Trains, Planes and Automobiles

















There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run
When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun
Long before the white man and long before the wheel
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real.
-Gordon Lightfoot.

Many years ago in a huge building not far from the railway tracks there lived a hockey team that was deep down the middle. No, check that: historically deep down the middle. When 99 left the ice Messier powered onto it and as he flagged MacT would play his measured and intelligent style. At the deadline, they’d add Keith Acton just so the other teams would know what overkill looked like and that doom awaited them in the second season.

The period of time since the Chris Pronger trade has seen monumental imbalance at one roster spot or the other. I always imagined a plane on takeoff, with one wing barely off the ground and the other halfway up the sky and seeking more. Balance has been a mystery for the Edmonton Oilers since the day the music died in Raleigh.

With a new group at the helm there are plenty of chores to do, many of them surrounding this crazy load of disjointed players on the roster. A bunch of small skill forwards married to a bunch of other forwards who can’t keep up; a bunch of young centers who can’t play the position married to a 40-ish goalie who should be pushing for his final shot at a Stanley. And two freaking guys on the whole roster who have a 50% chance to win a faceoff.

If the Edmonton Oilers were an autombobile, they’d be one of those modified Ranchero’s you’d see on the prairies in the 1970s (note: teenage boys and young men in their 20s had this weird habit of cutting vehicles that weren’t Ranchero’s in half and welding on the ass of a half-ton. I personally have never seen a more ridiculous site).

Especially at center.

Below we listed the even strength faceoff numbers and found (well we knew already) that over half of the center position was devoted to developing kids. One thing is absolutely clear: you can change the coach, you can change the GM, you can change the locker room colors, you can change every damn thing you want, but you cannot roll out kids and expect them to beat men in the National Hockey League (unless they’re Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Anderson, etc).

With that in mind, let’s do up a quick depth chart for the Oilers at center. The numbers are 5×5/60; 5×4/60; quality of competition; quality of linemate; +/- in endzone faceoffs and finally FO percentage.

  1. Horcoff 1.59/3.68/toughest/toughest/+156/53.9
  2. Brodziak 1.62/7.02/soft parade/dregs/+149/51.6
  3. Gagner 1.69/3.12/3rd level/good 2nd level/-39/42.0
  4. Cogliano 1.69/3.39/3rd level/3rd level/-39/37.2

These are the guys who took the faceoffs. Horcoff took 1756, Brodziak 947, Cogliano 702, Gagner 690. Pouliot was next on the list at 211, but we’ll look at him when discussing the wingers. By the way, we looked at defense and goal earlier.

Some things we can conclude:

  1. Faceoffs are important and when you’re losing like Gagner and Cogliano did well it’s time for reinforcements. It’s not the most important stat, but it isn’t death by papercut either.
  2. Breaking in two young centers at one time sounded like a bad idea and now we have proof.
  3. A little help for Horcoff is extremely likely to improve his numbers in all areas.
  4. Kyle Brodziak is underrated if you go by the boxcars. He should be able to make some hay if he gets better linemates and the Oilers can sign a veteran center to help in the FO circle.
  5. The Oilers have to decide between Gagner and Cogliano at center. Move one to the wing or trade him. This is unbearable.

Tambellini made some nice moves at the deadline (O’Sullivan, I liked Kotalik) and signed a safe head coach to get them through 40 miles of bad road. Hopefully the days of “you’re going the wrong way, you’re going to kill somebody” are in the rear view.

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130 Responses to "Trains, Planes and Automobiles"

  1. mjsh says:

    Going to be an interesting summer in Oilerland. I think some players that we like are going to leave. As you say and Tambo too, the mix is not very good.

    I think that Gagner and Cogs will improve and believe it not, I think Rowbear will improve as well if given the chance to stay. My sense is that he started to see the light towards the end of the year.

    To me the biggest question will be does the new coaching staff get the work effort required to succeed in the league?

    Call my glasses rose colored if you like, but I do not think the talent on this team is not far away from being successful. It was the lack of fight that killed them last year. Was it Mac T or are there other issues in the room that caused it.

  2. Hoos says:

    So LT, I'm dying to know what exactly was Mac T's issue with Brodziak? He was a HS along with Penner and Nilsson for the final game. Bad company or coincidence?

  3. Mr DeBakey says:

    Brodziak didn't play "greasy" enough
    If yer not scorin', yah better be hittin'.

    A small sample of available, and not so available Centermen:
    Player – FO%
    Manny Malhotra 58.0
    David Steckel 57.9
    Boyd Gordon 56.1
    Patrice Bergeron 54.5
    Brandon Dubinsky 53.6
    Jason Spezza 53.3
    Jeff Halpern 52.8
    Patrick Marleau 52.4
    Brooks Laich 51.1
    David Legwand 49.8
    Michael Peca 49.7
    Blair Betts 49.3
    Martin Hanzal 48.3
    Steven Reinprecht 46.3
    Nathan Horton 43.7

  4. Jonathan Willis says:

    Debakey: You missed Chris Gratton, who'd slot in right near the top of that list.

  5. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Good grief LT.

    How many "Horcoff is God" posts can you produce?

    Henrik is a much better hockey player and is available.

  6. geowal says:

    Breaking in two young centers at one time sounded like a bad idea and now we have proof.

    Agreed, but really we were breaking in three centres. Brodziak is slightly older but it was just his 2nd full season. Funny how his age may have translated to him looking like he sort of belonged there.
    And that doesn't count our centre-winger Pouliot (who you addressed) and our attempt to "break-in"/"force" Pisani into the centre position.

    Seeing the numbers does help understand why MacT at least wanted to try out Pisani at centre.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Now that there is a structure emerging from the abyss, it's obvious that the team is in for a major overhaul. Horcoff and Gagner are quality players but look for Sundin or Tampa's Vinnie or someone of that ilk to be parachuted in to allow the team a FIRST LINE CENTRE!

    Penner will be motivated by the big Irishman, instead of being ignored/publicly attacked, which will cause him to have a very good season either in Edmonton or the AHL. Another big winger ala Jagr will be added along with a younger than 30's hard nosed forward.

    In other words, look for Horcoff on the third line, where he can do what he does best: Play outstanding defence, while pitching in for around 20 goals. No way is he the 'first line centre' next season. He's a fine hockey player, but never in a million years is he going to be good enough to lead any kind of contending team, and Gagner's the future.

    Cogliano either ends up on the wing or leaves town along with Nilsson in the upcoming purge. At least one of Pisani/Moreau leaves town: Both are older and injury prone now and can't really be counted on to even stay healthy.

