Evens

This Edmonton Oilers team is flat out fascinating. Every angle tells us a different story, every discipline reveals some nuance about the roster. The forwards on this edition of the Edmonton Oilers are an unreal collection of emerging impact players, older veterans contributing in lesser roles and a bottom tier that can only be described as tsunami-level chaos.

The even strength numbers for Edmonton’s forwards are amazing. They reveal that Jordan Eberle has the pedal to the metal and that Ryan Smyth is once again trying to take it to the limit. An unreal recent run by Sam Gagner has him in some nice company too. Gabe’s behind the net is lagging a little, so for this post today I’m using nhl.com numbers. These are even strength boxcars and even strength minutes, so behind the net will have different totals because they track 5×5/60.

  1. Jordan Eberle 14-23-37
  2. Ryan Smyth 12-16-28
  3. Sam Gagner 7-16-23
  4. Taylor Hall 8-13-21
  5. RNH 10-7-17
  6. Ryan Jones 9-7-16
  7. Shawn Horcoff 5-10-15
  8. Ales Hemsky 3-11-14
  9. Ben Eager 5-2-7
  10. Eric Belanger 1-5-6
  11. Lennart Petrell 2-2-4
  12. Anton Lander 1-3-4
  13. Magnus Paajarvi 0-3-3

There are some forwards beyond these men, but it’s pretty clear that the top 8 performers on this list are the key players. Now, here is the nhl.com even points per 60 for the baker’s dozen:

  1. Jordan Eberle 3.51
  2. Sam Gagner 2.23
  3. Ryan Smyth 2.19
  4. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1.92
  5. Taylor Hall 1.68
  6. Ryan Jones 1.54
  7. Ales Hemsky 1.46
  8. Ben Eager 1.32
  9. Shawn Horcoff 1.20
  10. Lennart Petrell 0.89
  11. Eric Belanger 0.65
  12. Anton Lander 0.55
  13. Magnus Paajarvi 0.47

I could write something on all of these numbers, but don’t want to obscure what are the giant items. There are four:

  • Jordan Eberle has done this for awhile now, folks. Over 600 even strength minutes now and he’s still tearing up the blacktop. I’m not going to say he’s graduated from splendid young player to impact dynamo, but there’s growing evidence #14 is going to be something else.
  • Sam Gagner looked good in the fall and then got hurt. It is very difficult to evaluate a player when said player is on a streak of historic proportions, but his even strength number above isn’t miles from last season’s behind the net 5×5/60 (1.91). Sam Gagner is good. Here’s hoping he can keep this number above 2 for the rest of the season.
  • Ryan Smyth is having a tremendous season. Considering zone start and qual comp, #94 has turned back time. No wonder teams are calling about him! Recent comments suggest he has no interest is being dealt at the deadline, so my suggestion to the Oilers is sign the man. Ryan Smyth didn’t come back to Edmonton for a retirement contract, he came back to win. What better role model and mentor could a team ask for?
  • Louise mentioned this awhile back and the numbers do not lie. Despite playing the soft underbelly of the NHL, Edmonton’s 4th line is pure crap. The Oilers have rolled some nice 4lines over the years, there must be a Jim Dowd out there somewhere? You can’t tell me Anton Lander is better than Marc Pouliot, and I do know that Petrell is a Finn and a PK savant but the 4line wears its ass for a hat every damn shift. Seriously. Garbage. Fix it.

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77 Responses to "Evens"

  1. stevezie says:

    Wouldn’t the easiest way to help the 4th line be to put Belanger on it? Our centres are RNH, Gags, Horcoff and Belanger. Arrange the first three any way you like, but our man Eric is the last man on that list. He’ll still get his time on the pk and spotting for people. All four centres are healthy and he has two buddies waiting for him on the farm, how can we justify keeping Lander on the big team?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Agree. And it wouldn’t hurt to add a veteran 2-way winger either.

  3. hunter1909 says:

    Fun watching the anti-Barker mob morphing before my eyes, given the fact he’s got quite superior skills. He’s tough on opposition forwards in front of oiler’s goal, can take a shot with a sublime edge, and can pass the puck out of the zone better than the average crop of current defencemen.

    I loved the way he stuck that dirty Wing in a virtual frontal headlock last night, too.

    Barker’s got a lot of potential, and given the fact oiler’s are a lottery contending shitshow – what’s the problem?

    Methinks Barker’s hillbilly mannerisms are misunderstood by many fans, who have grown sophisticated watching the endless stream of Europeans over the past generation. 1980′s Sather would like a guy like Cam Barker.

    Gagner’s instantly(took 4 years lol) an overnight sensation, but wtf, didn’t he pull the exact same sort of thing in that junior super series vs the Russians a few years ago? The dude’s got supreme bloodlines, isn’t a jerkoff(see Pat Kane/Todd Bertuzzi for reference), and probably won’t be pulling the old Ryan Smyth bullshit act of crying loyalty while simultaneously instructing his agent to put rocks in his negotiating snowballs.

  4. DBO says:

    I still believe our best 4th line is
    Eager-Belanger-Jones
    That is solid. You can have Jones as a 3/4 RW. Agreed LT, we need a solid two way winger with size. So our shopping list or need this offseason other then actual nhl defensemen (say what you want about the limitations of Barker and Whitney but it is not a shocker that our speed is working finally because we can make a pass out of our zone to streaking forward) is for a 2lw and a 3 Rw. Internally we have Omark, MPS and Harsky. If you move Hemsky we lack experience again. Keep him and build with him and the Nuge. A big Lw with skill and grit would be perfect. I’m sure there are lots around. What is evident is that unless we move hemsky there is no room for 2 of the 3. And to truly compete Lander has no spot unless you move belanger.

