Prospect Evaluation (Again)

Despite the thousands of hours I’ve spent reading about hockey prospects, my first love in terms of drafts is baseball. Unlike hockey (and football, basketball too) the baseball draft is not a televised event.

In fact back in the day baseball teams would have a conference call and select players when their turns came. Imagine the Montreal Expos selecting Bill Gullickson in the first round in 1977 and then waiting on the phone until their next turn. They took Greg Staffon, then got lucky again with Scott Sanderson who was a nice pitcher (as was Gullickson). I’m sure they liked Tim Raines but it took until the 5th round (106 overall) before the name of the most brilliant of all Expos was welcomed to the fold.

Baseball procurement is less of an exact science than hockey (although you should always draft a college man if all things are equal and it’s best to avoid pitchers in the first two rounds–they break too easily. I have no proof but it’s also true that most of the great third basemen in history were actually shortstops in high school and college) but the pool is absolutely enormous (or it was when baseball mattered).

Hockey has some advantages over baseball because the baseball coverage map is truly global. There are guys throwing off mounds under cover in Sherwood Park right now who may get drafted, and there are boys playing so far inside Mexico you can only get there by ass (which explains why the Yankees do well there).

I don’t like the way anyone tracks prospects. Let’s take as an example Hockey’s Future. They give a player both a number and a letter to represent their abilities and the changes said player will deliver. A “10″ would be Ovechkin and a “1″ is a fringe guy at the lower levels of the minor leagues (let’s use Glenn Fisher as an example). The letter tells us that the chances are that the player will deliver, “A” being Ovechkin and “D” being Rob Schremp (that’s Hockey’s Future’s number).

Let’s use Rob Schremp as an example, since he’s not often mentioned and could use the publicity. HF lists Schremp as an 8.0D, so let’s see what they mean according to their template:

  • 8.0: players with definite skill that might be just a cut below elite status, but still possessing All-Star potential. Think Patrik Elias, Keith Tkachuk, Mattias Ohlund, Adam Foote, Sean Burke, Olaf Kolzig.
  • D: Unlikely to reach potential, could drop 3 ratings – a player who has a chance to reach his potential but is unlikely to do so. The potential rating is multiplied by 70 percent for depth chart purposes, indicating that the player’s potential is extremely fluid.

This is a pure cut and paste from their site, so please don’t ask me to explain specific things like “extremely fluid” (as a parent it brings back memories of things that happen at 3am when your children are little). HF is a terrific fan site and I’ve learned a tremendous amount over the years from its posters. I do want to say that the rating system tries to do too much. If we take Schremp as the example, we can safely say HF thinks he might be the next Patrik Elias but it’s unlikely and in that case he might be a 5 and that would make him a 4th line forward (which is sort of what he is today).

It’s confusing.

Predictable is a word we can apply to the Hockey News. They basically list all of the first rounders from recent seasons and add them into the mix with those closest to graduating and you pretty much have the Top 10 for each Future Watch.

What then, IS good for prospect evaluation? Well, McKeen’s does a nice job of describing a player’s strengths but I’ve always felt the best way to see how talent is developing is to track it from one level to another. If it takes two seasons in the AHL to find your way into the NHL, well that’s a tell. Right? If you get to the NHL at 19 well then that’s a tell too.

Let’s start by making a simple 10-slot rating system that asks only where the player is currently.

  1. Player of unknown quality
  2. Entry level junior/college player (Mark Pysyk)
  3. Fringe level junior/college/2nd div Euro player (William Quist)
  4. Regular in junior/college/2nd div Euro player (Phillippe Cornett)
  5. Quality junior/college/2nd div Euro player (Alex Plante)
  6. Impact junior/college/2nd div Euro player (Jordan Eberle)
  7. Minor League/Elite Euro league Depth Player (Johan Motin)
  8. Minor League/Elite Euro league Regular (Rob Schremp)
  9. Quality Minor/Elite Euro league Player (Linus Omark)
  10. NHL Fringe Player (Liam Reddox)
  11. NHL Role Player (Marc Pouliot)
  12. NHL Regular (Ethan Moreau)
  13. Above Average NHL Player (Ales Hemsky)
  14. Impact NHL Player (Jarome Iginla)

Pretty simple stuff, Bill James used to have an 18-element list with the top player being MVP at #18. It doesn’t really matter but they should be easily recognizable to a fan. In this case I’ve used Oilers prospects and Jarome Iginla.

Let’s rank a bunch of first round picks at age 17:

  • 6(impact jr): Hemsky, Gagner
  • 5(quality jr): Pouliot, Dubnyk, Schremp, Cogliano, Eberle
  • 4(regular in jr): Plante, Nash

Okay, that’s all the first rounders since 2001 (except Niinimaki who screws up the ranking as he’s a 7 by this measure–SM-LIIGA fringe player). You can quibble with some of the rankings but the idea is we can see that the Oilers got lucky in 2001 when drafting a kid who was romping through the Q at 17 (1.47ppg) and got another top flight talent with a much higher pick (Gagner’s ppg was 2.23 in the O). The 5′s in this are all interesting players but none are on the same level (Jordan Eberle’s ppg is in the range with Schremp and Pouliot).

Now, let’s look at these players at age 19 (with Eberle obviously not in the picture):

  • 11(NHL role player): Hemsky, Gagner
  • 6(impact jr/coll): Pouliot, Schremp, Cogliano
  • 5(quality jr): Dubnyk, Nash
  • 4(regular in jr): Plante

So, two seasons later and the the top two players from the previous slotting are in the NHL. All the 5′s have graduated to 6′s save for Dubnyk who ran in place for his junior career. Nash moves up and Plante stays the same (I welcome input on this but he appears to be the #4 dman on a junior team).

Finally, let’s follow through to age 21. We’re going to lose Gagner, Nash and Plante this time:

  • 12 (NHL regular): Hemsky, Cogliano
  • 10 (NHL fringe player): Pouliot
  • 8 (Minor League Regular): Schremp, Dubnyk

By age 21 we’ve got a really nice view of the player. If they’re not in the NHL it could be awhile. We see Cogliano made very nice progress and honestly his college time may not be well reflected here (possibly his college season at 19 deserved a better number). Either way, Cogliano is the only player who was ranked below “impact junior/college player” at age 17 who has made the show with enough torque to imply he’ll be more than a role player. This might be a tell on Jordan Eberle’s future and something to keep in mind moving forward with this player.

If you’re going to waste as much time as I have looking at these kids and tracking their progress, for God’s sakes bring some logic and good sense to it. And if you do create a better mousetrap, pass it along.