    Imagine if Stortini breaks out next year? No one talks about him(probably embarrassed), but he really improved last season.

    I actually liked last years defence, or the top four, so hope they keep these guys around. Screw promoting bottom pairing defencemen, in the hope they're going to improve. That's just so 1990's. :P

  8. Lowetide says:

    FCM: As long as it takes. :-)

  9. Phil says:

    Going strictly by the numbers, Brodz needs to play every second of every powerplay…

  10. Mr DeBakey says:

    Just a reminder

    The new Oiler Coach,
    former Maple Leaf head coach Pat Quinn,
    stated that the Oilers have two good Centers
    "and we'll see about the rest"
    The two good'uns are, presumably:
    - God Horcoff
    - Samwise Gagner

  11. knighttown says:

    I'd can't quite let that last topic go LT. It's great to see so many heavyweights chime in, especially when they go head-to-head.

    I'd like to discuss Rivers comments to Bruce about Stortini. The assessment was that Zorg's Corsi number was so bad that he should be press box'd more often than not. Although 46's Corsi was really crappy that is to be expected based on his situation.

    Very simply, 4th liners on bad hockey teams do not have positive Corsis. Here are the reasons:

    1. Although the coach WANTS them to play the dregs, the opposing coach does not, especially on the road. I picked a random Saturday night road game against LA. One would assume it was Stortini-Ivanins all night right? In fact, he faced Raitis twice but saw the Kopitar line three times, Brown line 3 times. He only matched up with Handzus once.

    2. He always plays with crap. Not only does he have to play against Anze Kopitar but he has to do it with Liam Reddox on his wing. This was a bad team with bad players.

    3. He gets paid very little and does a job. It's easy to say to PB him but I'd wager that everyone available to play RW on line 4 is going to get slaughtered and many of them can't do the other things.

    In summary, it is exceedingly rare to find an exclusive 4th liner, paid minimum wage on a non-playoff team with a positive CORSI. To expect that from Zack is ridiculous.

  12. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    FCM: As long as it takes. :-)

    That should just about take us to the end of his contract.

  13. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Mr DeBakey said…
    Just a reminder

    The new Oiler Coach,
    former Maple Leaf head coach Pat Quinn,
    stated that the Oilers have two good Centers
    "and we'll see about the rest"
    The two good'uns are, presumably:
    - God Horcoff
    - Samwise Gagner

    Or perhaps he would be putting those players into context and looking for a dominant #1C.

    Just a guess.

  14. PDO says:

    FCM there are MAYBE ten of those.

  15. Lowetide says:

    So, let me get this straight. Zack Stortini is too good to play with the likes of Reddox? I think maybe we've reached the point in the summer where we've talked ourselves into something our eyes wouldn't allow in February.

  16. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    PDO said…
    FCM there are MAYBE ten of those.

    Ten what?

    Ten players who are okay at EV (barely) but are dreadful on the PP and PK?

    Okay.

  17. PDO says:

    Ten DOMINANT C's.

    Z, Datsyuk, Thornton, Getzlaf, Crosby, Malkin.

    That's about it.

  18. bookie says:

    Yeah, the team has been out of balance, but so are a lot of things in sports that have been successes. Mohamed Ali was a terrible boxer, but he won some fights.

    Sometimes a team will lose two of their star players and then all of the sudden be a better team dispite the logical 'hole' in their lineup.

    The point I am trying to make is that when things are structurally imperfect, you need to be able to take advantage of the things that you are stronger at than the other teams. If your team is small and skilled, then the skill should at least help somewhat to make up for the lack of size.

    The problem really comes when the team is 'unbalanced' and the coach insists on coaching them like a 'balanced' team. Putting people like Horcoff and Hemsky in checking roles and trying to make Penner a ruffian is the kind of asinine things that a coach could end up doing if he tried that.

    The best team to have is a balanced one perhaps, but a team that is coached to its strengths often comes out ahead.

    I simply think that LT has been way too forgiving for MacT and that the balance issue is an excuse. We all knew at the begining of the year that this team was a good one with a few weakenesses, but none of us expected the coach to continually attempt to emphasize those weaknesses with his coaching decisions.

    I don't think we will see dramatic changes this year. Tambi said "We think we can get a lot more out of some of these guys" I agree, and I think the coming season will tell us if we are right or if LT is right…it will probably be somewhere down the middle and we will all be wrong.

  19. boopronger says:

    In other words, look for Horcoff on the third line, where he can do what he does best: Play outstanding defence, while pitching in for around 20 goals. No way is he the 'first line centre' next season. He's a fine hockey player, but never in a million years is he going to be good enough to lead any kind of contending team, and Gagner's the future.

    No way can he lead a contending team… Except he did with 19 points in '06.

    I dont mind people saying he cant succeed in the #1 center position, but come on, at least give him the second line center position. This "Horcoff is only a third line center" stuff should stop already.

  20. Lowetide says:

    bookie: Let's not kid ourselves, there are going to be changes. I'm not predicting that, Tambellini said it.

    I do agree we should expect improvement from the young players, although not in a straight line. A guy like Gagner is still just a kid, basically the same age as Cogs when he arrived.

    Farther along, mind you. But still a kid.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    It's not that Horcoff can't play on the second line, but where does Gagner go?

  22. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    PDO said…
    Ten DOMINANT C's.

    Z, Datsyuk, Thornton, Getzlaf, Crosby, Malkin.

    That's about it.

    Sedin
    Richards
    Zajac
    Backstrom

    Just to name a few.

    Horcoff isn't even in this conversation.

  23. PDO says:

    Dominant… Zajac? Backstrom? You're kidding, right? Richards isn't insane, but he isn't a slam dunk either.

    And Horcoff and Sedin's have had very similar numbers every year (rates, not counting) with the exception of last year.

    I'm talking 10's.

    You're talking 8.5's and bitching about our 8.

  24. PDO says:

    Fact is, there are VERY few 10's in the league… and in that group after, there's not a whole lot to choose from. They're still #1 C's, but the differences are pretty negligible more often than not.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    Only the deluded really believe Horcoff is a first line centre.

    But since the past generation of Oiler fans have seen nothing but bad teams, combined with an even more delusional front office/coaching staff issuing a perpetual stream of similarly deluded communiques, it's not surprising.

  26. Bar Qu says:

    That final line reminds me of the great scene in Planes, Trains and Automobiles – classic scene, classic movie.

    Probably a great metaphor for the team too. Instead of hanging around in Topeka, waiting to see how things shake out, they end up renting a lemon, hitting a deer and setting the car on fire while making 200 miles of forward progress (on a 1000 mile trip). In hindsight, tanking the season after Pronger would have let the Oil seek out a great draft pick and we would see some hope now.