  5. "Steve Smith" says:

    1980′s Sather would like a guy like Cam Barker.

    1980s Glen Sather had a team that could compensate for giving up 32 shots per game.

  6. Woodguy says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    1980′s Sather would like a guy like Cam Barker.

    1980s Glen Sather had a team that could compensate for giving up 32 shots per game.

    To be fair Barker is giving up 30 more shots than is created when he is on the ice per 60 minutes of ice time, not per game.

    Its still a bad number, but not 30 per game bad.

    I’ve heard Hall, Eberle, and Gagner all comment how they are a better team with Whitney and Barker back since they can make the first pass. I don’t think the miss Tuebert and Peckham too much.

    Barker does know how to pass the puck. If he wasn’t such a basket case defensively, he would be a serviceable 3rd pairing guy, but right now he still gives up way more than he helps create (in terms of shots and scoring chances)

  7. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Solution to 4th line suckage – don’t play them so damn much and give that ice time to their better players. Seriously this is pro hockey. What does it matter if your worst 2 or 3 guys on the bench are relegated to chearleaders?

    Didn’t see the game last night, but somebody mentioned Belanger on the PP over Hemsky again. FFS Renney.

    Smyth – I’d suggest doing a split after game 25 or so for your EVPts/60. Unless he’s had some ailment over the past 25 games I’d be leary of resigning him unless he comes cheap for 1 year. In fact I’d still be leary if he’s been playing hurt – 35 year olds tend not to heal as well as they once did.

  8. striatic says:

    hunter1909,

    said it since pre-season .. Barker is a jump ball. little harm in signing him. i mean, who’d they play otherwise?

    he hasn’t been good this year though, yet. not even the past two games. he’s done some good things, but has also been wildly inconsistent.

    i think he’s shown enough that you continue forward with the experiment, but don’t delude yourself that it is anything more than an experiment at this point.

    DBO,

    Eager-Belanger-Jones is *exactly* the 4th line i’d like to see, except i think until you get that 3RW you can play Jones there and Petrell or Hartikainen on the 4th line. You need to keep Hemsky though.

    Heard Healy last night going on about how the Oilers were “loaded with forwards” and needed to trade for Defense. Maybe they were this past summer, with possible 3rd line RWs like Cogliano and Brule around, but they’re gone so you need Hemsky to retain depth at RW. otherwise who will fill 2RW, let alone 3RW.

    The only position where there is depth right now is C, where you’ve got Horcoff playing second line LW to keep Belanger on the 3rd line. that’s an ‘okay’ arrangement but really Horcoff should be on the third line and Belanger on the 4th, to prevent the 4th line from being embarrassed defensively on a nightly basis. Oilers can’t move any of the Cs because of contract problems with 10 and 20, so they’re basically unable to move anyone at forward.

  9. striatic says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    because players get tired, and if you do that the 3rd line is going to play more, not the 1st or 2nd lines.

    having players on the 4th line that can PK, for example, frees up lines 1 through 3 to take on more offensive minutes.

    you also need a solid 4th line to deal with playoff injuries, and to give your other lines some time to breathe when the games are coming at such a rapid pace.

  10. Bos8 says:

    Smyth and Horcoff are sucking slough water from being overworked and people want a fourth line as spectators. The fourth liners are getting paid as professionals as well. Put together a good line and put them to work. As in more ice time.

    Last night was a good example. Third period – two goal lead. The third and fourth line should have been front and center making the Wings work for every rush with the first line resting for later if needed. You want to win as efficiently as possible, saving your bullets for next time.

  11. LMHF#1 says:

    Once Gilbert returns, it would be good to try dressing 7d and run Sutton out as a fourth line forward for a few shifts. Possible he could score some goals for us.

  12. striatic says:

    but mostly the current state of the NHL is about speed and athleticism and short shifts to maintain the pressure. it is quite possible to tire another team into making mistakes.

    to keep the tempo up, you need a serviceable 4th line. this is why you see situations all over the NHL with 4th line goons being replaced by athletes who can skate and play a shift without giving up much to the other team.

  13. Ducey says:

    The fact that Hemsky comes in between Jones and Eager in 5 x 5 scoring is worth a comment, no?

    No doubt he is playing the toughs but at what point does his lack of production become a problem? I am thinking about now.

    And Barker? He is playing easier competition with a worse rel corsi than Teubert. Despite his Hillbilly ways he is not nearly as tough as Teubert. I am fine with allowing Barker to try and recover his career for the rest of the season while Teubert plays on the farm, but this sudden love for him is silly.

    This fan base is bi polar. It’s not Montreal Canadians bad but the mood swings that come with winning and losing streaks is hilarious.

  14. spoiler says:

    Last night Babcock was sort of half-stepping his line changes, trying to catch the kids with fresh legs about halfway through their shifts. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it blew up in his face (when he didn’t get the opportunity to make that half shift later change).

    But damn is their bottom 6 a mile better than ours. I’m pretty sure their 4th line had Robert Johnson, Ebs and Hall hemmed in their own end for a full shift including two faceoffs.

  15. SK Oiler Fan says:

    striatic,

    Penalties and Injuriey fill ins – that’s the role I see for 4th liners. If your team is healthy and not in penalty trouble why put your worst players on the ice?.Ideally these “fill ins” are just as effective with a stick as without – that’s STs job.

