TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL #3: BEN EAGER

Ben Eager has had a good summer. Eager’s skills–big, tough winger with enough skill to score some goals from the end of the batting order–has not been duplicated via off-season procurement. This means he has an outstanding opportunity to win an NHL job again this season. Jonathan Willis wrote an article recently that perfectly describes Eager and his current situation:

  • Willis: Over his career, Eager has been a 6’2″, 236 pound wrecking ball – and there is value in that – who adds a little bit of scoring and can play a regular shift on the fourth line. If he can get back to that level, I see him as a guy who can add some value to the Oilers’ lineup. The fact is that he’s under contract for another year, so there’s likely little harm in giving the 29 year-old a chance to show that 2013 was an exception rather than the new normal.

 RE 13-14: 5, 0-1-1

EAGER 2011-12 SLEDGEHAMMER

jones 11-12 sledgehammer

 

Eager’s 11-12 graph shows tougher than normal zone starts but fairly soft opposition and there’s no blue in his balloon–so, as Jonathan states it’s about what you expect from a 4line player. If the Oilers could send a second Gordon onto any 4line I’d expect the joint to be rocking but we’re clearly a year away based on the events of summer.

EAGER 2012-13 SLEDGEHAMMER

hemsky vollman

 

Pretty much the same spot as the previous season in terms of batting order.

BEN EAGER 2010-11 PLAYER CHART

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.36
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: Eager played for 2 teams
  • Qual Team: –
  • Corsi Rel: -12.6
  • Zone Start: 50.4%
  • Zone Finish: 48.5%
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 84/8.33%
  • Boxcars: 68, 7-10-17
  • Plus Minus: +4

BEN EAGER 2011-12 PLAYER CHART

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.46 (7th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: 13th toughest faced among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: 14th best and worst available teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: -8.8 (11th best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 49.3% (8th toughest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 43.5% (13th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 69/11.6% (6th best among F’s >50 shots)
  • Boxcars: 63, 8-5-13
  • Plus Minus: -1 on a team that was -26

BEN EAGER 2012-13 PLAYER CHART

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.89 (13th among forwards with 10 or more GP)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: 15th toughest faced among forwards with 10 or more GP
  • Qual Team: 12th teammates among forwards with 10 or more GP
  • Corsi Rel: -28.3(worst among forwards with 10 or more GP) (-35.33 Corsi ON)
  • Zone Start: 39.8% (3rd toughest among forwards with 10 or more GP)
  • Zone Finish: 47.8% (14th best among forwards with 10 or more GP)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 14/7.14%
  • Boxcars: 14, 1-1-2
  • Plus Minus: -4 on a team that was -15

Eager’s 5×5/60 in 2010-11 and 2011-12 could certainly come in handy on the 4th line, and may be part of the reason MacT sees him as a possible option.  I think he lost some effectiveness during his Edmonton time because of concussion, and he could recover–still, probably not the “take a pass, make a pass” option we’re hoping for who can keep up with the play.

For that reason, I have Eager on the outside looking in for 2013-14.

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41 Responses to "TRAINING CAMP HOPEFUL #3: BEN EAGER"

  1. Racki says:

    Damn you, Tulupov.

    Could have been one of Tambo’s best moves (not that this is saying much), Eager, but now seems like that player drafted in round 1 is not at all in there. Too bad. I would love for him to surprise me though.

  2. striatic says:

    always bugged me when a certain unnamed Edmonton radio personality would accuse Eager of “not stepping up”, when his doctor is probably rightfully telling him that he’d be risking permanent brain damage by doing so.

    maybe there isn’t a place for him in the league if he can’t fight anymore, but not so subtly implying he’s some kind of prima donna or coward for not fighting post-concussion is repulsive to me.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Eager a prima donna? I don’t think so, he’s been atough sob from the word go. Tulupov killed his Oiler career.

  4. striatic says:

    Lowetide:
    Eager a prima donna? I don’t think so, he’s been atough sob from the word go. Tulupov killed his Oiler career.

    of course, and at the Joey Moss no less.

    *i* don’t think Eager is a prima donna, no way, but there have been some asinine comments from a certain radio commentator that after signing with the Oilers he started thinking he was too good a player to fight, which i think is a ridiculous assertion.

  5. McSorely Head says:

    Not trying to thread jack, but want happened to the damnable Tulupov?

