OILERS SIGN KESSY

It doesn’t take too many brain cells to figure out the Oilers want to add big, strong “enforcer” types to their arsenal. The club dealt for Kale Kessy (left) just the other day, and this afternoon signed him to an entry level deal. What does this mean for the pro roster?

kessy2

Kessy is  a big kid (6.03, 200) who has 2 hat tricks so far this playoffs (6, 7-2-9) and a brand new contract. The Oilers have already signed Travis Ewanyk (6.01, 185) and so will graduate at least two (Bigos is still out there) very physical players to pro hockey.

PLAYER STATS FOR GRADUATING JUNIORS

  • Kessy 60, 21-22-43 106pims (age 20 years, 4 months) 1.77 pims/game (WHL)
  • Ewanyk 58, 8-15-23 119pims (age 20 years, 1 week) 2.05 pims/game (WHL)

PIM LEADERS IN OILERS SYSTEM 2012-13

  1. Mike Brown 16, 1-0-1 44pims (age 27) 2.75 pims/game (NHL)
  2. Ben Eager 14, 1-1-2 25pims (age 28) 1.79 pims/game (NHL)
  3. Dane Byers 58, 6-4-10 144pims (age 26) 2.48 pims/game (AHL)
  4. Antti Tyrvainen 28, 3-2-5 61pims (age 23) 2.18 pims/game (AHL)
  5. Cameron Abney 36, 5-3-8 58 pims (age 21) 1.61 pims/game (ECHL)

NCAA

  1. John McCarron 33, 7-12-19 84pims (age 20) 2.55 pims/game (NCAA)

JUNIORS

  1. Mitch Moroz 69, 13-21-34 140pims (age 18 years, 11 months)  2.03 pims/game (WHL)

 

The Oilers have already flushed Byers, and may take care of  Tyrvainen and Abney this summer. They’ve already signed two potential replacements, and if Eager plays next season in the AHL that’s three enforcers among the forwards (Eager, Kessy and Ewanyk).

The question I have is this: how many of these guys can play hockey at the pro level? The answer may be zero; then again, the guys heading out have been no screaming hell. The Oilers aren’t going to find Milan Lucic unless they’re extremely lucky, hell you have to be fortunate to find Dwight King or Kyle Clifford.

We may be looking at several years of searching for useful coke machines. The useful ones come via the draft or junior/college free agent signings. I expect we may see at least one of those later in the spring.

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56 Responses to "OILERS SIGN KESSY"

  1. Kert says:

    I think the Oilers may flush Byers

    I thought he was flushed for Garrett Stafford at the deadline..

  2. Lowetide says:

    Crap.

  3. Mr DeBakey says:

    I didn’t realize today’s game was an Afternoon Tilt
    Not a Delight, it seems.

    I’m thankful Tambo didn’t upset the team’s Mojo on Deadline Day.

    I miss Byers too.

    How does Hordichuk measure up against these metrics?

  4. Lowetide says:

    Hordichuk didn’t do much in EDM or OKC in terms of pims.

  5. Woodguy says:

    The Oilers have already flushed Byers, and may take care of Tyrvainen and Abney this summer.

    Abney has a year left on his ELC.

    How will they flush him?

  6. sliderule says:

    I hope I am wrong but I think you are wasting a lot of cyberspace on this kid.

    If you knew how the some of the oilers coaching staff and management feel about players courage it would make you puke.

    Just about all the players that have been traded away didn’t fit the Kelly mold.No skill but not afraid to catch punchs to the head even if you can’t fight.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    The Oilers have already flushed Byers, and may take care ofTyrvainen and Abney this summer.

    Abney has a year left on his ELC.

    How will they flush him?

    Lou usually sends them to south Yemen. There are ways to do it, one of them being a Euro contract. Oilers could also trade him off the roster. I don’t think he’s ever recovered from the hand injury.

  8. Ray says:

    it was stated earlier when the trade happened, but I choose to take the approach that if the team is determined to have this type of player, then having them develop in the system six at a time will really tilt the odds in favour of finding the next Lucic. As long as they use Stockton and OKC to find out if the are worth their contracts and not the 4th line during a season then that’s ok to this fan.

    the sooner they find “him” the better

  9. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    I hope I am wrong but I think you are wasting a lot of cyberspace on this kid.

    If you knew how the some of the oilers coaching staff and management feel about players courage it would make you puke.

    Just about all the players that have been traded away didn’t fit the Kelly mold.No skill but not afraid to catch punchs to the head even if you can’tfight.

    Hmm. I wrote about it when they traded for him, and now I’ve written about him signing. Falls well short of my Pouliot obsession. :-)

  10. Hayek says:

    Alan, I’m just curious, who cares about PIMs / game? Confused on how hooking calls, elbows, or even fights are considered a positive stat?

    Why do we always hear about penalties taken per game, and nothing about penalties drawn?

  11. Lowetide says:

    Hayek:
    Alan, I’m just curious, who cares about PIMs / game?Confused on how hooking calls, elbows, or even fights are considered a positive stat?