    The tired excuse – I don’t buy it. There’s enough TV timeouts and stoppages to give 3 lines enough rest.

    There’s holes in this example, but let’s say Lander represents the 4th line at 15.7 shifts / game. Cut that in half and give your top three lines 2.6 more shifts / game. Surely that won’t kill your top 3 lines.

    There’s been multiple occurrances of Renney putting Eager on the ice after a TV timeout. Why?

  16. hunter1909 says:

    striatic: don’t delude yourself that it is anything more than an experiment at this point.

    LMAO no offence mate, but over half this bloody team is nothing more than an experiment.

    Barker reminds me of when Slats traded for Joe Murphy – who, like Barker was a top 2 pick/abject flop, toiling for a mediocre Detroit Red Wings team. Suddenly Murphy went from bust to serviceable player.

  17. SK Oiler Fan says:

    striatic,

    Well if your GM is doing hs job and your trying to win games yes you have at least a 4th line that can play as Detroit has done for years. This obviously is not the case with this team. IMO Renney needs to be more creative and spot in his better players for the poor players. Of course all of this depends on if the directive from above is winniing or player development.

  18. Lewis Grant says:

    Eberle’s EV/60 is 3.51 in his second year! That’s a truly incredible number. Some years, that’s a league-leading number.

    It’s true, caution is warranted when projecting talented young players. But if Hall had that number, I think most people would take it as clear evidence that he was, in fact, an “impact dynamo”, rather than taking the cautious attitude of “let’s wait and see”. Why the different attitudes toward the two?

    It took Tampa about 10 years to realize that Brad Richards (64th overall) was actually (and had always been) a better player than Vincent Lecavalier (1st overall). By that time, Richards was playing for Dallas, and Lecavalier was signed to an untradeable contract. It’s obviously much too early to really evaluate Eberle and Hall against each other. But let’s not make the same mistake as Tampa going forward.

  19. SK Oiler Fan says:

    hunter1909,

    That’s a good way to describe the last 5 years – an experiment

  20. Nessler37 says:

    Props to Hemsky for coming back after that huge hit from Kronwall, and setting up Eberle for the tying goal.

    Pretty sure his nose is busted,but he came back and played one of his best games of late. Shows he has character, and that is a player I want on my team.

    At worst games like last night will help his trade value if Tambo is dead set on dealing him at the deadline.

  21. TheOtherJohn says:

    Trading Hemsky is a step back from improvement. The only thing that might compensate for that step back is if the big three take another step forward. Problem with that is we would still be noticeably farther ahead with Hemsky still on our roster.

    Maybe the way to deal with Hemsky is sign him to a 4 year front end loaded contract with every intention of trading hin in 2 years. FEL will protect Oilers in that he will still be tradable no matter the performance. Keeps good player in your top 6 and protects you if you MUST move him in 2/3 years

    At some point in time the Plan must contemplate trying to compete with real NHLers…….. Right

    P.S. “Barker used his injury time to lose weight and get in top shape” FFS, that’s what the summer is for. Maybe someone should explain that to him

  22. godot10 says:

    Eberle may be the best offensive player of the young guys at the moment, but I still think it is Hall that stirs the drink. Hall has a non-stop motor and desire.

    The space and time that Hall creates for everybody else doesn’t get counted in the score sheet.

    I like that young guys are all different. They need a couple of beasts for the corner and board work yet, to be able to play against the more physical teams.

  23. Woodguy says:

    So next game in Toronto the Oilers will not have anyone out due to injury.

    Same time that Omark is due back to start playing.

    Star crossed season for him for sure.

    Desperately needed while he was out, now that he’s back, there’s no room.

    I’d move 57 down and bring 23 up as soon as he’s skating well.

  24. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    Eberle may be the best offensive player of the young guys at the moment, but I still think it is Hall that stirs the drink.Hall has a non-stop motor and desire.

    The space and time that Hall creates for everybody else doesn’t get counted in the score sheet.

    I like that young guys are all different. They need a couple of beasts for the corner and board work yet, to be able to play against the more physical teams.

    I was just thinking about that.

    Adding 14 with another offensive player seems to create a sum that is greater than the parts.

    14 has had no luck being the only offensive guy on a line, but put him with 89, 4, or 93 and magic happens.

    4 can drive the bus if he’s put with anyone.

    He’s got 16 points in his last 15 games. His slow start make his number look much worse than they are.

  25. Woodguy says:

    Speaking of pts/gm

    Mr. Badbodylanguagefirstofftheice has 11 points in the last 14 games.

    That’s 0.786pts/gm

    HIs career average is 0.788pts/gm

    Amazing eh?

  26. Woodguy says:

    Jordan Eberle has done this for awhile now, folks. Over 600 even strength minutes now and he’s still tearing up the blacktop. I’m not going to say he’s graduated from splendid young player to impact dynamo, but there’s growing evidence #14 is going to be something else.

    That’s not possible LT, you know that impact players only come from the lottery!!

    Its funny, Claude Giroux, Jordan Eberle, Max Pacioretty were all taken at 22nd overall.

    Eberle and Giroux are two of the best young players in the game, and Pacioretty is getting there, 2nd on MTL in pts.

  27. maudite says:

    I totally agree on a 4th of Eager, Jones and Belanger. That is a perfect line for that role.

    Gags – Hall- Eberle
    RNH – Smyth – Hemsky
    Horc – MPS – Omark
    Belanger – Eager – Jones

    2nd line gets 1st PP
    1st line gets 2nd PP
    Jones – belanger get 1st PK
    Horc – MPS get 2nd pK

    I can’t understand not getting Omark up and playing especially if we are likely down a RW after the deadline. It would be beyond stunning to lose him for nothing as well.

