THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST

An emotional Darnell Nurse was one of four players reassigned after last night’s game. His impressive showing made it more difficult to send him down, but this was absolutely the right call.

ALMOST SOLD OUT (less than 10 left!)

azorcan

 THE CERTAIN OILERS (17)

  • Goalies (2) Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera
  • Defensemen (5) Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid, Justin Schultz and Andrew Ferense, Nick Schultz
  • Centermen (2) Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (inj), Sam Gagner (inj), Boyd Gordon
  • Left Wing (3)  David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Ryan Smyth
  • Right Wing (5) Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Steve MacIntyre

There are rampant internet rumors suggesting Ryan Jones will be placed on waivers (mostly because he apparently deleted his twitter account) which reminds me of the story last night told by coach Dallas Eakins. After arriving in town and talking about fitness (then taking the doughnuts from the media room), he went grocery shopping. As he placed items in his buggy, he noticed people were looking at WHAT he was buying. Hilarious. Edmonton and its hockey team don’t have normal boundaries.

Edward Scissorhands (1990) Blu-ray Screenshot

 THE UNCERTAIN OILERS (9)

  • Goalies (none)
  • Defensemen (4): Anton Belov, Denis Grebeshkov, Corey Potter, Phil Larsen, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Taylor Fedun
  • Center (2): Anton Lander, Mark Arcobello, Will Acton, Andrew Miller
  • Left Wing (2): Linus Omark, Ryan Hamilton, Ben Eager
  • Right Wing (1): Mike Brown

The cuts from this list last night (Lander, Fedun) are not terribly surprising, but in Fedun’s case he played very well and I can see him getting a callup this season (in fact I’d suggest he would be the first defensive callup). Since it’s likely Grebeshkov and Potter will be placed on IR, we have the D list this morning (the 5 men in “certain” category plus Belov and Larsen). I like the blue, especially if Belov turns out to be as good as he looks in a small glimpse.

Lander has been disappointing this camp, and lost a job there for the taking. Not much else to say. Will Acton beat him fair and square, I’m not certain he’s good enough to play in the NHL over a long period but he’s won the day. Arcobello gets the Gagner slot, unless the club decides to make a deal/waiver claim.

Edward Scissorhands (1990) Blu-ray Screenshot

 THE OUTSIDERS (1)

  • Goalies (0): Richard Bachman, Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz, Ty Rimmer
  • Defensemen (0): Brad Hunt, Martin Gernat, Brandon Davidson, David Musil, Darnell Nurse, Joey Leach
  • Centermen (0): Ryan MartindaleCJ Stretch, Travis Ewanyk
  • Left Wing (1): Curtis Hamilton, Austin Fyten, Kale Kessy, Mitchell Moroz, Jujhar Khaira
  • Right Wing (0): Tyler Pitlick, Matt Ford, Derek Nesbitt, Cameron Abney

Nurse was the last man off this island, and I do believe that’s a reflection of his skills. Make no mistake, this was absolutely the right call on Nurse, but I do think he’s going to be here sooner than later. This gives him a chance to impact juniors and return a year from now stronger and more experienced.

THE CUTS

Edward Scissorhands (1990) Blu-ray Screenshot

  • Darnell Nurse: I think this guy is going to be an outstanding NHL player, we could see glimpses of the future in every game. Rangy, smooth, creative, good footspeed. If I knew him, I’d tell him Larry Robinson played in the AHL at age 20, and then another half season at 21 before being called up to the NHL. Defense is a tough, tough position.
  • Tyler Pitlick: I think this was an extremely important camp for him. Pitlick arrived on the outskirts of prospect status and impressed the new coach immensely. Now, he needs to show some offensive ability in OKC, and hope for a callup sometime this season.  No Oiler pro prospect improved his lot more than Pitlick during this training camp.
  • Taylor Fedun: He did everything he could, the competition was too great. He’s behind the starting 7, plus the two who will be on IR to start the season. History teaches us he’ll play in the NHL during the season.
  • Anton Lander: When you’re sent down this early on a team in dire need of men who play your position, you haven’t shown enough. Whatever this season holds, Anton Lander did not begin the year in a good way.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Edward Scissorhands (1990) Blu-ray Screenshot

A busy show today, lots to discuss. Scheduled to appear:

  • Michael Parkatti from the Boys on the Bus. We’ll discuss last night’s shot differential, the Acton Corsi, and what he’s observed during training camp and pre-season. 
  • Dustin Schwartz from the Hockey Program. A day after I called goalies crazy, Dustin kindly agrees to come on the show and discuss development of the one position hockey fans remain mostly indifferent towards. It’s a tough gig, but Dustin is up to the challenge!
  • Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey. He’ll also defend goalies–specifically Dubynk–and we’ll talk about the Oilers in pre-season, Fedun’s demotion, Pitlick’s fall and Hall at center.
  • Jeff Krushell will talk about recovering from eye injuries/severe injuries and the Pittsburgh Pirates!
  • Corey Graham Oil Kings PBP. We’ll talk about opening night, Kristians Pelss remembered and Lazar/Reinhart return.

THE PROJECTED ROSTER

  • Goalies (2) Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera
  • Defensemen (7) Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid, Justin Schultz and Andrew Ference, Nick Schultz and Anton Belov, Phil Larsen
  • Centermen (4) Taylor Hall, Boyd Gordon, Mark Arcobello, Will Acton
  • Left Wing (5)  David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Ryan Smyth, Ryan Hamilton, Ben Eager
  • Right Wing (5) Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky, Mike Brown, Steve MacIntyre
  • Injured: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner, Corey Potter, Denis Grebeshkov

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184 Responses to "THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST"

  1. Wolfie says:

    I’ve been pretty hard on Pitlick lately. I can see why they are high on him. I think the only reason he was sent down was because he didn’t show enough offensively.

    I think Ryan Jones has been disappointing. He always seems behind the play and his offence has gone dry. I think the Oilers were hoping Pitlick would give them a little more offence in order to waive Jones.

    If Pitlick can stay healthy and show well in OKC to start the year I think he’ll be back up in a hurry. Especially if Jones continues to struggle.

  2. supernova says:

    LT,

    it seems in your latest projected roster you have chosen Ryan Hamilton over Ryan Jones.

    Jones has been disappointing as has Hamilton, so i am hoping they use that spot for a Waiver center or Free agent center.

    I wonder if management hopes that Omark is claimed. If not i am sure they are fine but if claimed they finally rid themselves of the issue as well as clear up a contract spot for the 50 man and maybe can use it on our missing center.

  3. TeeVee says:

    I’m undecided on which of Jones, Hamilton, Eager or Brown will make this squad.

    Jones: Not mean enough and doesn’t pass well enough.

    Hamilton: Has become invisible over the last couple of games and like Jones, is not mean enough, especially for how big he is. Not sure he has enough speed as well.

    Eager: Has great hustle and is willing to hit but seems a little headless-chickeny most of the time.

    Brown: Fast, has great angles, seems to be doing well on the PK but if he ever gets a goal it’s because it bounced in off his back.

  4. wheatnoil says:

    supernova:
    I wonder if management hopes that Omark is claimed. If not i am sure they are fine but if claimed they finally rid themselves of the issue as well as clear up a contract spot for the 50 man and maybe can use it on our missing center.

    The Oilers have room already. With Nurse being sent down and his contract sliding (along with Khaira’s), the Oilers have 48 contracts. They can still add two more even without Omark getting picked up.

  5. TeeVee says:

    On another note, this Larsen kid is sure an impressive skater and puck carrier. He has no problem going end-to-end and always seems to get back in position before an odd-man rush develops going the other way.

    He sure isn’t very intimidating though. It looked like he was going to cry after Dorsett was ushered off the ice after the slashing duet.

  6. FastOil says:

    Good for Arcobello. Too bad for Lander. They aren’t having much luck with guys from that part of the world except perhaps Joenssu.

  7. Zipdot says:

    Damn I felt bad for Nurse… Heh, I went from:

    1. At draft – convincing myself based on NO evidence that Nurse was equal to or greater than Seth Jones
    2. At beginning of preseason – convincing myself he was going to be a bust in comparison with the rocket Nichushkin
    3. At final cut – convinced by Nurse that he’s a great, great player with unlimited upside, and outstanding character

    I’m gonna miss the kid!

  8. goldenchild says:

    Interesting regarding Acton, stats we hear on TV and stats that actually matter. Ray talked about his face-off percentage and how Oilers could use strong facoff guy, he ended up going 14-23 for 61% which is a nice night. The problem is according to Parkattis numbers Actons Corsi For/Against was 1/13 so how much was gained from those face-off wins? His overall numbers have also not been good but neither has is competetion so not saying there was a better choce just that the 4th line issues arent likely solved with him on it.

    Nurse has looked fantastic, I was someone who wished they had taken Nichushkin and still think that was the pick with more value but i totally see why MacT went with Nurse. Hard not to be reminded of the best player Mac ever coached that lead his best team when you see Nurse. Love how fearless he is with the puck and in offensive zone, terrific passer and man can he skate. God let him stay healthy in junior please.

  9. Zipdot says:

    FastOil: Good for Arcobello. Too bad for Lander. They aren’t having much luck with guys from that part of the world except perhaps Joenssu.

    Lander has been a dead fish for years now… Who thought he’d develop after the 50 NHL games? Only delusionals.

  10. supernova says:

    wheatnoil: The Oilers have room already. With Nurse being sent down and his contract sliding (along with Khaira’s), the Oilers have 48 contracts. They can still add two more even without Omark getting picked up.

    wheatnoil,

    Management has stated they would like a few open spots for trades and possible in season pickups.
    Didn’t say they didn’t have the room, but I am guessing they would be happy if the were finally out from the Omark attention if not he is a good AHL performer or callup upon injury to the top 6.

  11. supernova says:

    goldenchild:
    Interesting regarding Acton, stats we hear on TV and stats that actually matter.Ray talked about his face-off percentage and how Oilers could use strong facoff guy, he ended up going 14-23 for 61% which is a nice night. The problem is according to Parkattis numbers Actons Corsi For/Against was 1/13 so how much was gained from those face-off wins? His overall numbers have also not been good but neither has is competetion so not saying there was a better choce just that the 4th line issues arent likely solved with him on it.

    Nurse has looked fantastic, I was someone who wished they had taken Nichushkin and still think that was the pick with more value but i totally see why MacT went with Nurse. Hard not to be reminded of the best player Mac ever coached that lead his best team when you see Nurse.Love how fearless he is with the puck and in offensive zone, terrific passer and man can he skate.God let him stay healthy in junior please.

    goldenchild,

    Agree with what you are saying there on Acton.

    Almost feels like a election when you are voting on the lesser of two evils.

    Does Acton or lander deserve the first handful of games? Gross, how about neither but…

  12. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Did Belanger retire today?

  13. Zipdot says:

    NHLEXPERTPICKS.COM ‏@NHLexpertpicks 4m

    After 7 games in #KHL former #Oilers Eric Belanger returns home and announces retirement.

    ^^
    Scored 0 points, -6. Said he was homesick.

  14. goldenchild says:

    Fixall with Rexall,

    Fixall, that happened 2 years ago

  15. nelson88 says:

    Agree that sending Nurse back is absolutely the correct call. The difference between him being a very good player and potentially being an elite player at the NHL level is the development of his offensive game/instincts and particularly on the PP. He is much better served playing big minutes for the Soo.

