THE STORY OF A MAN READY TO MAKE A CONNECTION

After a busy day of free agency (Oilers signed SIX players!) our attention turns to things like roster makeup and balance. We know the roster still has many tasks before completion but it does seem we’re arriving at a picture we can comprehend.

upintheair4

Craig MacTavish likes NHL players, and he likes strength ‘up the middle’ and those things are going to get a lot of attention this summer. He also wants a physical player who can play a complementary role in the top 6F and those things are on the ‘to do’ list.

  • Craig MacTavish: “three small players with similar skill sets seldom create the synergy that you need to have a dominant line.”
  • Craig MacTavish: “the good thing is we don’t need to add the high-end skill, we need the complementary pieces now. I know those pieces are easier to come by. They’re still difficult, but they’re easier to come by.”

That’s what yesterday (and today) is about for me, gathering those valuable NHL guys who you can flat out count on with 28 seconds left in the period and your rookie defenseman losing his shit. You can laugh about Andrew Ference all you want, and yesterday’s thread was rife with putdowns and piling on, but Andrew Ference is an actual NHL player. Full stop. So is Boyd Gordon, so is LaBarbera. More please.

upintheair3

I expect this is how Craig MacTavish felt after the Clarkson fail (thank baby Jesus for it btw). Big wingers were flying off the shelves to the point where even ‘mid July’ guys like Benoit Pouliot were gone by midday. Crazy. However, there are probably some options out there today and the trade route is also available. Among the interesting names in the category:

  • R Peter Mueller: Big player with skill. A solid option.
  • R Matt Halischuk: Just average size but physical and has some skill.
  • L Jesse Joensu: Oilers already signed him. MacT said he’s different than Harski and IsMental, suspect it has a lot to do with the play not dying with him and making and taking a pass.
  • L Guillaume Latendresse: Big, thick player with skill, footspeed the issue.
  • R Jack Skille:  From the ‘looks like a hockey  player but doesn’t really do much’ family, but he’s got some things.
  • L Dustin Penner: I know.
  • R Chuck Kobasew: Injuries have impacted him but there’s a player there.

Or they could just trade for Beau Bennett.

 

 

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115 Responses to "THE STORY OF A MAN READY TO MAKE A CONNECTION"

  1. sliderule says:

    Please no to Mueller.Plays like he has a skirt on.

  2. uni says:

    sliderule,

    Avoids ventilation grates and crosses his legs on the bench?

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’ve calmed on the Ference front. it’s not really the player. It’s the big picture… I waiting for the other shoe to drop to see who pushes him down the chart and who he pushes out of the picture altogether. I also have a big question about what we are going to get in years 37 and 38 from him.

    But, yes… NHL player. good.

    I’m still a little ticked we didn’t get some value with the MacArthur and LaPerierre signings. Also, that Filppula contract looks better than I thought it would. I would have liked to see MacT land him AND Gordon AND sign Gagner. The C depth still looks brutal right now. Grabo is starting to appeal more and more… but I suspect the “Character Brothers Eakins and MacT” won’t touch him.

    same goes for Penner. too bad. cheap, reliable. AND NHL player.

    “IsMental” is this Petrell? I missed this nick-name somehow.

  4. Ryan says:

    Looks like we’re scraping the barrel. Penner cakes it is.

  5. Woodguy says:

    Or they could just trade for Beau Bennett.

    Pens aren’t trading large, young, cheap forwards, those are like gold.

    You might be able to pry Neal out of PIT if you take Joikenen too and pay a high price.

  6. Магия¹º says:

    So glad MacT missed the last train to Clarksville. Oh No No No.

    Like Ferrence a lot. Liked Staios. But it will be lottery level luck if that contract ends well.

  7. murphy says:

    I would try to pry clifford out of LA, he doesn’t seem to play a whole lot there and is big and physical. N schultz (to replace scuderi) and a draft pick may do it.

    I would also investigate hemsky for ryan malone in tampa. Then add grabovski and things start to look decent.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Rom: IsMental comes from the brilliant mind of Pat at BDHS.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Andy Strickland ‏@andystrickland 13s

    #stlblues wanted Weiss or Filppula….reality is, it’s not as easy of a sell to get a player to sign here compared to Det. Or TB #truth
    Expand
    ==

    What would you pay for one of their young PF’s?

  10. murphy says:

    Lowetide,

    If we sign grabovski then gagner is obviously a fit.

  11. rickithebear says:

    big mean forward?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol9PVmQsXaU

    2 years my friend! 2 years.

  12. DBO says:

    If you could pry Neal and Jokinen I would do that for sure. obviously it depends on the price, but those two complete our forwards. A 2 LW and a 3 RW/C. What would the price be? Marincin, Paajarvi and a pick? Or if we offered our 1st and two almost NHL prospects. Would that work?

    Still think we can get Ruutu from Carolina for Schultz the elder. saves them money and they could use a solid 5/6 dman. We get a tough two way W/C to complete our 3rd line. Yes he’s injury prone, but the Oil liked him a few years ago (and we seem to always circle back to these kinds of guys we used to like)

    Current depth chart (if RFA’s signed)

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle
    Paajarvi-Gagner-Yakupov
    Smyth-Gordon-Joensuu
    Brown-Lander-Rajala

    Smid-Petry
    Ference-Schultz
    Belov-Schultz
    Potter

    Dubnyk
    Labarbara

    Still a lot of work to be done.

  13. murphy says:

    I’ve got to get to sleep after a long nightshift (and being up many hours yesterday for the festivities), i would wake up a happy man if mact could sign grabovski and gilbert and trade hemsky for malone. I would love to hear for days about what we will do with all these defensemen, because it is a problem we haven’t had… Ever?

    Let it happen.

  14. Fatboy80 says:

    I think we can all agree on things the oilers are after…
    - Size
    - Compete level
    - Quality person (humble, team player, driven, etc…)

    Point being, Grabovski doesn’t appear to have any of those intangibles. How disappointed is everyone gonna be when they find out MacT doesn’t give him a sniff. Then again we are looking for a new goat on this team, he fits the bill I suppose.

  15. DBO says:

    Fatboy80,

    Grabovski is Horcoff at 29 when he signed his huge deal, so he would be the goat guaranteed.

  16. Woodguy says:

    . You can laugh about Andrew Ference all you want, and yesterday’s thread was rife with putdowns and piling on, but Andrew Ference is an actual NHL player.

    This is true.

    I initially hated the deal given his possession stats vs. where he played in the line up.

    They aren’t great, but judging D on possession numbers can be tricky business. Corsi works well for helping define forwards, but less so for D as its the forwards that are the prime drivers of possession.

    So if a D plays behind the 4th line, their shot attempt differential takes a beating. If they play behind a checking line it can be the same. If they play behind a offensive line that gets fed good zone starts and soft opp, their numbers rock…etc.

    One way of trying to suss out possession ability of a D is to look at their WOWY w/ D partners only.

    This still isn’t great because often when they change partners, they change assignments.

    In Ference’s case, when he played with McQuaid, he was playing 3rd pairing and got the 4th line often. When he played with Boychuck or Seidenberg, its was 2nds and of course with Chara its firsts.

    Another thing that can impact the play, is whether or not the Dman is playing his “correct” side.

    Ference played the right side in the playoffs often, and that’s pretty damn tough on the first pass ability under pressure, as if you are near the boards, its usually a backhand

    Ference shoots left, as do Chara and Siedenberg.

    Since the Bruin’s Dcorps have been fairly stable for the last 3 years, we can look at 3 years of WOWY’s and see how Ference does with his D partners.

    Here’s his WOWY with D partners from 2010-2013:

    Partner – 5v5 TOI together- CF% together – Ference apart

    MCQUAID, ADAM 1101min 50.2 49.7
    BOYCHUK, JOHNNY 538min 47.7 50.4
    CHARA, ZDENO 452min 46.5 50.5
    SEIDENBERG, DENNIS 339min 49.4 49.9

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=568&withagainst=true&season=2010-13&sit=5v5

    Its interesting that he’s a little better away from Boychuck and Chara.

    Why? I would think that his assignments get easier when away from those players.

    Where I was really wrong, was in calling him a 3rd pairing Dman.

