ARE THE BARONS DEVELOPING ENOUGH NHL TALENT?

This is Curtis Hamilton. He’s one of several draft picks who have underperformed at the minor league level since 2010. This can’t happen, not if the Oilers are to contend for a Stanley Cup. The Barons haven’t enjoyed many 1st round picks as prospects (only Magnus Paajarvi has spent any time in Oklahoma City during active NHL play) and have not graduated much talent to the NHL team since the Barons arrived in OKC in 2010.

It was a short season for the Oilers (48 games), but the Barons didn’t really give a lot of useful at-bats to the big team when the opportunities came.

  • Teemu Hartikainen 23, 1-2-3
  • Anton Lander 11, 0-1-1
  • Chris VandeVelde 11, 0-0-0
  • Yann Danis 3, 3.82 .881
  • Mark Arcobello 1, 0-0-0

Let’s compare that to the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and how their minor league system helped them during the Stanley run:

  • Brandon Saad 46, 10-17-27
  • Jimmy Hayes 10, 1-3-4
  • Jeremy Morin 3, 1-1-2
  • Ben Smith 1, 1-0-1
  • Brandon Bollig 25, 0-0-0
  • Brandon Pirri 1, 0-0-0
  • Ryan Stanton 1, 0-0-0
  • Shawn Lalonde 1, 0-0-0

The ‘failure to launch’ for Oiler draft picks goes back a long while, and really with some notable exceptions (Jeff Petry, 49 AHL games before NHL) the entire century has been a disaster. Here are the prospects drafted by the Oilers since 2000 who have played more than 40 AHL games before establishing themselves as NHL players:

  • Brad Winchester, 2nd round 2000 and had a 390 game NHL career
  • Jarret Stoll, 2nd round 2002 and has played in 641 NHL games
  • Zack Stortini, 3rd round 2003 and has played in 257 NHL games
  • Kyle Brodziak, 7th round 2003 and has played in 467 NHL games
  • Devan Dubnyk, 1st round 2004 and has played in 139 NHL games
  • Jeff Petry, 2nd round 2006 and has played in 156 NHL games

That’s not a very long list, and nothing since 2006. The Barons haven’t seen any 1st round picks in their first year pro since 2010, but they’ve had some nice 2nd rounders who haven’t progressed. This season, there are 1st rounders headed south and a lot of expectations are going with them.

BARONS ESTIMATED OPENING NIGHT LINEUP (26-ish)

  • Goal (2): Richard Bachman (starter), Olivier Roy
  • Defense (8): Martin Marincin-Taylor Fedun; Brandon Davidson-Oscar Klefbom; Brad Hunt-Martin Gernat; David Musil-Joey Leach
  • Center (5): Mark Arcobello; Andrew Miller; Will Acton; Travis Ewanyk; CJ Stretch
  • Left Wing (6): Toni Rajala; Ryan Hamilton; Ben Eager; Ryan Martindale; Curtis Hamilton; Kale Kessy
  • Right Wing(5): Derek Nesbitt; Matthew Ford; Tyler Pitlick; Erick Lizon; Cameron Abney

Todd Nelson has an enormous amount of pressure on him now to oversee positive development. Marincin progressed nicely this past season, but this year he’ll need to find a way to continue that progress AND find good spots for Oscar Klefbom, Martin Gernat and David Musil. Up front, the organization has every right to expect some return on their investments iin Travis Ewanyk, Ryan Martindale, Curtis Hamilton and Tyler Pitlick. If just one of those players turns into a useful NHL player, well that would be considered a victory based on the performance photo we’re looking at this morning.

The “Brandon Saad” in the Oilers group this season is Oscar Klefbom. I don’t think he spends the entire season in OKC, and I don’t think Marincin is far from knocking on the door. The real value in minor league teams is finding someone in the crowd who can fill a vital role for reasonable dollars. Remember when the Oilers hit the ground running in 2005-06 with all those value contracts?

2005-06 VALUE CONTRACTS

  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. Bergeron played over 100 AHL games before establishing himself.
  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. Hemsky never played a game in the minors.
  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. Played 24 AHL games before graduating to the NHL.
  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. Played over 170 AHL games before graduating to the NHL.
  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. Played 76 AHL games before graduating to the NHL.
  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. Played over 100 AHL games before establishing himself in the NHL, only 11 in the Oiler organization.

The Oilers need to find these kinds of contracts, starting now. Pisani is the gold standard here, he worked his way up and cost very little while delivering outstanding performance. The time is at hand–the Oilers AHL kids need to develop, and if they don’t then it’s time to give someone else a try. The Jacks and Kings are in place, where on earth are the 6′s and 7′s and 9′s?

(Hamilton photo by Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved).

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68 Responses to "ARE THE BARONS DEVELOPING ENOUGH NHL TALENT?"

  1. Redwood Original says:

    Good morning folks!

    LT, I’ve been lurking for awhile, got to say I really enjoy the blog. It has become somewhat of a staple in my morning diet!

    Also, I really appreciate the other members contributions, very logical, level headed opinions. Nice to see when compared to some other sites!

    Cheers

    RO

  2. Lowetide says:

    Thanks, Redwood. Great people come by here, hope you post more often, as I see no spelling errors or crazy tangents. :-)

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Saad would have been nice, Rattie too.