    Was happy with the selection when it was made and still manage to find myself very impressed with his camp. Would love to be a fly on the wall of the “braintrust”; others may use different descriptions, when the discussions on JSchultz’s next contract come up. Nothing against the kid as I am very glad he is an Oiler but I wonder if the chances of a contract <4years haven't risen considerably given Nurse's performance and the expectation you will need big cap dollars for him in 2018/19

  16. Racki says:

    I hope Jones didn’t delete his Twitter due to “fans” here being hard on him. I kind of wish players would ignore feedback but they’re human. You know they look. He’s played poor since the eye injury, but doesn’t deserve to be run out of town. Demoted, yes, but not treated like a dirt bag

  17. Zipdot says:

    nelson88: the expectation you will need big cap dollars for him in 2018/19

    Dude, by then we’ll have flying cars and Obama will have fixed the economy and inflation will rise so the cap will be at 100million Corporation-Bux(TM)

  18. denny33 says:

    Very disappointed Lander did not step up and take a job that was more than his for the taking…

    Credit to Will Acton but he is no NHL centreman imo. One step too slow….Same with Arcobello…he will get lost in the size and speed of the NHL. Maybe he finds chemistry with someone though..

    Arc and Acton are not going to scare anyone….Not sure if there is a waiver wire pickup possible or not…

    Agreed with Nurse being sent down but there is now way – even at 19 Darnell was worse than a couple of the D-man still with the team. This is a reflection on Nurse and the bottom 3 D-man.

    In short – not sure our depth at the Centre position and our bottom pairing defenceman – except for Belov – are going to allow us to rise in the ranks.

    Will Acton – Arcobello…..Ouch.

    For the record – I don’t get Tyler Pitlick either….this is like a MPS thing….guys become fixated on raw tools / talent…and high draft pick. Tyler definitely has the tools but his hockey sense – light bulb – is zero.

    Can he *develop* in the NHL into a scorer….he turns 22 in over a month…

    Set up in front of the net one game – you can tell if he has that same play 100 times – he would never score….

    He can definitely skate up and down the wing at hit guys though..

  19. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Zipdot: Scored 0 points, -6. Said he was homesick.

    Homesick for Edmonton, judging by those stats.

  20. Maestro Fresh Mess says:

    The question is: what are they going to do w/ Grebeshkov after he clears waivers? I don’t think they want him on the farm. Perhaps they can mutually agree to terminate his contract to allow him to sign in the KHL? Potter I can see getting claimed due to his size and reasonable ticket.

  21. Racki says:

    Maestro Fresh Mess:
    The question is: what are they going to do w/ Grebeshkov after he clears waivers?I don’t think they want him on the farm.Perhaps they can mutually agree to terminate his contract to allow him to sign in the KHL?Potter I can see getting claimed due to his size and reasonable ticket.

    Potter is on IR, so no decisions on him yet. It would be nice to see him play some this year. Never know. But hard to pick someone to move out for him mind you, unless another injury occurs

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Can someone explain what the hell is going on with Curtis Hamilton?

    This is becoming my most persistent itch… I gotta know… what the hell?

  23. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Man, it’s a little depressing to think that entire Eager-Acton-Hamilton line survived the cuts last night & now projects as one version of the fourth line. (Wingers interchangeable, Acton solid)

    That trio had a combined Corsi of +3/-35 (with each guy at +1/-11 or worse) playing against the scrubs disguised in NYR sweaters last night. According to my eyes and Parkatti’s numbers, they got smoked by a quintet headed by d-men Aaron Johnson (yeah, THAT guy) and Tommy Hughes and the forward line of Marek Hrivik, Oscar Lindberg, and Danny Kristo. Not exactly confidence-inspiring, is it?

    Oh well, at least there are options on the wing. Steve MacIntyre, anyone?

  24. russ99 says:

    If our bottom 7 forwards end up as Acton, Arcobello, Joensuu, Hamilton, Eager, Brown and MacIntyre, how is this any better than what we had last year? By my eye it’s worse.

    Other than the addition of Gordon, we’re no closer to a playoff-caliber shutdown line, which could mean the difference between playoffs and sitting home in the new division.

    Is Tambellini still running the team?

    I just hope a few guys are there to keep spots warm for waiver pickups, which are badly needed.

  25. Maestro Fresh Mess says:

    I don’t understand why Hamilton is still in Edmonton

  26. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    Can someone explain what the hell is going on with Curtis Hamilton?

    This is becoming my most persistent itch… I gotta know… what the hell?

    My guess is he’s injured, but I wouldn’t rule out his being released.

  27. Racki says:

    Bruce: call me delusional, but if the coaches decided now they want three scoring lines, why not roll them like they have a 1a (hall line) and 2a,2b (or hall line 1a, Perron line 1b, yak line eats cherry mins ) ? Feed these guys as much ice time as they can handle and play their fourth line enough to get their legs moving. Any fourth line the Oil can slap together is going to be Piss poor. I say ride those scoring lines and put the opposition on their heels trying to defend that attack all night. Could that work?

  28. Zipdot says:

    brian mcgrattan ‏@bigern10 24 Sep

    cut proof kevlar socks saved my season, maybe my career last night! should be mandatory piece of equipment! pic.twitter.com/EqHoGofnUb

    Neat!

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “There are rampant internet rumors suggesting Ryan Jones will be placed on waivers (mostly because he apparently deleted his twitter account) which reminds me of the story last night told by coach Dallas Eakins. After arriving in town and talking about fitness (then taking the doughnuts from the media room), he went grocery shopping. As he placed items in his buggy, he noticed people were looking at WHAT he was buying. Hilarious. Edmonton and its hockey team don’t have normal boundaries.”

    Paired with the screenshot from Edward Scissorhands is one of your very best juxtapositions LT.

    That is my second favorite Burton film (after Batman). Alan Arkin is magic. The claustrophobia that slowly builds in that suburb is really a marvel.

    It’s funny, now that I think about it, ‘Burbs (that Tom Hanks movie) probably came out the same time… plus all those John Hughes films that only exist in suburban Chicago (excepting Planes, Trains and Automobiles which only ends there)… clearly there was some cultural anxiety in the 80s about what happens 20 odd years after “bussing” and “white flight” and what community means/looks like vs. imagined ideals.

  30. Zipdot says:

    russ99: If our bottom 7 forwards end up as Acton, Arcobello, Joensuu, Hamilton, Eager, Brown and MacIntyre, how is this any better than what we had last year? By my eye it’s worse.

    I played NHL 12 the other day to compare it with NHL 13 and NHL 14 and I gotta say, that lineup was spectacular compared to this one…..

  31. LMHF#1 says:

    If Hartikainen had been here, he makes this squad easily.

    Timing can be a brutal thing.

  32. B S says:

    Acton w/ 2 goals was still -2 on the preseason. Lander couldn’t buy a point, or competent linemates for most of the preseason but he was +1. I get keeping Arco around for his offense, but by my eye Lander has been the most reliable center (and has had the best positioning in all 3 zones) between the 3 AHL centers at camp.

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Any word on Omark?

    Any word on Penner?

    I really want Penner to happen.

  34. Zipdot says:

    Lander the Salamander couldn’t come out ahead of Acton Jackson or The Jolly Good Fellow, Arcobello no matter what he did. His rhyming name had him destined for failure since the start.

  35. Bruce McCurdy says:

    He should go with Lander the Commander or something.

  36. Zipdot says:

    Ooh, nice one; he should have thought of that before he becomes Lander the Janitor…

  37. Truth Movement says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “There are rampant internet rumors suggesting Ryan Jones will be placed on waivers (mostly because he apparently deleted his twitter account) which reminds me of the story last night told by coach Dallas Eakins. After arriving in town and talking about fitness (then taking the doughnuts from the media room), he went grocery shopping. As he placed items in his buggy, he noticed people were looking at WHAT he was buying. Hilarious. Edmonton and its hockey team don’t have normal boundaries.”

    Paired with the screenshot from Edward Scissorhands is one of your very best juxtapositions LT.

    That is my second favorite Burton film (after Batman). Alan Arkin is magic. The claustrophobia that slowly builds in that suburb is really a marvel.

    It’s funny, now that I think about it, ‘Burbs (that Tom Hanks movie) probably came out the same time… plus all those John Hughes films that only exist in suburban Chicago (excepting Planes, Trains and Automobiles which only ends there)… clearly there was some cultural anxiety in the 80s about what happens 20 odd years after “bussing” and “white flight” and what community means/looks like vs. imagined ideals.

    I feel like you like the wrong Tim Burton movies.
    1. Ed Wood
    2. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
    3. Beetlejuice

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Follow

    Edmonton OilersVerified account
    ‏@EdmontonOilers
    #Oilers place forward Ryan Jones on waivers.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Truth Movement: I feel like you like the wrong Tim Burton movies.
    1. Ed Wood
    2. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
    3. Beetlejuice

    Love those movies!

    my list

    1. batman
    2. ES
    3. Beetlejuice
    3. Ed Wood
    4. Pee Wee
    5. Batman Returns
    6. Big Fish
    7. Mars Attacks

    the rest (minus Corpse Bride which gets honorable mention) aren’t really worth watching. those 7 are all great to at least a lot of fun.

  40. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Follow

    Edmonton OilersVerified account
    ‏@EdmontonOilers
    #Oilers place forward Ryan Jones on waivers.

    Seems the twitter girls are quite upset to see RJ go.

  41. RMGS says:

    Cobbler:
    Jones on waivers

    Coach Eakins means business and walks the talk. Players have to earn roster spots.

    Edit: Not to say that Hamilton, Eager, and Brown (never mind SMac) are considerably better…

  42. Racki says:

    Two things on Ryan Jones.. One.. Always liked him. Good character guy. Deserves a positive exit, should he be claimed. Two, I am impressed by the Oilers. This was 100% the right decision. Hard one for them to make, I’m sure, even though his preseason was bad.

  43. Racki says:

    RMGS: Coach Eakins means business and walks the talk.Players have to earn roster spots.

    On that note, just thought I’d warn everyone… Dallas Eakins came by my workplace today and told me I have some things to work on. Said I could be let go if I don’t pull up my socks. No one is safe !

  44. B S says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Nighmare Before Christmas?

  45. goldenchild says:

    Re: Jones, What a waste of 1.5 million and to think Grabo signed for 3 Mil

  46. Nostradumbass says:

    This roster is a colossal mess

    So we now are projecting 4 NHL rookies into the lineup (Acton, Arco, Hamilton, Belov) and we have to count on Ryan Smyth not running out of gas playing 1st line minutes and Hemsky’s body holding up in the first month

    It just boggles my mind how managment can see the massive depth issues and incredibly risky injury bets on the linup card and not move to bring in veteran help during the summer

    And someone explain to me how we have the luxury to cut Jones?? I get that he has been outplayed , but by so much we can afford to put guys who modestly produced at an AHL level into the lineup in his place

    Isn’t that a rush to judgement based on 5 pre-season games

    I’d like to see the Vegas line on Oiler wins in October

  47. Zipdot says:

    Wedgewood assigned to minors…

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Asked Gregor about C. Hamilton over at ON. he said:

    “He tore his ACL playing soccer before a game in OKC late last season. He is around camp and has been rehabbing, but is still a few weeks away from playing, if not longer.”

    Sucks… really sucks for Curtis. Those three (him, martindale and pitlick) could really use some luck.