I’ve often thought a dollar value (seriously) from $1 to $100 for prospects might work, maybe add a letter to reflect the likelihood.

:-)

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101 Responses to "Prospect Evaluation (Again)"

  1. Bruce says:

    Quality stuff, LT, as usual.

    Let’s use Rob Schremp as an example, since he’s not often mentioned and could use the publicity.

    Ha! Yes, let’s.

    One way to put Schremp’s rating into perspective is a comparison with a polar opposite prospect, one with limited talent but who was clearly destined to get the most out of it. Can’t think of a better example than Schremp’s frequent power skating partner, Zack Stortini, who in his draft year of 2003 was pegged at 5.5 A. The 5.5 places his potential as somewhere between a third and fourth line forward, and the A means “All but guaranteed to reach potential – 100 percent metaphysical certitude that the player will play up to his abilities as noted by his potential rating. In this case, the potential rating is multiplied by 100 percent for depth chart purposes, signaling that the player is a lock to reach his given potential.” Gotta like that 100 percent metaphysical certitude, and it would seem that HF was bang on the mark.

    Meanwhile, for Schremp the key part of his 8.0 D grade seems to be that D, meaning “Unlikely to reach potential, could drop 3 ratings”, which potentially drops him all the way to a 5. Surveying the relative positions of the two on the depth chart half a decade later, it’s hard to disagree that HF nailed it for both guys.

  2. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m sure they liked Tim Raines but it took until the 5th round (106 overall) before the name of the most brilliant of all Expos was welcomed to the fold.

    Lordy, that’s almost an understatement. Raines is not just the most brilliant of Expos, he’s likely the most brilliant NL player of his generation. Wildly underappreciated by nearly everyone, Raines was Rickey Henderson without accolade, he was Lou Brock without the rabid and expansive fan base.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Bruce,

    That’s skewing things a little, no? HF did in fact get Stortini right and credit to them. Having said that, it’s somewhat akin to suggesting a catcher won’t be a shortstop. Stortini was drafted by an NHL team and had very little offense in junior, so he’s either a fighter or offers a physical element. Their projection came from logic and I’ll give them that much.

    You neglected to mention that Schremp was ranked as a “1st Line Skilled Forward” in the same article that pegged Stortin:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/7093/oilers_top20_prospects/

    And here we see that Schremp gets a B but bumps to 8.5:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/7426/oilers_top20_prospects/

    So again I’d suggest that when fans project players they get ahead of themselves. No sin, I do it too.

    That’s why limiting ourselves to what they are is a better plan.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Coach: Tim Raines was a beauty. He was my favorite player until Vladdy. And I’m not sure how I’ll rank them with it’s all done.

  5. Andrew says:

    I think there is a lot of merit to the analytical system you’ve come up with here but some fine tuning might still be in order.

    While ranking player development according to age is important to compare them to other prospects, I think that some consideration of their position needs to be taken into account, too. D-men normally come along a bit slower than forwards and goalies are a whole other can of worms. Trying to compare them directly to skating prospects is a tough challenge, which is compounded when doing it by age.

    Attempting to give a long term projection for Dubnyk – or any other 18-24 year old goalie – is risky. There are simply too many examples like Tim Thomas who wasn’t even consistently in the league until he was in his 30s.

  6. Bruce says:

    That’s skewing things a little, no?

    Didn’t think I was, but whatever.

    HF did in fact get Stortini right and credit to them. Having said that, it’s somewhat akin to suggesting a catcher won’t be a shortstop.

    Of course. What they nailed was the “A” part, the “100% metaphysical certitude” — love that phrase — that this guy would get the most out of what he had. Schremp, not so much. Which is the entirety of the point I thought I was making.

    Interesting historical links, didn’t realize Schremp’s rating had risen so high at any point, I’ve just seen the 8.0 D. Of course I don’t study the prospects in anywhere near the depth that you do, which is why I should just read what you write, say thanks, and otherwise STFU.

    Carry on.

  7. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: Tim Raines was a beauty. He was my favorite player until Vladdy. And I’m not sure how I’ll rank them with it’s all done.

    Vlad is a nice player, but when all is said and done, he’s a talent that was never really drawn on. Raines is an all-timer.

    If I’m building a franchise and Rickey Henderson and Tris Speaker aren’t available, I’m going after Tim Raines.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: Sorry. I clearly missed the mark on your original post. It’s all good.

    Coach: I loved Raines. He used to throw to the right base every time, he ran first to third on anything and his at-bats were sublime. I miss him as much as I miss Jari Kurri (and that’s a lot).

  9. bookie says:

    Ok, this is off topic, but i missed the last few boards.

    You know what is really weird though, I went back and read the boards since Friday and NO-ONE mentioned Garon’s performance against the leafs.

    He totally shut them out on 21 out of 26 shots, if it were not for letting in 5 goals it would have been an awesome game.

    Sorry, I just found it strange that after all of the “What idiot would trade Garon” talk, that nobody raised this…

  10. Lord Bob says:

    I didn’t realise Pedro Martinez’s draft year was way back in 1977!

  11. hunter1909 says:

    I’ve never been a fan of comparing one level of hockey to the next, simply because of the exceptional players who for one reason or other take a little longer to develop than the plugs.

    I said exceptional.

    If an AHL player is having this problem or that problem developing, I’m of a tendency to wonder about the way that player is being handled, than merely dismissing him out of hand like most others.

    Which is of course precisely what’s wrong with the perennial 8th place chasing Oilers, who seem to have a cookie cutter development model and lowe-betide any prospect who deosn’t ‘fit in’ to it.

    Then again I’m a fan of the Don Shula school of coaching.

  12. Doogie2K says:

    a “1″ is a fringe guy at the lower levels of the minor leagues (let’s use Glenn Fisher as an example).

    Jordan Bendfeld, anyone?

    Nash moves up and Plante stays the same (I welcome input on this but he appears to be the #4 dman on a junior team).

    I’ll verify that. Postma-Stone is the top pairing; Seabrook-Plante the second. Sort of stark to see what that year of injury (and, being honest, not playing with Karl Alzner) has done.

  13. Jonathan Willis says:

    If an AHL player is having this problem or that problem developing, I’m of a tendency to wonder about the way that player is being handled, than merely dismissing him out of hand like most others.

    There’s a need for balance. Not everything can be placed on the player or the coach.

