Nash Vs Eberle

Despite our high hopes for both Jordan Eberle and Riley Nash, history tells us that one will become a useful player and the other a fringe type or worse. The problem is that no one can identify the player who will succeed yet.

Season over season both are progressing nicely. Eberle’s point-per-game progression season-over-season (1.07 to 1.22) is solid despite a team slump that has impacted all of the Pats since Christmastime. Eberle’s well off that 50-goal pace that seemed likely earlier in the season and his splits are a concern:

  • First 23gp: 16-15-31 1.35ppg +4
  • Second 23gp: 12-13-25 1.09ppg E

It’s a team slump but you’d like those second half numbers to spike before season’s end. The Pats are scoring a little more this season (3.18 goals-per-game compared to 3.01) overall.

Riley Nash is having a good season. His points-per-game number has improved marginally (.889 to .913) but his splits are going in the right direction:

  • First 12 games: 4-4-8 .667
  • Second 11 games: 5-8-13 1.18

He started slow but has come along and in fact his scoring has improved season over season on a club that is scoring fewer goals overall (2.43 this season compared to 2.83 a year ago).

When I listed the Oilers top 20 prospects in December many felt Eberle was a better bet than Nash (I had Nash #1). Based on their seasons and their difference in age (Nash is almost exactly one year older) and the difference in quality of leagues I’d give Nash the nod as top prospect again.

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113 Responses to "Nash Vs Eberle"

  1. kris says:

    Fascinating stuff again LT.

    Any word on whether Nash is putting on any muscle?

    Last I heard he was 6-2 and weighed 11 pounds.

  2. doritogrande says:

    I’m a tad bit concerned that Nash is getting feasted on in faceoffs of late. If memory serves, he went 4W/12L in Cornell’s most recent game.

    If we’re comparing Nash V Eberle, I’d have to give the edge to Eberle, because he fits a team need (natural winger with hands) and plays (in my opinion) in a better development league. Sure Nash is scoring at about a point per game clip, and he’s doing it against mostly older competition, but he’s not exactly going up against the Dub’s talent level either. Do the Ivy League schools also adhere to the “no body contact” type of addage that most of NCAA hockey commits to?

    I like Nash a lot, but he seems to scream “Pouliot” to me. And we already have him. I’m more concerned with the development of #15 in 2007 than #21.

  3. Lowetide says:

    He was listed as 6.01, 173 on draft day iirc and the Cornell site has him at 6.01, 179.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Nash was 8W-8L against Quinnipiac on Feb. 6 and 4W-11L against Princeton Feb. 7.

    I haven’t followed it for the entire season but he has had some very good nights on the dot.

  5. DeBakey says:

    he seems to scream “Pouliot” to me. And we already have him.

    But not for long.
    Unless ol' Vanilla becomes more of a Thrilla,
    I doubt he's here next season.
    Unless they can't get anyone to take him.

    Nash & Eberle seem to bring very different things,
    There should be room for both.

  6. Lowetide says:

    I don’t think they’d have much trouble finding a place for Pouliot. An $825,000 cap hit for a pretty useful role player has some value I’d expect.

  7. Ontario Oilfan says:

    The only time I’ve seen Eberle is during the World Juniors and I found it very hard to be excited about him. He produced, he scored important goals, but to me he looked to be a product more of his linemates than anything else. He wasn’t blazingly fast or that creative and his hands were pretty normal for a junior guy. I didn’t feel confident in his future after watching that tourney no matter how much I wanted to believe the Pierre McGuire HYPE machine.

  8. Scott says:

    I think an important question in prospect evaluation is the willingness of said prospect to prioritize hockey. I’m not sure that Riley Nash is really willing to do that as much as many other very good young hockey players. The choice of Cornell to begin with and the comments that he’s made regarding his willingness to follow the organization’s lead with regard to leaving college strike me as an important edge for Eberle. Not as a person so much, but as a prospect within the Oilers organization for sure.

  9. Gord says:

    Clarification of definition of “top prospect” please…

    Eberle makes me nervous because of his size (although he is young enough to grow). We would have to move a couple of smaller top 6 players for him to make the team.

    Although if we are serious about building a winning team we must follow the Detroit model of keeping players away from the NHL until they are in their early to mid 20′s… If so, Eberle has time.

    As far as Nash goes, I see him as a solid 3rd line NHL player (i.e. Pisani).

    Barring injuries, the odds of Nash being a full-time NHL player seem much higher than Eberle.

    I see Nash being a 7B (Hockey’s Future type of ratings) with Eberle being an 8C…

  10. Scott says:

    I’m also curious how you would grade them using your 14 points to Iginla scale. I would run as follows:

    17 y/o
    Nash – 5 Quality Junior
    Eberle – 6 Impact Junior

    18 y/o
    Nash – 5 Quality College
    Eberle – 6 Impact Junior

    19 y/o
    Nash – 5 Quality College
    Eberle – N/A

    Agree? Disagree?

  11. Lowetide says:

    Scott: I don’t think either is tracking at a pace that makes them a clear cut future NHLer ala Gagner or Cogliano.

    I think both are probably a bit below that, with Pouliot certainly in the conversation at this level.

  12. PunjabiOil says:

    Here is a list of interesting comments made by both Nash and Prendergast after the team Canada camp.

    http://punjabsoil.blogspot.com/2008/12/getting-message-across-via-media.htmlcoo

  13. doritogrande says:

    Ontario Oilfan:

    I thought similar things about Eberle’s WJC performance. He seemed to play the role of “Brad Marchand” quite well however.