    I’ve asked Gregor why they are keeping him on the TC roster if that is the case, if I get an answer I’ll post it.

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    B S:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Nighmare Before Christmas?

    Great film… but he didn’t direct it. I was making a sticklers list.

  50. bookje says:

    Hey, at least MacT isn’t following the Steve Tambellini approach sitting there with a stupid grin hoping and dreaming that a bunch of AHLers will all of the sudden rise to their maximum potential (as opposed to their average level) and fill holes in the NHL team while at the same time picking up Steve MacIntyre to toughen up the lineup!

    MacT kind of scowls a bit while he does all of those other things.

    With that noted, I still have hope – I think Belanger and Whitney were huge anchors on this team and just removing them will be a net positive. Belov is the real deal and there are other improvements as well.

  51. bookje says:

    Racki:
    Two things on Ryan Jones.. One.. Always liked him. Good character guy. Deserves a positive exit, should he be claimed. Two, I am impressed by the Oilers. This was 100% the right decision. Hard one for them to make, I’m sure, even though his preseason was bad.

    I agree, these guys are doing their best and sometimes that is not good enough to play amongst the top 0.01% of players in the game.

  52. Colonel Obvious says:

    I’m not big on either Acton or R. Hamilton. However, I am big on the general approach. I have long believed that there are a number of AHL players who are good enough to play in the NHL and better than established players who coast by on the supposed benefit of NHL experience.

    If I was general manager every year my fourth line would be populated with these kinds of guys. I’m not sure Hamilton and Acton are the right ones but I am sure they are no worse than Ryan Jones who is not, and never has been, an NHL quality player.

    The waiver wire is the other thing the Oilers should be paying close attention to. It’s a guarantee that some team is going to release a good player. The Oilers need to find this year’s Michael Grabner.

  53. denny33 says:

    Racki,

    You know …for some reason I was very optimistic to start the training camp….but my optimism is fading as I realize you are right.

    We waive Ryan Jones – but we still have Brown, Hamilton and Eager….let alone Acton and Arco.

    Hard to disagree with Russ99 about this bottom part of the roster…..

    I still argue that *nothing* can be worse than paying Eric Belanger and Ryan Whitney to play that kind of hockey…and Belanger was supposed to be a 3rd liner.

    I am throwing my hat in with Racki – ride the top talent like crazy…they are young and wait for the wounded to come back. Long break this year for the Olys….

  54. stevezie says:

    B S,

    Yeah! Nightmare is definitely his best one! True he didn’t direct, but it is obviously a Tim Burton movie. After that, Big Fish or Edward, then it becomes more of a pick’em.

    Burton owes his career to Danny Elfman more than any director owes anything to anybody.

    goldenchild:
    Re: Jones, What a waste of 1.5 million and to thinkGrabo signed for 3 Mil

    I never understood the Jones signing, and I don’t even mean that as a shot at Jones. We weren’t one winger short. Signing too many D made some sense because if you run out of D you are screwed; the Macintyre signing shows that you can hide a weak winger.

  55. Nostradumbass says:

    Racki: Two things on Ryan Jones.. One.. Always liked him. Good character guy. Deserves a positive exit, should he be claimed. Two, I am impressed by the Oilers. This was 100% the right decision. Hard one for them to make, I’m sure, even though his preseason was bad.

    So making lineup decisions based on 5 games where players play with strangers and play against significantly weaker or stronger lineups is 100% the right way to make your lineup??

    Its a F@#@#@# idiotic way to make a team

    Will Acton wasn’t a productive AHLer in 60 games 7 months ago, now he’s an NHLER???

    Its incredible how digustingly predictable this moronic team is

  56. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Joey Moss doesn’t look 50. Not even close. Good for him. happy b-day.

  57. RMGS says:

    I like the “top-nine” forward roster, but Acton, Hamilton, Eager, Brown, and MacIntyre may be the worst fourth-line rotation in the league.

    That should be clear enough by eye, but Parkatti’s aggregated Corsi numbers (I know, I know… it’s preseason) suggest as much: http://www.boysonthebus.com/2013/09/24/game-stats-oilersrangers-sept-24/. QualComp’s not available, but those are horrible numbers (though Hamilton breaks even).

  58. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    LMHF#1:
    If Hartikainen had been here, he makes this squad easily.

    Timing can be a brutal thing.

    I think you are right. I think giving him a one-way to appease him over Jones would have been a much better bet.

    I still don’t get why this team is consistently tight with the purse strings on some players and spends like a drunken sailor on others.

  59. kosiork says:

    Fussy-britches called the Jones waiver yesterday. Not exactly a leap guess, but interesting all the same:

    Tracy Lane ‏@TreenasOil Protected account 24 Sep
    Oilers debating on putting Jones on waivers as per Garfield

    Agree with Denny33, went from optimistic about the depth to worried about the depth (de facto Oiler fan starting point) in a matter of days.

  60. Racki says:

    denny33:
    Racki,

    You know …for some reason I was very optimistic to start the training camp….but my optimism is fading as I realize you are right.

    We waive Ryan Jones – but we still have Brown, Hamilton and Eager….let alone Acton and Arco.

    Hard to disagree with Russ99 about this bottom part of the roster…..

    I still argue that *nothing* can be worse than paying Eric Belanger and Ryan Whitney to play that kind of hockey…and Belanger was supposed to be a 3rd liner.

    I am throwing my hat in with Racki – ride the top talent like crazy…they are young and wait for the wounded to come back. Long break this year for the Olys….

    Yup. They have three scoring lines now and guys who would love to see 20 mins a night.. Why not ride them all they can? The fourth line can pick up the loose change.

  61. stevezie says:

    Nostradumbass,

    You’re right that last season as a whole tells us much more than training camp, but the coach spent the last few seasons watching Acton- he’s not just going off training camp.

    To succeed in the NHL you need value contracts. A lot of people point to ELCs but considering our guys were already getting rookie maxes they weren’t really that cheap. Finding under-appreciated guys for depth roles is a great way to shave several million off the cap without a large drop in quality.

    WG et al. are completely correct in pointing out that cup winning teams have a great 4th line, but cup winning teams also take big risks and get lucky. You can’t avoid gambling, and I would argue rolling the dice with the 4th line has the most acceptable worst case scenario.

    But yeah the bottom is a mess- WE NEED ANOTHER CENTER! (I do not believe in Arcobello)

  62. speeds says:

    Honest question:

    Let’s say Tambellini is still the GM, and he signed Jones as a depth player for 1.5M and put him on waivers before game one of the season. How does that reaction compare to the reaction for MacT today?

  63. LostBoy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Any word on Penner?

    I really want Penner to happen.

    It’d be…interesting. But if Pens has something left in the tank, it’s not showing so far. As of last night he’s played four preseason games, all of them on however much of the rest of the first line was playing (i.e., generally with Getzlaf and Perry). To show for it: zero points, -4. The Ducks are surely going to blip over the preseason and give him a run at it with live ammunition. But the rope is likely going to be pretty short. Like, when you can’t generate anything playing with two of the best players in the league versus early preseason opposition….

    Still, Pancakes Penner vs Hairshirt Eakins would be prime entertainment.

  64. RMGS says:

    Nostradumbass: And someone explain to me how we have the luxury to cut Jones?? I get that he has been outplayed , but by so much we can afford to put guys who modestly produced at an AHL level into the lineup in his place

    Isn’t that a rush to judgement based on 5 pre-season games

    Why the outrage? Coach Eakins has been consistent from day one about how it’s a clean slate for him and how camp is about competing for and earning a spot – especially for the bottom end of the line-up. The SMac roster spot notwithstanding, Jones lost the competition (of the toilet bowl variety) fair and square.

  65. RMGS says:

    speeds:
    Honest question:

    Let’s say Tambellini is still the GM, and he signed Jones as a depth player for 1.5M and put him on waivers before game one of the season.How does that reaction compare to the reaction for MacT today?

    That’s BLASPHEMY!

  66. stevezie says:

    speeds,

    I think MacT gets some slack because he made it clear his plan was to overfill the roster. Cutting someone with a 1-way deal was always part of the plan.

    Not a perfect plan considering we were obviously one center short.

  67. Jujhar says:

    Scott Gomez would of been the pefect pickup in wake of the Gagner injury.

  68. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    speeds:
    Honest question:

    Let’s say Tambellini is still the GM, and he signed Jones as a depth player for 1.5M and put him on waivers before game one of the season.How does that reaction compare to the reaction for MacT today?

    Jones was one of the worst and most confounding bets MacT made this off-season. I think most of the posters here have probably been generous to MacT about his work so far… but I’m not sure many gave him the benefit of the doubt on Jones.

    To be honest, I think it’s a sign of correcting mistakes that MacT waived Jones. I suspect Tambo would have kept him up unless Eakins threatened him.

  69. bookje says:

    speeds:
    Honest question:

    Let’s say Tambellini is still the GM, and he signed Jones as a depth player for 1.5M and put him on waivers before game one of the season.How does that reaction compare to the reaction for MacT today?

    To be fair, Tambellini was given slack for a period of time as well. By the time people were uber critical, he had established a record of incompetence.

  70. Lloyd B. says:

    RMGS,

    The way I see it they flushed 9 guys this year. If this group of four or five guys don’t work out this year they can flush them next year and sign a bunch of other guys to fight it out for the fourth line. It appears they found three good ones this year in Perron, Gordon and Belov. Find three more next year and Bobs your uncle !

  71. delooper says:

    speeds:
    Honest question:

    Let’s say Tambellini is still the GM, and he signed Jones as a depth player for 1.5M and put him on waivers before game one of the season.How does that reaction compare to the reaction for MacT today?

    Teams are always going to be taking gambles, especially on the bottom-end of the roster where the risk is the least. I suspect the waiver wire is going to be flush with abortive gambles this year. The current CBA kind of encourages it.

  72. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Last year Petrell, Whitney, and Belanger were three of the absolute worst players in the league. As far as I’m concerned we solved our depth problem to an extent the day they were let go. Addition by subtraction in its purest form there. Who ever sticks this year cannot possibly be as bad. Belanger retires today and just last year he was a regular in late stages of a game. Unbelievable.

  73. Truth Movement says:

    Let’s not forget that the Jones signing was sort of MacT’s “Aw shit, I’ll guess I’ll give him another year if no one else will take him and I can’t find anyone else” contract. I don’t think he was particularly adament on the player. I feel bad for Jones and I probably would have kept him over Hamilton because Hamilton has done nothing of value and has no history of doing anything of value, but there’s no denying that he had a chance and blew it.

  74. BlacqueJacque says:

    Arcobello is terrible. I know he can make passes, but nothing else. He can’t defend, he can’t come away with the puck along the boards, he’s not fast (definitely not fast enough to make up for his speed), he doesn’t have a dangerous shot, and he doesn’t have the vision of a Gagner or Nuge. I don’t want him on my team.

    Will Acton wins a faceoff and spends 30 of the remaining 40 seconds of his shift in his zone. Moreover, we should absolutely not have a player – a marginal player, above all – who calls someone on the coaching staff “dad”. This isn’t peewee.

    I can see why they sent Jonesy down, but by that same token, Hamilton needs to go as well. If you changed numbers on the players, you’d be hard-pressed to identify who was who.

    At the very least we need to sign or pick up a centre. A winger would be nice, too.

