HELLO, GOODBYE

I think most of us knew there was going to be significant changeover in the roster this coming season, but the actual number of Oilers, Barons, Thunder and prospects who exited the system was enormous–and the number of new names has been just as large.

As we get ready to continue the RE series (tomorrow), here’s a look at exactly what went down this summer.

GOODBYE

  1. Shawn Horcoff: The captain left via trade, and signals a new era in Edmonton.
  2. Magnus Paajarvi: Moving on to St. Louis and a bright future.
  3. Ryan Whitney: His career is at a crossroads and he remains unemployed.
  4. Lennart Petrell: Finn was funn but not effective.
  5. Mark Fistric: Big man cost a fairly high pick but there was only lukewarm interest.
  6. Theo Peckham: Spent a winter in hell and got out of jail with a contract to play for Chicago.
  7. Teemu Hartikainen: Remains part of the organization, but is a distant bell and his return is in question.
  8. Eric Belanger: It was not good.
  9. Jarred Smithson: Still unemployed, could return.
  10. Yann Danis: Took about 5 minutes to get a new gig.
  11. Darcy Hordichuk: It never did work out.
  12. Chris VandeVelde: Big center lost his job when the club signed Will Acton.
  13. Nikolai Khabibulin: Landed in a good place on a one year deal.
  14. Phil Cornet: Oilers identified him as a ‘tweener’ although he did play in the show.
  15. Colten Teubert: It was not to be, I don’t think he ever really established himself this season.
  16. Alex Plante: He didn’t have the footspeed and mobility to play in the NHL.
  17. Kristians Pelss: RIP, young man.
  18. Antti Tyrvainen: Finn never got an NHL shot, but didn’t earn it either. Oilers retain rights.
  19. Tobias Rieder: Solid young prospect was dealt for a big forward.
  20. Niko Hovinen: Back to Europe, Oilers retain rights.

HELLO

  1. David Perron: Skilled player, first shot scorer, skilled and gritty.
  2. Andrew Ference: The big addition to the blue line.
  3. Boyd Gordon: The ideal UFA option and they landed him. Wow!
  4. Jason LaBarbera: A solid backup goaltender.
  5. Denis Grebeshkov: A pure MacT signing, he’ll be grand if he can return to old form.
  6. Anton Belov: Looks like a lock for the NHL roster, despite the crowd.
  7. Jesse Joensuu: The new Hartikainen, he may or may not be better.
  8. Phil Larsen: Two-way defender has a tough battle making the big club this fall.
  9. Ryan Hamilton: PF signing could end up with an NHL job.
  10. Andrew Miller: Small 2-way C who may remind the GM of himself.
  11. Will Acton: Has an outside chance for NHL employment.
  12. Richard Bachman: Solid AHL option and probably a decent #3 NHL G.
  13. Brad Hunt: Interesting signing, I don’t think he’ll be an NHL player but you never know.
  14. Kale Kessy: Big enforcer type with some skill. I’d stop short of calling him a PF.
  15. Darnell Nurse: Impact junior defender comes from a draft aisle the Oilers rarely shop; he’s more a Flyer type. No complaints, he’s one of the very few players in the system who possesses size and higher end skill.
  16. Marco Roy: The advanced stats led Edmonton to this player. Incredible.
  17. Bogdan Yakmiov: Big C from Yak City.
  18. Anton Slepyshev: A high end skill player from the land of ice and snow.
  19. Jackson Houck: Has the skill set and the numbers Oilers have been looking for in a winger.
  20. Kyle Platzer: A hidden gem?
  21. Aidan Muir: Long shot.
  22. Evan Campbell: A long shot’s long shot.
  23. Ben Betker: A defensive defenseman.
  24. Greg Chase: Agitator with skill.

That’s a lot of change in one summer, and we haven’t even talked about the coaching staff/instructional additions. The Oilers are going through several changes, major and minor.

 THE MACT LIST

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

Suspect Lander is his 4line C and not dealing Hemsky may be the best thing he did all summer.

 PROJECTED 2013-14 OILERS LINEUP

  • Nuge-Hall-Eberle
  • Gagner-Perron-Yakupov
  • Gordon-Smyth-Hemsky
  • Lander-Joensuu-Jones
  • Mike Brown
  • Smid-Petry
  • Ference-J Schultz
  • N Schultz-Larsen
  • Belov-Grebeshkov
  • Dubnyk-LaBarbera

Eight names in from last season (Perron, Gordon, Joensuu, Ference, Larsen, Belov, Grebeshkov, LaBarbera) and gone from last year’s regulars are Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Whitney, Magnus Paajarvi, Lennart Petrell, Mark Fistric, Eric Belanger, Jarred Smithson, Darcy Hordichuk and Nikolai Khabibulin. That’s 9, and I do think the blueline has been clearly upgraded (and depth improved) over the summer.

