IS ANTON LANDER GOING TO MAKE THE GRADE?

From the moment I started reading up on Anton Lander his unique skill set was obvious. In the world of prospect development, “unique” is a very powerful word. Lander had a quality about him that screamed “special.”

Lander’s story isn’t about what he does at the plate, but rather in the field. He’s a counter-trey, opposite George. Anton Lander is hockey’s grandson to Doug Jarvis, the splendid center who won faceoffs, killed penalties and spent two generations playing every game on the schedule.

The question with Jarvis is the question we are asking about Lander: is he going to score enough? These all leather, no wood types need to score a little just to stay in the lineup. That was the problem for a brilliant winger decades ago named Bill Lesuk. Lesuk was such a good penalty killer and shadow for opponents that he actually had a fairly long career. Teams would flush him from time to time in search of offense, but he’d always get another gig. A journeyman, they used to call them.

In the summer of 2011, Lander was coming off a very strong SEL season:

  • 10-11 Boxcars: 49, 11-15-26 in the Swedish Elite League.
  • Desjardins NHL equivalency: 82, 14-20-34
  • His faceoff numbers in the SEL were just below 50%.
  • Lander was 28th in the entire SEL in time-on-ice  at age 19.

When he arrived at summer and then training camp, Lander’s skating–which had taken a giant leap–made him stand out:

  • Oilers Skating and Skills Coach Steve Serdachny: Anton has had incredible development. He’s made incredible strides in his skating and his quickness, he has so many great intangible qualities and a fantastic individual. Foot speed, mobility, efficiency have been a part of his program and something he’s been working on. This guy is a dedicated learner and working hard to become an Edmonton Oiler.
  • Stu MacGregor at summer camp: “His effort is so consistent, every shift. The best way to put it is he works smart. He’s really intelligent, good on ­faceoffs. That really stood out for us. His skating may have held him back from being a first-round pick, but it’s improved.

He continued to impress and won an NHL job on the 4th line and PK–what the hell else do you expect Doug Jarvis’ grandkids to do? That wasn’t really the problem, though. The problem is that they club kept sending him out there:

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.62 (14th and last among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual of Comp: 12th out of 14 forwards (ahead of Eager and Hordichuk)
  • Qual Comp: 12th toughest faced among forwards
  • Qual Team: 12th best available teammates among forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -11.3 (13th best among forwards)
  • Zone Start: 52.2% (6th easiest among forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 45.1% (12th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 54/3.7% (10th best among F’s>50 shots)
  • Boxcars: 56, 2-4-6
  • Plus Minus: -8 on a team that was -26

This isn’t really on the player. Honest. This is on the coaching staff or management–whoever pushed his name up the depth chart to the point where Anton Lander spent his rookie season in the NHL as an unready deer in the headlights. There is still plenty to like–that footspeed didn’t go away, he has some jam to him and doesn’t mind the physical stuff–but he’ll need some time to recover his confidence and adjust to the speed of the game. I believe the Oilers when they tell us he’s an outstanding defensive C prospect, but he’ll need to be able to show it the next time he is given a regular NHL shift.

I don’t think Ralph Krueger will push this fellow. Time in the minors is the smart play.

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74 Responses to "IS ANTON LANDER GOING TO MAKE THE GRADE?"

  1. LMHF#1 says:

    If he’s on the team 2 years from now as opposed to this year, we’re probably tracking properly.

  2. WeridAl says:

    For a rookie, he didn’t do bad, and didn’t look out of place. Rather see him this year then Horshit. He’s going to give you that 100% every night and has more leadership skills then Horcoff. Considering the wingers he had last year, he did well.

  3. Ducey says:

    He went 14 GP 1G 4A 5 pts in the AHL regular season and then 14GP 2G 2A 4 pts in the AHL playoffs.

    Of course we don’t know how he was used.

    Reasonable expectation for this year: 30 pts in 68 AHL games?

  4. Ducey says:

    WeridAl:
    For a rookie, he didn’t do bad, and didn’t look out of place.Rather see him this year then Horshit. He’s going to give you that 100% every night and has more leadership skills then Horcoff. Considering the wingers he had last year, he did well.

    What are you 12? Calling people names reflects poorly only on you.

    How do you know he has better leadership skills than Horcoff? He was a fourth line rookie from Sweden trying to learn the ropes and he provided more leadership than an NHL vet who has been Captain for a few years and had a season where he put up 70 pts?

    You are going to replace the guy with 34 pts playing a tough 19 minutes a night with the guy who had 6pts and a fairly easy 10 minutes a night?

    In case you missed the post, Lander was drowing last year and shouldn’t see the NHL this season.

  5. franksterra says:

    This isn’t about nationality, promise. I don’t believe these three young Swedes could play well together out of some misguided belief in genetic and cultural Tre Kronorness. But based on early showings of player type, “Jarvis-Dvorak-Holmstrom” could be a beauty (affordable) multitasking 3rd line in a couple years.

