THE DAWNS HERE ARE QUIET

Whenever I have a disagreement with the commenters who populate this blog, I assume you’re all wrong. That’s my starting point. I suspect that’s typical human behaviour and if it isn’t then everyone’s wrong on that too. However, my own life experience tells me that if enough of you say the same thing it’s possible I am in the wrong. That’s different that the Laddy thing btw, I was right about Laddy–he should have arrived in the NHL in 2009-10, not 2006-07.

A few days ago, I wrote about Anton Belov. Many of you posted that he should be placed higher than #7 on the depth chart. This is important business because it sets the tone for the ‘reasonable expectations’ series–and the entire idea of RE is to take all of the bias out and find the purest line in the sand. Is that #7D for Belov? Many of you don’t believe that’s a fair starting point. We begin again. 

ANTON BELOV AT THIS TIME

I’m not going to repeat what was already posted in the last Belov item (you can click on it above), check it out if you like but the main parts are:

  • He was pretty much the best defenseman in the KHL a year ago
  • He was splendid at the WHC’s, going 1-3-4 +8 and turning heads
  • Several teams wanted him, including Pittsburgh
  • The Oilers got him
  • It’s a one year deal, $1.525M and then he’s UFA
  • The minor league portion is $70,000 but I don’t think he’ll stay if he doesn’t make the team
  • The signing bonus is $92,500 and the performance bonuses are $600,000
  • The actual NHL salary is $925,000
  • This is classified as an entry level deal despite the fact he’s 26
  • He’s smart

How do I know this?

  • Belov: “I am very happy I ended up with the Oilers. 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.”

Belov has a very interesting player card: 22 minutes a night in both regular season and playoffs, 4 goals at equal strength and 4 more on the PP plus a shorthanded goal–so it appears he has a nice range of skills. Belov is a lefty shooter so among Oiler defenseman would have a rather clear path to the PP (the current powerplay options are Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry, both RH shots) and that’s one major item in his favor in a battle for the roster. He’s big (6.04, 216) and the GM said at the beginning of this thing he expects him to make the team.

I don’t think he’s a lock for the top 6 on this roster. Let’s break it down.

2012-13 OILERS Reasonable Expectations (early estimate) and NHLE’s

  1. Justin Schultz 82, 12-25-37
  2. Anton Belov 66, 8-16-24 (using .65 as NHLE for KHL)
  3. Jeff Petry 78, 4-15-19
  4. Andrew Ference 71, 4-14-18
  5. Nick Schultz 70, 2-12-14
  6. Ladislav Smid 80, 0-9-9
  7. Philip Larsen 42, 2-3-5
  8. Corey Potter 2, 0-0-0
  9. Oscar Klefbom 1, 0-0-0

Belov should get a clear shot on the PP, and he certainly does have the offense to play and have success based on his most recent season. However, there’s not a long resume—just that one year, really–and we know that adjusting from the big ice to the small is a really difficult transition.

THE STARTING 7 (AN ESTIMATE)

  1. Smid-Petry: A history of success, in the last full NHL season they were taking on the toughs and succeeding. Both defenders looked off in 12-13 and one would hope a full training camp and a ‘normal’ season will see them regain their old form.
  2. Ference-J Schultz: Schultz the younger and Nick Schultz were not an effective pairing last season,but part of that was (imo) the younger man running out of gas (he played a lot of hockey in OKC, too). Schultz the elder had terrible instincts pinching in and I don’t really think he ever figured out Krueger’s system. The calm feet of Ference are probably a better fit for the roaming Schultz.
  3. N Schultz-Belov: Veteran Nick Schultz seems to be a little vulnerable with so many players trying to win a job on the Oiler blueline. I think he starts the year here, but is unlikely to survive the deadline. Belov is a very strong option for the 5-6-7 slotting to my eye, and I do think he wins it over Klefbom but that is not assured.
  4. Philip Larsen: Larsen is probably something of a wild card going into camp but his only real competition for this slot is Corey Potter, who belongs to a previous regime. If there’s one thing we know it’s that the #7 guy is going to play a lot due to injury, ineffectiveness etc. Potter is also in the mix and I think we should allow for the possibility that Edmonton carries 8 defenders.

That’s me adjusting the estimate by one, placing Belov ahead of Larsen and slotting both Potter and Klefbom into the insanely populated AHL. Is that better than the previous estimate, which flipped Larsen into #6 and Belov at #7?

Here are a few things I think I think about MacT/Eakins and the blue:

  • At some level this team will have to rely on Smid-Petry returning to their 2011-12 levels. I think that’s a good bet, a reasonable one. 
  • The Oilers badly wanted a stronger top 4D and hired Andrew Ference  to pair with one of Justin Schultz or Nick Schultz to make that happen. This is the first ‘slot’ Belov may be eligible to assume in a rational world. I do not think he’d be the best candidate, certainly not in October early.
  • Belov’s likely landing spot is the third pairing, or a rotation of three in the third pairing. Sussing that out is the key to the discussion we’re having right now. If we’re in Vegas and betting Belov, Larsen, Klefbom and Potter, which of these men score above 25% and which of them scores less than 10% at this point in time.
  • My estimate a few days ago went Larsen (50%), Belov (30%), Potter (10%) and Klefbom (10%). I tried switching them (above) but it still doesn’t work for me, I can’t get over the period of adjustment and the coaching staff’s conversations about Larsen and Potter who have NHL experience. When it comes to coaching staffs and defensemen with NHL experience–even if its only 100 games–bet on the experience.

So this is my compromise:

2012-13 OILERS Reasonable Expectations (early estimate) and NHLE’s

  1. Justin Schultz 82, 12-25-37
  2. Jeff Petry 78, 4-15-19
  3. Andrew Ference 71, 4-14-18
  4. Anton Belov 50, 6-12-18
  5. Nick Schultz 50, 1-10-11
  6. Ladislav Smid 80, 0-9-9
  7. Philip Larsen 52, 2-5-7
  8. Corey Potter 28, 2-2-4
  9. Oscar Klefbom 1, 0-0-0

Belov gets a slight push over Larsen. That’s my offer. He starts slow, ala Hejda, and when the team stumbles early sans Nuge then Eakins brings him in and he has success. The adjustment is not completely smooth, so Larsen and Potter draw back in with frequency until the New Year. The Oilers trade Nick Schultz at the deadline, Larsen wins the day and the third pairing becomes Belov-Larsen. Klefbom gets a callup at the end of the season for his first cup of coffee.

Thoughts?

 

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130 Responses to "THE DAWNS HERE ARE QUIET"

  1. russ99 says:

    The only reason I put Larsen over Belov (and Potter) is that he’s had success at the NHL level before, and has the all-around game to be successful with a lack of strength as his sole weakness.

    Last season’s regression seemed to happen due to injury and/or loss of confidence with a pinch of poor coaching. Pair him with a vet (N. Schultz for now) and we may be surprised with what we end up with. Plus he won’t leave Nick in poor spots as much as Justin did last season.

    As we saw last year, we’ll need 8 defensemen due to injury and/or ineffectiveness. So there should be plenty of icetime for all, and whoever plays the best gets a regular pairing.

    I really like how LT has set up the roster for a bunch of camp/preseason battles for playing time, as it should be.

  2. daryl says:

    This is the key for me: “Smid-Petry: Both defenders looked off in 12-13 and one would hope a full training camp and a ‘normal’ season will see them regain their old form.”

    “At some level this team will have to rely on Smid-Petry returning to their 2011-12 levels. I think that’s a good bet, a reasonable one.”

    Why do you think that’s a reasonable bet? I like Smid and Petry very much, just wondering where this sentiment comes from and how does the full training camp and normal season rectify the issues last year?

  3. böökje says:

    You’re wrong, Belov is a lock. Book it.

  4. daryl says:

    böökje:
    You’re wrong, Belov is a lock.Book it.

    Bookje it?

  5. Lowetide says:

    daryl:
    This is the key for me: “Smid-Petry: Both defenders looked off in 12-13 and one would hope a full training camp and a ‘normal’ season will see them regain their old form.”

    “At some level this team will have to rely on Smid-Petry returning to their 2011-12 levels. I think that’s a good bet, a reasonable one.”

    Why do you think that’s a reasonable bet?I like Smid and Petry very much, just wondering where this sentiment comes from and how does the full training camp and normal season rectify the issues last year?

    Last season, we didn’t get the full story. In 11-12, Smid and Petry actually played the tough minutes (after Gilbert was dealt) and were successful. That’s a huge item for such a young pairing.

    During the lockout Smid played, but Petry didn’t play at all. I think it’s reasonable to suggest the pairing will be back to previous levels in 2013-14. I think it’s reasonable to bet on them playing better in a full, or normal, season.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo:
    Почему ты ненавидишь Белов?

    (Why do you hate Belov?)

    Haha! And so it begins!! :-)

    I asked Travis Yost a question, he gave me an interesting answer.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Travis-Yost/Emptying-the-Mailbag/134/52826#.UeVQEo3qmLQ

  7. rich says:

    Those are good NHLE’s on Belov. If he can play in the 5/6 position and get some time on the PP this is a really good value pick up by MacT.