The C position looks flat year over year, I think it will be better because the new coach will ride his top 3C’s more than Krueger and of course we’re identifying some Krueger alignment errors as the summer wears along. I’m reading more and more about Eakins being a defense first coach, and would caution you to remember he didn’t have many horses with the Marlies–I suspect he’ll ride Hall hard this coming season, really all the kids. It’s going to be fun. RE back tomorrow for the blue.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE taxi driver

This is the 25th anniversary of the Gretzky sale, we’ll spend some time on it but will also have some other things on today’s show (10am on Team 1260). Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky from Big Mouth Sports. 99 deal, HNIC–do they pay to get the Saturday night broadcast, or not–plus a few other items with Steve.
  • Craig Ellingson, Edmonton Journal Sports Editor. The Journal has a truly brilliant site up to document the trade from all angles (it is here) and I’ll talk to Craig about the event and just how much  time was devoted to the deal (then and now).
  • David Staples from the Edmonton Journal. I’ll ask David about the modern team and the difficulty in living up to expectations of another decade of glory similar to the 1981-1990 run.
  • Jill Horbay from FC Edmonton will be by to preview the Eddies big game this weekend at Clark Stadium.
  • Jungle Jim Hunter. We’ll talk Sochi Olympics and what athletes are doing now to prepare.

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59 Responses to "HELLO, GOODBYE"

  1. jonrmcleod says:

    In your “MacT List,” you can’t really mark the Paajarvi item as done since he was traded. But you could say that the non-trade of Hemsky compensates for the loss of Paajarvi (since on your list Hemsky is traded).

  2. Lowetide says:

    Paajarvi is done in that the contract is solved, although not in Edmonton. One of the interesting things I find about Oiler fans is they do NOT believe Hemsky is a better option than Paajarvi on the third line. I love Paajarvi, but Hemsky can get the puck out of harm’s way and head in a good direction in a heartbeat.

  3. jonrmcleod says:

    Lowetide,

    If you believe that Hemsky is a better option than Paajarvi on the third line than the trade for Perron looks even better. The Oilers were not going to get a top-six forward for Hemsky.

  4. Lowetide says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Lowetide,

    If you believe that Hemsky is a better option than Paajarvi on the third line than the trade for Perron looks even better. The Oilers were not going to get a top-six forward for Hemsky.

    Well, I like the Perron trade as is, and adding a healthy Hemsky to the top 9F (I do think he’ll play up many times, coaching staffs are always tinkering) should be a terrific boost for Eakins.

  5. jonrmcleod says:

    If you trade Hemsky and keep Paajarvi, you get a third-liner and Paajarvi. But the result of not trading Hemsky and instead trading Paajarvi is that the Oilers now have Perron and Hemsky.

    Perron, Hemsky > Paajarvi, third-liner ?

  6. sliderule says:

    The rumor I keep hearing is that MacT can’t get anybody to bite on Hemsky.

    That means he is your third line winger and in the Eakins blender for top six until at least the trade deadline.

    All the Hemsky lovers can relax until the deadline.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Jon: I think we have to change the way we’re thinking about the 3line as a checking crew. imo that line will be the ‘tough zone start’ crew and the Hall line will be the ‘tough minutes’ crew, leaving the 2line to storm the castle.

    If we’re talking about PK work and defensive play, Hemsky and Paajarvi are not similar players. However, the things Hemsky can do will help that line. The issue is do you pay someone $5M to lug the puck to center ice, only to have him try to be creative with Gordon and Smyth as linemates?

    That’s the real issue I have playing Hemsky with those two.

  8. dawgtoy says:

    25 years ago, I was a very sad 17 year old, learning that 99 had been traded. The year previous my heart had been broken when my favorite Oiler had been traded, but 99 hurt far worse, and we all realized it meant so very much more.

  9. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Lowetide,

    I think Gordon is under-rated offensively. I’m not saying he’s good, but he’s not terrible. Smyth is old, slow, but still a heck of a mucker and should be effective crashing the net.

    Hemsky played with two skill players last year and it was a total trainwreck. In my opinion, it was the worst season he’s ever had from a “delivering against expectations” standpoint. I think Hemsky is best as the most skilled player on his line, that way he can be a creative loner and have two guys clean up after him… could be the best thing for him.

    The problem he will have is zone starts and brutal matching. Also, I’m not sure he will resign at a reasonable price to play 3RW for the next 3 years, so a trade becomes almost mandatory.

  10. Woodguy says:

    Going off topic, but Steve Burtch from Pension Plan Puppets is doing some really interesting work regarding how to value Dmen. His twitter account is: @SteveBurtch

    Here is his introductory post: http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2013/7/29/4324054/sdi-v2-1-shut-down-index-2012-13-part-1

    Here is the follow up post with links to his data: http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2013/7/30/4570108/sdi-v2-1-shut-down-index-2012-13-part-2

    This is really, really interesting stuff.

    LT, I suggest you get Steve as a guest to to talk about this. Ground breaking stuff.

    He mentions that he doesn’t like to draw conclusions with under 3000min played as a sample, but here is how the Oilers of recent vintage stack up:

    He looked at all data from 2007-2012

    50% means that the player had a CA/20 (corsi against) that was on par with what was expected given his Zone Starts, team mates and opponents.

    A high mark (like Chara who is best among players with >3000min) scored in the 97.6 percentile.

    Petry 76.6 (very good)
    Potter 73.5 (very good)
    Fistric 72.0 (very good)
    Gilbert 69.5 (good)
    Smid 66.8 (good)
    N.Shultz 42.4 (below average)
    Sutton 30 (not good)
    Peckham 26.4 (not good)
    Strucwick 7.3 (awful)
    J.Shultx 6.2 (awful)
    Whintey 5.4 (awful)
    Chorney 0.2 (ECHL level)

    Fistric is interesting. When analyzing his performance before a lot of people came to the conclusion “Nothing happens when he’s on the ice, good or bad) This backs that up.