  6. Woodguy says:

    WeridAl:
    For a rookie, he didn’t do bad, and didn’t look out of place.Rather see him this year then Horshit. He’s going to give you that 100% every night and has more leadership skills then Horcoff. Considering the wingers he had last year, he did well.

    So Lander gets crushed by 4th line competition and you want him to take Horcoff’s place, who plays against the toughest competition?

    I think you’re commenting on the wrong website.

    Considering the wingers he had last year, he did well

    I’m pretty sure “well” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  7. gd says:

    Lander’s treatment last year is still my biggest concern with the OIl. Why he was up here last year instead of O’Meara or Vandevelde appears that they still don’t have a strong plan for development like teams like Detroit have. My hope is they have learned some lessons and Lander and PRV are still on their way to long term NHL careers. I think this is especially important for what they do with Klefbom as whether they let him stay in Sweden or bring him over is not because they need a Dman this year, but is part of a plan to have him be as good as he can be in 3 years.

    My best case scenario for Lander is he replaces Horcoff as 3rd line toughs C in about two years. For that reason I hope they leave him in OKC for this year, communicate to him what the plan is and hope last year wasn’t a complete screwup of his development.

  8. commonfan14 says:

    Does anyone know whether Wade Redden is still a decent player or if his game has gone off the rails in the minors?

    You’d think Slats owes it to the guy to trade him for nothing or a little less than nothing (eg Redden and a 3rd for a 4th) if he gets the chance.

    Considering his ridiculous contract is done before RNH or Yak need to get paid, is there a chance he might be not the worst option in the world if he’s still got some game and no other deals materialize?

  9. jp says:

    Ducey:
    He went 14 GP 1G 4A 5 pts in the AHL regular season and then 14GP 2G 2A 4 pts in the AHL playoffs.

    Of course we don’t know how he was used.

    Reasonable expectation for this year:30 pts in 68 AHL games?

    Given his NHLE from his last year in the SEL, one would hope his RE is better than that. Last years AHL numbers suggest something like that, but if he’s actually regressed that far then he is not the player we think he is. I would think 40+ points in a full AHL year (and hopefully more like 50 something) has to be the expectation.

  10. Henry says:

    commonfan14:
    Does anyone know whether Wade Redden is still a decent player or if his game has gone off the rails in the minors?

    You’d think Slats owes it to the guyto trade him for nothing or a little less than nothing (eg Redden and a 3rd for a 4th) if he gets the chance.

    Considering his ridiculous contract is done before RNH or Yak need to get paid, is there a chance he might be not the worst option in the world if he’s still got some game and no other deals materialize?

    It’s an interesting idea, but a $13M gamble. He’s basically a 35-40 point Dman in the A. Would be nice to get a Lloydminster guy out of purgatory. Have to swap backup goalies to make it work.

  11. jp says:

    franksterra:
    This isn’t about nationality, promise.I don’t believe these three young Swedes could play well together out of some misguided belief in genetic and cultural Tre Kronorness.But based on early showings of player type, “Jarvis-Dvorak-Holmstrom” could be a beauty (affordable) multitasking 3rd line in a couple years.

    By Holmstrom you mean Hartikainen? You can’t mean Omark. Hartikainen is a Fin. Still scandanavian I guess.

    Agree that does have the potential to be a nice 3rd line at some point though.

  12. Cactus says:

    Corey Pronman’s top 10 prospect write-up was postted today:

    http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1350

    He still has Lander in his top 10 players aged 22 or younger in the organization. Pronman seems to see Lander’s last year as a bit of an abberation and is looking to see what he does this year. I’m of the same mind.

  13. Cactus says:

    commonfan14,

    There are a bunch of teams struggling to make the cap floor this year (and last). Redden could be had for nothing but money, yet he’s still in the AHL. Probably a reason for that.

  14. DBO says:

    Would anyone have interest in Semin on a 2 yr for around $4.5 mill? Why not go stupid skill lines. If he’s a problem that’s what Smyth and Horc are for. It’s like an arcade team. We dare you to take a penalty.

  15. knighttown says:

    There are some prospects that pedigree be damned, when you see them audition in the NHL you just “know” they aren’t going to make it as a regular or difference maker. I felt that way with Alex Plante. It wasn’t just a matter of making bad reads (like Smid early on) he just didn’t have the tools to play in the bigs. Smid and Paajarvi are examples of guys that you can/could tell have something but haven’t been able avoid having their one major weakness exposed. For Smit it was reads and a pathetic shot. He improved the former so much so that its now a strength. The latter…well…he improved his reads.