    Which is why I am not hoping for big things this season. A tweak here, a tweak there. No trading the core of the D for a top six winger and a top goalie. No giving up on blue-chip projects to remedy a short-term problem. And for the love of puppies, please don't throw the piggybank at a 'superstar'. The team is too far from that to make it worth it – not to mention a guy has got to want to play for an organisation for something more than money anyways.

  27. Traktor says:

    Mr DeBakey:

    Pat Quinn actually said "We have two good YOUNG guys, and then we'll go from there."

    I can only assume that he fumbled his words but if management is dreaming big then maybe not.

  28. Bar Qu says:

    Only the deluded really believe Horcoff is a first line centre.

    And only the deluded believe that there aren't twenty teams out there that wouldn't love a Horcoff.

    I would weigh in with facts and such, but this debate seems to be more of a "I think chartreuse is better than red" kind of thing where facts don't change minds. So …. yeah.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Bar Qu: Yeah, we seem to have cooled off after a beauty run in the previous thread and are now back to "my Dad is bigger than your Dad."

    But what the hey, Al Gore never promised me a Rose Garden.

  30. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    Bar Qu: Yeah, we seem to have cooled off after a beauty run in the previous thread and are now back to "my Dad is bigger than your Dad."

    But what the hey, Al Gore never promised me a Rose Garden

    And now LT, you're resorting to personification.

    Why exactly is Horcoff more valuable than Henrik as the devotees here have suggested?

  31. Jonathan Willis says:

    Only the deluded really believe Horcoff is a first line centre.

    Except for 2005-06, of course.

    Back then though people were saying he was an AHL'er, so I suppose we've made progress when his critics are willing to call him a third-liner.

  32. Ribs says:

    Anyone heard any news on Madden's contract status? Who am I kidding…He'll never come.

  33. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Jonathan Willis said…
    Only the deluded really believe Horcoff is a first line centre.

    Except for 2005-06, of course.

    Back then though people were saying he was an AHL'er, so I suppose we've made progress when his critics are willing to call him a third-line centre.

    Well there you go then.

    Someone who produced acceptable numbers 3 years ago must be all there is.

  34. HBomb says:

    Someone who produced acceptable numbers 3 years ago must be all there is.

    And the point-per-game pace prior to injury in 2007-08 or the managing to outscore the opposition's best in 2008-09 despite a down year in terms of boxcar stats, these numbers aren't acceptable?

  35. Coach pb9617 says:

    It's probably fantasy land, but I wonder what Florida would want for Stephen Weiss?

    McCabe, Allen and Ballard are under contract for a combined $12,850,000 and that's all they've got on the defense…

    Horcoff
    Weiss
    Gagner
    Brodziak

    I don't mind that one bit…

  36. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    HBomb said…
    Someone who produced acceptable numbers 3 years ago must be all there is.

    And the point-per-game pace prior to injury in 2007-08 or the managing to outscore the opposition's best in 2008-09 despite a down year in terms of boxcar stats, these numbers aren't acceptable?

    No, they aren't.

    Did any other player, out produce him during that period?

    Or are you using injury as an excuse?

    See Souray for reference.

  37. Coach pb9617 says:

    And the point-per-game pace prior to injury in 2007-08 or the managing to outscore the opposition's best in 2008-09 despite a down year in terms of boxcar stats, these numbers aren't acceptable?

    Nope. We must have Jason Spezza so he can get creamed by the second toughs.

  38. hunter1909 says:

    I actually think Horcoff is an excellent hockey player, who could play for any team in the league.

    Just not as a first line player. Unless of course, the NHL team is disfunctional.

    Horcoff touted as first line = Smid at left wing, Pisani at centre, Moreau as Captain, 39 year old goalies starting 30 games in a row.

    That sort of thing.

  39. HBomb says:

    Horcoff is, at worst, a 2nd line center, and if he is your 2C option, your team is probably pretty damn good (i.e. top six in the league).

    Anyone who actually believes this "he's a third liner" junk that gets tossed around needs to, for lack of a better term, grow a brain.

  40. hunter1909 says:

    Horcoff's vaunted "point per game pace", only stopped by injuries is like saying Claude Larose, a third line player for the Canadiens was really a first line player, after he scored about 16 goals in 7-8 games one season.

  41. Coach pb9617 says:

    Did any other player, out produce him during that period?

    At center? Yes. Five players did so:

    Pavel Datsyuk
    Evgeni Malkin
    Stephen Weiss
    Craig Conroy
    Mike Richards

    None came close to pulling the sled he pulled this year.

  42. hunter1909 says:

    Okay so you have Horcoff at 2nd line. You also need a first line centre. So, where do you play Gagner?

    Some people are fixated on Horcoff staying off the third line, even when common sense might dictate it.

    It's like MacT's ghost still haunts the fanbase. Horcoff would be a superstar third liner while an infinitely more talented Gagner gets sheltered minutes on the 2nd line.

  43. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Coach pb9617 said…
    Did any other player, out produce him during that period?

    At center? Yes. Five players did so:

    Pavel Datsyuk
    Evgeni Malkin
    Stephen Weiss
    Craig Conroy
    Mike Richards

    Good grief.

    Go and check Henrik Sedin's numbers.

    It's not even close..

  44. HBomb says:

    FCM: Define "production".

    .

  45. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    HBomb said…
    FCM: Define "production".

    Points

    Consistency

    Qual Comp

    Qual Team

    PP stats

    PK stats

    One of these players is not like the other.

  46. HBomb says:

    FCM: So you're totally going to leave what the opposition does while on the ice out of the equation?

    Alrighty then.

  47. quain says:

    Well, if we're going to constantly bring up Henrik Sedin let's at least add a new argument: is Ales Hemsky anywhere near as good as Daniel Sedin yet? I mean, yeah, he can get his points, but Sedin actually pots goals… and I've been mildly worried that Hemsky isn't really an outscorer without Horcoff, but my worry mostly stems from his time with Gagner, and Gagner isn't much to write home about.

  48. Asiaoil says:

    I continue to want to turn the page on this runt forward fetish that Lowe developed since 06. If PIT was willing to consider a trade with something like Staal for Gags/MAP or Cogs/Gilbert as the key pieces – that's what I would do. Running Horcoff-Staal down the middle in the top 6 would be formidable – then you keep Brodziak who is cheap and add a bigger cheap vet like Betts and you are done. That's a big, tough outscoring bunch.