    If we assume (correctly I think) that when he was with McQuaid it was 3rds, SIedenberg and Boychuck 2nds and Chara 1sts, we can break down his assignments over the last 3 years like this:

    3rds – 45%
    2nds -36%
    1sts – 19%

    The end result is that I think we can say that Ference was a competent 4/5 Dman for BOS.

    I don’t hate the deal as much as I did when I wasn’t looking at all the info I should have.

    I think he’s a Nick Schultz replacment.

    MacT mentioned him helping take some of Smid’s load against tough comp. I’m not sure he’s up to that task though, of if he is, how many years he could do it from 34-38.

    I think that the Oilers still need a 1LD, but I’m not sure they aren’t done given the amount of D on the roster.

    LHD – Smid, Ference, N.Schultz-Belov-Klef
    RHD- Petry, J.Shultz, Larsen, Potter

    I’m glad he’s building up the D depth, but the 1LD still isn’t there imo.

    I also think Nick Schultz is on his way out of town.

  17. Woodguy says:

    DBO,

    hat would the price be? Marincin, Paajarvi and a pick? Or if we offered our 1st and two almost NHL prospects. Would that work?

    I think this might get it done:

    Hemsky (Oilers hold $2.5MM of salary), Paajarvi, next year’s 1st.

    They have D prospects coming out the ying yang. Watch for Derrick Pouliot to make the team next year.

  18. Acumen says:

    What about trading Nick Schultz for Ryan Malone? Gives us our big 2line LW and we know that “Yzerman really likes Schultz. Had a lot good to say about him at the Olympics.”

  19. Fatboy80 says:

    Acumen:
    What about trading Nick Schultz for Ryan Malone? Gives us our big 2line LW and we know that “Yzerman really likes Schultz. Had a lot good to say about him at the Olympics.”

    Right type of player, just not in MacT’s target age range 25-28. Any suggestions on up and coming players who might fit this mold?

  20. Lucinius says:

    I found a lot of the wailing yesterday to be hilarious. Should MacT have signed players like MacArthur? Sure. Except they didn’t want to come here. A lot of them didn’t want to come to the Western Conference, period. Hardly on MacT.

    Missing out on Clarkson was a god-send. Over-hyped by just about everyone in the hockey world. It is worrisome MacT took the whale gun to try and land him.

    The signings the Oilers did accomplish, however, look pretty good. I’m still not sold on the term for Ference, but the dollars look right. As I said in the threads yesterday, I expect the term is what sold Ference on coming here instead of the other teams looking to land him. And yes, he is a top 4 D, easily, in Edmonton, despite what a number of people were claiming. He will slot ahead of N. Schultz.

    Oilers still need a top six LW, unless they end up giving that to Paajarvi.. in which case they need a third line LW. I’d still like to see Grabovski signed, especially on something like a two or three year deal. That then opens the possibility of trading Gagner for that top end D-man and Hemsky for parts.

    Unless the Oilers do something astounding like try to ice three scoring lines. But that won’t happen. These are the Edmonton Oilers, after all.

    Lastly, I’ll just say I’m glad a lot of the commentators here aren’t the GM. Be worse then Tambellini!

  21. Fatboy80 says:

    Lucinius:
    I found a lot of the wailing yesterday to be hilarious. Should MacT have signed players like MacArthur? Sure. Except they didn’t want to come here. A lot of them didn’t want to come to the Western Conference, period. Hardly on MacT.

    Missing out on Clarkson was a god-send. Over-hyped by just about everyone in the hockey world. It is worrisome MacT took the whale gun to try and land him.

    The signings the Oilers did accomplish, however, look pretty good. I’m still not sold on the term for Ference, but the dollars look right. As I said in the threads yesterday, I expect the term is what sold Ference on coming here instead of the other teams looking to land him. And yes, he is a top 4 D, easily, in Edmonton, despite what a number of people were claiming. He will slot ahead of N. Schultz.

    Oilers still need a top six LW, unless they end up giving that to Paajarvi.. in which case they need a third line LW. I’d still like to see Grabovski signed, especially on something like a two or three year deal. That then opens the possibility of trading Gagner for that top end D-man and Hemsky for parts.

    Unless the Oilers do something astounding like try to ice three scoring lines. But that won’t happen. These are the Edmonton Oilers, after all.

    Lastly, I’ll just say I’m glad a lot of the commentators here aren’t the GM. Be worse then Tambellini!

    Grabovski over Ganger in the long run? Am I the only one taking crazy pills here. Please explain how the positives out weigh the negatives on that one.

  22. Otown says:

    What about Hemsky and a 2nd (prefer second piece to be N. Schultz) for Bennett and Martin. Frees up cap space for Pitt next year. If they get N. Schultz instead of pick they can just buy him out next year. Easier to tell owners to buyout a guy like N. Schultz then any of the bad contracts Pitt just signed that is putting them in cap trouble for 2014 (Dupuis, Letang, Scudari)

  23. Lucinius says:

    Fatboy80,

    I’m not saying Grabovski is better than Gagner. Merely a possible replacement for him. I have no idea if he’s capable of replacing his points, or if he’s capable of reducing goals against errors that Samwise became so very good at.

    But signing Grabovski allows us to trade Gagner, who has a pretty good reputation and name in the NHL, and thus might be able to act as a core piece of the trade to fetch us what we need on the back end. Our 2C position might get weaker, but if it allows us to get a lot stronger on the back end.. its worth it, imo.

  24. Woodguy says:

    Otown,

    They aren’t trading Martin, many thought he was their best Dman in the playoffs.

    They aren’t trading Bennett, young, cheap, big F on a team that needs cheap players to compliment the high priced stars.

  25. slopitch says:

    Oilers have 3 holes but are in a good spot contract wise. I don’t see many over pays.

    The remaining holes C, 2LW are gonna be hard to fill though. Still think they need a top pairing D.

    I think the trade market is the best way to go. Or an offer sheet.

    Keep grinding away MacT. Still a month of work.

  26. Acumen says:

    Fatboy80,

    My ideal would be James Neal inexplicably being the one to shake loose in Pittsburgh. He’s a 25 year old proven offensive threat of a power forward signed to a great deal for a long time. I shudder to think of the cost though. It would be a lot more than what DBO offered above I think.

    The one thing working in our favor would be that it would take prospects/picks as the Pens need to trim salary. I think we’re talking Klefbom or Nurse level, not Marincin though. And I would be happy to pull that trigger.

  27. Fatboy80 says:

    Lucinius,

    I just don’t see a multimillion dollar business operating that way. I think it’s a pipe dream. Big question is… Is this team big enough for both Nuge & Gags? (Or small enough)

  28. 99thoilerfan says:

    I would consider Penner….. ( not sure if our GM and Head Coach would )
    But would he consider the Oil, again?

  29. Fatboy80 says:

    Acumen,

    BINGO!
    Well said

  30. theres oil in virginia says:

    Woodguy:
    .

    I think he’s a Nick Schultz replacement.

    I also think Nick Schultz is on his way out of town.

    That alone is a good reason to love this signing!

  31. RexLibris says:

    Philadelphia is slightly more than $1 million over the cap today, and the difference between the cap hits of Nick Schultz or Ladislav Smid and Brayden Coburn is…$1 million.

    Interesting.

  32. admiralmark says:

    I honestly think all the remaining work will need to be done via trades… The FA crop was weak to start and mostly what left has some major flaw or potential to not work out. A few teams over or near the cap need to shuffle the deck…there has to be a deal available there somewhere or dare i say an Offer Sheet?! Desperate times.. perhaps if the GM’s were trying to send MAcT a message he should send one back?

  33. uni says:

    Lucinius,

    Grabovski has been an advanced stats all star the last 5 seasons while averaging 50 points or so per 82 games. Drives possession and corsi, consistently outplaying most of the tough competition in the league (think Bergeron, Malkin, Kovalchuk). He’s a clear upgrade on Gagner right now, and it’s arguable if Gagner will ever match that sort of defensive ability (although I think Gagner still might since his PK improved so dramatically last season).

