SETTING FREE THE BEARS

Jim Matheson’s Hockey World this morning puts taking Yakupov over Ryan Murray at “60/40″ which suggests that the chances of the Russian playing in Edmonton are increasing as the weeks roll along.

This is a Silvertip Bear. If he could skate he’d be Chara. Matheson’s Hockey World is here and I do think the organization is leaning toward Yakupov now. I don’t have a lot of evidence, but the fact they brought in Nail early in the week–when the news cycle could expose the young man on all media including the 6 o’clock news and the impact sports radio shows–suggests in a small way the club is leaning in that direction. Murray got here Friday and anyone who lives in Edmonton knows the city is either at the lake, in the pail or working in the back yard by Friday afternoon at six.

I’ve been trying to find a way to focus on how much offense Murray might have lost based on the quality of his team. I’m going to compare him to Dougie Hamilton’s draft year in the chart below in an effort to see if “team effects” have clouded his offense significantly.

STAT RYAN MURRAY DOUGIE HAMILTON
GP 46 67
GOALS 9 12
ASSISTS 22 46
POINTS 31 58
POINTS/GAME .674 .866
GPG W/PLAYER 2.76 4.01
GPG WO/PLAYER 2.23 2.00 (one game)
TEAM GPG 2.57 4.01
EV PTS 6-6-12 (.261) 3-23-26 (.388)
PP PTS 2-16-18 (.391) 9-22-31 (.463)
PK PTS 1-0-1 (.022) 0-1-1 (.015)

What does this mean? I think the offense is much closer than it would appear, considering Everett is such a poor offensive club. How poor? Their 185 goals this season was the third worst total in the WHL. More to the point, their 185 goals were split like this: 123 evens, 51pp, 11pk. Hamilton’s club saw their goals divided like this: 193 evens, 68pp, 12pk. I think Murray’s totals–especially at even strength where the Niagra club was so much stronger–suggest the gap is much closer than the boxcars suggest.

Based on these numbers, the team taking Ryan Murray will be pleasantly surprised by how much he contributes to the offense.

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67 Responses to "SETTING FREE THE BEARS"

  1. cdean says:

    I will be shocked if the Oilers take Murray, but only if they don’t do any other moves. If they take Murray then you probably know that they won’t be doing much in terms of trading for a 1 or 2 defenseman or by finding one by free agency. So in that case I hope they take Yakupov and do some deals for defensive help.

  2. sliderule says:

    I think your point is right there will be a little more offense from Murray but not at the elite level.

    Murray produced 26percent of his teams offense.Dumba who is 10 months younger produced 30percent of his teams offense.Hamilton who is only three months older than Murray produced 35percent of his teams offense in 2011/2012 season.

    If the oil think they are getting Doughty type offensive ability they will be getting fools gold.

  3. Woodguy says:

    So LT pimps Yak as much as possible, then when it starts to look like the Oilers are taking him, you start posting quotes that Murray’s the next Bourque.

    Haha!

    Murray will probably be a good NHL defender. Excellent skating, ability to make a high quality first pass and a big brain are all very desirable in a Dman.

    Scoring however, is always the most prized commodity in the NHL.

    Failure to take the best projected offensive player when you have a lottery pick means you do not understand how the draft works, nor the market for players in the NHL.

    That’s why we’ve seen Dmen slide so much recently I think.

    Looking at the last few drafts, there is one D man taken in the top 10 or so, then a pile of Dmen taken after.

    Teams take all the high end offense first, unless a Dman is so good they must take him, then the rest of the high end D get taken.

    2011 – 1 Dman taken in top 8 (Larsson 4th) then 5 of next 6 picks are Dmen

    2010 – 1 Dman taken in top 9 (Gubranson 3rd) then 4 of next 6 picks are Dmen

    2009 – 2 Dmen taken in top 8 (Hedman 2nd, OEL 6th) then 6 of 9 of the next picks are Dmen.

    Someone is going to get a very nice player in Murray, but his ranking to too variable when looking at all the ranking organizations to feel good about taking him very high.

    My guess is:

    EDM – Yakupov
    CBJ – Forsberg
    MTL – Grigerenko
    NYI – Galchenyk
    TOR- D-man. – Murray/Reinhart

    With all the high end D talent available this year, I still think top 4 are forwards, maybe even top 5 if NYI or MTL takes the Finn Teravainen who’s rocketing up the charts. Maybe even TOR takes the Finn at 5, but he’s not a prototypical Burke player.