    Why do we always hear about penalties taken per game, and nothing about penalties drawn?

    Great question. As I’m not really familiar with how these gents are evaluated, I used pims/game as a “line in the sand.” Penalties drawn per game is certainly a more noble and useful stat to track.

  12. Woodguy says:

    Horcoff, Shawn »
    Hemsky, Ales »
    N.-Hopkins, R. » EL SR
    Yakupov, Nail » EL SR
    Hall, Taylor » EL
    Gagner, Sam »
    Smyth, Ryan » 35
    Belanger, Eric »
    Paajarvi, Magnus » EL
    Jones, Ryan »
    Eberle, Jordan » EL
    Lander, Anton » EL
    Petrell, Lennart »
    Smithson, Jerred »
    Brown, Mike »
    Whitney, Ryan »
    Schultz, Justin » EL
    Schultz, Nick »
    Smid, Ladislav »
    Sutton, Andy »
    Petry, Jeff »
    Fistric, Mark »
    Peckham, Theo »
    Potter, Corey »
    Khabibulin, N. » 35
    Dubnyk, Devan »
    Eager, Ben »
    Souray, Sheldon »
    D Klefbom, Oscar » EL SR
    G Hovinen, Niko » EL
    D Musil, David » EL SR
    D Teubert, Colten » EL
    D Fedun, Taylor » EL
    F Arcobello, Mark » EL
    F Pitlick, Tyler » EL
    F Hamilton, Curtis » EL
    F Martindale, Ryan » EL
    F Hartikainen, T. » EL
    D Marincin, Martin » EL
    F Hordichuk, Darcy »
    F Rajala, Toni » EL
    G Danis, Yann »
    F VandeVelde, Chris »
    F Ewanyk, Travis » EL
    G Roy, Olivier » EL
    G Bunz, Tyler » EL
    D Davidson, Brandon » EL
    D Plante, Alex »
    F House, Tanner »
    F Abney, Cameron » EL
    F Cornet, Philippe » EL
    F Tyrvainen, Antti » EL
    F Pelss, Kristians » EL
    D Stafford, Garrett »

    Cap geek shows 54 players under contract

    Souray, Kleftbom, Ewanyk, and Musil don’t count

    I don’t see the following FAs getting another contract here:

    Jones
    Whitney
    Petrell
    Sutton
    Peckham
    Khabby
    Hovinen
    Hordichuck
    Danis
    VandeVelde
    Plante
    Tyrainen
    Stafford

    That brings them to 37 contracts

    Add in Klef, Ewanyk, Kessy, Musil

    That’s 41

    I also think they buy out Eager and Belanger if they can’t be dealt.

    That’s 39.

    These players are not a lock to get re-signed:

    Smithson
    Fistric
    Cornet
    Tuebert
    House

    If all don’t get a contract (some will) that’s 34.

    Lots of room really.

    Probably means that all of:

    Pitlick (was a 1st rounder in many books, incl. McKenzie)
    Hamilton
    Martindale (not really a coke machine)
    Ewaynk
    Kessy

    Will play for OKC next year.

    Nelson has his work cut out for him.

  13. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Lou usually sends them to south Yemen. There are ways to do it, one of them being a Euro contract. Oilers could also trade him off the roster. I don’t think he’s ever recovered from the hand injury.

    Tyrvainen is RFA,easy to walk from.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Dubnyk’s EV SP now .923; not at last year’s level (.927) but still solid. He is ranked 11th (tie) overall with a .922 SP.

  15. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy,

    Lots of room really.

    Maybe the Kings of Kingsway will leave the roster at 46/47 for TC so they can have some flexibility with the waiver wire and adding nice things if they become available.

    Maybe.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Dubnyk’s EV SP now .923; not at last year’s level (.927) but still solid. He is ranked 11th (tie) overall with a .922 SP.

    That’a a relief.

    His 5v5 was about .906 and 4v5 was .923 or so at one point.

    Pointed at the 4v5 regressing, but nice to see the 5v5 come up to keep the keel even.

    DD 4v5 this year : .906
    DD 4v5 last year : .854

    I still think his 4v5 is too high (median about .885 among starters), but still nice to see.

  17. MrEd says:

    2 fights early in the Van/Cal game that had nothing to do with the play. The usual suspects. All 4 of them should get Game Misconducts IMO. What a waste of time and roster spots.

  18. VanOil says:

    If we sign Martin Gernat (and I am worried we won’t) does he play in OKC, Europe or as an overager in the WHL next year?

    Dillon Simpson looks like is staying in college to finish his degree. Which is smart of him and good for the organization as we won’t rush him. I believe this puts him in Shultz Jr loop hole range, lets hope he is an Oilers fan.

  19. Lowetide says:

    I think the Oilers sign Gernat and Bigos, and then let the Euro goalies and Jones go.

  20. spoiler says:

    Woodguy said…

    I also think they buy out Eager and Belanger if they can’t be dealt.