  75. russ99 says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    I’m OK with Acton and Hamilton if they legitimately won jobs due to their play in camp and in preseason games, but something tells me that their past history with our head coach (and assistant coach in Acton’s case) may have given them an edge over other candidates to break with the team.

    If so, it’s the good old “Ole-boy Oiler” philosophy, yet again.

    You also have to wonder if these guys were promised specific things in order to sign here.

  76. TheOtherJohn says:

    Whenere the Oilers make a mistake, someone invariably says “cutting someone with a 1-way deal was always part of the plan”

    If that was part of the plan, hire a different planner because he don’t plan very well.

    Does anyone here think our bottom 6 is noticeably better tthan last year?

    Does fact that Eager, Brown and Smac look to be taking up roster spots kinda call into question that stated puck possession/hockeyanaytics slant we are trying to credit management with?

    Belov looked steady last night

    .

  77. RMGS says:

    Lloyd B.:
    RMGS,

    The way I see it they flushed 9 guys this year.If this group offour or five guys don’t work out this year they can flush them next year and sign a bunch of other guys to fight it out for the fourth line.It appears they found three good ones this year in Perron, Gordon and Belov.Find three more next year and Bobs your uncle !

    Yeah, the top nine are likely looking at considerable TOI increases, especially on the PK (thus the fitness emphasis). I can’t see Coach Eakins pulling a Krueger and matching his pluggers against the opposition’s top lines in the regular season, so the fourth line plays 5-7 break-even minutes and wreaks havoc when necessary. I hope…

  78. BlacqueJacque says:

    RMGS,

    That fourth line got crushed last night by the Rangers’ AHLers. They wouldn’t be good in OKC.

  79. rickithebear says:

    There are 49 minutes of Even play:
    Aprox. 5.5 Pk & 5.5 PP.

    first step is Even distribution.
    the basic’s
    TOI
    top 20 FWD 15.25 – 17.5 min
    90 – 21 13.75 to 15.25 min
    180 – 91 12.75 to 13.75
    270 – 181 11.00 to 12.75
    360 – 271 8.50 to 11.00
    bottom 10 avg 5.9 min

    Eakins has stated he is a bowmann disciple.
    integrating varying players with line pairs.
    XXX-Hall-Hemsky 14.75 min avergae for top 90
    Perron-XXX-Eberle 14.75 min average for top 90
    Jeonsuu-XXX-YAK 13 min
    4th line 6.5 min.

    I see racki’s post.

  80. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Truth Movement:
    Let’s not forget that the Jones signing was sort of MacT’s “Aw shit, I’ll guess I’ll give him another year if no one else will take him and I can’t find anyone else” contract. I don’t think he was particularly adament on the player. I feel bad for Jones and I probably would have kept him over Hamilton because Hamilton has done nothing of value and has no history of doing anything of value, but there’s no denying that he had a chance and blew it.

    That’s what a PTO is for.

  81. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: That’s what a PTO is for.

    Not to say we should have signed him, but PTO would come with a risk of losing the player to a signing

  82. RMGS says:

    BlacqueJacque: Arcobello is terrible.

    Arcobello ranked sixth out of 43 Oilers with pre-season games in Corsi % (58). He’s certainly no Gagner, nevermind The Nuge, but he may be a reasonable stopgap playing with skilled wingers.

  83. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    TheOtherJohn: If that was part of the plan, hire a different planner because he don’t plan very well.

    It can be both right. These aren’t mutually exclusive.

    You can eff up and then correct your mistakes. You get blame for the mistake and praise for fixing it.

  84. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Speaking of the Spinners, who are we going to call “the Rubberband Man”?

    Nurse, Gernat, Marincin… one of these tall boys… who is the most elastic?

  85. BlacqueJacque says:

    RMGS,

    Remember who Arco got to play with. Eberle, Perron, Yakupov for much of the preseason.

  86. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Racki: Not to say we should have signed him, but PTO would come with a risk of losing the player to a signing

    That’s not a risk with these kinds of players. If they “show up” you sign them right away. If they don’t it costs you nothing. If someone else signs them, a marginal bottom 6 player is fairly easy to replace at a good price point.

  87. Kitchener says:

    Jones: I thought he’d make the team and be a decent 3rd liner. Whoops.

    Nurse: As of Sept 2013, this looks like an outstanding draft choice. Time to check the Rangers’ schedule to see when he’ll be in town…

    Larsen: Glad he’s in the mix. Thought he was a throw-in on the Horc deal, but he’s got tools to contribute.

    Team: Evidently, “we need to change the bottom 6″ meant more than just names. It meant a role change to 3 scoring lines and 1 energy/meat line. If that means lines 1/2/3 play 56 minutes a night, remind me how that’s a bad thing?

    MPS: I liked his game, but he wouldn’t have fit on this team. Perron does. Good deal.

    Depth: We’ve got it in spots, which is better than nothing.

    Goaltending: Not a source of concern.

    This season should be a helluva ride!

  88. Colonel Obvious says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    If Arcobello is so terrible how was he one of the leading scorers in the AHL last year?

    If he is so bad defensively how come the other team doesn’t score all the time when he is on the ice?

    Always play the player with a track record of good results. Don’t allow your bias against small players to influence your opinion.

  89. BlacqueJacque says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Remember Alexandre Giroux? Best AHLer for several years, couldn’t crack the lineup. How about Brett Sterling?

    Because he plays with guys like Eberle, Perron, and Yakupov.

    I don’t have a bias against small players. I have a bias against small players without speed, especially when their vision is merely average.

  90. delooper says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: That’s what a PTO is for.

    They probably had faith that Jones would have a stronger showing than he did. Sending him to OKC gives him another chance to show he’s the player the Oilers want. A PTO expresses less trust.

  91. Colonel Obvious says:

    Fixall with Rexall:
    Last year Petrell, Whitney, and Belanger were three of the absolute worst players in the league. As far as I’m concerned we solved our depth problem to an extent the day they were let go. Addition by subtraction in its purest form there. Who ever sticks this year cannot possibly be as bad. Belanger retires today and just last year he was a regular in late stages of a game. Unbelievable.

    This right on the money. We are so far ahead of last year that we might as well be complaining about our diamond shoes pinching our feet. Sure MacT made a mistake giving Jones a contract when actual players went elsewhere on PTO’s. The difference is that he didn’t compound his error by allowing past mistakes to dictate future decisions.

    Now I realize that Ryan Jones has a better track record of scoring than Ryan Hamilton so perhaps I’m letting my hatred of the player blind me. But Ryan Jones does everything badly. Everything.

  92. Colonel Obvious says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    For years MLB teams didn’t believe that minor league performance was predictive of major league performance. They believed there was something essential different about the major leagues that some guys who could hit in AAA wouldn’t hit in the majors. These people were wrong.

  93. RMGS says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    RMGS,

    Remember who Arco got to play with.Eberle, Perron, Yakupov for much of the preseason.

    And, among them Arcobello’s Cosi % ranked second only to Yak’s (as per Parkatti’s small pre-season sample). Of course, they’re all considerably better hockey players than him, but the point is he can keep up with skill.

    MacT was negligent with the NHL center depth, but, given the circumstances, Arcobello is an available and reasonable short-term ‘solution’ at 2C. What better options are available?

  94. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    It’s funny that even after he gets waived, with some of the media knives turning against Jones… he can still get this kind of soft landing from the dean of the EDM media establishment:

    Jim Matheson
    ‏@NHLbyMatty
    Oilers picked Ryan Jones off waivers (NASH) now another team will take him. Odds are 75-25 he’s grabbed up.only $1.5m wage.#Oilers

  95. Zipdot says:

    No officielle word yet, but since the deadline is behind us, it looks like Omark cleared.

  96. Zipdot says:

    RMGS: MacT was negligent with the NHL center depth, but, given the circumstances, Arcobello is an available and reasonable short-term ‘solution’ at 2C. What better options are available?

    My only worry is that someone feels compelled to move Gordon up to 2C, throwing everything out of wack. If Arco is in, he needs to be in 2C, a peg in the same shape as the hole.

  97. Zipdot says:

    Colonel Obvious: For years MLB teams didn’t believe that minor league performance was predictive of major league performance. They believed there was something essential different about the major leagues that some guys who could hit in AAA wouldn’t hit in the majors. These people were wrong.

    It’s math, though… Isn’t it? The NHL equivalent numbers are arrived at by dividing average performance in the two leagues or somethin’.

  98. Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons says:

    bookje:
    Hey, at least MacT isn’t following the Steve Tambellini approach sitting there with a stupid grin hoping and dreaming that a bunch of AHLers will all of the sudden rise to their maximum potential (as opposed to their average level) and fill holes in the NHL team while at the same time picking up Steve MacIntyre to toughen up the lineup!

    MacT kind of scowls a bit while he does all of those other things.

    Agreed 100%. It will be interesting to see if MacT is held to the same level of accountability and scorn.

  99. LMHF#1 says:

    Colonel Obvious:
    BlacqueJacque,

    For years MLB teams didn’t believe that minor league performance was predictive of major league performance.They believed there was something essential different about the major leagues that some guys who could hit in AAA wouldn’t hit in the majors.These people were wrong.

    On average, sure, but these things aren’t decided at the average.

    Shall we discuss all the capable AHL producers this organization has had over the years that couldn’t hack it? Whether for reasons of bad development or not?

  100. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    delooper: They probably had faith that Jones would have a stronger showing than he did.Sending him to OKC gives him another chance to show he’s the player the Oilers want.A PTO expresses less trust.

    I’m not concerned with how much trust Jones needs to be shown. I’m concerned about throwing away $$ and a contract on a very questionable player.

    A guy coming off an off year and a major injury gets a PTO. He doesn’t get a 1.5M one-way deal.

    With any luck, MacT just swallowed that bitter pill and lesson learned. Next year invite a Raymond type to camp sign him for 1M.

  101. Colonel Obvious says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    That’s hilarious. There is no chance someone takes Jones.

    Zipdot,

    In hockey there is no such thing as pegs and holes. The distinction between second line center and third line center is meaningless. Both players have exactly the same responsibilities.

    Chemistry in line combinations is real but the archaic numbering system is not. I’d play Arcobello with Eberle and Perron because they have looked good together. However, if Gordon plays with them and Arcobello plays with Yakupov it isn’t some great error.

  102. BlacqueJacque says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    MLB is phenomenally stupid. I’m not saying the NHL is smarter, but maybe you can explain to me why Alex Giroux, Brett Sterling, Nigel Dawes, and a hundred other AHL stars whiffed when brought to the NHL. In fact, don’t bother explaining, because I will: they lack speed. They’re either not fast enough to begin with (like Giroux), or they would be fast enough, if they weren’t 5’9 or smaller – like Dawes and Sterling. Speed kills in the NHL. The lack of it is easily exploited, and if you’re small, it’s not enough to be fast – you have to be wicked fast – faster than everyone bigger than you. Or have vision and puck skills on par with Marty St. Louis.

    I could be wrong about Arcobello, but I’m betting not. He can “keep up” with the skilled kids, in the sense that he’s a paperweight in their pockets rather than a boat anchor tied around their waists, but he doesn’t contribute enough.

  103. Lois Lowe says:

    I don’t get the post hoc slamming of MacT’s decision to re-sign Jones. He had a history of offensive production, wanted to play in Edmonton, and was a known quantity at a time when the team was looking to have depth at every position. Jones came in and competed for a spot and lost out, same as Omark. Both could find their way back up to the big club during the season, but I see this as a sign of organizational depth.