  4. speeds says:

    I’m wondering if I undersold my evaluation of Murray when talking on your show yesterday LT. I think made it sound like more of a longshot for him to turn into a “top pairing D” than I really believe.

    I agree that his offence is probably being undersold. His points and plus minus in his 17 year old season are really something to look at. Even this year, a plus minus of 0 on that team, 3rd on the team and 1st among the D, pretty decent for an 18 year old.

    I think he’s a great prospect that EDM could really use, but over Yakupov?

    I have no doubt there is more than to scouting than just reading the boxcar stats, but as a comparison:

    Taylor Hall 09/10 – 57GP, 40-66-106, +46, 1.86 PPG
    team 331GF-203GA, +128

    Nail Yakupov 11/12 – 42GP, 31-38-69, +15, 1.64 PPG
    team 243GF-235GA, +8

    For the sake of argument, Yakupov pre-injury

    Yakupov – 26GP, 21-32-53, +21, 2.04 PPG
    team (in the 26 games Yakupov played) 102GF-76GA, +26

    If you prorate the team numbers, it would be ~ 322GF-240GA, +82

    IF the injury played a significant factor in his reduced production after he returned, could it be that Yakupov’s offence is a bit undersold as well?

  5. Lowetide says:

    speeds: Yeah, I think the 60/40 Matheson quotes is a sign EDM is leaning toward Yakupov. I believe he’ll go #1 overall to the Oilers. My curiosity about Murray is as you’ve suggested here–how much can he give. I’m not concerned about arguing for the Oilers taking Murray, I’m more interested in getting to the bottom line on what Murray is as a player.

  6. Rondo says:

    Take Yakupov

    Trade MPS and ? to Anaheim for Justin Schultz and Peter Holland.

    We get a big center with potential and a good Dman with potential.

    And if you can get one of The Dmen that Stu wants on sale of course you trade up if possible

    Anaheim is looking for wingers and Dmen .

  7. Maggie the Monkey says:

    Bears can play hockey:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PEl9PJCC48

    Would you want to take a faceoff against that guy?

  8. Traktor says:

    Murray has elite skating, a big brain, and a fantastic attitude. I would bet on him every time.

    You look at most of the NHL point producers on the backend not many go dangling around 2 or 3 players. Lidstrom was one of the best D to ever play the game and how many plays can you remember when he dangles around a bunch of players with highlight reel goals?

    Its all about making the right decisions and being in the right position and Murray excels at that. Murray has has a good shot from the point as well.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t draft Yakupov but Murray is going to be a 40-50 point defensemen at the NHL level with +defense and leadership abilities.

  9. gd says:

    I think Speeds is right that Yak’s offense could be undersold? He lost by far his most talented teammate for the year.

    I’m sure Murray will be a top NHL Dman, and a good pick at 2, but he would need to be as good as quickly as Doughty to justify picking him first and I’m just not seeing that. Plus the Oilers might have the best prospect depth of future NHL Dmen in the league already with Klefbom, Maracin, Musil, Gernat and Davidson. They need to focus on proper D development and hopefully we already have a couple of future Bieksas and Giraldis in the system. There’s got to be someway to get a puck moving, PP QB Dman who wants to play with the kids. Whether it’s J Schultz or some Vet. Someone is going to get over 40pts a year on the point of this PP and if ST can’t find that guy in the next year, then we really do need a new GM.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Traktor:
    Murray has elite skating, a big brain, and a fantastic attitude. I would bet on him every time.

    You look at most of the NHL point producers on the backend not many go dangling around 2 or 3 players. Lidstrom was one of the best D to ever play the game and how many plays can you remember when he dangles around a bunch of players with highlight reel goals?

    Its all about making the right decisions and being in the right position and Murray excels at that. Murray has has a good shot from the point as well.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t draft Yakupov but Murray is going to be a 40-50 point defensemen at the NHL level with +defense and leadership abilities.

    That’s the one thing we don’t have stats on, the big brain. Oilers do value the smart fellows, I wonder how Murray tests?

  11. Rondo says:

    Red Line Report

    “Defensemen rule draft class, but no stars”

    Just another opinion.

  12. jp says:

    sliderule:
    I think your point is right there will be a little more offense from Murray but not at the elite level.

    Murray produced 26percent of his teams offense.Dumba who is 10 months younger produced 30percent of his teams offense.Hamilton who is only three months older than Murray produced 35percent of his teams offense in 2011/2012 season.

    If the oil think they are getting Doughty type offensive ability they will be getting fools gold.