    Shaw is an interesting pick from the same draft year. Overager at draft, went on to play 66 games in the AHL, blossomed into a useful 4C.

    “Derek Nesbitt; Matthew Ford”

    who are these guys? AHL vets, I gather… but they’re new to me. Don’t you think Nelson will be under the gun to give Pitlick some of that cherry TOI?

    “Marc Andre Bergeron”

    I see he’s hooking up with another Marc

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=427989

  4. GXL says:

    There lies the question to be answered… What happen to the “watershed” 2010′s? Anyone (not name DFS – simply because of ignorance than any thing else) would of pegged the Pittlick-Hamilton-Marincin 2nd round as a huge win for the organization. But somewhere between the WJHC Hamilton fell off (completely off) and Pitlick has struggled mightily. Marincin has been doing “ok”, certainly has improved over the course of his first pro season, but he’s still a string bean and still a year or two away from the NHL (he is a defenseman after all). The problem for the Oilers is the two players they really need to develop fell to do so. Both Hamilton and Pitlick were the two skilled players with size that could slip into the 3rd line (2nd for injuries) that this club desperately needed.

    I am most curious about Hamilton. Good kid by all accounts and after a stellar WJC where we saw him looking like an all-star, he fell from grace. During that tournament, Desjardin started him on the fourth line, but by the end of the tournament he was on the first line and during important minutes.

    Its the period between April of that year to now that has me wondering, WTF happened. Is Todd Nelson destroying our prospects?

    GXL

  5. Lowetide says:

    Gagner asking for $5.5m in arbitration according to Dreger. Lordy.

  6. magisterrex says:

    Too many prospects not showing improvement for this to be bad scouting, IMO. Coach Bridges needs to take responsibility for this slide, unless this is all Tambo’s fault. Perhaps the mandate was to create a “winning culture” as opposed to “develop the kids.” Actually, that does sound like Tambellini – focus on an immediate goal without considering long-term effects of the execution steps.

  7. Redwood Original says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner asking for $5.5m in arbitration according to Dreger. Lordy.

    Gagner’s contract will be real interesting. If he really does want $5.5m, I just can’t see him staying in Edmonton. MacT has a real challenge here. Would be tough to trade him (from a depth standpoint), but I can’t imagine he doesn’t have that contingency plan in place.

  8. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner asking for $5.5m in arbitration according to Dreger. Lordy.

    remember the rumor Bozak wanted 8 years x 5M…

    If that is his high water mark, maybe we are ok. If he wants that only for the year and then even more on his UFA…

    trade and sign Grabo now.

  9. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner asking for $5.5m in arbitration according to Dreger. Lordy.

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Yeah, I read that as $5.5M for the RFA year. What does that make the asking price for the UFA years?

  10. Lowetide says:

    GXL: I think 2010 is tracking a little below what we’d expect–the 2nd round (3 selections) has one guy who looks like a lock for NHL duty (Marincin), one who is showing a pulse (Pitlick) and another guy we can probably count as a loss (Hamilton). What’s the delivery on NHL players taken in the 2nd round? 20%? If Marincin makes it I think that covers the 2nd round.

    Martindale is a strange player, I feel he looks better in TC and then does nothing for the winter. Weird.

    Of the guys taken after #100, Davidson has a chance to make it, and I believe Pelss had a chance too. Bunz and Czerwonka encountered injury problems, and Jones hasn’t really been heard from since the draft.

    So, if it ends up being Hall, Marincin and someone like Pitlick making it to 200 games, I’d count that as a successful draft.

  11. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    Thanks, Redwood. Great people come by here, hope you post more often, as I see no spelling errors or crazy tangents.

    I hd a real gud post bowt arear 51 effect on oKC al reedy for this moorning…and yo jast ruined it. heehee.

  12. Woodguy says:

    So is this a failure of the drafting system or the development system?

    Both?

    If both, who owns what percentage?

    I know random variance can kill careers (injuries) but the results speak to more than variance (guessing)

    Not having 3 1sts in a row play a game will certainly skew it to the poor side, but having that 2nd-7th rounder come to fruition around his 22nd birthday doesn’t seem to be happening for the F’s. Still have high hopes for many D.

  13. HBomb says:

    Redwood Original: Gagner’s contract will be real interesting. If he really does want $5.5m, I just can’t see him staying in Edmonton. MacT has a real challenge here. Would be tough to trade him (from a depth standpoint), but I can’t imagine he doesn’t have that contingency plan in place.

    Maybe one Ales Hemsky is part of the contingency plan? To expand:

    - Yakupov might be an option at either wing.
    - They’ve mused about trying Hall at center.

    Perron-Hall-Hemsky (power-vs-power)
    Yakupov-RNH-Eberle (favorable zone-starts)

    That being said…if Gagner would accept the Horcoff deal (33 over 6) or preferably less per year (in exchange for term), they should just get it done. $5 million per is kind of the tipping-point price (i.e. if they get him for an AAV less than that, I’d say MacT got a deal), but I also tend to think in terms of a 10% rule for ‘acceptable overpays’ for key components (i.e. I think they could stomach an extra $500k per for #89, if the deal came along with some decent term/security to it).