  104. delooper says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m not concerned with how much trust Jones needs to be shown. I’m concerned about throwing away $$ and a contract on a very questionable player.

    A guy coming off an off year and a major injury gets a PTO. He doesn’t get a 1.5M one-way deal.

    With any luck, MacT just swallowed that bitter pill and lesson learned. Next year invite a Raymond type to camp sign him for 1M.

    Do they really need to learn a lesson here? They’re not stuck against the cap. Having Jones signed or not signed isn’t interfering with anything. Perhaps they didn’t get the PTOs they were looking for and Jones was insurance. It’s difficult to judge decisions when you don’t have all the information.

  105. BlacqueJacque says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Agreed, the Jones signing was a fair gamble. Same with Grebeshkov. MacT wanted depth, he signed players to get it, and he didn’t make 4 year, $20m deals to do so.

  106. Zipdot says:

    Colonel Obvious: But Ryan Jones does everything badly. Everything.

    I was never a Jones hater until the 1.5mil contract was signed. Now I see him for what he is; a never-achiever who looks and sounds like a giant goofball, who got into the NHL due to a series of errors and miscalculations.

    He never played Major Junior; before college, he played in the OMHA and then the OHA. Junior-B being the highlight. He never scored more than 49 points in college. So I wonder, who the hell expected him to be any good? He has zero track record of achievement besides a bunch of lucky bounces on the Oilers. I’ll take a guy who actually accomplished something any day; especially someone who racked up points in Major Junior.

    And anyway, those 49 points were from Miami University… The whole school is a giant mistake! Some idiot didn’t know Miami is in Florida, not Ohio!!

  107. rickithebear says:

    Oilers Special teams;
    PK:
    pat results last 2 years.
    Gagner 1.60 min 3.13 GA/60 #7 FWD
    Smyth 2.5 min 4.48 top 25
    Gordon 2.65 5.17 Top 40
    Perron 0.6 min 4.13Gf/60 5.51GA/60 -1.38GD/60
    Hamilton 1.26min 0.00 12GM
    nice SHG with Perron.
    showed superior to jones on PK.

  108. Zipdot says:

    delooper: They’re not stuck against the cap. Having Jones signed or not signed isn’t interfering with anything. Perhaps they didn’t get the PTOs they were looking for and Jones was insurance. It’s difficult to judge decisions when you don’t have all the information.

    Wow, I disagree sincerely.
    1. The hell they aren’t against the cap! We cannot currently sign any good centres because we’re so close to the cap. We can only hope to get rid of a couple of albatrosses (N Schultz being one) to even dream of signing a decent centre.
    2. Jones’ contract is interfering with our ability to have an NHL player signed for 1.5 million. We signed Mickey Mouse instead of an NHLer.
    3. Jones isn’t insurance. Minor leaguers are insurance. I don’t need to be in the Oilers board room to know that his signing was a giant f-up at the time. Now, it’s even more clearly than ever revealed to be a huge mistake.

    Sometimes it’s legit to say “well, we don’t know what all is going on, so it’s hard to judge.” This is not one of those times.

  109. BlacqueJacque says:

    Zipdot,

    1. What good centres are available in the FA market? Please, take your time, I’m sure the list is long and you’ll need to spend a few minutes typing it out.
    2. What NHL player, again? Be specific. Also, based on past performance (you know, the way you’d judge any NHL player), Jones was as good at bet at $1.5m as anyone.
    3. It was a bet they took that his game would recover from his eye injury.

  110. delooper says:

    Zipdot: Wow, I disagree sincerely.
    1. The hell they aren’t against the cap!We cannot currently sign any good centres because we’re so close to the cap.We can only hope to get rid of a couple of albatrosses (N Schultz being one) to even dream of signing a decent centre.

    Which centres expressed interest in signing with the Oilers and for what price?

    2. Jones’ contract is interfering with our ability to have an NHL player signed for 1.5 million.We signed Mickey Mouse instead of an NHLer.

    What are you talking about, what interference?

    3. Jones isn’t insurance.Minor leaguers are insurance.I don’t need to be in the Oilers board room to know that his signing was a giant f-up at the time.Now, it’s even more clearly than ever revealed to be a huge mistake.

    This sounds like a post-loss rant on 630 CHED…

  111. Zipdot says:

    Colonel Obvious: However, if Gordon plays with them and Arcobello plays with Yakupov it isn’t some great error.

    I think it would be, and I don’t think I’d be alone.

    Anyway, your view conflicts with NHL coaches.

  112. Colonel Obvious says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Over his career in the NHL Dawes scored .4 ppg while presumably getting third and fourth line minutes. By what standard are we calling this a failure? You can be a valuable player without being Martin St. Louis. Now scoring isn’t everything so it is surely possible that some of these guys are bad defensive players. However, 1) that doesn’t violate the principle that AHL performance is predictive, and 2) lots of guys in the NHL who don’t score .4ppg are bad defensive players too: Ben Eager and Ryan Jones for instance.

    The fact that NHL teams choose not to use guys like Nigel Dawes or Keith Aucoin is not evidence that they would not have been valuable players if given the opportunity. The converse proposition, that NHL teams have no idea what they are doing, is at least as plausible.

  113. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    delooper: Do they really need to learn a lesson here? They’re not stuck against the cap.Having Jones signed or not signed isn’t interfering with anything.Perhaps they didn’t get the PTOs they were looking for and Jones was insurance. It’s difficult to judge decisions when you don’t have all the information.

    I’m not going to push back on this as hard as others. I don’t hold Jones in total contempt and I don’t think MacT cost us our future in this one decision.

    BUT… I don’t see how this is anything but a clear mistake.

    It doesn’t ruin us cap or 50 man wise, but it doesn’t help and we are actually pretty close to end-game territory in both respects.

    Your argument about not knowing who else was available is taken… but with the caveat that MacT signed Jones on July 6th. long before players get sent PTOs. There was no rush to sign Jones. None. As his waiver experience will probably bear out… there isn’t a lot of demand for the player and certainly not at that $$$ and on a one-way deal.

    I think giving Jones a shot was a great idea. I think giving him a chance to push the bottom 6 and having competition at the bottom of the roster was a great idea. I strongly disagree with how that was executed.

    And I hope a lesson is learned.

  114. Colonel Obvious says:

    Zipdot,

    It conflicts with the way they talk but that isn’t dispositive.

    1) They use the language of their culture and that language includes meaningless words like first and second line. This language is not necessarily representative of their behaviour.
    2) To the extent that coaches believe in such things as scoring lines and checking lines this is evidence of their ignorance. In an insular society such as hockey the fact that someone inside the society believes something is not good evidence that said thing is true. In this respect being inside the game gives you negative credibility. T

  115. iHockeyWpg says:

    Did Omark clear waivers??

  116. BlacqueJacque says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Dawes went through 4 NHL teams and couldn’t stick with any of them. The offense he provided wasn’t enough to offset his lack of size. Size matters in the NHL for the same reason it does in rugby – you’re using your strength to keep other guys off the ball/puck. Sure, you can pass and make fancy plays, but sooner or later it’s going to be in a scrum, or a corner, and you need muscle.

  117. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’m not concerned with how much trust Jones needs to be shown. I’m concerned about throwing away $$ and a contract on a very questionable player.

    A guy coming off an off year and a major injury gets a PTO. He doesn’t get a 1.5M one-way deal.

    With any luck, MacT just swallowed that bitter pill and lesson learned. Next year invite a Raymond type to camp sign him for 1M.

    I get what you’re saying but the Oilers are in tough there. Jones is a hugely popular player here even if there are those that don’t like him. To toss him aside without a chance.. That wouldn’t happen. PTO wasn’t a bad idea, like you said. Just noting that they could lose him and oil fans would have raged. Hindsight is always 20/20. The gamble didn’t work. We could really have used a guy like Jones from two years ago though.

    On a semi related not, I would love to have someone like talbot on the fourth line. When everyone is healthy, the fourth could be talbot, Gordon, and.. Fill in the blank. Whoever looks the best I suppose.

    I still feel that the Oilers should ride 3 lines like crazy all year however

  118. BlacqueJacque says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    It’s not meaningless language coaches use. Because if it was meaningless, then Grabovski wouldn’t have bolted from Toronto to Washington. Grabo wanted offensive opportunities, offensive zone starts, and power play time. If you’re on the checking line, you get to start in your own zone more often than not, rarely spend time on the power play, and are often tasked with preventing the opposition’s best line from scoring.

  119. supernova says:

    This feels like Karma.

    the last few years Gagner and Horcoff were hated by many posters here and elsewhere.

    Now we look at starting the season without either of them. Sure we didnt do a good job of replacing them ….yet,

    Be careful what you wish for?

    Why is MacT getting slammed for re-upping Jones and then waivering him. He was a folk hero here two seasons ago, got injured and is a shell of himself. He had enough of a sample size to be considered worth a shot. He failed and you put him on waivers, they are cutting their losses not a big deal. if they hadnt given him a shot, they would be getting hammered here as well.

    Maybe we make a play for Kulemin?

  120. supernova says:

    Racki: I get what you’re saying but the Oilers are in tough there. Jones is a hugely popular player here even if there are those that don’t like him. To toss him aside without a chance.. That wouldn’t happen. PTO wasn’t a bad idea, like you said. Just noting that they could lose him and oil fans would have raged. Hindsight is always 20/20. The gamble didn’t work. We could really have used a guy like Jones from two years ago though.

    Racki,

    haha, Racki once again we are saying the same thing.

  121. russ99 says:

    Hmm.. If Jones is claimed on waivers, does that mean that the Oilers have another $1.5M to sign/claim someone better?

  122. BlacqueJacque says:

    russ99,

    Even if he’s not claimed, the Oilers have another $1.5M. Once a player is sent down, he’s off the cap. The only difference is that if he’s claimed, someone else will be signing his paychecks.

  123. russ99 says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    I thought that they changed the rules in the CBA, where you can’t completely bury salary in the AHL, and a part of a player’s salary still impacts the NHL cap.

  124. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    russ99:
    BlacqueJacque,

    I thought that they changed the rules in the CBA, where you can’t completely bury salary in the AHL, and a part of a player’s salary still impacts the NHL cap.

    Jones carries a $575K cap hit while in the minors.

    http://www.capgeek.com/oilers/

  125. BlacqueJacque says:

    russ99,

    Oh, maybe? Speeds would know.

  126. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    iHockeyWpg:
    Did Omark clear waivers??

    Yes.

  127. Nostradumbass says:

    Lois Lowe,

    I see this as a sign the organization has no reasonable clue on how to ice the best 23 players

    Ryan Jones has giant size issues but he’s essentially Ben Eager sans the stupid penalties and he’s miles more useful than SMAC

    It remains to be seen whether he has better production than Dallas Eakin’s pet Marlie or the coaches kid (welcome to the Edmonton Bantamn AA Oilers) but I’m willing to take action on Hamilton and Acton not being able to score the 17 goals Jones did in 11/12 or the 18 in 10/11

    Picking a team based on a 5 game eye ball test from a rookie coach in pre season is a terrible path to start on

  128. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Racki: Jones is a hugely popular player here even if there are those that don’t like him. To toss him aside without a chance.. That wouldn’t happen. PTO wasn’t a bad idea, like you said. Just noting that they could lose him and oil fans would have raged.

