THE LOSING END

How long does it take to learn something? I don’t mean a new word in a different language, I mean something very difficult and at high speed. Also, you need to learn it so well it’s by rote. How long does that take? Seriously, I don’t know. Where could we find the answer? History is always a nice guide.

PUNCH IMLACH ON GILBERT PERREAULT

imlach book 2The first team I really followed as a kid–and it isn’t like today, where all kinds of info is available, you saw them once a week–were the Leafs of Imlach. I read both of his books every year because the names are so familiar to me. Gerry Ehman, Brit Selby, Mike Pelyk, Jim McKenny, if you were a kid in English Canada in the 1960′s and early 1970′s you knew who they were, owned their hockey card, and had your favorites (mine was Jim Dorey, he was a little out there but man he could play).

Anyway, in 1970 Imlach did with Perreault about what Tom Renney did with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (and RK with Yak): look kid, take the puck and go with it. Perreault was -39 and -40 in his first two seasons, turning the corner to +11 at age 22 (Taylor Hall’s age now). Plus minus is a rudimentary way of looking at the problem, but the drastic change in his own plus minus (I believe) gives us some indication about Perreault’s development timeline.

My guess is that Nuge is a much better 2-way center at 20 than Perreault, and Perreault was the more gifted offensive player (although the Nuge is a gifted player offensively). Center is a tough position to play–Oiler fans could write a book on the subject–but how long do you wait for a player to turn the corner? How much do linemates have to do with success? As an example, the defensive conscience of the French Connection line was former center Rene Robert. Can a poor 2-way C become a good 2-way winger?

PUNCH IMLACH ON DON LUCE

imlach book 1Imlach had that French Connection line ripping up the blacktop but the key to the Sabres success in those days was their tough minutes line. As mentioned in the passage from his book Heavan and Hell in the NHL, the tough minutes line was Don Luce-Craig Ramsay-Danny Gare during the period Buffalo was at their peak (this was 4 years after expansion, Imlach really was an outstanding team builder).

The Sabres 1-2 C’s in their early glory years consisted of a heavenly offensive center with youth and detail issues, and a 22-year old (when he arrived) whose offense was (up to that point) shy but had a good reputation as a checker.

The Oilers 1-2 C’s currently are a gifted offensive 20-year old who is also adept (if inexperienced) at the defensive side of the game, and a (now) 24-year old whose offense is also quality but is defensively unable at center. Sam Gagner had been trending in a good direction for several years, but last season (the 89-83) and this (although in very few games) he hasn’t been close to good enough in the middle.

Experience is a funny thing. Sometimes you’ll watch a player for six years and it’s obvious he has six years experience. Other times, you’ll watch a player and swear he has one year’s experience six times.

Tom Poti was like that, is Gagner? Sam Gagner is a smart guy, shouldn’t he be able to figure this out? He has terrific skills, but is he destined to be a one dimensional player ala Mike Comrie?

If that’s the case, the Oilers have to move him to the wing or out of town. More important, they need to find the modern Don Luce, pdq.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

150 Responses to "THE LOSING END"

  1. Ben says:

    I really don’t know what sort of value Sam has on the market – I’m a fan – but he is the F that I would try to build a deal around for a 1st pairing D. I take Hemsky in our top 6 every day and twice on Sunday over Sam, if that’s the choice to be made.

    Girardi (UFA)? Erhoff?

    Would MacT’s ‘honour’ prevent him from dealing Sam this year?

  2. godot10 says:

    For the people who ran Krueger out of town, this is Eakins’ record against common opponents with a better roster, certainly at least on defense.

    Oilers shot metrics CF%/FF% CF%close/FF%close

    Common opponents:

    Vancouver 43.1/43.2 28.6/28.6
    Phoenix 52.4/54.4 54.5/54.9
    LA 26.3/24.6 26.3/24.6
    Detroit 41.1/38.8 33.3/16.7
    Chicago 30.9/36.7 32.4/38.8

    If Krueger was bad, Eakins is trending to way worse than bad.

    Re: Gagner

    People are what they are. You guys are like women who believe they can change the jerk into a respectable human being.

    Play a player to his strengths. Use them situationally and with the right players to try to minimize their weaknesses. Try to improve their weaknesses.

    This is an impossible task for pretty much an exclusively x and o coach like Eakins.

    It would really help Gagner if the Oilers would play him with the right players, and get him the right players to play with. Penner was about the only winger they’ve had that helped hide Gagner’s weaknesses. I have always thought one should play Gagner with bigger wingers who strength is cycling, rather than with rush players. i.e. I always wanted to see Paajarvi, Gagner, and Hartikainen. Or better yet, Paajarvi, Gagner, and Penner.

    The problem of Gagner with the OIlers right now is that they don’t really have the right kind of wingers to play him with to play to his strengths and minimize his weakneeses.

    Hall is fine. But Hall attracts the best players on the opposition, which is bad for Gagner. Nugent-Hopkins will be able to saw off Toews and the best centre in the league eventually. Gagner won’t. So Hall is a poor choice.

    Hemsky is a horrible choice, because Gagner is a give and go player whereas Hemsky is a rush soloist.

    If one accepts Gagner for what he is. He isn’t the problem. One can make do with him until one gets somebody better. He is a soft minutes 2nd line centre. If you have Nugent-Hopkins, Gordon, and a decent 4th line centre, one should be able to use Gagner in effective ways.

    Eakins has been using him in a braindead fashion, against the top lines of the opposition. Using him with Yakupov against the top lines of the opposition. It is like he doesn’t see the skill sets of his players. You have Nugent-Hopkins and Gordon, and Arcobello, who is decent on faceoffs.

  3. Hambone678 says:

    Sam’s problems are a result of being rushed into the NHL on a poor team. A good team would have brought him into the league at 19 or 20 and given him sheltered minutes, perhaps with the luxury of recognizing this defensive deficiencies and switching him to the wing.

    The problem that Oilers management and most fans have is that we just expect the new Oilers players to be something they’re not. This is probably as a result of the glory years (i.e. comparing new players to Gretzky, Kurri, etc. which is grossly unfair) and the desperate desire for anything good to happen which is a result of the team being so bad for so long.

  4. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    For the people who ran Krueger out of town,

    MacT reads Lowetide?

    Cool.

    Hi Craig, Don Luce’s name is now Sean Couturier or Frans Nielsen.

    Not sure what they will cost, but pretty sure they’d be worth it.

  5. Lowetide says:

    godot10:
    It would really help Gagner if the Oilers would play him with the right players, and get him the right players to play with.Penner was about the only winger they’ve had that helped hide Gagner’s weaknesses.I have always thought one should play Gagner with bigger wingers who strength is cycling, rather than with rush players. i.e.I always wanted to see Paajarvi, Gagner, and Hartikainen.Or better yet, Paajarvi, Gagner, and Penner.

    Hall is fine.But Hall attracts the best players on the opposition, which is bad for Gagner.Nugent-Hopkins will be able to saw off Toews and the best centre in the league eventually.Gagner won’t.So Hall is a poor choice.

    Hemsky is a horrible choice, because Gagner is a give and go player whereas Hemsky is a rush soloist.

    Agreed on Hall, I think Toews is far too high up the depth chart for Gagner, and we know this because no coach previous would have him there. Eakins set his lines and has a right to expect that line to compete though, and that’s a problem as they currently line up.

    The Gagner-Hemsky tandem DOES work believe it or not–it took some time but didn’t come overnight (no one plays a game with Hemsky and says it was easy).

    I think this is the beginning of the end for Gagner. I don’t like it, and I don’t think we’re going to like the return, but Gagner’s skills are duplicated in the lineup and the role he’s charged with isn’t one he will be able to deliver (the Luce role).

  6. Henry says:

    How does Tippet use Ribeiro?

  7. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    godot10,

    For the people who ran Krueger out of town,

    MacT reads Lowetide?

    Cool.

    Hi Craig,Don Luce’s name is now Sean Couturier or Frans Nielsen.

    Not sure what they will cost, but pretty sure they’d be worth it.

    That’s the problem though. Once a team establishes that don Luce is Don Luce, they don’t trade them, or rarely do. Best way to do it is find them or draft them, and they are out there (Dave Poulin came out of college pretty much ready, I bet MacT finds him there).

  8. Henry says:

    Maybe Ramsay can teach the Luce role? The Ramsay role? Is he not available?

  9. Lowetide says:

    Henry:
    Maybe Ramsay can teach the Luce role?The Ramsay role?Is he not available?