  14. SpotTheLoon says:

    Lowetide,

    Wow, a $5.5 ask for a RFA year?!?! I can’t blame the guy and his agent for asking. I like Gagner a lot but if what Dreger says is accurate, I can see the MacT pulling the trigger on a trade. If the Oilers could sign Grabovski (noted below), does this serve as an opportunity to get a good third line winger, prospect and/or draft pick to fill in some remaining holes in the roster? Where do you think a likely destination for him might be and what might the projected return be?

    I haven’t been a fan of the idea of signing Grabovski but I can see this as a possibility now and one worth pursuing if Gagner is going to be traded. Given he is getting buy out money from the Leafs, I’m wondering if the Oilers could sign him for $4m over 4 years. What say you?

    Thoughts?

  15. mustang says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner asking for $5.5m in arbitration according to Dreger. Lordy.

    Wow, I hope that isn’t true. I guess that explains why he isn’t signed yet. Gagner isn’t a 5.5 M hockey player. I guess he doesn’t like playing here, he will be on a different team a year from now.

  16. Cobbler says:

    Seems that a lot of the drafted prospects, C.Hamilton, Pitlick, Martindale, Ewanyk are looking to bat deep in the order. Would it not be better to feed these guys lots of ice time this year? Maybe not Ewanyk so much as its his first year, but if these guys ever hope to play even 3rd/4th line minutes with the big club then they’ll need to start killing it in the AHL.

    The Barons have done tremendously well as a team the last couple years, but how much of that has been at the cost of not giving the 2nd and 3rd rounders lots of ice/opportunity?

    Seems this year they will be much less reliant on AHL vets. I would be OK with a Barons team that struggles to make the playoffs, if the prospects in the system are seeing adequate ice time to properly develop.

  17. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner asking for $5.5m in arbitration according to Dreger. Lordy.

    That’s the number I heard back on July 9th: http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/07/get-happy.html/comment-page-1#comment-240499

    I wonder if its real or just an echo chamber?

    My comment that day was fairly harsh:

    I heard he’s asking $5.5
    If that is true (I have no idea if it is), he can take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.

    If he sticks at that number when they take the elevator up the arbitrator’s office, this has the potential to really change things.

    Will be much harder to keep Yak and RNH at the artifically low $6MM Hall cap.

    Was musing on twitter yesterday with Dellow and I figure that Hall is a bargain contract today, as much as 30% discount to market by year 3 and potential as a 40% discount by the end.

    Dellow figures the discount is already past 30%.

    The one good thing Tambellini did.

    One.

  18. fifthcartel says:

    If MacT gives Gagner anything above 5M I will consider that a loss and a bad contract.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: The one good thing Tambellini did.

    Eberle’s contract won’t have the same value as Hall’s… but it is a solid contract too.

    I like the Smid signing a lot too. Came in under what we all thought, decent term (long enough to capture his salad days without tying us to the decline) and no NTC/NMC to hamstring us if we want out.

    I still like the Hemsky signing. Still think it was a value contract at the day of signing.

    Petry was a bargain, would have preferred more term. Dubnyk got a reasonable # too.

    I wonder if Tambo actually had a knack for in-house contracts (with huge exceptions like the Gagner situation) and his real problem was with outside options?

  20. Hammers says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner asking for $5.5m in arbitration according to Dreger. Lordy.

    If this is the highwatermark that ‘Gags wants maybe the best thing is to go to arbitration .Offer $ 4.4 with the following . Faceoff -sucks ; backcheck-sucks; defensive play -sucks . Sounds harsh but is close to the truth . Problem is he may never want to play in the future . I said a few days ago to trade him with a top “D” like Petry for a Tyutin – Dubinsky type deal . Maybe we get a 1-2 “D” and a serciceable center . That trade could be with any team ? Toronto?

  21. TheOtherJohn says:

    Gagner’s ask would represent the high end of what he could hope for at arbitration. His agent would be crazy to use a mid range number. Worse part of the number leaking out, is it gives you a window into his and his agents view as to his comparative value compared to Hall and Eberle. Think it tells us he thinks he’s real close to those two.

    Confidence is a great thing to have in a hockey player. Here, not so much. Did not believe Oil could/would trade Gagner. I do think that is the case now. If $5.5m is what he and his agent think is the ballpark as to his worth for a 1 year contract prior to FA, they are looking for big $$ on a long term deal. Maybe $23m over 4 or $29m over 5 years

  22. "Steve Smith" says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I wonder if Tambo actually had a knack for in-house contracts (with huge exceptions like the Gagner situation) and his real problem was with outside options?

    Interesting thought – maybe he was a shrewd assesser of talent when he was able to use his own judgment, instead of relying on Steve Yzerman’s.

    His performance with in-house contracts certainly distinguishes him from his predecessor, anyway.

  23. Hammers says:

    fifthcartel:
    If MacT gives Gagner anything above 5M I will consider that a loss and a bad contract.

    If he wins in arbitration he gets it and that’s why they need to trade him or offer 4 years at $5mil

  24. Lowetide says:

    WG: I think the key question is ‘did the scouting department go walkabout?’ on the 2010 group. If they’re in the range, then the organization–at the scouting level–would have given itself every chance to cover the bet.