    Potter doesn’t make a lot of money ($775,000 on capgeek). If the Oilers try to send him down, it would not surprise me if a team that needs a cheap 7th d-man picks him up off waivers. Wonder if they’d try to move Larsen down if it comes down to the 2 of them because with him making more, fewer teams in cap trouble might be willing to pick him up (versus Potter)?

    Given this, I’d think the chances are 50/50 that the Oilers keep 8 d-men unless they don’t mind losing a d-man to waivers. My biggest concern w/only carrying 13 forwards is the health of Nuge’s shoulder’s and our current lack of depth at C position.

  8. Cobbler says:

    I agree with this assessment. Too much uncertainty right now for Belov in his NHL rookie season.

    I suspect, he’ll impress enough in TC to stay up and start on the 3rd pair. He’ll struggle early and then settle in around 10-15 games.

    That’s my guess anyway.

    With those types of offensive numbers you have to think they’ll give him a PP push along with Schultz and Petry. If he can translate the offense to the NHL then he will be an excellent player for the Oilers and provide much needed production from the back end.

    How much competition will there be for PP time with the D corps? How much PP time does Ference need?

    Does Eakins tend to employ 2D on the PP or 4F/1D? If Hemsky is gone and no other scoring touch brought in up front I can see them running 2D on the PP.

  9. Ca$h-Money! says:

    I agree that Belov starts at 3rd pairing. I think it’s also reasonable to assume that one of:

    Belov
    Schultz

    Have the potential to show tremendous advancement beyond expectations (vs. say Smid, or Ference). By the end of the season we could be talking about either of these guys as near-future first pairing options. Not a “book it” scenario, but a reasonable possibility.

    We could also be talking about Klefbom or Larsson as near term Top 4 D by the end of the season, as they too have lots of upside.

    For now though, the top of the order is shallow.

  10. Henry says:

    Woodguy came up with a nice interview article of Belov in yesterday’s thread. Belov came across like a real professional with reasonable assessment of his ability and prospects. He should get a real shot, especially if he can play the right side as a left shot.

    Belov should be over 50%. Fedun should be in the mix as well at perhaps 20%. He’s done what is asked so far, they have to see if he can skate at an NHL level after a second summer of training.

    My understanding was that Gernat can play both sides. Is this correct. OKC is overloaded on the left and this could perversely hurt Fedun’s shot at the show.

  11. daryl says:

    Lowetide: Last season, we didn’t get the full story. In 11-12, Smid and Petry actually played the tough minutes (after Gilbert was dealt) and were successful. That’s a huge item for such a young pairing.

    During the lockout Smid played, but Petry didn’t play at all. I think it’s reasonable to suggest the pairing will be back to previous levels in 2013-14. I think it’s reasonable to bet on them playing better in a full, or normal, season.

    That’s a fair response, although Gilbert was traded at the deadline in 2012, so the sample size after that is lower than the sample size for last year if you discount training camp and all that. That point aside, I sure do hope you’re right.

    I think a bigger contributing factor to this pairing performance will be the addition of Ference. Just a couple of shifts of the toughs off their plate may do wonders.

  12. lance says:

    What about playing a d man on wing? That’s an Oiler option sometimes, no?

  13. Lowetide says:

    Daryl: Agree completely. The Ference signing didn’t get many positive readings from the fanbase, but I liked it. Calm feet, as Louise says.

  14. Cobbler says:

    daryl,

    Daryl, think you’re on to something there with the addition of Ference helping out Smid and Petry. Last year Whitney couldn’t hold the fort against the toughs and Schultz Sr. was riding shotgun with Schultz Jr.

    The addition of Ference, Schultz Jr. going into his second season should add greatly to the balance on the roster. Something that was missing last year.

  15. Lowetide says:

    lance:
    What about playing a d man on wing? That’s an Oiler option sometimes, no?

    Now that MacT is back, Smid sleeps half the night. :-)

  16. sliderule says:

    I think Schultz the elder Larsen and Potter will all be traded before season.

    Schultz to a team with cap space .

    The other two to cap strapped teams for fourth line wingers.

  17. Jordan says:

    LT, I believe it was on a blog post last week there was some discussion about the underlying numbers for the various boston defenders depending on which side they were playing on.

    I also beleive there was some discussion last week about playing Ferrence as s RD, not a LD.

    If Ferrence is played as a RD, and if he is in the top 4, then the depth chart changes:

    Smid – Petry
    Belov/N. Schultz – Ferrence
    Belov/N. Schultz – J. Schultz
    Potter – Larsen

    Now, there’s every chance that this doesn’t happen, because Justin’s one of the fab five, it’s ferrence’s off-wing and the numbers showed he was much poorer there than his natural side.

    But – if Belov is considered a puck-mover, that provides excellent balance to the Oilers lineup by matching a defensive D with a puck-mover on each pairing.

    I agree the Larsen is the wildcard here. As a natural righty, he may be as effective on the RD as Ferrence simply due to it being his natural side.

    With both Larsen and Belov being relative unknowns… it’s going to be next to impossible to plan the D pairings. Ferrence being able to jump to either side isn’t going to make it any easier either.

    As for the early REs… I’d drop belov’s goals and add assists. NHL goalies are hard to score on, and its a lot easier to play the angles on the smaller ice. But he’s never played with players like 4 & 14 before, so if he can make a stretch pass, he’s going to make hay.

  18. SinceTheWHADays says:

    böökje,

    I agree. Belov has offence. He’ll quickly move into the 1-2 pairing with RH Petry by showing an ability to make quick decisions, break up the cycle and move the puck to fast fowards, plus he’ll contribute at a point/ 4 game clip, thus moving the shutdown guy Smid to the 3-4 slot with RH J. Shultz, or Ferrance, leaving the remainder to fight for ice time on the 5-6 pairing.

  19. Bar_Qu says:

    As I look at the pairings of Smid-Petry, Ference-J. Schultz, N. Schultz-Belov/Potter/Larsen, what I think I see is my defence by committee dream coming to light.

    None of the guys there are stand-alone top 4, but there is an argument for 5 of them to be top 4 pairing pieces. And if you can roll your forwards to complement your defense against the other team’s top lines, then you have an effective team offense/defense.

    Lemme ‘splain.

    Let say you are up against LA (I am using last year line combos b/c I don’t want to over do this). They throw out Kopitar-Brown-Williams – the Oil could respond with RNH-Hall-Eberle with Smid-Petry, or if Smid and Petry were just finishing a long shift and are gassed, then use Ference-J.Schultz.

    By combining their power hitting with either of the top two pairings, I believe the Oilers have enough to respond to the other team’s top lines.

    I think this is where the discussion of the D is maybe a little too parsed. We forget that the coach has not only the D to send the puck in the right direction, but a great arsenal of F too (and if they do in fact sign M. Raymond to go with Hemsky and Gordon as above link suggests, then they have three great 1-2 punch lines).

    Or as the Rolling Stones prophesied – Koo-koo-ka choo!

  20. Martin Lundén (dohfOs) says:

    D-pairings to start the season will be, Ference-Petry, Klefbom-Schultz, Smid-Belov, Larsen. Sure, it’s a possibility that they start with Smid-Petry just to see if their 11/12 chemistry is back and have Ference with Belov. Schultz the elder will be long gone when 13/14 commences. And I don’t see how Belov won’t crack the lineup. Oilers have their new Russian-friendly face to lose.

    Just as a note, Klefbom was told (pretty much promised) by the management that they wanted to pair and play him with Schultz the younger, had the Oil made the playoffs a couple of months back. And yes, they were ready to bring Klefbom into the lineup that soon.

    I’ll be shocked if Klefbom ain’t with the Oilers to start the season. He’s just _that_ good and I will stand by my word that Klefa’s a better defender than say Brodin and some certain overhyped Adam Larsson.

  21. spoiler says:

    The error is in thinking Ference was hired for the left side, when he was hired to play the side he mostlly played in Boston: the right.

    SMID PETR
    BELOV FERE
    SCHU SCHU
    LARS
    POTT

    …looks like the depth chart to me.

  22. Maverick says:

    Just a few thoughts on the defense.

    If Belov is in the Oilers top 4 starting the season than the other defensemen are not very good and it’s more of the same from the Oilers. Throwing a rookie even though he is 26 but a rookie in the NHL in the deep water to see if he sinks or swims. They will and should easy him in slowly to start the season, 3rd pairing with N. Schultz, and maybe some HS. By the 30 game mark if all goes well I could see him getting a little more ice time and could a Belov/Ference be a nice mix as a 2nd pairing. Justin Schultz could be handled by a more Keith Yandle approach, softer minutes, lots of PP time. He will definitely be better this year, hit the wall badly last year.

    This defense compared to last year is much better, no true #1 or #2 minute muncher but as a puck possession system it is much better than last year’s edition. Eakins system will be better than Ralph’s “run a around” system, and I think Petry will be much more successful with Eakins than Krueger.

