THE BAGWELL TEST

Craig MacTavish has been busy this summer, moving out Shawn Horcoff, Magnus Paajarvi and a plethora of rfa’s and ufa’s. He’s at the ’8 or 9 changes’ and could drive right by at his current rate.

 MACT’S LIST

  1. Top 4 defender (signed Ference, that’s the big move this summer)
  2. Sign Sam Gagner to a multi-year deal that has begins with a number in the 4′s
  3. Get Paajarvi signed and then find a role that suits him (suspect it’s 3line). It was St. Louis instead.
  4. NHL goalie (LaBarbera was a nice option)
  5. Find a 2line L who can complement Gagner-Yakupov with puck retrieval, blocking out the sun, etc Perron, a very nice fit
  6. Find a 3line R Joensu is the option I’ll pick, but it would be foolish to exclude Ryan Jones based on salary
  7. Find a 3line C (Gordon an ideal fit)
  8. Find a 4line C
  9. Deal Hemsky for immediate help (even if its a checker).
  10. Deal Horcoff or slot him into the 3line job for which he is actually ideal. Continued to improve D depth.
  11. Decide on Lander/Belanger or other for 13F. Lander it is!
  12. Better blue depth MacT has done this with Belov and Larsen, plus Klefbom/Fedun/Marincin
  13. AHL #1/NHL #3 goalie Bachman is an outstanding solution
  14. Sign Paul Ranger should have said ‘sign Marlies–Hamilton, Acton, coach

That’s a lot of work, and the roster turnover is quite  impressive when you look at it compared to last year:

2013-14 projected (new players in italics)

  • Nuge-Hall-Eberle
  • Gagner-Perron-Yakupov
  • Gordon-Joensuu-Jones
  • Lander-Smyth-Brown
  • Arcobello, Ryan Hamilton (estimate)
  • Smid-Petry
  • Ference-J Schultz
  • N Schultz-Larsen
  • Belov
  • Dubnyk-Labarbera

That’s 8 changes by my count, I think the third line, the extra forwards and the back end of the blue are a moving target so this is an estimate. Still, adding Perron, Gordon, Joensuu, Ryan Hamilton, Ference, Larsen, Belov and LaBarbera is a massive overhaul taken as a group, absolutely massive in one summer. And of course I think they’ll tweak the checking line. One thing that is interesting: Lander appears to be safely part of this team. I think he’d be well advised to spend a year in the AHL but MacT should know this player type well. When I get a chance next week I’m going to have a look at his numbers to see what we can find.

I like the top 6 very much, The top 4D is stronger than a year ago and I sleep better with this goalie tandem. 8 moves in and the 3line is still a work in progress, but the Gordon addition was sublime. Is Joensuu the solution they see that we cannot? Are they serious about Jones on the 3line?

We wait for the Hemsky trade return. If it’s a Daniel Winnik, I think we can begin to get excited about this team.

STOP MAKING SENSE!

byrne gif

 

During yesterday’s chaotic interplay between management and media, Craig MacTavish ripped off two lines that officially ring the bell of advanced stats usage in multi-million dollar transactions. I’m not certain the actual value of this trade in money terms (what are two home playoff games worth?), but based on what we heard yesterday the sliderule has a place in the Oilers boardroom.

  • MacT: “He’s (Perron) right up there with controlling the play and shots for and against differential.”
  • More MacT: “It’ll be a good test for our analytics guys. They have him with some of the game’s elite.”

Well that’s it folks, it’s here. From the Russians to Roger Neilson to Vic Ferrari to Tyler Dellow to Gabriel Desjardins to Jonathan Willis and beyond, math is part of our Oilers. Sure, if David Perron fails miserably then this could backfire but from where I sit Perron is a terrific bet bordering on ideal. I don’t understand possession stats as well as many others, but to my eye Perron is a skill forward who has a track record of pushing the puck in the right direction, scoring goals and generally being part of the solution. It’s a good bet.

It reminds me of the time Bill James produced his Minor League Baseball Handbook and had Jeff Bagwell leading the NL in hitting. He didn’t mean to have it work out that way, but Bagwell’s MLB equivalency was better than all the hitters in the Major League Baseball Handbook. A national baseball writer picked up on it, and James had to sweat for awhile (Bagwell didn’t win the batting title but he was a helluva rookie anyway) before the numbers showed what a great player Bagwell would be in Houston.

Perron looks like a solid bet from here, and if the Oilers are using a similar model for the checking line then in my opinion it is right and reasonable to expect a Daniel Winnik to walk through the door at any time.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

iamlegend

Today on the show (10-noon, Team 1260) we break down the Perron-Paajarvi trade and discuss other matters of national importance. Scheduled to appear:

  • Scott Cullen from tsn. Scott will break down the trade, talk about the Oilers in free agency and we’ll hopefully have time for a little baseball too. 
  • Tyler Dellow from mc79 hockey. Tyler will also break this trade down, and we’ll talk about some of those specific advanced possession numbers MacT was talking about yesterday.
  • Tom Lynn from Veritas Hockey. We’ll talk about the advantages of NOT being drafted for many 20 year old eligibles, and about some of the nuance for players drafted and headed for the NCAA in a couple of years. I’ll also ask how often an agent can help manipulate a trade for a player into better circumstances.
  • Jeff Krushell from Krush Performance. Jeff is an outstanding source of information on sports training and fitness, we’ll talk about baseball and how much a hockey player can improve his testing numbers over one summer.

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150 Responses to "THE BAGWELL TEST"

  1. theres oil in virginia says:

    Just got a chance to catch the McCurdy segment from yesterday. It’s great when you have him on. He’s got a calm, knowledgeable voice.

    Anyway, y’all were talking about the plethora of D-men and the possibility of Klefbom getting assigned simply because of numbers (as we’ve seen in the past). Do you think that now that there is a healthy competition and an excess of bottom forwards, that they won’t mind waiving one of them if Klefbom is clearly a better option? I hope it is this way.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Oil: I think Klefbom goes in as the favorite for the third LH spot on the roster. Belov would be a close second, but if he doesn’t make the team EDM might try to deal him or he may return to Russia. I think the current LD:

    1. Smid
    2. Ference
    3. N Schultz

    loses a man sometime this summer.

  3. slopitch says:

    I don’t think you can cross #3 and 5 off the list. They filled the 2LW slot but created a hole on the 3rd line. Think they need 1D and 1F before I’m excited. This assumes Hemsky is replaced with the other 3rd line winger, David Moss anyone? (as C & B suggests).

    But we have progress.

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

    The MPS trade stung at first, but the more I look at it the more I like it and I am really starting to like the look of our top 6, although center is still a position of some concern.

    As for defense, is there any word on what Paul Ranger’s plans are? Reports said that the Oilers were front runners for his services due to Eakins, but I wasn’t sure if that was just conjecture or whether the Oilers were actually in discussions with him? I think having him as part of the crew would really solidify that part of the roster.

  5. theres oil in virginia says:

    Thanks, I also noted that you mentioned MacT talking about bringing in another D, and I wondered if it would be more of a swap (plus…) for a better D. I’m still hopeful of that as well. I wonder when we’ll get our first real look at Belov.

    PS – Willis would be a great guest as well. I’ve head him on NationRadio before, but I’ve lost track of that show. I’ll have to see if I can dig it up on the interwebs.

  6. mumbai max says:

    Waiting for ‘Sail On’ for MPS. Sad he is going. Like the trade but sorry to lose the player.

  7. Lowetide says:

    mumbai max:
    Waiting for ‘Sail On’ for MPS. Sad he is going. Like the trade but sorry to lose the player.

    That was part of last night’s post.

  8. Doomoil says:

    Listening to 1260 on the drive to work this morning and good lord are these people disgusting and dishonest when discussing hemsky.

    i think i’m done with anything other than the lowdown.

  9. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: That was part of last night’s post.

    I got the sense that PRV didn’t quite earn the full “Sail on Pisani” type of send off due to number of games played… more of a “All the best” as per your twitter. :)

  10. russ99 says:

    LT: I like how you dropped Larsen in as the #6 D. Seems like the best option at this point.

    Gotta wonder if Potter stays around, especially if Klefbom makes the team. He’s a previous organization guy brought in by Renney, and his play was underwhelming last year.

    If the Oilers can still add a pro defenseman this summer (Ranger?), I wouldn’t be surprised if we flip Potter for a lower pick.

  11. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    Doomoil,

    I was listening too and I actually had to change the station, which is rare. The typical comments about no commitment, no heart, poor role model, etc. were topped off with him being no good in the community.

    What the eff?

  12. Ryan says:

    For a guy with a pretty legit career, Tyler’s making a big splash in the hockey world. Is he planning on a career change? Curious if he ever considered becoming a player agent or something with his legal background and interest in hockey.

  13. mumbai max says:

    Lowetide,

    I know you are working your tail off these days, but still think he deserves his own Sail On. Maybe when there is a lull in the action. Middle of August. Great work with the many posts! Keep rockin.

  14. delooper says:

    You went from the underdog with the crazy ideas to being a part of the establishment, Lowetide. Congratulations. So… do you pick up new crazy ideas to push yourself out of the establishment and back into the fringe, or do you sit back and gloat?

  15. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    For a guy with a pretty legit career, Tyler’s makinga big splash in the hockey world.Is he planning on a career change?Curious if he ever considered becoming a player agent or something with his legal background and interest in hockey.