    J.Shultz is a little disheartening, but when Mike Parkatti looked at him in detail, he was getting just buried when paired with Whitney.

    This study looks at CA only, not CF as if you read the links I posted, the correlation with Dmen and the CF is very weak.

    That dovetails into what many of us have been saying for a while, that corsi works best for forwards.

    Steve may have come up with something that works well to evaluate Dmen as well.

    Compelling stuff, make sure to read all in both links before running to the data.

  11. Ryan says:

    We’ve replaced the ‘dirty Russian’ with a whole slew of actual Russians. I had missed the Yamiov news earlier. Yakmiov passes to Yakupov .. Love it.

    I used to like acid eater too… The advanced stats liked him better than Gilbert iirc. He suffered from the memories of seen him real bad moments like Dubnyk.

  12. Ryan says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    What was curious about last season in terms of him playing injured… Was that he had an injured foot, yet he was flying and his skating didn’t look like an issue at all.

  13. speeds says:

    I don’t think the Perron trade was great value, even though I think Perron is a better player than Paajarvi, today.

    Paajarvi is under team control for 4 years, Perron 3. Paajarvi is ~2.6M per year cheaper for the next two years. Paajarvi arguably has move room to improve than Perron. Perron and Paajarvi have both been injured, and Perron’s long injury recovery from a concussion was awhile ago, but of the two, might it be more reasonable to be concerned about Perron’s injury history? Maybe, maybe not. To me, the above compensates for Perron being a better current player than Paajarvi* and a straight up trade strikes me as equitable.

    * IMO, and I’m sure people can reasonably disagree about the amount by which Perron is better in their mind that Paajarvi, if they think he is.

  14. Dominoiler says:

    PRV has been a So-so scorer thus far (better backed up by a points per 60) and at this point is not a legit 2nd line option.. he was coming around w using his speed and size, but its mho that he will remain a notch below Perron in terms of offensive production for their entire careers (so long as they get entire careers).. so although its tough to see a fav (w size n elite speed) leave, Perron will hopefully bring what PRV would not..

  15. OIL4LIFE says:

    Woodguy,

    By these metrix’s Fistric would have been a great player for the oilers to resign. I thought it was just a case of saw him good by me. lol Thanks for the links He was ranked the 20th best shut down guy.

  16. regwald says:

    Go check out Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) twitter feed to see the four part trade tree pictures from the Gretzky trade. Very interesting stuff.

    https://twitter.com/dtolensky

  17. Dominoiler says:

    Edit, just processed your point about it prob being a fair one for one deal and have no qualms w it.. just would stress that goal scoring brings a higher price, typically..

  18. Hammers says:

    speeds:
    I don’t think the Perron trade was great value, even though I think Perron is a better player than Paajarvi, today.

    Paajarvi is under team control for 4 years, Perron 3.Paajarvi is ~2.6M per year cheaper for the next two years. Paajarvi arguably has move room to improve than Perron.Perron and Paajarvi have both been injured, and Perron’s long injury recovery from a concussion was awhile ago, but of the two, might it be more reasonable to be concerned about Perron’s injury history?Maybe, maybe not.To me, the above compensates for Perron being a better current player than Paajarvi* and a straight up trade strikes me as equitable.

    * IMO, and I’m sure people can reasonably disagree about the amount by which Perron is better in their mind that Paajarvi, if they think he is.

    Don’t disagree . Said something similar yesterday . $$$ value has more to do with hockey today than any of us like but it is what it is . Also LT I think Smyth would be better used with Jones on your 4th line thereby using Joensuu with Gordon/Hemsky . If Smyth slows down expect Hamilton to take his spot or say 50 games to Smyth & 32 to Hamilton . Either way as you stated Hall etc will get over 20 min a game.

  19. Woodguy says:

    OIL4LIFE:
    Woodguy,

    By these metrix’s Fistric would have been a great player for the oilers to resign.I thought it was just a case of saw him good by me. lolThanks for the linksHe was ranked the 20th best shut down guy.

    I found that surprising as well.

    I know MacT wants every Dman to be able to get the puck up the ice fast, and Fistric isn’t that guy.

    Nothing happens when he’s on the ice, good or bad.

    Interesting that both he and Gilbert remain unsigned.

    If this metric is correct (and the math behind it is solid, albeit shades 3rd pairing D a little too good) there are still lots of inefficiencies in the NHL player market to exploit.

  20. jake70 says:

    Gilbert not signed yet? Who would have thought.

  21. Tarkus says:

    Ryan:
    We’ve replaced the ‘dirty Russian’ with a whole slew of actual Russians.I had missed the Yamiov news earlier.Yakmiov passes to Yakupov ..Love it.

    Now we just need to bring over former 2000 1st-rounder Mikhail Yakubov to come over and play on that line. Nightmares galore for PBP folk.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=51193

    That 2000 draft was bowling-shoe ugly for the Motherland in Round 1. The first 6 Russians drafted didn’t amount to much–including our very own MIkhnov–but the 7th (Frolov) and 8th (Volchenkov) kept it from being a complete disaster.