    Lander and Hart 1st line in OKC couldn’t hurt anything. Get Lander some larger minutes and likely a playoff run.

  28. maudite says:

    Lastly,

    Corey Potter on a reasonable 3 year extension should be a done deal already. It’s odd it hasn’t happened and likely gets more costly the longer they dither.

  29. jb says:

    I think the biggest thing when evaluating guys like Hemsky, Gagner, Gilbert, and Smid throughout their NHL careers, is to realize they adapted to the NHL while the team was trending sharply downwards for the most part..

    Hemsky and Horcoff drawing the Toews of the league can’t be underestimated either… Yea we should expect that line to at least come out even vs the toughs.. but it’ll be interesting to see once the kids get that honor full-time..

  30. regwald says:

    maudite,

    I guess you missed that they re-upped Potter for 2 yrs at $775M cap hit.

  31. Marc says:

    I wonder if the thinking behind keeping Lander and to a lesser extent, Petrell, up is that they will ultimately need to learn how to be above average at defending against NHL players if they are going to make it as OIlers.

    Maybe the Oilers don’t think that playing top six minutes in the AHL and defending AHL players will help them learn to do that as much as just taking their lumps against NHL players for a season will.

  32. OilClog says:

    they will have no justification if they trade Hemsky unless it’s to acquire a #1 defenceman, or 2 #2 defenceman or 3 #3 defenceman. With a Hemsky on the team, the opposition can not simply focus on one line, without a hemsky.. it’s pretty easy. After hearing Hemsky break his silence, and hearing from people that aren’t close to being oilers fan out here on the west coast, trading Hemsky is a move a poor, ape like intelligent hack would make.

    Wouldn’t MPS or Hairkankanienakian.. or however you spell it or hell any potential top 6 forward within the depth system be better served to play wing on the 2nd line over a over used, tired, worn out, beat up, we all already know his role Horcoff. If Shawn was given 12-15mins per night on a 3rd line shut down center.. would his numbers change? I would think so.

    After watching Detriot last night, I can’t help but to think if the Oilers had a coach with a structured system and played players where they are best suited the injuries wouldn’t have played so much into our descent the last few months, the wings always had someone 2-3ft behind the next player backing up. It was impressive to watch, if only we had a NHL coach and not a jr’s coach riding the coat tails of NHL talent.

    Regardless of what Barker’s shots against and all that crap is, other then him falling on his ass against chicago, he’s proven he’s valuable to this team. Playing gritty, good passes, taking shots, standing up for his team, not taking dumb penalties. Yeah he’s a bust as a #3 pick, but he would look great as a pick anything after the 2nd round.

  33. Lowetide says:

    maudite,

    You do know they signed him, right?

  34. TheOtherJohn says:

    Wood Guy

    Can you quit with the facts re Hemsky. Seriously! The narrative that the Oilers are pushing is look at all the things he doesn’t do. Just glad I wasn’t in MSM questioning Hemsky’s toughness after he got blown up by Kronwall.

    Pushing off trying to compete is not something management wants to even consider. To do so starts to put pressure directly on them.

  35. HBomb says:

    Building off the theory of building lines around “pairs” of players, if the Oilers want to fix the fourth line problem, why not try this for the remainder of the season (while working MPS and Harski back into the equation at the NHL level and giving Lander some AHL at-bats, or alternating him through with 56 and 91)?

    Tough Minute Line: Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
    Secondary Toughs: Smyth-Horcoff-Paajarvi
    Protected ES Minutes: Hartikainen-RNH-Eberle
    Fourth Line Minutes: Eager-Belanger-Jones

  36. Traktor says:

    Woodguy:
    Speaking of pts/gm

    Mr. Badbodylanguagefirstofftheice has 11 points in the last 14 games.

    That’s 0.786pts/gm

    HIs career average is 0.788pts/gm

    Amazing eh?

    Not really amazing. You lowered his PPG by adding in his 30 point seasons and then used the only sample you could find this year where he is putting up decent numbers.

    Even in his best stretch of the year that you are using he is -5 in 14 games and with only 1 goal.
    Using your exact sample size and projecting over the year he is on pace to be -29 over 82 games.

    Maybe I have higher expectations of Hemsky than you but that isn’t very impressive.

  37. cabbiesmacker says:

    DBO,

    The Blackhawks are apparently looking to add some vet D presence by the dealine. I wonder if Andy Sutton could get you Jimmy Hayes at RW? Certainly helps the size issue on wing, he’s young enough to mature with our kids, and he’s shown some talent in a limited window of opp.

    He’s buried a bit in Chitown’s system.

  38. cabbiesmacker says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    1980′s Sather would like a guy like Cam Barker.

    1980s Glen Sather had a team that could compensate for giving up 32 shots per game.

    And we might be getting close to that area as well. Not every Dman in the NHL is great going both diections and Barker’s good on the other half of the rink.

    I guess he was on for all shots against last night and was the only D who made a mistake? I could have sworn I saw Gagner cough one, Horcoff swat flies, and Sutton locked on the tracks once but maybe not.

  39. bookje says:

    WG, you are never going to win- Hemsky is a communist – it’s indisputable!

  40. godot10 says:

    The consensus of the people in Toronto is that Grabovski is going to cost $5 million per season. Plenkanec signed for $5 million

    And we have people here thinking Hemsky is going to come in with a 3-handle and Hall, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins with a 5-handle.