    Using the new ‘Alice 13 hammer’ we get:

    Taylor Hall selected #1, ranked #1 (Alice walkabout #2!)
    -good thing the Oilers drafted him where they did! And I know this is becoming old for readers, but are we all SURE that MacGregor gets no credit for getting this right? Not a little? You buggers are hard markers.
    Tyler Pitlick selected #31, ranked #25 (Alice walkabout -#17)
    -Represented good value at the number, I recall having him at the top of my day 2 draft list and was well pleased when they took him.
    Martin Marincin selected #46, ranked #71 (Alice walkabout #47)
    -This is in fact a walkabout pick, and qualifies as a reach. I do think it’s worth reminding people that during the OIL CHANGE episode surrounding the draft there was much discussion about taking Marincin at #31–which would have been walkabout.
    Curtis Hamilton selected #48, ranked #57 (Alice walkabout #38)
    -Injuries have impacted his pro career, but Hamilton enjoyed a grand junior season after being drafted. A writeoff at this point, not a walkabout on the day he was taken.
    Ryan Martindale selected #61, ranked 58 (Alice walkabout #39)
    -Another value selection according to the Alice, I don’t think there’s a lot of fault based on the consensus number from McKenzie.
    Jeremie Blain selected #91, not ranked
    -Again, once we’re here it’s very difficult to know who is walkabout because the ranking system didn’t go 100+

    Walkabout central
    Tyler Bunz selected #121, not ranked
    Brandon Davidson selected #162, not ranked
    Drew Czerwonka selected #166, not ranked
    Kristians Pelss selected #181, not ranked
    Kellen Jones selected #202, not ranked

    I honestly don’t see a bad bet in the heart of this draft. Marincin was a walkabout but barely and is on track.

  25. Woodguy says:

    Dellow chimes in on the $5.5MM ask:


    mc79hockey ‏@mc79hockey 19m
    Dear everyone who’s about to be upset: you don’t ask for what you’re willing to take.
    Expand

    This is true.

    Could still land under or near $5MM

  26. TheOtherJohn says:

    As I wrote on the Duel post, if cap goes up, neither Gagner 4 & 5 contract year #’s I referred to above are prohibitive. If the cap does not go above $70-75m, “Houston, we have a great big problem”

  27. Hammers says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: I think the key question is ‘did the scouting department go walkabout?’ on the 2010 group. If they’re in the range, then the organization–at the scouting level–would have given itself every chance to cover the bet.

    Using the new ‘Alice 13 hammer’ we get:

    Taylor Hall selected #1, ranked #1 (Alice walkabout #2!)
    -good thing the Oilers drafted him where they did! And I know this is becoming old for readers, but are we all SURE that MacGregor gets no credit for getting this right? Not a little? You buggers are hard markers. Tyler Pitlick selected #31, ranked #25 (Alice walkabout -#17)
    -Represented good value at the number, I recall having him at the top of my day 2 draft list and was well pleased when they took him. Martin Marincin selected #56, ranked #71 (Alice walkabout #47)
    -Again in the range, this is the pick they dealt Nash in order to get, and I do think it’s worth reminding people that during the OIL CHANGE episode surrounding the draft there was much discussion about taking Marincin at #31–which would have been walkabout. Curtis Hamilton selected #48, ranked #57 (Alice walkabout #38)
    -Injuries have impacted his pro career, but Hamilton enjoyed a grand junior season after being drafted. A writeoff at this point, not a walkabout on the day he was taken. Ryan Martindale selected #61, ranked 58 (Alice walkabout #39)
    -Another value selection according to the Alice, I don’t think there’s a lot of fault based on the consensus number from McKenzie. Jeremie Blain selected #91, not ranked
    -Again, once we’re here it’s very difficult to know who is walkabout because the ranking system didn’t go 100+

    Walkabout central Tyler Bunz selected #121, not ranked Brandon Davidson selected #162, not ranked Drew Czerwonka selected #166, not ranked Kristians Pelss selected #181, not ranked Kellen Jones selected #202, not ranked

    I honestly don’t see a bad bet in the heart of this draft.

    Then your really saying it’s development . Blame goes on Nelson???? . My feeling was Nelson was told create a winning attitude and he did . So maybe blame goes back to Tambo .

  28. Hammers says:

    Woodguy:
    Dellow chimes in on the $5.5MM ask:


    mc79hockey ‏@mc79hockey 19m
    Dear everyone who’s about to be upset: you don’t ask for what you’re willing to take.
    Expand

    This is true.

    Could still land under or near $5MM

    Agree . $5 mill for how many years & NTCis probably what he wants & McT trying for 4 years no NTC

  29. Lowetide says:

    Hammers: Then your really saying it’s development . Blame goes on Nelson???? . My feeling was Nelson was told create a winning attitude and he did . So maybe blame goes back to Tambo .

    Well, I think there’s a few things. With Pitlick, he was NCAA, then WHL then AHL and that’s a lot of movement during some important development years. I’m not sure that’s a wise idea–is that an organizational thing? They could have left him in the WHL for another season.