  22. godot10 says:

    jonrmcleod:
    If you trade Hemsky and keep Paajarvi, you get a third-liner and Paajarvi. But the result of not trading Hemsky and instead trading Paajarvi is that the Oilers now have Perron and Hemsky.

    Perron, Hemsky > Paajarvi, third-liner ?

    Paajarvi and signing Penner >> Perron.

    I sort of think MacT outsmarted himself. Hitchcock wants to coach up Paajarvi into a bigger faster stronger Jere Lehtinen.

  23. supernova says:

    Hammers: Don’t disagree . Said something similar yesterday . $$$ value has more to do with hockey today than any of us like but it is what it is . Also LT I think Smyth would be better used with Jones on your 4th line thereby using Joensuu with Gordon/Hemsky . If Smyth slows down expect Hamilton to take his spot or say 50 games to Smyth & 32 to Hamilton . Either way as you stated Hall etc will get over 20 min a game.

    Hammers,
    speeds,

    Disagree with your assesment of the Maggie trade. I also am a big supporter of Paajarvi. I really think Maggie deserved much better in playing time, and treatment but I will blame the love affair for Ryan Smyth for that.

    We need to progress, in order to progress if we can trade a 3L player with question marks for a 2L player with question marks that is improvement. I really think that second round picks are over valued by the fans, the GM’s around the league show that these are the most active commodity to trade.

    What has the average yield been for the Oilers over the last 10 years for 2nd round picks?

    Perron’s contract on its own is very good value for his production, and there is a very good arguement that his production will improve because of the offensive system and players in edmonton.

    at the same time it is not known what Maggie’s production was expected to be in Edmonton. How and where does he fit, he is a good value player, a very good skater, an exceptional character guy, as well as a promising skill player. The problem is if Edmonton is too improve we have to be willing to part with players that are better now.

    I do this trade everyday of the week, and I am sad to see Maggie go.

  24. supernova says:

    godot10: Paajarvi and signing Penner >> Perron.

    I sort of think MacT outsmarted himself.Hitchcock wants to coach up Paajarvi into a bigger faster stronger Jere Lehtinen.

    why would Penner come back here? wasn’t going to happen, he has a better oppurtunity to win now and play with players he is familiar with, he also doesnt have to move and enjoys the cali lifestyle. Who wouldn’t ?

    Sure he might be a good fit, on paper or fancy stats but that is far from reality.

    I would think MacT didn’t want him, and even if he did probably knew he didnt have a chance to convince him to come to the Oilers.

    Didn’t outsmart himself because it wasn’t a reasonable option to actually happpen

  25. Ca$h-Money! says:

    supernova,

    That’s not fair. You need to assume that every free agent will automatically come here for even money, and that the GM can make decisions knowing he can instantly plug holes with the exact player he needs, at the exact price.

    Come on.

  26. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy:

    Steve may have come up with something that works well to evaluate Dmen

    Thanks for the link! Interesting stuff!

    You should clarify, though, that this new SDI is just a way of evaluating the defensive side of what defensemen do. Schultz will need to be better than he has been at that, but even if he ends up below average, he can make up for it in the offensive end and still be a net positive on the ice. SDI seems to be most valuable at measuring how good guys like Smid are at doing their job, especially since they bring little to nothing on the offensive side.

    So if we start looking SDI to evaluate D, we’ve got to be able to ask: Does this guy provide any offense to make up for / add to his SDI.

  27. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy,

    Also of note: Ference scores poorly in the 6-year average at 30.7%. That’s not a good sign. Though, he is better than Seidenberg, which is surprising. It’s amazing how much Boston’s D is held up by Chara using these metrics.

    Edit: I guess not really “surprising”, it just paints an impressive picture.

  28. Hammers says:

    supernova: Hammers,
    speeds,

    Disagree with your assesment of the Maggie trade. I also am a big supporter of Paajarvi. I really think Maggie deserved much better in playing time, and treatment but I will blame the love affair for Ryan Smyth for that.

    We need to progress, in order to progress if we can trade a 3L player with question marks for a 2L player with question marks that is improvement. I really think that second round picks are over valued by the fans, the GM’s around the league show that these are the most active commodity to trade.

    What has the average yield been for the Oilers over the last 10 years for 2nd round picks?

    Perron’s contract on its own is very good value for his production, and there is a very good arguement that his production will improve because of the offensive system and players in edmonton.

    at the same time it is not known what Maggie’s production was expected to be in Edmonton. How and where does he fit, he is a good value player, a very good skater, an exceptional character guy, as well as a promising skill player. The problem is if Edmonton is too improve we have to be willing to part with players that are better now.

    I do this trade everyday of the week, and I am sad to see Maggie go.

    What makes you think we will be more offensive when Eakins tends to go to defensive style of a game. As for Maggie , Hitch will turn this guy into a player his first year . I agree trades need to be made and you must give up quality to get quality just figured I would sooner have a $1.2 cap hit for a 3rd line player with upside . Like all things time will tell .

  29. Soup Fascist says:

    godot10: Paajarvi and signing Penner >> Perron.I sort of think MacT outsmarted himself. Hitchcock wants to coach up Paajarvi into a bigger faster stronger Jere Lehtinen.

    I want my wife to look like a taller, more-tanned, slightly older Kate Upton. Not sure that is happening either.

  30. cabbiesmacker says:

    godot10:

    .Hitchcock wants to coach up Paajarvi into a bigger faster stronger Jere Lehtinen.

