VALUE CONTRACTS

How many “value” contracts do the Oilers have on their current roster. I’m talking about players making (say) less than $2M a year and delivering top 12F or top 6D minutes successfully? I count Jeff Petry and Magnus Paajarvi among the current group, your mileage may vary.

It makes sense that if you’re going to give $8M to your lead players, then at some point the number of men who can get paid that amount on each roster is finite; it also follows that you’re going to need a lot of players playing big minutes and making less than $2M a season. In this way, the ideal is perhaps represented by the 2005-06 Edmonton Oilers, who had a large number of value deals (and remember this was a different era in terms of dollars):

  1. Marc Andre Bergeron ($931k). Bergeron played 1600 minutes in the 05-06 season, 350 of that on the powerplay. He delivered 2.74/60 with the man advantage but was pretty solid at EVs (1/60) and his 15-20-35 for the season was exceptional for the price.
  2. Ales Hemsky ($901,740). Hemsky played 1375 minutes in the 05-06 season, slightly over 400 of them on the powerplay. His PP/60 number (6.17) was very nice, his EV number 2.25 was a little better than he managed this past season (2.09) but that PP number helped him lead the team in scoring (19-58-77) and he delivered 6-11-17 in the playoffs too. A wonderful payoff for less than a million, a season to remember.
  3. Shawn Horcoff ($1M). Horcoff played almost 1600 minutes, almost 300 on the PP and 225 on the PK. In 05-06 he went 3-3-6 on the PK (about 1.6/60), went 4.82/60 on the PP and then 2.44 at EVs and this was against the other team’s good players.
  4. Fernando Pisani ($611,800). In 05-06 he was excellent in the regular year and ridiculous in the postseason. Pisani played 1100 minutes in 05-06, 150 on the PP. He did a lot of heavy lifting at EVs and still managed to score 1.84/60 (he was 1.39 this past season) and 3.59 on the PP. Pisani was Guy Lafleur in the post season, 14-4-18 in a run I will never forget. At $611,800 he was ridiculous value.
  5. Jarret Stoll ($501,600). Stoll played 1500 minutes in 05-06, 410 on the PP and 200 on the PK. He was a pretty valuable hockey player. On the PP he was 4.53 (4.2 this season) and at EVs he was 2.35 (2.2 this season) on the way to 82gp, 22-46-68 totals. At the price, he was extremely valuable.
  6. Raffi Torres ($875,000). Raffi played 1100 minutes in 05-06, 224 of them on the PP. He’s pretty famous for wandering out there but his results have always been solid. His EV number in 05-06 (2.07) was pretty close to this past season (1.94) and his PP number (2.95) was better than this year (0.40). At this price, he was a bargain.

Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov and Justin Schultz are going to get paid. Ryan Jones? Andy Sutton? Not so much.

Where do NHL teams look for bargains? Where should the Oilers be looking?

  • The system.” The club is trying to elevate Paajarvi and Hartikainen this season and need a constant pipeline from the minor leagues to feed the big club.
  • “College free agents.” Taylor Fedun is a recent example of such a player. Although he hasn’t played in the NHL yet, that type of procurement is important.
  • “Drafting older players.” We saw Edmonton do this in 2012, with such names as John McCarron, Joey Laleggia and Erik Gustafsson.
  • “European pro’s.” Woodguy has been talking about Grebeshkov recently, and allow me to throw out the name Marc Pouliot.

The Oilers have the Belanger’s and the Eager’s and the Sutton’s, and maybe they go that way again. However, if we enter the summer with some Jan Hejda “who?” signings and trades we’d do well to have a long look at the player and contract.

The Perry-Getzlaf signing means Anaheim will be employing some guys at the other end making well less than Belanger and Jones and Eager. Edmonton will probably have more Potter’s and Petrell’s in their future too. The well paid NHL veteran role player may well feel like a calligrapher would have in about 1975: uneasy.

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61 Responses to "VALUE CONTRACTS"

  1. Lowetide says:

    Oklahoma City Barons Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons 1m

    Projected #OKCBarons lines: Cornet-Arcobello-Cheechoo, Rajala-Lander-Eager, Green-Martindale-Byers, Hordichuk-VandeVelde-Hamilton

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons 1m

    Projected #OKCBarons D-Pairs: Marincin-Fedun, Davidson-Teubert, Hotham-Plante. Yann Danis in net, Niko Hovinen backing up

  2. Mr DeBakey says:

    I’ve been thinking that Luck Marc might be a good, inexpensive 13th forward next season.