    My question is this: With the new defense only (discounting Ralph’s system) how many more wins would they have gotten over last year? I think this defense is deeper and I would say 5-7 more wins last year if they had this defense. Thoughts??

  23. Dead Oiler walking says:

    I think that the period of adjustment for D coming to the smaller ice surface is overblown. They have a lot smaller area to defend so it is easier. It seems to me that as a % there are many more successful D from Europe than forwards. That should give an advantage to Belov and Klefbom.

  24. Mr DeBakey says:

    I think Schultz the elder Larsen and Potter will all be traded before season.

    So, no depth again?
    That should work.

    Ladislav Smid ($3.500m) * Jeff Petry ($1.750m)
    Anton Belov ($1.525m) * Andrew Ference ($3.250m)
    Nick Schultz ($3.500m) * Justin Schultz ($3.775m)
    Corey Potter ($0.775m)

  25. Lowetide says:

    Martin Lundén (dohfOs):
    D-pairings to start the season will be, Ference-Petry, Klefbom-Schultz, Smid-Belov, Larsen. Sure, it’s a possibility that they start with Smid-Petry just to see if their 11/12 chemistry is back and have Ference with Belov. Schultz the elder will be long gone when 13/14 commences. And I don’t see how Belov won’t crack the lineup. Oilers have their new Russian-friendly face to lose.

    Just as a note, Klefbom was told (pretty much promised) by the management that they wanted to pair and play him with Schultz the younger, had the Oil made the playoffs a couple of months back. And yes, they were ready to bring Klefbom into the lineup that soon.

    I’ll be shocked if Klefbom ain’t with the Oilers to start the season. He’s just _that_ good and I will stand by my word that Klefa’s a better defender than say Brodin and some certain overhyped Adam Larsson.

    Interesting. Thanks for that piece of news, Martin. Huh. Does change things for sure!

  26. SinceTheWHADays says:

    Looking at all this depth on D I think that many of these players could be interchangeable and the pairings will get sorted out by chemistry and which way they shoot (as referenced by what Adam Oats was talking about). Sure there are no Pronger’s, or Chara’s, but 6 players who can compliment each other as well as the top 6 forwards, and then augment the weaker bottom 6 by committee.

  27. daryl says:

    Cobbler:
    daryl,

    Daryl,think you’re on to something there with the addition of Ference helping out Smid and Petry.Last year Whitney couldn’t hold the fort against the toughs and Schultz Sr. was riding shotgun with Schultz Jr.

    The addition of Ference, Schultz Jr. going into his second season should add greatly to the balance on the roster.Something that was missing last year.

    Our D last year got knocked quite a bit, but in reality (LT, it might have been you who highlighted this first IIRC) we weren’t that bad, just everyone was up one spot on a “normal”, NHL depth chart from where they logically should have been for their experience and skill level. Its not that your D totally sucks and is exposed when a Pronger leaves, its that everyone slides up one spot and looks out of place and gives the appearance of sucking.

    I hope the Ference signing is going to help rectify this a tiny bit. He’s not a #1, minute eating shut down type guy, but he’s one more guy you can roll in your top 4 to take some heat off the others without chaos and hopefully give some easier minutes to the up-and-comers (like Shultz Jr)

  28. DBO says:

    Could we be looking at the D all wrong. We mostly assume Schultz the elder is gone at some point, but he seems like an Eakins kind of guy. I would not be surprised to see these pairings to start

    Smid-Petry
    Schultz Sr.-Ference
    Belov-Schultz Jr.

    2 vet 3/4 pairings, meaning Eakins can play 2 pairings with confidence in our own end, and hopefully feed the youngsters the gravy offensive minutes. Be an easier way to ease Belov in this coming year, and if he is paired with the younger, then the younger no longer has the sole responsibility of moving the puck out of the zone. Ference is solid at moving the puck, as is Petry, but those two pairings mean the kids get sheltered, and that is not a bad thing.

  29. Kirby says:

    I know this might not be reasonable, but I would like to see the results of the following pairs:

    Klefbom – Petry
    Ference – Schultz
    Smid – Belov
    Larsen

    Don’t look at the order (I’m not exactly sure which pairing would be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd), but I have a gut feeling Nick Schultz gets dealt at some point, and fairly early in the season. Potter would fight with Larsen for the #7 spot, and I am guessing the Oilers are more likely to roll with 8 dmen this year to compensate for injuries.

    I find the above pairings interesting because each pairing brings a little bit of everything.

    Klefbom – Petry: Klefbom is suppose to have a good first pass, and Petry would probably be considered our best known puck moving defensemen (Schultz Jr. is right there and will be better, but is still raw at this point in time). Petry can and is willing to throw hits, and Klefbom is definitely willing to engage physically. I think they would component each other nicely.

    Ference – Schultz: very prototypical stay-at- home + offensive defensemen pairing. I only see Schultz’s offensive getting better with the addition of the physical play, and quoting LT, calm feet of Ference. With a full year under his belt, he comes in better prepared to handle an 82 game schedule. While he most likely ran out of gas, there were many times last season that Schultz Jr. Bailed out Schultz Sr. with a brilliant back check to thwart breakaways or prevent them, suggesting to me Schultz Jr. will be better defensively this season.

    Smid – Belov: Belov knows he needs to utilize his big size to play a nastier, physical game in the NHL. Smid plays a gritty, physical NHL Game already, and would allow Belov the transition time to adjust to a more physical game. if reports hold true, Belov is already a good puck moving defensemen (Sounds like Petry with more of an edge to his game) and should be able to effectively move the puck in the right direction more often than not. Smid should be fairly adept at covering for most tiny rookie mistakes.

    I know it is never a good idea to break in multiple rookie NHL defensemen, but I don’t look at Belov as your prototypical rookie. Way to much professional experience, with exceptional results, to classify him as the typical rookie. Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel this could work really well and potentially shapes up to be a legitimate top 6 NHL defense.

    Thoughts?

  30. SinceTheWHADays says:

    DBO,

    Ya ya. I like this idea.

  31. popejordon says:

    “MacTEakins” just rolls of the tongue so beautifully. Please let this be a thing.

  32. daryl says:

    I have a question – does anyone have any ideas on the difficulty for a defenceman to go from big ice to small ice VS small ice to big ice? I’ve seen some good guys look stupid at Worlds etc going to big ice, but there aren’t that many players anymore without lots of small ice experince at those same tournaments for the flipside.

    Will Belov adjust? He’s a rookie, yes, but I don’t think he’s the typical rookie D. Smaller ice surface, and perhaps more importantly, the greater physicality of the NHL vs the KHL – how does he measure up?

  33. spoiler says:

    Belov will have a learning curve, but it should be short and sweet… The adjustment to smaller ice is more on the Forwards finding time and ice. I would say though that his lack of NHL experience makes him more likely to play LHD.

    Belov wouldn’t be coming without promise of playing time.

    The notion that the coaching staff doesn’t know what level his ability is at doesn’t fly with me.
    I expect they already know that Belov is a more complete defender than Jultz. Some are slotting him lower, because WE don’t know the level of his ability. We can’t transfer that ignorance to the GM and scouts.

    If Klefa moves up that’s fine:

    SMID PETR
    BELO FERE
    KLEF SCHU
    SCHU

  34. SinceTheWHADays says:

    Kirby,

    Ya ya. I like this idea too.

  35. SinceTheWHADays says:

    spoiler,

    Ya ya. Lets do this.

  36. SinceTheWHADays says:

    Needless to say Eakins will have a plethora of options, all of which look promising depending on the level of play. Some guys might exceed RE, some may not meet RE, some will get injured. It will probably be very fluid throughout the season…at least now we have the pieces to make adjustment along the way without hoping clubfoot Whitney can tow the line, which in hind sight we all knew he wouldn’t be able to.

  37. goldenchild says:

    Regarding Smid – Petry regaining form, Im wondering how much fall in play we saw from a number or regular performers last season was due to systems/coaching. After reading Tylers series and some other stuff over teh season at copper and blue last seasons results seem less reliable in terms of making declarations on individual players.. Im not sure it would of added a bunch of wins but I wonder if macT lookes at the coaching upgrade plus full season vs lockout shortened season and the upgrades of Ferrence over Whitney and Perron in top 6 and thinks outside of tinkering lets see what happens and then reassess in december.

    I still think the 3rd line loks diff in Sept then it does now and as much as Iw ould love to see 83 return I cant see that happening but I do think that macT see the coaching and systems as a key reason so many players seemingly fell down an elevator shaft last year. How big an improvement Eakins is, we will have to wait and see

  38. Lowetide says:

    What do MacTEakins have left to do on D? Done?

  39. SinceTheWHADays says:

    Lowetide,

    I think D by committee will work out better than we can anticipate, Eakins can provide a system that puts these players in a position to succeed and MacT can afford to be done without worrying about the D, thus moving his attention to acquire some help at C and the bottom 6. Done.

  40. rich says:

    Would think that the D is done until we get to camp and see who stands out. I wouldn’t be comfortable sending anyone out now because you can always count on there being injuries – and what looks like depth in July can quickly evaporate if you’re not careful.