    Good luck there Hitch. Your new name will be Miracle Worker if it happens…..which it won’t

    Oh and…Penner is trash. gawd I can’t believe how some people pine for the past. Which bruising Blackhawk neutralized the guy to non-existent in this years series? A 5’10, 180 pound rookie or his own big fat arse?

  31. wheatnoil says:

    I know I’m talking to myself here, but I got interested in these SDI numbers that Woodguy linked to. So I took a closer look at some of the data and figured I’d share it before moving on with my life.

    On further examination of these SDI numbers… I have some reservations about how useful they are: Using 6 year samples, at the extremes, they may be useful indicators of exceptionally poor and great performance (as Burtch states himself) but in the middle, there’s just too much fluctuation and variance for it to be terribly predictive or helpful. Burtch acknowledges this, but when you look at some individual examples, it just doesn’t make sense. Obviously single year data has the problem of small sample size, but the variance is just HUGE. Consider the following Edmonton-related examples:

    Andrew Ference, year-to-year SDI percentiles from 2007 – 2013
    8 -> 34.5 -> 49.3 -> 69.4 -> 3.7 -> 34.8. Basically, he ranges from almost the 3rd percentile to the 69th percentile over the course of six years, and the biggest jump happened from one season to the next. How can we use this data to predict how well he’ll do next season or even the next 4? One season he’s a well above average defender, the next he’s significantly worse than replacement level.

    Cam Barker
    11.4 -> 49.1 -> (gets traded to Minnesota) 16.3 -> 63.1 (gets bought out) -> 8.2 (in Edmonton) This implies Barker’s best year was the year the Wild bought him out! Any stat that gives Cam Barker a better than average percentile in his defensive play in any year gives me a queezy feeling.

    Smid
    71.1 -> 81.4 -> 72.1 -> 71.6 -> 78.5 -> 57.4 Smid’s data actually shows the least variance, which is surprising given most of us would feel that over the last 6 years he’s shown significant progress. Yet, correcting for zone starts and competition, he started out well above average and continued to be so.

    I also ran Gilbert, Petry, and Whitney, but this comment is long enough. My point is that the SDI work is interesting and I think at the extremes and over many seasons it gives some useful information, but in the middle of the bell-curve and as a prediction tool of how well a defender may do next year or even the next two years, the variance is just too great to be reliable. In fairness, the article and comments acknowledge this but state on average the SDI is, essentially, better than the alternatives we have. I’d say this stat is still very much a work in progress.

    (Okay, I’m done side-tracking. For what it’s worth, I like the Perron – Paajarvi trade!)

  32. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil: Thanks for the link! Interesting stuff!

    You should clarify, though, that this new SDI is just a way of evaluating the defensive side of what defensemen do. Schultz will need to be better than he has been at that, but even if he ends up below average, he can make up for it in the offensive end and still be a net positive on the ice. SDI seems to be most valuable at measuring how good guys like Smid are at doing their job, especially since they bring little to nothing on the offensive side.

    So if we start looking SDI to evaluate D, we’ve got to be able to ask: Does this guy provide any offense to make up for / add to his SDI.

    Exactly.

  33. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil:
    Woodguy,

    Also of note: Ference scores poorly in the 6-year average at 30.7%. That’s not a good sign. Though, he is better than Seidenberg, which is surprising. It’s amazing how much Boston’s D is held up by Chara using these metrics.

    Edit: I guess not really “surprising”, it just paints an impressive picture.

    I’ve been uneasy about the Ference signing since it happened.

    Too long for a player that age.

    Apparently he is quite the leader and I think the kids could use that from a guy who’s been around and won recently.

    That being said, I hope the coach doesn’t play him over his head.

    He might be best on 3rd pairing,especially if Grebs (56%) and Belov pan out well and Klef comes along quickly.

  34. spoiler says:

    Duchene with an avalanche of kindness:

  35. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil,

    I think it shows you how much variance there can be in performance as well.

    No player is super steady and many things can affect performance.

    I don’t think his SDI tool is complete, but its an interesting tool.

  36. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy:
    wheatnoil,

    I think it shows you how much variance there can be in performance as well.

    No player is super steady and many things can affect performance.

    I don’t think his SDI tool is complete, but its an interesting tool.

    True, everything in context I suppose. It is amazing how much variance there is though. Can defensive performance year to year really vary that much or is the data being skewed by some other variable not being controlled for?

    Tyler Dellow’s big data project did something I’d never thought of before, which is separating out multi-shot-attempt shifts from single-shot-attempt shifts. Since seeing that, I’ve wondered if the ratio of single to multi shot attempt against shifts might be the secret window to evaluating defensive d-men performance… essentially, preventing multiple shot attempts by breaking cycles, clearing rebounds, and regaining possession. The single shot attempt shifts may be noise that speak more to neutral zone system play for the team as a whole.

    Of course, I’m content being the jerk that poses questions and then runs and hides, hoping someone else will do all the hard work. Interesting stuff to think about though.