    Ramsay was a beautiful player, I loved watching him. true story: he got to the NHL and Imlach didn’t have to teach him a damn thing. Roger Neilson did such a great job with Ramsay he arrived at 20, played 19 games in the AHL and then stayed in the NHL for 1070.

  10. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: That’s the problem though. Once a team establishes that don Luce is Don Luce, they don’t trade them, or rarely do. Best way to do it is find them or draft them, and they are out there (Dave Poulin came out of college pretty much ready, I bet MacT finds him there).

    Need to make a trade with Holmgren before he’s replaced by Hextall.

  11. wintoon says:

    GOGOT Good description of the problem the Oilers face in trying to get the best out of Gagner. Maybe, however, changing all his wingers is too much of a pain. Maybe they should just get rid of Gagner as he does not have the skills needed to be a 2C on a contending team. He is now a veteran on this team and he is making raw rookie mistakes in the D zone. Is it that he is stubborn or not so bright. This stuff is not rocket science. If there is a market for him get what you can. A Couturier would be a marvelous upgrade.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Need to make a trade with Holmgren before he’s replaced by Hextall.

    I don’t think you get Couturier for less than Eberle. Will Oiler fans be happy with that?

  13. Woodguy says:

    godot10,

    Eakins has been using him in a braindead fashion, against the top lines of the opposition. Using him with Yakupov against the top lines of the opposition. It is like he doesn’t see the skill sets of his players. You have Nugent-Hopkins and Gordon, and Arcobello, who is decent on faceoffs.

    You’re worse than me when you decided to take a narrative and run with it, but you are 100% correct here.

    Its the road, so the match ups are totally under control, but he’s the most common opponents for Gagner and RNH last night:

    Gagner:

    Seabrook 11.6m
    Keith 11.3m
    Toews 8.1m
    Hossa 8.0m
    Sharp 7.8m

    RNH:

    Hjalmarsson 11,2m
    Oduya 10.5m
    Kruger 7.8m
    Smith 7.5m
    Bolig 7.1m

    I remember hearing Eakins saying he didn’t watch a lot of tape of the Oilers last year.

    Too bad, he would have learned that 4-93-14 were 50%+ CF at 5v5 and very close to that at 5v5 close against the best in Western Conference, and that it was the rest of the team was the problem.

    MacT loves Gagner though.

    Said publicly that he gave him a verbal NTC this year and has a NMC for the 14/15 season.

    Not good.

    GM can’t fall in love with their players.

    Especially ones that are at the center of the teams’ issues.

  14. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    godot10: For the people who ran Krueger out of town

    We’ve been down this road before… it is completely a-historical.

    Go back and re-read this blog at the time. Throughout the year RK was supported with the odd curio wondering at a few decisions. I don’t recall any clamor to have him gone.

    At the year’s close, and the coaching situation came under examination, more questions were asked, but I don’t recall any clamor for RK to be tossed. I do recall people taking a serious look at his deployments, matchups and so forth. Most were very on-side with RK and getting him a good helper coach.

    It was only after he was tossed that his record came under any serious scrutiny and even then no one was pissing on his grave.

    Eakins is getting exactly the same push-back here that RK got in real-time.

  15. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I don’t think you get Couturier for less than Eberle. Will Oiler fans be happy with that?

    Who cares what Oiler fans think?

    As soon as GM makes moves based on the mood of the fanbase, the GM should be out of a job.

    Lots of good quote in “Behind the Moves” say as much.

  16. Lowetide says:

    I think MacT might be willing to move Eberle for a C and then Gagner to R or L. Here’s what I don’t like about that: Eberle is a better player than Gagner and then you still have a logjam at RW that Hemsky’s exit will fix.

    Next season your RW depth chart is Yakupov-Gagner-etc-etc. I don’t like this downturn in talent. If they can trade Eberle for Couturier AND sign Hemsky? I’d be fine with that.

  17. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Hambone678: Sam’s problems are a result of being rushed into the NHL on a poor team. A good team would have brought him into the league at 19 or 20 and given him sheltered minutes, perhaps with the luxury of recognizing this defensive deficiencies and switching him to the wing.

    I have all day for the argument that Sam was heedlessly rushed by a bungling organization desperate to show off new toys to appease the crowd.

    And, I’m sure that hampered his development… but 7 years… he’s had more than enough time to figure this out. His problems are in part a result of being rushed in part an inability or indifference to play defensive hockey.

  18. russ99 says:

    Gagner is going nowhere. MacT isn’t going back on his handshake agreement, since that will hurt him with free agent negotiation down the road.

    IMO, much of what we’re seeing is rushing him back from his injury (which is still bothering him) into the meat-grinder than is Eakins’ systems.

    Eakins – I get what he’s doing, but frankly, I’m not really seeing any coaching. Gagner is never going to be a 2-way player, let’s face facts. But other teams have players like Gagner and are just fine with it.

    I’m not seeing Eakins adapting to his players or changing things up either to send a message or shelter players from situations where they’ll fail.

    All the Oilers are going to play that way, and that’s that. Win or lose. Mostly lose…

  19. RexLibris says:

    Gagner to the wing? Yes.

    Unless MacTavish is going to go back on his word about not trading him this season, that is the only appropriate option, in my opinion.

    Gagner’s best play comes from within 15 feet of the net, he goes to the front, finds the tap-ins and garbage goals, and can stickhandle in close. He’s not afraid (or at least doesn’t let it be known that he is) of bigger opponents or traffic around the goalie (think the Yakupov negated goal on Quick last year).

    Center is just not his thing.

    The next question is whether he is a LW or RW.

    If LW, then who does he bump? Perron? No. Joensuu? Maybe, but size is needed somewhere.

    RW? He’s not better than Eberle or Hemsky, but if Hemsky leaves does he play ahead of Yakupov for a time until the young man gains traction?

    Arcobello is the better center. Not necessarily the better player yet, but a better center.

    From where I sit the center depth chart for the Oilers should run: Nugent-Hopkins, Arcobello, Gordon, Acton/Horak, Lander.

    As for Couturier, it’d be Eberle for sure. Unless the Oilers offer up something of significant value over a wider range like 2014 1st, 2015 2nd, Klefbom and Hemsky and also take back Meszaros. Crazy overpay, but it would take a lot to get that deal done without Eberle, but it would basically amount to buying on credit rather than cash, and that always carries a greater overall cost.

  20. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    I think MacT might be willing to move Eberle for a C and then Gagner to R or L. Here’s what I don’t like about that: Eberle is a better player than Gagner and then you still have a logjam at RW that Hemsky’s exit will fix.

    Next season your RW depth chart is Yakupov-Gagner-etc-etc. I don’t like this downturn in talent. If they can trade Eberle for Couturier AND sign Hemsky? I’d be fine with that.

    What about Gagner packaged with something for Couturier (or equivalent).

    Another alternative is simply multiple moves… maybe talent lost is replaced in another unexpected way (see Perron trade).

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    RexLibris: Center is just not his thing.
    The next question is whether he is a LW or RW.

    He’s always played RW IIRC (when spotted on the wing).

    The number of centers who move to wing in hockey is innumerable. I don’t think Eakins should have any compunction about this.

  22. alice13 says:

    Something just occurred to me in all the talk about matchups and winger-center combos.

    There are soft minutes.
    There are lines that get fed soft minutes.

    But a light went on, and that is this:

    There is no such thing as a ‘soft-minutes center’. The position doesn’t exist. If your role in this game relies upon feasting on soft minutes, then you had better be put on the wing, because the middle is heavy lifting on Every line.

    If that notion is true it goes a long way to explain the conundrum we’ve been wrestling with that is Sam Gagner.

  23. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    …I’m sure that hampered his development… but 7 years… he’s had more than enough time to figure this out. His problems are in part a result of being rushed in part an inability or indifference to play defensive hockey.

    I think his biggest issue is standing on his skates and watching for about a second as the play turns from offense to defense before he finally starts skating. I think that’s fixable. A shock collar would do it. ;)

  24. Gret99zky says:

    So Gagner needs to be moved to the wing, even though we have a glut of players on the wing with similar skill set, or he needs to be moved off the team, despite MacT’s engagement present of a NTC?

    Hmmm. Sounds like nothing is going to happen.

    It seems very evident that Eakins hasn’t watched any tape on the Oilers last year. But why would he? He is unflappable.

    Is MacT still the smartest guy in the room? Who is left to say, “Um, you sure you want to do that?”

    This team is hopeless Charlie Brown. Completely hopeless.