    Trade from strength when the time is right. You’ve got a couple of cheap options – or a cheaper option (if the Phanuef rumor has any merit – him for Schultz the Elder).

  41. lance says:

    For Klef and Belov it could be closer to a CFL to NFL like shift. Both cannot both be expected to hit a solid for the start of this season. Requiring jSchultz to play significantly better than his last outing sounds like further gambling. And maybe lotteries.

    If the brass is for real about playoffs then right out of the gate they need 5/6 to be sure fire NHL players because if they guess wrong and lose too many they probably will struggle to close the gap to 8th. Closing ground mid season requires multiple 5 game winning streaks and while teams can do it in all sports, it never seems to happen sufficiently for those who haven’t made the playoffs in years.

    Slotting Belov into a significant role is fun and honourable, counting on him or Jr to cover LA’s forwards in a one goal game from the start of the year to me doesn’t scream playoffs. Good push for second half, fine. Playoffs? Idk.
    “It’s a war out there.” (Bob Geldov)

  42. Soup Fascist says:

    If Klefbom does in fact make the squad then I would like to see him play with Ference. IMO, and with all deference to Martin’s post above, (who I believe is pretty plugged in to Swedish hockey) Schultz Jr and Klefbom, as a pairing, would be absolutely thrown to the sharks 5 on 5. If the Oilers are going to push Klefbom to play next season I would hope they would have the common sense to put him with a wiley veteran.

    My first choice is Klefbom starts in OKC, but if it is not to be, my pairings (in no particular order)

    Ference – Klefbom (Ference can play R.S.)
    J. Schultz – Smid
    Petry – Belov

    Larsen

    I guess I am like everyone else thinking Schultz the elder should be moved. He was a disaster last year. Not sure if the pressure of having to play with a defensively challenged rookie got to him, but he was a shadow of the solid D-man I remember in Minnesota. What is clear is that SOMEONE needs to go if Klefbom is staying. My money is on Schultz Sr. but certainly other scenarios could play out. Belov is a big part of this. If he is in fact an NHL calibre defenseman and Schultz Sr. is tough to move, a Petry or Smid could come into play. I realize that sounds strange as the Oilers are not overly strong on defense, but we have too many 4 – 7s and not any 1s or 2s …….. yet.

    Potter is an AHL defenseman / NHL call up IMO and is not part of my discussion.

  43. supernova says:

    Martin Lundén (dohfOs):
    D-pairings to start the season will be, Ference-Petry, Klefbom-Schultz, Smid-Belov, Larsen. Sure, it’s a possibility that they start with Smid-Petry just to see if their 11/12 chemistry is back and have Ference with Belov. Schultz the elder will be long gone when 13/14 commences. And I don’t see how Belov won’t crack the lineup. Oilers have their new Russian-friendly face to lose.

    Just as a note, Klefbom was told (pretty much promised) by the management that they wanted to pair and play him with Schultz the younger, had the Oil made the playoffs a couple of months back. And yes, they were ready to bring Klefbom into the lineup that soon.

    I’ll be shocked if Klefbom ain’t with the Oilers to start the season. He’s just _that_ good and I will stand by my word that Klefa’s a better defender than say Brodin and some certain overhyped Adam Larsson.

    Excellent insight,

    I agree that Oiler management has essentially guaranteed Klefbom a job here, they talk about him so highly, that the only way he is not in the Line-up opening day is either Injury or he is completely out of place when the NHL’ers arrive in camp.

    The latter part of that I don’t think will happen, as Stauffer has said a few times that at practice Klefbom was already better than Fistric and Peckham, and Stauffer also is very low on Potter continually saying other team mates don’t think he is as good as other D not playing (Whitney, Fistric).

    I keep thinking Detriot would be a good trading partner for Edmonton. They are above the cap, but Have Bertuzzi as a possible LTIR.

    I wonder if they would be interested in Michigan boy and Renney Favorite Corey Potter.

    I would love to get Abdelkader from them. He would fit our 3rd line need.

    Other possible candidates Detroit might look at trading would likely be

    Tootoo
    Helm
    Quincey

    Personally I would take Helm, he is not the size we need but he has all world speed and is a very effective player, not sure what the fancy stats say.

    Potter on his own wouldnt net us Helm or Abdelkader but shipping them another asset might get us there.

  44. Mr DeBakey says:

    A couple of things here, in addition to depth:

    Manage minutes – Belov, Schultz, & Klefbom too. Until Christmas keep their minutes as low as possible so after game 60 there is still sumthin in the tank.

    Manage contracts – Did I not read that if Klefbom plays less than 45 NHL games, his UFA status is pushed 1 year down the road? Case solvid, play him less than 45 NHL games. Seriously.

    Manage expectations – D rookies don’t help a team to win NHL games, or, rather, they lose way more than they win.

  45. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    What do MacTEakins have left to do on D? Done?

    I think the answer to “Done?” is both yes and no.

    “Yes, they’re done.”

    This team has 5 genuine NHL d-men (Petry, Smid, Ference, N. Schultz, J. Schultz). I add J. Schultz even though he’s only had 48 games of experience because he really has nothing to prove at the AHL level. His ideal place on the depth chart is certainly arguable, but no team would consider sending him back down to the AHL at this point, arguably even Detroit, after he completely destroyed that league.

    The 6th spot is not filled and has genuine internal competition: Larsen has played in this depth spot on Dallas the last two seasons, so he’s a reasonable option. Belov is one of the top defenders from the KHL and is a reasonable option on the 6th spot. Klefbom is highly regarded and based on verbal / saw-him-good reports from the development camp, he may be a step ahead of all the other young D the Oilers have. Potter is probably a bit under-rated and has performed well in the depth role when not paired with Whitney. Fedun has performed admirably in the AHL and has possibly earned a shot at a depth spot on the NHL team. If the Oilers were relying on any ONE of these guys to fill out a roster, it would be a poor bet. Having five options gives them competition. If Belov struggles, Larsen is in. If Klefbom excels, he’s in. If there’s an injury, call up Fedun / Potter. There are reasonable depth options here for the first time in awhile. Thus, MacTEakins are done.

    “No, they’re not done.”

    What this team is missing is another bonafide top-pairing D-man. Note, he doesn’t have to be a #1 D-man, just a top pairing one. Let’s call this guy “Coburn”, acknowledging that it doesn’t have to be that player, just someone like him. Since the Oilers have depth on D, they can lose one of their D in the trade. The best scenario for the Oilers would be moving N. Schultz in the trade, however that may be difficult to pull off, as top pairing D-men don’t come cheap, even when the team is in cap trouble. A top four of Coburn, Petry, Smid, Ference is one that can challenge for the playoffs (IMHO), leaving J. Schultz for the 3rd pairing and letting Belov, Larsen, Klefbom, Potter, and Fedun battle it out for the last spot / injury fill-in.

    If “Coburn” can’t be acquired by losing N. Schultz and instead requires losing Smid or Petry, I feel like the Oilers are making a somewhat more lateral move. Perhaps this is why MacT is done on D for now, unless something shakes loose for N. Schultz plus prospects / picks.

  46. Woodguy says:

    spoiler:
    The error is in thinking Ference was hired for the left side, when he was hired to play the side he mostlly played in Boston: the right.

    You are incorrect.

    Ferenece played mostly left side in Boston.

    In this post: http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/07/the-story-of-a-man-ready-to-make-a-connection.html/comment-page-1#comment-239289

    I detailed Ference’s TOI over the past 3 years with other BOS defenders.

    Boychuck and McQuaid shoot right and Ference played the left side with them.

    Chara shoots left and for sure Ference played right side with him.

    Seidenberg shoots left and I am unsure who played which side on that pairing (Seidenberg played right when with Chara)

    Let’s assume that Ference played right with Seidenberg, but that’s not a for sure.

    Ference TOI on last 3 years = 2430:

    TOI playing the left side with RHD
    MCQUAID, ADAM 1101min
    BOYCHUK, JOHNNY 538min

    Total time on LHS = 1639min, or 67.44% of the time.

    TOI playing the right side with LHD
    CHARA, ZDENO 452min
    SEIDENBERG, DENNIS 339min

    Total time on RHS = 791min or 32.55% of the time.

    Even with assuming he played the right side with Seidenberg, he still played the LHS 67% of the time.

    I’ll try to find out which side he played with Seidenberg.

    Penciling him in on the LHS is correct.

  47. Hammers says:

    No time for reading other comments . Think your wrong and Belov & Klefbom play .Smid drops down to 3rd pair & N.Schultz is odd man out .Petry/Belov ; J.schultz/Ference ; Smid Klefbom but agree 8 “D” will be carried Larsen/Potter . N.Schultz traded before Sept . Klefbom probably should go to AHL but Eakins keeps him up .

  48. linkfromhyrule says:

    Soup Fascist,

    I agree with your take on the klefbom Schultz jr pairing. Maybe in a year or two down the road? I would be ok with seeing those two as a pairing long term but not in klefbom’s first year! Those two should be paired up with a veteran like you say.