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Phil Cornet: Oilers identified him as a ‘tweener’ although he did play in the show.”

    quick update:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/8/7/4599140/phil-cornet-signs-with-the-san-antonio-rampage

  38. OilClog says:

    All this Gretzky talk everywhere I go is… tough. As a fanbase, we all know it’s been 25yrs, it’s the most devastating event to ever happen to Oiler hockey. It set in stoned for the next 25 yrs every player with skill, will leave. Weight, Cujo, Guerin, Smyth.. yadda yadda.. I’m only left with one option thinking about this.. This season is going to be special.. There’s no way we as a fan base can be beat down anymore.. is there? Probably, guess we will know by November lol

  39. OilClog says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    Totally unrelated, I loved this:

    http://jetsnation.ca/2013/8/9/all-blogger-team-vs-all-msm-team

    Amazing.. Bergeron is his own line.. Beautiful.

  40. DeadmanWaking says:

    Bruce has a nice piece on the Goodbye of our Lives over at cult-of-hockey-4. Gzowski also did an interesting interview of a young woman from Consort Alberta (just a few towns over from where my father grew up). It was a strange interview, because she’s only barely beginning to make her reputation, but P.G. Gruffhouse is giving her the Gretzky treatment, by which I mean standing back in awe of what is unfolding before his (and our) very eyes. He actually says at one point “K.D., you’re a hard person to linearize”. He knows she’s sensitive to a light rein, but she’s heading off to muzzle her own patch of clover nevertheless.

    This interview is posted on YouTube where the commentary runs in this direction: “the interviewer seems to be in over his head” and “why doesn’t he ask any deep questions?” American approach to celebrity: pull the string and collect a sound bite.

    Gzowski was not to everyone’s taste, but declaring P.G. as “over his head” conducting an interview must be not more than an anorexic c-hair shy of the all-time gold standard in mis-underestimating. Like, wow. Now I know beyond a shadow that my head can’t do that trick where the larynx divides in two on the photogenic hubcap axis, and the top half plays merry-go-round while the doo takes a turn for the worse.

  41. Dead Oiler walking says:

    Posted in last article but Lowetide is so damn prolific that by the time get a chance to read an article there’s another one up and noone will read my brilliancies in the old article.

    So beating a dead horse on a simple way to rate draft picks and carreers, sort of:

    There may never be a stat that is fair for all positions. I seem to recall that a coaches only currency is ice time. Average Ice time per game tells the coaches opinion. Total Ice time balances consistency, longevity, injury risk etc.

    Excluding overtime and penalty time the average ice time is:

    Forwards 15 minutes a game
    Defense 20 minutes a game
    Goalie 60 minutes a game but probably only total minutes played of value for goalies

    Relative to Position Average

    Above average- 1st liner Good pick first rounder?
    Close to average – 2nd /3rd liner Good Pick Second or third rounder
    Below average – 3rd/4th liner Still a good pick after the first round because any success is above average success

    Gagner Total Time: 7046:31 Avg – 17.02/gm
    Couture Total Time: 844:58 Avg – 17.24/gm

    Looks like Couture took a lot longer to arrive. Both Above forward average of 15 . Both 1st/2nd liners and both good picks

    Its a good thing that there is not just one difinitive method of valuing players and draft picks. It would sure be boring to know the answer and have nothing to debate.

  42. Bar_Qu says:

    Woodguy,

    wheatnoil: True, everything in context I suppose. It is amazing how much variance there is though. Can defensive performance year to year really vary that much or is the data being skewed by some other variable not being controlled for?

    Tyler Dellow’s big data project did something I’d never thought of before, which is separating out multi-shot-attempt shifts from single-shot-attempt shifts. Since seeing that, I’ve wondered if the ratio of single to multi shot attempt against shifts might be the secret window to evaluating defensive d-men performance… essentially, preventing multiple shot attempts by breaking cycles, clearing rebounds, and regaining possession. The single shot attempt shifts may be noise that speak more to neutral zone system play for the team as a whole.

    Of course, I’m content being the jerk that poses questions and then runs and hides, hoping someone else will do all the hard work. Interesting stuff to think about though.

    Here is where I demonstrate the depth of my ignorance…

    What if this SDI measure could be tied to zone start and zone breakout data? Could you then add a measure tempering the CA with where the play started and if the D man was able to bring the puck out?

    For instance: Faceoff in the own zone, lost by the forwards resulting a shot against, saved, then collected and cleared by the D in question. Until the puck arrives at the D, he is not (generally) responsible for the shot taken. But a good, reliable guy gets the puck out, especially under control to his own teammates.

    I have no idea how you would add those measures together (out of my depth here, remember) but it might help contextualize the SDI data.

  43. wheatnoil says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Woodguy,

    I have no idea how you would add those measures together (out of my depth here, remember)…

    Your ignorance is my ignorance! That’s kind of where everything falls flat for me too. My desire to know what’s going on far out-strips my ability to figure out what’s going on.

  44. Logan91 says:

    OilClog,

    Haha that was a funny little article.

    I love how MPS made it on the list of players.

  45. DeadmanWaking says:

    I wonder if somewhere out there a high-school teacher once wrote on Lance Armstrong’s report card “he’s just not willing to do what it takes”. Arnie didn’t do enough juice, and Gzowski had no sense of the moment.

    I miss the old coffee and cigarettes ruggnat. He and weird-sweater-lady were the Albert and Minerva peerless duo in the great white understated-and-now-lamentably-neglected Defense Against the Dark Arts: Deflecting the Rabid Sound Bite.