    I don’t find this very compelling and I hope mgt. is less concerned with this than with winning and making smart business decisions.

    Again, this wasn’t the end of the world. IMO it amounts to a bad read on the player and the market however. GMs have more tools at their disposal. I’d like to think MacT would explore more of them in the future.

    It just looks like MacT didn’t hustle with the player much. At the very least a two-way deal, or even a one-way, for around 1M would have looked a lot better.

  129. wheatnoil says:

    I was skeptical of the Jones signing when it happened, but thought he was serviceable on the Oilers 4th line. Jones is a tremendously flawed player, but I still think he’d be serviceable on a fourth line when the alternative options on the wings are Eager, R. Hamilton, Brown, and SMac. Frankly, I also think Omark is serviceable on the Oilers 4th line when those are the other options.

    Look, everyone, let’s take a breath here and pull back from our black-and-white cognitive distortions. MacT is neither a God among men nor a complete disaster. He made a lot of bets this off-season. Some of the early returns are positive and some are negative. Belov & Joensuu look like great bets right now. Bringing in Perron looks like a solid move. The Ference signing may look bad in 3 years, but the early returns are promising. Giving Omark a shot and now having him in the minors as a depth recall option looks like good asset management. Larsen seems like reasonable defensive depth option. On the other hand, the early returns on Jones and Grebeshkov are not promising and not addressing center depth has come back to bite him and picking up SMac on waivers appears questionable (but that is debate-able, as the comments over the last few days attest to).

    I feel that we can agree that the early returns on MacT’s bets are mixed, with some positive and some negative. I think the positive outweigh the negative, with the largest negative being centre depth which he still has time (and with Jones waived, now he has a touch more cap room) to address if he wants.

    Before we say MacT is as bad as Tambo, we need to give this time to see how it all plays out. Tambo had a number of years to screw this team up before he was universally regarded as failure. MacT has been in charge for all of 7 regular season games.

  130. delooper says:

    Nostradumbass:
    Picking a team based on a 5 game eye ball test from a rookie coach in pre season is a terrible path to start on

    What would you have them do, just pick the players that have been on the roster the longest, make the Oilers a retirement home?

  131. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I don’t find this very compelling and I hope mgt. is less concerned with this than with winning and making smart business decisions.

    Again, this wasn’t the end of the world. IMO it amounts to a bad read on the player and the market however. GMs have more tools at their disposal. I’d like to think MacT would explore more of them in the future.

    It just looks like MacT didn’t hustle with the player much. At the very least a two-way deal, or even a one-way, for around 1M would have looked a lot better.

    Damn you and your sensible logic. *runs away while slashing at your ankles*

  132. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: Jones carries a $575K cap hit while in the minors.

    http://www.capgeek.com/oilers/

    I see that, but shouldn’t it be $600K?

    According to cap geeks info on “buried contracts” here:

    http://www.capgeek.com/new-cba/

    BURIED CONTRACTS (Wade Redden Rule)
    Money paid to players outside of the NHL counts against the cap.
    A one-way contract counts against the cap as follows:
    cap hit – [ minimum salary + $375,000 ]
    Example: If Wade Redden plays in the minors in 2012-13, he counts as follows.
    $6.5M – [ $525,000 + $375,000 ] = $5.6M

    If that is right, it should be Jones’s salary (1.5M) – [min sal ($525K) + $375K = $900K] = $600K

    what am I missing?

  133. Nostradumbass says:

    delooper,

    How about using Will Acton’s 60 games in the AHL last year and Jones’s last full season as a barometer in regards to what kind of reasonable production you can expect from each player.

    Fantastic that Hamilton had an almost PPG season in the AHL as a 27 year old, that smells like depth forward to me

    There is no evidence that Ryan Hamilton or Will Acton are significant upgrades over Jones. If we wanted to upgrade Jones we should have brought in NHL players not AHL maybe’s

  134. dessert1111 says:

    Blacquejacque, with regards to arco I think you are seeing what you want to see. Guys don’t score ppg in the ahl by accident. They normally don’t get second star honors in an NHL game if they don’t play well. Of course he is playing with good players–he is a skill player. He is not driving play but what do you expect? Before this year he hasn’t even played preseason. Perhaps it’s a matter of having unrealistic expectations, but given the oilers choices now I don’t know who you want on the team instead. He is exactly the player you want your org to have in the system when it’s top 2 centers go down. Most teams in this scenario aren’t so lucky to have a ppg ahl player with experience playing with NHL stars to turn to. Your opinions on arco don’t make any sense. He is not dragging anyone down and is passable so far, what more can you ask for? A hat trick?

  135. OilClog says:

    Did you know.. Can’t post on here with the new iOS operating system.. Every time a guy goes to type, the browser closes.

    Good luck on your journey Jones, maybe we will see you again.. as a Flame probably lol.

    Gordon Joenssu Yakupov
    Acton Eager Hamilton/SMAC/Brown

    or

    Belanger..

    wait, end it right there. Our bottom 6 is already miles ahead of the last few seasons. 95% of teams have holes, our difference this year is the maturation of our superstar young cluster, that will improve everyone. Just because that is the way life works, just like how Vancouver’s window is pretty much closed, their cluster or stars are now starting to near their best before date and suddenly everyone in a Canucks jersey doesn’t look as appealing as a few years ago.

    if the coach wants to use his 4th strictly for intimidation purposes, what do we care what the 4th line’s freaking corsi, fenwick, or any other stat says. Their job is pretty cut and dry, go intimidate swing the momentum and get your ass back on the bench. When you have the Horses up front the Eakins has, do we really need the 4th line potting goals? or slamming bodies? 3 scoring lines isn’t enough? We need not only a Magical unicorn, but a whole damn army of Magical Unicorns? I’m pretty sure we need a line of white rhino’s.

    The Oilers 90% will have Hall, Yakupov, Eberle, Perron, Hemsky on the ice at all times.. Taking advantage of that and icing a line of thugs for the 4th line, IMO is perfectly acceptable. IF Eager goes out there and puts one of the Sedins on the shelf for two months, fanfreakingtastic. We lose Eager for 5-10 games, they lose a Sedin for 15-20 games.. Isn’t that what every other team has been doing to us for the last 6 years? I have no problems with the way Eakins is assembling the 4th line.

  136. Hammers says:

    I said it before but once again Lander like the other Nordic players was screwed his first year by Renney / Tambellini .( Not sending him down ) Truth is he is better than Acton but didn’t prove it . He showed no bite .Problem is both Acton & Hamilton are not NHL players and show it all the time . I personally would have kept Pitlick up over Eager or Hamilton but the consensus seems to be play him 20 minutes in OKL. I think Arco will be OK untill RNH returns hopefully mid Oct . Problem is our 4th line is as bad or maybe worse than last year .At least Petrell could kill penalties & hit . See us having about 10 points by the end of Oct unless the 4th line gets 4 minutes or less as a line .

  137. Zipdot says:

    OilClog: Did you know.. Can’t post on here with the new iOS operating system.. Every time a guy goes to type, the browser closes.

    It was actually doing that to me yesterday morning in the old iOS; I haven’t upgraded yet. But like last week, it wasn’t.

  138. Logan91 says:

    OilClog,

    Just a little bit of useless info for the day. Belanger retired this morning from Hockey after recording 0 points in the KHL and being a -6.

  139. rooster_monkey says:

    Hammers:
    I said it before but once again Lander like the other Nordic players was screwed his first year by Renney / Tambellini .( Not sending him down ) Truth is he is better than Acton but didn’t prove it . He showed no bite .Problem is both Acton & Hamilton are not NHL players and show it all the time . I personally would have kept Pitlick up over Eager or Hamilton but the consensus seems to be play him 20 minutes in OKL. I think Arco will be OK untill RNH returns hopefully mid Oct . Problem is our 4th line is as bad or maybe worse than last year .At least Petrell could kill penalties & hit . See us having about 10 points by the end of Oct unless the 4th line gets 4 minutes or less as a line .

    This makes no sense. Since when has the 4th line been the primary factor in whether or not an entire team has a successful season? I get it.. you don’t like the 4th line, but if our defense/top 3 lines/goalies are NHL players, we have a decent chance.

  140. BlacqueJacque says:

    dessert1111,

    I want MacT to trade for somebody. There are six teams currently over the cap. They’re dance partners whether they want to be or not.

    Alex Giroux’s point per game, 50 goal campaigns in the AHL didn’t matter shit, because he couldn’t skate in the NHL. Giroux didn’t have two months of NHL stars on his wings to pad his stats, either. Arcobello is a faster skater than Giroux, but he’s no faster than the average NHLer and he’s giving up 3 inches and 30lbs on those guys. His vision is OK, his passing better than average, but to me that doesn’t make up for him getting knocked off the puck by a stray breeze or tossed around in the corners.

    Trading for someone gets Arcobello down either to the fourth line or off the NHL roster, and when Nuge and Gagner come back, it gets Will Acton the hell out of Edmonton.

    I mean, last night, other than one chip pass that Perron somehow knocked into the net, Arcobello was more or less invisible – with few memorable positive or negative plays (missing picking up the puck in the third to keep the play alive, making some decent passes), and he was playing against the Rangers AHL squad. What’s going to happen when he’s lined up against Ryan Kesler, Logan Couture, or Mike Richards/Jeff Carter, all of whom are second liners on their teams?

  141. godot10 says:

    Acton had the advantage of familiarity over Lander.

    Lander is a bland player. He is a low event player. If Eakins had coached both of them for a year on the Mariles, Lander would have won the job. Lander’s low event blandness on a short viewing did not prevail over familiarity.

    One has to remember that a lot of these decisions are not permanent decisions. Being waiver exempt was a liability for Lander, Pitlick, and Fedun. It means MacT and Eakins could defer a decision on the players till later, when injuries or the failure of more established marginal players give them another opportunity.

    If Arco’s and Acton’s high eventness leans to far to the negative side, Eakins might decide that a little of Lander’s low event blandness might not be so bad.

  142. hoser313 says:

    Lander has been a mismanaged asset. Like MPS, he’s spent way too much time being shuffled between OKC and EDM or sitting in the press box. I hope he gets top minutes in OKC. Like Gordon and Horcoff, he does a lot of the little things quite well but they don’t really stand out. He needs to show a bit more confidence though. Be nice to see him wind up for a slap shot once in awhile.

  143. godot10 says:

    I think young Swedes are at a bit of a disadvantage in North Ameria. The North American system is pretty much a tryout system. North American players have been trying out for teams all their lives. The Swedish system is a club system. The players have been being developed by a club all their lives.

    In a tryout system, you have to try to stand out to move on. In a club system, you want to show that you fit in seamlessly to move on.

    i.e. Swedish players have selfishness and showyness trained out of them from an early age, things which are necessary in small quantities in a tryout system.

  144. dessert1111 says:

    Mact is not going to be able to trade for a 2c right now. Not without vastly overpaying. Even if he did what happens in a month? Where is the oilers cap room to take on another top 6 forward instead of a guy at league minimum? Arco is an injury fill in. If he sinks then he’ll be sent down. Not really sure why he is a bad bet at this point or how you’d improve o n him reasonably. Look at his corsi. All signs point to him doing at least alright.

  145. spoiler says:

    Potter’s injury to his back sounds long-term, according to Matheson, possibly a disc.