    Where did you get these numbers? Based on LTs numbers above:

    Murray 46GP-31Pts. Team GPG w/Murray = 2.76. 2.76GPGX46GP = 127G.
    31Pts on 127GF = Murray contributed to 24.4% of teams goals when he played.

    Hamilton 67GP-58Pts. Team GPG w/ = 4.01. 4.01X67GP = 269G.
    58Pts on 269GF = Hamilton contributed to 21.6% of goals.

    Murray looks better in this light. Looks like he’ll be a D any team would love to have, but sure still hope we take Yak.

  13. Ducey says:

    My guess is:

    EDM – Yakupov
    CBJ – Forsberg
    MTL – Grigerenko
    NYI – Galchenyk
    TOR- D-man. – Murray/Reinhart

    If Matheson is plugged in enough to go with Yakupov at #1 (although I think he is just guessing) then he is likely right that CLB will take Murray. He has been pushing that one for weeks.

    Trade MPS and ? to Anaheim for Justin Schultz and Peter Holland.

    If ANA can’t sign Schultz why would EDM be able to? In his mind, either being a FA has some benefits contractually (becoming an RFA sooner) or he has a place picked already. EDM stepping into ANA’s shoes for a flyer like a 7th rounder might make some sense, but otherwise you don’t bother.

  14. Rondo says:

    We rely on authors of articles to form our opinion of players in the draft, the better it is written the more we believe. Eventually the opinion grows to a fact for some. They start with a premise and anything that adds to it is weighed heavily, Anything that is negative towards their premise is weighed lightly.

    Most of us have no idea what type of player X will become, most of us have never seen the players play live.

    So take all these opinions with a grain of salt. ie Murray will have 40 -50 points

  15. jb says:

    Am I the only one that thought Murray was awful at the world juniors?

    In the Semi’s Yakupov finishes with 4 assists and a +3, while Murray finishes -1, 1 SOG, in a one goal loss.

    I watched a player who bled goals against in a big game, not a calm steadying presence in the least bit.

    (yes I’m aware this is only 1 game/1 tourney)

    While there’s obviously a cluster of solid d-men going to be drafted in the first round..I think the defensemen are being over-rated in this draft, and it likely goes down like woodguy laid out, Murray dropping to 5ish.

    60/40 or 99/1 pretty much mean the same thing in this context I think…

  16. Marc says:

    Woodguy:

    My guess is:

    EDM – Yakupov
    CBJ – Forsberg
    MTL – Grigerenko
    NYI – Galchenyk
    TOR- D-man. – Murray/Reinhart

    With all the high end D talent available this year, I still think top 4 are forwards, maybe even top 5 if NYI or MTL takes the Finn Teravainen who’s rocketing up the charts.Maybe even TOR takes the Finn at 5, but he’s not a prototypical Burke player.

    I could see the Islanders going for Murray because they were one of the worst in the league in GA last season and they don’t have much high end D depth in their system, but other than that I agree that the five high end forward prospects should be gone in the first 5-7 picks.

    If it it does play out as you predict though, I wonder if Toronto’s pick becomes available. I doubt that Burke really wants D or a tiny forward.

  17. slopitch says:

    Another day another Russian getting offers from the KHL. This time Pavalec. I still take Yakapov. Move Hemsky to LW, sign Smyth and make Hart/Pajarvi win a job.

    Last night watching HNIC they were talking about Crosby’s extension and how Jordan Staal wants a bigger role. He he wants to play with his bro in Carolina then we pass but otherwise, having a dominant 2way forward with Nuge would be an excellent 1-2 punch.

  18. bookje says:

    Rondo:
    Take Yakupov

    Trade MPS and ? to Anaheim for Justin Schultz and Peter Holland.

    We get a big center with potentialand a good Dman with potential.

    And ifyou can get one of The Dmen that Stu wants on sale of course you trade up if possible

    Anaheim is looking for wingers and Dmen .

    You do understand that all Edmonton would get for that is about 20 days of Schultz’ rights (and the right to talk to him) and then he would be a UFA?

  19. sliderule says:

    @JP
    I took Hamiltons numbers from this past season where he scored 1.44 pts/game in 50 games.
    I didn’t have the stats for the team pts/ game when he wasn’t playing so I couldn’t correct for that.I did the same with Murray so it would be a fairer comparison.
    As Hamilton is only three months older than Murray I think that last season is a better comp of their ability than Lowetides draft year comparison.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    If Matheson is plugged in enough to go with Yakupov at #1 (although I think he is just guessing) then he is likely right that CLB will take Murray. He has been pushing that one for weeks.