    I was going to rush over and add “the interviewer seems to be in over her head” to Frum’s Meech Lake interview with the other “he who must not be named”, but the long version is gone now.

  46. Marc says:

    The word from Matty on Khaira:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/08/08/edmonton-oilers-prospect-jujhar-khaira-once-again-a-freshman/

    The Oil were happy for him to stay in college, but he wanted to go somewhere where he could get more games, be it Everett or OKC.

    Also of note, the Oil consider him to be one of their top ten prospects.

  47. spoiler says:

    I have a signed and framed Gretzky Legends of Hockey print hanging on the wall of my home. I’m not sure why… probably just to torture myself daily about what might have been.

    Watching him play in Oiler silks was like watching Michelangelo or Bernini paint a masterpiece every single week… Genius in action. And when the presence of that genius is stripped from your life, it leaves a very large hole.

  48. PunjabiOil says:

    Regarding Gretzky:

    I started following hockey in 93. My Oilers were always the underdog. But man, it genuinely pains me emotionally every time I watch Kings Ransom. Losing Gretzky was bigger than the Oilers, but for the entire city.

    Gretzky is too classy to put it on Janet, but everything to me indicates it was Janet Jones that got Wayne Gretzky out of Edmonton. We have to keep in mind Gretzky was living in LA already before the trade.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/gretzky-trade/he-who-has-the-gold/index.html

    Glen Sather: Yeah, he was the most valuable piece, and Peter wanted the cash. This was strictly a business deal. You have to remember, Wayne’s contract was coming up, and there were no options on the end of it. Wayne was holding the cards. I think Wayne wanted to stay in Edmonton for the hockey, but at the same time he’d gotten married and things change.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=429447

    In Berg’s conversations with Gretzky it became clearer to the filmmaker that Gretzky was less a victim of the shrewd business tactics of Pocklington and McNall and more a willing participant in the greatest collective turn of fortune in hockey history.

    “I think the fact that his wife was from there was certainly a factor,” he told TSN.ca. “I think the money was a factor and I think that at the end of the day the chance to do it again with another franchise was a chance to take on a new and more epic challenge,” Berg said. “I think all of those factors contributed to Wayne’s decision.”

    _________________________

    If you watch King’s Ransom, Wayne says that’s one of the things he thinks about all the time – how many cups he gave up by being traded.
    Sure seems like a regret to me

    As for Pocklington, Berg was loath to paint him with the brush of villainy that immediately followed news of the trade.

    “Look at the reality of what kind of dynasty was broken up,” Berg said. “I would imagine Pocklington knew what was happening and he knew that while – yes, he was making some cash – he was also aware of what kind of injury he was causing to his team and to his franchise.”

    In the end, the injuries would go both ways.

    Gretzky retired without ever again hoisting hockey’s top prize and Edmonton – despite the Oilers capturing the Cup once more in 1990 – would soon watch their empire get dismantled piece-by-piece and endure a championship drought that extends to the present day.

    The cost was high. But in the end, it was one that was paid out on both sides.

    “[Gretzky] was flat out about it,” explained Berg. “He said, ‘I think about it every day,’ and wiped a tear out of his eye. I can imagine that every time he and Mark Messier get together, there’s not a moment where they don’t look into each other and kind of wonder what might have been.

    Walter indicated in the documentary ”I know how badly Wayne wanted to stay in Edmonton.”

    As I said:

    Jezebel Janet.

  49. Lowetide says:

    I’ve never bought the Jezebel Janet line. She spent the next many years having kids, and the idea that Wayne was being led around by her was too convenient. My personal feeling is that the LAK owner befriended 99, had a conversation with Pocklington with Gretzky on speaker phone in which Puck ran his mouth and was critical, and Gretzky–having been warned by his father–realized it was going to happen.

    The trade was going to happen the moment Marcel Dionne told Gretzky what he was making.

  50. PunjabiOil says:

    As for Perron – it’s a unique opportunity that he was available (due to the new CBA rollback of the cap). You own his rights him another 3 years at a reasonable rate (extension if he plays well), and he’s still young enough (25) that he can improve.

    As teams adjust to the new CBA, and the cap rises, you may not have the opportunity in a year to make such a deal. And MPS may never turn out to be a consistent top 6 guy.

    It’s a reasonable price to pay that could result in strong dividends for the next 3 years.

    Perron deal in all likelihood provides the Oilers with some certainty and stability on the 2nd line.

    I’d make that trade again.

  51. PunjabiOil says:

    Lowetide:
    I’ve never bought the Jezebel Janet line. She spent the next many years having kids, and the idea that Wayne was being led around by her was too convenient. My personal feeling is that the LAK owner befriended 99, had a conversation with Pocklington with Gretzky on speaker phone in which Puck ran his mouth and was critical, and Gretzky–having been warned by his father–realized it was going to happen.

    The trade was going to happen the moment Marcel Dionne told Gretzky what he was making.

    Janet Jones spent the next many years having kids, but before the trade she was gaining popularity, and was on the cover of Playboy. She was a prospect (for an actress) and essentially busted (female version of Alexander Daigle?)