    In the case of the rarely-mentioned Rob Schremp, I’m fairly convinced that (despite MacTavish’s comments) he could be a useful piece on an NHL team right now in a soft-minutes/PP scorer (i.e Kyle Wellwood) role. It won’t be on the Oilers because there are plenty of superior players already on the team to take that role.

    A trade would seem to be in the best interest of both parties.

  14. Jonathan Willis says:

    As for LT’s actual (non-specific) post, I certainly agree. Rank the players by where they are, then look for comparables.

    Then you can graph a career curve that the player should follow.

    Although I’d also argue that this should go back to at least one year before the draft. Many players (see Schremp, Esposito, etc.) seem to put up great numbers in the year before their draft, than slow down after. I don’t have evidence, but I’m inclined to think that drop matters.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    “In the case of the rarely-mentioned Rob Schremp, I’m fairly convinced that (despite MacTavish’s comments) he could be a useful piece on an NHL team right now in a soft-minutes/PP scorer (i.e Kyle Wellwood) role. It won’t be on the Oilers because there are plenty of superior players already on the team to take that role.”

    The plain fact is: In the past 2 seasons we simply haven’t been given a decent look at Schremp. And of course, with MacPope installed(in that Quixotic hope that 2006 will re-occur) it never will.

    One of the reasons I, as a lifelong fan, have seriously started to not give a fuck what happens to this stupid team.

  16. godot10 says:

    //I’m fairly convinced that (despite MacTavish’s comments) he (Schremp) could be a useful piece on an NHL team right now in a soft-minutes/PP scorer (i.e Kyle Wellwood) role.//

    That position doesn’t exist on a good hockey team. Only on a bad hockey team.

  17. Doogie2K says:

    That position doesn’t exist on a good hockey team. Only on a bad hockey team.

    So Schremp for Reasoner, straight across? ;)

  18. godot10 says:

    //The plain fact is: In the past 2 seasons we simply haven’t been given a decent look at Schremp.//

    The competition for playoff spots is now such that there are really no “tryouts” at the NHL level anymore.

    You are throwing the season to give a 30-game look at a player like Schremp.

  19. rickibear says:

    eTemmu Hartikainen: From 4/4th line (9min/game) rookie on Kapa in SM-ligga to 1st line LW point/game(16min/game) and one of the three stars every 3 games. Top 30 in goal scoring in half a season.

    Ladies and gentlemen A 6’2″ 205lbs 18 year old with a value of ???? er 9.

    Sm-ligga’s equivalency rank .54.

  20. quain says:

    I think the one place you can say the Oilers mishandled Schremp is the Summer of Sam Gagner. How that team sucked so bad and didn’t give Rob Schremp 20 games is beyond me, regardless of how terrible he was.

    Beyond that, I can’t really see anything I disagree with on that front. He was skipped over by four kids last season, and Potulny this year. Maybe Rob Schremp is everything that irks MacT, but the organization is clearly giving guys their chances.

    And even guys that irk the hell out of MacT still get their shots, which is why we’ll see Nilsson (Swedish for Rob Schremp who backchecks occasionally) probably start on the first line tomorrow night.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    “You are throwing the season to give a 30-game look at a player like Schremp.”

    This is the silliest thing I’ve read all day.

  22. hunter1909 says:

    Normally I would be hoping for a nice 12 game losing streak to see off the coach, but unfortunatley it’s never going to happen.

    So with the perennial 8th place fight ahead, I have the astounding luxury of not caring much one way or the other who actually wins any of the upcoming games.

    Yesterday I saw a pretty useful Preds team, who remind me a lot of the Wild, being set upon by the Oilers grade 8 offence, with the usual outcome(loss).

    Woo hoo.

    Year your hair out all you like, but it’s never going to make a blind bit of difference to the management.

    And they will always have 2006…lol.

  23. Doogie2K says:

    This is the silliest thing I’ve read all day.

    Have you seen the playoff race lately? Even one game lost on a dipshit play by Schremp could be enough to sink the team.

    Bad enough the real NHLers are frequently soiling the sheets right now; the last thing we need is a slow-ass one-dimensional player making things worse.

  24. Coach pb9617 says:

    So Schremp for Reasoner, straight across? ;)

    Yes.

    Make the call.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    Oh yes. Schremp could make the difference as the MacTavish juggernaut routinely plays Fischer/Spassky level NHL chess by sticking Smid on LW, endlessly playing the 39 year old Roloson, mister 5 goal Horcoff as first line center.

    I have to say this: Oiler fans remind me more and more of a family led by a serial incest father, more concerned with covering up Dad’s nightime ‘visits’ to the neighbors, than objectively dealing with reality.

  26. bookie says:

    Despite not being a big Schemp supporter, he did really well for a couple of games when he came up. Clearly he is pouting in the Minors and I get that the team does not want to reward that.

    Yet, I wonder if, as an asset, they could have been a bit more sensitive to his soft babylike emotions and brought him up a few more times. If they could keep his spirits up and his motivation for a few weeks they could likley get some trade value out of him.

    I guess what I am saying is that i get that he is a headcase, but with some special management I think you could make him look better than he does now.

  27. Guy Flaming says:

    as the guy who was saddled with the job of ranking the Oiler prospects for HF from 2003-2008 I feel obligated to chime in.

    LT’s system is terrific and valid. I like it a lot.

    The reason HF does what it does the way that it does is this: It’s a tool for general fans and non-fans to be able to go to any of the team pages and get a feel for the strength of each NHL club’s prospect depth.

    Most of you have a decent grasp of who is in Edmonton’s system but for a second pretend you want to know what the depth is like for the Flordia Panthers.

    You go to HF and can basically get a sense of who is expected to be NHL capable and who isn’t.

    I like LT’s system, I honestly do. But unless I’m wrong it’s a gauge strictly on where players are currently in their careers. What HF is doing (or trying to do) is give readers an idea of what a player is capable of achieving in the future – their future impact on the NHL.

    2 different beasts. Obviously it’s much easier to assess where a player currently is than where they will be 5 years from now. That’s why as the Oiler guy for HF I made a point of speaking with the entire Oilers scouting staff and based my rankings on their player assessments and projections. And no, they weren’t always accurate but they weren’t always pie in the sky either.

    take the HF rankings for what they are, a basic guide and an attempt at looking ahead. It’s far from perfect but it’s a basic tool.

  28. quain says:

    Schremp could make the difference as the MacTavish juggernaut routinely plays Fischer/Spassky level NHL chess by sticking Smid on LW, endlessly playing the 39 year old Roloson, mister 5 goal Horcoff as first line center.