    Paajarvi’s weakness is very similar to Cogliano’s. He’s got terrific straight away speed but absoutely no change of pace and no ability to beat guys one-on-one. NHL defensemen can really move and they don’t have trouble with super-fast guys. In the 5 years Cogliano was here I bet he never got to the net off a rush more than a half dozen times. It’s like a pitcher with a 94 mph fastball…and nothing else. They can dominate college and AAA but Ryan Braun’s gonna catch up to that pitch. Paajarvi has got to find a way to add some subtlety to his game and he’s got the right guy to watch with Jordan Eberle who give defenemen fits with change of pace and by wrong-footing guys.

    Lander’s interesting. I saw nothing during his time up here. If you told me that was Chris VandeVelde I would have first said, “Really? The spelling seems way off” but then I would have just nodded and carried on.

    As a fan, he’s not a write off like Plante but he’s in that Marincin, Hamilton, Pitlick range where I’m not really penciling him in any future lineup. Whether he should have had the audtion or not (and the answer is not) the fact of the matter is he wasn’t CLOSE to helping this team. So, go away with the other 2nd rounders and work on your game and maybe we’ll see you in two years if everything breaks right.

  16. Ryan says:

    DBO:
    Would anyone have interest in Semin on a 2 yr for around $4.5 mill? Why not go stupid skill lines. If he’s a problem that’s what Smyth and Horc are for. It’s like an arcade team. We dare you to take a penalty.

    Wow. I thought I had read he signed with the Pens already. Must be the heat and my lack of AC.

    Random thoughts:

    PRV: Would a reverse Byfuglien be that crazy? Would make him a perfect 14F.

    Lander, yeah it was a shame he spent too much time in the NHL last year.

    Redden is completely finished. I’d qualify Barker before I’d take Redden.

    Mind you, if Katz would eat the dollars and play him in OKC, how about:

    Wade Redden + Dubinsky for Peckman and Omark :)

  17. Bruce McCurdy says:

    commonfan14: You’d think Slats owes it to the guy to trade him for nothing or a little less than nothing (eg Redden and a 3rd for a 4th) if he gets the chance.

    I’m pretty sure that any team that was willing to pay half of Redden’s salary could have him on re-entry waivers, no other acquisition cost required. He’s getting to that stage in his contract where some needy team might actually think about it.

  18. Clay says:

    WeridAl,

    You spelled “weird” wrong.

  19. Bruce McCurdy says:

    jp: Hartikainen is a Fin. Still scandanavian I guess.

    Tiny point: technically Finland is not considered a Scandinavian country any more than Newfoundland & Labrador is considered one of the Maritime provinces. The inclusive terms are “Nordic countries” and “Atlantic provinces” respectively. (And who wouldn’t want to include the wondrous lands of Finland & NL?) I think in the case of Scandinavia there is a common root language, whereas the Finnish tongue seems to have descended from the Pleiades.

  20. franksterra says:

    jp,

    Indeed, Harksi is a Hard-Handed Son of Suomi. I was too eager to use the term Tre Kronor is my excuse….

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Tiny point: technically Finland is not considered a Scandinavian country any more than Newfoundland & Labrador is considered one of the Maritime provinces. The inclusive terms are “Nordic countries” and “Atlantic provinces” respectively. (And who wouldn’t want to include the wondrous lands of Finland & NL?) I think in the case of Scandinavia there is a common root language, whereas the Finnish tongue seems to have descended from the Pleiades.

    Interesting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandinavia

    It would seem to have a fair amount of political significance here beyond the admittedly thorny questions of “autochthonous” claims of cultural/national/linguistic/etc. populations.

    It does appear, however, that Finnish does not belong to the Indo-European family of languages, which I would have guessed. That clearly separates “the Finns” (whoever they “are” and “were”) from the rest of the Indo-Germanic peoples typically considered descendants from the Indo-Europeans. However, a cultural and linguistic cross-pollination appears to have taken place, which would seem obvious:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_language

    gd: Lander’s treatment last year is still my biggest concern with the OIl.

    Not only did mgt. expose itself here by refusing to see what was staring them in the face, it appears Lander’s debut may have been uglier than it looked.

    I posted this the other day, but it is worth re-considering. Zona (on the basis of an admittedly small sample size) noted that Petrell’s numbers seemed much better without Lander:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2012/3/11/2861920/lennart-petrell-or-anton-lander-which-is-the-boat-anchor

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2012/3/11/2863125/lennart-petrells-blip-real-or-illusory

    It’s worth pondering whether Petrell is better than he looked and Lander was worse. Either way, Lander was not ready and mgt. soiled themselves and potentially harmed Lander’s development.

    ps. thank god that disturbing morality play from yesterday is over!!

  22. jake70 says:

    When it became obvious a little while into the season Lander wasn’t “ready” for the NHL, I think they should have swapped him with Vandevelde, what would have been the harm. Give Vandevelde a good run, see what he’s got. The very least you may increase his value for a trade.