    Hamilton has had some injury problems–another one now–and I think it’s safe to say the organization should have been a little more leery of his injury troubles before the draft. Is that the scouting department? Yeah.

    I’m never going to be mad about the Martindale pick because he was an all or nothing and I make that bet all day where he was taken. If Martindale was emerging as a big #2 C right now we’d be laughing.

  30. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Eberle’s contract won’t have the same value as Hall’s… but it is a solid contract too.

    I like the Smid signing a lot too. Came in under what we all thought, decent term (long enough to capture his salad days without tying us to the decline) and no NTC/NMC to hamstring us if we want out.

    I still like the Hemsky signing. Still think it was a value contract at the day of signing.

    Petry was a bargain, would have preferred more term. Dubnyk got a reasonable # too.

    I wonder if Tambo actually had a knack for in-house contracts (with huge exceptions like the Gagner situation) and his real problem was with outside options?

    Eberle has a chance to be a reasonable contract, but not until the cap goes up.

    I had Smid right around the number he signed at (pats self on back again) I’ll give him that one too.

    I like the Hemsky signing too, turned out meh so far.

    The Petry number is good, but I think it put the Oilers in the same situation as Gagner. Petry will have one year left of RFA and can opt for arbitration and will be a UFA the year after if it goes to arb.

  31. Woodguy says:

    "Steve Smith": Interesting thought – maybe he was a shrewd assesser of talent when he was able to use his own judgment, instead of relying on Steve Yzerman’s.

    His performance with in-house contracts certainly distinguishes him from his predecessor, anyway.

    I always liked when Tambellini asked his head amatuer scout what he thought of players a decade or more before the current decision was being made.

    Solid reasoning.

  32. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy:
    Dellow chimes in on the $5.5MM ask:


    mc79hockey ‏@mc79hockey 19m
    Dear everyone who’s about to be upset: you don’t ask for what you’re willing to take.
    Expand

    This is true.

    Could still land under or near $5MM

    Yeah, if this was his ask for the length of a 5 year contract, no problem. But what’s his ask for his UFA years, if he’s asking that for an RFA year? Is he allowed to ask whatever he wants from the arbitrator, or does he have to come with a list of comparables?

  33. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: I think the key question is ‘did the scouting department go walkabout?’ on the 2010 group. If they’re in the range, then the organization–at the scouting level–would have given itself every chance to cover the bet.

    Using the new ‘Alice 13 hammer’ we get:

    Taylor Hall selected #1, ranked #1 (Alice walkabout #2!)
    -good thing the Oilers drafted him where they did! And I know this is becoming old for readers, but are we all SURE that MacGregor gets no credit for getting this right? Not a little? You buggers are hard markers. Tyler Pitlick selected #31, ranked #25 (Alice walkabout -#17)
    -Represented good value at the number, I recall having him at the top of my day 2 draft list and was well pleased when they took him. Martin Marincin selected #56, ranked #71 (Alice walkabout #47)
    -Again in the range, this is the pick they dealt Nash in order to get, and I do think it’s worth reminding people that during the OIL CHANGE episode surrounding the draft there was much discussion about taking Marincin at #31–which would have been walkabout. Curtis Hamilton selected #48, ranked #57 (Alice walkabout #38)
    -Injuries have impacted his pro career, but Hamilton enjoyed a grand junior season after being drafted. A writeoff at this point, not a walkabout on the day he was taken. Ryan Martindale selected #61, ranked 58 (Alice walkabout #39)
    -Another value selection according to the Alice, I don’t think there’s a lot of fault based on the consensus number from McKenzie. Jeremie Blain selected #91, not ranked
    -Again, once we’re here it’s very difficult to know who is walkabout because the ranking system didn’t go 100+

    Walkabout central Tyler Bunz selected #121, not ranked Brandon Davidson selected #162, not ranked Drew Czerwonka selected #166, not ranked Kristians Pelss selected #181, not ranked Kellen Jones selected #202, not ranked

    I honestly don’t see a bad bet in the heart of this draft.

    That’s all fair.

    Variance can be a real bitch sometimes.

  34. kashirat says:

    You could look at this a different way – Bringing up new players into a winning system, it is more likely for new players to be successful. Detroit is another example of this.

    Question is, do other bottom 6 teams graduate more, or less players than we do?

  35. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: Well, I think there’s a few things. With Pitlick, he was NCAA, then WHL then AHL and that’s a lot of movement during some important development years. I’m not sure that’s a wise idea–is that an organizational thing? They could have left him in the WHL for another season.

    Hamilton has had some injury problems–another one now–and I think it’s safe to say the organization should have been a little more leery of his injury troubles before the draft. Is that the scouting department? Yeah.

    I’m never going to be mad about the Martindale pick because he was an all or nothing and I make that bet all day where he was taken. If Martindale was emerging as a big #2 C right now we’d be laughing.

    Yea but he isn’t and the scouting department should have all info on players. Not only Hamilton but Hall & Hopkins . Think about it like the operations on shoulders don’t work out . Surely part of there job is to give all information and our 2 #1′s both have said they had shoulder trouble in junior .