    What’s funny is that Rob Schremp has five goals… in the AHL… playing choice minute compared to Shawn “I have to take every single face-off because nobody thought to resign Marty Reasoner” Horcoff. I won’t correct the fact that Horc has 11 goals, because I assume you meant ES or PP only.

    Roloson is the best goaltender on the roster and has been all season.

    Smid was a fill-in because MacIntyre is useless and he was playing Strudwick at 6D (didn’t prove to be the best decision, but Smid hasn’t proven to be much better).

    Do you often complain about Craig MacTavish by highlighting poor GM moves?

    Here, cribnotes for hating MacT:
    -Piss poor penalty killer
    -Mediocre powerplay
    -Ripping players in pressers
    -The Blender
    -3LW Moreau
    -C Pisani

    See, it’s easy.

  29. Bruce says:

    Bruce: Sorry. I clearly missed the mark on your original post. It’s all good.

    LT: No worries. And, thanks.

    Obviously it’s much easier to assess where a player currently is than where they will be 5 years from now.

    Guy: It seems to me the number HF assigns is largely based on the former: what kind of talent does this guy possess? Whereas the letter attempts to project the likelihood of said talent continuing to develop and blossom. It’s a pretty reasonable system for what has to be a far-from-exact science. For sure the two examples I cited above were mighty good.

  30. Bruce says:

    Thread jack: Ottawa fires Craig Hartsburg. Brian Murray lives to bungle another day.

    New Sens coach is Cory Clouston. The Viking AB native was a four-year U. of A. Golden Bear (1989-93) who learned his trade at the knee of Billy Moores.

  31. Schitzo says:

    Yet, I wonder if, as an asset, they could have been a bit more sensitive to his soft babylike emotions and brought him up a few more times. If they could keep his spirits up and his motivation for a few weeks they could likley get some trade value out of him.

    The part that annoys me is that Nilsson did the same thing when he was sent down [I think after that abortion of a Stoll-Torres-Nilsson experiment].

    And the organization was very sensitive to the fact that they were risking losing the kid. They brought him right back up, despite mediocre AHL numbers.

    I dunno, maybe they figure Schremp needs a harder kick in the ass, or that Nilsson is a better enough player to earn that kind of second chance.

  32. hunter1909 says:

    Who needs cribnotes for despising MacT?

    You do have a valid point.

    I’m getting tired myself of raving about this moron.

    ADD: Plays favorites, while ripping into the abilities of others.

    Of course over at Calgary Puck they actualy don’t believe that MacT is the blame magnet so many of us Oilers fans do. No, those hearty friends of ours to the south feel nearly unanimously that Kevin Lowe is the architect of the Oilers hilarity.

    Sure Schremp is a head case. Sure Mikhnov can’t cut it. Sure Jani Rita…Tony Salmon-whatever the fuck his name was didn’t make it…sure Plante is almost certain to bust, along with Nash, Jacques, Pouliot…

    Oh yeah, I’ll presume we can now all jump on the Eberle bandwagon, until “Daddy” MacT gets hold of him.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    Imagine if you took a child, and instead of allowing it the chance to occasionally fuck up, you locked it in it’s room.

    And let it watch TV, to see all about what the world was really like.

    This is to me, how the Oilers “development” process works.

  34. kris says:

    In the case of the rarely-mentioned Rob Schremp, I’m fairly convinced that (despite MacTavish’s comments) he could be a useful piece on an NHL team right now in a soft-minutes/PP scorer (i.e Kyle Wellwood) role.

    How so, Jonathon? He’s not a very useful AHL player right now. He had a decent run at the beginning of the season, but he’s showing a serious lack of consistency.

    Two ES goals and 5 overall goals in the AHL, way under PPG despite 1st line, top PP unit time, means this guy can’t score. And he sure as hell can’t do anything else.

    If he was worth anything now, IMO, he’d already be traded. I expect to see him in Europe soon.

  35. hunter1909 says:

    PS: Insert “gifted child” to that last rant/post.

  36. hunter1909 says:

    Oh for sure, Schremp has had his heart broken.

    Well done, Oilers.

    And enjoy your shit team, Oiler fans, while other teams compete for the actual cup.

    Penguins second line center = Crosby

    OIlers first line center = Shawn(5 goal) Horcoff

    LOL

  37. Bruce says:

    Pittsburgh: 10th place
    Edmonton: 8th place

  38. Schitzo says:

    For christ’s sake, hunter, you have 7 of the last 17 posts. Think hard, put all your thoughts in one post, and quit spamming.

  39. kris says:

    LT:

    Very nice stuff.

    I think Jonathon’s idea of a “career curve” is also fantastic, and will allow you to create a much more effective and easy to understand way of predicting the prospects’ futures than the HF system. (Sorry Guy, I love your work, but I think LT could have a better, and not just different, system on his hands.)

    If you graph enough Oiler prospects what you’ll find, obviously, is that a player jumping from one level to the next becomes less and less likely, the higher he goes. In other words, you’ll find that say 30% of players at level 3 move to level 4 within a year, but only say 10% of players at level 4 ever make it level 10 even within two years. Moreover, with your system, you’ll be able to discuss the odds of college guys and euro guys making it in the bigs. (I think we were all confused about how good of a prospect Hrabal was, and I think if you graph enough prospects, we’ll learn to be smarter than that.)

    I’d recommend making the simplest spread sheet in the world. Column 1: Name, Column 2: Level at 17 year old year, Column 3: Level at 18yr old year, etc. Excel can graph the info, or we can just use it to discuss the players.

  40. hunter1909 says:

    Pittburgh – a few half assed wingers away from league domination.

    Edmonton – heroically chasing their tails since 1991.

  41. DeBakey says:

    I dunno, maybe they figure Schremp needs a harder kick in the ass, or that Nilsson is a better enough player to earn that kind of second chance.

    Or, maybe they didn’t think Schremp was good enough – then or now?

    They couldn’t call Scremp up at the end of the Smyth era, despite the mess, because of the roster freeze thing – I think they would’ve then, if they could’ve

  42. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m about ready to call it a wrap on this team, and when I look at the reasons behind this they’re all centered around the coaching this year.

    I’ve been chapped at the decisions made thus far this year, but convinced that there was some development going on. I’m not longer convinced of this. The treatment of this team by their coach has been completely uneven and horrendous and non-sensical. The media spats are both pompous and childish. Constantly throwing the only two young LWs in the organization under the bus is not developing them and it’s not a strategy that wins games now.

    Refusing a single-word about your idiotic old veterans because you fear for your job is classless and amateur.