    The Belanger situation strikes me as weird. Unless the guys on Sportsnet got it wrong… On the Trade Deadline Preview show they said that the Oilers had notified the league’s general managers that Belanger was available, his injury was slight, and he could be ready to go when needed.

    And yet here he sits on the IR while Smytty does his Joel Otto impression.

    Either SN got it wrong or the Oiler Braintrust is really unhappy with Eric Belanger for some reason. I think you’re right WG… he’s going to get bought out.

  21. Clay says:

    Woodguy:
    Woodguy,

    Lots of room really.

    Maybe the Kings of Kingsway will leave the roster at 46/47 for TC so they can have some flexibility with the waiver wire and adding nice things if they become available.

    Maybe.

    You do realize this is the Lowe-era Oilers, right?

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I doubt this Kessy becomes Lucic, but at least he’s finding some points this year, esp. in the playoffs (what’s his playoff fo%?), not enough… but some.

    Woodguy: Probably means that all of:
    Pitlick (was a 1st rounder in many books, incl. McKenzie)
    Hamilton
    Martindale (not really a coke machine)
    Ewaynk
    Kessy
    Will play for OKC next year.

    any chance Ewanyk and/or Kessy say hello to Stockton at some point next year? seems likely.

    Lowetide:
    I think the Oilers sign Gernat and Bigos, and then let the Euro goalies and Jones go.

    you don’t think they might keep one of the Finn Gs as a keepsake?

    also… what happened to those small twins the Oil had at some prospect camp last summer? I vaguely remember them.

  23. supernova says:

    I like this signing and player. Kessy has a real chance of making a difference and imposing fear in the competition. If Kessy makes it he will be an absolute fan favourite.

    He is big, can skate well, plays on the Line of crazy and will most certainly get suspended at every level he plays at.

    I really believe analytics and comparables are really hard to predict on these players.

    Lets face it on FWD we have 5 of what will be a really good top 6. We also have 8 out of a top 9. The only thing we are missing is a big, mean player with size and skill, that can skate, score and protect the kids, and give them room through reputation.

    From the “seen him, good! ” file I make the Reider for Kessy trade 10 out of 10 times. I also sign him, and hope and pray he makes it over the term of his ELC.

    Whether we like it or not GM’s around the league crave this player big time, my fear is soon those 3rd and 4th round gambles will be turning into 1st round gambles. We have lived that era. Lets burn 2 or 3 low percantage picks a year before that happens.

    The blogs would erupt if in the FA period we signed Clowe for 5million plus for 4 years. Or clarkson for close to Eberle money.

    That is really the only alternatives,

    Draft these players, sign these players, work and develop these players, and hope with all your might one becomes like Clowe or Clarkson.

  24. gcw_rocks says:

    Can they not buy out Abney? I haven’t been able to find anything anywhere that says they can or cannot buy out an ELC.

  25. Captain Obvious says:

    What’s interesting about those numbers is how bad Ewanyk’s are.

    In any case, these kinds of players are useless. However, their are degrees of uselessness. Kessy appears to be less useless than Ewanyk and neither are toiler cleaner useless like Abney.

    Chasing after size is a giant waste of time with significant opportunity costs. That said, supernova is right about one thing. Signing Clowe for 4×5 would be worse.

  26. WeridAl says:

    Belanger will be traded at the draft or claimed on waivers, no reason to buy him out. Eager will end up playing with the Barons or claimed on waivers. Some teams will need to add salary to reach the cap floor, and both still have some use to a rebuilding team.

    Petrell, Peckham, and maybe Vandevelde will be resigned. Peckham still has value to the OIlers, and there is not much out there on the UFA market to actually go for. Oilers need the C depth that VV would supply, he was a big disappointment this year though. Petrell is a OK 4th liner and should come cheap and that is the only reason he’ll be resigned, because he will be cheap. I can also see Smithson being resigned, for the same reason as Petrell and at least for his size and FO ability. Like Lander, but he still needs a full year in the AHL, at least to work on his FO’s. If Horcoff is bought out, Lander will play.

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    WeridAl,

    I would hope the Oil would take the opportunity with these contracts expiring (Petrell, Smithson, Peckham) to really take a long look at other options.

    there may not be much via UFA… but the draft period is always an active market for trades. unfortunately, if we’d cashed in on Nik, Whitney, Jones and one of Peckham or Fistric… we’d have a lot more bargaining power at the draft where picks are over-valued.

  28. Bushed says:

    Romulus:

    Agree completely.

    Tambo’s “don’t want to send the wrong message” and “want to reward effort” comments show how completely out of touch he is about his own job.

    Adding assets would send what “wrong message”, Steve?

    Why don’t you just try to focus on making the team better at every opportunity and let RK worry about the feelings in the locker room.

    PS It’s a business, and the strategic goal is to win. I think the players already know and expect this.

    Good grief.

  29. gcw_rocks says:

    I hope the Oilers hold a compliance buy out for Horcoff, and maybe pursue a player like Goc from Florida to help fill the gap. Mostly I want this because i want to see the team trade for a stud d-man, and cap space will soon be an issue.