    Stamkos gave up no UFA years and got $7 million. Tavares gave up one and got $5.5.

    One would hope the Oilers are looking to sign lock up 3 UFA years in the second contracts of Hall, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins, so I think one is really looking at 7-handles.

    Gagner will probably require a 4-handle this summer, if one is signing UFA years in the deal.

    Hemsky’s going to get a 5-handle, and probably can find a 6-handle on a one year deal on July 1.

    I think Hemsky is expendable, because one has three pairs, Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle, Hall/Gagner, and Smyth/Horcoff, or if one sticks Smyth with the first pair, Horcoff/Jones.

  41. cabbiesmacker says:

    spoiler:
    I’m pretty sure their 4th line had Robert Johnson, Ebs and Hall hemmed in their own end for a full shift including two faceoffs.

    He’s not Robert’s level quite yet. Ralph Macchio maybe?

  42. Woodguy says:

    Traktor: Not really amazing. You lowered his PPG by adding in his 30 point seasons and then used the only sample you could find this year where he is putting up decent numbers.

    Even in his best stretch of the year that you are using he is -5 in 14 games and with only 1 goal.
    Using your exact sample size and projecting over the year he is on pace to be -29 over 82 games.

    Maybe I have higher expectations of Hemsky than you but that isn’t very impressive.

    No, I took the number of NHL points and divided by the number of NHL games played.

    I guess you expect a guy coming off shoulder surgery to come out of the box fresh as a daisy.

    He’s needed time to heal and has been showing his usual results.

    How come you’re not banging on Hall?

    He’s 1.68 whereas the evil Hemsky is 1.46?

    Where are you barbs and arrows for him?

    Where was your “you’re manipulating the numbers” for him when I stated he’s over a point/gm for the last 15 games?

    Hall can have a slow start, but Hemsky doesn’t?

  43. Woodguy says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Wood Guy

    Can you quit with the facts re Hemsky.Seriously!The narrative that the Oilers are pushing is look atall the things he doesn’t do. Just glad I wasn’tin MSM questioning Hemsky’s toughness after he got blown up by Kronwall.

    Pushing off trying to compete is not something management wants to even consider. To do so starts to put pressure directly on them.

    Not until he’s traded.

  44. Woodguy says:

    bookje:
    WG, you are never going to win- Hemsky is a communist – it’s indisputable!

    The scary thing is I believe that Hemsky is a good player.

  45. Traktor says:

    Woodguy:

    How come you’re not banging on Hall?

    Hall – 18 goals
    Hemsky 4 goals

    Hall 38 points
    Hemsky 22 points

    Hall -1
    Hemsky -11

  46. rickithebear says:

    Great one LT:
    loked at the fourth lines.
    look at the teams with 4th linesP/60 and there standing.
    -.70P/60
    .70P/60 to 1.00P/60
    1.00P/60 +
    Is it the bottom not being weak that maters the most.

  47. Traktor says:

    Woodguy: The scary thing is I believe that Hemsky is a good player.

    So was Dustin Penner.

    The scary thing is most here believed we lost that trade.

    Forget that Sedin x2, Kesler, Bieksa, Ballard, Hamhuis, Luongo and others are getting paid, its downright terrifying that Tambellini isn’t selling the farm to try and win while Hall and Eberle are on their ELC’s.

  48. Woodguy says:

    Traktor: So was Dustin Penner.

    The scary thing is most here believed we lost that trade.

    Forget that Sedin x2, Kesler, Bieksa, Ballard, Hamhuis, Luongo and others are getting paid, its downright terrifying that Tambellini isn’t selling the farm to try and win while Hall and Eberle are on their ELC’s.

    Trading Penner and Hemsky is selling the farm in the short term.

  49. DeadmanWaking says:

    I like Hunter. He’s like the left-handed piano in a sea of blind conformity. Many instruments are implicitly polarized to give one hand a very different role than the other. Percussion is somewhat exempt. (As we all know, drummers and goalies are different.) The bowing instruments are the most extreme. In between, swinging both ways, a clever pipefitter could potentially build an ambidextrous trombone, with or without valves. Back in the Renaissance, there was an effeminate trombone known as the sacbutt. From Middle French, saquer-bouter, to push and to pull. Also known as the sagbut and the shagbolt. But I digress.

    I read somewhere this morning that young Gamgee’s 11 point outburst is proof that his development was rushed. And I also read somewhere that Smyth negotiates with a rock in his snowball. Whoa, what you can get away with when your instrument glides right past the whole notes.

    The argument from continuity (see Lamport on Buridan’s ass) is that there has to be a possible negotiation that fails only one dollar apart, ignoring manipulations for the sake of external perception. If you know your final position will be exposed at the end of the negotiating process to carpers and boat rockers, you have to approach this as a poker pot. Every poker player knows the problem of becoming pot committed. I mean, both sides must really shit themselves when they are maybe $300,000 apart on a five million dollar deal, after both sides have already borrowed heavily from the bank of good will. So both sides are at 105%–but this is sports–so it never ends at 105% Both sides go one more time to the well and come up with another $100,000 concession each, now we’re at 110% end of story, and yet the two sides remain $100,000 apart, for which they will be externally crucified. They didn’t give, you know. No bend.

    I agree. That last $100,000 concession on each side was the mark of a softie, thinking with the heart and not with the wallet. They could have had the same outcome (no deal) $300,000 apart if only they had listened to their better judgements. Fools, I tell you. Wear your heart on your sleeve and be forever remembered as the mullet-headed mule. Only what’s entirely clear as events transpired is that Lowe overvalued his hand. Well, you can only bid what you think you’ve got, even if you’re a complete dough-ass about the correct odds of an out ringing your red phone.