    Treating Nilsson one way and Gagner the other even though they’ve both had similar arcs this season (granting that Gagner has shaken his doldrums) is scapegoating.

    Sending Penner to the PB and blaming him for the team’s performance THREE times is complete bullshit. The guy has been average to good all year long with four great games mixed in. He was the ONLY player that showed up against Buffalo and he gets the blame for this team five days later.

    This is all in addition to moving Pisani to center and refusing to give Brodziak or Pouliot the chance to center that line; starting Cole on the wrong wing even though he said time and time again that he wasn’t a LW; refusing to put the only legitimate 1st line on the ice together for the first 19 games; flubbing Smid’s development yet again; not having this team ready for home games – EVER.

    I can’t blame him for the goalie situation or the other toughs center situation. He was dealt an awful hand by management, but he’s made so many glaring mistakes that he goes this year.

  43. Yeti says:

    I don’t mean to criticise here, but I am a little mystified as to the purpose of this alternate prospect grading schema. Sure, it’s easy enough to judge each prospect as they are at present according to the level they are playing at. But surely the whole point of prospect evaluation is to try to understand where they will be in a number of years? For instance, I don’t really need a fourteen step list to tell me that Plante is stuck in a relatively mediocre position in junior, while Eberle is ripping it up. What is far more important (for me, and presumably the team) is what the chances of improvement and becoming an NHL player will be. For this we need a considered analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the player: i.e. how valuable those strengths will be – and conversely how serious those weaknesses will be – as they translate to higher levels of the game.

    The HF metric – warts and all – attempts to do just that and needs to be recognised precisely for that reason. We can quibble over the ratings assigned to individual players, but at least it is trying to do the important thing: judge where prospects will be when they are no longer prospects.

    Perhaps I’m just badly misreading the intentions of original post. If so – apologies!

  44. Schitzo says:

    Or, maybe they didn’t think Schremp was good enough – then or now?

    I’m pretty sure that was the meaning I was trying to convey when I said maybe Nilsson is just a better player.

  45. Oilman says:

    LT – do you know if blogger has an ignore function? Seriously.

  46. relic says:

    H: at least be consistent

    Pittburgh – heroically chasing their tails since 1992.

    Edmonton – heroically chasing their tails since 1991.

    really the difference between the top5 teams and the next 15 is a few pieces.

    LT: if you go with curves it might be more accurate to keep the positions separate from each other and go with three curves. this would allow for expectations and timelines between the positions to be different. or maybe you’d see that they actually aren’t different.

  47. Schitzo says:

    LT: if you go with curves it might be more accurate to keep the positions separate from each other and go with three curves. this would allow for expectations and timelines between the positions to be different. or maybe you’d see that they actually aren’t different.

    Trying to plot the curves for goaltenders will look like a step function half of time time. Junior B, backwater European league, NHL All-star.

  48. HBomb says:

    Coach:

    Penner has had a few bad games this year. He’s heard about it, and how.

    Captain Moreau, meanwhile, was pure shit from mid-November to mid-January, and you didn’t hear a peep from the coach, while the local media continues to laud the guy as if he’s Messier II.

    He’s closer to Corson than Messier, and MacT’s certainly creeping into George Burnett country these days.

  49. Coach pb9617 says:

    I think Jonathon’s idea of a “career curve” is also fantastic,

    Indeed, basing them on LTs system might be a sort of Copernicus moment in tracking player development.

    Trying to plot the curves for goaltenders will look like a step function half of time time. Junior B, backwater European league, NHL All-star.

    My initial thoughts are that goalies will be near impossible to chart. I was actually looking at some of them when I started checking into which organizations actually develop goalies. It would look like a scatter graph, if anything.

  50. quain says:

    It would look like a scatter graph, if anything.

    The term used in Statistics is ‘drunk baby with a crayon.’

  51. bookie says:

    Oh for sure, Schremp has had his heart broken.

    Well done, Oilers.

    And enjoy your shit team, Oiler fans, while other teams compete for the actual cup.

    Penguins second line center = Crosby

    Oilers first line center = Shawn(5 goal) Horcoff

    Seriously, this is the strangest series of statements I have seen from someone older than five (I presume). I have a number of criticisms of MactT and Lowe, but I at least try and put a little thought into things.

    Yes, if only we could be like the Penguins, they have great players like Garon…I mean if you had mentioned Detroit you would have a point, but other than being crappy enough to get loads of high draft picks, they might be the worst managed team in the league.

    We did compete for the cup just 2 years ago. I am sure that was just total luck, but the vast majority of NHL teams don’t have that kind of luck.

    Next, as much as it pains me to say it, Edmonton is a pretty ugly little city in the middle of nowhere (the rest of North America thinks of us as we think of Fort MacMurray). I say this as someone who loves this city for what it has, but recognizes that it would be a very hard place to draw players to for their playing years (when they could go somewhere exciting or warm without being surrounded by idiot loudmouth opinionated fans everywhere).

    A little perspective is needed on Schremp, most draft picks are a bust and there is really a very good chance that Schemp is as well. Very very few make it in the NHL. If he were as good as you think he is, he would tear up the AHL.

    Lastly, if you hate this team soooo much, why not just cheer for some other team.

  52. Coach pb9617 says:

    Penner has had a few bad games this year. He’s heard about it, and how.

    And the only other person with the same treatment is Nilsson. Not a word about Gilbert, Moreau, Staios, Gagner or Gargoylepuck.

    We get it Craig, you don’t like Penner. Get the hell over it and stop letting your pouting bitch-ass affect the lineup.

  53. Lord Bob says:

    Penner eats so MacTavish’s words hurt less.

  54. Jonathan Willis says:

    So, fun question for everyone: given that Schremp isn’t on track (regardless of the reasons) when should we have picked up on it? I’ve got two real points of interest, looking at his stats:

    1) His draft year
    2) His first year as a professional

    My very first post took a look at Schremp by points per game and contrasted him with similar player types.

    Outside of his pre-draft season, and his draft +2 season, Schremp’s well off the pace of the NHL’ers in the group. The warning signs were there, long before he ever played for MacTavish.

    MacTavish hasn’t done a good job this season and probably shouldn’t be back (IMO), but I really think it’s rich to blame Schremp on him. As much as he obviously dislikes Schremp, it wasn’t MacTavish who was press-boxing the guy in Wilkes Barre – and players in that skillset who emerge as NHL’ers generally have a much better 1st pro season than Schremp did.