    I cannot believe they signed Kessy before signing Gernat. How fucked up are the team’s priorities?

  30. sumaclab says:

    Travis Ewanyk is more 3rd line checker than 4th line thug type. At 20 he still developing. I see 3-4 years in the AHL as a good thing for Travis.He needs to improve in alot of areas and develope a pro style physique. He needs to add 20+ lbs of man muscle. At 185 he is not nearly up to the challenge of the NHL. Mitch Moroz could use the same program. Kessey too. These kids are raw and will need alot more than a couple of years to grow into AHL players let alone NHL players.

    I like our off season flexibility as far as contracts go. Lots off space to sign the type of players we need instead of signing bodies just for sake of signing bodies to fill up roster spots in OKC. Belanger and eager are both buyouts. If not I’ll be pissed.

    The Oilers biggest challenge this off season will still be in net. Roy has been flat in the AHL. A reliable backup for DD. Someone less prone to health and legal issues.

    The Oilers will need to look at getting someone on the wing with more size and grit. Who though will be the question? Is Teemu the guy? If not who will be then?

    I believe that the Oilers will move Hemsky and his 5 million dollar contract this summer for that need on wing. I don’t see the Oilers top 6 changing. If teemu plays it’ll be on the 3rd line. Another winger of similar type needs to be found.

    L.A. could Carter and Richards kills us anymore everytime we play them? L.A. is just that much better than us. No matter how hard the boys work. Its not enough. Anaheim? 3-2 loss.

  31. cabbiesmacker says:

    sumaclab:

    A reliable backup for DD. Someone less prone to health and legal issues.

    What legal issues does Khabby have? I thought they’d been dealt with.

  32. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    gcw_rocks:
    I hope the Oilers hold a compliance buy out for Horcoff, and maybe pursue a player like Goc from Florida to help fill the gap.Mostly I want this because i want to see the team trade for a stud d-man, and cap space will soon be an issue.

    I cannot believe they signed Kessy before signing Gernat.How fucked up are the team’s priorities?

    With the depth at C being in tatters, the team unwilling to pull the trigger on Gagner, throwing Lander all over the place, having question marks on both Belanger and Smithson for next year and RNH still under 20…

    there isn’t much sense to getting rid of Horcov barring:

    1) a complete overhaul of the position (seems unlikely, given this mgt. group’s penchant for staying the course); or,

    2) throwing someone into the deep end (ie. giving Lander a big push again before he is ready, or elevating Belanger/Smithson to 3rd line duties)

    As far as Ewanyk and Kessy deals… it is frustrating. Reminds me of ST rushing to sign Sutton early last year when there was zero pressure to do so, while leaving Hemsky in the lurch.

    Still though… I suspect these minor (in status terms not league) deals are easier to get done and there is no reason negotiations can’t occur in parallel.

    If Gernat doesn’t sign that’s a huge problem… but at the moment I’m trying not to stress it, or read too much into his situation based on the Kessy and Ewanyk signings.

    Or, getting signed first might be a sign of “ease of transaction” rather than “priority”

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    cabbiesmacker: What legal issues does Khabby have? I thought they’d been dealt with.

    I think the operative word there is “prone”

    at any rate, it’s a harmless jab at Nik. much more important is his age and reliability.

  34. Ducey says:

    Captain Obvious:
    What’s interesting about those numbers is how bad Ewanyk’s are.

    In any case, these kinds of players are useless.However,their are degrees of uselessness.Kessy appears to be less useless than Ewanyk and neither are toiler cleaner useless like Abney.

    Chasing after size is a giant waste of time with significant opportunity costs.That said, supernova is right about one thing.Signing Clowe for 4×5 would be worse.

    LA seems to be able to do okay with a pack of “useless” players like Nolan, Penner (who was hardly a good prospect when he was signed), Clifford, and King.

    In fact you might notice that they put significant emphasis on being a big team and using it to their advantage in playing a defensive game.

  35. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: LA seems to be able to do okay with a pack of “useless” players like Nolan, Penner (who was hardly a good prospect when he was signed), Clifford, and King.

    In fact you might notice that they put significant emphasis on being a big team and using it to their advantage in playing a defensive game.

    I think I have a higher tolerence for the Oilers chasing coke machines than others.

    That being said, let’s look at the players you listed:

    Nolan : 1 year after being drafted, scored 1pt/gm in the OHL.
    Clifford: 1 year after being drafted, scored 1pt/gm in the OHL
    King: 1 year after being drafted, scored 1pt/gm in the WHL

    None of Ewanyk, Kessey, Moroz, Abney ever got close to that number of pts/gm

    The first 3 hover around .5pts/gm. Abney is in a universe not usually associated with being drafted with 7 pts in 34 games the year after he was drafted.

    They are the 3rd/4th liners in Junior. The players from the Kings you listed were for the most part 1/2nd liners the year after their draft.