    As for Horcoff – he puts up results just not sexy boxcars – that's what the critics focus on. Put him up against Z, Datsyuk, Thornton, Getzlaf, Crosby, Malkin and he will outscore some these guys over a playoff series and play the others pretty much even up. That's not wishful thinking – it's been proven – and it's something very very few other centers in this league can do.

  49. HBomb says:

    Someone needs to look at H. Sedin vs. Horcoff. I'd wager it is an upgrade if you get Sedin, but how big of one?

    I'd be in favor of making the moves to do that upgrade, but not because Henrik is miles ahead of #10. The reason I would is because Daniel is a gigantic improvement on anything we have on LW, and those two come as a package deal.

    As discussed before though, it would take quite a salary dump to pull it off. All of Moreau, Staios, Souray and Penner out the door, replaced by bare-bones minimum salaries. So you have to get rid of Horcoff as well.

    To land the twins, my guess is that it's going to cost some team roughly 13 million dollars in cap hit. In other words, roughly 25 percent of what the 2010/11 salary cap could end up being.

    It's a great idea, and if Tambellini could pull it off, more power to him. Thing is, I cannot see it happening simply based on the logistics of it.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Hunter: I think they'll give Gagner increased PP minutes this season and run Horcoff out there against the tough opp. again. Hopefully they get a veteran C who can handle the PK and 2nd toughest EVs and then use Brodziak as a soft parade guy with better linemates.

    I think Brodziak could be a quality 4line guy who could step in on the 2line should Gagner slump or go through some growing pains.

    But Horcoff is the class of the group, and it goes without saying that he's easily among the best C's in the game. I suspect most of the anger toward Horcoff has to do with the contract, and it's a matter of piling on at this point.

    Still think he's a helluva player, glad he's on our side.

  51. Ribs says:

    S.Horcoff, T.White, J.Arnott, M.Koivu…bah.. third liners! The bunch of them!

    *Shakes cane at wind*

  52. Bar Qu says:

    As for Horcoff – he puts up results just not sexy boxcars – that's what the critics focus on. Put him up against Z, Datsyuk, Thornton, Getzlaf, Crosby, Malkin and he will outscore some these guys over a playoff series and play the others pretty much even up. That's not wishful thinking – it's been proven – and it's something very very few other centers in this league can do.

    Beautiful post. Thank you.

  53. mjsh says:

    Wow. Sure a lot of Horcoff bashing. When I watched what little I watched of the World Championships, I thought to myself. Self, I wonder if Horcoff could make the Olympic team.

    Good two way player, outscores the tough competion. Shane Doan but a center?

  54. Traktor says:

    I'd be interested on some of your opinions of Brad Boyes.

    2.30 GFON60
    3.16 GAON60

    He was only facing middle of the pack competition.

    Personally I don't think you could find many players that are better suited to play with Hemsky but most here would probably cast him away because of his poor behindthenet stats.

    I'm just wondering if most around here would prefer, Horcoff or Brad Boyes?

  55. HBomb says:

    mjsh: Mark my words – if Horcoff has a start like he did in fall of 2007 leading up to the choosing of the Olympic Team in mid-December (i.e. around a point per game), he's going to be in the discussion for the 13th forward spot.

    He's a longshot for sure, but if some guys slump and other guys are injured, he'd get a look for the Peca/Draper role – he could do the job either of those guys did in 2002 and 2006, and then a bit.

  56. HBomb says:

    Traktor: you're comparing apples to oranges (center to winger), but if Boyes is getting outscored like that against 2nd tier opposition, even on a bad team, how the heck do you take that guy over Horcoff?

    That's like asking if one would take Joffrey Lupul over Shawn Horcoff. Come on. Based on the fact they play different positions, it's a moot debate to begin with.

    Or are you going to argue Boyes' credentials based on his status as a "one shot scorer", one of those mythical beasts we hear about all the time?

  57. mjsh says:

    Hbomb:

    It will be interesting to see if he gets an invite to the camp this summer. My guess is that he will.

    Jason Spezza, he is not, and for that I am glad.

  58. Lowetide says:

    I'd take Boyes on the PP and nowhere else. Horcoff isn't really the same type of player though, so the comparison is difficult. The Sedin comp is a better one for discussion imo.

  59. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    As for Horcoff – he puts up results just not sexy boxcars – that's what the critics focus on. Put him up against Z, Datsyuk, Thornton, Getzlaf, Crosby, Malkin and he will outscore some these guys over a playoff series and play the others pretty much even up. That's not wishful thinking – it's been proven – and it's something very very few other centers in this league can do.

    So his playoff history is the stuff of legend then?

  60. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    HBomb said…
    mjsh: Mark my words – if Horcoff has a start like he did in fall of 2007 leading up to the choosing of the Olympic Team in mid-December (i.e. around a point per game), he's going to be in the discussion for the 13th forward spot.

    He's a longshot for sure, but if some guys slump and other guys are injured, he'd get a look for the Peca/Draper role – he could do the job either of those guys did in 2002 and 2006, and then a bit.

    So our best centre MIGHT be considered for the 13th forward spot.

    Let's plan the parade.

  61. HBomb says:

    So his playoff history is the stuff of legend then?

    19 points in 24 games during a run to game seven of the Cup finals isn't the stuff of legend, but it's nothing to sneeze at either.

    And he had a decent series in 2003 against Dallas as well, at a time where he was a depth player for the club.

  62. Traktor says:

    I think Boyes has played some center over the course of his career but I could be wrong. He took 315 draws last year and was 49.5%.

  63. bookie says:

    Hey Guys, this just in, The Oilers are going to have Horcoff and Sedin play first line centre duct taped together and as such each players salary only counts at 50% towards the cap.

    They figure if it works at GM and at Coach, then what the hell.

    LT – The changes will be tinkering or perhaps one biggy….I am just saying that the team is not being completely overhauled.

  64. Lowetide says:

    bookie: I think they'll bring in 2 goalies, trade a D plus an F for a bigger F, offload Nilsson plus Schremp if there's a buyer and sign a veteran D for depth.

    That's another busy summer.

  65. Coach pb9617 says:

    That's not wishful thinking – it's been proven – and it's something very very few other centers in this league can do

    Outscore toughs?

    Craig Conroy, Pavel Datsyuk, Scott Gomez, Shawn Horcoff, Evgeni Malkin, Mike Richards, Derek Roy, Eric Staal, Stephen Weiss

  66. Lowetide says:

    Plus add a veteran center.

  67. Sean says:

    Horcoff will be in the Olympic team discussions with a decent start because of KLo, Tambellini and Quinns pull. I dont think he belongs in the mix myself – and thats not an insult by any means the team is just too good.