  6. Lowetide says:

    McSorely Head:
    Not trying to thread jack, but want happened to the damnable Tulupov?

    Joey Moss Cup, early. Tulupov the nut job crushes Eager for no reason, absolutely none. You knew it as soon as it happened, it was something more than just a normal hit. Eager was shaking his head all the way off the ice. Brutal

  7. Andropod says:

    Lowetide: Joey Moss Cup, early. Tulupov the nut job crushes Eager for no reason, absolutely none. You knew it as soon as it happened, it was something more than just a normal hit. Eager was shaking his head all the way off the ice. Brutal

    But what happened to Tulu? Was he disciplined? Traded? Waived? or just abandoned?

  8. Lowetide says:

    Andropod: But what happened to Tulu? Was he disciplined? Traded? Waived? or just abandoned?

    No, he played some pre-season games. I don’t think he had much ‘puck poise’ as it were.

  9. striatic says:

    Andropod: But what happened to Tulu? Was he disciplined? Traded? Waived? or just abandoned?

    he played 33 games for the Barons.

    then i believe he was released to play in the KHL.

    HockeyDB has him playing for the Arizona Sundogs of the Central League last season.

  10. jp says:

    Not that Eager can be a savior for the Oil bottom 6, but I think he does have a good chance to play a lot more than 5 games. Expectations were unreasonably high after he signed a couple of years back (I know, LT, you tried to tell us), but those 10-11 and 11-12 numbers are perfectly fine on the 4th line. We’ll see – maybe he gets back there. If not, no biggie.

  11. Racki says:

    After seeing the after-effects of Raitis Ivanins after having his bell severely run (ripped out of the bell tower, I’d suggest) by Steve MacIntyre, and his career virtually ended in a couple of punches, I take a lot of sympathy with these guys. I’ve always had a lot of respect for the guys that drop the gloves though.

    However, I think there was probably a time where I was wondering “wtf is this guy (Eager) doing not fighting that guy that hit (insert player here)??”… but it really must be tough on a guy like him. I’m sure he’d really want to fight a guy to defend a teammate when needed, but he just can’t at this point now as it’s not safe for him. Disappointing to hear any bad talk about him after his career was pretty much trainwrecked playing in a meaningless scrimmage (with all respect to the JMC). I really want to see him get his game back, but that’s typically not how this movie ends. I’m not sure he can really be effective in the lineup if he can’t flex his muscle.

  12. jp says:

    striatic: he played 33 games for the Barons.

    then i believe he was released to play in the KHL.

    HockeyDB has him playing for the Arizona Sundogs of the Central League last season.

    NHL TC to AHL to KHL to CHL. Ouch.

    One other observation about his stats. His Q-league numbers look disturbingly like Musil’s. Disturbing for Musil that is.

  13. Lowetide says:

    The only issue for Musil is footspeed. He has a general’s knowledge of warfare, but his tanks are slow to the front.

  14. gvblackhawk says:

    Lowetide,

    That is an outstanding analogy.

  15. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    The only issue for Musil is footspeed. He has a general’s knowledge of warfare, but his tanks are slow to the front.

    Certainly Musil’s footspeed is his fatal flaw. To say it’s his only issue may not be fair though. My Tulopov-Musil comparison was based primarily on their 1st Jr season being their best offensive season. Borderline offense which, for whatever reason, stagnated or even regressed. Musil with wheels is still tracking to be Smid. Great player, but with some real limitations of his own. The lack of offense from Musil is very concerning, and not simply due to his lack of footspeed (though it’s no doubt a contributing factor).

  16. Woodguy says:

    I’m fine with Eager making the team as long as it means that Brown doesn’t.

    No room for both at the Inn.

  17. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy:
    I’m fine with Eager making the team as long as it means that Brown doesn’t.

    No room for both at the Inn.

    Then again, maybe I should aim higher.

    The Oilers’ 4th line is a black hole of puck possession where hockey goes to die:

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/8/1/western-conference-line-vs-team-production

  18. Lowetide says:

    jp: Certainly Musil’s footspeed is his fatal flaw. To say it’s his only issue may not be fair though. My Tulopov-Musil comparison was based primarily on their 1st Jr season being their best offensive season. Borderline offense which, for whatever reason, stagnated or even regressed. Musil with wheels is still tracking to be Smid. Great player, but with some real limitations of his own. The lack of offense from Musil is very concerning, and not simply due to his lack of footspeed (though it’s no doubt a contributing factor).