  14. doritogrande says:

    OT:

    Antropov’s available, and could be a pretty good addition to our small forward corps. Given that Burke doesn’t want him, there’s a chance we could get away with trading for him for cheap.

    Maybe a package of O’Marra and Wild? Provided he signs a new (cheap) contract. Lord knows this team needs someone who knows how to make a perogy.

  15. Lowetide says:

    It should be mentioned that Nash has played much better since Christmas.

    So KP would probably have a better report on him now.

  16. Schitzo says:

    If Eberle is a pure goal scorer who depends on his linemates, then there’s a simple solution:

    Stick him with Horcoff and Hemsky, and tell him to expect to see the puck. A lot.

  17. Asiaoil says:

    I think Horcoff is a pretty good comp for Nash – and he probably takes the same route at about the same pace. Quality 2 way centers are nice to have – and if Nash went the Horcoff route we should be thrilled. As for Eberle – BPA in the draft but good god how many small offensive top 6 players do we need. Thin the crop already – two of Schremp, Rowbear, Cogs and Gags need to be moved for a bigger winger or a goalie.

  18. Matt N says:

    Eberle’s top end is as a soft minutes scorer/ sniper. As distasteful as it sounds, I am thinking Joffrey Lupul.

  19. Coach pb9617 says:

    1. Given size, skills and the tougher league, Nash should stay on top.

    2. His high end comp should be Horcoff, his low end Wayne Primeau.

    3. No on Wild for Antropov. Until someone figures his riddle out, he stays. Given the coaching situation there, I have a hunch that the staff has no idea what they’ve got in Wild, and has no idea how to handle him. Just a hunch though.

  20. godot10 says:

    //Eberle’s top end is as a soft minutes scorer/ sniper. As distasteful as it sounds, I am thinking Joffrey Lupul.//

    In the World Junior Eberle was on one of the top two penalty killing pairs. Gagner wasn’t killing penalties in the Russian super series. Sutter and Turris were.

  21. Dennis says:

    I have no trouble with the possibility that Eberle can’t drive the bus but that he knows how to give good directions.

    guys that can score and know how to go into the right places are fellows I have all day for and while it’s been a long time since I watched every Can game of the junior tourney, what I saw of him this year was of a fellow who knew how to dart in and out and I liked it.

    PJO: can you give me the correct link because I’d like to read that blurb. I haven’t heard anything specific but anytime you hear tell of a college guy perhaps not all about the hockey it reminds me of Ed Caron who basically ate and studied himself out of hockey.

    Now, the guy made the right decision but what are the chances of actually making a living in the NHL? We know the odds and what we saw early on that bright kid had a better chance excelling in the classroom than on the ice so like I said, he did the right thing. but if I’m a scout and I see any hint that a guy won’t sacrifice everything for hockey, I”m not going anywhere near him.

    I’m not suggesting that’s Nash’s MO but even an obviously above average intelligent guy like Cogs knew when he get out.

  22. Jonathan Willis says:

    I like Eberle, but I think the contest is closer than most, especially those in the media.

    Consensus opinion seems to be unquestionable until that day when it’s long sice gone. Case in point: My 2006 THN Future Watch lists Rob Schremp as the 15th-best prospect in the NHL. Down at 75, we find Andrew Cogliano.

  23. knighttown says:

    Mr. Bugg over at HF who is a damned good talent evaluator (trying to make a living at it last I heard) has a thought provoking post up now comparing Eberle to Parise. I wanted to dismiss it off hand but maybe there is something to it.

    The problem with a prospect like Eberle who like Gagner before him is neither big not fast is trying to quantify “the other stuff” that makes Parise a star. I mean, the very basic skill set is similar.

    If you’ve got Ovechkin on your prospect list, you know for a fact he will be a superstar. Too big, too fast, too good a shot. But guys like Parise and Eberle and Gagner fall a little because I’m guessing two scouts “see them good” one scout “sees them bad”.

    I can’t put my finger on why Zack Parise may win the Rocket Richard if Ovechkin dies but the fact is he may. Carter is huge and has one of the best shots in the league. And can fly. Vanek has a lightning quick release and can pick his spots when blindfolded, All logic (and draft pedigree) says that Parise shouldn’t be in that conversation but here he is?

    If you asked a Jersey fan, I’d guess Parise has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He’s probably a master a subtlety, you know, changing the angle of release so the goalie has to move just before shooting and the like.

    Both Eberle and Gagner show some of those abilities as did a hundred first rounders before them but with proper coaching and a bit of luck, we may yet have a winner.

  24. knighttown says:

    Case in point: My 2006 THN Future Watch lists Rob Schremp as the 15th-best prospect in the NHL. Down at 75, we find Andrew Cogliano.

    Do you plan on making a point?

  25. Duke Phillips says:

    Completely unrelated side note – that snarling elephant thing might be one of the worst hockey logos I’ve ever seen.

  26. Duke Phillips says:

    Or maybe it’s supposed to be a bulldog. Whatever, it still sucks.

  27. Jonathan Willis says:

    KT: You couldn’t find a negative report on Schremp at the end of 2005-06. It’s like that with Eberle now.

    Not only is it often inaccurate, but it shows that the distance between these prospects is much smaller than folks in the media make it out to be.