  25. TheOtherJohn says:

    Can we quit with the trade talk already. It takes 30 games to learn Coach Eakins systems. That is a known fact. We are only 19 games into trial period. Once we get to game 31, trade away

  26. franksterra says:

    I like the temperature of this Eberle-Couturier trade chat. Realistic, contemplative. Very levelheaded. It’s like we’re in the acceptance stage, and maybe soon we’ll be free… :-)

    just tinkering:

    RNH- Hall-Yak
    SC – Perron – Gags
    Gordon – Arco – Hemmer
    Acton/Lander/Horak – Smytty – Pitlick
    Gazdik

  27. Woodguy says:

    Even though it has a chance to be in the top 5, the Oilers 1st rounder in 2014 has to be in play right now for a 1LD.

    Has to be.

    The draft is only 2-3 deep and none one who can probably contribute meaningfully for at least 3 years, more if they don’t get in the top 3.

    By that time Taylor Hall has 3 years left on his contract and Eberle 2 years.

    The time to get that Dman is now.

    I like Nurse and Klef and think they will be good to great players, neither will be able to handle 1LD for years yet.

    Erhoff is available and even though he has a NTC, Edmonton must look better than the future in BUF.

    I proposed 1st, Marincin, and Hemsky (dead line trade bait) on twitter yesterday and Jon Willis suggested it was a slight overpay and that a 1st, Marincin and N.Shultz might do it

    N. Shultz and Hemsky might have similar value at the deadline (D are always over priced at the deadline, especially if Shero is buying) so you keep Hemsky (obv)

    MacT said he’s impatient and bold.

    Let’s see it.

    It better be quick.

    How long before Hall looks around says “this isn’t getting better, I want out”?

  28. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    I think MacT might be willing to move Eberle for a C and then Gagner to R or L. Here’s what I don’t like about that: Eberle is a better player than Gagner and then you still have a logjam at RW that Hemsky’s exit will fix.

    Next season your RW depth chart is Yakupov-Gagner-etc-etc. I don’t like this downturn in talent. If they can trade Eberle for Couturier AND sign Hemsky? I’d be fine with that.

    If you trade Eberle the first thing you do it try to re-sign Hemsky.

    Think he’d take $3MM x 3 years?

  29. Woodguy says:

    alice13,

    There is no such thing as a ‘soft-minutes center’. The position doesn’t exist. If your role in this game relies upon feasting on soft minutes, then you had better be put on the wing, because the middle is heavy lifting on Every line.
    If that notion is true it goes a long way to explain the conundrum we’ve been wrestling with that is Sam Gagner.

    Very well put.

  30. Gret99zky says:

    Woodguy: If you trade Eberle the first thing you do it try to re-sign Hemsky.

    Think he’d take $3MM x 3 years?

    On another team he might.

    On the Oilers $4MM x 3 years.

    And you need to sign him before you make the trade. Ask Belov in light of the Smid trade.

  31. Woodguy says:

    Gret99zky: On another team he might.

    On the Oilers $4MM x 3 years.

    And you need to sign him before you make the trade.Ask Belov in light of the Smid trade.

    Belov chose the Oilers over at least 4 other teams, including PIT.

    He may choose to sign here again.

    What did he say when you asked him?

  32. Bad Seed says:

    For years most on this blog have been saying Gagner is a smart player. Yet he can’t seem to pick up the defensive end of things. So is he not smart or just lazy? Frankly, I don’t know what the love is for him. Moving him to the wing? What for? Don’t we have enough runts on the wings? Use him as a centerpiece to get that 1D or 2D or centre. After seven years, this is what he is.

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    theres oil in virginia: I think his biggest issue is standing on his skates and watching for about a second as the play turns from offense to defense before he finally starts skating.I think that’s fixable.A shock collar would do it.

    So you’re saying they need to alter the frequency of that dog-whistle 15 keeps hearing so that 89 hears it, but runs in the other direction?

  34. Woodguy says:

    Henry:
    How does Tippet use Ribeiro?

    RIbero is playing the toughs with Doan.

    Sometimes the other winger is Korpokowski, sometimes its Moss.

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Even though it has a chance to be in the top 5, the Oilers 1st rounder in 2014 has to be in play right now for a 1LD.
    Has to be.
    The draft is only 2-3 deep and none one who can probably contribute meaningfully for at least 3 years, more if they don’t get in the top 3.

    Why do you hate Draisaitl? ;)

  36. Gret99zky says:

    Woodguy: Belov chose the Oilers over at least 4 other teams, including PIT.

    He may choose to sign here again.

    What did he say when you asked him?

    He said, “One year on this shitty org is enough for me! Now that the league knows my name I can pick a handful of teams in the East to get my paycheck from and rid myself of this losing stink that has surrounded me.”

    Actually I never talked to him.

    My point is Belov gets more money because Smid was moved before contract negotiations. Necessity for Belov has increased.

  37. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Gret99zky: On another team he might.

    On the Oilers $4MM x 3 years.

    And you need to sign him before you make the trade.Ask Belov in light of the Smid trade.

    Hemsky has twice taken home-town discounts… he may genuinely want out now (I want to see him win something too), but if he stays he probably stays at market rate.

  38. Woodguy says:

    This page has the goals from last night.

    http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2013020258

    Just click the little blue play button next to the goal.

    Watch the Shaw goal at the end of the 2nd. 14 and 57 kinda randomly skate around until the goal. Neither of them recognize that Larsen doesn’t have a stick and might need help in front of the net.

    Watch the Kruger goal at 11min in 3rd.

    I defy you to explain what Gagner is doing on that whole sequence.

    I’ve watched it 20 times and he never moves his feet once or takes his eyes off the puck.

    Just like watching him and Cogliano in 2007.

  39. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Hemsky has twice taken home-town discounts… he may genuinely want out now (I want to see him win something too), but if he stays he probably stays at market rate.

    Never under estimate the power of inertia.

    No one likes to move and he’s dating a local girl.

  40. RMGS says:

    Woodguy: If you trade Eberle the first thing you do it try to re-sign Hemsky.

    Think he’d take $3MM x 3 years?

    I love Hemsky, but opting to trade the 23 year-old 0.8 PPG RW because you can sign the 30 year-old RW who has mad skills but isn’t producing as much and because you can move a less talented player from C to RW seems crazy (unless the return is of Subban quality, which Couturier is not).

    I want to see Hemmer retire as an Oiler, but if push comes to shove (and I think the team’s past that point), he’s trade bait at the dealine – as should be Gagner.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Why do you hate Draisaitl? ;)

    I wouldn’t deal that 1st round pick now. It’s easy to say ‘there’s no impact player this year’ but there’s miles of track for these kids and usually at least one emerges during the season. Either way, I think worrying about Hall’s contract is probably lost cause at this point–he may end up being Rick Nash through no fault of his own and the organization will have wasted a decade of him.

  42. FastOil says:

    Colorado has a lot of C and there might be something when the wheels fall off especially if Sakic isn’t aware of stats. Stastny has been rumoured before. He’d be a nice fit.

    I don’t see how Couturier could get Eberle. Not with such poor offense. Isn’t it points that cost? Also, it may be possible to spend some of Katz money on a bad contract. Sather said in a article somewhere (I don’t recall where now) that taking money has value so I’ll just take his word for it. Anyone up on the Flyers’ cap issues?

    I agree that Eberle is the better player vs Gagner, probably would be a better centre as well. I don’t see that the team needs more than just another stable high end D and C.

    I would not move any player just because and lose value. It is different than losing a reasonably planned trade, it’s going to happen, you just have to win more than lose. That being said, I’m keeping:
    Hall, RNH, Yak. I think that’s it. These players seem like difference makers and are more than one dimensional. Can we call them 3D players? Maybe 4D?

    I suppose this is like most teams really, a small untouchable core. Of course you can’t trade or lose all of the RW for example, but for a proper return I think the team could live without any of the others.

    It is part of drafting BPA. Trades are necessary to fill holes, the idea is you have selected the most valuable chip. The thing is to manage the value properly. The Oiler’s situation shows why it is necessary because they didn’t get Toews, Ovechkin and Doughty with their 3 1 OV’s. Rotten luck, eh?

  43. Mr DeBakey says:

    Woodguy: Erhoff is available and even though he has a NTC, Edmonton must look better than the future in BUF.

    He’s the obvious guy to add – pair him up with Petry and push everyone else down one.

