player himself was blown away by it (as he said).

    “That was huge,” he said. “Not many teams were willing to do that. Going into it I was just hoping to get a one-way and they came out and offered that. It was kind of a no brainer. The city and the team, they made good moves this summer, too, and the fresh start all kind of just fell into place.”

    He talks about it again, more recently here: https://blackoutdallas.com/2018/01/05/dallas-stars-tough-winger-tyler-pitlick/

    “I was very excited going into it because I was looking for a new opportunity,” said Pitlick about his past summer. “But at the same time, I was very nervous because of tearing my ACL the year before and not knowing if there was going to be a ton of interest because of that. But when teams started calling, I got really excited.”

    I interpret that as saying heading to free agency he wasn’t expecting very much interest, and there was more than he expected, not that he was lucky to get a one-way contract. Which would be consistent with what Rishaug tweeted on June 30 – and he did land a multi-year deal at $1M per year so he must have known what he was talking about.

  113. frjohnk says:

    I like the hiring of Coffey as a skills coach.

    More and more players are hiring skills coaches on their own while on the other hand teams have been slower to react.

    Paul Coffey has been one of the greatest DMen to play the game and one of his many strengths was transitioning the puck by skating and passing. Chia and TMac know that transitioning the puck from the Oilers backend is a weakness, this hiring will help, not only the current Oilers Dmen but the future ones as well.

    I bet Bobby Orr approves this hiring.

  114. GMB3 says:

    Side:
    It’s amazing the kind of picture people paint based on an excerpt from an interview. Jesse says “english is hard, i’m having a hard time with it. They’re bringing in a teacher”

    And people take from that.. “No one has been teaching Jesse english THIS WHOLE TIME?! No one has been hanging out with Jesse?! No one has welcomed him into their home?!”

    It could very well be that Jesse has had an English tutor this whole time but he has been struggling still. It’s not uncommon for someone to struggle with a topic, even if they are learning from the best teacher. Could be teaching style, could be that Jesse just has a hard time grasping it, who knows.

    Like the Coffey hiring, I, for one, will not be screaming from the rooftops about how outrageous it is until I know the details.

    It’s amazing you take an interview from before Jesse Puljujarvi was even in the NHL as a evidence of the Oilers getting him a “tutor”.

    Some people will slag this management group at all costs, others will defend it at all costs. Both groups are stupid.

  115. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Best game from Larsson since before his stint on IR. Was positively frisky in the offensive zone, darting deep into the zone seemingly at random. Not sure his teammates quite have him figured out when he does that but on such nights the old saw “stay-at-home” doesn’t apply. Better yet was when he crushed #17 white — it was the “wrong” #17 if you follow me, but did my heart good all the same.

    As for Kassian he was really feeling it, 4 shots (which is 4 more than he’s had a lot of nights), 7 hits, & some strong skating. Fully-engaged Kassian is a force to b reckoned with.

    Liked Pakarinen’s game a lot & thought that was the most effective fourth line we’ve seen for quite some time.

    Fully engaged Kassian looks like a top 6 winger to my eye. Did a lot of good things offensively last night and looked absolutely dangerous (offensively – not as in just about to kill someone).

    Fast skater, quick feet for a guy his size, good hands, nose for the puck. I just don’t get why a guy like Drake gets top 6 minutes consistently while Kassian doesn’t even get a sniff.

    Give the guy half a dozen games with McDavid and Maroon. I mean seriously, if you can give top six minutes to Yammer when the games count, why not give Kassian a shot when the games no longer do?

  116. AsiaOil says:

    OmJo: Was it really off the charts?

    Idk how to properly copy tweets on my phone.

    https://twitter.com/TSNRyanRishaug/status/880868002442477569
    Tyler Pitlick definitely moving on from Edmonton.Lots of interest out there and likely to land multi year deal at over 1m per.


    We had all spring to negotiate a reasonable deal with Pitlick absent any other offers, and given his situation at the time being injured, a bit of security likely would have been appealing. What he signed for was not unreasonable. Given the ability to bury the contract without real consequence the number of years should not have been an issue either. Looks to me that we simply didn’t even try.

  117. Side says:

    GMB3: It’s amazing you take an interview from before Jesse Puljujarvi was even in the NHL as a evidence of the Oilers getting him a “tutor”.

    Some people will slag this management group at all costs, others will defend it at all costs. Both groups are stupid.

    Umm because who else would have taught Jesse how to speak english? Do you think he taught himself?

    Do you think the Oilers org, who specifically has a tutor on hand for their non-english speakers, the same Org that specifically said Jesse needed to work on his english, that they would NOT offer the services of the tutor they hired for this very purpose?

    It’s not “defending management” it’s just using common sense.

    Like they hired Coffey as a skills coach, right? Would we not assume that the Oilers will use him to teach skills?

    I don’t understand how that’s stupid. Feel free to enlighten me if required.

  118. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Seems to me the last time Oilers had a roaming skills coach it was Bucky.

    I’ll take the guy with actual skills, thanks.

    Hi Bruce. I agree. I like the skills coach hire and mentioned it in the game day thread yesterday. He could really help Benning, Nurse, Klef, Jones, Bear, Mantha etc.

    Russell– they are going to have to find a way to let him go this summer. 4m is too much for a number 5 D swiss army knife type. The player is ok but other than the shot blocking none of the skills is top 4 level. Ok, maybe skating.

    It comes down to Russell vs Sekera for a bit more money and I would keep Sekera.

  119. Munny says:

    GMB3: Another day of shitty condescending posts from Munny!

    Shocking.

    You usually sink lower than this, no?

    And I scarcely post here outside of actual games, btw.

    Largely because of the type of vitriol you expressed and the over-reactions above.

  120. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Jethro asked about nuances of different cultures when spending time alone abroad. I will get to that in a bit.

    What I will say is that Finnish is a really interesting language sort of all on its own. Closest relative Hungarian but it’s sort of a Galapagos of languages. It was interesting that JP did not learn English growing up and I do believe, in my own personal speculation, that Kekalainen took a pass because he wanted a centre and also knew that JP was far from NHL ready and they needed more immediate help.

    Godot mentioned Hossa. I like that comparison. Would also say a bigger Lehtinen. Both lofty company. I don’t really see the Blake Wheeler style comparisons but to each his own.

    Jesse in another year will be a beast. Nab him in your keeper pools if you can sneak him in the late rounds.

    Best benefit might also be for 29, as some said–force him to move his feet. I wouldn’t ever call him lazy but he has been gliding too much on his skating and not coming low enough to defend his own zone. That’s why I like him better at C. Forces him to be deep in the zone instead of up near the blue line. With Leadboots Lucic and the teenager on his wings he knows TMac is going to hold him accountable for puck retrieval. This isa good thing.