    I think we’ve known for some time–probably during his draft season–that Musil wasn’t a puck mover or offensive plus. His defensive skills are the extent of his value.

  19. jp says:

    Lowetide: I think we’ve known for some time–probably during his draft season–that Musil wasn’t a puck mover or offensive plus. His defensive skills are the extent of his value.

    True, but some kind of offensive progression would have been nice/expected. This is not a good arrow.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Uktra rare for a defenseman to take his offense with him to the NHL. Musil is a stay at home D, think Smid’s offensive output.

  21. stevezie says:

    striatic: of course, and at the Joey Moss no less.

    *i* don’t think Eager is a prima donna, no way, but there have been some asinine comments from a certain radio commentator that after signing with the Oilers he started thinking he was too good a player to fight, which i think is a ridiculous assertion.

    In the defence of the unnamed radio announcer, he has been trashing Eager for years before the Oilers acquired him.

  22. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Woodguy: Then again, maybe I should aim higher.

    The Oilers’ 4th line is a black hole of puck possession where hockey goes to die:

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/8/1/western-conference-line-vs-team-production

    The second and third lines aren’t much better.

  23. stevezie says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    There is basis for hope there though. (Perron, Yakupov being better, Gordon being more durable than Horcoff, Hemsky moving in the direction of his historical mean, better defense helping all of this).

    There are two overriding allures to sports- narratives and hope.

    What can you hang your hat on for the fourth? Jonessu I guess.

  24. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Uktra rare for a defenseman to take his offense with him to the NHL. Musil is a stay at home D, think Smid’s offensive output.

    For sure. I compared him to Smid above. But even Smid scored 28 Pts in the AHL as a Jr aged player. Musil scored 31 in the WHL this past year at the same age. That’s a big gap. It’s much like your 4C having to “hit” just a little to stay in the lineup. Less key for defenders, but they still need enough puck skills to get the play moving in the right direction. Those puck skills are usually reflected in some level of offense at the Jr level. Hopefully it doesn’t matter for Musil, but I’m worried.

  25. rickithebear says:

    Corsi must be adjusted for
    1. resultant Zone start Disadvantage.
    .57/entry carried versus .22/entry dumped.
    +/- 35%
    2. poor face off centermen
    58% to 42%
    maximum +/- 19%
    3. offensive zone entry type.
    carried entry versus dump 2.60 pocessions to 1
    +/- 260%
    4. pocession loss line changes.
    26 to 1 out shot.
    +/-2600%

    -A team that runs a dump system to a carry system should be out corsied 2.6 to 1.
    Is there any dought about our major drop in Corsi.
    -players who go on the ice after a dump and change should get hammered.
    -a possible +/- 73% varance in corsi from FO and zone start.

    After looking over many numbers.
    Cosi ergo shot count variance is highly influential to the GA side of the game.
    +/- 5.2 shots/game 10.4/28.9
    A GA variance of 36% just from shot count.
    +/- .44 GA
    League average 2.60 GA
    44/260 16.9%

    The Goaltending Affect is .889 to .940 or .051 save % working range.
    +/- .0255 Save%
    Most are .900 to .932
    +/- .016 Save%.
    +/- .46 GA 17.7%
    Shots is 48.9% of game affect.
    Goalies

    Until we can get a Corsi udjusted for the 4 factors.
    Corsi is dubious at best.

    Even then a measure of player perfprmance
    1.Corsi/pocession
    2. Shot/Corsi
    Available At behind the net.
    i will have to look at the posible variances for forwrds and D men.
    3. Goals/ Shot
    Save %
    all 3
    are full progression measure of players.

  26. rickithebear says:

    Zone start factor is .5 Ozone face off win and .37 carried
    35%

    the Zone entry type is .57 carried and .22 dump

  27. striatic says:

    Woodguy: Then again, maybe I should aim higher.
    The Oilers’ 4th line is a black hole of puck possession where hockey goes to die:

    that isn’t as bad as it looks. compared to the other teams the bars aren’t shifted that much so much as the team as a whole is just lower.

    this is a more pervasive problem, related to the team’s defensive play as a whole.