    I’m not sure, but at this point he has a three or four times a week segment on Edmonton radio, so someone will come knocking.

  16. Lowetide says:

    delooper:
    You went from the underdog with the crazy ideas to being a part of the establishment, Lowetide. Congratulations.So… do you pick up new crazy ideas to push yourself out of the establishment and back into the fringe, or do you sit back and gloat?

    I’m FAR from the establishment. Believe me. Hemsky is an excellent example, major gap in value from bloggers to msm.

  17. 8p0intgame says:

    LHD: Smid, N. Schultz, Ference, Belov, Klefbom*
    RHD: J. Schultz, Petry, Larsen, Potter

    Smid-J. Schultz
    N. Schultz-Petry
    Ference-Larsen
    Belov-Potter
    Klefbom

    9 D-men, 4 pairs, 1 spare. Someone has to go. The ink hasn’t dried on Ference’s contract yet, Larsen was just recently acquired, Belov choose our beloved Oilers over the Pens so one pretty much has to assume he was guaranteed ice time with the big club, and J. Schultz is one of the YOUNG GUNZ(!). That’s 4 of 7 roster spots filled. Klefbom goes to the AHL. 4 players, 3 chairs, I wonder which of Smid, N. Schultz, Petry, and Potter will be left when the music stops… (EDIT: I really hope it’s N. Schultz or Potter leaving town.)

  18. 8p0intgame says:

    Smid-J. Schultz
    Ference-Petry
    Belov-Larsen
    Potter/Klefbom

    Is that a serviceable NHL defence?

  19. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    LT

    I couldn’t begin to tell you how huge (IMO) Winnik would be!!

    A coup for the Oilers! Granted , Hemsky is a great player but Winnik is how you win in the playoffs!

    You had a feeling about Perron, make me a believer!!

  20. delooper says:

    Ryan:
    For a guy with a pretty legit career, Tyler’s makinga big splash in the hockey world.Is he planning on a career change?Curious if he ever considered becoming a player agent or something with his legal background and interest in hockey.

    I hear Wolfram and Hart offered Dellow their LA branch, but he turned them down.

  21. Marc says:

    There’s no point getting too worked up about the bottom 6 at this stage because it’s almost certain to change when Hemsky gets moved.

    It’s worth noting that at no point over the past two weeks has MacT said anything along the lines of “We’ve had a couple of offers for Ales but nothing approaching our valuation of the player, so unless things change significantly we expect him to be an Oiler next season.” That suggests that MacT has at least one offer in hand that he’d be willing to do, and is just holding out to see if missing out on FA targets and/or needing to get under the cap can improve the return.

    Odds are that the Hemsky deal is a mirror image of the Perron-MPS deal – older top 6 winger moved for younger bottom 6 player. Ideally it would be someone who’s about 25 and plays C/RW, but even a LW like Greening or Marchand would improve the bottom 6 substantially.

  22. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    I think the current LD:

    1. Smid
    2. Ference
    3. N Schultz

    loses a man sometime this summer.

    I suspect they’re thinking of swinging N. Schultz to the Right side.
    Smid-Petry
    Ference – J. Schultz
    Belov – N. Schultz
    Larsen

    With Klefbom challenging Belov for his spot and Potter getting waived. This puts a puck-mover and a stay-at-home type on every pairing and pairs the two most inexperienced (Schultz and Belov) with the two oldest veterans.

    Since Belov is on an entry-level contract, I THINK he can get be sent to the minors without waivers. The question is will he accept it. If he does, he’ll be the first call-up option and will likely get some good playing time.

  23. wheatnoil says:

    delooper: I hear Wolfram and Hart offered Dellow their LA branch, but he turned them down.

    Nice reference!

  24. Capt'n böökje says:

    Lowetide: I’m FAR from the establishment. Believe me. Hemsky is an excellent example, major gap in value from bloggers to msm.

    No way, you da man now, and we all be knowing dat da man can’t be trusted!

  25. Jordan says:

    delooper: I hear Wolfram and Hart offered Dellow their LA branch, but he turned them down.

    LOL. That takes me back. Nice.

  26. flyfish1168 says:

    Its interesting what the St Louis news are saying about the trade. Comments made about Perron, overprice, Played big minutes compares to Magnus with only one extra goal to show or it, unable to play up and down the lineup like Hitchcock wants. My take when you are comparing total minutes payed and line mates compatibles Magnus is a cheaper version of Perron.
    We didn’t find out the real value of Magnus and paid to much for a player with a history of injury.

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ask Cullen about this Hainsey tweet:

    https://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen/status/355327668482342912

    and what kind of response he’s gotten on twitter and elsewhere for using behindthenet.ca

    (I see that yesterday he was absorbed in a long twitter fight about corsi)

    Also, tell him thanks for pointing people to

    https://twitter.com/BeschlossDC

    and his archival photo project.

  28. Zipdot says:

    You’ve got the juice now, Lowetide.

  29. Mr DeBakey says:

    I’m FAR from the establishment. Believe me. Hemsky is an excellent example, major gap in value from bloggers to msm.

    I’ve always thought of it as a press box thing.
    The guys, and a few gals, sit there together, enjoying the free food & beer
    Chatting amongst themselves
    Creating legends for the players.

    Another note
    I’m not sure that Larsen should be ahead of Potter.
    I may have to anoint myself Cap’n of Team Potter if this continues.

  30. misfit says:

    The ONLY question I have about Perron as a puck possession/shot differential beast by the numbers is that the majority of his icetime has been with Backes and Oshie/Steen the last few years. And it makes me wonder how much of his results have been boosted by having those two as your linemates night in and night out.

  31. goldenchild says:

    LT- I was wondering what you think the return for MPS would of been had Tambelini still been the GM?

    I posted in yesterdays thread I thought it would of been from the toughness and jam tree, maybe a guy like Clutterbuck at the draft, or a deal similar to the one Gillis made with Hodgson.
    For me this trade highlights why I feel so much more comfortable with MacT as GM which is the extreme value he places on skill.

    Another thing I found really interesting in his interview yesterday was when he was asked at his dissapointment in not being able to add size. He said he was dissapointed but he also said that the thought the team was “already a ways down as a puck pocession team”. Not positive what we can infer from that but the Perron trade would indicate that yes they would like to add size but adding skill and puck pocession to play with the cluster is still a priority.

  32. striatic says:

    i don’t see how ANA moves Winnik for Hemsky. ANA is full on RW and has next to nothing on LW. Winnik is currently their first line LW!

    there is just no way.

  33. russ99 says:

    wheatnoil,

    I’d have to think Ference – J. Schultz is a given, regardless what pairing they end up at – considering how well Doug Hamilton did with Ference (and vice versa) in Boston last season and playoffs.

  34. Gret99zky says:

    Anyone know anything about the Nuge’s shoulder and when it will be ready? What are the plans for #1C if he’s not ready until Movember? Thoughts? Concerns?

  35. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Gret99zky,

    Oddly enough I’d say Arcobello

  36. Hammers says:

    I feel that Belov could easily be a top 4 and won’t be surprised if he plays with Justin or Petry and Ference with the other and that leaves Smid with Larsen . My guess is still N.Schultz will get moved ( or Smid).As for Hemsky there are a lot of idiots out there. Don’t be surprised if his not moved .McT rolling along and hell if this is the final group I can live with it . Good Luck to MPS and a real Hockey trade.

  37. Lowetide says:

    Goldenchild: Tambellini would never have traded Paajarvi. It involves risk.

  38. db7db7 says:

    Find a 2line L who can complement Gagner-Yakupov with puck retrieval, blocking out the sun, etc Perron, a very nice fit

    So how exactly does Perron block out the sun at 5’11″ on the Blues website? I like his game, but to me this all but guarantees that Gagner and Hemsky get traded for a bigger 2nd line center (who can hopefully win a faceoff).

    Here’s another scenario. Would you guys be willing to sign Penner as a third liner if we could get him for third line money? I think he’d be the perfect add for that spot instead of Joensuu.

    Another option that I think would be great would be keeping Hemmer, Gagner and signing Penner for the best third line in the NHL. We’d have to trade some prospects for that big second line center, but I think it would be worth it.

    Here’s what it would look like:

    RNH-Hall-Ebs
    TBD-Perron-Yak
    Gags-Hemmer-Penner
    Gordon-Jones-Smyth

  39. goldenchild says:

    Lowetide,

    HAHA I guess I agree with that but Ok but lets say he had his feet to the fire and had to deal him, who comes back? WHo’s jr scouting report is he asking Stu for?

  40. Zipdot says:

    I want to rewind time and undo this trade.

    After reading this, I’m doubly sad:

    http://www.ourhometown.ca/hockey/HH0016.php
    (From Jul 8, 2013: Oilers: Trading away Magnus Paajarvi would be a colossal blunder)

  41. LMHF#1 says:

    db7db7:

    RNH-Hall-Ebs
    TBD-Perron-Yak
    Gags-Hemmer-Penner
    Gordon-Jones-Smyth

    Close.

    1 Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
    2 Perron-Hopkins-Eberle
    3 Penner-Grabovski-Hemsky
    4 AnyonebutSmyth-Gordon-AnyonebutJones

    That’s a strong crew.