  121. Professor Q says:

    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker),

    A Sundin-Hossa second line line would be great if that’s what it becomes.

  122. Professor Q says:

    Also: Go Jags!

    Hoping for a Jacksonville vs. Minnesota Super Bowl.

  123. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    Professor Q:
    NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker),

    A Sundin-Hossa second line line would be great if that’s what it becomes.

    Good lord, yes. I would even say that would be the first line, unless they can find McDavid his Kurri. Still looking for that one guy he will click with for 8 more years

  124. AsiaOil says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan,

    I’ve felt the same way about Kass for a while. If we move out Maroon then you need someone to work the boards, has the wheels to keep up, and can extract a bit of flesh from anyone who tries to injure McDavid. Then you find a LW who is more of a shooter, not impossible, these guys are traded regularly (9 of the top 20 LW scorers this season are not with their original teams). Probably too pricy but RNH for Landeskog anyone?

  125. OriginalPouzar says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Fully engaged Kassian looks like a top 6 winger to my eye.Did a lot of good things offensively last night and looked absolutely dangerous (offensively – not as in just about to kill someone).

    Fast skater, quick feet for a guy his size, good hands, nose for the puck.I just don’t get why a guy like Drake gets top 6 minutes consistently while Kassian doesn’t even get a sniff.

    Give the guy half a dozen games with McDavid and Maroon.I mean seriously, if you can give top six minutes to Yammer when the games count, why not give Kassian a shot when the games no longer do?

    I disagree re: Zack.

    I think Zack’s effectiveness comes when he is skating hard on the forcehck, being aggressive and able to lay the body at every opportunity. This is how he plays on the 4th line (when healthy) and when he plays that way, he makes the line effective.

    When Zack plays up the lineup, he changes his game, he becomes more of a “skilled forward” and I believe he loses his effectiveness.

    I want Zack on that fourth line, skating and banging – it creates energy and momentum (and the odd scoring chance/goal). It allows the coach to play the 4th line more and that is a material benefit to the team.

    Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean Caggulia deserves a spot up the lineup but I just don’t think that Zack is a guy that should play in the top 6 even though his raw skills suggest that he can.

  126. OriginalPouzar says:

    AsiaOil: We had all spring to negotiate a reasonable deal with Pitlick absent any other offers, and given his situation at the time being injured, a bit of security likely would have been appealing. What he signed for was not unreasonable. Given the ability to bury the contract without real consequence the number of years should not have been an issue either. Looks to me that we simply didn’t even try.

    This type of statement is pure hindsight in my opinion.

    I think the player had been able to play 31 games in each of the previous two seasons and about 49 the season before.

    Yes, he was playing well in a bottom 6 role prior to his major injury last year that shut his season down, again.

    Although he looked to be on his way to establishing himself as an every day NHL forward he, yet again, got injured and he kept his tweener status.

    Yes, there was the opportunity to negotiate with him before he got to free agency (like any pending RFA/UFA) but it would be pretty unusual to sign an often-injured tweener to a multi year one-way contract mid-season – in particular when he was on IR with a long term season ending injury, yet again.

  127. AsiaOil says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Sure I get that, but chaining him to Letestu on the 4th line is wasting him. At least bump him up to 3rd line with Strome and Khaira which might work well. Any 4th line centered by Letestu is a mess without him though.

  128. Munny says:

    Pujo gets a lot of credit for that second goal, and deservedly so, but that was not a tap-in for Khaira. His finish from The Finnish was world class. Jarjar has been a revelation this season.

  129. AsiaOil says:

    OriginalPouzar: This type of statement is pure hindsight in my opinion.

    Sure maybe – but in his own words – he was looking for any kind of one way deal in the spring and he obviously didn’t get it from us. I think the Oilers assumed the market for him was negligible and they were quite simply wrong about that.

  130. AsiaOil says:

    Munny:
    Pujo gets a lot of credit for that second goal, and deservedly so, but that was not a tap-in for Khaira.His finish from The Finnish was world class.Jarjar has been a revelation this season.

    He’s looking a lot like a Maroon replacement to me. Better sign him longterm before going that route though.

  131. Munny says:

    Dunno if anyone is watching the ball game but Amendola is having a fantastic second half.

  132. Munny says:

    AsiaOil: He’s looking a lot like a Maroon replacement to me. Better sign him longterm before going that route though.

    Personally, I’d like to keep Maroon. But if they can’t find a decent price point and commitment from the player, the Oil will have to move on. Relying on Khaira though kind of strikes me as the philosophy they had on the wingers going into this season. Agreed though that if that’s the route management wants to take, they better get JJ signed before his agent gets a whiff of the possibility of playing with 97.

    Edit: Khaira’s contract’s not up till after next season so there’s real danger here.

  133. Munny says:

    Come into Gillette Stadium, play an awesome game, and… lose.

  134. Lowetide says:

    Evilas: Yes. Really. 🙂

  135. GMB3 says:

    Side,

    You just used an interview from prior to JP getting drafted as evidence of him having an English tutor, yet there’s a quote from JP himself saying he heard they were going to get him an English teacher.

  136. OriginalPouzar says:

    AsiaOil:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Sure I get that, but chaining him to Letestu on the 4th line is wasting him. At least bump him up to 3rd line with Strome and Khaira which might work well. Any 4th line centered by Letestu is a mess without him though.

    I don’t disagree although the two of them have had a great deal of success in short stretches – they had a stretch before Christmas where both Zack and Letestu had 7-8 points in a 10 game stretch I believe.

    I’m OK bumping Zack up to the fourth line but, when he’s playing well, he can kind of “drive” that 4th line creating space and energy allowing the coach to play in more which is always a good thing.

  137. Lowetide says:

    One question I have on this Puljujarvi English teacher item, do we know he’s never had one since getting drafted? I’m always very careful about this stuff because there could be some nuance or unknown about the situation. I understand many of you hate the Oilers organization, or distrust them, or want them fired, but for me it’s always wise to get all the facts before putting your opinion in public. I expect that’s the best way to go in this case.

  138. Bag of Pucks says:

    What if it turns out that JP just sucks at learning a second language? It happens. Not all adults are capable of learning a second language to the point of fluency.

    If Jesse is the second coming of Esa Tikkanen, this becomes a non issue.

    Finger pointing is fun I guess…

  139. Munny says:

    Lowetide,

    Your men have a shot at a re-do of the 04 Super Bowl.

  140. Mustard Tiger says:

    If Maroon does get moved out, does Jujhar get a shot in the top 6? It looks like he has all the tools and has been playing very well.

  141. Lowetide says:

    Munny:
    Lowetide,

    Your men have a shot at a re-do of the 04 Super Bowl.

    Oh, joy! 🙂

  142. Munny says:

    Lowetide: Oh, joy!