    And shoveling off to Buffalo is one of the pipeline D, and I include Jr Schultz in the possibilities.
    [There may be other elements each way to balance, of course]

  44. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Draisaitl

    He looks the real deal and gord knows 6’2 C’s with offence are what you want.

    You can’t plan around getting him though.

    Even if you do, its 2-3 years before he’s not getting his head kicked in at the NHL level.

    Not with BUF and FLA being so awful.

    EDM isn’t as bad as their record and they should pass CAL, and maybe COL and PHI depending on how PHI does against non-Oiler opponents.

    If EDM gets Erhoff soon, they might not draft in the top 10

  45. Hammers says:

    Oh well at last we talk about real problems and situations . Gags is never going to make it at center but he may on the wing . When previous coaches ( Quinn , Renney ) used him on the 3rd & 4th lines everyone screamed but its turning out that they are correct . A center with 7 years experience who can only win 25% of his face offs is NOT a bonafide center . I don’t think there is 1 year when he was above 45-48% . Then we have a new coach who admits he didn’t look at last years tapes to see if or where there was chemistry between players . Arrogance or what seems he believes his the second coming of Scottie . . I believe in McT and like most of his decisions ; Gordon , Belov , Perron , Horcoff’s trade, admitting Hemsky needed to stay and the cleaning house .The best trades are when both teams win as they both get what they need , “D” ; center winger give up 1 to get what you need .Nobody is untradeable and all we should expect back is similar skill in a position where we are weak.

  46. Woodguy says:

    Mr DeBakey: He’s the obvious guy to add – pair him up with Petry and push everyone else down one.

    And shoveling off to Buffalo is one of the pipeline D, and I include Jr Schultz in the possibilities.
    [There may be other elements each way to balance, of course]

    Larsen is sure showing he has the offensive game to match J. Shultz although yesterday was a defensive gong show.

    I’m not sure you can ship off a highly touted guy who chose your team this quick though.

    He’s still pretty skilled, but still a rookie.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Great story on how Imlach procured Luce

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=AtDSULmiROwC&q=don+luce#v=snippet&q=don%20luce&f=false

    Click on ‘page 44′

  48. Woodguy says:

    Hammers,

    A center with 7 years experience who can only win 25% of his face offs is NOT a bonafide center

    Face off percentage is the least of his problems as a C.

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Never under estimate the power of inertia.

    No one likes to move and he’s dating a local girl.

    This!

    If he’s anything like me, he’d probably live in a shack to avoid moving to a mansion. Plus, despite everything he seems to like it here and despite the weird body language interpretation over the years… he always looks to me like a guy fighting for another losing season.

  50. TheOtherJohn says:

    Like Ehrhoff and he would be a very nice bridge to Nurse & Klefbom but he’s 31 and signed for 8 more yearsLike idea because it’s about building a roster. What do we need, how do I acquire it and how does it impact my kids development

    I’d trad anyone on on our roster not named Hall or Nuge and any prospect not named Nurse. But not in knee jerk way like SMac or Smid deals. Neither of which made any hockey sense.

  51. Jon K says:

    Woodguy: RIbero is playing the toughs with Doan.

    Sometimes the other winger is Korpokowski, sometimes its Moss.

    I think Ribeiro is a perennially underrated player. Despite concerns about his size he’s a surprisingly hard player to get the puck off of along the boards, and he’s got a good stick when in pursuit of the puck.

    Two coaches I had unending respect for are Mike Babcock and Dave Tippett.

    Ribeiro is succeeding under Tippett, and I doubt he would have been brought in without input from Tippett. To me, that says a lot about Ribeiro.

    Would Gagner be brought in to play centre for Tippett? I’m not so sure. Wing? Maybe.

    I like Arcobello a lot, but at the end of the day he’s a 25 year old undrafted college free agent. The fact that he is starting to be preferred to Gagner at the 2C position speaks volumes not just about Arcobello but Gagner as well. If we compare their skillsets, I think Arcobello only beats Gagner in footspeed and defensive effort. Gagner takes the rest of the comparisons but still appears to be a less effective player.

    One of those things Gagner will always struggle with, but why is it that he can’t figure out the other? I don’t know the answer, but I’m annoyed that the organization doesn’t have one since they’ve had a chance to observe this player off the ice, in practice, and in games for seven years now. And they just gave him a NMC.

    I said in an earlier post that I think MacT talked himself into a corner with the Gagner NMC. I still hope I’m not right on that point.

  52. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: So you’re saying they need to alter the frequency of that dog-whistle 15 keeps hearing so that 89 hears it, but runs in the other direction?

    Exactly…or voltage, either one.

    Woodguy: I defy you to explain what Gagner is doing on that whole sequence.

    Oh, I can explain it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_note

    It’s like Nick Schultz’s dog whistle, only much, much worse. (BTW, I think ShultzO’s play has been pretty good of late.)

  53. Woodguy says:

    RMGS: I love Hemsky, but opting to trade the 23 year-old 0.8 PPG RW because you can sign the 30 year-old RW who has mad skills but isn’t producing as much and because you can move a less talented player from C to RW seems crazy (unless the return is of Subban quality, which Couturier is not).

    I want to see Hemmer retire as an Oiler, but if push comes to shove (and I think the team’s past that point), he’s trade bait at the dealine – as should be Gagner.

    No, you trade the 23 year old because he good enough to get you what the team needs.

    Hemsky can’t get you what you need.

    Its not choosing Hemsky over Eberle at all.

    Its using Eberle to fill massive gapping holes that are keeping the Oilers shitty.

  54. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: He looks the real deal and gord knows 6’2 C’s with offence are what you want.

    You can’t plan around getting him though.

    Even if you do, its 2-3 years before he’s not getting his head kicked in at the NHL level.

    Not with BUF and FLA being so awful.

    EDM isn’t as bad as their record and they should pass CAL,and maybe COL and PHI depending on how PHI does against non-Oiler opponents.

    If EDM gets Erhoff soon, they might not draft in the top 10

    For sure… so much can happen in the interim. He could get injured or stop putting up points and slide or destroy the W and fight for a top 3 share… we could end up dead last or who knows…

    But… that’s my target. I want that C with size and hands (I can see a future of RNH, Draisaitl, Yakimov, Platzer)…

    And, for sure… Detroit would keep him in PA for as long as possible and we should too.

    ———
    What about Nikitin? he was bandied about recently.

  55. Woodguy says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Like Ehrhoffand he would be a very nice bridge to Nurse & Klefbom but he’s 31 and signed for 8 more yearsLike idea because it’s about building a roster. What do we need, how do I acquire it and how does it impact my kids development

    I’d trad anyone on on our roster not named Hall or Nuge and any prospect not named Nurse. But not in knee jerk way like SMac or Smid deals. Neither of which made any hockey sense.

    Erhoff is signed for 7 more years after this one.

    The real $ drops to $1MM/yr after 4 years.

    http://capgeek.com/player/121

    I doubt he plays past 4 years.

    That’s almost perfect.

    He’s also tradeable if it comes to that due to less money than his cap hit.

    One of the last tailing contracts in the NHL.

  56. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Great story on how Imlach procured Luce

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=AtDSULmiROwC&q=don+luce#v=snippet&q=don%20luce&f=false

    Click on ‘page 44′

    That’s a great story…

    Man, doesn’t it feel like MacT is the one making the fevered calls at 11:30 pm though?

  57. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: For sure… so much can happen in the interim. He could get injured or stop putting up points and slide or destroy the W and fight for a top 3 share… we could end up dead last or who knows…

    But… that’s my target. I want that C with size and hands (I can see a future of RNH, Draisaitl, Yakimov, Platzer)…

    And, for sure… Detroit would keep him in PA for as long as possible and we should too.

    ———
    What about Nikitin? he was bandied about recently.

    Nikitin isn’t a top pairing guy.

    Played top pairing with Tyutin for a while last year, but didn’t do well.

    Been a healthy scratch this year.

    Pass.

    Also,

    I can see MacT trading for Tyutin and Umberger.

    Both have contracts that are too long and for too much $, but they fit MacT’s desire for size on the wing and a 1LD

    CBJ have a D surplus and Aaron Portzline (beat writer) said they are looking to shed salary from the blue line.

  58. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Erhoff is signed for 7 more years after this one.

    The real $ drops to $1MM/yr after 4 years.

    http://capgeek.com/player/121

    I doubt he plays past 4 years.

    That’s almost perfect.

    He’s also tradeable if it comes to that due to less money than his cap hit.

    One of the last tailing contracts in the NHL.