    Where should the Oilers be looking?

    They should be looking for effective hockey players.
    Peter Regin is UFA> Can’t score a lick. He has the best shots +/- on the Senators. He has a six figure salary.

  3. jfry says:

    That okc line up is pretty funny.

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    ““European pro’s.” Woodguy has been talking about Grebeshkov recently, and allow me to throw out the name Marc Pouliot.”

    That Brunner deal is looking pretty sweet as well:

    http://www.capgeek.com/player/2306

    mind you he’s going to get paid next year one would imagine.

  5. Woodguy says:

    allow me to throw out the name Marc Pouliot.

    You’ve never asked for permission before.

    Why start now?

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Kinda sums it up right there huh…

    we go pro scouting to europe, come back with Petrell and pay him $825,000 ($900,000 last year).

    Detroit goes pro scouting to europe, comes back with Brunner, pays him $1,350,000

    someone doesn’t know what to look for.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    allow me to throw out the name Marc Pouliot.

    You’ve never asked for permission before.

    Why start now?

    When he’s inducted into the HHOF as a player him Mom and I are going to be very pleased!

  8. Woodguy says:

    Hall at $6MM is probably a value contract for 4 years of it.

    Maybe 6.

  9. mps91 says:

    Rob Rossi ‏@RobRossi_Trib
    #TribHKY >> Aside from regulars (TBL, CLB), scouts at #pens v #caps: COL, CGY, WPG, BOS, EDM (2), SJS.

    Wonder who they’re looking at. Hopefully Brower/Laich from WSH.

    Really, really hope its nobody from Smid that they’re looking to get in return for Smid.

  10. TheOtherJohn says:

    The MAP dream lives on!

    Woodguy: Hall at $6MM is probably a value contract for 4 years of it.Maybe 6.

    I expect we may see Hall’s contract will be a value contract from day 1. Fear both Eberle and Gagner’s contracts may be overpays from the day they start to get paid.

    Have been saying a very very important facet of managing the Oilers moving forward will be to carefully manage the Cap. To date we have not seen any evidence that the Oilers understand how to pay the right value for anything (term or $$) . That plus identifying valuable assets on other teams pro rosters is a very important skill, particularly if none of our draft picks from 2009-11 outside of the 1st round are devleoping quickly (or at all)

  11. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Hall at $6MM is probably a value contract for 4 years of it.

    Maybe 6.

    Yeah, agreed. I just wanted to focus on the “value” ones under $2M.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Hamilton (VandeVelde, Hotham)

  13. spoiler says:

    Value contracts… Let’s see for this year:

    Eberle
    Paajarvi
    Petry
    Smid is pretty close at 2.25

    If they don’t hit most of their bonuses:
    Hall
    Schultz
    Nuge
    Yak

    That’s a good number if the full list ends up being true. Next year we lose Eberle,Smid & Hall. Possibly add Hartikainen. Someone else who didn’t make the list this year might make it next year. But it still doesn’t look anywhere near as good next year unless there’s some good replacement by Management going on.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Lander (Rajala, Eager)

  15. gogliano says:

    Three OOT games worth watching tonight:

    CLB 2 – NSH 1 after 2. Obviously want a 2 point game here. (SPS says cheer CLB)
    STL – VAN. Blues look free and clear, Van isn’t. Would also like to see Van drop out just for the fun of it. (SPS says cheer STL)
    LAK – PHX Kings are also close to clear, PHX is in the race. (SPS says cheer LAK)

  16. godot10 says:

    Todd Nelson has had an interesting year.

  17. Hayek says:

    Just wanted to say great article for bringing up the question. A good GM has the ability to sign value contracts such as Petry. Value contracts are extremely valuable because they allow cap space for other roster spots, and are EXTREMELY TRADABLE for a good return.

  18. spoiler says:

    2013 NHL draft is not as deep as initially believed… Courtesy of The Hockey News.

    That’s a Feb 5 article so sorry if it has already been posted and this is common knowledge on the blog.

  19. BlacqueJacque says:

    Does Hemsky + 2nd rounder for Gardiner + dead weight contract sound like a fair trade?

  20. BlacqueJacque says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Kinda sums it up right there huh…

    we go pro scouting to europe, come back with Petrell and pay him $825,000 ($900,000 last year).