  28. Jonathan Willis says:

    If anybody’s interested, apparently the Stockton Thunder have signed the Fresno Falcons’ equipment manager, Ben Laing, to play on their depleted blueline.

    Combined with the college coach they signed the other day, I sure hope Cody Wild’s playing the tough minutes.

  29. DeBakey says:

    Last year about this time you did a post on NCAA free agents;
    Derek Whitmore was your example.

    And, following your advice, the Oilers did dip into that pool, signing young Mr Lerg.

    I took a quick look at this year’s undrafted NCAA Seniors.
    The most interesting one is Riley Nash’s goaltender, Ben Scrivens.
    He’s from Spruce Grove and has
    a .948 save %, and a 1.42 GAA.

    The leading scorer in Div 1, Bryan Leitch, is undrafted. He’s from Coquitlam and has 44 pts in 28 games. He’s listed at 6’3″ and 190.

  30. Jonathan Willis says:

    DeBakey: Thanks for those; interesting players both. Also, Leitch is listed at 6’3″, 205lbs.

  31. doritogrande says:

    Debakey:

    If we’re going to pick up an undrafted goalie from the NCAA, let’s at least keep the signings in the family.

    Jeff Lerg. The Luongo of North Dakota.

  32. Scott says:

    2. His high end comp should be Horcoff, his low end Wayne Primeau.

    This strikes me as a bit silly. Wayne Primeau has played over 700 NHL games and Riley Nash may never make the show. The low end comp is probably a lot closer to Barret Heisten, and I think it’s important to at least keep that in mind.

    Dennis: these are a couple of the relevant quotes from Prendergast and Nash:

    Kevin Prendergast after the world junior try-outs:

    “Was I surprised he didn’t make it? Not really. He was a longshot. They’ve got Tavares and Boychuk as their top two guys, and could move Esposito. Riley can’t play the wing. Riley had a good second day of camp, but was ordinary in the other ones and you can’t have that at a short camp. Not playing enough games at Cornell hurts him.”

    Riley Nash on leaving college early:

    “It’s a tough answer. I’m not going to go just when they ask me to go. I don’t feel I need to go and bounce around in the minors for a few years. Cornell is a nice place to be.”

  33. Bank Shot says:

    The problem with a prospect like Eberle who like Gagner before him is neither big not fast is trying to quantify “the other stuff” that makes Parise a star. I mean, the very basic skill set is similar.

    Parise skates really well. Eberle not so much. Parise is also pretty gritty for his size. Eberle is more sneaky. Not much of a battler.

    I think any comparisons between the two is alot of wishful thinking.

  34. doritogrande says:

    Parise skates really well. Eberle not so much. Parise is also pretty gritty for his size. Eberle is more sneaky. Not much of a battler.

    Dare we make the Schremp comparisons then? *shudders*

  35. knighttown says:

    @ JW:

    KT: You couldn’t find a negative report on Schremp at the end of 2005-06. It’s like that with Eberle now.

    Not only is it often inaccurate, but it shows that the distance between these prospects is much smaller than folks in the media make it out to be.

    I shot for sarcasm and I’d like to say it went over your head but reading it again, I’d say it just came off as nasty.

    I was trying to play the role of a Schrempophile who is aghast that someone would compare Jesus to a mere mortal like Andrew Cogliano.

    Back in 2005-06, the Future Watch should have been (in no particular order):

    Crosby
    Malkin
    Ovechkin
    Scrempf

  36. Coach pb9617 says:

    Few things:

    1. Undrafted goalies discussions should include Andrew Volkening from Air Force as well as Scrivens. He’s big, agile and an absolute workhorse. A team with some pluck might be able to lobby for a waiver, maybe in exchange for an Ad along the boards for the AF. Also, I saw him REALLY good :)

    2. When the MSHM has a consensus on something unobvious, 98% of the time it’s something that should not be close to consensus. In ~98% of the cases, the consensus is wholly incorrect. Sugartits is but one example. Ethan Moreau’s blessed grace is another.

    3. The problem with a prospect like Eberle who like Gagner before him is neither big not fast is trying to quantify “the other stuff” that makes Parise a star. I mean, the very basic skill set is similar.

    Which is why he can’t be rated highly. “He’s slow, can’t create, doesn’t work in corners, doesn’t check or backcheck well, but reminds some of Zach Parise, hence our number one ranking.” Sounds like Pierre MacGuire.

  37. Jonathan Willis says:

    KT: Thanks for clarifying – you’re right, it did go over my head ;)

  38. rickibear says:

    Which is why he can’t be rated highly. “He’s slow, can’t create, doesn’t work in corners, doesn’t check or backcheck well, but reminds some of Zach Parise, hence our number one ranking.” Sounds like Pierre MacGuire.

    I watched Eberle in camp and at the world juniors. My stomach churned. MY mind said Rob Schremp, No Rob Schremp. Kept my mouth shut.

    Then dorito mentioned it. I can trust my hockey instincts.

    Having coach state what was seen at World juniors makes me realize his skill set needs work but he has finish and clutch things that just are.

    Usually a relecting a level of game thinking that Ice dragon like tob talk about.

    Who Knows.

  39. Coach pb9617 says:

    I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but a guy that myself and PJO have been lauding all year, David Steckel from the Caps, did some crazy stuff this weekend. His work against the Panthers the other night was just awesome. Epic is an overused word, but it was damn close.