  68. Sean says:

    LT what qualifies as a veteran Ce? 300+ NHL games?

    We've already invested 150+ games in 13, 89 and 51. I dont know whats a poorer investment – playing too many kids that could be developing elsewhere or developing them for 150 games and trading them away.

    I cant think of many scenarios where 13 is traded for a veteran C and 2 years from now I'm happy with the trade.

  69. Lowetide says:

    Sean: I'd think they'll move Cogliano over to LW and run with:

    Horcoff
    Gagner
    vet C acquired
    Brodziak

    With Brodziak moving up as needed. I know some will say Brodziak is better than that and that may be true based on this depth chart but then again depth is a nice thing and the Oilers have had a lot of success in the past when they rolled an effective 4line (I'm thinking specifically of the Dowd line).

  70. HBomb says:

    Horcoff will be in the Olympic team discussions with a decent start because of KLo, Tambellini and Quinns pull. I dont think he belongs in the mix myself – and thats not an insult by any means the team is just too good.

    And this is very likely the case. However, and injury there and a slump there, and you'd never know.

    I think that, for that 13th forward spot, they'd look at a guy like Horcoff long before they look at a player like Spezza, mostly because they'll have plenty of high-end offensive guys on the first three lines.

  71. Sean says:

    LT, I'm fine with moving 13 to LW but it presses the situation with the captain (again I'm ok with).

    Too many forwards, elevator only fits 12.

  72. HBomb says:

    LT: Judging by what I saw in games and the fact a lot of his offensive chances that he created for himself came from the right side of the ice, my instincts say that Cogliano would be better suited to RW.

    Depending on what sort of forward they can land might dictate which of O'Sullivan or Cogliano goes away in a trade. If it's a LW they're landing, POS goes. If they land a RW, it's Cogliano on the way out. That's how I see it potentially unfolding.

  73. Lowetide says:

    Well I think they'll need to decide between Cogliano and O'Sullivan.

    Penner
    Big W (acquired)
    Moreau
    Cogliano/O'Sullivan
    Jacques

  74. Coach pb9617 says:

    I cant think of many scenarios where 13 is traded for a veteran C and 2 years from now I'm happy with the trade.

    Stephen Weiss

  75. speeds says:

    What does everyone think of Betts as a potential UFA addition?

    He seems like a guy with some stuff pointing him, perhaps, in EDM's direction, not the least of which he seems like a decent fit.

    6'3", 210 lbs. UFA, probably come fairly inexpensively as a #4 C. Played in NYR, and thus has a relationship with Renney. Led NYR players in SH TOI/game, and NYR's PK was #1 in the NHL this past season. Behind the net numbers don't look great, but he does have one of the worst Q of teammates I've seen.

  76. Asiaoil says:

    Betts would be fine – brings a number of useful things like size and PK – nice start to a bottom 6 overhaul. That's the end of MAP if we bring him in though – no that that's a big issue.

  77. quain says:

    Coach, if they could turn Cogliano-plus into Weiss I would give Tambs a five year reprieve before I even thought of criticising him.

    Weiss is on a beauty contract and seems to be an absolute stud down the middle. Hell, if you can make Horcoff-Weiss-Gagner-Brodziak your center depth (and order of difficulty of minutes), you're going to win some games.

  78. Sean says:

    Coach, good call on Weiss. Cogliano+ for him or Staal are 2 scenarios I'd be on board but like I said their aren't many. I like adding Betts as well but we have a ton of contracts to dispose of once we start talking of adding forwards.

    What do you folks think the return on Nilsson would be?

  79. Dennis says:

    Speeds: I like Betts and I think he'd be a good fit. He would be bring some learning-by-doing exercises with him regarding Renney's impressive PK and without looking it up I believe he had a good BTN season in '08.

    I have lots of questions about '09 but one of them is why 13 was allowed to drown at pivot all year. I imagine that won't happen again and that LT's last post sets up the pivot depth chart pretty damn accurately.

  80. Alice says:

    The 'boys vs men' premise has been rolled out many times, to [partly] excuse the coach and [partly] excuse the players' underachievement.

    From nhl.com team site rosters,
    Edm Oiler fwds thru 23 yrs of age? Four. (Gagner, Cogs, Reddox, Stortini). And the latter two have pretty limited roles.

    Hawks fwds thru 23 yrs? Nine. (Kane, Toews, Skille, Bolland, Brophey, Ladd, Versteeg, Bickel, Brouwer)

    That we have MAP and co. age 24 and up still finding their sea-legs – true. But it's not because they're a bunch of kids anymore.

  81. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach, if they could turn Cogliano-plus into Weiss I would give Tambs a five year reprieve before I even thought of criticising him.

    I think it would have to be defense going the other way, and not meaning to sound like LT, it would be Gilbert. Gilbert + Nilsson + Petry? for Weiss?

    Weiss is on a beauty contract and seems to be an absolute stud down the middle. Hell, if you can make Horcoff-Weiss-Gagner-Brodziak your center depth (and order of difficulty of minutes), you're going to win some games.

    Agreed on that – that is the backbone of a team that is extremely difficult to play against at ES. Weiss was also part of the 3rd pair of penalty killers for Florida, so he can chip in there as well. His PP numbers would be second on the team behind Hemsky.

    I'd give up a TON for him.

    Coach, good call on Weiss. Cogliano+ for him or Staal are 2 scenarios I'd be on board but like I said their aren't many. I like adding Betts as well but we have a ton of contracts to dispose of once we start talking of adding forwards

    If it's Cogliano +, I can't see it being anything other than Cogliano + Smid + Petry. And if it's Cogliano, now you need a goal-scorer for Weiss' playmaking.

    What do you folks think the return on Nilsson would be?

    That's one of the three selling low guys, and I don't think it would be much at this point.

  82. quain says:

    Not to quibble too much with your point, but you listed three guys that played a grand total of eight games for the Blackhawks.

    And if you use their NHlNumbers.com ages, you'll see that Nilsson, Pouliot, O'Sully, and JFJ also fell into that group.

    But, I won't even argue that the problem was that we had too many young guys, the problem was we had too many young guys (and old guys) who sucked. And we compounded it by sticking some young guys in poor positions to succeed (see: Cogliano, Andrew at center).