    The unfortunate thing I’m seeing here is that there may not be any way to get around splitting up Smid and Petry. They are/have been a good pairing for us.

  49. misfit says:

    Lowetide: Last season, we didn’t get the full story. In 11-12, Smid and Petry actually played the tough minutes (after Gilbert was dealt) and were successful. That’s a huge item for such a young pairing.

    During the lockout Smid played, but Petry didn’t play at all. I think it’s reasonable to suggest the pairing will be back to previous levels in 2013-14. I think it’s reasonable to bet on them playing better in a full, or normal, season.

    While that’s all true, the sample size of Smid-Petry as a good tough minutes pairing in 11-12 is equally small. That pairing really only showed up after Gilbert left, and he played 47 games with the Oilers meaning Smid-Petry were only together for around 35 games. There is really no more proof that they can handle the role than there is that they can’t. Even in 11/12, I felt that the top pairing looked better with Gilbert on it than Petry.

    I don’t care how many defenders we might have, I still think we should be offering a contract to Gilbert right now. He’s quality and some team is going to get a terrific defenseman at a major discount this offseason. I hate to think that we’re missing out on him because we got Larsen (a vastly inferior player IMO) from the Horcoff trade.

  50. sliderule says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    Klefbom is going to play in NHL.

    Fedun or Marcinin will alternate between number seven and AHL.

    They have to find out what the youngsters can do .

    There will be lots of shuffling between AHL and NHL for forwards and defence.

  51. admiralmark says:

    It’s funny how you throw out the word “reasonable” as a crux of your statement and the commentary goes awry.. lol I would say your reasonable would be a safe bet as to about what “should” occur. But since MacT is not averse to risk the wrench in the machinery for you is Klefbom. As a few have said he is destined to be at min a 3rd pairing D to start the season.
    This would mean Potter and Larssen fighting it out for the scrap min’s or going down to OKC. The more I look at this list the more I become comfortable with the D assembled. Even though an actual #1 D would be an absolute elixir to this D. The addition of Ference seems to give a great deal of stability throughout all 3 pairings that we havent seen in a long time. Its almost as if the D lineup is full of 2nd pairing D men.. which isnt such a bad thing?

  52. TheOtherJohn says:

    What a refreshing idea: if someone disagrees with you, simply assume they are wrong.

    No one. Not a single person that posts here has any clue how Belov is going to do here.Nada.Bupkas. We are all hoping he can play better than 3rd pairing minutes. I know I am. If he is capable of sliding up to the 2nd pairings that is great news for the Oilers. May not be a strong 2nd pairing but still good news.

    Off of what we saw last year J Schultz is incapable of playing 2nd pairing minutes. So everyone keeps repeatedly slotting him into the 2nd pairing. I guess if it is done frequently enough it can overcome the statistical defensive blackhole that was JSchu trying to defend good players.It certainly not to say he cannot grow into that role but he certainly was incapable of it last year. Nor do I think pairing him with Ference makes his defensive lapses go away.

    If by playing Klefbom in OKC for half a year pushes his free agency back a year placing him in the AHL is the smart move. That is leaving aside that he only played 11 games last year (40 the year before including the WJHC). Throw him in OKC and give him 1st pairing, PP and PK. Bring him up 50 games into season.

    Expect that the Oilers will have him play here because ……….Oilers. Psst that is not a compliment

    Been meaning to ask LT you quite rightly point to playoff TOI as proof of Ference, at age 34, being a top 4 D. What are your view/coments on his Vollman sledgehammer

    Oh and to those of you who a) think this will be a good D; and b) think Klefbom and JSchu are going to play top pairing in a season or two: You are wrong or we are still picking in the top 5 at the draft

  53. TheOtherJohn says:

    Admiral Mark

    Smid ,Petry and Ference (subject to Lt’s comments on Ference and the Vollman Sledgehammer) are 2nd pairing D.

    Everyone else is a 3rd pairing D, press box healthy scratch or OKC.

  54. dessert1111 says:

    Are we certain that MacT actually wanted Larsen in the Horcoff deal? I don’t recall much verbal about him. The way I saw it is that he had an off year and the Stars had 7 other defensemen they’d rather have in the NHL at this point, kind of like Fistric last year. Maybe they threw Larsen in as a sweetener to get Horcoff, or, maybe even they thought he might clear waivers and didn’t want to be on the hook for his salary.

    Based on what MacT and others have said about Belov, I think he is #6 at worst, with a fairly good shot at being #5 or even top 4. It will depend on how he adjusts to the NA game. You’re right — he could adjust poorly and be pushed down the depth chart, but I think a reasonable expectation puts him ahead of Larsen.

    I also think that a defenseman or 2 is going to be traded, though. I’m hoping N Schultz but wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s Smid, depending on the return. They are trying to transform the blue and I don’t know if N Schultz fits anymore, he has only one year left, he’s aging, etc.

    I think the #6 spot will be a battle among Potter, Larsen, Klefbom, Fedun and maybe Marincin. One of Potter and Larsen will likely be slotted at #7 because you don’t want a prospect in that slot. This is assuming someone higher in the pecking order gets traded, which, barring an early injury, I think is fairly likely.

  55. hodgkins says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    I think that you’re correct about no one knowing what will happen with Belov, but I also think that to say in the same post that you know what Klefbom/Schultz are going to be in two seasons is a bit contradictory.

    Minnesota fans probably would have said the same thing about Brodin before they acquired Suter. Too early to tell.

  56. Factotum says:

    Speculation is fun, but there are a couple of key unknowns:
    - Is MacT finished reshaping the D?
    - How good are Belov and Klefbom *really*?

    Until we know, we don’t know.

    Here’s what I do think: Sending out a top 6 with two NHL rookies and without a proper first-pairing defenseman would be a path leading straight to the lottery.

  57. Woodguy says:

    Weather looks much better for the rest of your vacation week LT.

    God must have taken pity on your Roughrider pain and given you this.

    One of Smid and N.Shultz won’t be on the camp roster I think.

    Still too early to know all the details.

    More will come before camp.

    Gagner deal getting done has to happen first and that means last week of July/first week of August if they take it down to the wire.

  58. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide,

    Who is Travis Yost anyway, some sort of Shock Jacques?

  59. Woodguy says:

    dessert1111,

    Good point about Larsen.

    Apparently he was passed by others on the DAL depth chart.

    Probably a real competition at the bottom roster.

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’m just going to repeat what I said the last two times this came up.

    Belov is clear of N. Schultz IMO.

    But he’s not a top 4 yet by any means. I think some over-estimate his place on the opening day roster.

    So… either N. Schultz is gone and he plays 3rd pairing LD, or N. Schultz switches sides (which he has done before) and he plays 3rd pairing LD.

    I think assuming one of MacT’s big signings (recall how much emphasis we are putting on GM loyalty to his own acquisitions) is playing #7 is off the mark.

    The language MacT and Belov used describes a public commitment from both that doesn’t suggest “hope and see” so much as “ready to wear.”

    Why is Belov ahead of N. Schultz: two reasons… Belov has puck moving ability and some offensive. N. Schultz, at this point, is an older, less effective Smid. MacT said he wanted puck moving ability in his D.

    Without Fistric and Peckham… Belov may be the only member of this D roster with some crazy. The fact that he is also said to be an effective puck mover makes him IMO a lock for a roster spot.

    In sum, I think the opposite is going to happen to this:

    “Belov gets a slight push over Larsen. That’s my offer. He starts slow, ala Hejda, and when the team stumbles early sans Nuge then Eakins brings him in and he has success.”

    I think they start him fast, top 6 out of the box and assess from there. If he sinks, he goes down or out, if he swims he either move up the chart or wears a deep groove into that 3rd pairing.

  61. Gret99zky says:

    The D and bottom 6 as it stands is going to keep this team far, far away from the post-season.

    Gord help them when the injury bug hits. But that never happens to the Oilers, right. RIGHT?

    Please MacT don’t be done.

  62. TheOtherJohn says:

    Gret99zky:
    The D and bottom 6 as it stands is going to keep this team far, far away from the post-season.

    Gord help them when the injury bug hits.But that never happens to the Oilers, right.RIGHT?

    Please MacT don’t be done.

    Who’s Gord?

  63. böökje says:

    TheOtherJohn:

    No one. Not a single person that posts here has any clue how Belov is going to do here.Nada.Bupkas.

    I am absolutely certain that he is able to skate. He can probably even do crossovers when turning.

    We can take the available information and develop projections based upon past experience. We can take what we know of the player and the league (KHL) and estimate his performance in the NHL. We do the same thing (with fewer variable) when we project how players from other teams will perform when they move within the NHL. I would bet that most analysts would project Belov as being capable of successfully performing at either the second or third pairing on an NHL team with a reduced liklihood of his either exceeding his expectations and becoming a top pairing guy, a very very low unlikelihood of his becoming a top 10 NHL D-man. At the other end, I suspect it is unlikely that he is incapable of playing in the NHL as a 3rd pairing defenseman and almost no likelihood of his coming here and not being able to skate.