    Look at this shift chart. He plays 3:01 of the last 5:00 short-handed and kills it off, including killing off nearly the entire 5-on-3. I just sat there with my jaw on the floor. He got a star of the game for his PK work.

    It’s especially fun for me to watch personally, because he’s my favorite Cap and one of my favorite players in the league, and during last year’s series against the Flyers, I was in the stands going nuts for Steckel while the rest of the newish fans were looking at me like I was nuts.

  40. hunter1909 says:

    The real question is:

    Which player is most likely to be in MacT’s good books?

    Because that’s the only criteria I know being used for the Edmonton Oilers.

  41. Jonathan Willis says:

    Truitt out, Daum in as coach in Springfield.

  42. P-Ow says:

    Let’s keep in mind, for those who believe Eberle’s world junior performance was all about his linemates that not only did Eberle make the team with some tough competition, but he also won the internal struggle for the spot on that line (with the caveat that I don’t exactly remember what the setup was before Tyrell got hurt).

    On top of that, Canadian forwards who perform well at the WJHC have a pretty good track record in the show, even if they are guys who take longer to get there like Cammalleri or Boyes. And there aren’t a lot of Canadian forwards in recent memory who have had tournaments like that Eberle just put up–even if he was doing it with Tavares.

  43. Scott says:

    Coach: I really like Steckel from a fantasy team a couple years back where faceoffs mattered. I’m not sure if he’s really an elite checker at this point, but he sure is the player type this Oiler team could use.

    Jonathan: You must be glad you didn’t decide to put that Springfield/Stockton comparison off to next weekend.

  44. quain says:

    I think we all now know it’s really Willis pulling Tamb’s strings out at Oiler HQ.

  45. Jonathan Willis says:

    Scott: Sometimes I think I’m leading a charmed life.

  46. oilerdago says:

    TSN’s reporting Visnovsky is done for the season.

    Not that we didn’t already suspect that…

  47. Jonathan Willis says:

    Oilerdago: Brutal, brutal news. Not unexpected, but still brutal.

  48. Coach pb9617 says:

    Truitt out, Daum in as coach in Springfield.

    Clearly, JW is a cover for someone in the AHL.

    Scott – on Steckel, he’s not elite yet, but he’s only 26 – he’s got about two years before he’s going to be an elite type. He kicks ass on faceoffs and plays a TON of PK mins.

    On Eberle as Schremp – I think that two things seperate them right now, the first is attitude, there are no reports that Eberle is a selfish prick that feels he’s got it made; the second is Schremp was/is tagged as a playmaker, and Eberle was/is tagged as a one-shot scorer. Other than that, they seem similar physically and in motion.

  49. Dennis says:

    That’s the most depressing Oilers news I’ve heard in a long time. He’s our best D and he’s fun to watch and it’s an absolute killer.

  50. bookie says:

    That sucks, really really sucks…I just had to say that.

  51. bookie says:

    Strange that they would take Daum who MacT dumped and make him coach of the Farm Team?

    I wonder if there was a MacT vs Daum thing going on, on the bench and the solution this past year was to remove Daum, but next solution will be to replace MacT with Daum? (or at least keep him in reserve if MacT continues to be crazy and Daum does well in Springfeild)

    I am not too much of a keener on these things, so maybe I am clueless on this front. ANyone have any thoughts

  52. Sean says:

    Apparently Jagr might sign with the Oilers…

  53. DeBakey says:

    MacT said last spring that Daum was told when hired as Asst
    that the job was his for one year.

    The plan was to promote Bucky from Springfield

  54. relic says:

    Interesting to see how the Jagr thing plays out. Didn’t he also say he’d play for Mario in Pit for the minimum b/c he felt he owes him?

    So scratch the cole trade then, if Jagr signs for just the remainder of the year I see a move for a defenseman following this. I just hope the farm/future isn’t sold to make a run this year.

  55. Coach pb9617 says:

    Sign Jagr…Cole for Whitney?

  56. Scott says:

    Didn’t Doobie get taken by CBJ from NYI off waivers coming over from the KHL. I don’t know if this applies to Jagr, but if he needs to clear waivers there is approximately zero chance he ends up in Edmonton.

  57. oilerdago says:

    DeBakey: Good followup on the Daum situation. It was a 1 year deal as an assistant and if I’m not mistaken, he was the video coach last year.

    With Visnovsky done and Peckham sent back to the minors that tells me:

    -Struds will be the 6th d unless they make another trade

    -Peckham must not be ready yet. He’s only played in 2 games this season (Pits/Det) and did not look great in either one.

    Can we all agree that Truitt left Springfield in a complete mess? Very sad.

  58. speeds says:

    I’m under the impression that Jagr would have to go through waivers, but maybe that doesn’t apply as there is no agreement between the NHL and the Russian league?

  59. quain says:

    Has anyone looked at the relevant portion of the CBA for this? I can’t figure out why Dubie had to clear waivers to join the Islanders, but Forsberg/Sundin didn’t.

    Wiki says that Dubie and the KHL mutually terminated his contract, so it would seem he was completely unsigned at the moment he signed with NY… why would he be waiver eligible, but not Sundin?

  60. Black Dog says:

    I can’t see Jagr having to go through waivers – as a UFA isn’t he, well, UFA?

    I don’t understand this shit so correct me if I am wrong.