  36. Woodguy says:

    theres oil in virginia: Yeah, if this was his ask for the length of a 5 year contract, no problem.But what’s his ask for his UFA years, if he’s asking that for an RFA year?Is he allowed to ask whatever he wants from the arbitrator, or does he have to come with a list of comparables?

    They make their case and have their list of comparables. You can be every bad contract is on there (like Fippula etc.)

    Oilers make their case and have their comparables. You can bet your ass Tavares (career .855pts/gm) with his $5.5MM cap hit will be on there. (Gagner career .623)

    Each side can ask for whatever they want.

    I don’t think it actually gets to arbitration though.

  37. jonrmcleod says:

    Wasn’t Hamilton traded to Dallas?

  38. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Lowetide,

    I think I’m experiencing deja vu LT – have corrected you on this before, busybody that I am – but Marincin was taken 46, not 56 :)

  39. Cobbler says:

    kashirat,

    But how much did they rely on AHL vets to create the winning culture, at the expensive of giving the Hamilton, Pitlicks and Martindale lots of ice time?

    How much has any of these players actually played?

  40. "Steve Smith" says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Nope – reported in error at the time, but later clarified not to be the case.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Hammers: Yea but he isn’t and the scouting department should have all info on players. Not only Hamilton but Hall & Hopkins . Think about it like the operations on shoulders don’t work out . Surely part of there job is to give all information and our 2 #1′s both have said they had shoulder trouble in junior .

    So you’re saying taking Hall and Nuge was a mistake? I’ll never agree to either.

  42. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    jonrmcleod,

    Nope, think that was a rumour and the likely reason Ryan Dittrick was fired from the Oilers’ web team.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—:
    Lowetide,

    I think I’m experiencing deja vu LT – have corrected you on this before, busybody that I am – but Marincin was taken 46, not 56 :)

    DAMN! I keep copy and pasting the wrong damn thing!

  44. jonrmcleod says:

    Elliotte Friedman:

    Regarding Sam Gagner. He has asked for $5.5M on a one-year deal in arbitration (as reported by @DarrenDreger ). EDM’s ask is $3.5M…

    $4.5 million is in the middle.

  45. DBO says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 2m
    Regarding Sam Gagner. He has asked for $5.5M on a one-year deal in arbitration (as reported by @DarrenDreger ). EDM’s ask is $3.5M..

    So the middle is $4.5. reasonable., but does Gagner get pissed? AT what point does it get personal. Rumours had Washington sniffing around gagner. if they could flip Gagner for Laich I do that. Probably gets us something else in return as well.

  46. jonrmcleod says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Yeah, I was just kidding. But maybe he was half-traded?

  47. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: I think the key question is ‘did the scouting department go walkabout?’ on the 2010 group. If they’re in the range, then the organization–at the scouting level–would have given itself every chance to cover the bet.

    -Again in the range, this is the pick they dealt Nash in order to get, and I do think it’s worth reminding people that during the OIL CHANGE episode surrounding the draft there was much discussion about taking Marincin at #31–which would have been walkabout. Curtis Hamilton selected #48, ranked #57 (Alice walkabout #38)

    I honestly don’t see a bad bet in the heart of this draft.

    There’s chance and development involved, but scouts earn their money by graduating more talent than their competitors (ie. concensus).

    Walkabouts are acceptable, but the scouts HAVE to get it right, not just accept that misses happen. As Marincin is developing, he would have been a fine pick at 31, it would just be added pressure on the org if he didn’t justify the reach.

  48. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: So you’re saying taking Hall and Nuge was a mistake? I’ll never agree to either.

    No but did scouts get that information before drafting them . Yes there great picks but what if something goes wrong in O.R. . It does happen . Sometimes I think to much credit is given to pickingour # 1′s . 95% of us would do that with no background checks . Just questioning.

  49. "Steve Smith" says:

    jonrmcleod,

    I find kidding intolerable.

    On Hamilton, I prefer to think of him as neither traded nor not until somebody checks – classic Star-Oiler duality.

  50. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Lowetide,

    Haha, one day LT, one day!

    By the way, I agree totally that the scouts deserve credit on the #1 picks – those are players that change the course of a franchise, and each year there were other choices available for the selection. Got it right each time I reckon.

  51. Hammers says:

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—:
    Lowetide,

    Haha, one day LT, one day!

    By the way, I agree totally that the scouts deserve credit on the #1 picks – those are players that change the course of a franchise, and each year there were other choices available for the selection. Got it right each time I reckon.

    Yea they got it right but I’m questioning many of the other decisions and does blame go to Nelson or scouts or both .

  52. G Money says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner asking for $5.5m in arbitration according to Dreger. Lordy.

    Been saying for a while, repeatedly, that the numbers support Gagner asking for $5.5M:
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/07/duel-3.html/comment-page-1#comment-242878
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/07/duel-3.html/comment-page-1#comment-242926
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/07/duel-3.html/comment-page-1#comment-242936

    That’s not a value judgement on whether he’s worth that to the Oilers (probably not), but the numbers do support it.

    I know others have thrown the $5.5M number out, not sure what others basis for that is, mine is simply looking at a list of as many comparable contracts as I could easily get my hands on, and applying experience that comes from having hired/negotiated >100 employee contracts over the last 10 years… (I am a GM at work, though not in the sports arena).