  83. Tweezer So Cold says:

    those st.louis uni's = worst ever!

    john candy was underrated, best ever.

    we've seen horcoff great and, according to the numbers guys, when he's bad he at least is holding his own. some consistency would be nice.

    we need a new centreman, it will be either a star who can do it all and bump Shawn down a line – or we sign the fancy czech poodle for the wing and add a PK/faceoff guy.

    so glad we resolved the coaching question early, the whole NW division is in total turmoil! as it should, the Central has blown by as the new quality division in the West.

    reality: agree totally with mjsh, 1st post. we were close last year, fix the PK and we are golden!

    Fantasy GM: i would trade Horcoff and Hemsky for Rick Nash and some useful pieces. He's every bit as good as Getzlaf.

  84. Smarmy Boss says:

    Jonathon Willis said:

    [I]Back then though people were saying he was an AHL'er, so I suppose we've made progress when his critics are willing to call him a third-liner.[/I]

    Nobody was saying he was an AHLer.

    As to LT's topic. The unbalanced roster has always been a Lowe special. Didn't just start with Pronger's departure.

  85. DBO says:

    Good post LT. Hope the Org looks at this website.

    A tough minutes centre would look great on this team. Quinn mentioned he doesn't like to match forward lines, but would rather roll 4 lines and move a good defensive player between the lines to turn it into a "checking" line when needed. But it all starts with centre. i like Weiss, but to follow the tambellini line of thinking, i say again go get Dubinsky. he's everything Tambellini wants, fills a need and has potnetial to get better. Not sure if he's available, but I'd deal Cogs ++ for him.

  86. Alice says:

    Quain, yes, that's the point exactly. The youngest of our lot, Gagner and Cogs, have 2 seasons now under their belts, their at-bats are not what's costing us anymore – other than Cogs particular misery at the dot.

    There's a lot of shitting the bed going on in the sophomore+ class, and whether that's the coach's fault or poor development planning by the team, or injuries, well you still have to call it what it is. They're not rookies, and if there's still 'not enough NHL players', well then we can agree on the problem. Maybe they're not NHL-calibre, but since they're not 21 anymore either, maybe what we really need is to cut-bait on some of the tweeners.

  87. Oilmaniac says:

    Bravo bravo…

    You've been writing good stuff for ages… but this was a delightful read for myself… hockey analysis aside, well done…

    thanks again for doing what you do LT…

  88. HBomb says:

    Fantasy GM: i would trade Horcoff and Hemsky for Rick Nash and some useful pieces. He's every bit as good as Getzlaf.

    No way is Nash in Getzlaf's league right now.

    For my money, #15 Anaheim is one of the best five forwards in the game right now (Crosby, Ovechkin, Zetterberg, Malkin, Getzlaf, in that order, IMO).

    Also for my money, I still firmly believe that he SHOULD have been wearing copper and blue at this point – the fact that he was not insisted upon as the primary piece of the return for CFP disgusts me to no end.

    So what if we only get 2 or 3 assets instead of five? Would anyone care right now if we had Getzlaf but did not have Eberle and Nash? Didn't think so.

  89. Coach pb9617 says:

    Also for my money, I still firmly believe that he SHOULD have been wearing copper and blue at this point – the fact that he was not insisted upon as the primary piece of the return for CFP disgusts me to no end.

    So what if we only get 2 or 3 assets instead of five? Would anyone care right now if we had Getzlaf but did not have Eberle and Nash? Didn't think so.

    And the team should have Parise instead of Pouliot and Pominville instead of Lynch and Duncan Keith instead of Deslauriers, Mike Green instead of Rob Schremp, Comeau instead of O'Marra, Chara instead of Devereaux…

    Dude, you're going to get an ulcer focusing on stuff like that. Old, vengeful women think like that. Let it go and you shall be free.

  90. Vic Ferrari says:

    coachpb9617:

    Weiss' name has been mentioned a bit in the last two threads. Is he the guy that was really driving the bus though, or was it Horton?

    I don't see the East enough to have an opinion. I did catch a couple of games vs the Isles after Smyth was traded though, and Horton/Weiss were getting the assignment against Smyth/Yashin at home. Denis Potvin was doing colour and he remarked on this, and made it sound as if this was Martin's modus operandi. And to my eye Horton looked like the key player on that line.

    Thing is, Bolland looks like a Horcoffian player by this year's numbers, but we've all seen enough of the Hawks to know that his linemate Havlat was the guy driving the bus. Plus Havlat has a recent history of playing tough minutes successfully, Bolland doesn't at all.

    So maybe it's the same deal with Weiss and Horton, I dunno.

    It would be cool if we could download game tape from NHL.com. Maybe one day.

  91. HBomb says:

    Coach: drafting is one thing. Yes, the Parise f-up bugs the hell out of me, but in reality, it's a crapshoot. Every team out there has a long list of "what ifs" they kick themselves over.

    Getzlaf, to my eye, after the 2006 Western Conference final, clearly was the "creme de la creme" of Anaheim's youngsters. He's the guy Lowe should have flat-out demanded in return for a peak-value CFP. Different case altogether than a botched draft pick.

    In short form – Joffrey Lupul? Seriously? That's it? That was my honest-to-god initial reaction at the time. I tried to be optimistic about it that summer, but by the middle of November 2006, I had already soured on the guy. To put it simply, he wasn't (and probably still isn't) a very good NHLer.

  92. Oilmaniac says:

    Boopronger…
    "No way can he lead a contending team… Except he did with 19 points in '06. "

    Offence was a weak point of the 06 team.. without pronger (whom pretty much had to lead the team w points and denfence) and pisani being sooo clutch.. the team would have died much ealier… cus being led by horcoff as a scorer is folly…

  93. Oilmaniac says:

    Bar Qu..

    "And only the deluded believe that there aren't twenty teams out there that wouldn't love a Horcoff."

    How many teams are going to trade away their legit first line centre to fit in horcoff under the cap…

  94. Oilmaniac says:

    But to follow up two horcoff bashing posts..

    I also agree that with the signing of a vet/tough 3rd line center that horcoff gets free'd from the d-zone (as per the D vs O faceoff post by LT)… his production will go up, simply because of the reduced uphill battling…

    My comment against horc being identified as any kind of serious offensive threat I stand by.. thats hemmers job (plus whomever will come play saivor).. oh, also, please gawd… second line PP time at most…

  95. Statman says:

    Bookie – "Mohamed Ali was a terrible boxer"… you mean Muhammad Ali – Cassius Clay – was a terrible boxer?

  96. mc79hockey says:

    It would be cool if we could download game tape from NHL.com. Maybe one day.

    You actually can on GameCentre, if you're a member. I'm thinking about going purely online next year myself.

  97. mc79hockey says:

    RE: Weiss. The faceoff tool shows Horton getting the easiest faceoff locations on the Cats amongst those who matter, Weiss towards the hard end.