  23. TheOtherJohn says:

    Its not that Lander isn’t scoring here. Its that he isnt scoring anywhere. Pretty sure Serdachny’s comments about Lander’s skating was not that it was elite or even good. It was that it will not be a reason he fails. Being an average skater in the NHL means you have to do other things real well.

    Lander may become a player at the NHL level but a full season or two in the AHL is needed so that he is mediocre at scoring at the NHL level

  24. bendelson says:

    I would suggest that both PRV and Lander have ‘unique’ skill sets.

    I trust that Kreuger is completely aware of this given his experience watching them used improperly last season and so I’m very curious whether Kreuger finds a way to utilize their skill sets on the big club this year.

    If I had to guess, I would think Lander plays the full season in the AHL (maybe a late season call up)
    and PRV gets a shot moving up and down the line-up – placed in situations where he can have some success.

    Too much confidence in the new coach? Maybe.

  25. Dipstick says:

    Isn’t Paajarvi half Finnish as well? It sure would be nice if he was all finish!

  26. Ducey says:

    Dipstick: Isn’t Paajarvi half Finnish as well? It sure would be nice if he was all finish!

    Wasn’t that Robbie Schremp?

  27. Ribs says:

    Ducey: Wasn’t that Robbie Schremp?

    No, he’s finishED.

  28. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I work with tourists quite a bit in my job at the public observatory, and every summer I have a participatory project where visitors are invited to write on our blackboard, a chosen word like “star” or “sky” in their language. It’s a wonderfully inclusive process which has started some pretty interesting conversations over the years. I’ve been told by Finns that the language most resembling their own is Hungarian, and I’ve been told by Hungarians that their tongue most resembles Finnish. Nobody ever seems sure as to how or why that came about. I’m no linguistic scholar, just a dilettante (as in most things!), but I found that connection interesting. For sure, both tongues are far from the beaten track of Indo-Germanic languages, where you can see the “evolution” of a given word in neighbouring regions.

  29. commonfan14 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I’m pretty sure that any team that was willing to pay half of Redden’s salary could have him on re-entry waivers, no other acquisition cost required.

    Have the Rangers ever exposed Redden to re-entry waivers though? I thought they’ve just been sending him down at the beginning of the year and then leaving him there. They wouldn’t want to be stuck with half his cap hit, right?

    It’s certainly true that teams can get him off waivers at full price in September rather than via trade if they want him, but it seems like you could maybe get a slightly better deal in a trade if other parts were included.

    In any case, I haven’t seen him play in the AHL and don’t know of any detailed analysis of his stats there. If it’s true that he’s completely done and it’s that and not just his crazy unwarranted cap hit keeping him in the minors, then never mind.

  30. M Parkatti says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Speaking only with the authority of someone who has Finnish accounting for half of their bloodline, I believe the language most associated with Finnish is actually Estonian, though I may be wrong. I went through a phase where I thought I wanted to learn Finnish, but that lasted for about three hours. My sister has spent time there and can speak a certain amount. I’d love to get there myself…

  31. TheOtherJohn says:

    CF/Bruce

    Belive a large part of Redden’s reputation was built while paired with Chara in Ottawa. Both had strong numbers, so much so that Ottawa was more interested in keeping redden happy than Chara. Now that, thats a mistake. Redden was a good first pass guy and decent QB on the PP. As I write this, I am thinking like Ryan Whitney. (altho when healthy I think Whitney is a better defender) After Chara left, Redden’s numbers slid a bit and after signing his monster contract w NYR his numbers slid even further. He has played the last 2 seasons in the AHL with ok offensive #’s. He is a 35yr old and might???? be a decent 1 year bridge to give kids: Klefbom, Marincin, Musil, Lelaggia another year to develop

    Bruce is absolutely right tho reentry waivers is the only way I consider it

  32. franksterra says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    What i hear repeatedly but vaguely is that the language similarity between Hungarian (Magyarol) and Finnish (and maybe Estonian i see here?) is due to geographically distant pockets of Magyar, or ‘Hun’, settlers from further East hanging on a bit longer in these places x-number of centuries ago.

    Tudol Magyarol, anyone?

  33. Moosemess says:

    It’s possible that Lander projects as another Mats Lindgren for the Oil.

    If that’s his final upside, I’d be cool with that. An absolutely dogged and reliable defensive forward that you can trust in virtually any key defensive situation. Sounds like a necessary piece of the puzzle.

  34. Lois Lowe says:

    Bruce,

    Another interesting linguistic bit is that one of English’s closest relatives is a little known and not widely spoken one, Frisian. Although Friesland is located in Holland, Dutch people can’t understand it all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frisian_languages

  35. franksterra says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Europe is much more culturally and linguisitcally diverse than most North Americans assume, i think. Setting aside more recent immigration, I know i tend to generally think of France as French-speaking, Spain as Spanish-speaking etc. Every countyr seems to have several minority languages that have been there for centuries if not longer. In Scotland where I live now there’s Gaelic of course, Spain has Basque and Catalan, France has Provenal and Corsican, etc…

    Back on thread, Lindrgen would be alright for Lander down the road. I hear Lander has a bit of an annoyance/agitator factor too (for opposing players as well as us fans…).