  53. slopitch says:

    Good post LT. A couple comments :

    1) the oilers have been so bad that the good players (Eberle, Pajarvi, Lander) have for the most part skipped the AHL. The list you provided looks better if you include Pajarvi. Going forward, I’d say many more good players will play in the AHL.

    2) when we give credit to pisani, how much of that goes to team vs player. I’d say about 80-90% player

    3) the 2nd rounders of late have been fails. Your right, the oilers need some of these investments to pay off. The better prospects in recent years have come from Sweden and we can now add KHL as a development league for the club. It doesn’t matter where they come from but again your right. The oilers will need more 1 million range value players to content. But that should be the easy part.

  54. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy: They make their case and have their list of comparables.You can be every bad contract is on there (like Fippula etc.)

    Oilers make their case and have their comparables.You can bet your ass Tavares (career .855pts/gm) with his $5.5MM cap hit will be on there.(Gagner career .623)

    Each side can ask for whatever they want.

    I don’t think it actually gets to arbitration though.

    Thanks. I don’t think it will go to arb either.

    I think it’s only fair to mention that we don’t know what the Oilers offer is. It might be insultingly low. Strange how only one side of this leaked out. Where did the leak come from? League source (Oilers) leaking out just the part that might benefit their position? Just speculating.

  55. Bank Shot says:

    I wouldn’t really put lack of development on OKC and the Oilers. I really believe you either find players in the draft or you don’t. I’m not sure that feeding shitty players lots of AHL time turns them into NHLERs. I think it just creates a shitty AHL team.

    Colorado is an interesting case for me. They seem to find a lot of players over the years that are early bloomers. Wolski, Tanguay, Stastny, O’Reilly. Guys that never really spent any time in the developmental system and just step right into the NHL and crank out the jams. That to me is a case for nature over nurture. Some guys just have the right stuff, and you have to be good/lucky enough to find them when they are 18.

  56. theres oil in virginia says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Elliotte Friedman:

    Regarding Sam Gagner. He has asked for $5.5M on a one-year deal in arbitration (as reported by @DarrenDreger ). EDM’s ask is $3.5M…

    $4.5 million is in the middle.

    Thanks JonR, I had missed that part on EDM offer. I’d say that’s insultingly low. Do arbitrators ever go right down the middle? They didn’t used to, but I haven’t paid attention lately.

  57. G Money says:

    till_horcoff_is_coach: Walkabouts are acceptable, but the scouts HAVE to get it right, not just accept that misses happen. As Marincin is developing, he would have been a fine pick at 31, it would just be added pressure on the org if he didn’t justify the reach.

    This I think is ultimately the key issue with walkabout picks.

    If you DON’T go walkabout, by definition you you should have a long-term track record quite near the average (e.g. see this article from Gregor – http://oilersnation.com/2011/2/25/value-in-acquiring-draft-picks).

    If you DO go walkabout, you better be good enough that your track record for your walkabouts is BETTER than the track record of the consensus.

    Of course, it’s very easy to hide a bad track record because the percentages for the consensus are so low and – even if EVERY one of your picks was walkabout – the sample size in any given year is so small that it would take YEARS to definitively declare that the walkabouts were a mistake.

    At some point, unless someone has already done so, I might have to run a probabilities table to determine how many players the Oilers SHOULD have graduated to the NHL if they stuck to the consensus over the last 7 years say, vs how many they actually did.

  58. RexLibris says:

    If they get Gagner signed at 4 years for 5 to 5.25 it will be a lot of money to lock up a player this year and arguably next, but the few ELCs we have will help. By year 3 the cap ought to have gone up enough to reduce some of the impact, but by that time I think he made have some trade value relative to what a 25 year old 2C fetches on the open market.

    The immediate issue is that Gagner may price himself out of the lineup and the Oilers can only trade him for another center because they simply cannot absorb any more loss at that position. In order to find a replacement that is cheaper and fills their roster needs, though, the Oilers will need to package him with something of value both in roster and cap terms. That means a cheap young defender or a prospect.

    So do we keep a player who fits so many of this roster’s needs (age range, skill, work ethic, can play with skill) or trade him because we can’t afford the cap hit?

    The list of teams with young centers capable of slotting in as a 2C immediately, and cap space to absorb Gagner’s contract as well as any other roster players that could be involved is small, by my reckoning.

  59. Woodguy says:

    Just read on twitter, then went to the CBA to verify that parties cannot present UFA contracts as comparables.

    From the CBA:

    Article 12.9

    (iii) The following categories of evidence are inadmissible and shall not be
    considered by the Salary Arbitrator:

    (A) Any SPC the term of which began when the Player party to such
    SPC was not a Group 2 Player;

    (B) Any SPC entered into by an Unrestricted Free Agent, including
    SPCs signed by Players after the Player’s Club has exercised a
    walk-away right pursuant to Section 12.10;

    (C) The SPC of any Player who is not being offered as a comparable
    Player to the party Player;

    (D) Qualifying Offers made by the Club pursuant to Section 10.2(b);

    (E) Any prior offers or history of negotiations between the Player and
    the Club;

    (F) Testimonials, videotapes, newspaper columns, press game reports
    or similar materials;

    (G) Any reference to actual or potential walk-away rights;

    (H) Any award issued by a Salary Arbitrator as to which a Club
    exercised its walk-away rights pursuant to Section 12.10;

    (I) The financial condition of the Club or the League;

    (J) References to a Club’s Upper or Lower Limit, or to the Players’
    Share;

    (K) Any salary arbitration award issued in 2005-2006; or 65
    ARTICLE 12 12.9-12.9

    (L) Any reference to any salary or other compensation information in
    any salary arbitration opinion that took place prior to July 22,
    2005. If any salary arbitration opinion issued prior to July 22,
    2005 is cited as precedent, all references to any Player’s Player
    Paragraph 1 Salary or other compensation information will be redacted.