    If/When he retires who eats the cap recapture?

    IIRC it’s the Sabres… is that right?

  59. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Nikitin isn’t a top pairing guy.

    Played top pairing with Tyutin for a while last year, but didn’t do well.

    Been a healthy scratch this year.

    Pass.

    Also,

    I can see MacT trading for Tyutin and Umberger.

    Both have contracts that are too long and for too much $, but they fit MacT’s desire for size on the wing and a 1LD

    CBJ have a D surplus and Aaron Portzline (beat writer) said they are looking to shed salary from the blue line.

    Hmmm… thanks for the details. I thought he was higher up the food chain.

    Stauffer mentioned him:

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/10/30/oilers-insider-bob-stauffer-weighs-in-on-dallas-eakins-nail-yakupov-ales-hemsky-andrew-ference-and-more/

    Tyutin would be a lot higher on my list, but I gather take a lot more.

  60. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: If/When he retires who eats the cap recapture?

    IIRC it’s the Sabres… is that right?

    Yup, all Sabers.

  61. Lowetide says:

    Gagner’s CorsiOn is exceptional. Ha! Bizarre.

  62. ashley says:

    Bad Seed:
    For years most on this blog have been saying Gagner is a smart player.Yet he can’t seem to pick up the defensive end of things.So is he not smart or just lazy?Frankly, I don’t know what the love is for him.Moving him to the wing?What for?Don’t we have enough runts on the wings?Use him as a centerpiece to get that 1D or 2D or centre.After seven years, this is what he is.

    He was defensively responsible pre-Quinn. Something changed. Especially the last two years. It’s almost as if someone told him that goals and assists are what pay the bills, get as many as you can, don’t worry about the team cost.

    Two years ago, he was our empty net specialist, fleeing the zone toward the empty net at the other end before we even had possession. It’s no wonder we always get scored on when facing the extra attacker.

    Bottom line: The potential is there because we’ve seen it before. I think Sam might be disillusioned with his career. It seems to me that he used to believe in doing everything for the team. He played like he was asking himself “What can I give to make it more likely that we will win this game”.

    Remember Sam laying his body on the ice to block shots a few times every game? Remember Sam digging and winning battles behind our own net and outletting to a dman?

    Now I think he may have reached a different stage. More like “This team is bad, and always has been. I need to get what I can out of this situation and worry about the team’s success later”.

    Perhaps it is a symptom of playing on a team that has been so bad for so long. Maybe it’s a symptom of confusing messages from the coaching staff. Maybe it’s frustration for trying to implement the system while linemates ignore it and do whatever they want…because they know they are untouchable.

    He has value and lots of it. No one in the league would believe you, though, if you tried to sell them on that today.

  63. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Gagner’s CorsiOn is exceptional. Ha! Bizarre.

    He’s playing with Hall.

    His first game back was the TOR loss at home and his line out corsi’d their opponents 2-1

    http://www.extraskater.com/game/2013-10-29-maple-leafs-oilers

    He was also on the ice for 3 even strength goals against

    http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20132014/GS020182.HTM

    The only one he was really culpable was the 3rd goal where he……get this……stands around his own zone not moving his feet and not being where he should be.

  64. jfry says:

    I think it’s funny that we’re already on sam’s case — he’s wearing full mask and (again) missed a lot of time to start the season. also, what do we expect from sam, we know what he is. that signing has (and had) to be looked at with a certain amount of concern at the time.

    no one is on Larsen’s case? that guy was standing still, IGNORING the guy in front of the net on 3 goals. sure he had some assists, but I saw him as completely AHL in our end last net. I’ve been away so haven’t been able to see “good” in the previous games where Eakins said he was the best dman. the man in front of the net in all those goals, is arguably his mark (stick or not). it was horrible.

    as for soft minutes line/center:
    for me (and maybe for most who’ve been following the blog for awhile), this idea came to life when we looked at the maturation process of the Anaheim ducks and saw them line up perry/getz against second line competition with enormous offensive zone push. they were essentially protected by selanne’s first line. the issue where we’re different is that we’re not using the soft minutes approach to groom players to be on that first line — we’re constantly just looking to keep them in that soft minutes line, which is wrong. should go AHL, soft minutes line, toughs (of some sort).

    also, on trading for courturier. I believe that we’re really inflating his value right now, because the numbers loved him in his draft -1 year and even kinda in his draft year. at this point, he’s a 3/4th line center on a horrible team and appears to have zero offense, and the defensive game he showed in the first year has vanished too. i’d say that sam has a greater history of actual production, pedigree and a lower draft number (6-9), plus is more cemented in what he actually is (40-50pt man). if that doesn’t start the discussion for couturier, i’d be really surprised. eberle is an extreme overpay, unless we believe his contract is flawed (raises hand) and we’re looking to get out of it because it’s the 6m we need for a dman.

  65. jfry says:

    stands around his own zone not moving his feet and not being where he should be.

    you could say this about half the forwards or dmen since we cut down on the swarm mentality. it’s like Eakins told people to “stand still” and they’re afraid to move now. our dzone coverage is all kinds of crazy.

  66. G Money says:

    Gagner defensively was pretty bad his first year, and improved every year after that til he was just shy of breakeven most nights. His offensive talents have never been in doubt.

    Then he – along with *every other player* not named Hall, RNH, or Eberle – fell off a “Corsi Cliff” last year.

    He is now four games back from returning, probably early, from a horrific injury.

    Are we ready to write him off already?

    If you could trade him for a 1D or 2D, or a two-way 2C with fewer offensive gifts but more developed defensively (e.g. a Couturier), yeah, you do that, but other than that, at this time you’re not going to get anywhere near full value.

    Why not give him at least a few games under the new system before assuming that he’s hopeless?

  67. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Gagner defensively was pretty bad his first year, and improved every year after that til he was just shy of breakeven most nights. His offensive talents have never been in doubt.

    Then he – along with *every other player* not named Hall, RNH, or Eberle – fell off a “Corsi Cliff” last year.

    He is now four games back from returning, probably early, from a horrific injury.

    Are we ready to write him off already?

    If you could trade him for a 1D or 2D, or a two-way 2C with fewer offensive gifts but more developed defensively (e.g. a Couturier), yeah, you do that, but other than that, at this time you’re not going to get anywhere near full value.

    Why not give him at least a few games under the new system before assuming that he’s hopeless?

    That’s really the question, and well put. I’m onside with Gagner as a good offensive player, and I think we all knew that he wasn’t great defensively but were willing to live with it because he could play with skill.

    I think we’re at the point now where we have to evaluate him based on his past and the failings of the current team. If this club can’t afford a soft minutes center like Gagner, then the time to decide is now–because they’ve got 60 games of track to bring in a new guy and see if he can work it out.

  68. Caramel Obvious says:

    jfry:

    no one is on Larsen’s case?that guy was standing still, IGNORING the guy in front of the net on 3 goals. sure he had some assists, but I saw him as completely AHL in our end last net.I’ve been away so haven’t been able to see “good” in the previous games where Eakins said he was the best dman. the man in front of the net in all those goals, is arguably his mark (stick or not). it was horrible.

    also, on trading for courturier. I believe that we’re really inflating his value right now, because the numbers loved him in his draft -1 year and even kinda in his draft year.at this point, he’s a 3/4th line center on a horrible team and appears to have zero offense, and the defensive game he showed in the first year has vanished too.i’d say that sam has a greater history of actual production, pedigree and a lower draft number (6-9), plus is more cemented in what he actually is (40-50pt man). if that doesn’t start the discussion for couturier, i’d be really surprised.eberle is an extreme overpay, unless we believe his contract is flawed (raises hand) and we’re looking to get out of it because it’s the 6m we need for a dman.

    jfry:
    I think it’s funny that we’re already on sam’s case — he’s wearingfull mask and (again) missed a lot of time to start the season. also, what do we expect from sam, we know what he is.that signing has (and had) to be looked at with a certain amount of concern at the time.

    no one is on Larsen’s case?that guy was standing still, IGNORING the guy in front of the net on 3 goals. sure he had some assists, but I saw him as completely AHL in our end last net.I’ve been away so haven’t been able to see “good” in the previous games where Eakins said he was the best dman. the man in front of the net in all those goals, is arguably his mark (stick or not). it was horrible.

    as for soft minutes line/center:
    for me (and maybe for most who’ve been following the blog for awhile), this idea came to life when we looked at the maturation process of the Anaheim ducks and saw them line up perry/getz against second line competition with enormous offensive zone push. they were essentially protected by selanne’s first line.the issue where we’re different is that we’re not using the soft minutes approach to groom players to be on that first line — we’re constantly just looking to keep them in that soft minutes line, which is wrong.should go AHL, soft minutes line, toughs (of some sort).

    also, on trading for courturier. I believe that we’re really inflating his value right now, because the numbers loved him in his draft -1 year and even kinda in his draft year.at this point, he’s a 3/4th line center on a horrible team and appears to have zero offense, and the defensive game he showed in the first year has vanished too.i’d say that sam has a greater history of actual production, pedigree and a lower draft number (6-9), plus is more cemented in what he actually is (40-50pt man). if that doesn’t start the discussion for couturier, i’d be really surprised.eberle is an extreme overpay, unless we believe his contract is flawed (raises hand) and we’re looking to get out of it because it’s the 6m we need for a dman.