  36. prairieschooner says:

    Bill Lesuk played for the Jets back in the day and was known as
    Bill “The Tractor” Lesuk

  37. LoDog says:

    Ducey: What are you 12?Calling people names reflects poorly only on you.

    How do you know he has better leadership skills than Horcoff? He was a fourth line rookie from Sweden trying to learn the ropes and he provided more leadership than an NHL vet who has been Captain for a few years and had a season where he put up 70 pts?

    You are going to replace the guy with 34 pts playing a tough 19 minutes a night with the guy who had 6pts and a fairly easy 10 minutes a night?

    In case you missed the post, Lander was drowing last year and shouldn’t see the NHL this season.

    And calling people 12 reflects poorly on you. But you post a lot so I guess that makes it ok. The self righteousness on this site can get a bit much sometimes.

    Lander will be fine. Start the season in the AHL and hopefully get a call up due to good play. Hopefully he can be the Oilers new Peca.

  38. Jesse says:

    franksterra: Lois Lowe, Europe is much more culturally and linguisitcally diverse than most North Americans assume, i think. Setting aside more recent immigration, I know i tend to generally think of France as French-speaking, Spain as Spanish-speaking etc. Every countyr seems to have several minority languages that have been there for centuries if not longer. In Scotland where I live now there’s Gaelic of course, Spain has Basque and Catalan, France has Provenal and Corsican, etc…Back on thread, Lindrgen would be alright for Lander down the road. I hear Lander has a bit of an annoyance/agitator factor too (for opposing players as well as us fans…).

    I’d be very interested to hear more about Lander’s ability to annoy/agitate. To be honest, I haven’t noticed that from him whatsoever, although I’m sure 90% of agitation is not visible to the average fan. I’ve heard Jason Gregor mention that the ability to agitate is not something that you can grow into, you either have it or you don’t. I’m not sure if I agree with him, but if he’s right then I wonder how much more of an annoyance/agitator Lander could actually become. Because if he’s not doing it yet on the 4th line, I wonder if that’s something that he would just “turn on” someday. Again though, as a discliamer, I’m sure that most of the agitation that he may or may not do would be difficult for the average fan watching the game on sportsnet would be able to detect.

  39. Jesse says:

    Jesse: I’d be very interested to hear more about Lander’s ability to annoy/agitate.

    As in… if anyone has read anything I would love to take a look :)

  40. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Sounds like one damn cool job!

    Lois Lowe,

    franksterra,

    M Parkatti,

    Looks like (if we can trust Wikipedia) Hungarian, Finnish and Estonian all derive from a Uralic common linguistic ancestor:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uralic_languages

    The amazing diffusion of the Indo-European peoples and their language makes it easy to forget the other linguistic groups from the same regions and to de facto assimilate them into the more dominant heritage:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_languages

    franksterra,

    I think you’ll find part of the issue (re: the impression of Europe as distinct states with distinct cultural and linguistic groups) isn’t merely the ignorance of N. Americans (though it is that too).

    The project of modern statecraft (post 1648) is in large measure the effort of centralized, dominant populations to assimilate marginal cultures, nations and linguistic groups into a “cohesive” national entity/identity.

    Or, it is not simply that N. Americans don’t know about the Basque. It is also that Spain doesn’t want you to know about the Basque and is determined to accommodate regional independence/sovereignty movements only within the context of a “Spanish First” understanding that maintains the national integrity of their union.

    Jesse,

    back to Lander. I definitely remember him being a pest last year. It seemed to be one of his better qualities. It is purely from my memory and “by eye” at that however. But I seem to recall him being able to get a lot of attention from the other team, way more than his TOI and prowess should have indicated. He seemed to have a way of getting under the other teams skin and an ability to take hits without much consequence.

    If you do a google video search for Anton Lander and “hit” you come with a series of hits “on” Lander… that would seem to indicate he was a target fairly often and may vouch for the claim that he was pesky and irritating.

  41. jonrmcleod says:

    I guess Redden, insults, and language origins are all more interesting than Lander. :)

  42. jonrmcleod says:

    Cactus,

    I wish he would do an organizational ranking of 22-and-under players, not just prospects.

  43. jonrmcleod says:

    Jesse,

    I remember there were a few games that opposing players were annoyed at Lander for some reason. Seems he has the “ability” to agitate.

  44. Bruce McCurdy says:

    commonfan14: Have the Rangers ever exposed Redden to re-entry waivers though? I thought they’ve just been sending him down at the beginning of the year and then leaving him there. They wouldn’t want to be stuck with half his cap hit, right?