    So contracts like Fippula are out from the arbitration process.

    No question they are a part of the direct negotiation though.

    I don’t think Gagner has a great RFA case for $5.5, but start high right?

  60. RexLibris says:

    On the topic of 2nd round picks turning out, the overall draft success rate for the entire NHL since 1979 is in the range of 20%, regardless of round.

    If the Oilers find one useful player out of their three 2010 2nd rounders that would be about average. It doesn’t change the fact that they need more from their development system, but they are unfortunately mediocre in this regard.

  61. Woodguy says:

    theres oil in virginia: Thanks.I don’t think it will go to arb either.

    I think it’s only fair to mention that we don’t know what the Oilers offer is.It might be insultingly low.Strange how only one side of this leaked out.Where did the leak come from?League source (Oilers) leaking out just the part that might benefit their position?Just speculating.

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC 27m
    Regarding Sam Gagner. He has asked for $5.5M on a one-year deal in arbitration (as reported by @DarrenDreger ). EDM’s ask is $3.5M…
    Expand

    I don’t think its an insult.

    Its just the arb process.

  62. Factotum says:

    As a pretty one-dimensional player, Samwise can reasonably be judged by boxcars. Fair?

    Leading scorers from Gagner’s draft class not named Kane, with career PPG and 2013-2014 salary (minimum 200 games):

    Benn 0.734 $5.0M
    Couture 0.720 $3.0M
    Voracek 0.624 $4.5M
    Gagner 0.623 ?
    Pacioretty 0.622 $4.0M
    Perron 0.582 $3.5M
    Van Riemsdyk 0.536 $3.75M
    Simmonds 0.474 $2.8M

    BTW – of these, the only player who has never had a 20 goal or 50 point season: Sam Gagner.

    Looks to me like somewhere between $4.0 and $4.5M would be reasonable for one year, if that’s what it comes to.

    Damn Tambellini for giving Gagner the hammer like this.

  63. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy:
    I don’t think its an insult.
    Its just the arb process.

    Yeah, I don’t think it’s an insult either, just trying to balance the perspective that $5.5M is “insultingly” high. I find this process somewhat fascinating. I wonder if Katz finds it fascinating.

  64. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris:
    On the topic of 2nd round picks turning out, the overall draft success rate for the entire NHL since 1979 is in the range of 20%, regardless of round.

    If the Oilers find one useful player out of their three 2010 2nd rounders that would be about average. It doesn’t change the fact that they need more from their development system, but they are unfortunately mediocre in this regard.

    On thing you have to factor in is that for a number of years our 2nd round picks have been pretty early 2nd rounders.

    09 – lander 10th
    10 – pitlick 1st
    11 – musil 1st
    12 – moroz 2nd

    (i’ve ignored the traded for picks from 10)

    Those are basically 3 late first rounders plus an early 2nd. I’d bet the success rate of players taken 31-40 is higher than those from 41-59. At minimum one of these guys has to land, no?

  65. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Factotum: Couture 0.720 $3.0M

    wouldn’t they use his new contract as a comparable? not his old one?

    http://www.capgeek.com/player/142

  66. G Money says:

    Factotum: with career PPG

    Here’s how the negotation goes – or perhaps rather, this is how *I* would negotiate if I were Sammy’s agent:

    - career PPG discriminates against ‘my client’ because he’s been in the NHL from a younger age than anyone else. Every single one of the players on that list – every one – has played fewer games than ‘my client’
    - recent boxcars are more predictive of future value for young players like ‘my client’
    - last year PPG for ‘my client’ was .79, basically the same as Benn (whose cap hit is $5.25M BTW), and better than any other player on that list not named Voracek

    Ergo: the *current value* for discussions starts at $5M, and future value dictates $5.5M.

    NOTE: I am not suggesting that this is fair value for Sam or that the Oilers should pay this – just that Sam asking for $5.5M is not surprising to me in the least, because in his shoes, that’s exactly what I would do. My broker doesn’t call me “G Money” for nuthin’…

  67. bookje says:

    Gagner asking for $5.5 is good news. People need to understand this is a process and that regardless of how you get away from it, it ALWAYS involves people starting high and low and coming up with an agreement in the middle.

    If we think that $4.5 would be a fair deal for an RFA and then consider that Sam is pretty much a FA, then we need to accept that 4 years at $4.85 or something of the sort is the likely outcome. Its a bit high, but not really problematic if MacT were being honest about how great Sam is as a young leader, etc.

  68. Woodguy says:

    New thread

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