    Fatboy80: FATBOY80 says:
    July 6, 2013 at 8:19 am
    I think we can all agree on things the oilers are after…
    - Size
    - Compete level
    - Quality person (humble, team player, driven, etc…)
    Point being, Grabovski doesn’t appear to have any of those intangibles. How disappointed is everyone gonna be when they find out MacT doesn’t give him a sniff. Then again we are looking for a new goat on this team, he fits the bill I suppose.

    It’s clear you have no idea who this player is. Grabovski has been lauded for his compete level, with Wilson having mentioned several times how Grabo was his hardest working most dedicated player. He’s a bit small but still larger than Ference and built solidly (think Kovalenko). As for a quality person, he’s been nothing but a consummate team player in Toronto and has always been driven. If you want humble talk to Yakupov.

    Pan a player for actual faults, not imagined ones. With all of MacTavish’s talk of needing skill as well to move the dial of the team this guy fits the description to a tee. If the Oilers don’t at least try to sign Grabovski then it doesn’t bode well for their competency since he was likely the best center on the market at the beginning of FA yesterday.

  34. supernova says:

    Woodguy,

    Neal is a fine trade option, doubt they do that though, he has tremendous chemistry with Malkin.
    Also I am not convinced he is the heart and soul guy we need, with size and skill.
    Every time the going gets tough the last few years in Pittsburgh he is non existent.

    If we are going to be trading assets, we need the whole package.

    In yesterday’s post I said MacT gets lambasted for making a offer for clarkson.

    The point was at least he realises the need and the fact you have to overpay to get one, I am not sure most fans realise how hard these guys are to acquire.

    If you acquire them in FA you buy a $$ premium
    If you acquire them through trade you pay with players and picks

    Sure clarkson isn’t the perfect fit, neither is Neal

    Clarkson > Neal = in heart and soul and physicality
    Neal > clarkson = skill

    I would be fine with either, because I am willing to pay the premium.

  35. 99thoilerfan says:

    Jesse Joensu might be a diamond in the rough

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq3UXBPWXD0

    Jesse Joensu against team USA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB7vZS_Imvs

    Love the tunes!

  36. supernova says:

    Someone suggested Ruttu in Carolina, I think that is achievable at not likely a high cost.

    Stewart in St. Louis

    Would love to get Hartnell, instead of Coburn or both . Lets broaden the deal.

  37. Rosco says:

    Hemsky and a D Prospect for Cclin Wilson
    Offer sheet McDonagh
    Sign Jones for that 3 line RW spot

    Gagner – Hall – Eberle
    Nuge – Wilson – Yak
    Gordon – MPS – Jones
    Lander – Smyth – Brown

    McDonagh Petry
    Smid Shultz
    Ference Shultz

    Dubnyk
    Labarbera

    Balance!!!

  38. Rosco says:

    Just to add… You could possibly find a place for Schultz Sr. to land in exchange for a more veteran 4 line C.

  39. jb says:

    Why even consider trading Schultz? For the first time in a while we have 5 NHL dman on the roster.. We need at least 7 to be competitive.. But are we not looking to add depth?

  40. mustang says:

    LT, I can’t understand the the negativity towards Ference, ya maybe he isn’t Nick Lidstrom, but he’s a top four Dman playing on a Stanley cup winning team. I don’t think it’s a bad contract maybe to much term, but who cares, if need be buy out the last year. no problem. I think Ference will be good for us teach these young fellas what it takes to win. I’m guessing he’ll being wearing a letter who knows maybe the C. Oiler fans need to relax abit let MacT build this team, Rome wasn’t built in a day and never will the Oilers.

  41. rickithebear says:

    Woodguy: They aren’t great, but judging D on possession numbers can be tricky business. Corsi works well for helping define forwards, but less so for D as its the forwards that are the prime drivers of possession.

    Yeah! WG!
    Give up Shots but look were the shots are from.
    There is a reason Fistric and potter had the lowest GA of an Dpair in the league.

    I call them horseshoe Dmen.
    Shots from perimeter.
    limited in the box.

    Ference is a 2.07 GA dman as 2nd Comp.

    J. schultz and tom gilbert are not a horse shoe Dman.

  42. bookje says:

    mustang,

    I think there are some of us who fall in a ‘middle ground’ on Ference. I think he is fine, a good, but not great second pairing defender. The advanced stats don’t like him, but the seen him good crowd loves him. He seems to be a really top notch leader (according to reports) which is a plus. I just think there is some tempered expectations. He is basically Nick Schultz (who in contrast to Ference always seems to be very under-rated here at LT’s site).

    I think the contract is fine. This is what players cost through Free Agency. If he were a player that you had RFA rights on, then you might pay him $1.75 million a year, but FA’s are expensive, its how the system works.

  43. bookje says:

    Woodguy,

    Why do you hate Nick Shul’ts so much?

  44. Thinker says:

    I don’t see how you can keep gagner if you consider him a winger, and you want complementary wingers in the top six. I’ve always been in favour of keeping gagner because moving him opened a bigger hole than it would fill. However, if gagner is a winger behind yak and eberle, you might as well flip him for a center/physical winger/dman. The cap situation got tighter yesterday. And though I like the players, I don’t think we are better tomorrow than we were yesterday.

  45. cabbiesmacker says:

    Rosco:
    Hemsky and a D Prospect for Cclin Wilson
    Offer sheet McDonagh
    Sign Jones for that 3 line RW spot

    Gagner – Hall – Eberle
    Nuge – Wilson – Yak
    Gordon – MPS – Jones
    Lander – Smyth – Brown

    McDonagh Petry
    Smid Shultz
    Ference Shultz

    Dubnyk
    Labarbera

    Balance!!!

    We could nickname that 4th line “Swiss Cheese”…….Stale Swiss Cheese

  46. supernova says:

    Anybody else happy that Potter was pushed down the depth chart yesterday.

    Now if he plays he will have earned it, not just competing against coaches dog house people in Whitney and Peckham.

    He isn’t horrible but he shouldn’t be a 3rd pairing guy, he should be a injury replacement.

  47. rickithebear says:

    signed forwards:

    Hall-XXX-Yakupov Needs size? Hall (57% FO) @ centre?
    XXX-RNH-Eberle Needs speed and Size
    Rajala-Gordon-Joensuu
    Smyth-XXX-Hamilton
    Brown-Lander

  48. cabbiesmacker says:

    The only way Grabovski should be considered is if Gagner is heading elsewhere but never the twain should meet.

    There are lots of potential deals MacT could investigate for players pushed down the better teams depth charts. Pro scouting would be an asset of course and the jury is still out on the Oilers talents in that particular department.

    Hating the “Smid being a part of any deal” suggestions. Ludicrous.

    Deal from a position of depth for ones of need. Youth and future assets for players of a proper age that can help NOW. They’re out there and there is no better time to secure them.

  49. Bad Seed says:

    Thinker,

    Agree about Gagner. Of the core players, I’d say he should be the first to go in a trade followed by Eberle. He doesn’t fit at 2C & he certainly doesn’t fit as another smallish winger. He’s gotta be one of the pieces in a trade for a 1D/2D or PF.

  50. mustang says:

    bookje:
    mustang,

    I think there are some of us who fall in a ‘middle ground’ on Ference.I think he is fine, a good, but not great second pairing defender.The advanced stats don’t like him, but the seen him good crowd loves him.He seems to be a really top notch leader (according to reports) which is a plus.I just think there is some tempered expectations.He is basically Nick Schultz (who in contrast to Ference always seems to be very under-rated here at LT’s site).

    I think the contract is fine.This is what players cost through Free Agency.If he were a player that you had RFA rights on, then you might pay him $1.75 million a year, but FA’s are expensive, its how the system works.

    I agree he’s a descent top four dman especially on a bad defensive team like the Oilers. Once these young forwards learn how to play some D things will get better. I think Ference will be a good mentor and partner for J.Schultz. The thing I like about Ference he will bring up the compete level on this team and we need that badly, I’m sick and tired of half assing their way through games. This is the NHL not beer hockey league.

  51. Thinker says:

    You have to play gagner at center, or aquire one as a ufa. Not many options out there aside from grabovski, but if you can have him cheaper than gagner, he might be worth it. if Its me , I look to make ice a roster like:
    Hall RNH Eberle

    (Gagner Trade) Grabovski Yakupov

    Penner Gordon Paajarvi

    Smyth chipchura Yip

    Brown Lander

    Petry Gilbert

    Ference J.Schultz

    Smid Klefbom

    N.Schultz Blum

  52. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear,

    There is a reason Fistric and potter had the lowest GA of an Dpair in the league.