  55. relic says:

    LB, hilarious. :-)

  56. pboy says:

    (the rest of North America thinks of us as we think of Fort MacMurray)

    What is the image of Fort McMurray in Edmonton and the rest of North America.

  57. rickibear says:

    //Indeed, basing them on LTs system might be a sort of Copernicus moment in tracking player development.//

    Ladies and gentlemen curves and equivalencies brought to you by the Copernicus at behind the net.

    a. League Equivalents:

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/translations.html

    b. performance curve:

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/juniorproj.html

    Take value A multiply by the performance curves ratios to get the progression up to age 22.

    Have been doing this for two years. It provides a great ceiling for player potential. Reviewed the curves to historical progression of 100 players from varying sources, ( SEL, Russia, Juniors)found them to be bang on.

    Though I wish I had retained the data to see the deviations to provide a accurate ceiling reduction.

    When I look at prospects I like to use this tool to create a ceiling expectation.

    The next tool would be to try to identify the performance patterns of Players from age 23-29. Based on the league they are from ( the curves do not work for ncaa all that well))and Body type.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Well the idea of the exercise is to find answers to questions. Things like:

    1. Of the Schremp group, how many make it to the NHL?
    2. Of that group, how many actually help like Marc Savard?
    3. Are Marc Savard and Rob Schremp similar players? What about Mike Comrie?
    4. Out of 30 similar players, how many make the NHL? What makes the winners different than the also-rans?
    5. What’s the outer marker?

    Generally speaking the more unique the player the more valuable. But if you run 100 Brad Winchester’s through you get a Dan Lacouture curve, as is the case with the Stortini group.

    The Marc Savard group is just silly because it’s basically Marc Savard on a lonely island with China on the other side of the line.

  59. Woodguy says:

    So Schremp for Reasoner, straight across? ;)

    Yes.

    Make the call.

    Even if God himself came down and said “Reasonser is the best PK/faceoff guy available” I doubt Lowe would trade for a guy he could have had for free.

    The optics would be very bad and a big bruise to the ego. Kevin Lowe does not have a history of admitting mistakes.

    Does anyone know what Lowe’s plan was after he traded Stoll June 29th and then didn’t sign Reasoner?

    The hubub is that Lowe didn’t want MacTavish using Reasoner where Gagne or Cogliano should be (i.e. Marty Sakic)

    I take it he expected Brodziak to step up and take that role. Is this true?

    If so, has Brodziak shown he is incapable of that role?

    I’m a little lost here…..

  60. Jonathan Willis says:

    RB: Those are good charts; I refer to them from time to time and it’s nice to see someone else does too ;)

    RE: My earlier comment on Schremp – excluding college guys/Euros, players who play an offensive role in the NHL are generally over 1 PPG in the AHL at 20 (if they’re in the AHL at all). I think that’s Vic Ferrari’s line in the sand; in my comparison the four offensive players (Stillman, Savard, Cassels, Allison) were all over 1.2 PPG.

    Looking at the guys currently in Springfield, I think that would mean we could write off most of the forwards there as ever being NHL contributers, with the possible exception of Brule (in the NHL at 20, screwy development curve) and the college guys (Potulny, Lerg).

    I do think Schremp could jump in as a soft-minutes guy, but has no real long-term value (much like Jason Dawe – 25 goal scorer at 21, out of the league by 25).

  61. Jonathan Willis says:

    Woodguy: I think it’s fair to say that Kyle Brodziak has never been given a shot at that role.

    The good news is that with the way the coach has submarined his stats, he ought to be a cheap signing this summer. I’d suggest 4 years at 3.6 million, if possible.

  62. Jonathan Willis says:

    The Marc Savard group is just silly because it’s basically Marc Savard on a lonely island with China on the other side of the line.

    Andrew Cassels, Cory Stillman. Jason Allison if you want to be really generous (although his size makes things difficult).

    Of course, Savard’s really done something strange the past couple of seasons; I can’t think of another smallish/soft-minutes type who ever graduated from a point hog into a strong power-vs.-power player.

    I think Savard’s the outer marker, to tell you the truth.

  63. Oilman says:

    Martin St. Louis perhaps?

  64. Jonathan Willis says:

    Oilman: Yeah, forgot about him.

    Of course, he’s not much use as a Schremp comparable, because of his career path.

    Fun side note: Eric Perrin, Martin St. Louis and Tim Thomas all played together at the University of Vermont. I think that’s a nice nucleus for an “All-Underrated on Draft Day” Team.

    The coach of those teams (Mike Gilligan) had some nice seasons with that kind of talent, and not much thereafter (he was fired in the early 2000′s).

  65. Master Lok says:

    FFs hunter1909,
    Barking about firing MacT AGAIN? To what purpose? This thread is about prospect evaluation and yet you feel compelled to spam this entire thread with your inane hatred. Geez get lost or go back to the hockeyboards and create threads there instead of jacking threads here.

    And as LT’s children actually read this thread – why would you be put “incest father” and your swearing in here? Seriously LT – can you ban this guy? Or do you want your kid to ask you about incest?

  66. Oilman says:

    Oh yeah, I was thinking Savard comparible….never heard of this Schremp guy you keep mentioning. Does he play hockey too?:o)

  67. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh yeah, I was thinking Savard comparible….never heard of this Schremp guy you keep mentioning. Does he play hockey too?:o)

    Nope. Ice Lacrosse.

  68. dave says:

    Penner is saying all the right things in this latest whipping. You know I think MacT got some more out of him after the first whipping. MacT is looking out of line on that one. This team is doing fine in spite of coaching.

  69. Traktor says:

    From TSN
    Coach Craig Mactavish singled out forwards Dustin Penner, Kyle Brodziak and Marc Pouliot at practice on Monday and then made them bag skate after practice.

  70. HBomb says:

    Coach Craig Mactavish singled out forwards Dustin Penner, Kyle Brodziak and Marc Pouliot at practice on Monday and then made them bag skate after practice.

    How do you bag skate three guys after a one goal loss when you don’t bag skate the entire team after losing 10-2?

    How MacT is running things this year is, in a word, terrible.

  71. Jonathan Willis says:

    Coach Craig Mactavish singled out forwards Dustin Penner, Kyle Brodziak and Marc Pouliot at practice on Monday and then made them bag skate after practice.

    Did anyone notice my lukewarm “MacTavish shouldn’t be back next year” comment above?

    Fire him now. You win as a team, you lose as a team, you bagskate as a team.

    MacTavish knew that once. Mike Morrison threw up the day after getting recalled from the AHL, suffering along with his new teammates, even though he hadn’t played through the games that caused MacTavish to bagskate his team.