    Detroit goes pro scouting to europe, comes back with Brunner, pays him $1,350,000

    someone doesn’t know what to look for.

    To be fair, Zetterberg played with Brunner and saw how good he is first-hand.

    It’s not like the Oilers had that. Yes, I know, Omark, but 1. Omark would be competing for a spot with Brunner. 2. Omark wouldn’t exactly be talking to his best buddy Tambellini.

  21. Southern Oil says:

    spoiler:
    2013 NHL draft is not as deep as initially believed…Courtesy of The Hockey News.

    That’s a Feb 5 article so sorry if it has already been posted and this is common knowledge on the blog.

    It seems that there are two constants when it comes to the draft:
    1. next year is always going to be a great and deep draft. The closer you get to the actual draft, the story changes.
    2. The Oilers are always dealing for a 2nd 1st round pick but never succeed in delivering.

    We should have packaged our 1st rounder this year with other assets at the beginning of the season for a first pairing Dman.

  22. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Does Hemsky + 2nd rounder for Gardiner + dead weight contract sound like a fair trade?

    Assuming you can get Nonis hooked on glue, then yes.

  23. bookje says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Does Hemsky + 2nd rounder for Gardiner + dead weight contract sound like a fair trade?

    What’s Dead Weights Rel Corsi and cap hit?

  24. Woodguy says:

    A real overlooked piece in OTT staying competitive is Gonchar.

    Hurt last couple years, finally healthy.

    You never hear his name, but the 38 year old Dman is leading the Sens in scoring and TOI w/ 24:40 per game. (gone up since Karlsson went down. K was 27min/gm)

    Lordy.

    Think about that.

    A 38 year old enigmatic Russian Dman who hasn’t been good for 2 years and been written off is leading a playoff team in scoring.

    Good D make good teams.

    Who knew?

    Answer: Not Lowe since 08-09

  25. Southern Oil says:

    Woodguy:
    A real overlooked piece in OTT staying competitive is Gonchar.

    Hurt last couple years, finally healthy.

    You never hear his name, but the 38 year old Dman is leading the Sens in scoring and TOI w/ 24:40 per game. (gone up since Karlsson went down. K was 27min/gm. Lordy)

    Good D make good teams.

    Who knew?

    Answer: Not Lowe since 08-09

    If you are looking to deal Hemsky (which I am not) Ottawa might be a good bet. Michalek is just down with knee surgery.

  26. Woodguy says:

    In his years where he was hurt and called washed up Gonchar still put up 50% shot differential and had more players better with him than without.

    CF% WOWY.

    The narrative killer.

  27. Woodguy says:

    Southern Oil: If you are looking to deal Hemsky (which I am not) Ottawa might be a good bet.Michalek is just down with knee surgery.

    Mihalek is supposed to be back for the playoffs, so he’s getting minor surgery right away.

    Read that yesterday.

  28. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy: Assuming you can get Nonis hooked on glue, then yes.

    The Leafs are short on talented right wingers and really short on playmakers. They have too many defencemen, with more coming (like Reilly). Gardiner really had just one season and couldn’t make the cut earlier this year, and pulled a dirty trick with that agent’s tweet. An Oilers second-rounder to compensate for the years lost, and maybe we take on Komisarek and his salary. Throw back a cheaper plug on defense back to make up for Komisarek, like Potter. Komisarek has had only 4GP this year, none in weeks, and has a year left at $4.5m/year.

    Call me crazy, but I think it’s a fair trade, a trade that addresses needs on both sides, and one that could work.

    Hell, even let some rumors fly that due to their close friendship, Gardiner wants to come to Edmonton to play with Schultz.

  29. Woodguy says:

    bookje: What’s Dead Weights Rel Corsi and cap hit?

    Bottom 3 on team, $2MM too much and 3 years too long.

    So he’d fit right in on the Oilers bottom 6.

  30. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque: The Leafs are short on talented right wingers and really short on playmakers.They have too many defencemen, with more coming (like Reilly).Gardiner really had just one season and couldn’t make the cut earlier this year, and pulled a dirty trick with that agent’s tweet.An Oilers second-rounder to compensate for the years lost, and maybe we take on Komisarek and his salary.Throw back a cheaper plug on defense back to make up for Komisarek, like Potter.Komisarek has had only 4GP this year, none in weeks, and has a year left at $4.5m/year.