    Aaron Portzline, who is the most plugged in CBJ reporter, thinks they take Forsberg if Yak is gone.

    He alludes to it at the end of this post I follow Portzline on twitter and he’s written about it a few times, the above link is just the first one I found via google.

  21. Woodguy says:

    slopitch:
    Another day another Russian getting offers from the KHL.This time Pavalec.I still take Yakapov.Move Hemsky to LW, sign Smyth and make Hart/Pajarvi win a job.

    Last night watching HNIC they were talking about Crosby’s extension and how Jordan Staal wants a bigger role.He he wants to play with his bro in Carolina then we pass but otherwise, having a dominant 2way forward with Nuge would be an excellent 1-2 punch.

    PIT needs good young cheap wingers to play with Crosby and Malkin.

    The Oilers have a few of those.

    I’d trade anyone except RNH for Staal if he’s on a 5-6 year contract.

  22. Gret99zky says:

    I’d have Yaks change wings over Hemmer. Young guys rarely fear change.

    If Smyth doesn’t sign a one year 3rd line with some PP type contract, forget it. This team needs to move away from overpaying players based on nostalgia.

    Time for Tambi to go after some cap troubled teams and shake the trees.

  23. gr8one says:

    The flipside to this coin though is if Murray was that good, wouldn’t/shouldn’t he be helping drive the offense?

  24. Rondo says:

    bookje,

    Yes I do, but Edmonton would make sure he would sign and Holland has potential to be a 2nd line 2way center. Holland could be the best player in the deal.

  25. Bar_Qu says:

    The note I found interesting in Matheson’s article was where he said the Oilers were interested in acquiring Ellis from Nashville. Maybe he’s blue-skying, but I wonder if he might be the next young project the Oilers have in their cross-hairs. He is a former first-rounder after all.

  26. remember reijo says:

    Put Lander’s, MPS’, Hartikainen’s, and Pitlick’s name in a hat. Pull out two names from the hat and add a second rounder in 2013. Make some phonecalls, see what it gets for a defenseman.

    What would the 2013 first rounder get us a year in advance?…I’m guessing it wouldnt be hard to sell it as a lottery pick. We could hire Mackinnon to bike courier the proposal himself to the other teams.

  27. ashley says:

    Woodguy:
    So LT pimps Yak as much as possible, then when it starts to look like the Oilers are taking him, you start posting quotes that Murray’s the next Bourque.

    Well, I can see where LT is coming from. He has been preaching balance for this unbalanced roster for 3 years. Choosing Yak seems to unbalance things further.

    It’s like the girl living in a basement apartment with her two kids and husband, and the first thing she decides to buy with her big-girl paycheque is a Ferrari. Then one year later she buys a Lamborghini completely ignoring her housing needs. An imperfect analogy.

    I agree with your sentiment though. Yak is worth more than Murray, and likely always will be. The most valuable assets will help to deliver the highest quality, balanced roster down the road.

    That balance doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t imo) happen at the draft table. However, if some of these highly touted Dmen don’t develop or develop fast enough, then acquiring a Dman with miles of RFA years may be in order, and the fanbase needs to be comfortable with Hall or Eberle (or similar) as the currency.

  28. MrSmitty says:

    ashley: and the fanbase needs to be comfortable with Hall or Eberle (or similar) as the currency.

    Being comfortable trading Hall or Eberle will never happen for me. As far as I am concerned the untouchables are

    RNH
    Hall
    Eberle
    Petry
    Smid

    I would trade this years pick and next few years picks rather then trading our sure things. I also am a strong believer in trading several good players for one great player. No lateral moves and no trading our stars away. Thats what the losers do. (see islanders, panthers)

  29. Lowetide says:

    I think that’s the eventual result of drafting Yakupov. You’ll have to move him or one of the other kids at some point, certainly before you begin buying free agent seasons (with the understanding the new CBA may change things).

  30. Lowetide says:

    Just to add: UNLESS they can solve the blue inexpensively.

  31. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    I can live with that. Detroit had to trade a Norris winning Coffey to get the team they needed to win the cup. It hurts to trade the ones you love, but as long as you love the ones you get back it will be okay. If in one or two years we have to trade Yakupov for a defenceman that’s only a bad thing if the D we get back is worse than Murray.

    Bar_Qu:
    The note I found interesting in Matheson’s article was where he said the Oilers were interested in acquiring Ellis from Nashville.Maybe he’s blue-skying, but I wonder if he might be the next young project the Oilers have in their cross-hairs. He is a former first-rounder after all.