    They’ll be picking up a Dman – you’d have to be blind not to see that Staios is not up to the task of top four play – based on the fact that macT has had him in the bottom pair all year I would say he’s pretty aware of it

  61. speeds says:

    I suppose if EDM makes it a multi year deal and takes the risk of Jagr retiring in the off season, or going back to Europe, and being stuck with his cap hit, that may stop teams from picking him up on waivers.

    Or if they put in a huge roster bonus for playing 1 game, maybe some teams won’t want to pay it?

    A signing bonus could be a pretty bad deal, lol. Give him a 2 mil signing bonus, some team claims him on waivers. 2 mil for nothing :)

  62. quain says:

    The CBA is terrifying, but this is probably the relevant paragraph:

    “13.23 In the event a professional or former professional Player plays in a league outside
    North America after the start of the NHL Regular Season, other than on Loan from his
    Club, he may thereafter play in the NHL during that Playing Season (including Playoffs)
    only if he has first either cleared or been obtained via Waivers. For the balance of the
    Playing Season, any such Player who has been obtained via Waivers may be Traded or
    Loaned only after again clearing Waivers or through Waiver claim.”

    I’m slightly worried that the Oilers don’t know that Jagr has to clear waivers, much like they didn’t know the salary cap was going up.

  63. Scott says:

    From the CBA:

    13.23 In the event a professional or former professional player plays in a league outside North America after the start of the NHL Regular Season, other than on Loan from his Club, he may thereafter play in the NHL during that Playing Season (including Playoffs) only if he has first either cleared or been obtained via Waivers. For the balance of the Playing Season, any such Player who has been obtained via Waivers may be Traded or Loaned only after again clearing Waivers or through Waiver claim.

  64. Ribs says:

    Don’t tease me with this stuff Staples.

  65. Black Dog says:

    Thanks scott and quain.

    maybe Jagr’s on double secret probation and only Dean Lowe can get him off?

  66. Schitzo says:

    I can’t figure out why Dubie had to clear waivers to join the Islanders, but Forsberg/Sundin didn’t.

    You got the section of the CBA correct in your last post. Forsberg and Sundin hadn’t played a game in a rival league before making their comebacks. Dubie had.

  67. DeBakey says:

    The Oilers have to go on a short losing streak,
    which shouldn’t be too hard,
    then maybe they can get him on waivers.

    ____________PTS
    1 NY Islanders 37
    2 Atlanta 41
    3 Ottawa 44
    4 Tampa Bay 47
    5 Toronto 49
    6 St. Louis 50
    7 Colorado 51
    8 Los Angeles 53
    9 Nashville 53
    10 Phoenix 53
    11 Columbus 55
    12 Vancouver 56
    13 Edmonton 56
    14 Pittsburgh 57
    15 Minnesota 57
    16 Florida 58
    17 Carolina 59
    18 Dallas 59
    19 Anaheim 59
    20 Buffalo 62
    21 NY Rangers 63
    22 Montreal 64
    23 Philadelphia 65
    24 Calgary 66
    25 Chicago 66
    26 New Jersey 71
    27 Washington 72
    28 Detroit 77
    29 San Jose 79
    30 Boston 85

    Or,
    the work-a-deal with the Islanders idea
    is a good one

  68. bookie says:

    I suspect that the Oilers are aware that he would have to clear waivers and given that will find a way to make it unaffordable for all other teams?

    Besides, who out there is looking to screw Keven Lowe around? I mean, everyone in the league loves him right?

  69. speeds says:

    You can’t trade a player that was claimed on waivers before offering him, for free, to all other teams that placed a claim on said player when he was available on waivers.

  70. Bruce says:

    Good day. Coming into this thread late which is a real good place to be. Nothing better than a thoughtfully provocative discussion piece by LT followed by an outstanding thread such as the above. This stuff is so far above the drivel that passes for hockey news too many days in the traditional media.

    LT’s original premise did provoke my eyebrows into raising:

    history tells us that one will become a useful player and the other a fringe type or worse.

    History tells us that if you flip a coin two times likely as not one will become a head and the other a tail or worse. And perhaps there is some truth to it in the situation that the two are competing for the same position, as is arguably the case with, say, Pouliot and Cogliano, or more generally in the whole first round run of Pouliot-Schremp-Cogs-Gags. But there are so many counterexamples where both guys turn out — e.g. Kevin Lowe and Paul Coffey — of both fail to pan out — e.g. Scott Melcalf and Kim Issel — that history really tells us each case will largely survive or fail on its individual merits. Esp. when the guys play different positions, as in Nash and Eberle.
    ***

    Congratulations to Rob Daum and Jonathan Willis. I agreed with you yesterday, JW, and I agree with the Oilers organization today. This is a good decision that didn’t need to wait any longer, not when such an eminently sensible replacement is already on the payroll.

    @EdmontonOilers.com: Nice to know you fellows read the blogs. We don’t mind lurkers, what we really need out of you is a little fucking action. Jeff Truitt’s head on a plate will do nicely … for now.
    ***

    Coach/Scott: I’ve seen Steckel’s name bandied about as the kind of player we need (which is true) but I think he’s about the last player the Caps would be dumping. OK, second last. You know what I mean, he’s of the type others think might be available, but almost certainly isn’t. He’s a huge young guy that brings some of the very elements that the big stars don’t — he’s as safe as a young Dave Hunter or Kevin McClelland was on those star-studded Oilers squads of the early 80s.