    Yeah, because most of their ice time was against puck optional 4th liners.

  53. Woodguy says:

    bookje:
    Woodguy,

    Why do you hate Nick Shul’ts so much?

    Because Smid.

  54. Ice Sage says:

    Oilers are a better team today than a week ago.

    Despite what some regular dysthymics say, the team has improved (by strategic acquisition and deadwood / dead$ jettisoning) relative to others in the division and conference.

    MacT has shown that he has a solid, sensible plan (I suspect Clarkson was the start of a chain reaction involving Gagner for another C and that’s the disappointment) and is steering the ship.

    Now, I’m going to enjoy a sunny day and trust in LT to keep us sane.

  55. Woodguy says:

    This article explains some numbers in very normal terms.

    Its a good read.

    http://theleafsnation.com/2013/7/6/explaining-the-grabovski-bozak-stats-debate-in-shinny-hockey-terms

  56. blankie says:

    quick question, what happened to the Paul Ranger talk?

  57. rickithebear says:

    supernova: Anybody else happy that Potter was pushed down the depth chart yesterday.

    Yes the best GA dman in the league.
    Great we are going to play 4th worst GA dman on the third line instead of the best GA dman in the league.
    On a 14min 3rd pair for season.
    Potter is 61GA better than schultz.
    61 f..ing GA better in a season.
    61 goals!

  58. theres oil in virginia says:

    bookje:
    Woodguy,

    Why do you hate Nick Shul’ts so much?

    How about: “because he’s not very good”. He had a few games at the end of the year where he looked like he might be coming around, but before that it was bad most nights. As much talk as there is about J. Schultz being a defensive black hole, there were multiple occasions during the season where N. Schultz performed a monumental giveaway at the opposition blue line (with the Oilers in full possession of the puck) and all players, of course, inside the O-zone, and J. Schultz had to bail him out, or attempt to. One of those occasions is famous, as Jr. stripped the puck from behind the attacking player right before the point-blank shot came. It was a brilliant defensive play…by J. Schultz.

    I know J. Schultz had his “chicken with its head cut off” moments in the D-zone, but as bad as those moments are, I think it’s much worse to have your shot blocked at the point (or make a terrible cross-ice pass from the point), which leads to an odd-man rush. High percentage scoring chances, those odd-man rushes. You can be bad defensively by being awful with the puck. N. Schultz is awful with the puck.

    Nick Schultz was bad last year. That’s why I don’t like the Schultz-Gilbert trade, and that’s why I’ll be happy when N. Schultz departs. Maybe it was Krueger’s system? Maybe not.

  59. Fatboy80 says:

    uni,

    In March, 2008, after being a healthy scratch for a game against the Phoenix Coyotes, Grabovski left the Montreal Canadiens and flew to Los Angeles to consult with his agent. The incident prompted his trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs that summer.

    In January 2009, Grabovski was involved a scuffle with fellow Belarusian Sergei Kostitsyn during a game between the Maple Leafs and Canadiens. The two had been in a feud since Grabovski’s days with the Canadiens. Prior to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, the head of the Belarusian national hockey program had to intervene in order for the two players to be able to coexist on the same team.

    On February 19, 2010, Grabovski was arrested in Vancouver after getting involved in a street scuffle. He was out of the Maple Leafs lineup with a broken wrist at the time of the arrest and was in Vancouver attending the 2010 Winter Olympics. Court documents alleged that Dylan Richardson was punched in the face and knocked unconscious by Grabovski, who then assaulted Richardson’s wife by also punching her in the face.

    On February 9, 2013, Grabovski was accused of biting Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens during a scrum along the boards. The NHL conducted a telephone hearing with the players involved, but couldn’t determine conclusively if Grabovski had bitten Pacioretty. However, on May 20, 2013, more than three months later, Grabovski admitted that he did in fact bite Pacioretty, stating in an interview “He was choking me and I bit him. Don’t stick your hands where you shouldn’t.”

    Why doesn’t Toronto want this amazing all-star advanced stat gem?
    Advanced stats are a great read. But something tells me MacT isn’t basing his signings on them.

  60. blackadder says:

    New Jersey is up against the cap after the contracts they’ve signed the last two days and have Adam Henrique to sign – an offer sheet for him is something to look at.

    Really happy with the Gordon and Ference signings – both we’re overpays (Ference on term, Gordon on price) but both are improvements on what we had last year and Ference, although not big, brings a ton of “intangibles” to the Oilers in addition to being a good 4/5 defence option. Curious to see how Joensu works out, interesting signing with boom or bust written all over it..

    Some holes filled yesterday, still lots of work to do. Top six forwards and top 2 defence man aren’t easy to procure, you need to be willing to give up a lot (like Ottawa did yesterday to get Ryan) to acquire these players. If The Oilers aren’t willing to give up any of their young forwards, then prospects like Marancin and Gernat and next year’s first pick have to be on the table.

  61. VanOil says:

    I hope rickithebear is right about Ference for the first two years, after that our blue lines future is so bright i got to wear shades and don’t mind the old boy cashing is check in the press box.

    Thankfully we got a Finn. Suomi. One that can pass and shoot even.

    If Garbo cut his side burns he would make our Center depth a strength not a weakness.

    I still think the Oilers should pursue the now signed Shawn Matthias from Florida. A giant defensively responsible Center that can play left wing seems to be an ideal line mate for Gags and Yak. Florida did win the Barkov sweepstakes so have another giant Center on the way.

    Our defense is far from perfect but is it good enough to make the playoffs now? We can’t expect a long Cup run for a year or two as the kids will need some playoff seasoning and Nuge is working on his Beard. (I would give him 6M X 7 year extension now, Gagner 5M X 4 years)

    Hemsky and Shultz Sr would both fetch 2nd round picks and a prospect at the deadline. I would hold on to two bona fide NHLers until at least then.

  62. SoxandOil says:

    Fatboy80,

    Not quite a up and comer but Hartnell would be perhaps the most realistic trade option. He is 31 and does have 6 more years at 4.2mill though. Philly needs to shed some $ and wants to add to its D. Perhaps something like.

    PRV + Shultz Sr + 2nd for Hartnell + Coburn (or Mezzaros but no Edmonton 2nd)

    Another almost perfect candidate would be JVR out of Toronto but unfortunately I can’t see a trade scenario where they would give him up.

  63. OilClog says:

    Nick Schultz could cost us Smid. For that he is the whipping boy from here forth!

  64. OilClog says:

    rickithebear,

    If you believe Potter would have those numbers if he played a regular shift.. You haven’t seen much of Corey Potter play.

  65. LMHF#1 says:

    blankie:
    quick question, what happened to the Paul Ranger talk?

    I’m assuming that he will take his time making a decision. Grabovski’s also getting married this weekend I believe, so you wouldn’t expect anything from him for a time.

  66. rickithebear says:

    Woodguy:
    This article explains some numbers in very normal terms.

    Its a good read.

    http://theleafsnation.com/2013/7/6/explaining-the-grabovski-bozak-stats-debate-in-shinny-hockey-terms

    Remeber when i was breaking down players based on
    Q of Comp
    Q of Team
    zone start
    to get a GF/60 and GA/60 average for situation since the 05-06 lockout.
    Man a person could get a GD performance relative to situation average.
    you can get an expected EVP production and +/-.
    you will see J. toews was below average for his situation in 11-12
    and above average in 12-13.
    or you see Shawn Horsoff was the best Defensive forward in the game for 3 years. but had declined the last 3.
    As that article shows.
    not all situations are the same.
    But you can get an average for each.

  67. wordbird says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 1m
    #Oilers agree to terms with goaltender Richard Bachman on a one-year contract

  68. rickithebear says:

    OilClog:
    rickithebear,

    If you believe Potter would have those numbers if he played a regular shift.. You haven’t seen much of Corey Potter play.

    He played 14 min a night and was teh best GA.
    I will take results versu saw him good!
    As wood guys article shows it is about real play results.
    not I think.
    That is an opinion.
    opinion: point of VIEW not based on facts or knowledge.