  98. Coach pb9617 says:

    Vic – Weiss and Horton didn't play together this year at all. Maybe a shift here and there, but they were separated for the entire year.

    Checking some guy's really neat shots tool, 9 is Weiss, 16 is Horton:

    99 is the pair

  99. Coach pb9617 says:

    Two years running Weiss has played the tough minutes with good linemates and whipped them.

  100. hunter1909 says:

    Muhammad Ali wan't a good boxer? As in winning the Olympic gold medal at light heavyweight doesn't take a good boxer? As in beating Sonny Liston for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world, aged 22, didn't take any boxing ability? Or the Muhammad Ali who, aged 32, stood toe to toe with George Foreman, KO'ing him in arguably the greatest fight in boxing history after changing his entire game plan from the moment the opening bell rang?

    Ali is almost universally considered to be the best technically proficient boxer in history, second only to Sugar Ray Robinson.

    What planet are you from?

  101. Coach pb9617 says:

    HBomb:

    Say it softly and slowly:

    oooooommmmmmmmmmm
    oooooommmmmmmmmmm
    oooooommmmmmmmmmm

  102. quain says:

    Just to save a few minutes for those who don't want to let Coach's link run, here's the Corsi for the two players:

    Weiss, alone: +3
    Horton, alone: -86
    Together: +16

    Combine it with Tyler's faceoff observation (I couldn't get the link to run, for whatever reason) and the only possible observation is that acquiring Weiss would cause too many heads to explode. He's basically the East's Horcoff (stats-wise, I don't think any of us willingly watch Florida enough to do the due diligence there), could you imagine HFBoard's angst?

    There's also the possibility that David Booth is a pretty good hockey player, too.

  103. quain says:

    Weiss, alone: -22
    Booth, alone: +31
    Together: +38

    Faceoffs (D – O):
    Weiss: +73
    Booth: +28
    Horton: -52
    Weiss + Booth: +9

    Weiss was playing the hardest QualComp among forwards, Booth was a few slots down, but the actual magnitude is ~.02.

    No idea if either is a superstar, but Booth has some nice things going for him and so does Weiss.

  104. Coach pb9617 says:

    Are you talking yourself into an offer sheet for Booth :)

  105. Ribs says:

    I love how the Florida fans yell Boooooooooo every time Booth touches the puck on home ice.

  106. Jonathan Willis says:

    Nobody was saying he was an AHLer.

    I take it you weren't hanging around HFBoards at the time. There were a few wags of that opinion, and many others who thought him at best a bottom-six option.

  107. digger says:

    While I would hardly go out of my way to describe Ali as a "terrible" box as Bookie did, I would suggest that Ali was extremely unconventional in his style, and had some habits in the ring that would've gotten many other fighters knocked the F out:

    -His propensity for leaning away from punches instead of using side to side movement
    -Often punching with his hands down near his waist instead of keeping them up

    Ali didn't do everything by the book, but that was OK because he had such incredible hand speed for a heavyweight, combined with unparalleled stamina and an underrated chin, that made him one of the all time greats among history's heavyweights.

  108. rickibear says:

    Only the deluded really believe Horcoff is a first line centre.

    First line center is such a joke of a term anyway.

    What you really mean is in your narrow veiw of the way the game is played you believe Shawn horcoff does not score the pretty little point count you need to fit.

    I am content with him outscoring the other teams best. Only 8 centers do it.

    FCM: You are trying to spit into a fan. It can be done, but it is not smart.

  109. Vic Ferrari says:

    Okay, I stand corrected on Weiss.

    And with Martin leaving Florida, perhaps there is a bit of a disconnect, and Weiss may be available for the right price.

  110. Coach pb9617 says:

    And with Martin leaving Florida, perhaps there is a bit of a disconnect, and Weiss may be available for the right price.

    This place would erupt with joy. HFboards and ON would get the torches and pitchforks.

  111. mc79hockey says:

    And with Martin leaving Florida, perhaps there is a bit of a disconnect, and Weiss may be available for the right price.

    I hope so too, but man – have you seen his contract? It's a beauty. Signed throught 2012-13 at a $3.1MM hit. If he's the real deal – and there seems to be some evidence that the guy's a player – that's a steal. The new guy would have to be awfully dumb to let that get away.

    Caveat: As always, those are SE numbers that he put up. God only knows what he'd do outside of that division, in the NHL.

  112. quain says:

    Ah, yeah, completely forgot about the Southeast bias. One would hope that with Washington fairly strong, Carolina not completely awful and a reduction in the number of games played within the divison that the numbers wouldn't be too terribly skewed.

    With that said, the numbers say he's good, the contract is fantastic, and I'm not getting paid to watch game tape of him… but hopefully someone in Oilers HQ is.

  113. hunter1909 says:

    rickibear: You're absolutely right. In my opinion, the best forwards do tend to score a lot of pretty points.

    Horcoff's ham fistedness in front of the net is exactly what makes him patently unfit for leading a(winning) NHL team.

    But don't worry. Even though Quinn and the rest of his crew are going to love Horcoff, for what he can do well, the smart money says by the time TC arrives there's going to be a nice shiny new center ice player on the Oilers, who will proceed to go out and score all of those "pretty little points" that you seem to think are not quite as honorable as those post dynasty loveable lunchpail ones were.

  114. Vic Ferrari says:

    Yeah, not just the southeast effect, but the eastern conference.

    It probably wouldn't take much to write a script to run the playershots.php numbers for just interconference play. I think that would show just how weak some of these eastern teams and players really are, relative to perception.

    If the Oilers played in the East next season, I'd be expecting a playoff berth for sure, with home ice in the first round being at least 50/50.

  115. quain says:

    A rough split for Weiss, just using counting numbers off Yahoo:

    vs. Division:
    23 GP
    3-19-22 +15
    1.91 SOG/GP

    vs. Conference (ex. SE):
    39 GP
    8-22-30 +8
    2.28 SOG/GP

    vs. Western Conference:
    16 GP
    3-6-9 -4
    1.31 SOG/GP

    That's not promising.

  116. hunter1909 says:

    Vic: I remember seeing the Oilers play the rags last season. The Oilers looked like they were close to being contenders for the cup.

  117. Vic Ferrari says:

    Turns out that only took a few minutes.

    For interconference results only, by way of example using FLA with A Weiss/Horton combo:

    http://timeonice.com/playershotsinter.php?team=FLA&first=20001&last=21230&henrik=9&daniel=16

  118. Coach pb9617 says:

    The new guy would have to be awfully dumb to let that get away.