    Call me crazy, but I think it’s a fair trade, a trade that addresses needs on both sides, and one that could work.

    Gardiner is one of the best young D in the NHL and Nonis knows it.

    Its like saying trading J.Shultz.

    Seriously.

  31. BlacqueJacque says:

    bookje,

    Komisarek. Played only 4 games, 1 more year on his contract at $4.5m/per.

  32. BlacqueJacque says:

    Woodguy: Gardiner is one of the best young D in the NHL and Nonis knows it.

    Its like saying trading J.Shultz.

    Seriously.

    Gardiner’s coming off a concussion and Schultz outscored him every time they played. As I said, the Leafs are stacked on defence, and we’re setting up for a logjam on the right side (though playing Yak in Hemsky’s place would cost us a few wins this season and maybe next.)

  33. Southern Oil says:

    Woodguy: Mihalek is supposed to be back for the playoffs, so he’s getting minor surgery right away.

    Read that yesterday.

    Thanks for the clarification. From the headlines though it was more serious than it is. I know Murray wants to wait for people to come back from injuries but I still think Ottawa is a buyer.

  34. gcw_rocks says:

    Methot got injured in tonight’s game. Apparently it looked serious. What a year for Ottawa with the injuries.

    BTW – isn’t Methot looking a lot better this year now that he is out of the black hole that is Columbus?

  35. gcw_rocks says:

    Seems to me picking up Sekera would be a value contract of sorts given Buffalo has paid the majority of his salary ($7.5M out of $11m), even if the cap hit is higher for the next 2 years.

  36. PunjabiOil says:

    Tyson Strachan could be a value signing this summer. Plays on Florida and has been routinely playing north of 20 minutes a game lately. Any advanced stats gurus have a breakdown of his numbers?

  37. gcw_rocks says:

    I wonder if Connolly could be had on a value contract this summer. At $4.5M he is grossly overpaid. But I would suspect next year he is looking at under $2M after spending this year in the minors.

    Clarke MacAuthur could also be interesting, but would probably get more money.

  38. Kris11 says:

    Doug Weight is dead?

    If so, we shouldn’t trade for him.

  39. spoiler says:

    Penner helps out his old team with a goal.

    Vancouver not doing us any favours though.

  40. "Steve Smith" says:

    Kris11,

    I’d still be kind of okay with it. I really like Doug Weight.

  41. Kris11 says:

    They could run a Weekend at Dougie’s line with Smyth and Hemsky.

  42. Ducey says:

    Nice to see Hamilton still has a pulse.

  43. spoiler says:

    There’s no possible way the Canucks can blow a 3 goal lead going into the 3rd. No way. Impossible. They’re too good.

    ;o)

  44. gr8one says:

    If we’re talking about a deal with the leafs and Smid is in the conversation of outgoing players then there are three players I’d love to see targeted.

    Cody Franson
    Kulemin
    Colborne

    Not sure what the asking price would be but I think Hemsky and Smid going the other way would be a good start, not sure what else we’d need to add, but that would address a lot of our needs going forward.

    Kulemin would be the perfect RW behind Yak and Eberle, Franson is a great all around D with some nice offense but still kind of raw, can grow with the core. Colborne is a huge C with a great toolbox and when healthy has torn up the AHL and looks to finally be regaining his health fully again.

  45. JohnnyRocket says:

    Sorry about the thread jack, but has anyone read the Mackinnon article up at the EJ?

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/MacKinnon+Edmonton+Oilers+attention/8122697/story.html

    It characterizes Schultz Sr. as a defensively responsible player who can play a physical game. I love how these narratives get started in the media (trade deadline last year) and then get repeated until it becomes gospel.

    Schultz is not a top 4 defensive shut down type.

    He is not a physical player.

    I have not seen much of this much heralded “poise”.

    I realize that writers need to find a narrative to thread through an article. But don’t they watch the games?

  46. "Steve Smith" says:

    JohnnyRocket,

    He’s a veteran defenceman who brings no offence; that automatically makes him a shut-down guy. It’s sort of like how John Manley used to be widely regarded as a cerebral intellectual, when he was actually just boring.

  47. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    JohnnyRocket,

    He’s a veteran defenceman who brings no offence; that automatically makes him a shut-down guy.It’s sort of like how John Manley used to be widely regarded as a cerebral intellectual, when he was actually just boring.

    It was difficult for Manley to stand out, what with Sheila “Lucille Ball” Copps grabbing all of the attention.