    This is pretty much all wrong. Regarding Larsen it was Belov’s man on two of the goals and the third he lost his stick.

    Regarding Couturier he scored at a. 9 a game level in the AHL as a 19/20 year old. He’s as close to a guarantee to score as exists. He’s much better than Gagner right now plus younger and cheaper. The Oilers have to identify stars before everyone knows they are stars. Couturier is a star today. All the important numbers say so, so does the pedigree, so say the eyes, dominant against the Oilers.

  69. Old School G says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m a sucker for the underdog all the time so to completely dodge the Sammy Gagner conundrum…

    Looking through Wilis’ list I think PK would be incredible on our club. I am a believer in characters and different personalities contributing to the makeup and tightness of a team. We are starting to have a pretty good collection of characters on this team!

  70. pboy says:

    I get tired of reading that if the Oiler’s don’t treat their players a certain way, UFA’s won’t come here. It’s utter bullshit. UFA’s, RFA’s, drafted players, retired player’s………they are all motivated by 1 thing. Money. If MacT gave Sam Gagner a verbal promise that he wouldn’t be traded before his NMC kicks in and then MacT turned around and traded him and everyone in the Hockey world was aware of all this…….nothing would happen. Gagner would be pissed and so would his agent but that sure wouldn’t matter if that same agent had a client who was offered the best contract by the Oiler’s in the next off season.

    The Philadelphia Flyers have a history of being dicks. Epic dicks. Roger Neilson gets cancer, Bobby Clarke never told him to do that. Eric Lindros has annoying parents, fuck you Eric but only AFTER the concussions have ruined your career. Jeff Carter has a 1 year gap before his long term contract with a negotiated NMC kicks in, have fun in Columbus Jeff! Is Philadelphia a NYC, a Los Angeles or an Anaheim where the location draws players? Of course it isn’t. They give out long term deals worth tons of money and they have an owner who is committed to spending to put the best team on the ice. No matter how shitty they might treat their old players, they will always draw new players to their organization.

    MacT needs to do what’s best for this organization regardless of who’s feelings might get hurt. I’m sure Smid wasn’t feeling that great on Friday or Hanna Barbara won’t be having the time of his life down in OKC but those are moves that MacT felt he needed to do. I would rather see a deal with Sam Gagner as the centerpiece instead of Eberle. I really don’t care if a verbal promise was made and neither will any of the cheque cashers this off season. Frankly, as long as it isn’t RNH, Hall or Yak leaving town, I’m starting not to give a shit. It’s time to see this ship righted and hard decisions are going to have to be made.

  71. Lowetide says:

    We didn’t tell Roger Neilson to get cancer. -Bobby Clarke.

    That’s diabolical.

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    We didn’t tell Roger Neilson to get cancer. -Bobby Clarke.

    That’s diabolical.

    Is there some context here?

  73. jfry says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    couturier is not a star right now. that’s hogwash. he’s an unproven young kid in the show.

    i’m his biggest fan and wanted him at 1, trust me, I love the kid, but he’s being overvalued. RNH isn’t a star yet and he went better points than that in the A, same with jutlz and same with arcobello (obviously, a star). c’mon. frankly, the verbal was total disappointment about him in the AHL last year and then that followed him into the NHL post lockout. if he’s a star…we need a new legend.

    if you don’t have your stick, you still mark your man. on all three of those goals, Larsen is marking NOBODY. so sure, we can blame it on belov if you like, or gagne, but Larsen on all those goals is guilty of covering no one, as well, and he just happens to be the guy closest to the puck on all the goals. but let’s blame it on someone else. fine. the tandem of belov and Larsen was horrible … is that better?

  74. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Is there some context here?

    Neilson was the head coach of the Flyers, and got cancer. The Flyers replaced him, and when Roger was ready to return the Flyers wouldn’t give him his job back.

  75. pboy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Is there some context here?

    LT is just referencing something from my rant.

  76. Jon K says:

    Lowetide: That’s really the question, and well put. I’m onside with Gagner as a good offensive player, and I think we all knew that he wasn’t great defensively but were willing to live with it because he could play with skill.

    I think we’re at the point now where we have to evaluate him based on his past and the failings of the current team. If this club can’t afford a soft minutes center like Gagner, then the time to decide is now–because they’ve got 60 games of track to bring in a new guy and see if he can work it out.

    I think part of the problem is that some of the wunderkinds have not yet shown much interest in learning the nuances of two-way hockey. Then we have Gagner seeing them, playing with them, and having some forms of success with them (i.e. the 8 point night in CHI when 89 played with 4 and 14), and it can have a negative effect on how he plays the game. It doesn’t help when, on some level, his offensive play is reinforced with a pay day. Same with the $6 million gang.

    Part of the issue is that we as fans can’t agree on what the problem is. I think the problem is what I referred to above: the disinterest of the new kids in playing two-way hockey. However, I think there’s a great divide in the fanbase because at times the “saw him good” and analytics appear to be telling us two different things.

    Saw him good tells us at various points that the wunderkinds are failing to make the right decisions in the defensive zone. Forwards floating high, waiting for the puck to turn the other way. We’ve seen this from 64, 89, 4, and 14 all at various points this year and in years past. We are also seeing poor “puck management” as Babcock would say. Recent examples would be failed toe drags to the middle of the ice when the other two forwards are entering the zone in step as well. Put the puck low and on net for a rebound instead of a risky skill play that might not result in a shot, let alone a chance.

    Analytics tells us that the new kids, Hall especially, are blowing the doors off of things offensively and they are the best we’ve seen since the boys on the bus. At times this is also very apparent by eye, notably when they have the puck in the offensive zone.

    Respectfully, I think both sides are right and the two views are not mutually exclusive. Hall is so offensively dynamic that he pushes the river like no other. We see this in corsi, chances, goals, points, and pretty much every way we can measure offence.

    However, his absolute offensive brilliance reflected in stats glosses over his obvious and detrimental defensive deficiencies. If we had buy in from him and the other kids, who look to Hall for guidance and as an exemplar, his stats might be even more incredible. Hall’s speed, athleticism, and competitiveness could serve him just as well defensively as offensively.

    I say all this because I really think Gagner is a perfect example of a player who works and plays hard, but is maybe being affected by some of the “darkside” attitude in the dressing room. We saw progress previously but last year we began seeing bad habits crawl back into his game. I hate to do so, but I can’t help but feel that Krueger’s lack of structure and accountability might have contributed to these issues.

    In any case, it’s my humble opinion that Hall and Eberle are the guys who set the examples for the young guys on this team. Until accountability comes to them for poor defensive effort, other young players on the team will take their cues from them and the Oilers will continue to be a poor team. And this is regardless of the newly injected captain.

  77. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: EDM isn’t as bad as their record and they should pass CAL, and maybe COL and PHI depending on how PHI does against non-Oiler opponents.

    I assume by “COL” you mean “CBJ”, since the Avs are already 200 points ahead of the Oil.

  78. DBO says:

    Gagner’s issue in his own zone is greatly limited if he moves to wing. That may be the spot for him, but it still does not address our lack of any grit or size. The D of Chicago last night had zero fear when going back for the puck. We don’t need knuckle draggers, but some players who finish checks and can play are needed desperately.

    Add into that Arco (small but gritty), Yak (smaller but gritty and a bit nasty), Perron (smaller with meanness I like) and we still have no one heavy who can play. Which means no balance. Again. For the 7th straight year.