  146. spoiler says:

    If the Buffalo-Toronto incident doesn’t happen, and if the Oil don’t put in a last minute waiver claim on SMac, isn’t Jones still on this team?

  147. BlacqueJacque says:

    dessert1111,

    Not even a 2C, another 3C will do. A 2C would be a mistake because there’s no room for him after Nuge and Gags come back. A 3C can give us a semblance of a 4th line. A Brad Richardson type.

  148. stevezie says:

    godot10: Lander’s low event blandness on a short viewing did not prevail over familiarity.

    Yes but I’m comfortable about that. I don’t understand people railing about “sample sizes” and then complaining that Eakins just picked the guy he knew. Coaching a guy for multiple seasons is a fine sample size.

  149. Colonel Obvious says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Tomas Holmstrom couldn’t skate either. He scored 243 NHL goals. I’m not saying Giroux is as good as Holmstrom, I’m saying the notion that he couldn’t skate is why he didn’t make it in the NHL is post facto rationalization.

    There is nothing magical about the NHL. It is the same game at a higher level. 100% of the best players in the AHL would be competent NHL players. All of the evidence indicates this. The fact that NHL teams regularly use players that aren’t good enough for the AHL is evidence that their judgement should be taken with a grain of salt.

    So don’t cite me roster decisions as evidence because all it is is evidenced of incompetence. The biggest mistake general managers make is they attribute to the NHL mystical qualities. This leads them to keep around guys in the NHL who are marginal players in the AHL because they supposedly have “what it takes” to play in the NHL when they don’t even have what it takes to play in the AHL.

  150. DeadmanWaking says:

    Colonel Obvious: For years MLB teams didn’t believe that minor league performance was predictive of major league performance. They believed there was something essential different about the major leagues that some guys who could hit in AAA wouldn’t hit in the majors. These people were wrong.

    I was reading about this recently. As the size of the talent pool increases, the separation between players–even at the highest level–decreases. It’s partly how many kids participate in the sport, and partly exogenous details like the fall of the Berlin wall. Basketball is an interesting case study, because the mid-sixers are uniformly excellent, but the sevens are all over the map (some have mad skillz, some don’t). A good seven is hard to find. The talent pool for certified sky-hooks hasn’t increased nearly so fast as for rim-bounding CFPs.

    It’s almost certain in baseball that pitching at the AAA level these days is just a hair shy of the bigs. Not every guy you face, but often enough to get the hang of facing the music. Perhaps there are a few guys yet in the AAA who feast on the scrubs for whom this old maxim remains true.

    Perception 2000:

    “I think anything is possible,” Goebel said. “I don’t know if the quintuple will happen in my skating career or even the next generation, but I’m sure some day, someone will do it. No one 15 years ago thought a quad would be possible. The sport is changing real fast. I don’t think anyone knows how far it will go.”

    Reality 2013:

    Most quadruple jumps have exactly four revolutions; the quadruple Axel has 4½ revolutions, although no figure skater to date has completed this jump, either in practice or in competition. The quadruple toe loop and quadruple Salchow are the two most commonly skated. The first quad Lutz was ratified in 2011. The first person to land a ratified quadruple jump in competition was Kurt Browning in 1988.

    Back in 2000, it was still popular to opine that the Windows operating system would immediately expand to fill any conceivable increase in hard drive capacity. There’s a certain type of person that lives to extrapolate inflection points, as if an inflection point is defined as the fork averted. We’ve never been closer to colonizing Alpha Centauri than on 20 July 1969. Nearly 50 years later, the universal shortage of rad-hard human tissue makes merely visiting Mars look like ticket with no staple. They’ll step off the USS Roanoke to be greeted by the Martian port authority with just the sippy-tubes on their backs.

    NASA’s NEXT ion drive breaks world record, will eventually power interplanetary missions

    State-of-the-art ion thrusters can deliver a grand total of 0.5 newtons of thrust (equivalent to the force of a few coins pushing down on your hand) … Dawn, a NASA probe that’s powered by previous-generation NSTAR ion thrusters, accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in four days. … The good news, though, is that the (eventual) max speed of a spacecraft propelled by an ion drive is in the region of 200,000 miles per hour.

    This is the kind of progress only an introvert can love. An inflection point (downward style) can almost be defined as the exact moment in time where the smart money ceases to listen to the extroverts in the room, some of whom are still caught up in the fancy that the Saturn V will amount to just the third stage of a four-stage rocket we’ll be building Real Soon Now.

    Pretty much every major human sport passed the inflection point at some point over the past thirty years. Unfortunately for the NFL, the deflection point did not keep pace, and the following document is now required reading:

    Why Woodpeckers Don’t Get Concussions

    Researchers had previously figured out that thick neck muscles diffuse the blow, and a third inner eyelid prevents the birds’ eyeballs from popping out.

    I bet the progressive NFL is all over a crash research program into inner eyelids that blot out the harsh glare of fresh dissections.

    Does addition by subtraction constitute a legitimate inflection point?

    Tough call. I’m divided on the matter. My extrovert says this is a slam dunk. My introvert tells me that it’s really the fourth line that matters, by which I mean viable defensemen waiting in the wings. The grinding fourth line? Nice to have, but I’m not surprised that fleshing out the fringe is 0-60 on the ion drive after a proper exfoliation so long deferred.

    MacT chirps “bold”, then delivers a good barking.

    Apollo 8 was planned to be the D mission in December 1968 … launched on a Saturn V instead of two Saturn IB’s. However, in the summer it had become clear that the LM would not be ready in time. Rather than waste the Saturn V on another simple Earth-orbiting mission, ASPO Manager George Low suggested the bold step of sending Apollo 8 to orbit the Moon instead, deferring the D mission to the next mission in March 1969, and eliminating the E mission. This would keep the program on track.

    We wait.

  151. Woodguy says:

    Lois Lowe:
    I don’t get the post hoc slamming of MacT’s decision to re-sign Jones. He had a history of offensive production, wanted to play in Edmonton, and was a known quantity at a time when the team was looking to have depth at every position. Jones came in and competed for a spot and lost out, same as Omark. Both could find their way back up to the big club during the season, but I see this as a sign of organizational depth.

    For the record I hated this signing the day it happened

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/07/oilers-sign-jones-3.html/comment-page-1#comment-239529

  152. stevezie says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Ok sure “the best players in the AHL would be competent NHL players”, depending on how you define competent, but that doesn’t mean they would be better than regular NHLers who could not put up comparable numbers in the A.

    What you are saying makes complete intuitive sense to me, and every time a Giroux or Dan Curri or Jason Krog or Peter White can’t make it I am confused, just as I am confused by Sheldon Souray being a middling AHLer but still a competent NHL D-man. This happens often enough that I don’t think you can chalk it all up to managerial incompetence. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are certain tricks you can use to score at lower levels that stop working at higher levels. Once your tricks stop working need to develop new tricks (what NHL scorers do) or find a way to bring something else to the game (the Shaun Van Allen/Dan Cleary/Radek Bonk method).

    This isn’t an illusion created by dinosaur thinking, at least not purely an illusion. When I was a kid nobody was better than me at beating the computer at NHL 95- I could run up the core better than any of my friends. However, I could not stomp my friends in head to head play because my tricks stop working.

    ***Not saying that conventional thinking isn’t often very very wrong- Look at Luc Robataille or Martin St Louis , but just because many, many black people are prosecuted with great prejudice doesn’t mean R. Kelly shouldn’t have gone to jail.

  153. bookje says:

    $1.5 million to Grebs and the same to Jones (i.e. guys the GM ‘knows’) are really cheap mistakes provided that MacT learns from his mistakes.

  154. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10:
    I think young Swedes are at a bit of a disadvantage in North Ameria.The North American system is pretty much a tryout system.North American players have been trying out for teams all their lives.The Swedish system is a club system.The players have been being developed by a club all their lives.

    In a tryout system, you have to try to stand out to move on. In a club system, you want to show that you fit in seamlessly to move on.

    i.e. Swedish players have selfishness and showyness trained out of them from an early age, things which are necessary in small quantities in a tryout system.

    This is probably true, but man oh man are we living in the golden age of making excuses for people.

  155. Colonel Obvious says:

    stevezie,

    Shaun Van Allen is exactly what I’m talking about. His was an AHL scorer and his scoring translated to the NHL as did Dan Cleary’s. They aren’t exceptions to the rule. They are the rule. In pretty much every case over a sufficient sample size scoring translates. The only excuse for not playing these guys, therefore, is that they might be bad defensive players.

    In which case I would like to see actual evidence that the player in question is bad defensively instead of the supposition that they must be bad. I have seen no such evidence in the case of Arcobello.

  156. denny33 says:

    Lois Lowe,

    29 other teams don’t want those players….I am not sure I am ready to call that organizational depth…

  157. Bank Shot says:

    bookje:
    $1.5 million to Grebs and the same to Jones (i.e. guys the GM ‘knows’) are really cheap mistakes provided that MacT learns from his mistakes.

    Starting the NHL season with up to 8 players that have about an NHL season or less under their belts seems like it could prove to be a costly mistake for Mact.

    If management actually cared about making the playoffs that is………….

  158. Racki says:

    spoiler:
    If the Buffalo-Toronto incident doesn’t happen, and if the Oil don’t put in a last minute waiver claim on SMac, isn’t Jones still on this team?

    I’d say he is here by default because of weak competition. I guess MacT has something to focus on for the next bit.. Find some quality 4th liners. My belief is the 4th liners aren’t overly critical just yet on a team that could ride 3 scoring lines really hard up to the Oly break. But he should solve it before the trade deadline. If not claimed and he plays well again in OkC , maybe Jones finds his way back on the he team.

  159. Melman says:

    Wow – There is sure a lot of roasting going on for signing Ryan Jones: a guy slotted for the 4th line who could maybe provide short term help on the 3rd to a 1 year deal. He will either: a) get picked up on waivers, b) go down to OKC and (based on his history with the team) work like a dog to find his game and get back up to the show, or c) count $600 against the cap and then move on. Mistake? To date sure, but not quite the end of the world, especially because the team has depth enough to choose someone over him.

    And for what it’s worth Brad Richardson is going to end up as the 4C in Van. because they have no middle depth, not because of his play – so MacT didn’t miss out on anything special there. Every team that isn’t hoisting Stanley has holes in it’s roster.

  160. stevezie says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Wouldn’t Van Allen and Cleary qualify as exceptionally good defensive players, to the point of being specialists? These were guys who got their start in hockey as scorers, but who could not bring their offence to higher levels with them. They were both a far cry better than Petrell and his like, but so much of their scoring stayed behind that it wasn’t enough for them to play good defence, they had to play excellent defence.

    (As Cleary got better at the NHL game a nice portion of his offence returned, but the league is full of excellent defensive forwards who would be lucky to crack 50 points in the A.)

    I also have this idea in my head that there are some guys who see an unusually high percentage of their offence follow them up, but the only example I can think of is Milan Lucic.

    If Arcobello can play good enough defence to stay in the league then God bless him. My criticism of him isn’t his defence, it is just based on my very limited viewings of him I’m not sure that his offensive weapons are the type that will be successful against NHL D. Your point about sample sizes is well taken and I think he deserves a shot, but I’m not thrilled about that shot being second line center with no safety net. Maybe MacT knows RNH is really, really close.