    Well, you had a crippled TO and no tight end that year. One hopes the Eagles are a little luckier this time around. But first the Norsemen, who are moving the ball early.

  143. Side says:

    GMB3:
    Side,

    You just used an interview from prior to JP getting drafted as evidence of him having an English tutor, yet there’s a quote from JP himself saying he heard they were going to get him an English teacher.

    Yes, as mentioned in like 2-3 of my other comments, and Sheps mentioned in his comment, he could have had a tutor before, or even up to receiving a teacher he’s referring to.

    The outrage some people had after reading the part of the interview woodguy linked was over “i’m having a hard time with english. They’re getting me a teacher”

    A lot of people seem to have assumed JP never received ANY tutoring or teaching from the Oilers, which is a big assumption to make.

    Why?

    A) Jesse, aa shown in the video I linked, was speaking english. The video description mentioned he has been receiving tutoring. Now, I have no evidence of JP sitting down face to face with a tutor, so I’m taking the videos comments at face value. I find it incredibly hard to believe that nowhere along JP’s journey to the NHL no one said “hey maybe you should get a tutor and learn english?”. Who knows,maybe JP wanted to stick with the same tutor he had but it’s not working for him

    B) the Oilers have tutors that work with players who don’t speak english well. Sheps mentioned Nail and Jesse have the same tutor and Nails english improved while being with the Oilers tutor.

    C) the Oilers mentioned multiple times, they wanted JP in bakersfield partly so he could learn english better before heading back to the NHL. If the Oilers did in fact NOT give JP any tutoring after identifying his weak English skills, then yes, I would call them dumb assholes as well.

    D) from what I read, JP dropped out of school in grade 9. He’s 19 years old. It could very well be that he just has difficulties learning English as a second language and if he is (I bet he is) receiving tutoring,maybe it’s just the style or how it’s taught which is not sticking for JP. So a “teacher” they’re bringing in could very well be an additional resource to help JP out. He did afterall,mention how much difficulty he is having with the language

    That’s my take on it. I find it very, very unlikely he got it this far without receiving tutoring. But, I could be wrong

  144. slopitch says:

    Lowetide:
    One question I have on this Puljujarvi English teacher item, do we know he’s never had one since getting drafted? I’m always very careful about this stuff because there could be some nuance or unknown about the situation. I understand many of you hate the Oilers organization, or distrust them, or want them fired, but for me it’s always wise to get all the facts before putting your opinion in public. I expect that’s the best way to go in this case.

    There is no way JP has been in NA this whole time without the team helping him with language. As fans we are stuck looking for meaning out of one or two quotes. In this case, I just don’t buy it. Part of the reason fans here liked the Jokinen signing other then the solid analytics was that he could help transition JP. Its a good thing LT is around to calm the storms. This has been probably the most frustrating season for everyone even moreso then then the 2010-2104 run. Wait till they trade Nuge for a RHD.

  145. Munny says:

    Eagles seem to have settled down after some opening jitters.

  146. Professor Q says:

    I seriously dislike the Patriots.

  147. Munny says:

    12 play drive by the Vikes and they come away with no points. Huge play to generate the fumble.

  148. Munny says:

    Wow. Foles turns a sack into a TD.

  149. meanashell11 says:

    Professor Q:
    I seriously dislike the Patriots.

    Too bad!

    We are on to Minneapolis!

  150. digger50 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Yes, a 3 year one-way contract to a player who struggled to stay healthy for 30 games year over year was an off the charts contract – the player himself was blown away by it (as he said).

    OP you always mention this about Pitlick. Yes he fell into a good deal, but the question is why didn’t Edmonton have any offer for him before he was even speaking to other teams?

    Big, fast winger who has some scoring skill.

    He was part of the old regime, and the new regime had no interest in him. It’s another way Edmonton bleeds talent.

    I don’t know that Pitlick was the answer, but I do believe his musevaluation was a small part of the overall problem.

  151. AsiaOil says:

    I honestly don’t get the fuss over a darn english tutor, but like I said, the player has to want to put the effort in and JP seems like he’s way more interested in playbooks than schoolbooks. Why this is an issue after the guy lights up an NHL game and is developing nicely is beyond me? Got to grouse about something I guess but this is a pretty big reach.

    What people should grouse about is why it took more than half a season for TMac to put Drai at 2C with Lucic and either Sleppy/JP. Staples was talking about this yesterday and he’s right. It worked last year, worked in the playoffs and coach did nothing while the team was floundering. Same issues with special teams and goaltending. Honestly his decision-making this season is addled, and I was a fan. If he doesn’t show significant improvement in the second half of the season I’d be inclined to explore options in the spring. Maybe nobody better is available, but I’d still look, because his performance this year has been dreadful and one of the bigger reasons why “we are where we are”.

  152. digger50 says:

    Munny: Personally, I’d like to keep Maroon. But if they can’t find a decent price point and commitment from the player, the Oil will have to move on.Relying on Khaira though kind of strikes me as the philosophy they had on the wingers going into this season. Agreed though that if that’s the route management wants to take, they better get JJ signed before his agent gets a whiff of the possibility of playing with 97.

    Edit: Khaira’s contract’s not up till after next season so there’s real danger here.

    I’m for keeping Maroon as well. We are already short wingers.

    Whatever magic beans they get for him I doubt will ever turn into a winger we need now.

    I would hope there has been some contract talk taking place to get a feel for his ask. Obviously they need to determine his intentions and his ask before the deadline.

  153. OriginalPouzar says:

    Are we not open to the possibility that the foreign person talking about struggling with English may have had some trouble articulating what he wanted to say, in the English interview?

    Are some really taking this quip about getting a teacher and rolling with it for vitriol towards the organization – and lets be honest, that was pure venom by WG this morning (here and no twitter).

    Maybe, just maybe, they are getting him “another” teacher or a “new” teacher or setting up his initial teacher in Edmonton after him having one in Bakersfield, etc.?

  154. digger50 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Reply)

    Coach wants Zack on the fourth line as well. Regardless of what Zack does, he’s viewed as a fourth liner and that will not change as long as Tmac is coach.

    Zack knows this and gives Tmac a typical fourth line effort most nights. But once in a while he likes to prove the coach wrong and he actually gives full effort. There is no denying he’s a force when he’s switched on, trick is getting that potential from him every night.

  155. OriginalPouzar says:

    I personally think that Paul Coffey should be giving Jesse English lessons.

  156. Munny says:

    digger50,

    IIRC they were discussing a deal coming out of training camp and early season, but talks seem to have fallen through.

  157. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Sorry for the lengthy rant that follows.

    In the world it is more common to have to form opinions on things in which we don’t have full info. On important issues it is critical. Our cognitive bias and the many things that have developed in the hockey stats based on that understanding of how our brains work speak to how we form those opinions and make decisions without full info.