  42. theres oil in virginia says:

    Here’s the quote from MacT regarding “bold” and “risk”:

    “We’re at the stage, in terms of the cycle of our hockey club right now, that we have to do some bold things. We have to expose ourselves to some semblance of risk, to try and move the team forward in a rapid fashion.”

    I think it was a remark aimed at Tambo. Tambo got burned on many of the trades he made (like acquiring POS!); I wonder if he got timid because of that. With his track record, it’s probably a good thing he was timid.

  43. db7db7 says:

    LMHF#1,

    Except that still doesn’t address our need for size in the top 6.

  44. rickithebear says:

    8p0intgame: Smid-J. Schultz
    N. Schultz-Petry
    Ference-Larsen
    Belov-Potter
    Klefbom

    Smid-J schultz
    Strange you should list 3rd comp line first
    cause there is no way Smid can carry a 3.45 GA dman beyond 2.55Ga facing 3rd comp.
    Petry and Schultz maybe a a good 2nd comp line as long as N. schultz gets over the shell shock of
    playing with J.schultz last year.
    but they are over there heads as a 1st comp pair.
    ference and larsen as a 2nd comp line is just crazy.
    Belov not starting WTF.

    Have any of you coached!
    so we have the best Dman in the KHL last year.
    and he is going to sit.
    Beauty!
    we have the best Dman outside of the NHL!
    Not the media hyped (destined to fail cause MSM has no clue) best!
    the stats support (being considered for RUS Olympic team) best.
    Any coach wants to see what they have.

    We know Smid-Petry is top 3 Toughcomp d pairs in the Game last year.
    We brought in a cup run minute eating 2nd Comp Dman with superior GA results.
    Any coach would pair Belov with Smid to start the season and run a ference-petry second Pair.
    If he does not work with smid you run him against 2nd comp with ference.
    last resort he goes to 3rd comp with J. schultz going to 2nd comp(throws up in mouth)

    If we are lucky we end up with
    Smid-BelovFerence-Petry d pairs who can interchange against 1st and 2nd Comp.
    while we run a rotation of klefbom, N. schultz, j.schultz in the bottom three. so klefbom can show his worth and J. schultz might be able to get his head above water on 3rd comp even play.
    J. schultz 3.775M
    N.schultz 3.5M
    Smid 3.5M
    Ference 3.25M
    Petry 1.75M
    Belov 1.525M
    Klefbom 1.245M
    Larsen 1.025M
    Potter .775M
    Our two highest paid Dmen were the second worst dair in the game.
    While facing 3rd comp!

  45. LMHF#1 says:

    db7db7:
    LMHF#1,

    Except that still doesn’t address our need for size in the top 6.

    I believe the need is for better hockey players. Good luck beating that forward unit night-in-night-out. Especially in the playoffs when scoring depth is everything.

  46. db7db7 says:

    LMHF#1,

    Also, I’d rather not have Hall and Yak on the same line as they both need to be just to the right of the goalie to pop in those rebounds and one timers.

  47. Jordan says:

    LMHF#1: Close.

    1 Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
    2 Perron-Hopkins-Eberle
    3 Penner-Grabovski-Hemsky
    4 AnyonebutSmyth-Gordon-AnyonebutJones

    That’s a strong crew.

    I don’t agree with you about Smyth and Jones on the 4th. Smyth wasn’t the problem last year with the 4th. All the advanced metrics showed players did better with Smyth, except Eberle, who was better with Hall (go figure).

    I think Smyth has every chance to work on a 4 th line and out-chance opponents 4ths, and possibly 3rds, depending on the team.

    I’m not convinced Jones is a great option on the 4th, but I don’t mind him there. He brings more offense than most 4th liners, which I like a lot.

    If we can get your 3rd line, I think that team is in the playoffs – With smyth and Jones on the 4th.

  48. LMHF#1 says:

    db7db7:
    LMHF#1,

    Also, I’d rather not have Hall and Yak on the same line as they both need to be just to the right of the goalie to pop in those rebounds and one timers.

    Hall is best as a rush passer. When he starts cutting and weaving, no one knows what is coming.

    The play you’re thinking of is more relevant on the PP. They can weave in and out of that spot.

  49. Capt'n böökje says:

    LMHF#1: Close.

    1 Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
    2 Perron-Hopkins-Eberle
    3 Penner-Grabovski-Hemsky
    4 AnyonebutSmyth-Gordon-AnyonebutJones

    That’s a strong crew.

    Smyth and Jones would be really good fourth line players with fourth line playing time and fourth line responsibilities.

  50. LMHF#1 says:

    Jordan: I don’t agree with you about Smyth and Jones on the 4th.Smyth wasn’t the problem last year with the 4th.All the advanced metrics showed players did better with Smyth, except Eberle, who was better with Hall (go figure).

    I think Smyth has every chance to work on a 4 th line and out-chance opponents 4ths, and possibly 3rds, depending on the team.

    I’m not convinced Jones is a great option on the 4th, but I don’t mind him there.He brings more offense than most 4th liners, which I like a lot.

    If we can get your 3rd line, I think that team is in the playoffs – With smyth and Jones on the 4th.

    That’s all fine, I just disagree with the way they play. Especially Smyth who did so many incredibly stupid and downright lazy things last year. When you watch a guy like Jagr, who takes care of himself in the offseason and busts it so that he can be ready for a full grind and the playoffs, you wonder why Smyth can’t do the same thing. He tires very badly and seems to have lost his decision making skills. Jones? Well his cheating (in both directions, at the wrong time) has been discussed here at great length.

    I’m aware of what their numbers say but would be much more comfortable with a different combo to support our shiny new Mr. Gordon. I’m hoping like hell that Ben Eager is over the concussion (though I doubt it highly).

  51. Capt'n böökje says:

    Lowetide:
    Goldenchild: Tambellini would never have traded Paajarvi. It involves risk.

    I fully agree, Tambellini was not confident in his ability to assess NHL Talent (and he should not have been confident in it – he was terrible in that regard) and as a result, he was unwilling to make trades where someone with ‘potential’ was going the other way.

  52. LMHF#1 says:

    Capt’n böökje: Smyth and Jones would be really good fourth line players with fourth line playing time and fourth line responsibilities.

    I know, just dreaming that I might not have to watch that fourth line.

    I was so relieved to be rid of the pain of watching Ryan Jones on the ice, followed by his horrid Marty Reasoner impression on the big screen.

  53. HugThePost says:

    LT:

    everyone seems to be giving Jones the benefit of the doubt as far as how crappy he was last year (injury, short season, etc).

    What are the chances you give for #94 to have a bounce back year after last year’s horrendous campaign? His legs looked shot right from the beginning of the season. Do you think there was a chance he just wasn’t in shape for a shortened season where it was more of a sprint than a marathon?

    If he could have a better year, our 4th line might not turn out as bad as some fear (although I still believe MacT will bring in more new faces for the bottom of the order).

  54. iHockeyWpg says:

    Man, that was an ugly head shot Perron took from Thornton.
    No wonder he missed all that time.

  55. Mr DeBakey says:

    Smyth and Jones would be really good fourth line players with fourth line playing time and fourth line responsibilities.

    That’s not all they’d be good at

    http://youtu.be/-QWJ1KDvUYM

  56. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Jordan,

    Penner – Grabovski – Hemsky

    3 mil – 4 mil – 5 mil

    $12 million 3rd line?

    Yikes

  57. Jordan says:

    I have a question for Cullen:

    Imagine you need two 3rd line wingers to fill out your team.
    – Do you see two effective 3rd liners still available in FA?
    – If not, who would you target in trade, that might be available?

  58. Ca$h-Money! says:

    rickithebear,

    we get it. J. Schultz is terrible, despite him being the best DMan in the AHL last year. His second half of the season, of his first year, when he was playing 20 minutes a night as a rookie on a bad team, in a year when he’d played twice as many games as he had ever played, riding the bus for many of them, at a level superior to what he had ever played, is indicative of his true performance level. He will not improve, I mean, he’s already in his early 20′s for god sakes.

    We should buy him out. Total bust.

  59. Jordan says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    Jordan,

    Penner – Grabovski – Hemsky

    3 mil – 4 mil – 5 mil

    $12 million 3rd line?

    Yikes

    The only number we know for sure there is Hemsky. The other two are moving targets.
    But I’ll tell you this – that basically gives the Oil two second lines for one year. If the top line can be a real #1 line (not a 1a or 1b) and that 4th can out play the other team’s 4ths… that’s a deep freaking lineup.

    Maybe you can get Grabo & Penner on 1-year overpays and make that 3rd line a 15M line!
    D:

  60. jonrmcleod says:

    Didn’t Hall and Yak play well together at the end of the season? I’d try those two with Gagner. It might balance out the top two lines better. Then you’d have two legitimate number 1 lines.

  61. Bank Shot says:

    So last season Perron played 50% of his even strength time with Backes. 33% with Oshie who missed time.

    Perron’s next most common linemates were Berglund 30%, Steen 20% and Tarasenko 19%.

    Perron was playing the hard minutes with Backes no doubt, and when he wasn’t with Backes it looks like he was getting killer zone starts as his 50% to Backes 42% OFF zone % attests.

    Out of those most common linemates all but Berglund had a better rate of shots per 60 then Perron. All of them had better ifenwick/60 and icorsi/60 according to stats.hockeyanalysis.com.