    That said, on the shout-out of a few people round here, I watched Steckel fairly closely in the Oilers at Washington game a few weeks back, and was less than entirely blown away by him. He made a bad giveaway followed by a lazy backcheck which cost the Caps a key goal (by Brule? details are fading). To me that’s a fairly unforgivable combination, either is bad by themselves but when #2 follows #1 there’s something not quite right. Maybe the kid just had a bad night … I’ve been impressed by him on other viewings.
    ***

    Terrible news on Visnovsky, that cripples the Oilers defence corps from top to bottom, and in both ends of the rink. Visnovsky out, Strudwick in, say no more, say no more. That’s two years in a row our big money acquisition has fallen to a season-ending shoulder injury, these after a disastrous season in which the Oil were reduced to 5 healthy defencemen in the entire organization and had to resort to the likes of Bryan Young, Sebastien Bisaillon, Danny Syvret and Toby Petersen on the blue. Are we ever going to buy a fucking break that doesn’t come with a cast?

    Oh well, at least this time Ladi Smid is remotely ready for Top 4 minutes, unlike when he was thrown in the fire in 2006-07.
    ***

    Coach: You talkin’ about RYAN Whitney?
    ***

    All: You talkin’ about JAROMIR Jagr?
    ***

    As for the Schremp-Eberle comparison,as I see it Jordan has a swell head for the game whereas Robbie just has a swelled head.

  71. DeBakey says:

    OK
    Forget the work-a-deal with the Islanders
    That idea sucks

  72. Scott says:

    Or, the work-a-deal with the Islanders idea is a good one

    The Islanders can’t trade him unless he clears waivers again, so that won’t work. It would be awesome if it could though.

    Also, if the Oilers sign him, then he needs to pass through all 29 other teams not just the Oilers spot.

    But maybe some combination would work where the Oilers get LI to sign him so that they can then claim him off of waivers. I still don’t think he makes it to Edmonton though. L.A. would seem like a team that could scoop him up, if not the Avs or Blues before them.

  73. Scott says:

    and had to resort to the likes of Bryan Young, Sebastien Bisaillon, Danny Syvret and Toby Petersen

    Right about now Danny Syvret wouldn’t look like a bad option.

  74. Bruce says:

    Also, if the Oilers sign him, then he needs to pass through all 29 other teams not just the Oilers spot.

    WTF kind of rule is that? The team that comes to terms with the player has last dibs on him? And from the player’s perspective, he could wind up anywhere but the place he chose to play? That’s about as nonsensical as a Jim Matheson trade rumour.

  75. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach/Scott: I’ve seen Steckel’s name bandied about as the kind of player we need (which is true) but I think he’s about the last player the Caps would be dumping. OK, second last. You know what I mean, he’s of the type others think might be available, but almost certainly isn’t. He’s a huge young guy that brings some of the very elements that the big stars don’t — he’s as safe as a young Dave Hunter or Kevin McClelland was on those star-studded Oilers squads of the early 80s.

    And I’ve said that repeatedly. Young, bull, cheap contract, impact player. I just love watching the guy play, especially last year with a broken finger – dominating the dot.

  76. HBomb says:

    Besides, who out there is looking to screw Keven Lowe around? I mean, everyone in the league loves him right?

    Couldn’t you just see Brian Burke being a smug vindictive prick, claiming Jagr on waivers, even though the Leafs are out of it for this year, just to give Lowe the middle finger?

  77. Scott says:

    WTF kind of rule is that? The team that comes to terms with the player has last dibs on him? And from the player’s perspective, he could wind up anywhere but the place he chose to play? That’s about as nonsensical as a Jim Matheson trade rumour.

    I like to imagine that this was Garth Snow’s reaction upon reading over the rule after signing Dubielewicz just before sending him off to Columbus.

  78. Schitzo says:

    WTF kind of rule is that? The team that comes to terms with the player has last dibs on him? And from the player’s perspective, he could wind up anywhere but the place he chose to play? That’s about as nonsensical as a Jim Matheson trade rumour.

    The league really, really doesn’t want teams stashing reinforcements in Europe for most of the season.

    Call it the Glen Sather rule :)

  79. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: You talkin’ about RYAN Whitney?

    Yeah, the Pens need to dump money on the back end to apply to forwards.

    Also – so you saw Steckel bad ;)

  80. CrazyCoach says:

    Great news on Daum. Daumer will be the guy behind the Oilers bench one day. He’s a very smart guy in terms of technical knowledge and one of my buddies played under Daum and absolutely loved him. Said the best thing about Daum is that you know exactly where you stand with him 100% of the time. No guessing.

    Sounds like the guy to help out the youngesters.

  81. Scott says:

    Lowe addresses the Jagr rumors.

    I guess I’ll give Adler the primary error, with Staples and Adler’s source getting secondary errors :)

  82. Scott says:

    Ok, what if we sign him to a 4 year deal and make a secret deal with him that if wants to retire, we will send him to the AHL, where he will refuse to report? Does that work?

    No, but if a team wanted to save money and only spend to the floor we could trade them a 7$ million or so cap hit that they wouldn’t have to pay. Probably worth it for a team that’s losing money and can’t afford to. But if they were going to do that it would have come down in the summer when they would only give him a one year deal. Frankly, I think that’s the mistake right there. If Jagr would have come to Edmonton for a two-year deal they should’ve done it, but they balked. Oh well.

  83. gary b says:

    bah. nothing but a smokescreen, so the locals will all say “look Ma! they’z tryin’ to improve da team!”