  161. Woodguy says:

    speeds:
    Honest question:

    Let’s say Tambellini is still the GM, and he signed Jones as a depth player for 1.5M and put him on waivers before game one of the season.How does that reaction compare to the reaction for MacT today?

    He would be pilloried.

    Like I did to MacT when he signed Jones.

    He was slow on the back check since he got here.

    He took a few penalties in the pre-season because he was late coming back and didn’t have position.

    Its my guess on why they kept Hamilton over Jones.

  162. Andropod says:

    Ryan Jones isn’t gone unless someone else picks him up off waivers. Ryan Jones will either fully recover from his eye injury or he will not. If he is picked upon waivers then we get cap space. If not then he gets more time to recover in the A. If he is able to recover in the A and become as good a player as he ever was – and not a new 100% – then we have a depth forward we can recall and hope he isn’t picked up on waivers on the way back up.

    If he doesn’t recover – or doesn’t recover in time to make it back to the NHL – then his career will have been cut short by his eye injury, just as Whitney’s career is most likely cut short through his medical condition.

    I like Ryan’s enthusiasm, he’s a lot like his Red Setter in the way he behaves. You either like Setters or you don’t and that’s how it is with Ryan. I would love to see him recover and earn himself a 4th line slot by next season, but the odds are long on that one.

    Moving on……

  163. G Money says:

    Woodguy: speeds:
    Honest question:
    Let’s say Tambellini is still the GM, and he signed Jones as a depth player for 1.5M and put him on waivers before game one of the season.How does that reaction compare to the reaction for MacT today?
    He would be pilloried.
    Like I did to MacT when he signed Jones.

    Hmmm, the implication here is that the only reason MacT is not taking the same heat as Tambo is because he’s MacT.

    This ignores the fact that the context of the actions is completely different.

    If Tambo were to sign Ryan Jones to a $1.5m contract, he probably would have signed him as 3C, and it would likely be his only move. So he would be pilloried, and rightly so.

    In the context of MacT signing Gordon, bringing in Belov/Grebs etc., trading Horcoff for Larsen, and a host of his other good moves – is the Jones signing the one that deserves the highest scrutiny?

    (Personally, I still think Jones as 4R was a decent bet, though it was an overpay to be sure)

  164. Zipdot says:

    G Money: If Tambo were to sign Ryan Jones to a $1.5m contract, he probably would have signed him as 3C, and it would likely be his only move. So he would be pilloried, and rightly so.

    I agree, Tambo WAS on pills.

  165. commonfan14 says:

    stevezie: Maybe MacT knows RNH is really, really close.

    Maybe MacT is just a guy who got his job because an old buddy gave it to him without interviewing any other more qualified candidates.

    Maybe there’s trouble brewing.

  166. BlacqueJacque says:

    I don’t think even Tambo would have been pilloried about the Jones signing. It was just one year and a reasonable bet.

    I do think, however, that if Tambo had offered Clarkson more than Clarkson already got in Toronto, we’d be forming a lynch mob with LT at the head.

  167. bendelson says:

    Woodguy: For the record I hated this signing the day it happened

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/07/oilers-sign-jones-3.html/comment-page-1#comment-239529

    For the record, anyone paying any attention to this blog is well aware of your feelings about Jones.
    I’m not certain you need to back it up by posting past comments (although I understand the temptation can overwhelm).
    You are Woodguy.
    We know you are awesome.

  168. Colonel Obvious says:

    stevezie,

    If you push me on this my position is that there is no such as “defensive” skills as distinguished from hockey skills generally. Human beings aren’t dungeons and dragons characters. They don’t have skill sets (a horrible term that carries within it a very distorted picture of reality) that can be broken into easily divisible parts.

    So Van Allen and Cleary were successful because they were good hockey players. The best evidence that they were good hockey players was demonstrated by their ability to put up points. Case in point on this is how good star players are at killing penalties. Of course Hall and Hemsky are good penalty killers because the same things that make you good on offense make you good at killing penalties.

    Now it is true that certain hockey players like POS are terrible despite a track record of putting up points. But that’s because POS was a piece of shit. In the absence of evidence that someone like Arcobello has those particular character traits I will go with the only evidence that is relevant.

    If you choose the 12 forwards with the best track record of scoring points, especially at even strength, you will get the best team every single time.

  169. Zelepukin says:

    BlacqueJacque: Arcobello is terrible. I know he can make passes, but nothing else. He can’t defend, he can’t come away with the puck along the boards, he’s not fast (definitely not fast enough to make up for his speed), he doesn’t have a dangerous shot, and he doesn’t have the vision of a Gagner or Nuge. I don’t want him on my team.

    This is bullshit. Arco’s only job for the next 1-2 months is dishing to Ebs and Perron and he is our best option in doing so. He isn’t better than either of those two in any category but we don’t need him to be. We don’t need him to push the river, we don’t need him to board-play. He is only plugging a hole until Gagner or Nuge returns, but comparing him to those two is ridiculous. Once one is back he will be sent down.

  170. BlacqueJacque says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    OK you have just officially left the bounds of reality.

    People have skill sets. Trust me. Try working a commercial construction job with an electrician who has never bent conduit, and tell me that conduit bending isn’t a skill.

    And this gem?

    Now it is true that certain hockey players like POS are terrible despite a track record of putting up points. But that’s because POS was a piece of shit.

    Quality logic right there.

    Let me by the first to invite you away from this blog and back to HFB or ON or wherever you came from.

  171. LostBoy says:

    Andropod:
    Ryan Jones will either fully recover from his eye injury or he will not. If he is picked upon waivers then we get cap space. If not then he gets more time to recover in the A. If he is able to recover in the A and become as good a player as he ever was – and not a new 100% – then we have a depth forward we can recall and hope he isn’t picked up on waivers on the way back up.

    The last part at least isn’t a worry. There are no reentry waivers in the current CBA.

  172. BlacqueJacque says:

    Zelepukin,

    Arco isn’t plugging a hole. He’s a band-aid over a severed femoral artery.

    Let’s have this conversation again at the end of October, after Arco lines up against centres like Jokinen, Carter, Richards, Grabovski, Malkin, etc.

  173. Magnus says:

    I had no problem in signing Ryan Jones to compete for a 4th line position. And frankly, I thought he might be pretty good at that position. Certainly better than who the team had playing at 4th line last year. I thought his skill set of being a decent skating, hard fore-checker who can chip in a few garbage goals would fit in well in a 4th line role. The issue I had was with the verbal coming from the GM and MSM that Jones was coming back to play a 3rd line role. My belief at the time, which has not changed since, was that signing and penciling Jones into a third line position was not a sign of improvement on the team. The fact that the GM signed him to a $1.5 million, one-way deal gave credence to the idea that management saw him as a 3rd line winger.

    Now that the signing has failed, all we can do is either hope that another team picks him up (doubtful at his salary) and he gets another chance elsewhere, or that he finds his game in the minors and returns a better player.

    Ryan Hamilton and Will Acton were 2 players brought in, I would imagine, on the recommendation of the head coach. Thus, I don’t think you can place any responsibility on the pro scouts here. But they were 2 signings that should never have been seen as more than AHL depth signings with the generic “they’ll get a shot at training camp” throw in. I was rather surprised (shocked even), that people were seriously penciling them in for a roster spot on the team. That’s as silly as counting on Josh Green and Chris VandeVelde to have made up the 4th line last year. 2 players that are very good comparables. As it is, the 4th line looks like it will be made up of a combination of Acton, Hamilton, Eager, Brown and MacIntyre, 3 of which played in the AHL last season, 2 of which have little-to-no NHL experience, and one of which has no NHL talent. If anything, things seem to have gotten worse for our 4th line.

    The real disappointment of this training camp has been the 2 Swedes, Lander and Omark, who completely failed to show anything when presented with excellent opportunities. Lander has played himself out of a 4th line center role after having been served it on a silver platter. Even worse, he’s lost it to a player who isn’t even NHL quality. Omark no longer has any reason to be cocky after struggling to show anything in preseason.

    At this point, the team should be looking to unload some dead weight and looking to the waiver wire as pretty much an entire 4th line re-haul is required.

  174. stevezie says:

    Colonel Obvious,

    Not to sound repetitive, but you are mostly right. Defence is mostly just work. It can be taught to anyone willing to learn, which is why I am in favour of drafting someone who can score over guys who grew up with Mike Peca posters (like me- I could never score). If you can work, skate, read a play and are willing to learn you can play sound defence.

    Sadly, not everyone can skate, read a play and apply themselves. Many talented guys are lazy, or hockey dumb, or just can’t skate that well. All of these blemishes can be covered up with superior talent and athleticism, but the amount of talent required to cover your flaws goes up at each level. POS wasn’t good enough to get away with being such shit. He’s not alone.

    Last year’s playoffs definitely earned Arcobello a shot, but I can’t imagine anyone save the player and his banker are too thrilled that it might be a month-long audition.

  175. Fixall with Rexall says:

    Yeah Jones and Grebs were a mistake. A bigger mistake would have been if the organization refused to admit it by not cutting them. I think that holds some credibility, and allows us as fans to continue to put some faith in the new regime. When an idea fails, recognize it, deal with it, and come up with another one. This has been an honest summer. My optimism grows.

  176. hags9k says:

    Good news bad news re: Nurse…

    Good news is actually great news. He’s the real deal. Going to push this team into orbit once he arrives.

    Bad news, is that after seeing him so well this preseason, I think it’s reasonable to say we won’t really be a top tier team until he arrives. So I won’t feel like the death star is fully operational for another couple years damnit. Godspeed Darnell. Miss you already.

    Re: Jones, management is going to miss on some contracts, they had every reason to believe he could come in and play his best hockey. He hasn’t. If he could fight, he’d be on the team. Love the kid but let’s turn the page. Based on hockey hair, and personality he’s an NHL all star. Based on ability, he’s an AHLer.

  177. theres oil in virginia says:

    Some D-bag named “Lowetide” (that’s so-o contrived) just fucked up the thread above (see his comment posted at 6:33 PM). Ban him!

    ;)

  178. Zipdot says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    BlacqueJacque says:
    September 25, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Arcobello is terrible. I know he can make passes, but nothing else. He can’t defend, he can’t come away with the puck along the boards, he’s not fas

    You are so wrong… I guess you’ve not seen him play too much. I have. He’s an excellent player.

  179. Lowetide says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Some D-bag named “Lowetide” (that’s so-o contrived) just fucked up the thread above (see his comment posted at 6:33 PM).Ban him!

    ;)

    I don’t know what the hell that was but sorry!

  180. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    Some D-bag named “Lowetide” (that’s so-o contrived) just fucked up the thread above (see his comment posted at 6:33 PM).Ban him!

    what happened? must know!

  181. BlacqueJacque says:

    Zipdot,

    I saw camp and every preseason game.

    Since we disagree, how about we wait until November to decide? I’m confident that by the time Arco gets bent over a table by the likes of Kesler, Koivu, Richards, and Couture (all second-liners in our division), in addition to Malkin, Jokinen, Briere and Grabo (all encountered in the first month), there will be no more argument.

  182. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: what happened? must know!

    I don’t know. There was 20 miles of me quoting the world.

  183. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: I don’t know. There was 20 miles of me quoting the world.

    Sounds like some kind of modern poetry. No need to apologize for vomiting nonsense on your own blog BTW, the rest of us do it all day without apology.

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