    So who is zooming who here?

    Going by 11/12 and 12/13 it looks like Perron doesn’t have great possesion metrics when playing away from Backes.

    We’ll see I guess but I’m not a big fan of this trade. Perron is an upgrade on Paajarvi for sure, but he doesn’t really seem to fill the team’s biggest needs. I would have prefered MacT to spend two of the team’s best trading chips on a top four defender, or a top six player with more dimensions such as solid two way play.

  62. Jordan says:

    LT:

    “Mact might try to cobble together 3 lines for 2-way play…”

    He’s talking about three scoring lines!

    THREE SCORING LINES IS HERESY!!!

    HE’S A WITCH!! BURN HIM!!!

  63. Bag of Pucks says:

    A few more thoughts on yesterday’s trade after sleeping on it.

    1) Looked around this morning and it appears Perron has had a grand total of 1 concussion in his NHL career? Is that accurate? Granted, it was a serious concussion, but given the nature of this league now where any player is theoretically one hit away from this type of injury, it seems to overstate the case to say Perron is concussion prone. I’m encouraged by the fact that the Blues took their time with his recovery. Hopefully he’s put this behind him and is completely symptom free.

    It’s a bit of conundrum really. You want the players who’ll go to the hard areas to score, but in today’s NHL, injuries await those who do that on a consistent basis.

    2) Was happy with the trade initially and still am, but one red flag for me is the fact that Doug Armstrong has not lost many trades of late. I was encouraged to read the MSM coverage today indicating that MacT sat with this one for a while before pulling the trigger. Seems wise given Armstrong’s track record.

    3) It’s the inevitable cliche but ‘if’ Perron stays healthy, I think this trade will be good for both players. With Paajarvi in particular, he needs someone like Hitchcock to push him to add an edge to his game and consistently go to the hard areas. To me, that’s the crux of this trade. Can Hitchcock instill that intestinal fortitude? Armstrong seems to be betting that he can.

    Quick aside on concussions. It’s great to see how the culture is changing on this in all sports. About 8 or 9 years ago, my oldest son started playing competitive lacrosse. He had a very good rookie season and an ever stronger sophomore season, winning an MVP award in one of the larger tournaments. Then he made an ill advised cut to the middle in a game and took a massive hit causing a concussion. This hugely concerned my wife and I and I’ll never forget the reaction of the other parents on the team who basically said “welcome to the club, getting a concussion means he’s a ‘real’ lacrosse player now. wink, wink, nudge, nudge!” We followed our doctor’s advice to the letter and he didn’t come back to play until his third season. When he did, he found he no longer enjoyed the game and decided to quit to pursue other sports and hobbies (a decision we fully supported). He’s now a hugely competitive tennis and basketball player and a kick butt drummer with nary a head injury in sight aside from mosh related ailments : )

    It’s amazing to see how the sensitivity towards and appreciation for the seriousness of these injuries has increased exponentially since then, and in such a short period of time. Definite progress.

  64. Bank Shot says:

    Ca$h-Money!: rickithebear, we get it. J. Schultz is terrible, despite him being the best DMan in the AHL last year. His second half of the season, of his first year, when he was playing 20 minutes a night as a rookie on a bad team, in a year when he’d played twice as many games as he had ever played, riding the bus for many of them, at a level superior to what he had ever played, is indicative of his true performance level. He will not improve, I mean, he’s already in his early 20′s for god sakes.We should buy him out. Total bust.

    Rickibear has a great point. Everyone keeps giving J.Schultz the benefit of the doubt, but the Oilers are really gambling the entire season on Justin taking a huge leap forward if he is pencilled into the top four.

    Without any true top pairing defencemen in the lineup I feel that the Oilers should be pushing hard to construct a by committee approach that invloves having 5 legitimate top 4 guys +J.Schultz in the lineup to guard against lack of improvement of Justin’s part and also the inevitible injuries that will happen to the blue.

    This is why they should be keeping Nick Schultz and adding another top 4 guy. That way Schultz can play easy minutes with a vet more capable of covering for him when he goes wandering in all zones. We also then have two pairs that can not get murdered against the other teams top lines if Justin should not improve.

    Filling up on Belovs and Larsens just leaves me thinking that one of these guys will end up in over his head when Smid or Petry or Ference miss 20 games.

  65. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Bank Shot,

    I understand, I think ricki over does it on the “Justin Schultz isn’t good at hockey” train of thought, and it shows up in nearly every thread. He isn’t a top pairing guy (at this point), clearly. But he’s not the worst defenceman in the NHL either… even without a “huge leap” forward I think it’s fair to say he’s comfortably in the top 6 of the majority of teams in the NHL.

    That said, if we can get him 3rd pairing minutes to start the season, that’s ideal. Agreed on that front entirely.

  66. Ca$h-Money! says:

    I’d like to hijack the thread to point out that we’re all kinda freaking out about the Gagner arbitration filling. Interesting article up on Jets nation: 5 guys have filed for arbitration, including 2/3 of their top line (Little and Wheeler) and their franchise cornerstone defenceman Bogosian (also Postma and Tangradi). On top of that they’ve attracted no UFAs of note, and one of their better forward prospects has fled to the KHL because he hates the coach.

    By comparison we have it pretty good.

  67. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: Was happy with the trade initially and still am, but one red flag for me is the fact that Doug Armstrong has not lost many trades of late.

    Fair point, but I think the difference here is that this was not a hockey trade, it was a cap trade. It was discussed here on these very pages that St Louis would likely need to dump several million dollars of salary i.e. they would have to trade a pretty good player and replace him with a cheap one.

    I’m still baffled by anyone suggesting we might have lost this trade. We got a player who is already where Pajaarvi might reach (good 2L) – but it’s just as likely that Pajaarvi will stay where he is (3L) or even go back to where he has been (inconsistent player bouncing between 3L and the AHL).

    Bank Shot: Everyone keeps giving J.Schultz the benefit of the doubt, but the Oilers are really gambling the entire season on Justin taking a huge leap forward if he is pencilled into the top four.

    Haven’t heard anyone suggesting JSchultz is being counted on taking a huge leap forward. In fact, the addition of Ference gives the Oilers a top 4 (Ference, Smid, Petry, NSchultz) that allows JSchultz to play third pairing, where he should be as a sophomore.

    That said, with a year under his belt, I do expect Jr to play the entire year about where he showed the first 20 games of the season – offensive savant and defensively adequate. If I were to bet, I would say he will trade off some of his offense next year as he works hard on the defensive side of the equation. All the more reason to have him 3rd pair.

    HugThePost: What are the chances you give for #94 to have a bounce back year after last year’s horrendous campaign? …
    If he could have a better year, our 4th line might not turn out as bad as some fear (although I still believe MacT will bring in more new faces for the bottom of the order).

    I think #94 will do just fine as 4L. The problem is that right now he is arguably 3L, and I cannot imagine a circumstance where that ends well.

  68. TheOtherJohn says:

    If Perron is a Bagwellesque player…..that would be a GREAT addition. Very very good ballplayer

    LT

    You have to add replacing MPS to your MacT to do list

  69. justDOit says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    Great article – thanks!

  70. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: Fair point, but I think the difference here is that this was not a hockey trade, it was a cap trade.It was discussed here on these very pages that St Louis would likely need to dump several million dollars of salary i.e. they would have to trade a pretty good player and replace him with a cheap one.

    The thing with Armstrong though is he’s good enough to turn a cap trade into a hockey trade. Paajarvi was drafted higher than Perron and the Blues did get a second round pick as well. When you can acquire a player like Setoguchi for a 2nd rounder (granted, another cap trade), we can’t underestimate the value of that asset, particularly when it goes to a club that consistently drafts well. Yesterday, Gregor was saying that on average, a 2nd round pick will turn into a player 15% of the time. Essentially writing the pick off as a lottery ticket. What I think gets missed in that conclusion is that it’s an average. Presumably, the pick is actually worth more to clubs that have shown an ability to consistently draft well?

    Again, I like the trade. We need competitive players NOW and MPS is still a work in progress. Perron’s reaction is very encouraging and St Loo is in a better position to take on a project like Magnus than we are to continue on that path. But let’s not discount the possibility that Magnus could reach a higher ceiling than Perron in time AND the Blues may land a good player with that pick.

    Immediate return: Oilers win. Longterm returns: TBD

  71. Hambone678 says:

    I’m nervous about Gagner’s situation. If he goes to arbitration MacT is definitely up poop creek; the rest of the NHL will know that he has to make a deal and it will be hard for him to get market value in return. We don’t really have a 2C in the wings to replace him. Does anyone know what the timeline is getting him signed before arbitration?

  72. Tarkus says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Andy Strickland on the trade:

    http://www.truehockey.com/articles/Time-for-Perron-to-Move-ForwardPaajarvi-Still-Proving-Himself

    Pet language peeve from the article:

    “He has an idea of how he needs to play to be successful and will be surrounded by more players that compliment his style in Edmonton than he was in St. Louis.”

    Compliment: an expression of praise, congratulation or encouragement.
    Complement: add to (something) in a way that enhances or improves it; make perfect.

    Unless the aforementioned phrase is meant to say he’ll like Edmonton because more teammates will applaud his style of play, the author should have used “complement”.