    I played with players in europe who looked like they would not get results.
    but I knew they were there defensively and offensively.
    they were the reason we one.

  69. fifthcartel says:

    Bachman and Roy splitting starts in OKC?

  70. Manitoba Oilers says:

    rickithebear:
    signed forwards:

    Hall-XXX-YakupovNeeds size?Hall (57% FO) @ centre?
    XXX-RNH-Eberle Needs speed and Size
    Rajala-Gordon-Joensuu
    Smyth-XXX-Hamilton
    Brown-Lander

    Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
    E.Kane-RNH-Eberle
    Paajarvi-Gordon-Brunner
    Joensou-Lander-Brown
    Smyth

  71. Jon K says:

    blackadder:
    New Jersey is up against the cap after the contracts they’ve signed the last two days and have Adam Henrique to sign –an offer sheet for him is something to look at.

    Really happy with the Gordon and Ference signings – both we’re overpays (Ference on term, Gordon on price) but both are improvements on what we had last year and Ference, although not big, brings a ton of “intangibles” to the Oilers in addition to being a good 4/5 defence option.Curious to see how Joensu works out, interesting signing with boom or bust written all over it..

    Some holes filled yesterday, still lots of work to do.Top six forwards and top 2 defence man aren’t easy to procure, you need to be willing to give up a lot (like Ottawa did yesterday to get Ryan) to acquire these players.If The Oilers aren’t willing to give up any of their young forwards, then prospects like Marancin and Gernat and next year’s first pick have to be on the table.

    I’d love to take a run at Henrique with an offer sheet. New Jersey only has 3.8 mill left against the cap and still need to re-sign Henrique and Josefson, and perhaps another depth F and D. Then again, they might be able to unload Michael Ryder’s 3.5 cap hit on someone.

    Would a long term deal of 4.5 million work as an offer sheet? There’s a fair amount of risk involved, but the compensation would only be a first and third round pick.

    Henrique had a poor season this year but was lights out the year before. Hard to tell which is the true level of performance. His fancy stats seem to indicate that he was still an effective player this season but his on ice shooting percentage fell, explaining in part his decreased performance. His PDO this year was also only 982, whereas it was 1001 in his rookie season.

    ————————-

    Regarding Ference, I’m wary of what his underlying stats say about his last few seasons, along with many posters here. I do place some value however on his experience and style of play. We sometimes forget that mentorship and gaining of meaningful experience go hand in hand in the NHL, just as with any profession. I do believe that there is value in having a player with Ference’s experience to mentor our young defencemen.

    I’m disappointed in the premium we paid for that value, both with regard to term and cap hit, but ultimately I’m comfortable with the commitment as is. Putting things into perspective, the deal is probably a year or two too long, and the cap hit is perhaps only a million over what one would expect for a player like him. The context is this year’s poor UFA crop should also be kept in mind.

    I’d still like to see a deal for Coburn or some other similar player through trade, but I think MacT’s decision to over spend a little on Ference meant a guaranteed acquisition THIS YEAR without sending assets out. If we struck out on the trade front and don’t acquire Ference through UFA we would likely be calling MacT “Dithers 2.0″ and talking about how we are entering the season with no experience on the backend.

  72. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear: Remeber when i was breaking downplayers based on
    Q of Comp
    Q of Team
    zone start
    to get a GF/60 and GA/60 average for situation since the 05-06 lockout.
    Man a person could get a GD performance relative to situation average.
    you can get anexpected EVP production and +/-.
    you will see J. toews was below average for his situation in 11-12
    and above average in 12-13.
    or you see Shawn Horsoff was the best Defensive forward in the game for 3 years. but had declined the last 3.
    As that article shows.
    not all situations are the same.
    But you can get an average for each.

    All you need to do Ricki is take ONSV% out of your calculations and they would be much, much better.

    http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2013/7/4/4487304/save-percentage-variability-regression-defense

  73. Lowetide says:

    new post up, we signed a goalie

  74. Zack says:

    What about trading for a guy like Troy Brouwer? ~3.7 Cap, 27 years old, 6’3 210lbs+ and hits ALOT and can put up ~20G a season.

    Hemsky + Paajarvi would probably do it and we got our guy for our second line.

    As for Defense I still think, like Woodguy mentioned, we are missing our #1 guy. We have an abundance of bottom four talent, with some potential for guys to turn out number one (J. Schultz, Klefbom) but we are missing our Pronger/Smith/Souray.

  75. rickithebear says:

    Tom Renney ran his game structure to ensure we got top draft picks.
    He ran NKB out to ensure we would get 1st overall picks.
    He would structure to get the youth results and development.
    He was a good soldier.
    Detroit knew what he was asked to do.
    They hired him as an assistant.
    the one Dman renny wanted to get was Corey Potter.
    best GA dman.
    No shit Tom.

  76. G Money says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’ve calmed on the Ference front. it’s not really the player. It’s the big picture…… NHL player. good.

    Woodguy: The end result is that I think we can say that Ference was a competent 4/5 Dman for BOS.
    I don’t hate the deal as much as I did when I wasn’t looking at all the info I should have.

    Welcome to the dark side, gentlemen!

    Now the one thing I am baffled by is the suggestion that this means Nick Slutz ™ (or worse, Smid) is heading out of town. We finally have a D corps with four legit NHLers in the top 4, and one that allows Jr Su’ltz ™ to get some easy 3rd pairing minutes – and we’re proposing to shrink it again?

    Unless another quality top 4 NHLer (Coburn? Gilby?) is coming back the other way, I think we finally have the beginnings of a competent defense-by-committee group, especially if Belov is capable of playing 3rd pairing at least.

    Let’s not hamstring it already.

  77. Lowetide says:

    Money: Would only send N Schultz out if a better blue returned (Coburn as an example).

  78. Big Dan says:

    Very pleased with MacT so far, except for the Ralph Krueger firing. Why not just hire Keith Acton? I guess we’ll see.

    He looked for gems from elsewhere like Belov. Exploiting a new “Russian” stream caused by the drafting of Yakupov. Thinking outside the box and moneyballing #37 for five picks – two being talented 3rd round Russians – was genius. He is also thinking ahead to the fact our development stream will need forwards in a few years. Greg Chase will make it as a 4th line banger and be a steal, from what I’ve heard.

    He also didn’t go crazy yesterday. Filppula, Clarkson, Horton, and company went for WAY too much money! Thankfully, Clarkson went elsewhere. He looked at need and was willing to slightly overpay on $ (Gordon) or term (Ference) to fill them. He also may be able to sign somebody else for a reasonable price later this week or month.

    You can see a methodical, reasoned thought process with him. He is the perfect GM; an anti-thesis compared to Lowe (who was CRAZY!) and Tambellini (who wasn’t smart enough to pull anything off).

    I am hoping the Ference signing means they have given up on Coburn and his $4.5M cap hit. If Holmgren truly wants upwards of Paajarvi (unless it’s for Hartnell AND Coburn), NO THANKS! Our D is ok now – MacT bought kids like Marincin and Gernat time when he picked up Belov and Larsen. I like Potter as the #8D, bouncing up and down in case of injuries. Our D is serviceable now and he’ll dump Schultz. Sr at the deadline for a 2nd round pick. Klefbom will be ready by then.

    Why do we keep talking about Gagner being traded here? MacT has taked at great length about keeping Gagner and rewarding him for his characteristics that the Oilers embody. I wouldn’t mind Grabovski if the price is right as you could bounce Gagner between C and W, but I doubt it’s going to happen. He’ll be overpaid by somebody else.

    Also, why would we trade Smid? He just signed, loves Edmonton, and is the exact kind of player we need. Those rumors are bogus. If anybody goes, it will be N.Schultz, who is a UFA next summer.

    Also, all this talk about Jesse Joensuu. He’s a tweener – he might get called up a few times to wreak havoc against a rival like Vancouver or Calgary – but he’s going to be in the minors most of the time. He replaces Harski because Harski would require a one-way contract and have to clear waivers to be sent down.

    For the first time in years, there was a glimpse of a half-decent 4th line last year. It is Lander, Smyth, and Brown.

    If MacT cannot find a 2nd line winger at the right price via free agency or trade, he has two aces in the hole.