    King was 3rd in scoring on Lethbridge draft year +1
    Nolan was 5th in scoring for the Soo Greyhounds draft year +1
    Clifford was 7th in scoring for Barrie

    Ewaynk was injuried most of his draft +1 year, but is 12th in scoring for the Oil Kings in his draft year +2
    Moroz is 8th in scoring in his draft year +1 on the Oil Kings
    Kessy was 14th in scoring for the MedHat Tigers in his draft year +1.

    They Oilers are trolling a level too deep to have a good chance of finding a useful NHLer.

    Not saying they won’t, but the odds are very, very long.

    Players getting 1pt/gm the year after they are drafted find it tough to become role players in the NHL.

    Players who put up .5pt/gm they year after they are drafted might find it tough to be a role player in the AHL.

    The difference is pretty clear.

  36. asiaoil says:

    Only little ray of light for the playoffs is now the Wild IMHO. They are 5 points up with a game in hand so they need to lose again tonight and we need to win in ANA tomorrow. Big point is that we have 2 games left with them – win both and you make up 4 points like that. Still not much hope but a Wild loss tonight and Oiler win tomorrow makes it slightly more likely.

  37. sliderule says:

    OK if we are going to go after coke machines let’s see how we are doing say against the team we played yesterday.
    I will give size ,current age ,year drafted and points after draft year.

    Kings

    Clifford 6ft2 209 22 2rd 57 pts
    King 6ft4 232 23. 4th 69 pts
    Nolan 6ft3. 225 23. 7thrd 48pts

    Oilers latest hope for coke machines

    Moroz 6ft2 208 2nd 34 pts
    Kessy 6ft3 200 4th. 16 pts

    It looks like the oil need to do a better job of maximizing their coke picks if they want to bulk up like Kings

  38. hunter1909 says:

    Send Pajaarvi to boxing school this summer. With his Forrest Gump compete level he’d probably return as a skilled enforcer.

  39. FPB94 says:

    That’s the thing with pluggers: often they were scorers in the juniors, Colby Armstrong, Steve Downie etc.

    Milan Lucic was a once in a generation event, and teams will keep chasing another till 2016.

    In the top 60 scorers in the NHL last year, the worst draft year PPG (CHL) was Brad Marchand (after Lucic) at 1 PPG and James Neal at 0,65.

    All the rest were clear of a PPG on draft year.

    It does NOT happen often.

  40. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909:
    Send Pajaarvi to boxing school this summer.With his Forrest Gump compete level he’d probably return as a skilled enforcer.

    You know, that’s a very good idea. Seriously. Paajarvi has most of the elements needed for a PF and can take a hit (that prick in Calgary hit him bull hard the other night). Just don’t break a hand!

  41. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    EXACTLY!!

    Who knows how many 2nd round picks we could have had……trade one one or two to move up into the first round…..so many possibilities.

    Two picks and a player for a stud D man…..so many, many possibilities.

  42. denny33 says:

    FPB94,

    Anthony Mantha 6’4 and growing…big time offence?

  43. jfry says:

    I know ilve been harping on this a lot, but one of the most obvious things that I see with all our drafting is that we don’t leave the house enough:

    Nolan : the OHL.
    Clifford: the OHL
    King: the WHL

    Moroz: Edmonton
    Ewanyk: Edmonton
    Kessy: Alberta

    This is a growing and disturbing trend. Sure we draft some Finns and swedes, but if the chl produces fifty percent of the players why do we focus so heavily on the dub and bchl. Seems lazy, ignorant and cheap. Also stinks of people who think they’re smarter than others.

    I’m exceedingly happy that we’ve stopped calling him the magnificent bastard. While there have been some nice reach picks our second and third rounders have been junk or local.

  44. FPB94 says:

    denny33,

    Yep. That’s where you get your big guys, When they can score (and did). 50 goals =P.

  45. sliderule says:

    Rather than send MPS to boxing teach him how to use his stick.It can be an equalizer.

    Do an imitation of a controlled chico maki chop and they will back off.The bullies will give someone a little crazy lots of space.

    You could see that with Yakupov when he stared off Kings player after some mutual stick work

  46. gcw_rocks says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Horcoff is getting up there in age and his style of game is tough on the body. Don’t be surprised if Hocoff falls off a cliff during or after next season. That’s why they would be better off burying eager or doing a non-compliance buy out on him and keeping one for horcoff just in case.

  47. asiaoil says:

    I like the budding synergy of Maggie and Yak – and especially when Maggie got in the face of a player trying to intimidate Yak a couple of games ago.

  48. jfry says:

    gcw_rocks,

    That’s all fine and well, but what’s the back up plan. Without horcoff this year we were the worst team in the league, again, even with the emerging talent. He saves the young forwards constantly and straight rescues the d from drowning.

    He’s got just the worst job. Even my calgary friends are starting to appreciate him. I think you’re right that he’ll lose a step, but is a slow horcoff worse than what we’ll pick up? I don’t have an answer. I’d rather keep him and find two more centres that can help relieve his burden. As much as I like gags he’s not a tough minute player still.