    Another way to put it: MacT should be complimented on finding a player who complements the top six forwards.

    [/rant]

  73. Hambone678 says:

    Bank Shot,

    Do we still have room for Tom Gilbert? I don’t think he’s signed anywhere yet.

  74. linkfromhyrule says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    rickithebear,

    we get it.J. Schultz is terrible, despite him being the best DMan in the AHL last year.His second half of the season, of his first year, when he was playing 20 minutes a night as a rookie on a bad team, in a year when he’d played twice as many games as he had ever played, riding the bus for many of them, at a level superior to what he had ever played, is indicative of his true performance level.He will not improve, I mean, he’s already in his early 20′s for god sakes.

    We should buy him out.Total bust.

    I wish I could give props for this post haha. x10

  75. Colonel Obvious says:

    Like everyone else I like this trade. However, it isn’t anywhere near enough. The Oilers still are at least three forwards short of an NHL lineup, let alone a good one.

    Ryan Jones can’t play.
    Jesse Joensu has only a handful of NHL games and he isn’t a heralded newcomer.\
    Ryan Smyth is old and slow.
    Mike Brown isn’t a hockey player.
    Anton Lander should be starting the season in the AHL.

    It would be terrible management to start the season with these guys as your first choice in the lineup. Until this changes the team cannot win.

  76. rickithebear says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    rickithebear,

    we get it.J. Schultz is terrible, despite him being the best DMan in the AHL last year.His second half of the season, of his first year, when he was playing 20 minutes a night as a rookie on a bad team, in a year when he’d played twice as many games as he had ever played, riding the bus for many of them, at a level superior to what he had ever played, is indicative of his true performance level.He will not improve, I mean, he’s already in his early 20′s for god sakes.

    We should buy him out.Total bust.

    No!
    We should keep him away from PK like S. weber.
    We should give him huge minutes on PP like Letang.
    we should nuture his even play with a physical front net dman.
    Larger and more physical than N. schultz in a complimentary D pair.
    That leads to a 3rd comp d pair in the 43-46 GA range for the season.

    N.Schultz will be retianed to cover for a loss of Smid or Ference.

    Guys on our team who played 1st comp within the last 3 years
    and had better than league average in GA.
    Smid
    Petry
    N. schultz
    Guys who played 2nd Comp
    and had better than league average GA
    A. Ference
    Guys who were top 10 in +/- for dmen in the top 2 non nhl leagues in the world.
    But have not proved themselves in the NHL
    Belov
    Klefbom
    Guys who were top 10 defencemen in #3-#7 non nhl leagues.
    but not proven in NHL
    J. schultz AHL (#6) 1st in points
    Marancin AHL(#6) 6th in +/-
    J. Laleggia NCAA (7) 6th and 10th in points.

    kind of point of reference for our D.

    .

  77. G Money says:

    Colonel Obvious: The Oilers still are at least three forwards short of an NHL lineup

    The shopping list now reads: 3L, 3R (Hemsky), 4C.

    Smyth and Jones are fine as 4th line wingers, bad as 3rd line wingers.

    Until we see Joensu actually play, we don’t know if he’s a 3rd liner, 4th liner, or AHL player.

    Barring a Hemsky trade, my FA shopping list would be: 3L = Raymond, 3R = Mueller or Brunner, 4C = Wellwood. They aren’t exactly perfect fits in the sense of being big mean possession drivers, but unlike most of our 3rd and 4th line players last year, they are all genuine NHL players.

  78. linkfromhyrule says:

    reading this blog there certainly is no shortage of hate towards ryan jones. I personally don’t think he’s that bad, he had a (very) bad season.. but in his last 2 of 3 season he scored 30+ points yet he’s terrible and not even fit for the 4th line? I think the guy deserves at least another year to prove himself. Plus he LOVES being an oiler… clearly that isn’t common in the NHL

  79. RMGS says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    Like everyone else I like this trade.However, it isn’t anywhere near enough.The Oilers still are at least three forwards short of an NHL lineup, let alone a good one.

    Ryan Jones can’t play.
    Jesse Joensu has only a handful of NHL games and he isn’t a heralded newcomer.\
    Ryan Smyth is old and slow.
    Mike Brown isn’t a hockey player.
    Anton Lander should be starting the season in the AHL.

    It would be terrible management to start the season with these guys as your first choice in the lineup.Until this changes the team cannot win.

    Yeah, there does seem to be a lot of “hope this works” and “non-factor” in that list of bottom-6 forwards (I’d say that Ryan Hamilton may also be in the picture – another “hope this works” idea).

    So, of course MacT’s not done. Hemsky will be traded for a solid 3RW, or he’ll start as the 3RW. And I can’t fathom that MacT is comfortable with Lander as the 4C, so I expect a solid shut-down or 2-way C to be on his way before opening night.

    If he achieves this (and maybe also add a 3LW and top-2 D), MacT will have upgraded the roster significantly in one off-season – a remarkable feat.

  80. hankster says:

    Great signing with Perron. This guy has proven skills. Magnus was going to the blue paint a lot last yr which is what the Oilers need as theyre too much a peripheral team.
    Perron is also an upgrade to Gagner since Perron has better skating, shooting and checking. So need to trade Gagner away for a bigger centre who can win a few faceoffs.
    Need to trade Gagner/Hemsky and Eberle for a top D… everyone around the NHL knows the Oilers have weak D. You gotta give to get.
    Eberle is weakest defensive player of the young guns.

    btw, we obsess about trades when coaching systems and organizational competence is equally or more important.. Detroit for the last two decades is a good model to follow.

  81. Kris11 says:

    If you keep Hemsky as the 3R, then Jones is good enough (though crappy) as the 3L to yield a good 3rd line, and a very good top 9 more generally.

    And Smyth and Brown and Joensuu and Hamilton can battle for 4th line wing work. What is needed is a 4C who can move up in the lineup when injuries happen and who can play decent minutes. (Another bottom 6 winger would be good too, of course.)

    A 1D is needed, too. but that might not be possible at this point.

    Wouod love to hear MacT answer a question about the possibility of keeping Hemsky.

  82. Kris11 says:

    Also, if you keep Perron, who can play tough opposition, and Hemsky, you might want to use them as tough minutes options to create room for an ultra soft scoring line:

    Super tough minutes:

    Hall-Gagner/RNH-Eberle
    Perron-Gordon-Hemsky

    Super Easy Minutes:

    Jones/Smyth-RNH/Gagner-Yakupov

  83. G Money says:

    linkfromhyrule: reading this blog there certainly is no shortage of hate towards ryan jones

    This is reflective of a characteristic of hockey fans in general, and I would say Oiler fans are worse than most fans that I’ve seen.

    Specifically – to take one (negative) characteristic of a player, and then use that single characteristic as the overriding defintion of that player, to the exclusion of all else.

    Hemsky for example. For years the guy was the only real reason to watch the Oilers. Elite skill. LIkes Edmonton. Also a warrior – put his body in harms way game after game. But hey – “first to leave the ice” so he has no heart, no desire, no whatever.

    Or Gagner. “Not good enough to be our 2C.” Never mind that he finished 17th (!!!!!!!) in scoring among centres last year, putting him squarely in 1C territory as a scorer. Despite the fact that he finished in both points and PPG ahead of such luminaries as Couture, P. Bergeron, Krejci, J. Carter … Nope, can’t possibly be good enough to play on our shit team!

    Jones … same thing. Exits the zone early, sure, that’s the only point that matters. Never mind that he skates miles, hits (mostly ineffectively, but hits), goes to the blue paint, scores greasy goals, has put up 15+ goals twice, wants to be here. Nope, not good enough to play.

    I suppose in one sense its understandable – we’ve had a crap team for so long its easy to believe that every player on the team must therefore be crap. But by that token, we should also be getting rid of Hall, Eberle, Smid, etc. as they were also even more important players on those same crap teams.

    I tend to believe a little bit differently. The progress is there. We’re getting rid of bad players – Belanger, Whitney, Petrell – with no prospects of getting better. We’re moving players who are NHL players but don’t necessarily fit well in the depth chart or culture – Horcs, Hemsky.

    Now all we need to do is to get good NHL players to fill gaps and allow our serviceable players – Jones, Smyth – to play in the right slots and our young players – Yak, Schultz – to find their NHL feet and we’ll be good.

    /Rant

  84. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I still think we should sign Grabo and trade Gagner for Tyutin (in some way… maybe you add N. Schultz + and pry Ry-Jo loose).

    Hemsky for Winnick + solves 3W; or, Hemsky for Smith + solves 4C. Either way, something needs to be done there (I’d be delighted to stand pat and have Hemsky be the 3W).

    I’d really like to see N. Schultz out and Ranger in plus a true #1D. That huge collection of bottom pairing D needs a cull.

    Odd to think that Fistric, Peckham, Whitney, Teubert and Plante are all gone and we still look to have too many bottom pairing guys.

  85. Jesse says:

    Man, is it refreshing to hear MacT reference the analytics in regards to the Perron trade. Lately I’ve been hearing all about advanced stats in the media — I think it’s in large part to Bob Stauffer regularly discussing it and bringing it up in his questions to Oilers management. Of course, there is much credit to be give to the Lowdown show as well. But it seems like the “arrival” of analytics in the mainstream is most apparent when you hear guys like Gregor and Spector preface every opinion they give on a player with “and I don’t care what the stats guys say”, etc. It’s pretty neat.