    Now, to the other proposition, that young Gamgee’s eleven point outburst indicates rushed development. Uh, evidently I missed a step in the reasoning process. What could it be, what could it be? I know! It’s the Don King factor.

    What matters in boxing is the unassailable string of victories. If you rush a boxer and he loses his sixth professional bout, his record is forever blemished. He’s now the Gingrich of open marriage. Another blemish or two, no one will have him. Game over.

    So yes, young Gamgee’s NHL progression does not fit the mould of title-fight progression. He was rushed. No doubt about it: the pugilistic code has spoken. But why are we thinking of him as a boxer instead of a hockey player? He did step up a couple of times, there is that. And I know there’s some cross-over appeal, but still the pugilistic code seems to be a tad misplaced in this example.

    Yes, if you keep a player down for many seasons, the erratic nature of professional development is off the books of his NHL record. But why is that automatically a good thing?

  50. Woodguy says:

    Traktor: So was Dustin Penner.

    The scary thing is most here believed we lost that trade.

    Forget that Sedin x2, Kesler, Bieksa, Ballard, Hamhuis, Luongo and others are getting paid, its downright terrifying that Tambellini isn’t selling the farm to try and win while Hall and Eberle are on their ELC’s.

    So you think Tambellini and Lowe will be as adept as Gillis (edit) at getting good players to sign below their value?

  51. rickithebear says:

    GODOT:
    Stamkos is a 50G scorer.
    Tavares, Hall, Eberle are future 35G scorers. I was allways expecting an increase in salary to 5.25 to 5.5M for Eberle, Hall, And RNH.

    so there is an incease of:
    Hall: +1.75M
    Eberle: + 4.3M
    RNH: +1.75M
    7.8M needed.

    Last half season performance:
    41Gm 5G 16A -10
    Omark:
    41GM 3G 16A -12

    Smyth: -3.25M
    Smyth’s standard 3M contract like Modano at that age
    Exchanging Hemsky with omark -3.1M
    gets 6.35M of the neede 7.8M
    plus brule’s, sourays, nilsson’s remaining Buyout and Salary frees
    2.25M +1.4M the next year for a total of 3.65M.
    Horcoff’s salary roles off at the time of resigning this years selection.

  52. stevezie says:

    HBomb,

    Aranging your lines for specific situations, instead of best to worst, might work well at home, but I’d light a candle for that Hartikainen-RNH-Eberle on the road.

  53. TheOtherJohn says:

    Rickibear

    You realize that Gilbert and Smid are UFA soon.Whitney…. Right? Dubnyk is going to want more $$$ Petry, ditto and then there is the issue of actually upgrading the D

    Any idea if salary cap going to $75 million? $80m?

    And that ignores possibility of overpayments on contracts which Oilers never do……………. Oops forgot

  54. Traktor says:

    Woodguy: So you think Tambellini and Lowe will be as adept as Gillis (edit) at getting good players to sign below their value?

    Not everyone Gillis signed was below market value and some of the players he traded for (Ballard) are terrible value. Plus he handed out a 10 year contract to a goalie.

    Signing the kids to fair contacts isn’t going to negate our chances of being successful. Overspending on average and/or injury prone players could though but as long as Tambellini doesn’t hand out NTC or NMC we should be fine.

  55. Ducey says:

    Woodguy: Trading Penner and Hemsky is selling the farm in the short term.

    Not selling the farm. Sometimes farms sell off fat, non producing, pancake eating cows. And they don’t regret it because the calves they get back look to be an improvement in the long run.

    The communist, non leading cows who stare at you like they don’t give a shit and are not producing up to normal are a harder call.

  56. Lowetide says:

    How can we ‘commie up’ Hemsky’s name? Kremsky?

  57. DSF says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Rickibear

    You realize that Gilbert and Smid are UFA soon.Whitney…. Right? Dubnyk is going to want more $$$ Petry, ditto and then there is the issue of actually upgrading the D

    Any idea if salary cap going to $75 million? $80m?

    And that ignores possibility of overpayments on contracts which Oilers never do……………. Oops forgot

    With the CBA expiring there is no guarantee the cap will keep rising and I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually drops and includes an amnesty for each team to buy out one bad contract.

    If that turns out to be the case, you would have to think Horcoff will be bought out.

  58. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    hall is a sophomore. hemsky is a vet. We should have higher expectations of him.

  59. Woodguy says:

    No player coming off of injury ever started slow.

    Getzlaf, Perry, Richards and others should all be sold for picks by their teams because the are having off years.

  60. Lewis Grant says:

    Woodguy:

    Adding 14 with another offensive player seems to create a sum that is greater than the parts.

    14 has had no luck being the only offensive guy on a line, but put him with 89, 4, or 93 and magic happens.

    4 can drive the bus if he’s put with anyone.

    I don’t want to argue too hard with one of the voices of reason around here. But Eberle’s second year at the WJCs, he played with a younger Brayden Schenn and Luke McMillan. It was clear both to the eye and the scoresheet that Eberle was the lone conductor of that train. He didn’t have a lot of help in Regina either.

    As to your wider point (which I agree with), why not split up the kid line, when they all seem to drive the play so well?

    I’d actually be more inclined to describe Gagner the way you describe Eberle. Why not give him a little more help, while allowing Eberle and RNH to drive a second line (which they did just fine in Hall’s absence)?

    Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
    (Paajarvi?)-RNH-Eberle
    Smyth-Horcoff-Jones

    RNH and Eberle will not be slowed by having a guy like Paajarvi with them, and they might even bring him up to their level. Can you imagine, 3 scoring lines?

  61. delooper says:

    Does anyone know what the origins of “Hemsky” are in Czech?

    On a side-note, I just discovered “Smid” is Czech for “Smith”. The oilers always seem to depend on a Smith on defense, it seems.

  62. Lowetide says:

    Well that means he’s ‘Smiddy’ from now on.

  63. Traktor says:

    Woodguy:
    No player coming off of injury ever started slow.

    Getzlaf, Perry, Richards and others should all be sold for picks by their teams because the are having off years.

    I would love all 3 of those players. They all bring a physical element that Hemsky doesn’t have.

    Richards 5.75 x 9
    Getzlaf 5.325 x 5
    Perry 5.325 x 5

    We should assume that you’re advocating a 5M+ per and 5 years minimum since these are Hemsky’s comps, right?

  64. delooper says:

    I spilt my cereal on the carpet and now it’s all Smiddy.

  65. Woodguy says:

    Traktor: I would love all 3 of those players. They all bring a physical element that Hemsky doesn’t have.

    Richards 5.75 x 9
    Getzlaf5.325 x 5
    Perry 5.325 x 5

    We should assume that you’re advocating a 5M+ per and 5 years minimum since these are Hemsky’s comps, right?

    I’m not advocating those players as Hemsky comps.

    It seems to be in vogue to throw away proven players who are having a tough year.

    I’m just trying to fit it.

  66. Woodguy says:

    Lewis Grant:
    Woodguy:

    Adding 14 with another offensive player seems to create a sum that is greater than the parts.

    14 has had no luck being the only offensive guy on a line, but put him with 89, 4, or 93 and magic happens.

    4 can drive the bus if he’s put with anyone.

    I don’t want to argue too hard with one of the voices of reason around here.But Eberle’s second year at the WJCs, he played with a younger Brayden Schenn and Luke McMillan.It was clear both to the eye and the scoresheet that Eberle was the lone conductor of that train.He didn’t have a lot of help in Regina either.

    As to your wider point (which I agree with), why not split up the kid line, when they all seem to drive the play so well?

    I’d actually be more inclined to describe Gagner the way you describe Eberle.Why not give him a little more help, while allowing Eberle and RNH to drive a second line (which they did just fine in Hall’s absence)?

    Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
    (Paajarvi?)-RNH-Eberle
    Smyth-Horcoff-Jones

    RNH and Eberle will not be slowed by having a guy like Paajarvi with them, and they might even bring him up to their level.Can you imagine, 3 scoring lines?

    I hope we get to see something like those lines before Hemsky is traded.

    I imagine they have Omark penciled in his spot.

    He might work with 4 and 89 too.

  67. maudite says:

    regwald: maudite, I guess you missed that they re-upped Potter for 2 yrs at $775M cap hit.

    Ha! Yep, I did indeed. I am slowly but surely weening myself off of hockey. Games still on more often than not but it’s usually background to something else.

  68. HBomb says:

    Ok, the greatest weekend of my life just wrapped up:

    Thursday: Sam Gagner scores 8 points in one game and SIUTBOHC (to quote Brownlee)
    Friday: 30th birthday party (that did NOT result in a massive hangover which would have ruined Saturday)
    Saturday: Epic Oilers/Wings game
    Sunday: Belicheat and the Patriots fall short in the Super Bowl

    I’m having a rum and coke, and them I’m having another one.

  69. Traktor says:

    Is it too early to talk draft?

    Call me crazy but if we miss out on the Russian forwards, Murray, Dumba and Reinhart I wouldn’t mind drafting Andrei Vasilevski.

    I know its generally a good rule not to draft goalies in the first round but here is the list of current NHL goalies that were drafted in the 1st round:

    Marc-Andre Fleury 1st overall
    Kari Lehtonen 2nd overall
    Roberto Luongo 4th overall
    Carey Price 5th overall
    Jean-Sebastien Giguere 13th overall
    Devan Dubnyk 14th overall
    Tuukka Rask 21st overall
    Semyon Varlamov 23rd overall
    Cam Ward 25th overall
    Cory Schneider 26th overall

    Here is a link to Andrei Vasilevski’s stats http://eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=70424

  70. Denniss says:

    Ok, here goes:

    13 – for awhile we’ve been saying Oilers – if they had the space – should overpay vets on one year pacts to see what we can get out of them. So, yes, 13 was an overpay but it’s just one year and his GP won’t really hinder a kid that could help us out down the road. That being said, he’s not a good dman and if you think he is then you’re caught up on his draft position. D starts next year with 5-77 and then 58 as a third pairing guy and you hope 6 can play top four but you get two top four Dmen just for caution. That leaves 44 as an affordable 7th dman who is useful. Priority number one should be trying to get Weber or Suter out of Nashville and this year’s first rounder should be one of the two primes pieces of bait.

    20 – I agree that right now he should be the 4th line pivot and that 55-20-28 would be a good fourth line. Now I’m not privy to what Belanger was promised – or if he was promised anything at all – but the other day I read he said he felt more comfortable now that he was getting more min. That doesn’t sound like a guy who’s gonna accept 4th line min and who can blame him given the role he played with the Yotes last season. Furthermore, no one seems to think this has the teeth like I do but the more I think of it the more Belanger-as-Peca in terms of trying to fit in and calling and expecting certain EV TOI and responsibility.