  49. Dipstick says:

    Woodguy,

    I think the Oil missed their coke machine by just a few picks. Henrik Samuelsson 69 gms. 80 pts. regular season and 17 gms. 14 pts. in the playoffs. I almost cried then and I feel like crying frequently since.

  50. DeadmanWaking says:

    What, no fresh thread? Lazybones on the lam this fine Sunday morning. Well, he deserves it.

    Yesterday I picked up The Fun Stuff by James Wood. This is a collection of dense essays of literary criticism, largely of authors unknown to me. Dense, but not stuffy or cryptic or veiled. For all its difficulty, he writes to be read, not interpreted (echoing a comment by Douglas Glover). I’m guessing his most accessible piece in this collection is the opening essay The Fun Stuff: A Homage to Keith Moon.

    Keith Moon-style drumming is a lucky combination of the artful and the artless. To begin at the beginning: his drums always sounded good. He hit them nice and hard, and tuned the bigger tom-toms low (not for him the little eunuch toms of Kenney Jones, who palely succeeded him in the Who, after Moon’s death). He kept his snare pretty dry. This isn’t a small thing. The talentless three-piece jazz combo at your local hotel ballroom … almost certainly features a so-called drummer whose sticks are used so lightly that they barely embarrass the skins, and whose snare–wet, buzzy, loose–sounds like a repeated sneeze. A good dry snare, properly struck, is a bark, a crack, a report. How a drummer hits the snare, and how it sounds, can determine a band’s entire dynamic. Groups like Supertramp and the Eagles seem soft, in large part, because the snare is so drippy and mildly used (and not just because elves are apparently squeezing the singers’ testicles).

    He has a more typical essay on V. S. Naipaul titled Wounder and Wounded. This caught my eye after messing the other day with the drum beats of “puddle-wonderful”. “Wonderful” is packed with wolfish woofs: ‘wend’ to and fro, blowing in the ‘wind’, ‘wind’ your watch, ‘wound’ up like a ball of string, ‘wounded’ like a duck, the darker ‘wonder’ of it all; the phrase itself even forms an echo of “pirate’s plunder”. I found “piracies” to be the most evasive word to pin down. Here’s a possibility. Marble: cat’s eye. Pirate: eye patch. The girls are described with three images of frenetic legs akimbo: hop-scotch, jump-rope, and dancing. The boys are down on their knees eying things up: marbles and piracies. The pirate’s eye-patch might even serve as a gruesome invocation of menarche: the bleeding orifice, having lost its marble. Or “piracy” could be Pierce-Eyed van Dyck, whose marbles begin to knock. Puddles of puberty.

    In this essay, here again Wood builds around a musical conception:

    The Indian social theorist Ashis Nandy writes of the two voices in Kipling, the saxophone and the oboe. The first is the hard, militaristic, imperialist writer, and the second is Kipling’s “Indianness, and his awe for the culture and mind of India. Naipaul has a saxophone and an oboe, too, a hard sound and a softer one. These two sides could be called the Wounder and the Wounded.

    The Wounder, we learn from Patrick French’s superb biography of Naipaul, used and used up his first wife, Patricia Hale, sometimes depending on her, at other times ignoring her, often berating and humiliating her. In 1972, Naipaul began a long, tortured, sadomasochistic affair with an Anglo-Argentinian woman, Margaret Gooding. It was an intensely sexual relationship, which enacted, on Naipaul’s side, fantasies of cruelty and domination. On one occasion, jealous because Margaret was with another man, he was “very violent with her for two days with my hand … Her face was bad. She couldn’t really appear in public.”

    The Wounded Naipaul is the writer who returns obsessively to the struggle, shame, and impoverished fragility of his early life in Trinidad …

    Encapsulating in my own words: bastard red sax and oboe hobo. There follows twelve dense pages disentangling the fusion of these two reeds.

    Concurrently, I also picked up The Art of Possibility by Ros and Ben Zander. Ros is a coach, therapist and creativity guru. Ben “has been the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic since its formation in 1979″ first picking up the baton as a take-no-prisoners over-achiever (as he reveals about himself through his anecdotes), whose biting saxophone subsequently took an oboe turn (musically, he’s actually a cellist by training).

    There’s a nice passage on “second fiddle-itis”, also recalling the Vancouver game thread.

    “Steve Smith”: Tangentially related and worth watching: Fugitive 54

    Ben writes:

    People who perceive their role in a group to be of little significance (second violins for example) are particularly vulnerable to its ravages. The string players in an orchestra often see themselves as redundant foot soldiers, virtual cannon fodder for the egotistical whim of the conductor. Many other players, after all, duplicate their part. This is not true for the lead trumpet or the main wind players, who are soloists within the orchestra.

    He then talks about how string players take up a position in the orchestra with great enthusiasm, but eventually become jaded and tune out.

    A first oboist, on the other hand, is unlikely to give up making reeds or to miss a rehearsal. It is simply too noticeable. In all my years of conducting, I do not believe I have ever known a first oboe to be late for rehearsal. Is it because the oboe has to be there at the beginning to tune everyone to the A?