  86. justDOit says:

    Jesse:
    Man, is it refreshing to hear MacT reference the analytics in regards to the Perron trade. Lately I’ve been hearing all about it — I think it’s in large part to Bob Stauffer regularly discussing it and bringing it up in his questions to Oilers management. Of course, there is much credit to be give to the Lowdown show as well. But it seems like the “arrival” of analytics in the mainstream is most apparent when you hear guys like Gregor and Spector preface every opinion they give on a player with “and I don’t care what the stats guys say”, etc. It’s pretty neat.

    I get the impression from MacT’s comments, that he’s saying, “This is the stats guys’ chance to prove themselves? So if this doesn’t work, we’re going back to ‘saw him good/bad’ by committee.”

  87. theres oil in virginia says:

    G Money,

    Still fighting the good fight. Bravo.

  88. justDOit says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Very true – esp the defense. Hoping that Klefbom and Belov can make the jump to a faster, more physical league on smaller ice is not much better than the Barker bet. Belov is listed as 186 lbs – oh how I hope that isn’t correct.

    I don’t want to start another ‘bigger is better’ debate, but only three of the current defenders on the Oilers’ roster is over 200 lbs, and those three combined are only 16 lbs over. In glancing at a few other team’s blue liners, this is glaringly deficient.

    And no – I don’t want MacT to bring in Hal Gill to up the average weight.

  89. rickithebear says:

    Gagner’s face off %
    12-13 43.9%
    11-12 47.6%
    10-11 43.8%
    9-10 47.4%
    8-9 42.0%
    7-8 41.8%
    depending on which range you get
    Sam gagner is a 44.4% to 45.7% for fwd.
    That does not cut it in a center role.
    mact callis him a winger and perron just replaced him

    Hall-XXX-Yakupov
    Perron-RNH-Eberle.

    Steckel 59%
    Gordon 58%
    Wellwood 55.5%
    Weiss 53%
    Grabo 53%
    Bozak 52%

    we have 1 could we get another?

  90. wheatnoil says:

    justDOit:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Very true – esp the defense. Hoping that Klefbom and Belov can make the jump to a faster, more physical league on smaller ice is not much better than the Barker bet.

    We don’t know how Belov/Klefbom will do, but it’s not entirely fair to compare them to the Barker bet.

    Klefbom and Belov are bets, certainly. We don’t know how they’ll perform on NHL ice. However, they have had great successful in professional leagues thus far. Barker had significant evidence that he wasn’t a capable defender at the NHL level based on his entire NHL track record (290 games before he was signed by the Oilers). He had one season of high points, but even then was clearly incapable of defending 5 on 5.

    MacT is betting that ONE of Klefbom or Belov will be able to translate their success from one professional league to a higher professional league. He just needs one of them to succeed. They have a collective zero NHL games, so we don’t know how they’ll do.

    Tambellini threw all his eggs into one basket and bet that Barker would become something that he never was in 290 NHL games. Based on Barker’s NHL performance, we KNEW he wasn’t very good. Tambellini bet that a proven poor (though young) NHL defender would magically become a good one.

  91. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Very true – esp the defense. Hoping that Klefbom and Belov can make the jump to a faster, more physical league on smaller ice is not much better than the Barker bet. Belov is listed as 186 lbs – oh how I hope that isn’t correct.

    I don’t want to start another ‘bigger is better’ debate, but only three of the current defenders on the Oilers’ roster is over 200 lbs, and those three combined are only 16 lbs over. In glancing at a few other team’s blue liners, this is glaringly deficient.

    And no – I don’t want MacT to bring in Hal Gill to up the average weight.

    I think Belov is suffering there from the wildly inaccurate and poorly updated vital stats. IIRC he’s all over the map on the internet. for example, wiki has him at 6’4″ and 216 lbs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Belov

    and his youtubes have him looking like a crazy facepuncher (despite the scouting reports that he can skate and has offense)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHyK8NxosHM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3r44G5whC94

    sweet goal:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5rCayuv0NM

    here’s a great interview with him on why he picked the oil:

    “Of all of the clubs the Oilers showed the most interest. First of all, I think, it’s because the team needs a defenseman of the type I am… I heard that the Oilers GM Craig MacTavish came to the World Championships and watched me play. I like the fact that the team in Edmonton is turning out to be very promising. There are young stars, especially on offense, so the club has a big future.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/anton-belov-khl-top-defenseman-big-future-edmonton-193311931.html

    I actually think it is crazy to assume he isn’t a lock for the opening night roster. N.Schlutz (or Smid… god I hope not) is going.

    I also think a lot of people (to my surprise) are under-valuing what he is going to be. I think we are going to be pleasantly surprised. I also think we have built a nice relationship with Russians here. I think MacT has bought some loyalty with this guy that he would be loath to dismiss by press box or AHLing him.

  92. G Money says:

    justDOit: Belov is listed as 186 lbs – oh how I hope that isn’t correct.

    Every reference OTHER than hockeydb shows Belov as 6’4″ and 216 lbs. The KHL site lists him at 211 lbs. Not sure which is correct, but certainly the video highlights I saw when they first signed him had a couple “nasty, dirty, hit ‘em and they don’t get up” highlights, which suggests the 216 is probably closer to reality than the 185.

  93. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I still think we should sign Grabo and trade Gagner for Tyutin (in some way… maybe you add N. Schultz + and pry Ry-Jo loose).

    Hemsky for Winnick + solves 3W; or, Hemsky for Smith + solves 4C. Either way, something needs to be done there (I’d be delighted to stand pat and have Hemsky be the 3W).

    I’d really like to see N. Schultz out and Ranger in plus a true #1D. That huge collection of bottom pairing D needs a cull.

    Odd to think that Fistric, Peckham, Whitney, Teubert and Plante are all gone and we still look to have too many bottom pairing guys.

    Adding Tyutin and Johansen? I love the way you think. Not sure about Grabovski there, though.

  94. justDOit says:

    wheatnoil,

    So it’s a better bet than Barker, as I said, but we’ll not know how much better until they hit the 200′ x 85′. We can only hope that there’s more on the way, and that MacT works is @$$ off to bring in at least another real NHL blue.

  95. justDOit says:

    G Money,

    I hope so – I got his stats from the Oilers site.

  96. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    wheatnoil: We don’t know how Belov/Klefbom will do, but it’s not entirely fair to compare them to the Barker bet.

    Klefbom and Belov are bets, certainly. We don’t know how they’ll perform on NHL ice. However, they have had great successful in professional leagues thus far. Barker had significant evidence that he wasn’t a capable defender at the NHL level based on his entire NHL track record (290 games before he was signed by the Oilers). He had one season of high points, but even then was clearly incapable of defending 5 on 5.

    MacT is betting that ONE of Klefbom or Belov will be able to translate their success from one professional league to a higher professional league. He just needs one of them to succeed. They have a collective zero NHL games, so we don’t know how they’ll do.

    Tambellini threw all his eggs into one basket and bet that Barker would become something that he never was in 290 NHL games. Based on Barker’s NHL performance, we KNEW he wasn’t very good. Tambellini bet that a proven poor (though young) NHL defender would magically become a good one.

    My reply to JDI is in moderation…

    at any rate, I completely agree… but I think (hope) that Belov is a lock for opening day duties, Klefbom is given call-up status for the first 3rd of the season minimum and one of N. Schultz or Smid is heading away to fill other holes.

    We currently have a lot of D in the ranks (from pro levels through prospects) but are missing a genuine #1 or 2 D and have a lot of gaps in the bottom 6. The trade chips for those holes beyond Hemsky are going to be D and future picks.

  97. G Money says:

    justDOit:
    G Money,

    I hope so – I got his stats from the Oilers site.

    Well, then we are in trouble on that one, because if the roster says he’s 6’3″ and 185 lbs, then it means he’s *actually* 6’2″ and 175 lbs!

  98. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: Adding Tyutin and Johansen? I love the way you think. Not sure about Grabovski there, though.

    Can’t help but keep circling back to CBJ for ideas.

    Before the Perron deal I thought we’d chase Umberger (MacT said he wanted meat that could play top 6 and the player didn’t even need to score much… instead of that, he got a scoring winger with some grit, but not a lot)

    But, now with the Gagner arbitration and the Perron deal… Ry-Jo looks like he might have a bright future as the number 2C. And word was the new GM in CBJ wasn’t terribly attached to him (didn’t pick him, thought he lacked commitment, etc.)

    You sign grabo 5 x 2 or 4.5 x 3 to give Ry-Jo some time on the 4C or on the 3 wing. I don’t know what you’d have to add to Gagner, n.Schultz to do that deal… but I’d like to explore it.

  99. Young Oil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Can’t help but keep circling back to CBJ for ideas.

    Before the Perron deal I thought we’d chase Umberger (MacT said he wanted meat that could play top 6 and the player didn’t even need to score much… instead of that, he got a scoring winger with some grit, but not a lot)

    But, now with the Gagner arbitration and the Perron deal… Ry-Jo looks like he might have a bright future as the number 2C. And word was the new GM in CBJ wasn’t terribly attached to him (didn’t pick him, thought he lacked commitment, etc.)