    That is a Very good point, CF14. They’d save half the salary (actually more, since as I understand it there’s no escrow clawback on the likes of Redden), but the price of having to declare the other half on their payroll/salary cap instead of the current $0 would be a huge consideration.

    Well spotted.

  45. Bruce McCurdy says:

    I liked Lander’s edge, I thought that was a plus factor in his game that I wasn’t expecting. That said, I’m not sure that he represented much (if any) of an improvement on Colin Fraser in overall game, and Fraser had an edge of his own.

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    M Parkatti:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Speaking only with the authority of someone who has Finnish accounting for half of their bloodline, I believe the language most associated with Finnish is actually Estonian, though I may be wrong.I went through a phase where I thought I wanted to learn Finnish, but that lasted for about three hours. My sister has spent time there and can speak a certain amount.I’d love to get there myself…

    Thanks for the reminder, you’re right that Estonian came up in one or two of those Finnish/Hungarian convos. Alas, the only visitors I’ve ever had from Estonia struggled so much with English it was impossibkle to have a nuanced conversation with them. Especially given how poorly I speak Estonian.

  47. FastOil says:

    knighttown:

    Paajarvi’s weakness is very similar to Cogliano’s.He’s got terrific straight away speed but absoutely no change of pace and no ability to beat guys one-on-one.NHL defensemen can really move and they don’t have trouble with super-fast guys.

    Thanks for that – I find your insights interesting, particularly about mobility. I wondered why Pajaarvi doesn’t create more havoc offensively – he should be a real handful off the rush or off the boards with his size. Funny although I remember your Cogliano comment, I didn’t put two and two together.

  48. "Steve Smith" says:

    Clay,

    You spelled “weird” wrong.

    Along with “Lander clearly does not belong in the NHL at this stage of his career”.

  49. Cactus says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Cactus,

    I wish he would do an organizational ranking of 22-and-under players, not just prospects.

    Do you mean a ranking of all 30 teams? Or a more comprehensive list for each team individually (i.e. with more explanations)? The former would be great – he kind of does the latter at the bottom of the page, but I would love more depth myself.

  50. jonrmcleod says:

    Cactus,

    I meant the former. I think The Hockey News does something like that. I think the Oilers were #1 last year. I keep looking for that issue at the library but haven’t found it yet. (I was too cheap to buy it at the store when I first saw it.)

  51. hunter1909 says:

    Lander got himself thrown to the wolves last season. Typical bad hockey team 101; tossing prospects into the abyss, while espousing “the Detroit Model”. Bollocks.

    Lowetide wants to invoke Doug Jarvis? What about Pajaarvi? The dude was defensively perfect every time he was on the ice last year, imo.

  52. bookje says:

    "Steve Smith": Along with “Lander clearly does not belong in the NHL at this stage of his career”.

    Brilliant – best quip of the week I dare say!

  53. Traktor says:

    Future as Oilers center:

    RNH A+
    Gagner B
    Lander B-
    Horcoff C-
    Belanger D
    Vande Velde D-
    Martindale F

  54. Gret99zky says:

    Tracy ‏@TreenasOil

    Boston Bruins have offered Tim Thomas to the Edmonton Oilers for Khabibulin A P G

    Now will ST go with the Goalie who won’t play or can’t play?

  55. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Traktor:
    Future as Oilers center:

    RNH A+
    Gagner B
    Lander B-
    Horcoff C-
    Belanger D
    Vande Velde D-
    Martindale F

    This seems like as good an opportunity as any other:

    according to the Oiler website Pitlick is a C
    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8475752

    but according to the Baron, he is RW
    http://www.okcbarons.com/index.cfm?FA=Roster&RA=showDetail&AHLID=4216

    is he a possible fit as a C with some size and edge? Or has he forsaken the position for RW?

  56. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    The last three years running Pitlick has played on a new team in a new league, and all three times (as I understand it) he started the season as a pivot and wound up on the starboard side. It didn’t take long in either Medicine Hat or OKC for that to happen, either. Part of it is an organizational depth thing — a disproportionate number of top forwards play centre as a youngster — and part of it is Pitlick’s range of talents — size, speed off the wing, shot. Not sure he’s a top-notch distributor of the puck or any flaming hell as a defensive/transition player, critical aspects of a successful centre at the NHL level.

  57. nathan says:

    Gret99zky,

    Bruins offered Thomas to team X is one of those oracle worthy performances like team X is interested in Justin Schultz.

    When the Bruins let Thomas know he was on the trade block they forgot that contracts signed beyond 35 years of age don’t need NTCs. Thomas will be retired until the Bruins trade him where he wants to be traded.

  58. OilClog says:

    Thomas for Khabby in a heartbeat, after an inspirational conversation with Ralph.. How could he stay on the sidelines?!?