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1012035/3/index.htm

    Quotes in that article hint some element of regret.

    ones Gretzky realizes that this is the curse that comes with living side by side with the greatest hockey player of all time. “But I’m more than just a wife and mother,” she says. “I’m a dancer and a performer and an actress.” Despite a few of those missteps all thespians make from time to time—Jennifer Aniston in Leprechaun, Denzel Washington in Carbon Copy—Jones did, for the record, have an impressive run in Hollywood. She received rave reviews opposite Matt Dillon in The Flamingo Kid; she was, according to PEOPLE, an actress who “steals every scene she’s in,” one who, Playboy said, “works wonders for a bathing suit.” In American Anthem, a 1986 movie about American gymnastic glory, she displayed true athletic prowess, and the movie, goofy as it was, had a quirky, endearing quality because of her screen presence. Even Police Academy 5 had a really interesting…uhhhm…well, at least she got to meet Bubba Smith.

    The point is, Why did marriage have to kill her career? “Couldn’t I play the Annette Bening character in The American President?” she asks. “I would love to be in a movie with John Travolta—I think the chemistry would work.”

    So she continues to pursue a career that many would consider over. Jones Gretzky auditioned for a part in the Broadway musical Chicago, but it didn’t work out. She read for Tomorrow Never Dies, the latest James Bond film, and Armageddon, an upcoming Bruce Willis thriller, but was cast for neither. “Right now I don’t have a name,” she says. “But all it takes is one good role. Not a mediocre role, not something that’s going to embarrass me. Something solid.”

    Police Academy 12?

    She laughs. “I said something solid.”

    _________________________________

    I think it’s just too convenient that Gretzky was already living in LA before the trade. And 25 years later, he still won’t take a position with the Oilers as Terry Jones speculated Daryl Katz has offered him a position. Janet Jones is comfortable living in California, and Wayne is too classy of an individual to put heat on her.

    History often gets revised, but at that time, Vicki Moss told Graham Hicks of the Edmonton Sun that Janet Jones was behind the trade.

    Even reading the papers today, Gretzky says he was set to play hardball for negotiations, but probably wouldn’t have left.
    _____________________

    This was a lose lose situation for everyone. Edmonton. Peter. Wayne. The NHL [failed expansion that ensued].

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  52. Lowetide says:

    No disrespect to Wayne Gretzky, but he has not shown a lot as a coach and one doubts he’d be an outstanding executive.

  53. PunjabiOil says:

    That said, I should probably apologize the Jezebel Janet line. Emotions sometimes take over as a sports fan.

  54. PunjabiOil says:

    This from today’s paper:

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/08/08/the-day-it-became-minus-99-in-the-city-of-champions

    “I can’t remember all the details, but I had a strange deal in my contract and ultimately I would have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of the next season. And would I have walked? I don’t think so. I doubt it.”

  55. godot10 says:

    PunjabiOil: http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/08/08/the-day-it-became-minus-99-in-the-city-of-champions

    My best personal recollection, was when Gretzky renegotiated the 1999 deal (when Pocklington was in financial trouble, and was thinking about taking the Oilers public)i, that Gretzky had 3 years left till complete UFA status. Some have subsequently said 4. I am pretty certain is was 3 or 4. Once he married Janet, he was going to be gone when he bcame a UFA in 3 or 4 years. Pocklington, by that point, did not have the financial resources to be able to pay him what a US market could.

    It was not going to be another decade regardless. The trade allowed Pocklington to be the bad guy. It meant Gretzky didn’t have to be the bad guy walking away 3 or 4 years later .

    Most people didn’t know or care about the contract status, and that things were quickly going to come to an end in fairly short order once Gretzky became a UFA.

    It is always bad karma to do what Pocklington did. But in the sense that it took away the black hat Gretzky would probably have had to wear when he would have left as a UFA. And took the heat off of Janet, that Mrs. Pronger had to endure in 2006, when she forced her husband to request a trade.

  56. Woodguy says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Woodguy,

    Here is where I demonstrate the depth of my ignorance…

    What if this SDI measure could be tied to zone start and zone breakout data? Could you then add a measure tempering the CA with where the play started and if the D man was able to bring the puck out?

    For instance: Faceoff in the own zone, lost by the forwards resulting a shot against, saved, then collected and cleared by the D in question. Until the puck arrives at the D, he is not (generally) responsible for the shot taken. But a good, reliable guy gets the puck out, especially under control to his own teammates.

    I have no idea how you would add those measures together (out of my depth here, remember) but it might help contextualize the SDI data.

    He accounts for zone starts by regressing everyone.

    Read both post carefully.

    Great point about zone exits and that’s what I was alluding to when talking about Dmen who can make the first pass.

    This SDI thing is all about Corsi events Against as those are far more correlated to D performance, but make no mistake, CF can’t be ignored.

    It’s just one tool, but an interesting one, especially for D who don’t have a lot of offense, but I still think it credits 3rd pairing D too much.

    Probably because it’s not balanced against CF.

    It’s easy to minimize CF against 4th line players, many of them hack the puck square…..if they ever touch it.

  57. supernova says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    supernova,

    That’s not fair.You need to assume that every free agent will automatically come here for even money, and that the GM can make decisions knowing he can instantly plug holes with the exact player he needs, at the exact price.

    Come on.

    I really hope you are being facetious, otherwise I am stupified that you could actually believe that everything is a even and fair playing ground.

  58. Ribs says:

    No Rickibear comment all day after Woodguy posts that link? Really?? Fistric good, JSchultz bad! C’mon! lol

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