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle (a true #1 line, with decent balance)

    Perron-???-Yak (Add a bigger two way Centre and we have a great #2 line)

    ???-Gordon-Hemsky/Gagner (can work if you get a Pisani type on the left side, deal one of Gagner or Hemsky to fill other need)

    Joensuu-Lander-Pitlick (young gritty 4th line I would love to see to finish out the year, with solid balance, size and two way ability and enough scoring to get a regular shift)

    I won’t go into the D without hurting myself. The two players I would love to see, which may fit both our need, salary and from teams rumoured to be looking or willing to move are:

    Trade for Kulemin
    - cash in on Arco’s good start. TO needs skilled C’s. Kulemin can be had. Ottawa did it last year with Conacher, so move Arco for Kulemin. Win win.

    Trade for Dubinsky.
    - Yes, him again. Columbus needs offense. Gagner straight up is a loss in skill, but a gain in size and compete and two way play. Dollars are close.

    Those two players instantly make us tougher to play against, improves our PK and size and still adds two players who can play with skill.

  79. Logan91 says:

    DBO:
    Gagner’s issue in his own zone is greatly limited if he moves to wing. That may be the spot for him, but it still does not address our lack of any grit or size. The D of Chicago last night had zero fear when going back for the puck. We don’t need knuckle draggers, but some players who finish checks and can play are needed desperately.

    Add into that Arco (small but gritty), Yak (smaller but gritty and a bit nasty), Perron (smaller with meanness I like) and we still have no one heavy who can play. Which means no balance. Again. For the 7th straight year.

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle (a true #1 line, with decent balance)

    Perron-???-Yak (Add a bigger two way Centre and we have a great #2 line)

    ???-Gordon-Hemsky/Gagner (can work if you get a Pisani type on the left side, deal one of Gagner or Hemsky to fill other need)

    Joensuu-Lander-Pitlick (young gritty 4th line I would love to see to finish out the year, with solid balance, size and two way ability and enough scoring to get a regular shift)

    I won’t go into the D without hurting myself. The two players I would love to see, which may fit both our need, salary and from teams rumoured to be looking or willing to move are:

    Trade for Kulemin
    - cash in on Arco’s good start. TO needs skilled C’s. Kulemin can be had. Ottawa did it last year with Conacher, so move Arco for Kulemin. Win win.

    Trade for Dubinsky.
    - Yes, him again. Columbus needs offense. Gagner straight up is a loss in skill, but a gain in size and compete and two way play. Dollars are close.

    Those two players instantly make us tougher to play against, improves our PK and size and still adds two players who can play with skill.

    I bet all GMs wish trades like that are that easy to make.

  80. Lowetide says:

    So my next question is this: CAN Gagner be a good winger? Because it’s an easier position but forwards can do a lot of good there. Craig Ramsay was wonderful without the puck. Is this something we’re going to come up against with 89 on the wing (except less often)?

    Because as we check down the reasons he can’t play center, I’m not convinced the wing will be any easier.

    He’s not stupid, he’s not lazy (imo). So what is it?

    I’m thinking the word we’re looking for begins with e and ends with ntitlement.

  81. Logan91 says:

    Lowetide:
    So my next question is this: CAN Gagner be a good winger? Because it’s an easier position but forwards can do a lot of good there. Craig Ramsay was wonderful without the puck. Is this something we’re going to come up against with 89 on the wing (except less often)?

    Because as we check down the reasons he can’t play center, I’m not convinced the wing will be any easier.

    He’s not stupid, he’s not lazy (imo). So what is it?

    I’m thinking the word we’re looking for begins with e and ends with ntitlement.

    Didn’t Renney try him on the wing, and it was a disaster?

  82. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Please some one justify all the love for Couturier. His numbers are going back wards and they have never been close to amazing to begin with. I would have to be blackmailed into trading Ebs for him. Classic overvalue another teams player and undervalue ours. I wouldn’t trade Gags straight up for him let alone Eberle. That is a losing team move as Lt has said time and time again. Unless he is Micheal Peca that is a backwards move.

    Maybe Eberle and Jones for Couturier, Simmonds and 1st

    Gags and Potter to Toronto for Reimer and Franson

    Hopefully this helps balance out size, defensive awareness, grit and goaltending. Still we would be giving up these best 2 players Offensively.

  83. Lowetide says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Please some one justify all the love for Couturier. His numbers are going back wards and they have never been close to amazing to begin with. I would have to be blackmailed into trading Ebs for him. Classic overvalue another teams player and undervalue ours. I wouldn’t trade Gagsstraight up for him let alone Eberle.That is a losing team move as Lt has said time and time again. Unless he is Micheal Peca that is a backwards move.

    Maybe Eberle and Jonesfor Couturier, Simmonds and 1st

    Gags and Potter to Toronto for Reimer and Franson

    Hopefully this helps balance out size, defensive awareness,grit and goaltending. Still we would be giving up these best 2 players Offensively.

    Good point. I don’t know that he’s the answer (haven’t looked at it) but if he can’t score then the point is moot.

  84. justDOit says:

    Edmonton OilersVerified account ‏@EdmontonOilers

    Bryz = OKC bound. #Oilers assign goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to @OKCBarons. pic.twitter.com/CHsfO6w8kc

  85. DBO says:

    Side note. again our GM works in secret according to other GM’s. From Friedman’s 30 thoughts:

    19. The minimal return the Oilers received for Ladislav Smid stunned some people. But ultimately, this will be decided by two things: How well Laurent Brossoit develops and what Edmonton does with the cap space. There weren’t a ton of teams who knew Smid was available, either. One exec expressed surprise at hearing the trade, while another scout said he’d known for about two weeks. I had heard Washington was very interested, which makes sense. But that was denied (I was denied more this week than in all of high school – impressive feat).

    Man this annoys me.

  86. Cameron says:

    Lowetide:
    So my next question is this: CAN Gagner be a good winger? Because it’s an easier position but forwards can do a lot of good there. Craig Ramsay was wonderful without the puck. Is this something we’re going to come up against with 89 on the wing (except less often)?

    Because as we check down the reasons he can’t play center, I’m not convinced the wing will be any easier.

    He’s not stupid, he’s not lazy (imo). So what is it?

    I’m thinking the word we’re looking for begins with e and ends with ntitlement.

    I think the problems with Gagner are simpler to diagnose.

    - He’s simply not fast enough to be an elite level offensive player. As such, he doesn’t belong on a top line.

    - He’s not defensively skilled enough, to play effectively as a #2. He can’t/won’t check, doesn’t win face-offs at a good rate, and appears allergic to playing in his own zone.

    - He’s way overpaid to be a 3rd line C facing soft minutes, while eating heaps of pp time.

    Switching sports for an analogy, Andrea Bargnani was a supremely skilled big drafted by the Raptors. Kid could score, with range out past the 3pt line, and was a true 7footer. Problem was, he couldn’t rebound to save his life, and defensively he was never better than ‘poor’ and frequently best describeed as ‘atrocious’. Eventually it took a new GM coming on board to recognize that Bargs was a detriment to the team and not a building block before he could be moved on.

    Same thing with Gagner. Now that MacT has given him a ‘handshake’ deal to remain an Oiler, Gagner won’t be moved out until MacT is let go. By then, it will be way too late.

    As for Couturier, he’s a real prize. Size, strength, defensive acumen (he is one of the few C’s in the league who really make life difficult for big skill pitvots like Malkin) , and untapped offensive ability.

    The idea that you would get a complete package C like Couturier for a flawed one-dimmensional slow footed pivot like Gagner is a pipe dream.

    I’m not convinced that Eberle would get you Couturier straight up.

  87. Bad Seed says:

    Hockeyman 99,

    I thought we always overvalued our own players here? :)

  88. Bag of Pucks says:

    JonK, couldn’t agree more on how Oiler management have contributed to this problem by rewarding defensively deficient players with fat contracts.

    Teams like Detroit focus ALL their development energies on teaching their prospects to play a 200ft game from the beginning. Focusing on this from the start not only avoids the systemic bad habits that the Oiler prospects now have ingrained in them, by not allowing them to cheat for offense, you keep their initial offensive production more modest and thus, can better cap their contractual compensation early on.

    If Gagner, Hall and Eberle had all been forced to be more defensively accountable from the start, their negotiating power would’ve been greatly reduced coming out of their entry level deals. More importantly, their would’ve been a consistent thread in every communication btw player and managment/coaching i.e. you get the big bucks when you excel at a 200 ft game not because you’re compiling 2nd assists on the powerplay or from cherry picking soft minute points. Developing players in this fashion helps you ultimately groom the Ryan O’Reilly’s and Steve Duchenes of this league instead of a Paul Stasny.