  59. Dipstick says:

    OilClog:
    Thomas for Khabby in a heartbeat, after an inspirational conversation with Ralph.. How could he stay on the sidelines?!?

    We could throw a tea party for him!
    And we are strong on the right wing as well.

  60. Ducey says:

    nathan,

    It doesn’t make any sense for the Oilers if he stays retired. They would have to pay him $3 million if he stays retired. So they would get rid of Bulin’s $3.75 M and then just pay Thomas $3 million and a backup around $750K. Unless the Bruins include something nice, there doesn’t seem to be much point.

    And why would the Bruins want Bulin at a big number when they have Rask?

    I guess if Thomas decides to play its different. But is he going to come up to the frozen tundra and accept a backup role? Is it worth screwing around DD again by making him the backup? I’d say no to both questions.

    Treena should have put forward that rumour before the Oilers signed DD to a $7 million contract.

  61. Gret99zky says:

    Ducey:
    nathan,

    Treena should have put forward that rumour before the Oilers signed DD to a $7 million contract.

    Agreed.

  62. TheOtherJohn says:

    Ducey

    His salary counts against cap, you do NOT have to pay a retired player

  63. Ducey says:

    TheOtherJohn: DuceyHis salary counts against cap, you do NOT have to pay a retired player

    Ah ok. Just do the usual, and ignore what I said….

  64. TheOtherJohn says:

    If in shape you could probably trade TT at deadline as well to a good team/bad goaltender team

  65. Gerta Rauss says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Ducey

    His salary counts against cap, you do NOT have to pay a retired player

    You don’t have to pay a player that refuses to report to camp either(which is what potentially will happen)
    Willis did an piece a few weeks back at ON in his “Should the Oilers”…series…the jist of the article is a team trading for Thomas is essentially trading for a $5M cap hit for next year with $0 in real dollars(assuming Thomas takes the year off like he said) The team also has the option to “toll” the contract, keeping TT’s rights for 13/14 as well(again, assuming TT wants to return to the game, and assuming the team would want him to play goal in 13/14)

    Not sure if the OIlers want to do this unless they REALLY want to get rid of NK-I can see this being an attractive option for a team trying to get to the cap floor.

  66. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks for the info. I’ll take him off my mental depth chart at C (unless and until he finds himself established there with some authority).

    Gret99zky,

    And, at everyone else… TT sounds like a headache just thinking about it.

  67. jfry says:

    redden was one of those expunged from ottawa after their little run. multiple players on that team ended up having some issues with substance abuse — this reputation has continued to dog redden with the rangers.

    if we do not want arnott for questionable character, then wade redden should remain with NYR in the minors.

  68. godot10 says:

    Lander wasn’t seeing power play time in OKC.

    In the two Barons-Marlies playoffs games that I saw live, Lander and Pitlick (who played together) were effective, but Scrivens was awesome.

    The good thing about Todd Nelson and crew is that I think a lot of prospects won’t mind being sent down.

    Tom Renney was horrible at knowing what to do with square pegs. Paajarvi, Lander, Omark, and Hartikainen are all square pegs to some extent.

    If Thomas was offered for Khabibulin, the Oilers should do it. The deal makes an incredible amount of sense for both teams. Khabibulin gets to be a backup goaltender in the travel-lite east playing 20 games behind one of the best defensive systems in the league. The Oilers save $3.75 million dollars less what they have to pay for a replacement backup.

  69. godot10 says:

    Muckler desparately wanted to sign Chara. Chara wouldn’t give Muckler a number. Muckler offered $6.5 million on a multi-year contract, and couldn’t get a counter offer back. Chara wanted out and I think knew that Chiarelli was going to offer him a deal in a place where he wanted to place.

    When it was clear Chara was going to test the market, Muckler had no choice but to sign Redden.

  70. DeadmanWaking says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Nice one. I was pretty sure you didn’t know a language I’ve never heard of, but you had me thinking. I’ve got Empires of the Word on my bookshelf and I’m relatively boned up on Basque and Eustrucian, as these things go. What’s so nice about it is that you named an astronomical object I didn’t recognize immediately, so you got me anyway all the same. I used to work with a bunch of astronomers, and I’ve trolled the Messier catalog any number of times, usually getting stuck at some awe-inspiring gaseous horsehead. It’s funny how poorly I remember jersey numbers, when so many Messier objects would stick immediately if I gave it any effort.

    The distinction between Maritime and Atlantic is the province of any good journalistic editorial staff. I didn’t know that one, but I do know that Finland is by no means Scandinavian. Vikings have blood-orange brio. Finns have grit. Neal Stephenson says the same thing in Cryptonomicon (or maybe its long-winded, overlapping rehash). Moral: Never get into guerrilla combat against Finns in mountainous tundra. Imagine the entire NASCAR fanbase as snipers on skis that fade into the trees like Ninjas who really are small frogs. Military laws so obvious they’ve never been tested: deposing the deep south of rifles and small arms with an invading force of less than 100 million. If you come to take their guns, they’d sooner shoot you than open the door.