    I was wondering about that myself. Nashville is heavy on D and Ellis won CHL player of the year, which is a good historical sign. I also wonder if Carolina would sooner part with Ryan Murphy over their 8th. We’d get a guy one year closer, though I don’t love his post-draft junior season.

  32. slopitch says:

    Woodguy,

    I tend to agree. Right now I wouldnt move Hall Eberle Yakapov or Nuge for him because of his contract situation. Its harder to score goals then defend them and Staal is a career high 50 pter (woulda been higher this year). I think his offense is there though. Its just hard to get those minutes behind 87 and 71.

    Anyways, its a call I hope we’re making. We’re a good fit to trade with the Pens as much as anyone. Because as much as the Coyotes need forwards, they need centers just like us.

  33. Ducey says:

    Brad Stuart looks like he will be off the market. His rights just got traded to the Sharks.

    DET is going to be looking for D, too.

    The market for D tightens further.

    How about Matt Carle? He is good for 35 pts, third toughest competition of the Flyers D, third best Rel Corsi among Flyers D. Not a bruiser. Age 27.

    He is from Alaska and made $3.8 million last year.

  34. Gret99zky says:

    WRTT new kids, I’m guessing if the team doesn’t start winning or if the coach makes bonehead decisions, Hall will be the first out of town. Either he will become frustrated and ask out or the chemistry won’t be right. There’s a lot of ego there, IMO.

    Eberle will be the toughest to sign at value because of his agent, Donny Meehan. But you have to keep Ebs and the Nuge together. Don’t you?

    I’m hoping too see some of the prospect Ds make some steps this year, ala Petry, so we don’t regret picking forwards over D this draft.

  35. Marc says:

    Lowetide:
    I think that’s the eventual result of drafting Yakupov. You’ll have to move him or one of the other kids at some point, certainly before you begin buying free agent seasons (with the understanding the new CBA may change things).

    I’m not sure this is true. Fans and media tend to look at teams that are really deep at one position and assume that they’d be willing to trade some of that depth to shore up a position that they are weak in, but teams seem to take the opposite view.

    Pittsburgh has three great centers but hasn’t been willing to move any of them for an elite winger or Dman. New York has great depth on D at the NHL level and Erixson on the way, but refused to include Del Zotto or McDonagh in a deal for Nash – Erixson was reportedly the only D they were willing to give up.

    I think that when teams get their hands on an elite player they generally want to hold on to them, even if they are deep at that position rather than parlay that depth into a more balanced team.

  36. Ryan says:

    Maggie the Monkey,

    Dear lord… If anyone hasn’t seen this yet, it’s unbelievable. I laughed so hard my eyes started to water.

  37. Ryan says:

    bookje: You do understand that all Edmonton would get for that is about 20 days of Schultz’ rights (and the right to talk to him)and then he would be a UFA?

    Couldn’t trading for his rights actually be a negative in that it would affect his contract status in two years? I’m assuming that’s one of the reasons Schultz doesn’t want to sign with Annaheim.

  38. Ryan says:

    slopitch,

    Stall faced the toughest qoc by 2 of three metrics of 3 metrics amount forwards on the pens. If you exclude Crosby who played 22 games and only edged stall out on the original qoc, then he faced some tough competition with 47.8 off zone starts.

    His pk numbers aware solid.

    Gaon/60= 4.01 with 2.62 Toi/60.

    So stall is playing horcoff’s minutes only to far better effect.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Marc: I’m not sure this is true.Fans and media tend to look at teams that are really deep at one position and assume that they’d be willing to trade some of that depth to shore up a position that they are weak in, but teams seem to take the opposite view.

    Pittsburgh has three great centers but hasn’t been willing to move any of them for an elite winger or Dman. New York has great depth on D at the NHL level and Erixson on the way, butrefused to include Del Zotto or McDonagh in a deal for Nash – Erixson was reportedly the only D they were willing to give up.

    I think that when teams get their hands on an elite player they generally want to hold on to them, even if they are deep at that position rather than parlay that depth into a more balanced team.

    All I’m reading about the Pens right now is that the Crosby contract will mean Staal is traded. How many years did they play together? Six?

    Seems about right.

  40. speeds says:

    MrSmitty: Being comfortable trading Hall or Eberle will never happen for me.As far as I am concerned the untouchables are

    RNH
    Hall
    Eberle
    Petry
    Smid

    I would trade this years pick and next few years picks rather then trading our sure things.I also am a strong believer in trading several good players for one great player.No lateral moves and no trading our stars away.Thats what the losers do. (seeislanders, panthers)

    I like Smid, but I don’t see how you hang onto him over the 2013 1st. I know you didn’t necessarily say that Smid has more value, so as always it depends on the offers. But one year of Smid vs. 7 years of a likely top 14 pick, possibly another top 5 pick in what’s shaping up to be a really good draft? For a team building for the future?