    He doesn’t have to trade Hemsky if the rest of the NHL undervalues him. He could keep him until the deadline and flip him for a 2nd round pick. MacT loves 2nd rounders – he views them as “currency” which he could utilize them to acquire a goalie (think Halak or Hiller-ish) next year at the 2014 draft if Dubnyk isn’t the answer. Dubnyk had a good year but lost focus and allowed backbreaking goals late. With experience and better D, let’s see what he can do.

    He also has Linus Omark. He likes him because he “has spunk”. Omark is creative and talented and could infuse offense from the 4th line and move up if the lineup if necessary. He is good enough for the NHL but no other GM’s are interested. So sign him for cheap – he has little options otherwise – and he’ll either become useful or tradeable. What do we have to lose? He is dogged along the boards and in front of the net. His only vice is he may be uncoachable – not following the system – so we cut him loose on waivers if that happens. I am sure being benched in the playoffs in Switzerland after leading his team in scoring was humbling for him. He comes highly motivated.

    I think MacT got most of the pieces he wanted. His work is almost done, barring an Hemsky trade. Boyd Gordon can also play 3rd line RW if we get Zack Smith.

    Eberle – RNH – Hall
    Yakupov – Gagner – ??? (Omark for the time being, unless we can get somebody better)
    Paajarvi – Gordon- Hemsky (or Z.Smith)
    Smyth – Lander – M. Brown or Joensuu

    Petry- Smid
    Ference – J.Schultz
    Belov – N. Schultz (or Larsen, Potter if Belov isn’t as good as I think he will)

    Dubnyk – Labarbera

    This was the vision I think MacT had in mind when he took over. He’s been a success so far. The roster as is will make the playoffs next year.

  79. Ribs says:

    Is that Pouliot getting canned in the first pic? Up In The Air was such a good movie. Completely unexpected when I saw it.

    I’ve seen Ference bad far too many times to believe he’s going to be able to do much here when placed in a role with higher expectations than he’s used to. He’s fine as a 4/5 guy but that’s not what the Oilers needed to find.

    Is he any better than Schultz Sr.? Not sure. I think Schultz doesn’t make his mistakes look as obvious as Ference does, but maybe as a whole their results are similar. I guess if Ference is Schultz’s replacement and he comes in at a little lower a price, that’s fine. I just worry that come training camp the defence is going to consist of a bunch of 4/5/6/7 guys and disaster will shortly follow.

  80. Manitoba Oilers says:

    Big Dan:
    Very pleased with MacT so far, except for the Ralph Krueger firing.Why not just hire Keith Acton?I guess we’ll see.

    He looked for gems from elsewhere like Belov.Exploiting a new “Russian” stream caused by the drafting of Yakupov.Thinking outside the box and moneyballing #37 for five picks – two being talented 3rd round Russians – was genius.He is also thinking ahead to the fact our development stream will need forwards in a few years.Greg Chase will make it as a 4th line banger and be a steal, from what I’ve heard.

    He also didn’t go crazy yesterday.Filppula, Clarkson, Horton, and company went for WAY too much money!Thankfully, Clarkson went elsewhere.He looked at need and was willing to slightly overpay on $ (Gordon) or term (Ference) to fill them.He also may be able to sign somebody else for a reasonable price later this week or month.

    You can see a methodical, reasoned thought process with him.He is the perfect GM; an anti-thesis compared to Lowe (who was CRAZY!) and Tambellini (who wasn’t smart enough to pull anything off).

    I am hoping the Ference signing means they have given up on Coburn and his $4.5M cap hit.If Holmgren truly wants upwards of Paajarvi (unless it’s for Hartnell AND Coburn), NO THANKS!Our D is ok now – MacT bought kids like Marincin and Gernat time when he picked up Belov and Larsen.I like Potter as the #8D, bouncing up and down in case of injuries.Our D is serviceable now and he’ll dump Schultz. Sr at the deadline for a 2nd round pick.Klefbom will be ready by then.

    Why do we keeptalking about Gagner being traded here?MacT has taked at great length about keeping Gagner and rewarding him for his characteristics that the Oilers embody.I wouldn’t mind Grabovski if the price is right as you could bounce Gagner between C and W, but I doubt it’s going to happen.He’ll be overpaid by somebody else.

    Also, why would we trade Smid?He just signed, loves Edmonton, and is the exact kind of player we need.Those rumors are bogus.If anybody goes, it will be N.Schultz, who is a UFA next summer.

    Also, all this talk about Jesse Joensuu.He’s a tweener – he might get called up a few times to wreak havoc against a rival like Vancouver or Calgary – but he’s going to be in the minors most of the time.He replaces Harski because Harski would require a one-way contract and have to clear waivers to be sent down.

    For the first time in years, there was a glimpse of a half-decent 4th line last year.It is Lander, Smyth, and Brown.

    If MacT cannot find a 2nd line winger at the right price via free agency or trade, he has two aces in the hole.

    He doesn’t have to trade Hemsky if the rest of the NHL undervalues him.He could keep him until the deadline and flip him for a 2nd round pick.MacT loves 2nd rounders – he views them as “currency” which he could utilize them to acquire a goalie (think Halak or Hiller-ish) next year at the 2014 draft if Dubnyk isn’t the answer.Dubnyk had a good year but lost focus and allowed backbreaking goals late.With experience and better D, let’s see what he can do.

    He also has Linus Omark.He likes him because he “has spunk”.Omark is creative and talented and could infuse offense from the 4th line and move up if the lineup if necessary.He is good enough for the NHL but no other GM’s are interested.So sign him for cheap – he has little options otherwise – and he’ll either become useful or tradeable.What do we have to lose?He is dogged along the boards and in front of the net.His only vice is he may be uncoachable – not following the system – so we cut him loose on waivers if that happens.I am sure being benched in the playoffs in Switzerland after leading his team in scoring was humbling for him.He comes highly motivated.

    I think MacT got most of the pieces he wanted.His work is almost done, barring an Hemsky trade.Boyd Gordon can also play 3rd line RW if we get Zack Smith.

    Eberle – RNH – Hall
    Yakupov – Gagner – ??? (Omark for the time being, unless we can get somebody better)
    Paajarvi – Gordon- Hemsky (or Z.Smith)
    Smyth – Lander – M. Brown or Joensuu

    Petry- Smid
    Ference – J.Schultz
    Belov – N. Schultz (or Larsen, Potter if Belov isn’t as good as I think he will)

    Dubnyk – Labarbera

    This was the vision I think MacT had in mind when he took over.He’s been a success so far.The roster as is will make the playoffs next year.

    Yaks a RW

  81. FastOil says:

    Thinker:
    I don’t see how you can keep gagner if you consider him a winger, and you want complementary wingers in the top six. I’ve always been in favour of keeping gagner because moving him opened a bigger hole than it would fill. However, if gagner is a winger behind yak and eberle, you might as well flip him for a center/physical winger/dman. The cap situation got tighter yesterday. And though I like the players, I don’t think we are better tomorrow than we were yesterday.

    Correct. The problem with some of these players is not them per se, but cost vs role.

    With what Gagner will get paid, he has to be top 6.

  82. Woodguy says:

    G Money: Welcome to the dark side, gentlemen!

    Now the one thing I am baffled by is the suggestion that this means Nick Slutz ™ (or worse, Smid) is heading out of town.We finally have a D corps with four legit NHLers in the top 4, and one that allows Jr Su’ltz ™ to get some easy 3rd pairing minutes– and we’re proposing to shrink it again?

    Unless another quality top 4 NHLer (Coburn? Gilby?) is coming back the other way, I think we finally have the beginnings of a competent defense-by-committee group, especially if Belov is capable of playing 3rd pairing at least.

    Let’s not hamstring it already.

    The way MacT talks about Belov, he’s playing in EDM for sure this year.

    Smid-Ference-Belov is probably your left side.

    No room at the inn for a $3.5MM 7th Dman

  83. G Money says:

    Ribs: Is he any better than Schultz Sr.? Not sure. I think Schultz doesn’t make his mistakes look as obvious as Ference does, but maybe as a whole their results are similar.

    Ribs – I agree, I see Ference and Schultz Sr as basically the same guy – competent 4D. Different style though – Schultz is positionally more sound, while Ference is more in-your-face.