    It is not wrong, it is how we function. We can make better decisions when we understand this. The bottom line is we see things and our brains try to correlate patterns. It was necessary for survival once and is still at some times and in certain places.

    We can only watch when we don’t have full info and make our decisions based on patterns and outcomes and repeating outcomes.

    What I see as a very big issue with OBC is very little effort put into their own professional skill development. My concern is that can easily lead to their ideas being solely based on their own playing experiences which are from a different era.

    Player development is a key indicator of this. Repeated lack of deploying correct and timely resources to help draftees and players succeed, the org turning on them and getting nothing for them or not enough. This destruction of assets is what has depleted them to levels of weakness that are historic.

    Because it was brutal back in the day this group of historical self starters and historically lucky players seem to not understand how to nurture the new players, or relate to newer generations. IF they had spent time in the trenches perhaps that might have given them new views on things through experience.

    Every superhero player has had this attitude as a coach. Some success but no sustained success and still turning on players and destroying assets.

    Weight might change that but he was from a different team and was not a legendary player. The only one who was a legend and has stepped into the trenches to learn doesn’t have much to do with the team. Kurri.

    I haven’t read your Athletic pieces on this YET LT but it seems like your on it. Weird things continue to happen and the same old patterns remain anchored by repeated poor decision making especially about players amateur and pro.

    The progress is not happening with culture (best in class etc, new way, etc, easy to say) and given player comments and familiar patterns around the Org it’s same old same old.

    As I said before once get it over with. Chiarelli apparently said Coffey was his hire (I have no dog in that fight) but what else is he going to say?

    Let them have it full on, open and clear and with full direct accountability, and when they destroy it sell the team or completely clean house and use the next group of first OVs to start again. Every OBC has to be completely removed from anything but glad handing and golf shmoosing. Like normal teams do.

    If it happens to work out great. But it won’t because we know the patterns and they fail, and have failed, and are the hallmark of people that feel distastefully entitled and avoid taking responsibility for appalling repeated failure, repeating the exact same misguided and insular decision making and behaviour.

    So no, I’m not liking what I’m seeing, again 😀

    Having the group of young players they have and seeing the cliff rapidly approaching is making it worse.

    I’m not going to pretend to be an eternal optimist fan watching my team get ruined again. But I’ll still be a fan, I just won’t watch games if it gets too ugly. Like basically the post Weight era for a decade.

  158. OriginalPouzar says:

    On the assumption that we don’t see a miracle run in the next month, I think the organziation needs to sell Maroon to the highest bidder – we need those assets, the futures.

    That doesn’t mean we can’t bring him back in free agency and it doesn’t mean that we can’t speak with Patty before the trade and talk about doing that (and even having the parameters of a deal in place).

    The thing is, for me, we can’t/shouldn’t pay full market value for Patrick – I just don’t think we can afford a $4M plus contract which his numbers will probably get him in free agency.

    We need Patty to give us the ficticious “home-town discount” and, given this is his one opportunity for a “big money” contract with term, I don’t see that happening.

    I’ve never seen a home town discount signed in Edmonton but, without it, I think we might have to move on from this player unless the Kris Russell boyout happens this spring (or they miraculously are able to move Milan).

    Yes, we have a hole (maybe two) in the top 6 wing but we can’t lock ourselves in to another non-value big money contract on the wing.

    We may have to stay patient through next year with that hole in the top 6 but there are some potential options:

    1) Grabner/Vanek/similar

    2) if we draft 2 or 3, we are drafting a high end forward and high end forward are often ready to produce in the top 6 in their first post-draft year

    3) if Strome can handle 3C and be a positive factor, Nuge can play in the top 6 along with Drai and Connor

    4) a Hoffman/Max P. type trade but I’m scared of acquisition cost.

  159. OriginalPouzar says:

    digger50: Coach wants Zack on the fourth line as well. Regardless of what Zack does, he’s viewed as a fourth liner and that will not change as long as Tmac is coach.

    Zack knows this and gives Tmac a typical fourth line effort most nights. But once in a while he likes to prove the coach wrong and he actually gives full effort. There is no denying he’s a force when he’s switched on, trick is getting that potential from him every night.

    I agree that Zack is a force when he is going but he’s a bottom 6 force notwithstanding some puck skills. He is a force because of a fast and aggressive forcehcek and banging bodies. He doesn’t do that when moved up the lineup – he changes his game.

    He’s a better player and more of a factor in the game when he plays in the bottom 6.

    At least my eye test tells me that.

  160. Wilde says:

    Kassian plays high forward in the defensive zone, and doesn’t seem to have any vision when he’s cycling around the boards to make a more dangerous play than low to high.

    I like the player, but if he wasn’t who he was I think a lot of viewers would get on him for ‘floating’ in the d zone and having ‘no hands’ in the o zone.

    He’s a fourth liner, but one that can give yours a +5 or so goal differential on the season if he’s there. Which is immense. Moving him up so he can break even would be taking away the strength of the asset. You don’t just promote people until they fail.

    The problem with the fourth line is the guy playing low forward has zero boots, and that’s why that unit has cost the team so much, in tandem with Todd’s deployment of them in the last minutes when the other team’s top unit is out there.

  161. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – I said i wasn’t going to post in awhile, and I’ve enjoyed being on the side-line

    – That said: I’m looking forward to reading the article in the Athletic. It’s a mickey mouse hire

    – It’s not that he is OBC: even though I didn’t like MacT: at least he went out an bettered himself, got MBA, worked in a different organization

    – The issue is that Coffey (like much of the OBC), he is not hireable by any other organization. But he bleeds Oil. His only qualification is that he was an awesome D (who f$cked off on this team because he wanted to get paid more, which is fine).

    – If Paul Coffey was a an elite skills coach, who honed his skills a la Gary Roberts with his studying and awesome programmes, sure. He’s got no credentials, save bleed Oil

    – So the coup d’etat didn’t work, but Chia had to bring in more OBC: he is totally isolated: he didn’t hire the coach, his big “get” was his colleague from Boston, who happens to be another Gretzky

    – Chia survived this coup d’etat. But if part of the week off was determining we need some new blood to teach some things, then the best person available was a retired hockey-dad

    – Mickey Mouse: so much payroll that are not hireable for hockey ability in any other organization (unless at really subordinate roles): Get Fuhr as goalie coach, and Kurri as shooting coach

    p.s. – LT I think you are a little harsh with the “Oil are done, its only dreaming” It is mathematically possible, teams do go on very big runs, we do have some incredible players. Colorado has won what 9 of 10: you seem to think this is not possible. Not at all likely, very improbable, sure, but it happens

  162. Munny says:

    Congrats to the Eagles and the Pats on their pennants.

  163. Munny says:

    OriginalPouzar: 1) Grabner/Vanek/similar

    Vanek will be 35 next year, and hasn’t scored 20 in 3 years.