    I wouldn’t be looking to deal Smid either, but looking at the overall picture, I’m just not sure how you can look at him as a core piece without an extension in place.

  41. gogliano says:

    I think there is an endogeneity problem when you’re comparing the top talent on teams in relation to their team’s overall offense. Sure, the bad team offense can’t be blamed on Murray. But, at the very least, a team’s #1 D man (by a mile) has a significant impact on the “team offense” variable; it isn’t a wholly external variable that is either limiting or inflating player X’s offense.

    My point here, mainly, is that sussing out team offense from player offense is _always_ going to involve qualitative judgments to some degree. All things being equal, then, I’d prefer, when choosing in the top of the draft, to take the guy who has proven offense on a team with normal numbers than the one who might have elite offense but is being held back by terrible linemates; in the former case, you’re dealing with a (better) known quantity, but in the latter you are necessarily dealing with more guesswork and your reasoning might fail you.

  42. Woodguy says:

    Marc: I could see the Islanders going for Murray because they were one of the worst in the league in GA last season and they don’t have much high end D depth in their system, but other than that I agree that the five high end forward prospects should be gone in the first 5-7 picks.

    If it it does play out as you predict though, I wonder if Toronto’s pick becomes available.I doubt that Burke really wants D or a tiny forward.

    NYI had Hamonic playing now and De Haan coming, but there aren’t flush with D prospects for sure.

    If they really like Strome, they may take Murray instead of another C.

    Mighjt take the Finn too.i

  43. jfry says:

    lt, i understand what you’re tryingto do here, but it feels like we’re trying to make murray look like someone he’s not. we could put half the dmen on the top ten list in the murray column and it would look the same.

    my issues with this way of thinking: if murray is playing almost 30 minutes a night, perhaps he’s among the issues with his team’s offense. he will play reduced minutes on pp and ev in the show, suggesting even less production for him. nothing about his career to date suggests offense, which is why i don’t get all these blue sky neidermeyer and hamilton comparisons.

    i also agree with speeds. i think yakupov’s offense is being undersold.

    can i also ask wh u had collbeg rated so low in your ratings? everything except his size suggests he’ll be a way better player than forsberg. they had radically different roles in the wjc, where collberg was a key player and forsberg was a bit piece. both have horrible nhles, yet u seem to love this forsberg guy — everyone does, for that matter. maybe my question is, what am i missing? if he’s available as late as u suggest i hope the oil can make a play for collberg. he looked great with friberg.

  44. Lowetide says:

    Jfry: I’m not arguing Murray should be taken first overall, more wondering what we’re missing in the Murray bio. I do think there’s some evidence that he is underrated as an offensive player. I have made no effort to compare him to Yakupov or suggest he should go number one, I have put forth the argument that Murray’s offense is underrated.

    Two different discussions, and again I’ll state that Yakupov is #1 on my list.

    In regard to Collberg, he’s a speed burner and certainly scored well in the WJ’s but I think it’s something like 46 SEL games now without a point. I couldn’t see ranking him higher because imo offense is going to be a quesrion mark and he’s an undersized guy to boot.

  45. jfry says:

    maybe my comment came off wrong. i understand your yakupov arguments completely (and tend to agree). i was just agreeing with speeds, and it perhaps melted into my other statements about murray.

    and my comments on murray are actually more related to method by which you compare him and hamilton. i guess what i should have asked is this: is there more examples using this style of comparison that helps show a normalizing trend?

    while i think there’s a possibility his scoring could be undervalued, only 40 dmen had more than 30 points this year. i think a lot of people here are getting ahead of themselves thinking he could be a 40-50 point guy (i know you haven’t said that, but it’s been in comment threads). for the record, i think that chris phillips is a great number comparable (if we accept the 5 month gap in age) and assume murray plays his first year in the show next season. his nhle of 17 matches phillips exactly. different styles, but similar praise in their draft year, regarding character and versatility.

    looking over phillips games played really makes me worried about drafting a player with a history of injuries, regardless of position, though.

  46. rickithebear says:

    terry crisp: commented on ellis’s play on calgary 960. He said, “you have to take the defensive liability, for the offence. He would be a real good forward.”