  64. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    TheOtherJohn: Who’s Gord?

    You know… the Big Gord in the lounge down the hall that personally intervenes into the lives of hockey players. that guy.

  65. zatch says:

    LT, isn’t the adjustment to big ice presumably already a factor in the KHL’s NHLE? I would assume there’s no need to apply it twice in estimates.

    Is there a dance partner out there that might be willing to do Hemsky and Old Man Schultz for a top 2 D-man and some bottom 6 help? Maybe throw in a prospect or a pick to make it work? Or alternatively, dangle the first for something big/multiple bottom 6 players?

  66. Woodguy says:

    As per Gene Principe twitter Sam Gagner’s arbitration meeting is July 22nd.

    Less than a week from now.

    Let the guessing commence!

    I’m in for 4 years x 4.55 with a NTC

    Obv. Assuming the do the deal before going to arb.

  67. Kitchener says:

    LT,

    To my point yesterday, the comments gang here is not a “well organized crowd.” We are a mob. We have the potential to become organized, but at present we do not meet the criteria of a wise crowd according to Surowiecki’s research. The statistical variance of a mob vs a well organized crowd is substantial.

    To turn this group into a well organized crowd capable of nailing right answers consistently, we would each need to be significantly motivated to be correct. For example, we would each submit a depth chart and the winner would get $1000 or anyone with 2 or more wrong answers would loose a finger. In contrast, a comments section has no consequences, so people come up with BS just for the sake of typing.

    Us mobsters might be right about Belov, but listening to us is hardly a sure thing.

    As for my thoughts on D, I suspect we’ll have a Leafs-style 8-man rotation until the Komisareks and Schenns fall out of the rotation on their own. It worked for the Leafs and Eakins had a good seat to watch it unfold. Hopefully Klefbom survives the transition.

  68. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    As per Gene Principe twitter Sam Gagner’s arbitration meeting is July 22nd.

    Less than a week from now.

    Let the guessing commence!

    I’m in for 4 years x 4.55 with a NTC

    Obv. Assuming the do the deal before going to arb.

    4 years and 4.54M/year NTC :-)

    We’re playing closest to without going over, right? :-)

  69. linkfromhyrule says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    What a refreshing idea: if someone disagrees with you, simply assume they are wrong.

    No one. Not a single person that posts here has any clue how Belov is going to do here.Nada.Bupkas.We are all hoping he can play better than 3rd pairing minutes. I know I am. If he is capable of sliding up to the 2nd pairings that is great news for the Oilers. May not be a strong 2nd pairing but still good news.

    Off of what we saw last year J Schultz is incapable of playing 2nd pairing minutes. So everyone keeps repeatedly slotting him into the 2nd pairing. I guess if it is done frequently enough it can overcome the statistical defensive blackholethat was JSchu trying to defend good players.It certainly not to say he cannot grow into that role but he certainly was incapable of it last year. Nor do I think pairing him with Ference makes his defensive lapses go away.

    If by playing Klefbom in OKC for half a year pushes his free agency back a year placing him in the AHL is the smart move. That is leaving aside that he only played 11 games last year (40 the year before including the WJHC). Throw him in OKC and give him 1st pairing, PP and PK. Bring him up 50 games into season.

    Expect that the Oilers will have him play here because ……….Oilers. Psst that is not a compliment

    Been meaning to ask LT you quite rightly point to playoff TOI as proof of Ference, at age 34, being a top 4 D. What are your view/coments on his Vollman sledgehammer

    Oh and to those of you who a) think this will be a good D; and b) think Klefbom and JSchu are going to play top pairing in a season or two: You are wrong or we are still picking in the top 5 at the draft

    sooo.. what your saying is that despite the fact our defense has improved as a whole (due to addition by subtraction, new coaching system, etc.), and that our young guns are now one year further along in their development we are going to do worse than last year and instead pick top 5 again. Give me a break. I understand being an oiler fan for this long can make a guy pessimistic but that’s looking at a half full glass and saying its empty.

    I think it is reasonable to say we will at least stay at or improve on last seasons position in the standings. Perhaps having the chance to play every team in the league at least twice may throw a wrench in things one way or another. There are some pretty bad teams in the eastern conference

  70. TheOtherJohn says:

    Bookje

    Pretty sure LAK and Edm Oilers both projected Colten Tuebert to develop along the lines you suggest for Belov..Slightly longer development timeframe but almost all #10 picks should be roster D. How’d that work out?

    Am sure Belov will make roster. If not MacT will have to admit a mistake, i.e. his first signing was a mistake. Not very likely. That said, he could be a #7, 2nd or 3rd pairing guy. time will tell.

    Pretty sure Belov can skate but it is the Oilers

    Beauty of all pro sports is that we have zero clue untill young man starts to compete against what he hopes are his peers at the highest pro level. Patrice bergeron, Tom Brady, Chandler Parsons are exceptions in a good way. Clint Hursdle David Clyde exceptions although not quite in the same way

  71. Jordan says:

    Lowetide,

    Woodguy,

    There’s no way this thing gets done with Sam walking away with less than 5 per.

    8 points in one game = Gretzky & Coffee Territory. How much would they be worth in on the open market today?

    Most people on this blog know that Sam hasn’t gotten to spend a lot of time playing with the wunderkids the last few seasons, and when he has, he’s put up points.

    If I was this kid’s agent, I’d be telling him the cap will be rising, teams will have more money next year, and if the Oilers don’t want to pay market rate, he should go to arb, take the deal they give him, and go UFA next year.

    If Filpulla got 5 this year, Sam could get 6+ easy next year.

    Presuming a NMC is worth 0.5M – 1.0 M per, this deal easily looks like:

    5 X 5.5 – NMC

    I’d still take it, and be happy with it.

  72. jonrmcleod says:

    I’m wondering if everyone saw the Twitter conversation between Perron and Gagner yesterday. I interpret Gagner’s reply as evidence that he’s expecting to be in Edmonton next season.

    Perron:

    Only played with @89SGagner before in 2007 for the Canada/Russia superseries! Was a lot of fun! No one else on the current roster.

    Gagner:

    @DP_57 Good times those were :). Hopefully we can re-create that winning feeling in Edmonton.

  73. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: 4 years and 4.54M/year NTC

    We’re playing closest to without going over, right?

    Bastard.

  74. Woodguy says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Pretty sure LAK and Edm Oilers both projected Colten Tuebert to develop along the lines you suggest for Belov..Slightly longer development timeframe but almost all #10 picks should be roster D. How’d that work out?

    Projecting 17 year olds isn’t like projecting a 26 year old, who made a very good national team and has been in pro hockey for 5 years.

    Now that Tuebert is 23 and has been pro for 3 years, its pretty clear what he is.

    Many of us hated Tuebert being a part of the Penner trade from day 1.

  75. Woodguy says:

    Jordan:
    Lowetide,

    Woodguy,

    There’s no way this thing gets done with Sam walking away with less than 5 per.

    8 points in one game = Gretzky & Coffee Territory.How much would they be worth in on the open market today?

    Most people on this blog know that Sam hasn’t gotten to spend a lot of time playing with the wunderkids the last few seasons, and when he has, he’s put up points.

    If I was this kid’s agent, I’d be telling him the cap will be rising, teams will have more money next year, and if the Oilers don’t want to pay market rate, he should go to arb, take the deal they give him, and go UFA next year.

    If Filpulla got 5 this year, Sam could get 6+ easy next year.

    Presuming a NMC is worth 0.5M – 1.0 M per, this deal easily looks like:

    5 X 5.5 – NMC

    I’d still take it, and be happy with it.

    The market this summer was:

    Bozak $4.2
    Weiss $4.9
    Fippula $5.0

    Its tough to argue that Gagner is going to get more than Weiss.

    The Fippula contract is terrible (maybe Yz should have consulted Tambellini?) but is a one for Gagner’s camp to lean on.

    Given those 3 contracts, I don’t see Sam getting more.

    If the rumours are true and he’s demanding a NTC, those can cost the player money to get (unless they are signing with Calgary)

    So 1 RFA year at $4.0, then 1st UFA year at $4.5MM then next two around $5MM

    I might be low.

    We’ll see.

  76. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: 4 years and 4.54M/year NTC

    We’re playing closest to without going over, right?

    Wait!

    If its without going over, you just screwed yourself sir!

    Stay away from the whiskey before noon.

    :)

  77. VanOil says:

    I would give Gagner 5M X 8 Years. No NTC, heavy bonus structure (1M per year). He is then either trade-able, terrific or reasonably priced. He is young enough that 8 years is no big deal, plus with the NHL cap inflation rate the last 2 to 3 years of the contract are likely to be 3L C money.

    My guess is that it will be a 5M X 1 year deal that blows up in the Oilers face as 2L centers don’t grow on tree’s even defensively frail ones.

  78. TheOtherJohn says:

    The Kings projected a 17 year old.

    The Oilers were not projecting a 17 year old. They were dealing with a 21 year old who played a full year in pro hockey.