    You sign grabo 5 x 2 or 4.5 x 3 to give Ry-Jo some time on the 4C or on the 3 wing. I don’t know what you’d have to add to Gagner, n.Schultz to do that deal… but I’d like to explore it.

    To me, Dubinski is by far the most intriguing piece from Columbus. He is an ideal #2C. I know Gagner + would have to be going the other way, but I don’t know how extensive the ‘+’ would have to be. I know Kekalainen loves small, skilled players with heart, so it is likely he would be interested in Gagner.

  100. slopitch says:

    I target Bogosian if we are moving Gagner. We’d need another C however and I doubt Grabovski is an option or it would have been leaked by now.

    Jets did well to get Frolik with a pick. He’d be great on our 3rd line.

    Dubinsky would be another great add. Doubt CBJ moves him though.

  101. rickithebear says:

    justDOit: Very true – esp the defense. Hoping that Klefbom and Belov can make the jump to a faster, more physical league on smaller ice is not much better than the Barker bet. Belov is listed as 186 lbs – oh how I hope that isn’t correct.

    What a crock of euro Bias bull shit!

    Physicality is about the player!
    We have seen video of Belov’s edge!
    6’3.6″ 211lb most euro measures.
    As for faster game!
    russians are much slower skaters than canadians.
    And the o zone is so much more massive.
    NHL
    64FT deep X 85Ft = 5440 sq FT
    Euro::
    56.9FT X 98.5FT = 5605 sq ft
    7 ft deeper along the nhl Blue
    7.5 ft more width on each side board in europe;
    The kill zone:
    center circle to center circle down to the red line
    NHL:
    20 X12 to each side of center
    20 x 44 = 880 sq ft.
    Euro:
    19.7 x 22.95 to each side
    19.7 x 45.9 = 904 Sq ft.

    10 inches larger to either side of the net.

    the d zone coverage is the same.
    it makes a diffrence to forward coverage cause of were the added space exists.

  102. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Young Oil,

    slopitch,

    Grabo. I still think the likelihood is small given “character” concerns… but I think the longer the Gagner issue lingers the better he starts to look to MacT.

    Top D via trade. Gagner is your best bet. If MacT sees a way to get Tyutin (or equivalent) and sees the Gagner contract situation looking grimmer by the day… this kind of trade looks more and more likely. and the more likely it looks the more a player like Grabo starts to look like a fit. I think both dominos have to fall at the same time though for it to work.

    Ry-Jo. Love Dubinsky. But I haven’t heard any rumors about him being moved or falling out of favor, like we have with Ry-Jo. Ry-Jo seems less like blue skying and more like an actual possibility.

  103. Young Oil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Young Oil,

    slopitch,

    Grabo. I still think the likelihood is small given “character” concerns… but I think the longer the Gagner issue lingers the better he starts to look to MacT.

    Top D via trade. Gagner is your best bet. If MacT sees a way to get Tyutin (or equivalent) and sees the Gagner contract situation looking grimmer by the day… this kind of trade looks more and more likely. and the more likely it looks the more a player like Grabo starts to look like a fit. I think both dominos have to fall at the same time though for it to work.

    Ry-Jo. Love Dubinsky. But I haven’t heard any rumors about him being moved or falling out of favor, like we have with Ry-Jo. Ry-Jo seems less like blue skying and more like an actual possibility.

    I know Dubinski hasn’t been rumored, but I’d be willing to do a huge overpay for him-I think the team needs him that much. Like I know most would laugh at me suggesting Gagner+2014 1st+Musil for Dubinski, but if thats what it takes to get him, I’d do it. I believe that that pick could be in the 20s if we had Dubinski, and dealt Hemsky and N. Schultz to get third line wingers/4th line center.

    As for Ry-Jo, I loved him in the WJC, but haven’t seen great things from him at the NHL level. Wasn’t he a HS during the AHL playoffs? I’d love to have him to add to center depth, but it would have to be at a very reasonable price, as he’d likely be playing in the bottom 6 for a couple years.

    Would the most realistic option be possibly dealing Gagner for Kulikov, adding picks/prospects if needed, then signing Grabovski, and dealing N. Schultz and Hemsky for bottom 6 help? I know Kulikov has been in rumors.

  104. fuzzy muppet says:

    Accordin’ to twitter. Kovalchuk has retired

  105. wunderbar says:

    BREAKING: Ilya Kovalchuk announces he will retire. “This decision was something I have thought about for a long time.”

    This is from the Devils Twitter feed. This is not fake. This is actually happening.

  106. OilClog says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    Accordin’ to twitter. Kovalchuk has retired

    My jaw has dropped

  107. Capt'n böökje says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    Accordin’ to twitter. Kovalchuk has retired

    Alright, the Oilers just got a little better, in a relative sense.

  108. Capt'n böökje says:

    If the KHL didn’t exist, he may have played a couple of more years in the NHL I would suspect. The KHL makes it easier for homesick hockey players to go home.

  109. wunderbar says:

    Just some quick math and looking at the new CBA Rules, and this could really screw the devils with the cap in a few years, unless the cap goes up significantly.

    coles notes on cap recapture: for a contract signed in the old CBA, if a player retires before the contract is over and the contract was a back diving contract, the difference between actual salary and salary cap will count against the team’s cap.

    Ilya’s cap hit is 6.666,667. His salary is above that until 2019, when it falls to 4 million, then 1 million for the final 5 years.

    In 2019-20 the Devils will have a cap hit of 1.6 million, and from 2020-2025 he will count against the cap for 5.6 million.

    Until 2019 he won’t count against the cap as his actual salary is higher than cap hit.

    This is crazy.

  110. DBO says:

    oh those Russians……

    So Hemsky to Jersey then? who would we want?

  111. wunderbar says:

    Capt’n böökje:
    If the KHL didn’t exist, he may have played a couple of more years in the NHL I would suspect.The KHL makes it easier for homesick hockey players to go home.

    I actaully wonder if maybe his back is in worse shape than anyone thought. I doubt that he’d leave almost $70 million on the table with this contract, most of that in the next 5 years, unless he’s having some significant physical problems.

  112. Marc says:

    wunderbar,

    Because Kovalchuk just started the contract it isn’t so bad because the Devils haven’t actually accrued much benefit yet. According to Capgeek they’ll have a $250K cap hit each season until 2025.

  113. Lucinius says:

    Wow. Kovalchuk retiring. Weird guy in how over-rated and under-rated the guy is in differing circles. Fantastic hockey player when he settles in somewhere.

    Lockout probably did him in, for the NHL. Experienced life back home, in the KHL and, I’m guessing, he figured it was better to go there now then wait a few more years given his health issues.

  114. rickithebear says:

    Wunderbar: i thought it was actual money recieved versus cap value:

    he had a 6,666,666.66 cap hit and recieved 23 million instead of 20 million.
    a 3 million cap gain spread over three years.

  115. Capt'n böökje says:

    wunderbar: I actaully wonder if maybe his back is in worse shape than anyone thought. I doubt that he’d leave almost $70 million on the table with this contract, most of that in the next 5 years, unless he’s having some significant physical problems.

    He said it was to be with his family. I have no clue what his situation is, but you only get one chance to spend time with your kids, be with your parents as they grow old and die, etc in life. I have seen professionals who don’t have the massive bank accounts that NHL players have, give up significant salaries to ‘return home’ to be with family.

    However, if he can play in the KHL for $5 million a year or something like that, it greatly softens the blow.

  116. godot10 says:

    Lamorello is an evil wizard! Voldemort has nothing on this guy. Potter beware. Because Kovalchuk is retiring so early into the contract, there is a miniscule amount of cap to recapture. Lamorello escapes salary cap Azkaban.

  117. wunderbar says:

    Right, my math on the cap recapture was wrong. was trying to do it on the fly while trying to get real work done :D

  118. Kris11 says:

    For the money he earns he could take his family with him wherever he goes. Private tutor for kids, etc, Parents. aunts, and cousins get big guest house and he buys them plane tickets.

    IMO, he and his family want to live in Russia again, not just spend more time together. And good on them for that. Sometimes place and culture matters as much as money. (Especially when you already have millions.)

    Can he play in the KHL without legal/bureaucratic hassle?

  119. rickithebear says:

    DBO awsome: better now than 2019.

  120. rickithebear says:

    Kris11:
    (Especially when you already have millions.)

    54 million in the last 8 years!

  121. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Ry-Jo. Love Dubinsky. But I haven’t heard any rumors about him being moved or falling out of favor, like we have with Ry-Jo. Ry-Jo seems less like blue skying and more like an actual possibility.

    Isn’t Ryan Jones already under contract?

  122. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: This is reflective of a characteristic of hockey fans in general, and I would say Oiler fans are worse than most fans that I’ve seen.

    Specifically – to take one (negative) characteristic of a player, and then use that single characteristic as the overriding defintion of that player, to the exclusion of all else.

    Hemsky for example.For years the guy was the only real reason to watch the Oilers.Elite skill.LIkes Edmonton.Also a warrior – put his body in harms way game after game.But hey – “first to leave the ice” so he has no heart, no desire, no whatever.

    Or Gagner.“Not good enough to be our 2C.”Never mind that he finished 17th (!!!!!!!) in scoring among centres last year, putting him squarely in 1C territory as a scorer.Despite the fact that he finished in both points and PPG ahead of such luminaries as Couture, P. Bergeron, Krejci, J. Carter …Nope, can’t possibly be good enough to play on our shit team!