    Christ play MP on D before Ellis.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Jfry: Gotcha. I honestly don’t know and you’re right there should be a median so we can see. But the real problem is TOI, because that’s the “at bats” portion of the equation. NHL teams will spend millions on these kids but they don’t know the at bats.

    Crazy.

  48. spoiler says:

    Lowetide:
    Jfry: Gotcha. I honestly don’t know and you’re right there should be a median so we can see. But the real problem is TOI, because that’s the “at bats” portion of the equation. NHL teams will spend millions on these kids but they don’t know the at bats.

    Crazy.

    NHL teams know the at-bats #. It’s only the public that doesn’t.

    Someone makes a good point above that we might have to nick Murray’s offense a bit because those TOI totals are probably far above average, if Everett was such a weak team.

  49. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: NHL teams know the at-bats #.It’s only the public that doesn’t.

    Someone makes a good point above that we might have to nick Murray’s offense a bit because those TOI totals are probably far above average, if Everett was such a weak team.

    I’m not sure that’s true. I asked Couturier’s coach last spring if he tracked TOI and he said they had to choose between that and something else (think it might have been workout room).. I’d love to know if it is tracked, I’d find a way to get it.

    I do know some buildings track it brw. The Calgary Hitmen track time on ice, provide it for their gamesheets and summaries.

  50. rickithebear says:

    speeds: I like Smid, but I don’t see how you hang onto him over the 2013 1st.

    Smid was top 15 GA playing 1st line comp w/ petry

    just so you know.
    1.Top 15 GA against 1st Comp
    2. top 15 hits
    3. top 15 blocks
    the answer is three dmen.
    Seabrook
    girardi
    Smid.

    yup just the kind of d you give up!

    I know lets trade dubnyk who was top 10 for Save% from jan. on.

  51. Traktor says:

    Most people that feel Murray will be special aren’t basing it on his stats with Everett this year so there really isn’t much ground to be gained by dissecting all of his numbers.

    I’m betting on him. He will be as good as Alex Pietrangelo.

  52. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: I’m not sure that’s true. I asked Couturier’s coach last spring if he tracked TOI and he said they had to choose between that and something else (think it might have been workout room).. I’d love to know if it is tracked, I’d find a way to get it.

    I do know some buildings track it brw. The Calgary Hitmen track time on ice, provide it for their gamesheets and summaries.

    I don’t know about the CHL. But as far as the NHL goes, we’ve had too many scouts talk about it over the years to think they, the NHL scouts, are not tracking TOI in some form.

  53. DSF says:

    rickithebear: Smid was top 15 GA playing 1st line comp w/ petry

    just so you know.
    1.Top 15 GA against 1st Comp
    2. top 15 hits
    3. top 15 blocks
    the answer is three dmen.
    Seabrook
    girardi
    Smid.

    yup just the kind of d you give up!

    I know lets trade dubnyk who was top 10 for Save% from jan. on.

    And 115th in points scored.

    On average, that means every team in the league has 3 defensemen who score more.

    Ladi made a nice progression last season but, if he’s going to be a top pairing defenseman, his offence is very inadequate.

    As a reliable #4, no problem…nothing more though.

  54. Mr DeBakey says:

    Smid.
    yup just the kind of d you give up!

    I think the reference is to Smid’s pending UFA status.
    At least, I hope it was.

  55. stevezie says:

    Since Phillips was only ever an excellent #3 defenceman it might be tempting for Murray supporters to see the comparison as an insult, but I think Chris Phillips is actually the best argument you could give for taking a defenceman first overall. True he took a couple years to develop and never did reach all-star status, but if you were to redraft his year Phillips still gets taken first. J.P Dumont was a scoring star and Danius Zubrus had size and skill, but Phillips was clearly the most valuable player to his team both immediately and in the long-term.

    Defenceman being hard to project does not make forwards sure things. Maybe this all seems obvious, but I’m sensing a faction who feels that D-men should never be taken first. The Senators are very thankful they did not burn that pick on Dumont. After looking at the 1996 draft list I’d still take nail, but I promise to stop muttering “that guy is nuts” when reading Godot’s posts. I might even understand it if Howson chooses Murray for the two G centres.

    (This same point could be made with Jovanovski or maybe even Redden/Berard. There is certainly enough to balance off the “look at Eric Johnson” argument.)

  56. godot10 says:

    1) Justin Schultz is NOT going to sign with anyone until he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Therefore, it is totally pointless trading for his rights. As a UFA he can sign a 2 year entry contract. If he signs before then, he has to sign a 3 year deal. The third year likely costs him several million dollars if he is as good as they say he is.

