If the Edmonton Oilers are looking for an experienced, 2-way player who can help at C or W, the Finn Filppula may be the answer.
Filppula’s offense sputtered some this past season–and he’ll no doubt require an overpay–but there’s plenty to like about him. Let’s compare him to the player he may be replacing:
SHAWN HORCOFF 12-13
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.34 (9th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 3.13 (8th among regular forwards)
- Qual Comp: 8th toughest among regular forwards
- Qual Team: 8th best available teammates among regular forwards
- Corsi Rel: -4.4 (10th best among regular forwards) (-13.77 CorsiON)
- Zone Start: 42.1% (4th toughest, 12th easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 45.2% (14th best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 41/17.07% (2nd among F’s>40 shots)
- Boxcars: 31gp, 7-5-12
- Plus Minus: +8 on a team that was -15
VALTTERI FILPULLA 12-13
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.38 (4th among regular forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 1.64 (11th among regular forwards)
- Qual Comp: toughest among regular forwards
- Qual Team: 7th best available teammates among regular forwards
- Corsi Rel: 5.4 (4th best among regular forwards) (12.49 CorsiON)*
- Zone Start: 58.9% (9th toughest, 12th easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 51.5% (4th best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 78/11.5% (3rd among F’s>40 shots)
- Boxcars: 41, 9-8-17
- Plus Minus: -4
The offense is about the same, but the rest is about right (Horcoff didn’t face the toughest comp this season but that’s traditionally what he’d be doing–age is taking its toll). I think it’s reasonable to suggest a veteran like Filpulla–between Gagner and Yakupov–would give the Oilers a nice 2line option.
A couple of notes: his 5×5/60 is low compared to previous seasons (2.68) 11-12; (1.87) 10-11; (1.81) 09-10; (1.89) 08-09. The short season stats are the ones not to be trusted, I think it’s reasonable to suggest he would deliver 1.70-1.90/60 at 5×5.
Also, he can win faceoffs: 55.4% on 323 sorties this past season, 51.7% on 373 the year before. Wings don’t use him as much as they could in that situation, but I’d guess the Oilers would run him ragged if he could stay above 50%. He’s 29 years old, made $3.5M last season (cap hit $3M) and is no doubt interested in getting a raise.
I know he doesn’t knock down buildings with a single stride, but I also know MacT isn’t allergic to this kind of hockey player. He’ #1 on my list of players to pursue this summer.
The free agent list grew markedly yesterday with some interesting names (Matt Hunwick, Jonathon Blum, Matt Halischuk, Yannick Weber, depending on who clears waivers) and the Oilers do have some cap room available for procurement.
The Oilers prospects camp gets underway today, the Oilers have had a marquee player attending (at least one) for years now. Darnell Nurse offers some impressive star power, and I think Oscar Klefbom will get a lot of attention too. The newly drafted Russian (Bogdan Yakimov) is a true mountain so there will be some buzz about him I’m sure. I’m hoping Tyler Bunz shows up with ten fingers and toes, and a healthy noggin. Worried about that guy. Kale Kessy will probably get some attention too. Someone should write a book about the insane talent we’ve seen at these camps since 2010.
I’ve tried for some time to write about Paul Lorieau’s passing, and was saved moments ago by Terry Jones. Oiler fans are united today and mourn the loss of a true gentleman who conducted himself with class every step of the way.
MacT’s probably spending nights looking out the window instead of sleeping these days, but I think the best thing about the new GM is that the moves made so far do not involve an insane trade or a crazy contract. He goes to market this day fully aware that an overpay is likely required for the target, but that the target will be 27 or 29 or 32–not 36 or 37. Godspeed, Craig MacTavish.
THE LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
This morning at 10, The Lowdown takes a look at free agency, the draft and more.
- CRAIG STILES, VP Real estate for the Brick: 24th year for the Brick Tournament on this week. We’ll talk about the incredible past and the outstanding present.
- Kirk Luedeke, Redline Report. Kirk knows about names like Marco Roy and Aiden Muir. We’ll talk draft 2013.
- Harrison Mooney from Pass It to Bulis. The great goaltending soap opera in Vancouver, the Coyotes, the Flyers, more.
- Rob Vollman, Hockey Prospectus. Free agent talk, with special attention paid to the Oilers.
- Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. We’ll talk about the prospects camp, the Blue Jays, the Wimbledon.
Your questions were terrific yesterday, send more!!!! 10-1260 via text or @Lowetide_ on twitter.