    Grabner will likely go for more than Maroon if he hits UFA.

  164. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: I agree that Zack is a force when he is going but he’s a bottom 6 force notwithstanding some puck skills.He is a force because of a fast and aggressive forcehcek and banging bodies. He doesn’t do that when moved up the lineup – he changes his game.

    He’s a better player and more of a factor in the game when he plays in the bottom 6.

    At least my eye test tells me that.

    And how many games have you seen Kassian play up the lineup?
    Seems to me he’s been stapled to Letestu and the fourth line since the beginning of last season.
    I will be the first to admit he hasn’t had a very good first half, but he was a force last year when he was playing for a contract. Maybe if he saw any hope of advancement up the lineup you would get a more consistent effort. I dunno.
    Seems to me you are guilty of the same thing Tmac is regarding this player. You have stereotyped him as a fourth liner and that’s where he stays. No matter what. Tmac does this a lot. I find it curious and extremely frustrating.
    Love your optimism and agree with you on a lot of things but think you are wrong on this one.
    My solution for the teams forwards right now is simple. Leave the Drai line together for 20 games and see what happens. Trade Maroon while he’s hot to get Maximum value. Give the left wing spot on Macdavids line to Cammaleri or Caggulia. I would try Cammaleri first. Give Kassian a 20 game trial on the right side. If he flops at least you tried and if he puts up numbers he’s locked in for 2 more years at a reasonable cost.
    If Kassian doesn’t work with Macdavid I would put him with Nuge when he gets back. If you want Nuge to center a tough minutes line give him a couple of big, fast, defensively responsible wingers. Kassian and Kharia would work.
    Thats my solution today.

  165. deardylan says:

    Can you believe it

    Vegas is 1st place in NHL?!!!

    Incredible GM, Coach & Players.

    And Oilers beat them 2 for 2x this season. So what does that say about our team?

    #CantWriteThisScript

  166. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Kassian has skill and a rare package with size speed and tough. Got him drafted first round.

    He also has significant consistency issues which keeps him where he is lMO

  167. OriginalPouzar says:

    Nothing really going on with the prospects today – Wells didn’t play for the Petes. Skinner made 30 saves on 34 shots but they were playing Everett and Carter Hart so, if you give up 2 you’ve pretty much lost (they lost 4-1).

    Guelph lost 4-2 to the Rangers – Samorukov was -1 with 3 shots.

  168. Munny says:

    Munny: Vanek will be 35 next year, and hasn’t scored 20 in 3 years.

    He’s on pace to do so this year. If he gets 25, what does he go for? Will he be able to ask for term? UFAs can be damned expensive when there’s demand for their services. I’m tempted to stick with the one I know. That said, I have no idea what Maroon’s agent is asking… if it’s too much, I’ll take my chances in free agency.

  169. Pescador says:

    Kass on your 4th line is a good thing, maybe not at that price point.
    I see it as a sign of good depth.
    Still need better wingers so Strome can play 4C after the trade deadline
    Haha

  170. Pescador says:

    Munny: He’s on pace to do so this year.If he gets 25, what does he go for? Will he be able to ask for term?UFAs can be damned expensive when there’s demand for their services.I’m tempted to stick with the one I know. That said, I have no idea what Maroon’s agent is asking… if it’s too much, I’ll take my chances in free agency.

    $10 Mil over 3 seems about right.
    But realistically he gets traded at the deadline and will be offered 4×4 as a UFA

  171. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: And how many games have you seen Kassian play up the lineup?
    Seems to me he’s been stapled to Letestu and the fourth line since the beginning of last season.
    I will be the first to admit he hasn’t had a very good first half, but he was a force last year when he was playing for a contract. Maybe if he saw any hope of advancement up the lineup you would get a more consistent effort. I dunno.
    Seems to me you are guilty of the same thing Tmac is regarding this player. You have stereotyped him as a fourth liner and that’s where he stays. No matter what. Tmac does this a lot. I find it curious and extremely frustrating.
    Love your optimism and agree with you on a lot of things but think you are wrong on this one.
    My solution for the teams forwardsright now is simple. Leave the Drai line together for 20 games and see what happens. Trade Maroon while he’s hot to get Maximum value. Give the left wing spot on Macdavids line to Cammaleri or Caggulia. I would try Cammaleri first. Give Kassian a 20 game trial on the right side. If he flops at least you tried and if he puts up numbers he’s locked in for 2 more years at a reasonable cost.
    If Kassian doesn’t work with Macdavid I would put him with Nuge when he gets back. If you want Nuge to center a tough minutes line give him a couple of big, fast, defensively responsible wingers. Kassian and Kharia would work.
    Thats my solution today.

    I saw every game last year except for 1 and I’ve seen every game this year except for I believe 3 over the holidays (and I saw bits and pieces of 2 of those games from Asia).

    I’ve seen him up the lineup from the 4th line enough to see that he hasn’t been effective.

    I was pretty express that it was via my eye test but, whenever he’s with Nuge or Drai I see his game change and him lose his effectiveness.

    That isn’t a slight on Zack – it happens to bottom six players all the time – they get hot, get moved up the lineup to play with more skill and alter their game due to the move which often corresponds to a loss of effectivness.

    You say he’s been stapled to Letestu since the beginning of last year, well, as per PuckIQ, he played 314 minutes with Letestu last year and 496 without him – so under 40% of his time.

    He played over 200 minutes with Nuge last year with a 45% corsi and a 38% goal for percentage. His time with Leon and McDavid were low.

    I won’t have the WOWY numbers from this year but its likely much higher.

    I really like it when our fourth line is playing well, when it is, we are a much much better team – just like last night. Our 4th line is best when Kass is on it.

  172. deardylan says:

    DIAMOND LIFE
    This post title reminded me of this song, Diamond Sun by Glass Tiger. Reminds of of Alberta. Is that Calgary or some other city in the video?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-TdRfY6Jck

    I GOT 99 PROBLEMS AND 98 AIN’T ONE
    I am still in awe of that pass last night by #98…listen to that sounds at 9seconds. Would have loved to see Lowetides filmed reaction at that very moment.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_g52lpglEE
    Close your eyes and listen @ 9 seconds

    DOWN UNDER
    Fly to Australia in about 4 hours from now. First trip there and spending most of my time in Melbourne and its province for 3 weeks for mostly R&R and hang out with old friends there.

    Any recommendations of Mel and surrounds?

  173. Gerta Rauss says:

    deardylan: Any recommendations of Mel and surrounds?

    I’ve never been (not yet anyway) but if you’re in Melbourne today you have to go to the Australian open-even if you’re not a tennis fan there is lots to do in/around the venue

  174. flyfish1168 says:

    digger50: Coach wants Zack on the fourth line as well. Regardless of what Zack does, he’s viewed as a fourth liner and that will not change as long as Tmac is coach.