    In Gravity’s Rainbow I noticed that Pynchon’s first use of a semicolon in his own text (not counting the Hooker quote) is the following passage:

    Back in the wreckage a brass bedpost winks; and twined there someone’s brassiere, a white, prewar confection of lace and satin, simply left tangled…

    He’s not known to have used a semicolon again in his subsequent writing, except in quoting others. Clearly the semicolon is (visually) the bedpost that winks, and also the abandoned, overly-confected prewar brassiere. The word “simply” is almost a give-away on close reading. It’s a temporizing beat of a far less gifted writer. Gifted to a useful purpose? Hard to say. “Resourceful” is how he’s described in polite company.

    That sure is a lot of work to hide a divorce notice to a lexical symbol, don’t you think? One natural semicolon slipped into a work of 800 pages, where the comma and the ellipsis are more common on every page than Kim’s ugly mug plastered on any flat, dour surface of North Korea. I could be wrong as I didn’t read the last 500 pages ensemble. Maybe there was a supplemental divorce notice I didn’t pick up. I’d bet money against it.

    I have a theory here. His editor on a previous book called him up once too often on the phone number only his editor possessed to debate whether a mark was properly a comma or a semicolon. For a notorious recluse (where he defined “recluse” as what a newspaper calls someone who doesn’t return their calls) that could really push a man into punctuational monogony (am I making fun of the serial comma or Gould’s punctuated equilibrium? Read Pynchon and never know for certain ever again. Mean every possible thing all of the time, even when you’re not posting drunk on a forum where no-one knows your name.)

    Anyway, that’s my four-pint opus on minor distinction. Two pints to the Czar of toasty malt and a spendid IPA and one with just a few too many floral notes for its own good. When even your beer is too complex, you’ve got issues.

  71. Bruce McCurdy says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Haha, there goes my theory that you might be a Pleiadian. :)

    Funny thing, in doing my background checks on Pleiadians just now I came across this little gem which makes the direct connection to Nordic countries. I had absolutely no idea of this association when I dropped my silly little reference this afternoon. Talk about channeling …

  72. DeadmanWaking says:

    Off I went to resolve a burning question about what exactly is “depleted” in depleted uranium, and I soon encountered the phrase: “spallation frangible powder”. I can see now how Pychon’s years at Boeing can warp a man’s mind. No, turns out that depleted uranium cannonballs was not an option in medieval times had they only known the right recipe. In Feynman’s biography he mentions the production facility (Oak Ridge?) nearly meeting its demise by rearranging–in the American can-do spirit–the prescribed storage of uranium hexafloride demijohns into a more compact and practical grid. They weren’t yet as familiar with the American can’t-know tradition. Feynman convinced the square-shouldered authorities that can’t-know can-blow and they were told just enough about promiscuous neutrons not to stray from printed instructions.

    Earlier today I read that lead is poorly suited to larger projectiles because it deforms too much in the barrel. Iron cannonballs sometimes bounce off of hard rock, and iron was pretty expensive at the outset of siege warfare. The big advantage of lead balls is that you pack a bigger wallop lugging a smaller cannon cart through the muck.

    Here’s another snippet. I once read that ore separation for the Manhattan project consumed about 1/7th of the American wartime economy, as this tidbit suggests:

    Marshall and Nichols discovered that the electromagnetic isotope separation process would require 5,000 tons of copper, which was in desperately short supply. However, silver could be substituted, in an 11:10 ratio. On 3 August 1942, Nichols met with Under Secretary of the Treasury Daniel W. Bell and asked for the transfer of 6,000 tons of silver bullion from the West Point Depository. “Young man,” Bell told him, “you may think of silver in tons but the Treasury will always think of silver in troy ounces!” Eventually, 14,700 tons were used.

    Somehow after the events of the summer in Minnesota, the quantity involved made me chuckle. When completely returned in 1970 “less than thirty-six-thousandths of one percent of the more than 14,700 tons of silver was missing.”

    No problem, then, it was just borrowed. Why do I have an image from Indiana Jones where some wiley bandit is found hunched over his glowing 50lb nut? “We lose a lot, but they never get very far.” Or maybe if you knew enough to pull it off, you also knew enough to steer clear of thousand ampere currents at 800 volts. Google calculator works this “library loan” as worth about $15 billion at current prices, or in topical units, 2.5 London Whales.

  73. DeadmanWaking says:

    Bruce: Somehow tight-fitting seven foot tall spandex suits covered in hair got loose in the Cascades. Hmm, I don’t get a weird tingle when the word Pleiadian is mentioned, so now we’re both short of a good theory.

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