  48. Gret99zky says:

    spoiler:
    There’s no possible way the Canucks can blow a 3 goal lead going into the 3rd. No way. Impossible. They’re too good.

    ;o)

    Don’t look now. ;o)

    Vancouver determined to make it a 3 point game.

  49. stevezie says:

    Woodguy:
    A real overlooked piece in OTT staying competitive is Gonchar.

    Hurt last couple years, finally healthy.

    You never hear his name, but the 38 year old Dman is leading the Sens in scoring and TOI w/ 24:40 per game. (gone up since Karlsson went down. K was 27min/gm)

    Lordy.

    Think about that.

    A 38 year old enigmatic Russian Dman who hasn’t been good for 2 years and been written off is leading a playoff team in scoring.

    Good D make good teams.

    Who knew?

    Answer: Not Lowe since 08-09

    If I’m reading you right, and I’m sure that I am, you’re saying we should re-up Whitney.

  50. spoiler says:

    As for the State of the Team…

    I actually believe that if Nuge, Hall and Eberle had half way reasonable shooting percentages this year that this team would be 5-6 points higher in the standings and 3 teams in the conference worse off.

    Goals Against, aside from a few blowouts, hasn’t really big that big of deal to me. Only the Jackets ouot of the bottom 8 are better in GA than the Oil. I didn’t expect kids taking on the power to produce good GA numbers and I still don’t at this point in the season.

    But they should have scored more. With recent goals, Ebs and Hall have ticked their numbers upwards, while the Nugget languishes with a 3.3%. Bring these three up to 10% and you’re adding 10-11 goals in 28 games. That’s a better goal differential than Dallas, Columbus, Phoenix, San Jose and even with the 7th place Canucks.

    I haven’t seen much available in the realm of goal-scoring out there on the trade market, and really our top 6 is set anyways and has to turn it on by themselves. They’re learning top Comp, but have shown signs in this recent point streak of being able to raise their game to another level in the offensive zone at least. I expect HUA in their own end, considering the number of games experience on this team. These Oiler forwards cheat a lot and often don’t come down the walls to help their defensemen out. We’ve seen the first line improve in that regard over the past two weeks, and the second line matching their hustle in the past 4 games. Before, the first pass on the zone exit was often far too long, or it was nothing more than a hopeful push up the boards to an out of position forward with no support. Same with Gagner in the slot… he hadn’t been coming deep enough with purpose to help out his D when they’re over-matched or caught by a bad bounce or a great pass. Some of our defensive woes have been on the Fs.

    This is a good practice week for the team to get. They can tighten up some systems, spend some time learning, improving. This season’s compressed schedule hasn’t been kind to a young learning team. This really has been learning on the job for the wunderkids.

    I’m curious to see how this week’s games go. I think the 8 defencemen can be improved, and the same with the bottom 6 forwards, but I would be real leery getting screwed out of desperation for a trade. This team’s success depends on those top 6 forwards producing at both ends of the ice. Being able to pick this team up and carry it. At home, going with three scoring lines should help our GFs as there should be an over-match somewhere in the rolling. On the road, we might see RNH and/or Gagner continuing to get victimized. And thank god Horc is back. Just watching him position himself on back checks is worth the price of admission. Almost Tikkanen-like.

  51. Ribs says:

    Poo clearly needs to make a comeback. http://www.ehcb.ch/images/hockey/players/marcpouliot.png

    Check it out! He tied Tyler Seguin in Points this year! He almost doubled up on Patrick Kane! 38 more points than Jeffrey Fuglister! Hazzah! -Link

  52. Hammers says:

    All the more reason working with Magnus , Hartski , Lander, Peckham & Fistric is important .Perhaps to that add Maricin . . These 6 at aprox 1-2.5 mill is what we will need . 6 players for $9 mil who can play some decent minutes . They need playing time and we need 4 more just like them in that range if we are paying our top 5 $ 30 mill ( Hall , Ebs , RNH , Yak, & Shultz ) Just looking ahead a couple of years .

  53. justDOit says:

    Well, no three-pointers tonight – unless you’re groovin to ‘I’m So Excited’ this evening.

    Out of curiosity, there have been 44 OTLs in the east, and 63 in the west this season to date.