    But as a legit top 4, I see Ference as a replacement for Schultz Jr in the top 4, and Schultz Jr as a replacement for Whitney in the top 6, and with both those moves we are better off.

    Lowetide: Money: Would only send N Schultz out if a better blue returned (Coburn as an example).

    Absolutely. Here’s an interesting thought experiment … ordinarily if you added yet another Top 4 guy like Gilbert, you might make Schultz expendable. But as I recall from the human interest side from when they were traded, I believe they are brothers-in-law, are they not? So I’d kinda like to see a Schultz-Gilbert pairing, just for the family angle!

  84. Lowetide says:

    Ribs: I’m hopeful MacT well remembers the coach whose 2006 of Pronger, Spacek, Smith, Staios etc turned into the fall 2007 defense of binder twine and molotov cocktails.

  85. G Money says:

    Woodguy: The way MacT talks about Belov, he’s playing in EDM for sure this year.

    Smid-Ference-Belov is probably your left side.

    No room at the inn for a $3.5MM 7th Dman

    Hmmm, if they can get Coburn, and in the same transaction send Schultz out, does that not create the needed room?

    Also – though I am very hopeful that we’ve found a diamond in the rough in Belov, he still has to get here and prove he can play in the NHL. So he may be on the depth chart as 6D, but that would be written in pencil, no? And unless Belov conclusively demonstrates otherwise in training camp, I would think he would be displaced by any proven NHL D.

  86. wordbird says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 53s
    Edmonton #Oilers have acquired defenceman Lee Moffie from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenceman Kyle Bigos.

  87. uni says:

    Fatboy80,

    Still would take the player. Kostitsyn isn’t actually faultless, both of them were pretty bad. Leaving Montreal aside (over not playing) once he got to Toronto he was a gamer and has done everything asked of him. The Vancouver incident was a pretty clearly a cash grab, look at the reports from the police, I even mentioned the ludicrous nature of the lawsuit. You also forgot that he was arrested but never charged and then released. As for the biting, yeah that’s pretty bad…not like good players don’t do stupid things though, Chara tried to decapitate Pacs, and Pronger decided to kick someone with his skates. Would still take both those guys on the Oilers.

    Unless he’s a Corson-esque cancer in the locker room, you sign him. The man is a clear and clear outscoring 2nd line center.

  88. gcw_rocks says:

    Ference is a roll of the dice and on a short term deal I would have been fine with it, but come on. Does anybody really think other teams were offering him four year deals? Anybody who ripped Tambo for the Khabby signing and gives MacT a pass on this one is letting their man crushes get in the way. There is no way this deal turns out well for the Oilers. None. Zero. Zip.

    Even if you assume they trade Nick Schultz to compensate, the deal doesn’t really even help in the short term because the team then left the day with the same hole on the left side they started with.

    In fairness, the Gordon move was good, even if the market inflated his price a little higher than his offence probably justifies. Even as a MacT hater, credit where its due. Be nice to see the MacT lovers take off the rose colored glasses on Ference.

  89. stevezie says:

    uni,

    Fully agree. He’s a good player who made some dumb decisions. Does this mean he will hurt the team? I don’t know, I’d have to look into it as a GM.

    Err on the side of signing him though; he is a good hockey player.

  90. Ribs says:

    Lowetide:
    Ribs: I’m hopeful MacT well remembers the coach whose 2006 of Pronger, Spacek, Smith, Staios etc turned into the fall 2007 defense of binder twine and molotov cocktails.

    We can only hope!

  91. Fatboy80 says:

    uni,

    Where there’s smoke there’s usually fire, but he could be getting picked on. I don’t know him personally. Just don’t see our new GM taking a gamble on a possible locker room cancer. He is a good player, and I’m not denying that. Just not a fit for this team if you read between the lines of what MacT is saying and doing. Pretty safe bet that MacT will build around Gagner at the center position. Grabovski interests me if my name is Jay Feaster, thankfully it isn’t.
    stevezie,

  92. stevezie says:

    Ribs:
    Is that Pouliot getting canned in the first pic? Up In The Air was such a good movie. Completely unexpected when I saw it.

    I’ve seen Ference bad far too many times to believe he’s going to be able to do much here when placed in a role with higher expectations than he’s used to. He’s fine as a 4/5 guy but that’s not what the Oilers needed to find.

    Is he any better than Schultz Sr.? Not sure. I think Schultz doesn’t make his mistakes look as obvious as Ference does, but maybe as a whole their results are similar. I guess if Ference is Schultz’s replacement and he comes in at a little lower a price, that’s fine. I just worry that come training camp the defence is going to consist of a bunch of 4/5/6/7 guys and disaster will shortly follow.

    Agreed on Up In The Air.

    Also, just my ignorant eye and even more ignorant use of stats, but yes, Ference is better than Schultz. He played good minutes for a good coach on an excellent team. He isn’t big but he is pugnacious. He doesn’t score but he does move the puck. If all he does is push lesser players down the depth chart he is a good pick-up. He has a lot of experience. I think he exceeds Schultz the Elder in every one of these areas.

    Plus, he does not preclude another pick-up. In fact, I would argue he helps facilitate one.

    Doubt he makes it to the end of the contract, but we overpaid with term instead of dollars. Don’t care, not my money, and it won’t kill the cap.

    Plus, he’s an environmentalist, which appeals to my biases.

    Not sure what makes him better than Hunwick, but that is a different discussion.

  93. Lowetide says:

    Man that does look like Pouliot. Weirding me out now..

  94. Otown says:

    With reports that Holmgren also wants to sign Simon Gange how about Paajarvi, N. Schultz and a 1st rounder for B. Schenn, Max Talbot and Coburn

  95. FastOil says:

    Anyone think a Hemsky (retain some) for Marc Staal deal would work somehow, given Staal has neutered his value with the Canes thing?

    NYR need a skill RW and it would be short term help for the Oilers until they extend or cash Staal.

  96. Lois Lowe says:

    Also agree on Up In The Air. It was the best movie I had seen in years when I watched it for the first time a few years ago.

  97. Ribs says:

    Lowetide:
    Man that does look like Pouliot. Weirding me out now..

    lol

  98. "Steve Smith" says:

    uni:
    sliderule,

    Avoids ventilation grates and crosses his legs on the bench?

    Nah, just general, garden-variety misogyny.

    As for Ference, I’m afraid that I can’t join the chorus of people to whom the deal looks a little better in the cold light of day. I agree with everybody who says that he’s better than Whitney, but that’s because Ryan Whitney is no longer an NHL player, and Andrew Ference is (although I wouldn’t make any bets about whether he’ll still be by the end of his contract). “Declining, but still an NHL player” isn’t the threshold that makes a four year, thirteen million dollar contract defensible. I don’t often agree with GCW, but I think he’s exactly right here.

    People comparing Ference to Nick Shulz on the basis that both are decent second pairing guys (or “descent second pairing guys” as somebody punned in one of these threads, intentionally or otherwise) are being generous to both players. For that reason, I’d certainly have no objection to seeing Shultes go, although I’m not optimistic that that’s the organization’s plan, since they just stuck an A on him (a different regime, but still).

  99. Lowetide says:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6215

    Nice item from Tyler on Ference

  100. DeadmanWaking says:

    Manitoba Oilers: Yaks a RW

    What you quoted before adding that five word neck-brace of wisdom completely filled my 16:9 monitor in portrait orientation. It gave me great joy to dispatch an acre of dim font with a single press of the “page down” key. Thanks for the small Saturday thrill.

  101. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    Sure, post that right after I reiterate my dislike of the signing. Asshole.

    I don’t know; Tyler makes reasonable points there, but at the end of the day, Ference was not playing the toughest competition and was absolutely bleeding shots against, by any measure. And that appears to have been true even when he wasn’t playing with another lefty.

    I stand open to being pleasant surprised; I have been before (although more commonly I’m unpleasantly surprised, such as by Belanger, whose signing I heralded).

  102. Numenius says:

    Seems to me that Jagr on a 1-year deal would be great as a patch job on 3R for this season, while we work on other needs (2D, 2L, 2/4C). I read somewhere that he’d like to go where he could play in the top six, and that’s certainly us.