    2) Ryan Murray played like one or two games before the World Junior championship after coming back from a high ankle sprain. Team Canada still played him in their top 4, something only Bouwmeester and Doughty have done in the last decade as draft eligibles. He is a special player. The Oilers will rue the day they didn’t pick him.

    3) Giving Hordichuk or Laraque a contract is stupid. The Oilers only have 50 contracts to give out.

  57. prairieschooner says:

    If top D men are hard to acquire, where are they magically going to appear from?
    What UFA s and RFA s are likely available over the next 1,2,3 years What chance would the Oilers have in picking those players up?
    If there are not really solid prospects that we can get, then we better starting drafting D men.

    Can the Oilers draft Yakupove and then trade him right away?
    This would allow them to negiate with more clubs

  58. hags9k says:

    Hate to bush up LT’s boards guessing at hypothetical trades but since Pit was brought up, is Yak, Gags, and Marincin an overpay for Staal and Letang? Or what about Clarkson and Larsson for #1?

  59. stevezie says:

    hags9k,

    I would do either of those deals. In fact I think Pitts would slam the phone down on you for the first one. The second seems closer, but since NJ already has Kovalchuk I think they’d prefer to keep Larsson, but that’s an interesting proposal.

    prairieschooner,

    We are drafting d-men. I’d say we have more promising defenceman below the NHL than we do forwards, wouldn’t you? Our needing a D-man doesn’t suddenly make Murray better than Nail, just like forwards typically being a better bet didn’t make Dupont better than Phillips.

  60. Beaker says:

    Guys, I didnt get to read all the comments so I apologize if this has been said. When people say “we were so bad in GA last year so thats why we should draft Murray” I want to puke. Inserting an 18 year old D is NOT going to make our D give up less goals next year, or the next few years most likely.

    If we are somehow not going to have Yakapov on the roster next year it better be because we traded that pick for real NHL dmen today. (And it better be a freakin sweet deal)

  61. Beaker says:

    Oh, and, why is Pittsburg trading Letang? I get the Staal thing but why does Letangs name keep coming up? What in the hell would we have to give up to get BOTH of those players and have them be signed to a contract (pure pure pipe dream)?

    This years first, next years first, Gagner, MPS and another prospect? That feels like a rediculous overpay but at the same time it doesnt.

  62. Captain Obvious says:

    hags9k,

    I think both of those trades are horrible for the Oilers. You aren’t trading for players you are trading for contracts and Staal only has one year left on his and Letang only has two years on his deal. It’s hard to imagine a worse trade for the Oilers then the Pittsburg deal you suggested.

    The Larson deal is also a terrible trade. Clarkson only has one year left as well so that isn’t worth very much and Larson wasn’t a #1 pick, wouldn’t be picked first in a redraft, and isn’t on a star track. It’s highly unlikely that he’ll ever be better than Yakupov. Still that deal is much better than the Pittsburg scenario. Even if Larsson never became a star, and Yakupov scored 40 goals, at least in that scenario the Oilers have someone that plays for them for five years and gives them a chance to be good.

    The Larsson deal is a bad idea that might work out. The Staal/Letang deal has no chance of working out for the Oilers (unless you think that the Oilers win the Stanley Cup next year with the addition of Staal and Letang?)

  63. Captain Obvious says:

    A fair price for Staal is a mid first round draft pick and a B type prospect. Anyone who trades more than that is making a big mistake. Remember you aren’t trading for the player you are trading for one year of the player.

    There is no fair price for Letang. Hiss contract is too valuable for the Penguins while at the same time, in an abstract sense, the contract of the first overall pick is far more valuable. (three years of ELC + 3 years of underpaid RFA is worth a lot more than 2 years of Letang).

  64. spoiler says:

    I sure do wish the top prospects, while we are getting 1st overalls, would stop being wingers.

  65. Beaker says:

    Captain Obvious,

    Well I did say “signed to a contract”. It’s not happening anyways

  66. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    1) Justin Schultz is NOT going to sign with anyone until he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Therefore, it is totally pointless trading for his rights. As a UFA he can sign a 2 year entry contract. If he signs before then, he has to sign a 3 year deal. The third year likely costs him several million dollars if he is as good as they say he is.

    Where are you getting the 2/3 year thing?

    I read it a while back and took it as truth as well, but the CBA states ELC length is determined by age of the player, so it shouldn’t matter.

    Also,

    If he signed with ANA in the spring, it would have been a 2 year ELC and he would have burned the first year in the spring, so he’s already added a year to his RFA years by not signing with ANA.

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