    Zack knows this and gives Tmac a typical fourth line effort most nights. But once in a while he likes to prove the coach wrong and he actually gives full effort. There is no denying he’s a force when he’s switched on, trick is getting that potential from him every night.

    Zack appeared banged up prior to the week off. He is one of the leaders in the hitting and fighting department. It comes at a cost.

  175. OmJo says:

    who: My solution for the teams forwards right now is simple. Leave the Drai line together for 20 games and see what happens. Trade Maroon while he’s hot to get Maximum value. Give the left wing spot on Macdavids line to Cammaleri or Caggulia. I would try Cammaleri first. Give Kassian a 20 game trial on the right side. If he flops at least you tried and if he puts up numbers he’s locked in for 2 more years at a reasonable cost.
    If Kassian doesn’t work with Macdavid I would put him with Nuge when he gets back. If you want Nuge to center a tough minutes line give him a couple of big, fast, defensively responsible wingers. Kassian and Kharia would work.
    Thats my solution today.

    I like this solution. I like it a lot. The idea of a 3line of Nuge, Kassian and Khaira is intriguing, too.

    ____ McDavid ____
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
    Khaira – Nuge – Kassian

    Pretty good too 9, even with nearly 1/3 of it missing.

    ——

    What’s up with Ty Rattie? Why not give him a look? He’s never really gotten a shot at the NHL level. What’s his skill set?

  176. who says:

    OriginalPouzar:

    It is your opinion that Kassian changes his game when moved up the lineup. I don’t see it as fact. We’ll just agree to disagree.
    And yes, Kassian makes the fourth line better. But that is no reason to keep him there. Macdavid would make the fourth line better too.
    Building a solid fourth line should be at the bottom of this teams priority list. Get three lines working before you start worrying about the fourth.
    Question for you. Other than JP is there a right winger with a better skill set than Kassian on this team right now?

  177. deardylan says:

    Gerta Rauss: I’ve never been (not yet anyway) but if you’re in Melbourne today you have to go to the Australian open-even if you’re not a tennis fan there is lots to do in/around the venue

    Thanks Guerta Rauss! Yeah Australian Open would be fun and the atmosphere around the city sounds great.

  178. Georges says:

    This was Todd Nelson’s stats line as a head coach with the Oilers; Taylor Hall played in about half of these games:

    Season, GP, W, L, OTL, P%
    14-15, 51, 17, 25, 9, 0.422

    This was Todd McLellan’s stats line in his first season with the Oilers when he had both Hall and McDavid (and mostly Drai) in the lineup:

    Season, GP, W, L, OTL, P%
    15-16, 45, 17, 25, 3, 0.411

    Here’s the P% for the Sharks since 05-06:

    05-06 .604 Wilson
    06-07 .652
    07-08 .659
    08-09 .713 McLellan
    09-10 .689
    10-11 .640
    11-12 .585
    12-13 .594
    13-14 .677
    14-15 .543
    15-16 .598 DeBoer (Finals)
    16-17 .604
    17-18 .622

    Does Todd McLellan make a difference?

    I think so. I think he gets less out of the teams he coaches. I think it’s a function of how he sees the game and how he defines and deploys players. I think, with his recent record in Edmonton, he compares unfavorably with his veteran peers, even Boudreau and Trotz, fellow travelers on the road to never been there.

    In San Jose, he inherited a winning program and took it nowhere.

    In Edmonton, he inherited a losing program and has taken it nowhere.

    (Last season was PC building the best team in the WC and McLellan doing what he did in San Jose, not win when the opportunity was there to win.)

    Last week I showed that if coaches were going to be successful with a new team (reach the Finals or win the Cup), they were most likely going to be successful early in their tenure, usually within the first 3 years. Sutter and coach Q were over 10 years into their career before they won a Cup. But they both won very quickly when they got to LA and CHI, respectively.

    McLellan may think he has time — that may be part of his problem. Opportunity doesn’t always knock. And you can’t keep blaming your players. That works in Year 1. It doesn’t work after a roster revamp in Years 2 and 3, a revamp that required the HC to identify both missing and expendable pieces. And it doesn’t work when the players he blamed and questioned for their desire to compete, compete just fine for their new teams. And it doesn’t work when he coaches his players to such miserable special teams performances: 29th on PP, 31st on PK, if anyone’s keeping score at home.

    It’s simple really. McLellan should deliver on pre-season expectations and take this team to the Finals. That’s all. Support his players. Boost the belief system of his younger players by, you know, believing in them. Find a way to get the most out of what he has to work with.

    If he doesn’t reach the Finals, he’ll hit an off-season in which Sutter and possibly coach Q are available. Those guys may or may not have similar methods. But they’ve been there.

    Somewhere down the line, he’ll then be able to say that getting fired from Edmonton was the best thing that ever happened to him. Because it gave him the chance to take stock and change and evolve as a coach.

    And we’ll all be happy.

  179. Wilde says:

    who: It is your opinion that Kassian changes his game when moved up the lineup. I don’t see it as fact. We’ll just agree to disagree.
    And yes, Kassian makes the fourth line better. But that is no reason to keep him there. Macdavid would make the fourth line better too.
    Building a solid fourth line should be at the bottom of this teams priority list. Get three lines working before you start worrying about the fourth.
    Question for you. Other than JP is there a right winger with a better skill set than Kassian on this team right now?

    I read this a lot when people speak about the fourth lines effectiveness, and how it doesn’t matter as much as the top three lines.

    The fourth plays about 8 minutes a night and has absolutely caved this teams goal differential.

    This is the four lines goal differential at 5v5 this year:

    97: 41GF 31GA
    93: 23GF 26GA
    29: 10GF 11GA
    55: 9GF 21GA

    How is the fourth line giving up more than 97 creates for us, in less than half of the time, not a big deal?

  180. who says:

    Wilde: I read this a lot when people speak about the fourth lines effectiveness, and how it doesn’t matter as much as the top three lines.

    The fourth plays about 8 minutes a night and has absolutely caved this teams goal differential.

    This is the four lines goal differential at 5v5 this year:

    97: 41GF 31GA
    93: 23GF 26GA
    29: 10GF 11GA
    55: 9GF 21GA

    How is the fourth line giving up more than 97 creates for us, in less than half of the time, not a big deal?

    So maybe we need to change up the fourth line.
    Seriously though, I think you answered your own question. They play 8 minutes a night. Spend your assets and time on the players that play the most. Once you have three solid lines you can start worrying about the fringe players. I don’t think anyone on this board thinks that this team has had three solid lines going all year. Fix the big issues first.