    Wonder if he’d be interested.

  103. dessert1111 says:

    I think the problem with the Ference signing is mainly term. 2 years would’ve been great. I would’ve hoped the 3rd year would’ve been the required “free agent overpay” — 4 years just seems like too much. Oh well.

    His role seems similar to N Schultz, so here’s hoping N Schultz and Hemsky can be turned into some combination of the remaining holes. I’m not sure a combo of them gets you a top 2 defenseman or a 2LW.

    Aside from those two holes, the rest of them should be filled before camp. Those are two significant holes, but most teams have holes, so I think the negativity is a bit overdramatic.

    Might not be a playoff team by the end of the summer, but I can seem them as a bubble team. If they add those 2 big pieces then I think they’re in a very good position.

    MacT’s doing just fine…gets a B+ from me so far, mainly because too much term on Ference’s deal.

    MacT talking about Clarkson sounds like a teenage girl who just lost her virginity. Holy idealism. Scary like others mentioned, but also a bit creepy.

    Family seems like it’s MacT’s buzzword. Not a terrible thing, but I feel like it’s mentioned a bit too much.

  104. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Lowetide,

    Sure, post that right after I reiterate my dislike of the signing.Asshole.

    I don’t know; Tyler makes reasonable points there, but at the end of the day, Ference was not playing the toughest competition and was absolutely bleeding shots against, by any measure.And that appears to have been true even when he wasn’t playing with another lefty.

    I stand open to being pleasant surprised; I have been before (although more commonly I’m unpleasantly surprised, such as by Belanger, whose signing I heralded).

    lol. My pleasure. Ference was never going to play the toughs because of Chara. Just saying.

  105. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide,

    I agree. But then I’d have hoped for better results.

  106. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Lowetide,

    I agree.But then I’d have hoped for better results.

    Which are then compared to Chara, the best defenseman in the league. We’ll see, and I do agree the 4 year deal is a problem (but the money per year is not, so there’s that) but honestly believe people will be pleasantly surprised by him.

  107. jp says:

    LMHF#1: I’m assuming that he will take his time making a decision. Grabovski’s also getting married this weekend I believe, so you wouldn’t expect anything from him for a time.

    Just wondering why he would have planned a wedding for the 1st days of Free Agency, but I guess he wasn’t exactly expecting to be on the market.

    Certainly a little concern about some of his off ice/out of game incidents, but he’d be a nice addition to the team. Would think Eakins would have some sort of inside info on his character having been in the organization.

  108. "Steve Smith" says:

    Lowetide: Which are then compared to Chara, the best defenseman in the league.

    Well, what about comparing him to Dennis Seidenberg and Aaron Johnson, then? His results don’t look bad because he was in Chara’s shadow (and not on his pairing, most of the time); they look bad because they weren’t very good. I don’t expect them to get better as he ages, even in the first couple of years of the deal.

    Still, as a very wise man (or a few of them, really) once said, “we wait.”

  109. Lowetide says:

    Aaron Johnson? I think we can probably assume his numbers are somewhat untrustworthy based on sample size.

    As for Seidenberg comparisions, their qual comp is fairly similar and the CorsiRel difference isn’t miles although it certainly exists. I’m completely comfortable with saying Ference is less the player that Seidenberg is, and would in fact suggest that’s true.

    However, there’s many miles between ‘not being equal to Seidenberg’ and ‘not being a top 4D’ and the gap between them doesn’t look massive to my eye.

  110. jb says:

    Ference adds much needed depth right now, and will be a 6/7 playoff insurance option in years 3/4.. he could of course be passed by any number of prospects or additions.. Andrew Ference is a competitive veteran presence and will set the bar high.. no more free roster spots for young guys maybe not ready for regular NHL minutes.. the competition should produce much better results than we’ve seen over the last decade +… no AHL team was a joke.

  111. G Money says:

    Lowetide:
    Aaron Johnson? I think we can probably assume his numbers are somewhat untrustworthy based on sample size.

    As for Seidenberg comparisions, their qual comp is fairly similar and the CorsiRel difference isn’t miles although it certainly exists. I’m completely comfortable with saying Ference is less the player that Seidenberg is, and would in fact suggest that’s true.

    However, there’s many miles between ‘not being equal to Seidenberg’ and ‘not being a top 4D’ and the gap between them doesn’t look massive to my eye.

    Three points to add to that:

    - based on Staples’ analysis on Neilsen ratings, at least in the playoffs, Seidenberg was far and away the worst defenseman on the Bruins during the playoffs. That was one of the reasons for Ference’s increased ice time

    - As per discussion with VOR on the original Ference thread, his analysis shows that Corsi is well correlated with on ice performance of forwards, but there is little or no correlation between Corsi and on-ice performance for defenseman. This should make intuitive sense, since D, especially defensive D, take the ‘full hit’ for negative possession in the D zone, but have far less opportunity to influence possession and shots in the offensive zone than do forwards. You can slag the ‘seen him good’ crowd all you want, but most of the distrust of Ference seems to be based on his Corsi numbers, which, as a defensive defenseman, are mostly noise.

    - AND finally, to recap part of the original argument – Ference is a trusted Top 4 guy on one of the best defensive teams in the league. In other words, one of the ‘seen him good’ guys is Claude Julien, who seems to understand hockey a little bit, and who sees him more often than pretty much anyone else. TOI remains the best indicator I know of as to where a guy slots in on his defense. Ference is unquestionably Top 4 on Boston. Boston is not an offensive powerhouse, they are actually average (14th to be precise in GF). They do not have the firepower to overcome bad defensive play from one of their top 4 guys. Yet somehow they made it all the way to the final.

    And yet, the tired old argument goes, he’s somehow not good enough to be Top 4 on the Oilers, one of the worst (29th in SA/G, 19th in GA/G) defensive teams in the league.

  112. jp says:

    G Money:

    - As per discussion with VOR on the original Ference thread, his analysis shows that Corsi is well correlated with on ice performance of forwards, but there is little or no correlation between Corsi and on-ice performance for defenseman.This should make intuitive sense, since D, especially defensive D, take the ‘full hit’ for negative possession in the D zone, but have far less opportunity to influence possession and shots in the offensive zone than do forwards.You can slag the ‘seen him good’ crowd all you want, but most of the distrust of Ference seems to be based on his Corsi numbers, which, as a defensive defenseman, are mostly noise.

    How do you explain Ryan Whitney then?

  113. 719 says:

    Anyway J. Voracek from Philly shakes loose? Maybe Paajarvi and Marincin, for Voracek and Mezaros?

  114. G Money says:

    jp: How do you explain Ryan Whitney then?

    You’re better off looking up VOR’s original post on the minimal predictive value of Corsi for defensemen.

    If your statement is a challenge of the value of Corsi, well done on using a single sample to prove your point! The short form rejoinder is this: VOR could not find a correlation of any kind between Corsi and on-ice performance for defensemen. Bad defensemen can have bad Corsi. Bad defensemen can have good Corsi. Good defensemen can have bad Corsi. Good defensemen can have good Corsi.

    In other words, a Corsi number for a defenseman has far less predictive value than it does for a forward. You can find the correlation with forwards easily, VOR was unable to do the same for defensemen. His effective conclusion is that you can look at a random defenseman’s Corsi number and be unable to determine from that whether he’s actually a good D or not. I have not tried to reproduce his results (it’s a LOT of work), but intuitively those results jive with my own impressions in using Corsi numbers over the last two years.

    As for Whitney, he’s a bad player – or rather a once good player with only one leg. In Whitney’s case, his Corsi reflects his bad play – but statistically, VOR is saying that you can’t determine whether that’s actually reflective in his case, or just a noise effect.

    He’s also an offensive defenseman, so – as a guess, this was not a conclusion that VOR reached, but my interpretation and imposition of a continuum on the nature of the correlation – Corsi might arguably be moderately more predictive (less noisy) for him than for someone like Ference or Schultz Sr.

    Explanation enough?

  115. jp says:

    G Money,

    I’m really sorry to prompt you to write such a detailed explanation. I was just trying to take a jab at Whitney since his terrible corsi DID reflect his terrible play (as you’re well aware). Thanks for the effort all the same, and good summary I think.

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