    But a #10 OV projects to be NHL roster D man. But projections are just that. We will know what we have with Belov when he gets here and plays 50 agmes

  79. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Wait!

    If its without going over, you just screwed yourself sir!

    Stay away from the whiskey before noon.

    :)

    No I didn’t. You have $100,000 window to be correct. I get all below that number, someone will go $100,000 higher. You’re boxed in! NEver go in against a Sicilian when DEATH IS ON THE LINE!!!!!

  80. Kris11 says:

    Here is a syllogism:

    Every time the Oilers hype a young player as being ready to play, that player is in the lineup on opening night, regardless of whether the player is really ready.

    The Oilers have hyped Klefbom as being ready to play.

    Therefore, Klefbom will be in the lineup on opening night, regardless of whether he is ready.

    Bookjie it.

    You could say that we only know that the Oilers have always treated young players like that and the past and we can’t be sure they will keep doing it. But then again, we can only be sure the sun has always risen in the past too. But the sun keeps rising and the Oilers keep putting kids in the lineup regardless of readiness.

  81. Kris11 says:

    I say this is the starting 7, for better or worse:

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

    Not good enough, IMO. The top 4 needs a star player somewhere in there.

    Maybe J.Schultz or Klefbom explodes and is a real top 4 guy next season, but now we’re back to hoping kids can be star players right out of the gate. Bah.

  82. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Kris11: The Oilers have hyped Klefbom as being ready to play.

    I think we need to take MacT’s words more directly. He is clearly high on Klefbom… but he is a little further from where we keep saying he is.

    Every time I’ve heard him praise Klefbom he’s thrown in a caveat, a qualifier or a squishy bit of wiggle room for himself. Take for example:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/5/24/4362424/mactavish-talks-to-season-ticket-holders

    I’m always a little bit skeptical when I hear very positive things without having seen them myself. I wanted to spend that trip, get over, take a look at Oscar and we have high hopes that he’ll be a part of our team very quickly. Whether he needs some time, we like to think that all players are benefited from some sort of time in the American Hockey League. Oscar, having played with men this year, might be an exception, but that will be determined at training camp for him.

    He goes out of his way to say Klefbom may see the AHL and it would probably benefit him… even if he might be ready… because ALL players benefit from it.

    I think both things can be true: MacT is in love with Klefbom AND is willing to hold him back until he is ready to kill it.

    I also think we shouldn’t discount the UFA status thing… BTW we should be spamming the Oilers with that piece of information on the off-chance they are unaware of it (see Ricky O)

  83. böökje says:

    Lowetide: No I didn’t. You have $100,000 window to be correct. I get all below that number, someone will go $100,000 higher. You’re boxed in! NEver go in against a Sicilian when DEATH IS ON THE LINE!!!!!

    I say 4 years x 4.551 with or without a NTC.

  84. böökje says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Bookje

    Pretty sureLAKand Edm Oilers both projected Colten Tuebert to develop along the lines you suggest for Belov..Slightly longer development timeframe but almost all#10 picks should be roster D. How’d that work out?

    Am sure Belov will make roster. If not MacT will have to admit a mistake, i.e. his first signing was a mistake. Not very likely. That said, he could be a #7, 2nd or 3rd pairing guy. time will tell.

    Pretty sure Belov can skate but it is the Oilers

    Beauty of all pro sports is that we have zero clue untill young man starts to compete against what he hopes are his peers at the highest pro level. Patrice bergeron, Tom Brady, Chandler Parsons are exceptions in a good way. Clint Hursdle David Clyde exceptions although not quite inthe same way

    Zero clue would mean Belov is as likely to be a time travelling brain surgeon as he is to be a third line defender on the Oilers. I am afraid you have a hyperbole problem.

    Belov’s age greatly reduce the variability of what he will be.

  85. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    A sidebar to play with.

    This year we will have a full TC and run of exhibition games to mull over… as will the mgt. and coaching staffs.

    Since, these will largely help determine the opening night roster and the lines… And, since we can expect a certain amount of playfulness with both…

    what kinds of things do we expect to see tried through the exhibition games? (hall at Centre? RNH on the second line with Gags on the first?)

    how many of the bubble players will get serious game consideration? (Hamilton? Acton? Rajala? Arco? Miller? etc.)

    do we expect to see more offerings given to the big fellas (Eager, Joensu, Brown) or the little skilled fellas (Rajala, Arco) in constructing potential bottom 6 F?

  86. böökje says:

    Lowetide: No I didn’t. You have $100,000 window to be correct. I get all below that number, someone will go $100,000 higher. You’re boxed in! NEver go in against a Sicilian when DEATH IS ON THE LINE!!!!!

    You know that moments later the Sicilian is dead right?

  87. Ribs says:

    They like Gagner way too much. I’ll say 5×5.6 with serious concern that it might be more than that.

  88. Jordan says:

    böökje: I say4 years x 4.551 with or without a NTC.

    Well, I could just bid a dollar… but this has to be posted now.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QJiAK-s5a0

    B****.

  89. Wolfpack says:

    If Klefbom is in the starting line-up this season, the Oilers are asking for trouble. Have we not learned from past experience that rookie defencemen cause chaos? Klefbom is a rookie, J. Shultz is practically a rookie and Belov is a pseudo-rookie. Poor Dubnyk is about to get shelled again.

    First thing Eakins should have asked MacT is – did you promise the kid an NHL job? If you did, you’d better un-promise it.

  90. Doomoil says:

    Gagner – 6 years, 4.75 with a nmc kicking in after year 2.

  91. misfit says:

    8 years…$5.2M AAV.

    Everyone will hate it, but by year 3 there will be 15+ contracts to lesser forwards for more money.

  92. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    5 of the 16 Arb cases are Jets.

    Loclal radio highlighting the *arbitrary* nature of the cases….which is why both parties try to avoid.
    Some arbitraters have no knowledge of hockey.

    Most players come out feeling like they have gone through a divorce….

    Hate to see Sam go through the arbitration.

  93. wheatnoil says:

    Ribs:
    They like Gagner way too much. I’ll say 5×5.6 with serious concern that it might be more than that.

    I’m betting 4 x $5 mill, limited NTC or 4 x $5.5 with no NTC.

    Gagner has too much leverage here. If I’m his agent, I’d tell him to accept nothing less than the above or go to arbitration, take the one year settlement, and then go UFA next year and probably get 7 years x $6 million or greater. If there’s a 4 at the beginning of Gagner’s contract, then MacT is a witch!

  94. G Money says:

    Woodguy: The market this summer was:
    Bozak $4.2
    Weiss $4.9
    Fippula $5.0
    Its tough to argue that Gagner is going to get more than Weiss.

    I find it interesting that we can look at the same data and draw exactly the opposite conclusions!

    I think the Bozak, Weiss, and especially Filppula deals set an extremely high contract benchmark – possibly an unaffordable one for the Oilers – for Gagner.

    Rationale: All three players are forwards, so points are going to be more heavily weighted than any other measure. Recent seasons are going to be more heavily weighted than earlier seasons. Bozak’s best season is well back of Gagner’s best, while Filppula’s and Weiss’ best seasons aer comparable to Gagner’s season last year (on a pro-rated basis). Gagner outperformed Bozak considerably, and Filppula and Weiss by a wide margin, last season. As I’ve pointed out a few times, Gagner finished 17th in points for centremen, and 22nd in PPG. That is clearly 1C territory.

    So … my worry is that this collection of data can easily be interpreted to mean that Gagner’s contract value starts at about 5×5.5M and only then begins to trade off cash value for things like term and NTC.

    And while I am a fan of Gagner, I’m not sure the Oilers can pay $5.5M for a 2C.

  95. Kris11 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    They said the might send Nuge back to junior, too. They always say “might be on the team” but you know they mean “will be.” Twas always this.

  96. denny33 says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Which is sad for the oilers…because I remember when we made the trade for Teubert that I read that he was having trouble making the Kings AHL farm team…so naturally we had to get in on that action…

  97. Kris11 says:

    I’d say Gagner signs at 5 x 5.2.

  98. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Kris11:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    They said the might send Nuge back to junior, too. They always say “might be on the team” but you know they mean “will be.” Twas always this.

    Fair enough. But if we are going to be parsing Oilers’ mgt. on Klefbom’s readiness, we ought to be parsing all their words, allowing that we are free to assume dissembling on their part*.

    *of course, as with LT’s post on Nurse yesterday, this dissembling could go the other direction too, right?

  99. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Kris11: They said the might send Nuge back to junior, too. They always say “might be on the team” but you know they mean “will be.” Twas always this.

    They said they might send Eberle back to junior too.

    Oh wait, they did.

  100. PaperDesigner says:

    Five years, 4.8 per, limited NTC.

    NHL contracts tend to gravitate towards round numbers when you add up all the years. 24 million over five years? Sounds about right.

  101. TheOtherJohn says:

    böökje: Zero clue would mean Belov is as likely to be a time travelling brain surgeon as he is to be a third line defender on the Oilers.I am afraid you have a hyperbole problem.