  28. DeadmanWaking says:

    Eager has career earnings of $5m. How much does Harski have? He’s not even in the database I consulted. And he’s the same dirty-nose play away from never being the same again. You can’t even relax in camp.

    If you’re honest about it, major sports leagues as dangerous as the NHL are not so different than putting ants in a jar and shaking it until the last ant standing, upon whom wealth and glory is heaped, while the Fs (Foster, Fedun) limp off with fractured femurs.

    And for what? The blood-lust of jar-shaking geriatrics who give angry old white guys a bad name.

    Foster told TSN that there were complications during his surgery to repair his broken femur. Foster bled out and was in danger of losing his leg and could have died. A surgery that typically takes three hours took close to eight hours to complete. Foster wondered aloud if the NHL would have changed the icing rule had he not made it through the surgery.

    What does the league expect to happen when the ranks of the skilled infantry who find themselves languishing in tweener limbo lace up the body armor one bench over from the empty eyes of a hulk reduced to a husk while his own jersey hangs in the locker briefly allocated to Foster/Fedun? Harski hi ho. Amassing some padding under the mattress sooner rather than later starts looking pretty good.

  29. Lowetide says:

    jp: For sure. I compared him to Smid above. But even Smid scored 28 Pts in the AHL as a Jr aged player. Musil scored 31 in the WHL this past year at the same age. That’s a big gap. It’s much like your 4C having to “hit” just a little to stay in the lineup. Less key for defenders, but they still need enough puck skills to get the play moving in the right direction. Those puck skills are usually reflected in some level of offense at the Jr level. Hopefully it doesn’t matter for Musil, but I’m worried.

    The explanation is in game state. Smid as an AHL rookie:

    EV: 71, 0-13-13
    PP: 71, 3-11-14
    PK: 71, 0-1-1

    Musil this past season:
    EV: 62, 9-21-30
    PP: 62, 0-1-1
    PK: 62, 0-0-0

    They’re pretty much the same player offensively. The difference in their totals in these seasons is the AHL coach used Smid on the PP–I don’t think anyone can argue the Oilers should use Smid that way, and expect Musil will have very few PP minutes in his pro career.

  30. hags9k says:

    Musil’s skating may hold him out of the NHL but it’s too early to put a fork in him. He has a couple years here to improve. If he can get mobile he will be an excellent defender. By far this is the prospect I’m cheering hardest for because at 20, he seems to have been written off already.

  31. Woodguy says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: The second and third lines aren’t much better.

    Clean your glasses.

  32. Woodguy says:

    striatic: that isn’t as bad as it looks. compared to the other teams the bars aren’t shifted that much so much as the team as a whole is just lower.

    this is a more pervasive problem, related to the team’s defensive play as a whole.

    I think it is as bad as it looks, but I agree on the defensive play.

    In particular, the addition of Dmen who can pass and the subtraction of the Dmen who can’t, or who can’t skate is going to make a very large difference.

    Add to that the bizarre thing that Tyler is finding with RK’s post faceoff system, and the team has a big opportunity to improve immensely from last year.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: I think it is as bad as it looks, but I agree on the defensive play.

    In particular, the addition of Dmen who can pass and the subtraction of the Dmen who can’t, or who can’t skate is going to make a very large difference.

    Add to that the bizarre thing that Tyler is finding with RK’s post faceoff system, and the team has a big opportunity to improve immensely from last year.

    This. Somewhere in there lies the truth. We could be raving about the 3 and 4 lines all winter long when the key will be coaching and getting the puck out of the zone in less than 6 minutes (current estimate based on last three seasons).

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I have trouble staying mad with Kirill Tulupov. That name is simply too majestic.

    That said, no Joey Moss and Eager is a different player the last two years. I don’t think he would have ever been great, but better would have been helpful.

    Of course, he got pasted by Kassian at the beginning of last year too… So probably they shouldn’t play him anywhere for the first 10 games or so to be safe.

  35. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    I have the rumblings of a theory in the back of my head that’s not well-formed or ready to be adequately articulated.

    Eye-balling those numbers, I get the sense that the d-corps probably has a massive impact on Team / line Corsi.

    i.e. if you could hypothetically transplant the Kings’ dmen on to the Oilers, what impact would that have? I suspect it would be massive.

    Conversely if you have porridge bottom six forwards playing with gawd awful defensemen, this is where suck collides and you have your 2012-3 Edmonton Oilers.