    Maybe he wants to get big.

  119. Coach pb9617 says:

    That's not promising.

    Dammit. I always forget about the southeast bias.

  120. Coach pb9617 says:

    http://timeonice.com/playershotsinter.php?team=FLA&first=20001&last=21230&henrik=9&daniel=16.

    Weiss doesn't look all that bad by that metric, if he was still getting the tough matchup.

  121. R O says:

    How many teams are going to trade away their legit first line centre to fit in horcoff under the cap…

    We'll trade you Olli Jokinen for him. Straight up. We'll even give you the rights to Bertuzzi. Guy's huge, and just what Tambellini wants, right?

  122. Black Gold says:

    Joe Sacco is apparently an nhl coach.
    He's bringing his Lake Erie assistant Sylvain Lefebvre. Sacco's yet to coach a playoff game in two tries as head coach and one as assistant.
    Pat Quinn and Tom Renney look better and better with every other hiring around the league it seems. :)
    Hopefully this translates into 6 w's for the oil.
    Maybe it also translates into Taylor Hall playing for the Avs one day, haha.

  123. bookie says:

    While I would hardly go out of my way to describe Ali as a "terrible" box as Bookie did, I would suggest that Ali was extremely unconventional in his style, and had some habits in the ring that would've gotten many other fighters knocked the F out:
    .

    Yeah, I think that my point was missed in that statement. I not only think Ali was the greatest boxer of all time, I think he might be the greatest sports icon of all time. I love the guy.

    My point was that a lot of technical guys looked at him and identified him as a terrible boxer becuase he was not 'typical'. He had poor technique according to the boxing gurus. The only problem with their arguement was that he kept winning.

    I was commenting on how the typical design of a team is not allways required for sucess, because success involves taking advantage of strenghts so that they overcome weaknesses. I think LT overemphasizes 'balace' in team design.

  124. budorduke says:

    I propose Gilbert plus Rowbert for Milan Michalek.
    oiler style player with speed, but good size AND a left wing.
    Then bring in Foster or whoever and run Peckham out there for limited minutes if need be..
    But I've wanted Michalek for years.

  125. budorduke says:

    “Another GM getting a lot of attention is San Jose’s Doug Wilson. Sources say he has gotten numerous calls about captain Patrick Marleau and centre Joe Thornton after a first-round exit from the playoffs, thanks to the Ducks.

    “Wilson insisted he isn’t going to move either player, but he wants to make moves.”

  126. hunter1909 says:

    bookie: Having called you out over your Ali remark, now I feel like the pot that called the kettle black.

    One thing I love about Ali was, the way he would talk down to his often not too bright opponents – dragging the tone of conversation down to an elementary school yard level. The effect was, the opponents would not only get humiliated physically, but driven to distraction by the endless stream of childish taunts.

    Ali was a genius. Genius is always panned at first, since no one knows how to deal with it.

    Weren't the Gretzky Oilers similarly panned before they won the cup in 1984?

  127. mc79hockey says:

    Genius is always panned at first, since no one knows how to deal with it.

    That does not, however, mean that things that are universally panned don't actually suck. Most of the time that's the case.

  128. Coach pb9617 says:

    Genius is always panned at first, since no one knows how to deal with it.

    That does not, however, mean that things that are universally panned don't actually suck. Most of the time that's the case.

    MacTavish argument on!

  129. Black Gold says:

    Quain got me thinking abouts splits.
    I don't know if there's some equivalencies around for the SE but here we go: Jay Bouwmeester's splits, also from Yahoo.

    Vs. Div
    24 GP
    EV 2-4-6 -3
    PP 4-7-11

    Vs. Con (ex. SE)
    40 GP
    EV 2-10-12 +3
    PP 4-4-8

    Vs. West
    18 GP
    EV 2-2-4 -1
    PP 1-0-1

    Points per game:
    SE .71
    East (ex SE) .5
    West .28

    A little scary.

    Here's some other SE players of note.

    Weiss PPG:
    SE .96
    East (ex SE) .77
    West .56

    Horton PPG:
    SE .95
    East (ex SE) .56
    West .5

    Kovalchuk PPG:
    SE 1.09
    East (ex SE) 1.16
    West 1.22

    Kozlov PPG:
    SE 1.04
    East (ex SE) 1.2
    West .83

    Armstrong PPG:
    SE .5
    East (ex SE) .43
    West .28

    E Staal PPG:
    SE 1.13
    East (ex SE) .83
    West .83

    Cole PPG:
    SE 1.2
    East (ex SE) .6
    West .38

    Ray Whitney PPG:
    SE .96
    East (ex SE) .88
    West 1.06

    St. Louis PPG:
    SE 1.13
    East (ex SE) .88
    West 1.0

    Lecavalier PPG:
    SE .86
    East (ex SE) .84
    West .94

    Prospal PPG:
    SE .63
    East (ex SE) .53
    West .61

    Ovechkin PPG:
    SE 1.75
    East (ex SE) 1.37
    West .94

    Backstrom PPG:
    SE 1.25
    East (ex SE) 1.1
    West .78

    Semin PPG:
    SE 1.74
    East (ex SE) 1.1
    West 1.0

    Average of these players
    SE 1.06
    East (ex SE) .85
    West .74

    I'm going to use these numbers to make a equivalency rating for each game relative to the west.
    (Average PPG in a game in the West / average PPG for a game in X)

    X=SE .7
    X=East (ex SE) .87
    X=West 1.0

    Assuming teams play each other this many times:
    Same Div: 24
    Same Conf: 40
    Other Conf: 18

    The relative season in the SE:
    vs SE: 24x.7= 16.8
    vs East (ex SE): 40x.87= 34.8
    vs West: 18×1= 18
    Total: 69.5

    A relative season in a East div:
    vs SE: 20x.7= 14
    vs East (ex SE): 44x.87= 38.28
    vs West: 18×1= 18
    Total: 70.28

    A relative season in a West div:
    vs SE: 6x.7= 4.22
    vs East (ex SE): 12x.87= 10.44
    vs West: 64×1= 64
    Total: 78.64

    So the divisional equivalency's based on 3 good players from each of the 5 SE teams to play a full season for a team in the west?

    .883

    Unfortunately all that data is from 15 top end SE players so it's probably not worth much.

  130. spOILer says:

    Weiss, while great seems to be the kind of guy that we want gagner to grow up to be. He's also yet another small body up the middle. So I don't know, that seems to be the kind of trade we would make only if neither Cogs nor Samwise are here next year, and we are in win now mode.

    While I like all his numbers, this does not seem to be a balancing move.

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