  181. Wilde says:

    who: So maybe we need to change up the fourth line.
    Seriously though, I think you answered your own question. They play 8 minutes a night. Spend your assets and time on the players that play the most. Once you have three solid lines you can start worrying about the fringe players. I don’t think anyone on this board thinks that this team has had three solid lines going all year. Fix the big issues first.

    The fourth line IS a big issue. It has been the biggest issue on the team at even strength.

    My saying they play 8 minutes a night isn’t a minimisation on their negative effect, it’s a statement about how efficiently they’ve destroyed the team’s goal differential.

    It only takes them half the time McDavid plays to undo everything he does goal-wise, and then some.

    They’ve gotten poor goaltending, but they give up high danger chances at an excessive rate all the same. Part of that is also the HC leaning on one of his worst defensive forwards in crucial moments, not realising that he’s lost his boots.

  182. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    Scungilli Slushy:
    Kassian has skill and a rare package with size speed and tough. Got him drafted first round.

    He also has significant consistency issues which keeps him where he is lMO

    It’s hard to demonstrate consistency, at least the good kind, when you are saddled with 4th line minutes and 4th line talent.

    Opportunity. It’s a thing. Player development. It’s a thing.

    The Oilers could use a thing … or two.

  183. Spooky Lynx says:

    Time for a token Spooky Lynx crazy post:

    Hank and Danny Sedin are free agents this summer.

    Hank: 47GP (2-30-32), 54.5 CF%(5×5), 8.5 CF rel
    Danny: 46GP (11-19-30), 55.8 CF%(5×5), 10.5 CF
    (Via hockey-reference)

    Im not certain who they play with the most, though dailyfaceoff has them with Vanek.

    They are both still very effective hockey players. They are also both 37 years old (what a coincidence) and not getting any younger.

    They’ve expressed the desire to play one more season after this one.
    (http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/canucks-daniel-henrik-sedin-like-play-next-season/)
    In this article it is mentioned that at the beginning of the season they said “…they only wanted to remain Vancouver Canucks…” but I might chalk that up to something they felt they were SUPPOSED to say.

    Now, I don’t profess to be a mind reader, but I wouldn’t imagine an astronomical dollar figure is high on their priority list. I WOULD imagine, however, that winning a Cup is VERY high on their priority list – something that the hapless Canucks *spits* cannot give them.

    I propose that the Edmonton Oilers hockey club should make a serious bid to acquire the services of these two fine Swedish freaks for the 2018/2019 NHL season (assuming team friendly contracts, of course).

    I imagine they’d look pretty darn good on the third line.

  184. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: It’s hard to demonstrate consistency, at least the good kind, when you are saddled with 4th line minutes and 4th line talent.

    Opportunity.It’s a thing.Player development.It’s a thing.

    The Oilers could use a thing … or two.

    True, but he’s been given better minutes. Didn’t keep them. Seems not many can theses days. I’d like to see an effective 4th line – holding at evens (the best scenario would be a checking line), and contribute to a strong pk. And able to eat up some 5v5 minutes to keep the top 6 more fresh. Key for playoffs.

  185. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Lowetide,

    Goilers!

  186. GMB3 says:

    Side,

    Yeah fair point, I only read your reply to me and misinterpreted what you were trying to say. My whole point was that video was him talking about receiving tutoring in Finland in his draft year, even though that was prior to coming to Edmonton.

  187. who says:

    Wilde: The fourth line IS a big issue. It has been the biggest issue on the team at even strength.

    My saying they play 8 minutes a night isn’t a minimisation on their negative effect, it’s a statement about how efficiently they’ve destroyed the team’s goal differential.

    It only takes them half the time McDavid plays to undo everything he does goal-wise, and then some.

    They’ve gotten poor goaltending, but they give up high danger chances at an excessive rate all the same. Part of that is also the HC leaning on one of his worst defensive forwards in crucial moments, not realising that he’s lost his boots.

    So put your best forwards on the top 3 lines and cut the 4th line minutes even more.
    I’m not sure if you are arguing for keeping Kassian on the fourth line or not.
    Going into this year the thinnest position on the roster looked like right wing. I just find it curious that the only pure right winger that’s been tried with Macdavid is JP. If we had 3 better right wingers than Kassian I would say leave him on the fourth line. But I don’t think we do. Which makes me question the coaches insistence on keeping him on the fourth line.
    He may shit the bed with Macdavid. I don’t know. But at this point is there any harm in trying.
    You could use the same reasoning for Strome and Slepeshev.
    Tmac is funny that way. He changes a lot of players and line combos at the drop of a hat and yet there are certain combos and roster spots that appear to be etched in stone. No matter what.

  188. deardylan says:

    Wilde: This is the four lines goal differential at 5v5 this year:
    97: 41GF 31GA
    93: 23GF 26GA
    29: 10GF 11GA
    55: 9GF 21GA

    Wilde! Wow that is a great stat share..!!

    Wonder how bad it would look when you crunched it with time on ice? (and also compared to other teams in our division)

  189. €√¥£€^$ says:

    Growing up west of Edmonton there were a few guys that I knew who went on to have pro hockey careers. Of these fellows only Brent Severyn, who was my roomie at the U of A Phys Ed Dept “rookie camp” became a regular NHLer. The others whose NHL aspirations fell short were Paxton Schulte (starred in Spokane), Jason Mansoff (NCAA champion in Maine – Paul Kariya’s team), and Frank Banham (83 goals as a 20 yr old in Saskatoon).

    Two of my closest friends who were brothers and lived a mile away, were very good players in minor hockey and both went on to the BCJHL. Both were 6’3″, but Rob was about 40lbs heavier than his younger brother. Rob was arguably the heavyweight champ of the BCJHL, and I never understood why they never tried out for a team in the WHL where their games were more suitable.

    In 1994, Rob found himself out of hockey after being one of the last cuts in ECHL Columbus. Mike, decided not to play for his BCJHL team for his 19 year old season, opting instead to play on a senior mens team at home. When Rob got home, their Hungarian grandmother informed them that there was an ad in a Hungarian-language newspaper about an upcoming try-out in Niagra Falls for a Hungarian Pro Team and they were looking for 2 players.

    Mike and Rob signed up and flew there for the try-out, where the coach indicated that he was looking for a couple of hard-nosed Canadian players to round out his team. The boys said they stood almost a head taller than most of the attendees of the camp and then proceeded to flatten any player in their crosshairs during the scrimmage. Impressing the coach, they were offered contracts and headed over to Budapest later that week.

    Unfortunately, the promises made and the sales pitch they heard, were quite different from reality, they were underpaid and underwhelmed and were back home by mid-January. Back in Alberta they were scooped up by the Sr Men’s team in Peace River just in time for their playoff run.