  84. godot10 says:

    The waiver rule is the Ruotsalainen rule. Rexy liked playing hockey in Europe until February when he would join the Oilers, for the the end of the season and for the the playoff run to a Stanley Cup.

    The other NHL GM’s got mad at Sather for doing this, and introduced the waiver rule, the Ruotsalainen rule, to prevent Sather and Rexy from their little side deal.

    Sather was so pissed, he kept on protecting Rexy in the fall to remind the other GM’s that he had a long, long memory.

  85. Sean says:

    I guess I’ll give Adler the primary error, with Staples and Adler’s source getting secondary errors :)

    Beauty…

  86. Unleaded says:

    With Emery on the outs with his team in the KHL, what are the chances that the Oilers cut a deal with the Isles, where the Oilers sign Emery and the Isles poach him from the waver wire, and then the Isles sign Jagr and then let the Oilers return the favour?

    I mean, they only need to fall 3-4 positions, and with positions in the west so tight…awe who am I kidding… nothing’s gonna happen. Hell, getting a new coach in Springfield is a giant change for the org.

    Anyone else here think this is as close as it gets to the org. saying that coaches will be held accountable for the teams performance on the ice? Do you think Craig got the memo?

  87. kris says:

    Reality: Visnovsky out for the year

    Opium for the masses: Jagr and Hossa might sign.

  88. Dennis says:

    Maybe I glossed over this but is there a way that Jagr can become an absolute FA – maybe because his team can’t afford to pay him? The rumor was that Grahme was dropped because they didn’t want to pay him and maybe they’re giving up on the season and will give Jagr an unconditional release just to save money; thus allowing him to circumvent the waiver rule.

    Oddly enough, right now I’m reading Dave King’s book on his year coaching in the RSL and he told the story of one team who was doing pretty well but they sold off a lot of their players because their primary sponsor wanted to allocate their funds to F1 racing.

    We know that Lowe chased 68 last year so perhaps he’d planned to bring him in as a rental after the deadline; that probably makes more sense then the idea he just shined up to him in the last week when they realized they’d have 71′s money to spend. I’ll guess they kept the lines of communication open all year; looking ahead to next year and then things really picked up if and when his RSL club started talking about shedding money.

    Due to draft order I wound up picking a few Rags last year for my playoff pool and I watched all their games and the guy was money. I would love to see what he could do with HemCoff or Gagner.

    Staples has quoted this Peter guy often enough so I doubt he’s throwing this out loosely and we know the Oil had interest last year.

    Not sure how they can get him over here but I think that for all those reasons, this one has some legs.

    Currently, it’s certainly a nice diversion from thinking about 5 or 24 jumping into the top four and 43 being a reg from here on out.

    Not to mention Peckham as our 7th d.

  89. Schitzo says:

    Not sure how they can get him over here but I think this one has some legs.

    Only way would be a multi-year deal so awful that no other team would risk paying it.

  90. Black Dog says:

    Interesting tack on Jagr Dennis but I think even if they release him and he is fully UFA he would fall under that provision of the CBA.

  91. Jonathan Willis says:

    Dennis: Jagr would still need to clear waivers if bought out; Wade Dubielewicz was bought out before the Islanders signed him, and he still needed to clear waivers.

    I’m not sure who Peter Adler works for specifically, but he’s been quoted elsewhere in the Journal too, specifically on KHL issues, so it seems likely that he’s their resident Russia expert.

    Finally King of Russia is a great book, isn’t it? King skimps a little bit on stuff that I’d like to know, but on the whole it’s a remarkable story. Incidentally, former Anaheim first-rounder Stanislav Chistov is “the Fish”.

  92. Dennis says:

    Pat: yeah, I watched him last year – I had Dubinsky, Avery, Rozisval and Drury – and the guy was seemingly creating on every shift. Just look at how much Dubinksy is missing him this year. And in looking at his stats, he isn’t missing a beat.

    And, hey, maybe the plan IS to give him a two year – with ’09 being pro-rated – in order to scare teams way from claiming him. If Lowe’s big-game hunting – and we know he is – then why not use this route to get him over? Granted it’s a risk at his age but it would be a neat way to get him through waivers and get some use out of him this season.

    I believe in this because of what we know from Lowe in the past and because Staples has used this source before.

    JW: you ruined The Fish story for me!;) I’d just read that the guy was an ’83 so what I planned on doing after the end of the book was taking the roster and seeing which guys were ’83′s and were also NHL property.

  93. Black Dog says:

    Maybe they will try to sneak him through – I guess most teams would not bite if he has a big ticket but all it takes is one.

  94. Jonathan Willis says:

    Sorry, Dennis. I put the book down and checked right away when he came out with that little detail. The only 83′s on the team were Chistov and Alexei Kaigorodov (the prospect that Ottawa famously ‘hoped was working on his defense’).

    King adds a little note towards the end of the book which makes it clear that the Fish couldn’t be Kaigrodov.

    But no more spoilers!

  95. Schitzo says:

    And, hey, maybe the plan IS to give him a two year – with ’09 being pro-rated – in order to scare teams way from claiming him.

    Well, if you combine this with a threat of “so help me god I’ll retire if someone claims me on waivers”, that would mean the risk of a TON of dead cap space for whichever teams are thinking about a waiver claim

  96. doritogrande says:

    RE: Springfield coaching…

    Guy Flaming’s got a great perspective up on his site. Most important is the fact that, in his words, to a man the players did not wish this on the coach. This is apparently in contrast to last season where Bucky wasn’t all that popular. Just thought that was worth mentioning.

