Among national media sorts, Scott Cullen at tsn’s ‘off-season game plan’ features are outstanding: thorough, heavy on advanced stats and with enough projection to make for genuinely interesting reading. Cullen is a frequent guest on my radio show, and I hope to have him on in the next week or so, but wanted to discuss some of the points he made in this year’s edition of the Oilers Off-season game plan.
Cullen’s use of shot differential and other advanced stats to make his points is sensational, and because he’s looking at the right things (imo) his conclusions are sound and his solutions reasonable. We’ve been watching and monitoring msm for signs of advanced stats usage, so an article that uses them to establish team needs and then solutions is worthy of an ovation.
Cullen’s conclusions about this Oilers group:
- The Oilers should get help up front from Maxim Lapierre and Dainus Zubrus
- Sign Mark Streit for the blue
- Add Jose Theodore to the goaltending depth chart
- Trade Hemsky
- Buy out Horcoff
- Elevate Klefbom to the NHL
Now, we all have our own lists (my solutions are Boyd Gordon, Viktor Stalberg, Streit, Khudobin, keeping Hemsky and Horcoff, respectively) but the point is Cullen’s post could appear on any respected Oilers blog and be treated as an intelligent, reasoned assessment of need and solution. Do that for all 30 teams and I’d say you’re bordering on genius.
Outstanding work, with a hat tip for being savvy and using behind the net and the Vollman sledgehammer to drive the point home.
The Barons won last night, Tanner House took a hit and was knocked out of the game. That article also details a $50,000 donation from the Barons, the league and players (proceeds from the game) to help in the OKC recovery.
Over at Oilers Nation I wrote an item on Sam Gagner (MacT Job 1: Signing Samwise) and it got some nice response. One of the exchanges was with my good friend speeds and it got me thinking about length and term. Here are our viewpoints:
- Diehard: LT, what would you be comfortable with? Would you do 5/6 years at cap hit 4.75?
- Lowetide: I’d be fine with $4.5M times 4 or 5. The length may seem to be severe, but he’s young and should cover.
- speeds: Severe? If Gagner goes UFA, there is only a small chance IMO that he doesn’t get a 7 year deal if he wants to sign for that long in the summer of 2014, assuming nothing out of the ordinary next season.
- Lowetide: 7 years? I like Gagner a lot, but seven years is a long, long time.
He would also be the youngest UFA of all time, according to MacT (group 3 UFA, I’m assuming he meant), if he becomes unrestricted next summer.
I don’t disagree that 7 years is a long time, but it’s an unusual situation. Gagner would be 31 when that hypothetical 7 year deal, signed next summer, would be over.
What say you?
This morning at 10 on the Lowdown with Lowetide (Team 1260), we’ll be talking Oilers and off-season during extended open line time. Scheduled to appear:
- James Mirtle from the Globe and Mail. We’ll talk NHL playoffs, coaching changes and speculate about off-season movement.
- Travis Yost will join us to talk about free agency, the Coyotes summer and Ottawa’s run.
- Scott Taylor from the Huddle.co will talk Jets, CFL and Blue Jays.