    I just wanted to share this story, as they are briefly mentioned in the book “The Whiskey Thief” where one of the Hungarian team’s goalies is the subject (a folk hero, in fact). The book is supposed to be very good if you are interested, for more info here is a link to the website maintained by the author:

    http://www.whiskeyrobber.com

  190. Wilde says:

    who: So put your best forwards on the top 3 lines and cut the 4th line minutes even more.
    I’m not sure if you are arguing for keeping Kassian on the fourth line or not.
    Going into this year the thinnest position on the roster looked like right wing. I just find it curious that the only pure right winger that’s been tried with Macdavid is JP. If we had 3 better right wingers than Kassian I would say leave him on the fourth line. But I don’t think we do. Which makes me question the coaches insistence on keeping him on the fourth line.
    He may shit the bed with Macdavid. I don’t know. But at this point is there any harm in trying.
    You could use the same reasoning for Strome and Slepeshev.
    Tmac is funny that way. He changes a lot of players and line combos at the drop of a hat and yet there are certain combos and roster spots that appear to be etched in stone. No matter what.

    The fourth lines minutes can’t be cut anymore, they’re already very very low. All that would do is burn our stars even more.

    I’m advocating keeping players where they succeed.

    Every 3-4 games someone shits the bed up the lineup and Kass moves up. He’s played 1/3 of his icetime up the lineup, I’m not sure how everyone misses that. He actually moves up the lineup more than any other RW, he just starts the games at the 4th.

    And when he gets put up there he either breaks even or flounders. He can’t threaten by flying the zone against top pairing defensemen who can skate. Keep him where he’s an above average player. He needs better than Letestu, though.

    Kassian can make our fourth line a positive unit, but he can’t do it reliably any higher up. For 2m we need to put a better unit together with him.

  191. €√¥£€^$ says:

    €√¥£€^$,

    I noticed the team photo, what a motley looking bunch lol. This photo is hillarious, even Initiation Team photos make the kids look like pros, whereas this sorry-ass group looks chewed up and spit out a few times.

    They played on an outdoor rink and they are squinting into the sun and one guy is even shielding his eyes. I’ve never seen a team photo like that before….edit- the boys left the team before this photo was taken.

    It was thought at the time that they were the first Canadians to ever play in that league, but information like that is hard to determine.

    I had thought of going to see them since I was in Bosnia at the time, but Budapest had been shut down to Canadian Forces members due to the predicaments of more than a couple guys on earlier deployments.

    The goalie’s name was Attila Ambrus and is known as the worst goalie professional hockey goalie ever. Here’s a tiny snippet of how bad:

    https://fromtheblueline.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/worst-goalie-ever/

  192. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo: I like this solution. I like it a lot. The idea of a 3line of Nuge, Kassian and Khaira is intriguing, too.

    ____ McDavid ____
    Lucic – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
    Khaira – Nuge – Kassian

    Pretty good too 9, even with nearly 1/3 of it missing.

    ——

    What’s up with Ty Rattie? Why not give him a look? He’s never really gotten a shot at the NHL level. What’s his skill set?

    He’s played parts of 4 seasons in the NHL – he’s had lots of shots but has never been able to stick.

    He hasn’t a shot this year but who are we going to put him in for?

    I’d prefer Pakarinan at this point – I’m a big fan of a fourth line that forechecks hard and creates energy as it could be material plus to the team like our 4th line was last game – Pak being a top PKer on the Oil is a real thing.

    In order to recall Rattie, one of Cammy, Slep, Drake, Auvitu would have to be put on waivers.

  193. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: It is your opinion that Kassian changes his game when moved up the lineup. I don’t see it as fact. We’ll just agree to disagree.
    And yes, Kassian makes the fourth line better. But that is no reason to keep him there. Macdavid would make the fourth line better too.
    Building a solid fourth line should be at the bottom of this teams priority list. Get three lines working before you start worrying about the fourth.
    Question for you. Other than JP is there a right winger with a better skill set than Kassian on this team right now?

    Yes, its my opinion – I’ve been very clear on that – its my opinion based on my eye test and its my opinion that an energy creating fourth line can be a material plus for the team.

    What is fact is that he played signifigant minutes with Nuge last year and their advanced numbers were awful (45% Coris and 28% goal share).

    Not enough sample for data with Drai or McDavid.

  194. OriginalPouzar says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: It’s hard to demonstrate consistency, at least the good kind, when you are saddled with 4th line minutes and 4th line talent.

    Opportunity.It’s a thing.Player development.It’s a thing.

    The Oilers could use a thing … or two.

    The fourth line had been caved somewhat as a function of the the top 3 lines taking players from it – for example Khaira – if we had the depth where Jujhar could stay on the 4th line (where he was slotted in at the beginning of the season), I think we’d have a great fourth line (JJ/Letestu/Kass).

  195. Lowetide says:

    €√¥£€^$:
    Growing up west of Edmonton there were a few guys that I knew who went on to have pro hockey careers.Of these fellows only Brent Severyn, who was my roomie at the U of A Phys Ed Dept “rookie camp” became a regular NHLer.The others whose NHL aspirations fell short were Paxton Schulte (starred in Spokane), Jason Mansoff (NCAA champion in Maine – Paul Kariya’s team), and Frank Banham (83 goals as a 20 yr old in Saskatoon).

    Two of my closest friends who were brothers and lived a mile away, were very good players in minor hockey and both went on to the BCJHL.Both were 6’3″, but Rob was about 40lbs heavier than his younger brother.Rob was arguably the heavyweight champ of the BCJHL, and I never understood why they never tried out for a team in the WHL where their games were more suitable.

    In 1994, Rob found himself out of hockey after being one of the last cuts in ECHL Columbus.Mike, decided not to play for his BCJHL team for his 19 year old season, opting instead to play on a senior mens team at home.When Rob got home, their Hungarian grandmother informed them that there was an ad in a Hungarian-language newspaper about an upcoming try-out in Niagra Falls for a Hungarian Pro Team and they were looking for 2 players.

    Mike and Rob signed up and flew there for the try-out, where the coach indicated that he was looking for a couple of hard-nosed Canadian players to round out his team.The boys said they stood almost a head taller than most of the attendees of the camp and then proceeded to flatten any player in their crosshairs during the scrimmage.Impressing the coach, they were offered contracts and headed over to Budapest later that week.

    Unfortunately, the promises made and the sales pitch they heard, were quite different from reality, they were underpaid and underwhelmed and were back home by mid-January.Back in Alberta they were scooped up by the Sr Men’s team in Peace River just in time for their playoff run.

    I just wanted to share this story, as they are briefly mentioned in the book “The Whiskey Thief” where one of the Hungarian team’s goalies is the subject (a folk hero, in fact).The book is supposed to be very good if you are interested, for more info here is a link to the website maintained by the author:

    http://www.whiskeyrobber.com

    I remember Paxton Schulte, he was a good player. Severyn too of course and Banham just a little. Very cool story.

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