    He’s lost it somewhere along the way.

  72. quain says:

    I’m convinced, put his ass on the ice flow.

  73. Traktor says:

    “How do you bag skate three guys after a one goal loss when you don’t bag skate the entire team after losing 10-2?”

    Good point.

    I would kill for the media to ask MacT that same question.

  74. Lord Bob says:

    If I were Penner, Pouliot, or Brodziak, I’d be pants-crappingly angry with MacTavish right now.

    Specifically if I were Penner, I’d have my agent making angry calls to Steve Tambellini on the grounds that anything has to be better than playing for Craig MacTavish.

    That is ridiculously bush league.

  75. Traktor says:

    “Fire him now. You win as a team, you lose as a team, you bagskate as a team.”

    Just mere hours after MacTavish pleaded to the team through the media that “We need to stick together. The cavalry is not coming. We need to work through this toegther.” he threw Robert Nilsson under the bus. Not even 10 hours later.

  76. Schitzo says:

    So if you’re anyone but Moreau, how do you feel knowing three guys are skating until they puke for your sins?

    [If you're Moreau, you're smug and confident that they deserved it]

  77. Coach pb9617 says:

    I think we need a variable in the charting for prospects that come into contact with crazy coaches.

  78. quain says:

    I need to read/hear something else about this, because it’s completely batshit insane. I mean, most of MacT’s poor moves are idiotic, but you can chalk them up to his style and if you squint hard enough they make sense (Pisani at center, Moreau on the third line, etc). This just doesn’t make any sense at all. It’s like he’s trying to get fired or trying to get Dustin Penner to kill him.

  79. Woodguy says:

    From TSN
    Coach Craig Mactavish singled out forwards Dustin Penner, Kyle Brodziak and Marc Pouliot at practice on Monday and then made them bag skate after practice.

    Link?

    I can’t find this anywhere on their site?

  80. quain says:

    Ice Chips:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?id=11009

    In other news, Gagner is back on Tuesday, which I guess is good.

  81. oilerdago says:

    There’s a lot of inconsistency w/MacT this year and it makes you wonder if after almost 8 yrs he’s running out of things to say/do or if this team is that immature.

    You can see he’s as frustrated with the team on hand and many of us are with it/him. Bag skating 3 guys is another way of throwing someone under the bus and right now it’s getting crowded under there.

    I think we all agree the team should have more points, but I don’t think anyone reasonably thinks it’s built for a deep playoff run this year so what is being accomplished in all of this?

    While there are good parts in place, it’s going to be harder for Tambellini to clean up the mess he inherited from Lowe.

    But another blow out tomorrow by Chicago and everyone is going to wonder if MacT will make it to the end of his contract (if I’m not mistaken, it’s up after this season, no?).

  82. Traktor says:

    I don’t think Tambo was inherited with a mess at all.

    He probably looked at this team like a real estate investor that flips houses – you could probably sink 30k into renovations and turn 100k profit in under a month.

  83. oilerdago says:

    Traktor – depends on what you define a mess as.

    - Trades to plug holes in scoring that left the PK a mess

    - Guys not being resigned that fit the system the coach wants, but is not what the former GM wants

    - a player who’s signed as an RFA and sold as a first line answer who doesn’t have the personal drive (or just doesn’t like the coach) and I could go on.

    Of course, he could look at his opportunity to provide real direction instead of the patchwork team’s that have been thrown together – which is why he’s been smarter than the yahoo’s in Tampa when it comes to not making stupid deals.

    But sooner or later the bright light will shine on him and “standing pat” does not play any better in Edmonton than it did in Vancouver where the last GM was fired.

  84. Schitzo says:

    I don’t understand house-flipping analogies.

  85. Woodguy says:

    Wow.

    If MacTavish was consistent then Staios would be the fittest guy on the team due to 30 or so bag skates going his way.

    That’s just brutal.

    He should be out there with them for all of his failures this year too.

    Would have been nice to see Moreau come out and skate with them out of solidarity, but he likes throwing people under the bus too….i.e. “If we could just get the powerplay going we could win some more games” – while getting the most ice time on the then 29th ranked PK in the league.

  86. Scott says:

    LT: I like the look of your suggestions here for evaluating prospects and, as others have suggested, it’s probably worthwhile to chart recent examples to see what can be expected of these guys. Great model.

    RE MacT: This is a very strange decision. As Quain said, at least trying Cole on the first line, or keeping Moreau on the third, trying a solid defensive winger at C, or giving two veterans some rope on the third D pair can make a certain amount of sense. This makes no sense. Especially Brodziak. I mean, what the hell did Brodziak do to you?

    I imagine there’s a conversation that goes like this:

    MacT: Kevin, why didn’t we resign Marty? I mean, seriously, this is ridiculous!
    Lowe: Well you could just use Brodziak.
    MacT: Brodziak?! I’ll show you Brodziak! That kid’s bag skating today! Now tell Steve to get me my Reasoner!

    It honestly makes as much sense as anything else.

  87. Bruce says:

    I can’t think of another smallish/soft-minutes type who ever graduated from a point hog into a strong power-vs.-power player.

    Assuming that’s what LT meant by the fictive “Marc Savard group”, there’s more than a few PvP guys who started out in protected minutes. Even Wayne Gretzky was once sheltered, if not fathered, by Stan Weir. Not sure where, or at what age, to draw that line. Or what size for that matter. If you get too specific, every man is an island, not just Marc Savard.

    Fun side note: Eric Perrin, Martin St. Louis and Tim Thomas all played together at the University of Vermont. I think that’s a nice nucleus for an “All-Underrated on Draft Day” Team.

    JW: Three of my very favourite players in all of hockey. I knew about the childhood buddies Marty and Eric, but hadn’t realized “Gump” Thomas had played on the same team. That’s awesome.

  88. Bruce says:

    Obviously Penner was in trouble, and I predited a dire short-term future for Pouliot yesterday, but Brodziak is a surprise. And I’ll throw my log on the fire that singling out three guys on a Team is bullshit. WTF is MacT thinking?

  89. CrazyCoach says:

    Hey LT,

    Do you think the Oil are looking at moving Schremp? If so, what could they realistically get in a trade. After the Garon deal, I’m not entirely convinced Tambo is really the GM of this club.

    Maybe the Oil could trade him to the Habs and Gainey will turn him into the next Pierre Larouche. Larouche will win you many trivia bets as he is the only Habs centre to score 50 goals.