  54. asiaoil says:

    Watching Vancouver tonight and was wondering about their pipeline of drafted talent since I haven’t noticed much. Take a look at their draft performance over the past 5-6 years – makes Mr. Tequila Sunrise’s performance for the Oilers through the 90s look passable.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00008756.html

  55. tsunami says:

    Ribs:
    Poo clearly needs to make a comeback. http://www.ehcb.ch/images/hockey/players/marcpouliot.png

    Check it out! He tied Tyler Seguin in Points this year! He almost doubled up on Patrick Kane! 38 more points than Jeffrey Fuglister! Hazzah! -Link

    He had a good season overall, but really raised his level in the playoffs… Too bad he doesn’t have better hands

    On a side note, still amazed Campoli could not get a contract from an NHL team… Best defender that team had since forever…

    Keep an eye on the goalie, Reto Berra… He wants to try it in North America… St-Louis still hold his rights until this summer I believe… Not sure what will happen, but Oilers should be all over him if they don’t sign him…

  56. 106 and 106 says:

    WHATEVER Staios said coming out of the box to the Hurricane player was dirty, derogatory and damn good playoff hockey talk.

    Look at those beards fellas, can’t wait till Hall, Nuge, well…. it’ll be a different look.

  57. tsunami says:

    BlacqueJacque: To be fair, Zetterberg played with Brunner and saw how good he is first-hand.

    It’s not like the Oilers had that.Yes, I know, Omark, but 1. Omark would be competing for a spot with Brunner.2.Omark wouldn’t exactly be talking to his best buddy Tambellini.

    Wrong ! Detroit signed Brunner BEFORE he played with Zetterberg during the lockout…

  58. DeadmanWaking says:

    I’m back to lark mode again. I’ll begin by amplifying a recent observation about strategic cheering as embedded in the diagonal “Matrix” over at Sports Club Stats.

    Even for a low bubble team, about 80% of your prospects derive from a simple formula: Just win, baby! Who knew?

    The other 20% does not derive from the misfortune of the team weaving around and engaging you in a desperate jousting of side-view mirrors. If this chump pulls around you, someone else with chipped paint from in front of you falls back; if this chump falls back, someone else from behind you with barely any paint remaining soon pulls abreast. Welcome to the bubble. The only escape is to eat some pavement. Just win, baby! Objects chewing on your side-view mirror are smaller threats than they appear (until the last week of the season).

    No, it’s not that. The other 20% of your fortune derives from whether the finish line moves toward you, or away from you. I’ve been watching 10th, because I decided to pencil that in as my “reasonable expectation”.

    When I first decided this, 10th was going to set you back 52 points. Lately, the out-of-town tentacled jellyfish have been in kindly spirits. There’s now a fair-coin prospect of the Oilers claiming 10th with just 51 points; 9th can be had for 52; 8th can be had for 53; 7th can be had for 54.5 points. Today on the 50-50, we’re a coin flip on finishing 10th or better. My definition of “reasonable” is just one house over from severely disappointing, so I’d like to see some clearance gained–but we’re definitely in the range. With the sardines so snug, you just might wake up on xmas morning to fish a playoff berth out of your tube sponge hung by the mantlecrust chimney with care (Seahorse Santa has been known to tipple).

    At stake tonight is three quarters of a rung either way. With a regulation win tonight we’re finger distance from 9th. With a regulation loss tonight, out toes are tickling 11th (I guess the rungs are about 8 feet apart with the President’s Trophy 120 feet up–people who fear heights need not apply).

    There’s also an interesting small effect visible on SCS. Most games have five distinct outcomes, from best to worst: regulation win, OT win, SO win, non-regulation loss, and regulation loss. The non-regulation loss collapses OT loss and SO loss together. From your opponent’s perspective, this matters a bit, but from yours, the effect is tiny squared.

    Tonight, for example, an OT win will put us into the playoffs one time in a hundred more often than a SO win, due to exotic tie-breaking effects invoked when the planets align just right about once every century or so.

    Bruce wrote recently at Cult about moral hazard and the tournament optimally constructed to elicit ass-biting optics: two is a competition, three is a nefarious cabal, four is a play-off. Under the Bettman system, bystanders will be screwed in the final week of the season, but rarely (if ever) by an incentive so gruesome as to deliberately sink an own goal.

    In a way, SCS encourages the numerically enchanted to take strategic cheered way too seriously. There should be a graph of the coin-flip cut line for each rung of the ladder. A while back, the cut line for 10th was 52 points. Today the cut line has deflated to 51 points. (It can be worked out fractionally with some simple interpolation.) Such a line can be drawn for every rung, beginning-of-season to date. The ripples tend not to be very large. Maybe two points at the most either way, and usually less than a point.