    So the face-off serves a second purpose: it keeps the mellow Zebras showing up to poultice the bawling saxophones. I’ve read that the oboe is a particularly disobedient instrument to master.

    From The Not-So-Sexy World of Professional Oboists by Gadi Dechter:

    The oboe, however, usually inspires heavy breathing only in its players. It is a notoriously finicky woodwind whose practitioners have a rather frumpy reputation for anal retentiveness and obsessive fussing.

    “The instrument is imperfect,” Needleman admits. “It’s difficult, and you can make hideous sounds sometimes.”

    The oboe’s difficulty stems from its design, she says, since the instrument is made of three interlocking wooden tubes, each outfitted with an intricate arrangement of keys that generate various pitches. Sound is made by forcing air into the tiny opening of a fragile double reed. “The tip of the reed is one-10th the thickness of a piece of paper,” says Needleman, who hand-carves her own from Chinese cane. “There’s only about a millimeter difference between sounding good and sounding like shit.”

    When skillfully played, however, this ugly duckling is a star actor in the orchestral repertoire. “It can have a really creamy, chocolaty sound, a very dark sound,” says Jonathan Carney, concertmaster of the BSO. “It has this timbre, a whiskey tenor. It’s an amazingly feminine instrument with a masculine vibe, like Katharine Hepburn.”

    James Wood grew up playing trumpet and piano, and he curses his own:

    When you blow down an oboe, say, or pull a bow across a string, an infinitesimal, barely perceptible hesitation–the hesitation of vibration–separates the act and the sound; for trumpeters, the simple voicing of a quiet middle C is more fraught than very complex passages, because the brass tube can be sluggish in its obedience. But when a drummer needs to make a drum sound, he just … hits it.

    Here’s Wood in full colour on empty showmanship:

    YouTube, which is a kind of permanent special Olympics for show-offs, is full of young men wreaking double-jointed virtuosity on fabulously complex drum kits rigged up like artillery ranges. But so what? … Moon disliked drum solos and did not perform them; the only one I have seen was pretty bad, a piece of anti-performance art–Moon sloppy and mindless, apparently drunk or stoned or both, and almost collapsing into the drums while he pounded them like pillows. He may have lacked the control necessary to sustain a long, complex solo; more likely, he needed the kinetic adventures of the Who to provoke him into his own. His cheerful way of conceding this was his celebrated remark that “I’m the best Keith Moon-style drummer in the world.” Which was also a way of saying, “I’m the best Who-style drummer in the world.”

    I feel that, too. Perhaps I’m the best (or fastest fingered) riff-artist on day-old Vancouver game threads in the entire Oilogosphere. But seriously, my ambit seems to thrive on the happenstance fray of E. E. Cummings and Pachelbel’s Canon.

    Ben has more to say on the cult of personal superiority.

    The near-mythical maestro Herbert von Karajan was reputed to have jumped into a taxi outside the opera house and shouted to the driver, “Hurry, hurry!” “Very good, sir,” said the driver. “Where to?” “It doesn’t matter,” said von Karajan impatiently. “They need me everywhere!”

    Orchestral players will forgive a great conductor–one who has a far-reaching artistic vision–many personal transgressions in facilitation of the all-important performance, much the way a family will administer to the extraordinary needs of a woman giving birth. Yet … a leader who feels he is superior is likely to suppress the voices of the very people on whom he must rely to deliver his vision alive and kicking.

    I think he means his wife, but let’s ignore that.

    It may seem strange to the orchestral musician that the corporate world would be interested in hearing a conductor’s views on leadership or that the metaphor of the orchestra is so frequently used in the literature of leadership because, in fact, the profession of the conductor is one of the last bastions of totalitarianism in the civilized world!

    Krueger in his interview (linked here by someone a few days ago) says something similar about the European corporate world’s surprise that someone from the sporting world has anything useful to offer.

    Orchestral deference is a sight to behold:

    “Virtually every communication from the musicians to a conductor in a rehearsal is phrased as a question, even when it is really a statement of fact or belief,” wrote Seymour and Robert Levine in an article in Harmony magazine.

    One of [us] once heard the principal clarinetist of a major American orchestra ask the conductor whether he wanted the notes with the dots over them “… short, or like the brass were playing them?”

    What would a clarinetist know about playing a sluggish tube? Here’s my favorite passage so far.

    One of the most supremely gifted and accomplished artists I have known sat for decades as a modest member of the viola section [at a major orchestra, despite his legendary/distinguished career, and seminal/formative influence among our ranks] … How often I have consulted him on thorny points of interpretation–to have the scales removed from my eyes by his incandescent insight into the music.