    Belov’s age greatly reduce the variability of what he will be.

    Actually we are on a hockey site discussing, mostly, the Edmonton Oilers. Within that context no one here has any clue how Belov will do or what slot he will fill on the Oiler D. I hope its a higher slot because that will mean the Oilers are likely a better team. .

    My comment is not hyperbole at all. It is likely he will fill any one one of 5 slots on a relatively weak NHL D. But projections from one league to another, with different ice surfaces are hard to do. He may even struggle enough to be OKC bound.

    I agree with you at this point in his career it is unlikely that he is a top pairing guy. I hope we are both wrong. .

    Belov may also be a time travelling brain surgeon but I am unaware of his credentials in that regard. Maybe the guys at http://www.timetravellingbrainsurgeonsprospects.com can give us his 2012/13 rundown

  102. Bruce McCurdy says:

    TheOtherJohn: Maybe the guys at http://www.timetravellingbrainsurgeonsprospects.com can give us his 2012/13 rundown

    Or maybe they can give us the 2042/13 rundown.

  103. TheOtherJohn says:

    Bruce McCurdy: They said they might send Eberle back to junior too.

    Oh wait, they did.

    How much of the decision to send Eberle down was tied to physical maturation? Thought the decision was 100% correct decision but I thought it had to do with filling out and gaining muscle mass.

  104. TheOtherJohn says:

    Pretty sure Pronman writes for both sites.

  105. wheatnoil says:

    TheOtherJohn: Maybe the guys at http://www.timetravellingbrainsurgeonsprospects.com can give us his 2012/13 rundown

    I was really hoping that would be a real link. Because that would be awesome.

  106. TheOtherJohn says:

    wheatnoil: I was really hoping that would be a real link. Because that would be awesome.

    I think Danny is working on setting it up. He’s having trouble transferring some of the comments from the 2027 to 2144 blogposts

  107. Bruce McCurdy says:

    TheOtherJohn: How much of the decision to send Eberle down was tied to physical maturation?Thought the decision was 100% correct decision but I thought it had to do with filling out and gaining muscle mass.

    Didn’t say it wasn’t the right move, I was simply disputing the word “always” to describe the decision-making process.

  108. Bar_Qu says:

    TheOtherJohn:

    Belovmay also be a time travelling brain surgeon but I am unaware of his credentials in that regard. Maybe the guys at http://www.timetravellingbrainsurgeonsprospects.com can give us his 2012/13 rundown

    wheatnoil: I was really hoping that would be a real link. Because that would be awesome.

    TheOtherJohn: I think Danny is working on setting it up. He’s having trouble transferring some of the comments from the 2027 to 2144 blogposts

    Danny is amazing for his work in any century. I am looking forward to the review of the classic all-brainsurgeon SCF of 2051. The goalie stood on his head (surgically aided, of course).

  109. dessert1111 says:

    Gagner guess: 4 years at 5M without a clause. I think 4.5M is more fair. If Gagner is asking for what I think he is, I would trade him. I am not convinced his value will go up after this year (I remember a lot of 2nd assists and empty-net goals, not to mention short season = smaller sample size), but then again, with the Oilers’ top 6, his value could also go up based on point total.

    In the end I will be happy if he stays or goes as long as the money and/or return is reasonable.

    Re: organized crowds: I remember from social psych that consensus isn’t always a gold standard. I don’t think this blog is guilty of groupthink (which is why I love it btw), but a lot of blogs and communities are. As a group, you are often best off if you identify the most intelligent person to deal with a particular problem and take their idea. The more people who are in on the conversation, the greater chance that the smart guy will get drowned out.

    Of course, identifying the most qualified person in a setting like this is next to impossible. Practically speaking, it’s probably best to listen to what people have to say, and if the same thing keeps coming up, it’s likely worth looking into. Which is what I think LT does :D

  110. wheatnoil says:

    Bar_Qu: Danny is amazing for his work in any century. I am looking forward to the review of the classic all-brainsurgeon SCF of 2051. The goalie stood on his head (surgically aided, of course).

    True, but he was no rocket scientist.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THNPmhBl-8I

  111. böökje says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    I agree with you at this point in his career it is unlikely that he is a top pairing guy.

    You have no clue where he will end up.

  112. Bruce McCurdy says:

    wheatnoil: True, but he was no rocket scientist.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THNPmhBl-8I

    Outstanding.

  113. Jordan says:

    wheatnoil: True, but he was no rocket scientist.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THNPmhBl-8I

    Wheatnoil wins the thread.

    Though, it’s not exactly rocket surgery, now is it?

  114. Numenius says:

    PaperDesigner:
    Five years, 4.8 per, limited NTC.

    NHL contracts tend to gravitate towards round numbers when you add up all the years. 24 million over five years? Sounds about right.

    This sounds right to me. I’d say $5 without a limited NTC, $4.8 with it. Gagner’s point production might justify more, but his weaknesses on defence and faceoffs bring it down for me.

    Btw, I have an idea for dealing with Gagner’s dismal faceoff abilities. Is there any rule that says the person playing the centre position on the ice has to take the faceoffs?

    If you play a top line of Hall – Gagner – Yakupov, you get Hall to take the faceoffs (He was 54.7% last year out of 53 attempts) and yet still have Gagner play the C position on the ice after that. It’s a small sample size for Hall’s FO%, but if it’s at all for real, it would be a nice way to sort of “move him to centre” while keeping him on LW where he’s suited for the rest of his time on the ice.

    That would leave a 2nd line of Perron – RNH – Eberle to take softer minutes and yet potentially be as productive.

    I’d suppose you could do the same switch with Hall and RNH, but I’m still hoping Nuge’s FO% will get better.

  115. TheOtherJohn says:

    böökje: You have no clue where he will end up.

    Which was my original point.

    Lliklihood that the Oilers were able to identify & spirit out of Russia a 26 year old top pairing NHL calibre D man is pretty remote. Could happen, I guess Best organization in hockey ever and all. Expect Oilers would not be the only team that scouted and wanted to sign him. Assume that if Oilers believed Belov was capable of playing top pairing minutes they signed him to a 3 or 4 year contract. Right? One year contract for peanuts you say.Kinda diminishes teams belief that he’s a top pairing guy.

    But you are right. Untill he gets here and plays in real games, we have no clue (hockey wise not time travelling) what he is capable of at the NHL level

  116. Factotum says:

    4 years, AAV $4.95M

    For comparison,
    Logan Couture – will average $5.25M over the same time period
    Jakob Voracek – has 3 more years at $4.5M

    Samwise lags behind both in durability and production.

    Last 3 Seasons
    GP-G-A-Pts
    Couture 207-84-74-158
    Voracek 206-54-87-141
    Gagner 191-47-80-127

  117. böökje says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    I give up. I have no clue how to present reason or sarcasm to you.

  118. prairieschooner says:

    So can we look at Belov from a different angle?
    He played for Russia at the WHC and put up good numbers.
    If our prospective D were all Russian how many would crack their line up?

  119. prairieschooner says:

    Took a quick look and the only NHL D guy they had was Fedor Tyutin.
    The others were just a bunch of Russian names

  120. TheOtherJohn says:

    Sarcasm? I thought you were just being a dick. My mistake

  121. theres oil in virginia says:

    I’m surprised that there’s actually a spectrum on the Gagner salary prediction. I thought there were clearly two camps: one thinking Gagner would get $4.xM and the other being correct!
    ;)

    I’ll go $5.25 with limited NMC for 5 years.

    I wonder what the mean and median of our guesses are. Haven’t seen McCurdy’s guess yet.

  122. fifthcartel says:

    Carcillo gets traded to LA.

  123. godot10 says:

    I predict a settlement on the steps of the building where the arbitration hearing will be held for 1 year @ $4.5 million. The standoff will last till next May.

    Gagner won’t get the OIlers best offer till then, and I think he’s willing to stare down MacT because he believes in himself, and wants to get as close to the Taylor Hall salary cap as possible, and is willing to bet that he can produce the season to do it.

  124. godot10 says:

    godot10,

    i.e.I predict Gagner is going “Joe Flacco”.

  125. G Money says:

    fifthcartel:
    Carcillo gets traded to LA.

    And Penner signed by the Quackers.

  126. Ribs says:

    godot10: Gagner won’t get the OIlers best offer till then, and I think he’s willing to stare down MacT because he believes in himself, and wants to get as close to the Taylor Hall salary cap as possible, and is willing to bet that he can produce the season to do it.

    Give him Yakupov and Perron against the soft parade and he might just do it, too.

  127. lance says:

    So Matt Harvey is about to take the hill. I’m curious to see how the first inning will go.

  128. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: No I didn’t. You have $100,000 window to be correct. I get all below that number, someone will go $100,000 higher. You’re boxed in! NEver go in against a Sicilian when DEATH IS ON THE LINE!!!!!

    But I think I’m near the low end so I own your soul for everything above $4.55.

    Your soul.

  129. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: But I think I’m near the low end so I own your soul for everything above $4.55.

    You soul.

    Stop that rhyming, this time I mean it!

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