    On any given night, for each rung, there will be potentially be a game that could bump the cut line for a particular rung up or down by a notable increment (more than say a tenth of a point). There’s your strategic cheering: some game outcome on the OoT bumps the cut line for 8th place down from 53.2 points to 52.9 points (interpolated). Huzzah!

    So that’s Schadenfreude in a nutshell. It feels a hell of a lot more petty when you look at it from the perspective of the 8th place rung bobbing eight inches up or down when you’re still 18 feet below. Guess what? Just win, baby!

    The reason I use SCS is not for strategic cheering. It’s so that I don’t have to mentally compensate games-in-hand for Bettman inflation. Don’t get me wrong–I love to calculate. But this particular calculation includes an unwelcome intrusion of the morning enema pump (Bettman hollow points), so I’ll let the dispassionate machinery over at SCS perform the dirty work on my behalf, thank you very much.

    This season, we’re at least going to get a stretch drive up to the trade deadline. Either way, I’d rather see us picking up a modest seedling we can count on to sprout in October, than dumping assets and pocketing chips to wangle in August a superior seedling unlikely to fully germinate until the dark days of January (even with liberal application of patented Roloson get-out-of-my-freaking-way 18-6-12 quick bloom).

    The way I see it, if the coaching staff is pouring over line cards to conjure up chemistry from untried combinations, they’re not giving lectures on team identity.

    TJ–in his singular style–this morning reports on our newly discovered team identity: Edmonton Oilers say they’ve discovered the formula for consistency. How time Marches on.

    I just don’t think that a GM’s fast footwork in August translates to team identity in November–not unless half your team is named Zetterberg or Datsyuk in a vintage season (our vintage shelf will finally be well stocked around about the last year of Hall’s contract). In that season (ignoring the worried bleating of GM-loathing stress kittens) our team will have identity in October, short of a summer bombshell deckchair edict from Central Screw-up.

    According to the numbers over at SCS, October games actually count. If the GM lifts his eyes for just a moment from our present-season bright line fetish, and hoists himself another few feet up the crow’s nest tangled webbing, he can even see this faintly cresting the horizon–all the way from March.

    The whole buyers/sellers hoopla around the trade deadline makes sense for teams who are in it with a shot, or out of it and more than a single jar of mustard away from better-luck-next-time.

    I think it’s insane to sell against a rising tide–even if you’re a long shot in the present season–but maybe that’s just me. I’d be happy to see Whitney go, because I think New 100% means 100% of not being a key cog in our October team identity (which is not to say he has no value in someone other team’s circumstance). But I want something back that germinates this season, all the better to sprout vigorously on a crisp October morning.

  59. DawnM says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    The MAP dream lives on!

    I expect we may see Hall’s contract will be a value contract from day 1. Fear both Eberle and Gagner’s contracts may be overpays from the day they start to get paid.

    Have been saying a very very important facet of managing the Oilers moving forward will be to carefully manage the Cap. To date we have not seen any evidence that the Oilers understand how to pay the right value for anything (term or $$) . That plus identifying valuable assets on other teams pro rosters is avery important skill, particularly if none of our draft picks from 2009-11 outside of the 1st round are devleoping quickly (or at all)

    Re the Eberle contract – Are we forgetting that he was the team’s top scorer for the two previous years (his only 2 yrs in the league)? There were few, if any Oiler fans that didn’t like it at the time. Then following that signing, he was the top scorer in the AHL for half a season, a record that stood for nearly a month after leaving the league if memory serves. How quickly some fans are to kick their heroes to the curb based on a tough stretch. I’m not prepared to call Ebs a bust just yet. And I’m embarrassed that so many of us are.

  60. leadfarmer says:

    That deadweight Columbus team is in 10th place and clear off pace for the lottery pick everyone had them picked for. Told you that team is not as bad as expected. The sum of the parts is greater than each part individually.

  61. MrSmitty says:

    DawnM,

    I don’t think they are calling him a bust, what they are saying is he is probably overpaid by about 1 million a season based on his ceiling. Hall already is and will be the better player of the two (two years younger too) and if you pay him 6 million a season you definitely are overpaying Eberle by a little bit. Problem I think lied with Don Meehan being Eberle agent.

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