    Once again LT, you simply have the best Oilers blog out there. We may be going into a huge worldwide recession, but if I lose my job, at least I’ll have your blog to read.

    Thanks

  90. Doogie2K says:

    No, those hearty friends of ours to the south feel nearly unanimously that Kevin Lowe is the architect of the Oilers hilarity.

    He’s not? Wow, I guess the part where he was GM for nine years didn’t have any impact at all. MacT has done his share of things to sabotage the current roster, but he’s still got the guys Lowe gave him.

    Junior B, backwater European league, NHL All-star.

    Who does that describe, really, other than Tim Thomas? I smell an outlier.

  91. CM says:

    Its days like today that I thank God I’m not a sens fan

  92. Lord Bob says:

    To put a new twist on an old saying, MacTavish wouldn’t have to pick goats and bagskate them while pampering his favourite players if MacTavish hadn’t lost the room.

  93. Coach pb9617 says:

    Doogie,

    Chart Turek, Vokoun, Kiprusoff, Roloson, Thomas, and Fernandez.

    Get a 12 gauge and some birdshot to graph.

  94. Lord Bob says:

    Because I’m bored and at work:

    Dwayne “The Brain” Roloson

    1991: 4 (college regular)
    1992: 4 (college regular)
    1993: 5 (above-average college)
    1994: 6 (impact college)
    1995: 8 (AHL regular)
    1996: 8 (AHL regular)
    1997: 10 (fringe NHL)
    1998: 10 (fringe NHL)
    1999: 10 (fringe NHL)
    2000: 10 (fringe NHL)
    2001: 9 (quality AHL)
    2002: 12 (NHL regular)
    2003: 13 (above-average NHL)
    2004: 13 (above-average NHL)
    2005: lockout
    2006: 12 (NHL regular)
    2007: 12 (NHL regular)
    2008: 12 (NHL regular)
    2009: 13 (above-average NHL)

  95. hunter1909 says:

    “Specifically if I were Penner, I’d have my agent making angry calls to Steve Tambellini on the grounds that anything has to be better than playing for Craig MacTavish.”

    So that’s what’s keeping Tambellini from making the trades necessary to help this team. Taking calls from all those irate agents.

  96. Schitzo says:

    Pick a grab bag of Finn or Swede goalies.

    Salo, Toskala, Markkanen, Backstrom…

  97. Doogie2K says:

    Doogie,

    Chart Turek, Vokoun, Kiprusoff, Roloson, Thomas, and Fernandez.

    Get a 12 gauge and some birdshot to graph.

    Well, LB’s given us a nice, pretty step function for Roli. Just for fun, let’s see what else we get. Caveat: I’m just looking at numbers and making some guesses here; I could be way the hell off on some categorizations, but they seem to work for the most part.

    Roman Turek

    20: 7 (Euro backup)
    21: N/A (military service?)
    22: 8 (Euro starter)
    23: 8 (Euro starter)
    24: 9 (quality Euro starter)
    25: 8 (Euro starter)
    26: 7 (AHL backup)
    27: 10 (NHL backup)
    28: 10 (NHL backup)
    29: 12 (NHL starter)
    30: 12 (NHL starter)
    31: 12 (NHL starter)
    32: 12 (NHL starter)
    33: 10 (NHL backup)
    34: 6 (Elite Euro Div II, though in fairness, it looks like he just went back to his Euro club team during the lockout, who had been relegated since he’d left, and lifted them back into the main league)
    35: 8 (Euro starter)
    36: 8 (Euro starter)
    37: 9 (quality Euro starter – he’s having a very good year from the looks of things)

    Tomas Vokoun

    18: 7 (Euro backup)
    19: 4 (ECHL backup?)
    20: 8 (AHL starter)
    21: 7 (AHL backup)
    22: 10 (NHL backup)
    23: 10 (NHL backup)
    24: 11 (quality NHL backup/platoon)
    25: 10 (NHL backup)
    26: 12 (NHL starter)
    27: 13 (quality NHL starter)
    28: 9 (quality Euro, lockout)
    29: 13 (quality NHL starter)
    30: 13 (quality NHL starter)
    31: 13 (quality NHL starter)
    32: 13 (quality NHL starter)

    So far, I’m disliking how the leagues are stratified. Is a fringe AHLer better than an elite ECHLer? Is a fringe Euro leaguer better than an elite junior? Probably not. I’m also not sure where the fringe/role player distinction comes in with goalies; I’m going with unremarkable vs. remarkable backup for now.

    Miikka Kiprusoff

    Our friend, our enemy, he of the linearly decreasing ESSV% (dig the slope of that curve – 0.070-0.075/y since the lockout), and finally, some decent Euro-Jr stats.

    17: 4 (regular Euro Jr)
    18: 4 (regular Euro Jr)
    19: 6? See, again, here’s the problem with this system. How do you classify a goalie with 3 games in Fin-Jr (Meh), 5 in Fin-2 (very good), and 12 in Fin (ouch)?
    20: 9 (quality Euro starter)
    21: 8 (Euro starter)
    22: 9 (quality Euro starter)
    23: 9 (quality AHL starter)
    24: 9 (quality AHL starter)
    25: 11 (quality NHL backup)
    26: 10 (NHL backup)
    27: 14 (impact NHLer)
    28: 9 (quality Euro starter, lockout)
    29: 14 (impact NHLer)
    30: 13 (quality NHL starter)
    31: 12 (NHL starter)
    32: 12 (NHL starter)

    Nothing wholly unremarkable here, though I think the lockout data should be tossed for everyone, since it skews things; the AHL and Euro leagues became the new top leagues by default that year.

    I dunno about Fernandez or Thomas, but based on those four, I don’t see quite the scattershot pattern you do, Coach, possibly in part due to the very clear league stratification on this scale.

  98. Bryanbryoil says:

    Hey LT, did you ask permission to use that pic? I’m the only guy that has posted it on the net, it was taken by a friend of mine on HF.

    ;) just screwing with ya, but seriously I know where you got that pic from LOL!

  99. Lowetide says:

    Crazy Coach: I think the Oilers could get a second round pick for Schremp, or a solid rental at the deadline. He’s having a poor season but a team with holes (ATL) would probably give up some of their future for him. Not worth a 1st, though, even a late one imo.

  100. DeBakey says:

    After July 1 St. Robbie is available for free.
    Offer hime 3 years, $600,000 per, one-way,
    and the Oilers won’t match.
    No Compensation

  101. Lowetide says:

    Bryan: It’s a beauty pic!

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