    Hell if we had Dowdy playing 25 minutes per night, I’m sure that would cause a big ripple effect with pretty much any forward who got some TOI with him.

    Mact hasn’t provided any good quotes suggesting a ringing endorsement of advanced stats, but Perron and Gordon show that he’s open-minded to the concepts.

    Woodguy: Then again, maybe I should aim higher.

    The Oilers’ 4th line is a black hole of puck possession where hockey goes to die:

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/8/1/western-conference-line-vs-team-production

  36. nelson88 says:

    Hard to believe that a concussion is the main problem with a former 1st round draft pick who is big, can skate and has some puck skills but has been on 5 NHL teams in 8 years.

    There were rumours he was not a particularly good team mate before Tambellini signed him and his history and off ice issues (assualt charges) would seem to point in that direction.

    Thanks but I’ll take Brown on my team over Eager everyday of the week.

  37. Ryan says:

    Sorry, further to my coffee deficient post above…

    What I meant is in a hypothetical scenario where you take the Kings who are the Corsi Kings vs the Oilers who are pretty much the opposite…

    Pair the Kings forwards and Oilers defense vs. The Oilers forwards and Kings defense….

    It’s an interesting hypothetical situation because the obvious assumption in my mind is that the Oilers forwards with the Kings defense should be better of the two. Though, this assumption could be incorrect…

    Obviously, there’s no way of actually testing this and the Kings themselves have a balanced and loaded roster on both sides. The Oilers have a decent top 2 lines and not much else.

    Either way, the NHL numbers article presents the data in such a way that it’s easy to see clear separation between the juggernauts and pretenders. It would be important to try to find out which factor plays the biggest role in driving those corsi numbers (forwards vs defense)..

  38. Woodguy says:

    Ryan:
    Woodguy,

    I have the rumblings of a theory in the back of my head that’s not well-formed or ready to be adequately articulated.

    Eye-balling those numbers, I get the sense that the d-corps probably has a massive impact on Team / line Corsi.

    i.e. if you could hypothetically transplant the Kings’ dmen on to the Oilers, what impact would that have?I suspect it would be massive.

    Conversely if you have porridge bottom six forwards playing with gawd awful defensemen, this is where suck collides and you have your 2012-3 Edmonton Oilers.

    Hell if we had Dowdy playing 25 minutes per night, I’m sure that would cause a big ripple effect with pretty much any forward who got some TOI with him.

    Mact hasn’t provided any good quotes suggesting a ringing endorsement of advanced stats, but Perron and Gordon show that he’s open-minded to the concepts.

    I agree, but don’t discount the massive fall off in shot differential with 89 and 83.

    5v5 Shot differential together 11/12 – 51.5%

    5v5 Shot differential together 12/13 – 42.1%

    That drop off is unbelievable.

    Its hard to think two good players just stopped being good.

    The system and shitty D wrecked havoc on this team.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Eberle RE is up for those interested

  40. jp says:

    Lowetide: The explanation is in game state. Smid as an AHL rookie:

    EV: 71, 0-13-13
    PP: 71, 3-11-14
    PK: 71, 0-1-1

    Musil this past season:
    EV: 62, 9-21-30
    PP: 62, 0-1-1
    PK: 62, 0-0-0

    They’re pretty much the same player offensively. The difference in their totals in these seasons is the AHL coach used Smid on the PP–I don’t think anyone can argue the Oilers should use Smid that way, and expect Musil will have very few PP minutes in his pro career.

    Huh. That certainly does make a bit of difference. I’m now slightly less concerned about Musil.

    hags9k:
    Musil’s skating may hold him out of the NHL but it’s too early to put a fork in him.He has a couple years here to improve.If he can get mobile he will be an excellent defender.By far this is the prospect I’m cheering hardest for because at 20, he seems to have been written off already.

    Lots of prospects get written off on draft day around here – Musil isn’t doing so bad.

  41. FastOil says:

    I suppose everyone is over at Eberle. I thought players could be taught to skate? I don’t agree beyond minor improvements in technique, hence the handle, chosen a few years ago when the Tambellini show was titled “Coke Machine City”.

    I can’t see the point in players that can’t move. Chara can get away with it because he is 15’25″ and and an anomaly that doesn’t have to move. Trade Musil if he’s got any value. He’s a lefty, no room here, send him to the Devils or something.

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