    83 – dumb to castigate 83 for coming back a bit early and now that he’s rolling a bit it’s easy to remember what he’s been on a goddamn terrible team. Tricky for the Oil to decide on a term and freight because of injury history and because his counting stats won’t be high if 93′s the man on the PP so that’s a factor. But if you think he should be forced out just for the fuck of it then you’re stupid. If you think he’s easily replaced? Once again, you’re stupid. If you think 23 comes back and replaces him? Yep, that’s stupid as well. You sign him because outside of when he’s hurt he can play tough min and you need that or else the kids are fed to the wolves and the PP’s humming but kids are -10 and we’re out of the playoffs again in 2013.

    89 – I’ve always been neutral on this guy and I can see his value but I’m not sold that he’s unmoveable. Now, I’m not moving him just for the sake of doing it but, yeah, someone’s gotta go for a real D. It’s likely not gonna be 83 because he has fuckall term left on his pact so maybe’s 89 that has to go. If Oil can’t go old school and find useful D at bargain prices on the FA market then hitting has to be traded for pitching.

    57 – goddamn waste of a year for him. Kid’s up because he’s on the third PK unit; that’s all I can make sense of.

    Here’s what I do for shits and giggles. You send 37 back to the A or he’s the 14th forward. 57 goes back down too. 23 and 56 come up and 91 stays down and ripens off the vine.

    55-20-28 – can’t play against top lines but won’t get killed
    94-89-14
    4-10-83
    56-93-23

    You shelter that last line like nobody’s business and 93 gets moved around so that he gets some talented linemates. Anyway, that’s my 12 forwards and I guess 16-37 can stick around

    5-77
    6-58
    13-44

    24

    25 is moved.

  71. HBomb says:

    Traktor:
    Is it too early to talk draft?

    Call me crazy but if we miss out on the Russian forwards, Murray, Dumba and Reinhart I wouldn’t mind drafting Andrei Vasilevski.

    I know its generally a good rule not to draft goalies in the first round but here is the list of current NHL goalies that were drafted in the 1st round:

    Marc-Andre Fleury 1st overall
    Kari Lehtonen 2nd overall
    Roberto Luongo 4th overall
    Carey Price 5th overall
    Jean-Sebastien Giguere 13th overall
    Devan Dubnyk 14th overall
    Tuukka Rask 21st overall
    Semyon Varlamov 23rd overall
    Cam Ward 25th overall
    Cory Schneider 26th overall

    Here is a link to Andrei Vasilevski’s stats http://eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=70424

    Traktor: if the Oilers picked up a second first rounder in the bottom 3rd of the first round, Vasilevski would certainly have to at least draw some consideration. However, if they end up picking a d-man top-ten, they may want to snag a forward late 1st/early 2nd.

    In Stu we trust? He’s going to be able to live off the Eberle pick for a long time at this rate….

  72. Traktor says:

    Dennis:

    On one hand you admit Gagner might need to be traded for help on D and then on the other you frame any thoughts of moving Hemsky as stupid.

    Meanwhile Nashville has been rumored to be interested in Hemsky and the Preds are basically a D factory.

    Edmonton isn’t going to replace 70 point Hemsky via FA but over the last 3 years he is averaging under 35 points.

    I’m not totally against keeping Hemsky because the only thing that is “stupid” is not exploring all options.

  73. Traktor says:

    HBomb:

    In Stu we trust? He’s going to be able to live off the Eberle pick for a long time at this rate….

    Stu better produce. Katz and Tambellini are betting on it.

  74. Denniss says:

    I’m not saying you trade him for the fuck of it, Trak. But I am saying that Hemsky as a rental isn’t gonna get the kind of dman we need, ie Blum or Blum-esque.

    You dig?:)

  75. Ducey says:

    Dennis,

    I think the bloom has come of the Blum in NSH. He has been passed by a couple of guys and has not followed up on last year. I think Hemsky gets you Blum no problem.

  76. art vandelay says:

    they will have no justification if they trade Hemsky unless it’s to acquire a #1 defenceman, or 2 #2 defenceman or 3 #3 defenceman.

    Sir, you need to put the knife down and very slowly put your hands in the air. I brought someone her to help you. It’s your wife. She says she loves you very much and would like to see you safe at home.

  77. Mind Crator says:

    For those interested. True standings for all teams after 50 games played.

    Western Conference – Projected Playoffs 90 Points
    Looks like a race between LA, MIN, COL, DAL, CGY, & PHO for the last 2 spots.
    EDM needs 23.5 wins over the last 32 games for 90 points

    1) DET 67 Points
    2) VAN 66 Points
    3) SJ 64 Points
    4) STL 67 Points
    5) NSH 64 Points
    6) CHI 64 Points
    7) LAK 58 Points
    8 ) MIN 55 Points
    9) COL 54 Points
    10) DAL 54 Points
    11) CGY 52 Points
    12) PHO 52 Points
    13) ANA 45 Points
    14) EDM 43 Points
    15) CLB 32 Points

    Eastern Conference – Projected Playoffs 92 Points

    1) NYR 71 Points
    2) BOS 66 Points
    3) FLA 59 Points
    4) PHI 66 Points
    5) PIT 62 Points
    6) OTT 60 Points
    7) NJ 59 Points
    8 ) TOR 56 Points
    9) WSH 56 Points
    10) WIN 50 Points
    11) TB 49 Points
    12) NYI 49 Points
    13) MON 47 Points
    14) BUF 47 Points
    15) CAR 43 Points

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