  97. dubya says:

    Scott/Quain:

    Doesn’t that imply that if Jagr was loaned from the KHL to the Oilers he would not have to clear?

    Seems unlikely, obviously.

  98. Unleaded says:

    Doesn’t that imply that if Jagr was loaned from the KHL to the Oilers he would not have to clear?

    Seems unlikely, obviously.

    Wow… I think that may be the cleverest loop hole I’ve seen suggested so far…

    The real question would be how much of his salary would we be paying? 15 million pro-rated for the last 30 games is still a buttload of money.

  99. mc79hockey says:

    Willis links Lebrun’s blog and, to be honest, that kind of looks to me like there’s some potential. LeBrun has Tambo saying “no comment” (although maybe this decision is above his rank as “GM”) and Lowe overseas. Strange. Very strange.

    I suspect that there’s something to this story, although whether it will play out this year, who knows.

  100. Jonathan Willis says:


    Doesn’t that imply that if Jagr was loaned from the KHL to the Oilers he would not have to clear?

    Seems unlikely, obviously.

    I’m not a lawyer – unlike far too many others present ;) – but the way I read that article, Player X would only be able to clear waivers if Team X had already signed Player X to an NHL contract and then loaned him to some European team.

    Anyways, the lack of a transfer agreement should mean that a KHL contract has no standing/can’t be loaned to an NHL team, yes?

  101. Rod says:

    @JW: I definitely read that exception the same way–an NHL team “loaning” a signed player to a team in another pro league; not the other way around. Particularly if the intent of the whole waiver requirement is to ensure NHL teams don’t stash players in other leagues. Course I’m not a lawyer either.

    The only chance I can see–and it’s slim–is what others have mentioned. A two-year deal (or more) and Jagr makes it clear he’ll retire if another team claims him. What team would risk the cap hits? Some teams don’t even have room this season, so it’s only this with room that would be of concern.

    Along those lines, is there a difference in probability of waiver clearance in signing Jagr before or after the deadline? I think there’s arguments to made on both sides, but a signing after the deadline could have a better chance of working out. Before the deadline, the “buyers” haven’t filled up yet…so they might take a waiver stab at Jagr. Plus, they’d have a chance to create a bit of cap space via another trade (during the waiver window). After the deadline, they’d have no possible partners for creating space…other than sending players to the AHL (and those would be subject to waivers…right?). More importantly, buyers will have presumably addressed their needs already. On the other hand, sellers will have cleared cap space…and would be in a better position to make a waiver claim.

    Guess that brings another another question to the table: What is the time window for this kind of waiver? Same as regular waivers?

    Interesting stuff, though it could simply be a distraction tactic from the on-ice issues.

    One other coal for the rumour fire: wasn’t 83 on the port side for a few draws last game? Unless he’s hurt (and they’re trying to avoid the boards), why do that? Does it mean another RW is on the way… Hmmm.

  102. Rod says:

    D’oh. Just read the LeBrun article…and signing Jagr after the trade deadline is pointless as he’d be ineligible for post-season play. Oops. Gotta read before rambling on. I’ll learn. Next time. Yeah…right.

  103. Schitzo says:

    Anyways, the lack of a transfer agreement should mean that a KHL contract has no standing/can’t be loaned to an NHL team, yes?

    I don’t think that’s the case, as several NHL players have been loaned to the KHL despite the lack of agreement. (Vrbata, for one)

  104. Jonathan Willis says:

    Schitzo: The KHL doesn’t have any kind of agreement regulating standard contracts between the owners and the players. Thus, while KHL teams can accept NHL contracts, unless a KHL contract conforms to the CBA (which is pretty unlikely), the NHL cannot accept KHL contracts.

    Additionally, when Vishnevski was sent out by the Devils, I believe he negotiated a new contract with his KHL team instead of playing under his existing NHL contract.

  105. Rod says:

    @Schitzo:
    That’s the NHL loaning a player the KHL (in which case the player is not subject to waivers upon returning to the NHL). The reverse is a different story, at least from the waiver perspective.

  106. speeds says:

    OT: how does one see which teammates a player has been on the ice with at the timeonice.com site?

  107. Jonathan Willis says:

    Speeds: I think you need to use the Hockey Analysis site to do that.

  108. bookie says:

    So, given KLowes statement and the reality of the situation, I think there is still a good chance of next year (if there is anything to the rumour at all).

  109. Schitzo says:

    unless a KHL contract conforms to the CBA (which is pretty unlikely), the NHL cannot accept KHL contracts.

    I didn’t think of that. Thanks JW.

  110. Dennis says:

    Maybe – and most likely – I’m seeing more from this rumor than what there really is considering today’s a terrible news day with 71 down for the year.

    Still, Katz is probably a guy who believes you can solve most anything with money and if Lowe’s cell phone indicates he’s in Europe and we know for a fact we’ve had interest in 68 in the past, would anyone bet against Katz throwing around some dollars to convince Jagr’s KHL team to loan us Jagr and thus we find our way around the waiver wire? Or maybe there’s another way we can get him over here.

    I’m not really swayed by a “bogus” refrain; there’s been too much past interest from the Oilers and Staples source has been reputable enough that something’s going on here somewhere.

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