    Yet had any [visiting conductor] consulted him or called on his profound knowledge of the particular piece there were performing together? Indeed, I believe such a notion is almost unthinkable. … One Friday, when he was a guest coach at my Interpretation class … I asked him, “How can you bear to play day after day in an orchestra led by conductors, many of whom must know so much less than you?” [Eugene Lehner modestly replied]:

    One day, during my very first year playing with the orchestra, I remember an occasion when Koussevitsky was conducting a Bach piece and he seemed to be having some difficulty getting the results he wanted–it simply wasn’t going right. Fortunately, his friend, the great French pedagogue and conductor Nadia Boulanger, happened to be in town and sitting in on the rehearsal, so K. took the opportunity to extricate himself from an awkward and embarrassing situation by calling out to her, “Nadia, please, will you come up here and conduct? I want to go to the back of the hall and see how it sounds.” Mlle. Boulanger stepped up, made a few comments to the musicians, and conducted the passage without a hitch. Ever since that time, in every rehearsal, I have been waiting for the conductor to say, “Lehner, you come up here and conduct, I want to go to the back of the hall to see how it sounds.” It is now forty-three years since this happened, and it is less and less likely that I will be asked. However, in the meantime, I haven’t had a single dull moment in rehearsal, as I sit wondering what I would say to the orchestra should I suddenly be called upon to lead.

    That’s a loooong time modestly sawing away among the plump second-fiddles as the self-appointed cup-of-coffee conductor. This connects, I think, with why I had the weird impulse to critique the Cummings poem by revising it rather than taking up a banister seat in the stage left balcony box and cocking a lofty snook. I mainly read a book from the perspective of having been tasked to write the book, so far as my knowledge allows.

    Zander has a weird thing where he just gives all his students an A at the beginning of term, but forces them to write a letter (in advance, framed in the past tense) explaining how they deserved it. This freaks out a Taiwanese student:

    [In Taiwain] I was Number 68 out of 70 student. I come to Boston and Mr. Zander says I am an A. Very confusing. I walk about, three weeks, very confused. I am Number 68, but Mr. Zander says I am an A student … I am Number 68, but Mr. Zander says I am an A. One day I discover much happier A than Number 68. So I decide I am an A.

    If one can’t read Krueger’s book in German, one could do worse than reading this book instead. There are half-pages of Oprah-padding scattered throughout, and even if you don’t agree with the feel-good philosophy, the anecdotes pack a punch.

    This ends my little meditation on Fugitive 54.

  51. VOR says:

    sliderule,

    You are comparing apples and oranges. First of all Clifford was playing in the NHL when he was 19. He turned twenty during his first season in the NHL. He was drafted 35th OV.

    Moroz hasn’t turned 19 yet. He will turn 19 in May.

    That leaves us with Nolan, Kessy and King who are comparable.

    The sizes you list for Nolan and King will be their size now at the age of 23, not their size at age 20. By the way, hockeydb has Clifford at 6’1″ 200.

    King in the same season that Kessy is in now had 60 points – he was taken 109 OV.
    Nolan in the same season (the one that started when they were 19 years old) had 43 points in 64 games.

    Kessy who was taken 111th OV has 43 points this season in sixty games not the 16 you list (he played for 3 different teams this year) he also has 9 pts including 7 goals in 7 games in the playoffs this year.

    Kessy has on his resume something none of the LA guys do – the word psycho.

    Just saying apples and oranges.

  52. LMHF#1 says:

    sliderule:

    If you knew how the some of the oilers coaching staff and management feel about players courage it would make you puke.

    Just about all the players that have been traded away didn’t fit the Kelly mold.No skill but not afraid to catch punchs to the head even if you can’tfight.

    Have heard the same type of thing. That’s one of the reasons I’ll do a dance the day Buchberger is no longer part of this staff….or stop going to games should he become HC.

  53. sliderule says:

    VOR

    I didn’t go by age I used draft year as reference my stats are from db.com

    Clifford drafted in 2009 Barrie 2009-10 57pts

    King drafted in 2007 played junior 2007 08 60 pts

    Nolan drafted in 2009 2009-10 48 pts.he was overager but he got 43the year before

    Kessy drafted 2011 played in Hat 16 pts

    Moroz drafted in 2012 2012-13 34pts

    In each case I used the points the season after their draft year.

    The kings have picked players who scored way more in junior and at much Lowe cost

  54. gcw_rocks says:

    jfry,

    That’s why you probably don’t flush him this season unless a stud d-man is coming in and you need the cap space. That gives the team this summer and next summer to find a cheaper replacement.

  55. gcw_rocks says:

    jfry,

    One more thought. He can’t play forever, so the team should be looking for replacements given his age. Actively looking.

  56. gcw_rocks says:

    I have been continuing to look to see if an ELC is considered a form of SPC, or is a different class. This summary of the new CBA: http://cdn.agilitycms.com/nhlpacom/PDF/Summary-of-Terms-1-10-13.pdf, says:

    “Maintenance of existing Entry Level System commitment (i.e., generally three (3) years). Players
    will be entitled to negotiate and receive Signing Bonus payments covering their participation in a
    “partial” first season of a multi-year ELS SPC.”

    Thus, if an ELC is a form of SPC, the Oilers should be able to buy out Abney. Cost would be 1/3 of his $605K NHL salary spread over 2 years. Rounding error in terms of impact on the Oilers cap situation.

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