    Jones … same thing.Exits the zone early, sure, that’s the only point that matters.Never mind that he skates miles, hits (mostly ineffectively, but hits), goes to the blue paint, scores greasy goals, has put up 15+ goals twice, wants to be here.Nope, not good enough to play.

    /Rant

    I think this a gross generalization that doesn’t hold up under further scrutiny.

    The merits of players like Gagner, Hemsky and Jones are debated in great detail on sites like this with a lot of balanced opinions considered in those exchanges.

    IMO it’s the epitome of fanboy behaviour to write off anyone who’s critical or dismissive of a player as having only a single valid reason that they’re clinging to in support of that position.

    As a fan, I like Hemsky, Gagner, and Jones. That said, I see inherent flaws in each of them that if addressed would ultimately upgrade the roster for the good. My unwillingness to gloss over these weaknesses doesn’t make me a Negative Nelly or super critical fan. It’s simply an attempt to be realistic about what the player brings to the table.

    It seems in some ways that you’re ignoring the context. I’ve seen a lot of posters argue that Sam Gagner is not a good 2C to play on a Cup winner because of FO and/or defensive shortcomings. That is not making the argument that he’s not good enough to play on this team now. It’s simply being realistic as to what your team ultimately needs to compete at the highest levels when the elite teams are stocked with Selke candidates and faceoff savants.

    Sometimes I do find myself wondering “why does WG hate Ryan Jones SO much” or “why does Steve Smith love Tom Gilbert so?” Quite likely there’s a logical explanation to those questions, but that doesn’t necessarily HAVE to be the case. We all are fans to a certain extent, and being short for ‘fanatic’ that’s going to bring with it some obvious biases and favoritism. To me, that’s half the fun.

  123. Lucinius says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Don’t forget the “why does LT hate Smid so much?”

    LT’s never been rational, though. Just look at his love of Pouliot!

  124. Capt'n böökje says:

    Kris11:
    For the money he earns he could take his family with him wherever he goes. Private tutor for kids, etc, Parents. aunts, and cousins get big guest house and he buys them plane tickets.

    The assumption would be that perhaps some of those individuals might not want to come with him, even if he foots the bill. It may even be that his wife is one of them. They also may want their children raised in Russia, etc… as you noted with your mention of culture.

  125. Wolfpack says:

    Is the Kovalchuk retirement true? I just had a look at New Jersey’s roster and without Ilya they are desperately in need of some NHL players. Their depth on offence is not that great and their defence is nothing to write home about either. There might be an opportunity there.

    I have seen a lot of line-up projections for the Oilers and is there anyone that thinks that someone previously banished like a Ben Eager might find new life under a new coach with a new system? From what I recall hearing, Eager was a positive contributor on the Barons after being sent down last year. Could he win back a spot, even if it is on the 4th line?

  126. gcw_rocks says:

    DBO,

    Gelinas I think.

  127. theres oil in virginia says:

    Wolfpack:
    I have seen a lot of line-up projections for the Oilers and is there anyone that thinks that someone previously banished like a Ben Eager might find new life under a new coach with a new system? From what I recall hearing, Eager was a positive contributor on the Barons after being sent down last year. Could he win back a spot, even if it is on the 4th line?

    Sure, why not? I don’t think he’ll fight though, and I don’t blame him.

  128. Bag of Pucks says:

    Would now be a good time to ship Hemsky and Omark to NJ for Adam Henrique?

  129. Wolfpack says:

    Bag of Pucks: Would now be a good time to ship Hemsky and Omark to NJ for Adam Henrique?

    I was thinking along the same lines but don’t think they want to give up Henrique. But Jersey really needs some scoring. I never realized how old they are – especially their defence. I think Larsson is their only regular under 30. I wounder what would shake loose if we offered Hemsky and one of our d-prospects like Marincin or Fedun or Musil?

    3 for 1? Whaaaaa…?????

  130. wheatnoil says:

    New Jersey may be interested in a scoring winger… kind of like Hemsky. Although, I’m not sure who the Oilers would want in return that is realistic. The Devils do have some prospects, but if MacT is looking for a roster player back, there’s not really a good fit on their team that Hemsky or even Hemsky+ could realistically acquire.

  131. wheatnoil says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Would now be a good time to ship Hemsky and Omark to NJ for Adam Henrique?

    I think it would take Gagner+ to get Henrique… even then, I think the Devils would prefer Henrique. I’d be surprised if Henrique wasn’t almost untouchable. The guy played tough minutes last year and still came out with impressive possession numbers… and he’s only 22! And he was named to the All-Star team as a rookie!

  132. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lucinius:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Don’t forget the “why does LT hate Smid so much?”

    LT’s never been rational, though. Just look at his love of Pouliot!

    I think we’re all guilty, to a certain extent, of having a soft spot (blind spot?) for our favorite players.

    Recently my wife said me, “you know, when you’re talking about Taylor Hall, you sound like you’re talking about one of our sons!”

  133. Bag of Pucks says:

    wheatnoil: I think it would take Gagner+ to get Henrique… even then, I think the Devils would prefer Henrique. I’d be surprised if Henrique wasn’t almost untouchable. The guy played tough minutes last year and still came out with impressive possession numbers… and he’s only 22! And he was named to the All-Star team as a rookie!

    Didn’t Hall play with Henrique in Windsor? I wonder if he would see Gagner for Henrique as an upgrade?

    Probably not the best idea for the GM to vet potential trades with the players though. lol

  134. spoiler says:

    godot10: Lamorello is an evil wizard! Voldemort has nothing on this guy. Potter beware. Because Kovalchuk is retiring so early into the contract, there is a miniscule amount of cap to recapture. Lamorello escapes salary cap Azkaban.

    While Lou can now breathe a sigh of cap relief, I think if machinations were behind this move, they would have agreed on the retirement before the start of UFA frenzy. Now most of the market has sold off.

  135. prairieschooner says:

    Our second line will be fine going forward but how dodgy will it be from a 2 way defensive responsibility?

  136. Young Oil says:

    prairieschooner:
    Our second line will be fine going forward but how dodgy will it be from a 2 way defensive responsibility?

    Typically the second line gets offensive zone starts and easier match ups, so in theory they will spend most of their time on the attack! From what I’ve seen Perron isn’t bad defensively too.

    Ideally, Gagner, and picks/prospects if needed, will be traded for a two way center with some offense. Dubinski in a perfect world, but that is unlikely.

  137. Marc says:

    Hopefully this will drive up the price of Hemsky, but I don’t think the Devils are a good trade partner for the Oilers.

    There’s simply no way they give up Henrique. They don’t have enough young scoring forwards so they certainly won’t give up pretty much the only one they have.

    They have a few nice looking prospects but I doubt MacT wants to turn Hemsky into a prospect – he wants guys who can help now.

  138. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: I think this a gross generalization that doesn’t hold up under further scrutiny.

    I think it’s more of a cute generalization. But “gross”? Harsh!

  139. commonfan14 says:

    wheatnoil: The guy played tough minutes last year and still came out with impressive possession numbers… and he’s only 22!

    He’s 23 – 6 months younger than Gagner.

    And those impressive possession numbers led to 16 points in 42 games last year. 8 in 16 AHL games.

    We have very little idea what he is yet.

  140. TheOtherJohn says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Would now be a good time to ship Hemsky and Omark to NJ for Adam Henrique?

    No clue if remotely possible but I’d do that deal from the Oilers end of things. Would also throw in any D prospect not initialled OK or DN to get it done.

  141. fifthcartel says:

    Wow Lou has made some incredibly bad decisions in the last couple years.

  142. TheOtherJohn says:

    Does anyone know if you could trade Hemsky for Marc Savard’s contract and then compliance buy Savard out next offseason. Is that even possible? If so, that would give the Bruins some real cap flexibility moving forward and cost to them for flexibility would be to get someone like Soderberg from the Bruins to play 3LW or 4C for us

  143. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: I think it’s more of a cute generalization.But “gross”?Harsh!

    My bad. The limitations of blog commentary can make it difficult to infer tone.

  144. "Steve Smith" says:

    On an abrupt change of subject, Sean “Down Goes Brown” McIndoe speculates about new captains for teams that lost their old ones. In Edmonton, he predicts it will be Hall. His analysis for Calgary begins thusly:

    “The candidates: Well, you could go with a star player like … [double-checks Flames roster] … OK then, on to Plan B.”

  145. Zipdot says:

    In Soviet Russia, players retire from hockey!

  146. lawrenharris says:

    His Manalysis for Calgary begins thusly:

    Since there has already been a language correction in this thread I thought I would chime in.
    Dear “Steve Smith”: THERE IS NO SUCH WORD AS “THUSLY”!!! “Thus” is already an adverb. It’s like saying “slowlyly”. Sorry, drives me crazy every time I see it, must strive to make the world a better place.

  147. "Steve Smith" says:

    lawrenharris,

    Agreed on the second point (that “thus” is an adverb, making “thusly” unnecessary), but “thusly” is still almost universally recognized as a word (see Merriam Webster, for example). I agree with you that there’s no particular need for it to be one (much like “ironical”), but wishing does not make it so, as Keith Richards once mumbled in his sleep.

  148. lawrenharris says:

    Merriam Webster is an ass.

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