    Everyone celebrates the long term deals for Hall and Eberle when the reality is the team would probably be far better served if they were on smaller term bridge contracts and management/coaching were still holding them accountable to play a 200ft game. What is their motivation to check in the D zone now that they’re set for life?

    The concern I have about Eakins is he states that the only currency a HC holds is the ability to dole out icetime, but outside Yakupov, has he shown a willingness at all to bench any of Gagner, Hall or Eberle when they float in the D zone.

    The one positive? Our goaltending is atrocious. Bryz will shave off 1 goal a game (minimum by himself) and we may actually win the odd game with this river hockey approach. It’s nowhere near the team performance we’ll need to compete for a Cup, but at least it might be entertaining to watch as we drift towards another lottery ticket.

  89. godot10 says:

    Jon K:

    Ribeiro is succeeding under Tippett, and I doubt he would have been brought in without input from Tippett. To me, that says a lot about Ribeiro.

    Tippett had Ribeiro in Dallas so he knew what he was getting in Phoenix. Ribeiro would never had got the contract he got in Phoenix if he had not played for Tippett before in Dallas.

  90. denny33 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    With all due resect, the league was in shock when Hemsky signed his last contract….that was no discount.

    Mact T’s effort to trade Hemsky were met with blank stares – 5 million dollars?

  91. VanOil says:

    Given this is yet another practice season already and the trade market is not likely to heat up until after the Olympics I would like to see the following :

    For Eakins to calm his feet down, the season is done rookie stop juggling.

    Run Hall-RNH-Eberel and run them a lot.

    Run Perron-Gagner-Yakupov against butter soft comp with butter soft zone starts.

    Run Smyth/Joensuu-Gordon-Hemsky against the toughs

    Run Smyth/Joensuu-Arcobello-Jones and trust them more than Acton and the knuckle draggers.

    Give each line targets to achieve and Give each line stability. If they don’t achieve them by the Olympic break mash them like a potato and sell the scraps to a pig farmer.

  92. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Bag of Pucks: The one positive? Our goaltending is atrocious.

    This made me laugh a thousand tears.

  93. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Neilson was the head coach of the Flyers, and got cancer. The Flyers replaced him, and when Roger was ready to return the Flyers wouldn’t give him his job back.

    pboy: LT is just referencing something from my rant.

    I had genuinely not heard that story before. A lot of the bigger stories in years past have sailed by me.

  94. Halfwise says:

    Even if Eakins hasn’t watched last year’s games, Buchberger and Smith did. If the coaching staff isn’t talking about what they have collectively learned, we have a problem indeed. During the long nights of the winter of our discontent maybe the coaching staff can pull closer to the bonfire of the season and chat about this, maybe figure something out.

    Gagner < Arcobello right now, coming off his broken jaw. A basic principle of people management is to put them where they can succeed, so props to those who immediately questioned DE's lofty deployment of 89 on his return.

    I see DE putting people above their capability level, it's a pattern that began with his Marlie proteges. Then he comes to his senses, or (alternate explanation) the player is forced to admit he can't do that job just yet. That's quite different from him ragging on someone until they break…other than the constant losing I would actually like his strategy. But I hate the losing more, frankly.

    Hope dies last, someone said earlier. My reduced expectations for TNHLWT (The NHL's Worst Team) now boil down to having them not embarrass me as a fan every night. On the road trip they did ok by this standard except for the Flyers game. So there's that.

    And I don't value a high draft pick next season nearly as much as in previous seasons because it seems that successful teams build on a foundation and structure of hard work and cohesion with talent being the flashy front door and granite countertop.

    The Smid trade cost us a guy who exemplified hard work and cohesion, and we're still waiting to see the hard working, cohesion-building guy who is coming back for the cap space it freed up.

    Or maybe the owner of the team just wanted to save some money, not having any playoff revenues once again. I haven't seen anyone suggest that, but it's a business as well as his plaything.

  95. Old School G says:

    I wonder what the ask would be for Martin Hanzal? There’s a C I would be ok with over paying for.

  96. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:

    I think we’re at the point now where we have to evaluate him based on his past and the failings of the current team. If this club can’t afford a soft minutes center like Gagner, then the time to decide is now–because they’ve got 60 games of track to bring in a new guy and see if he can work it out.

    The Oilers have Nugent-Hopkins and Gordon, with Arcobello and Lander and Horak as solid 4th line options. Plus the Oilers have Hall. That means a good coach can keep Gagner away from unfavorable matchups and exploit his offensive abilities.

    As currently constructed,

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Perron, Gordon, Hemsky
    Joensuu, Gagner, Yakupov
    Smyth, Arcobello, Jones.

    Gagner and Yakupov should never have to see a d-zone start, or a difficult matchup.

  97. Alsker says:

    Lowetide:
    So my next question is this: CAN Gagner be a good winger? Because it’s an easier position but forwards can do a lot of good there. Craig Ramsay was wonderful without the puck. Is this something we’re going to come up against with 89 on the wing (except less often)?

    Because as we check down the reasons he can’t play center, I’m not convinced the wing will be any easier.

    He’s not stupid, he’s not lazy (imo). So what is it?

    I’m thinking the word we’re looking for begins with e and ends with ntitlement.

    The E word, agreed whole heartedly, but we may have to add ego(that of K. Lowe). Samwise was his first crown jewel. Why else would they offer a 4 yr deal when we don’t have a place on the team for him.

    As for putting him on the wing I could see it working based on line rushes, breakouts BUT when it would come to puck retreval I be damned worried. Going one on one with a D-man into the corner Sam will:
    A) stop short and try to stick check…useless B)engage, and more times than not pick himself up off the ice and attempt to get back in the play C) curl to the middle of the ice since he`s actually a natural center

    Then there`s still the defensive end of it. Thats been beaten to death already.

  98. ashley says:

    DBO:
    Side note. again our GM works in secret according to other GM’s. From Friedman’s 30 thoughts:

    19. The minimal return the Oilers received for Ladislav Smid stunned some people. But ultimately, this will be decided by two things: How well Laurent Brossoit develops and what Edmonton does with the cap space. There weren’t a ton of teams who knew Smid was available, either. One exec expressed surprise at hearing the trade, while another scout said he’d known for about two weeks. I had heard Washington was very interested, which makes sense. But that was denied (I was denied more this week than in all of high school – impressive feat).

    Man this annoys me.

    A good friend of ours is an NHL pro scout on the East Coast. He corroborates this same thing. He knew nothing about this trade (and often they know days to weeks before the media/internet does) and was surprised since he thinks his organization would have been interested and potentially put something together to offer if they knew Smid was available.

    He also said Smid has a good reputation in the league. “Guys like him on good contracts are hard to come by”. For what it’s worth.

    The last time I heard that from him was when Lubo was traded.

    It would seem that one of the two “futures” was a target. Otherwise, they would have shopped Smid better.

  99. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: Gagner’s CorsiOn is exceptional. Ha! Bizarre.

    Not sure where you’re getting this? Extra Skater has his CF% at 45.0% 5v5, middle of the pack on a 45.7% team, and a dreadful 35.3% CF Close %, worse than every Oiler but Larsen and among the very worst in all of hockey.

  100. denny33 says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Can we quit with the trade talk already. It takes 30 games to learn Coach Eakins systems. That is a known fact. We are only 19 games into trial period. Once we get to game 31, trade away

    *************************************************************************************************

    I watched our head coach throw out Sam Gagner to take the critical draw with less than a minute in the game last night.

    Joel Quenville started audibly laughing…and for the sheer funof it throw out Brandon Bollig’s line.

    Brandon Bollig.

    Quenville stopped laughing when Bollig’s line won the draw – of course. But when Bollig simply kept the puck for the last half minute of the game – even Joel was not laughing.

    I want to be clear – I don’t want Eakins fired.

    Dallas Eakins has earned this w/l record.

    Putting Sam out there in that situation is inexcusable in game 1, game 20 , game 47 or game 80.

    Godot has been more right than wrong on Eakins – he has, by far, not put this team in the best position to succeed this year.

    Mac T just signed Sam Gagner with some form of a NMC -verbal or otherwise.

    We are the Edmonton Oilers.

  101. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    denny33:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    With all due resect, the league was in shock when Hemsky signed his last contract….that was no discount.

    Mact T’s effort to trade Hemsky were met with blank stares – 5 million dollars?

    I think you are clouding things.

    NHL GMs and random tv pundits have very different evaluative methods. Often both are wildly crazy.

    A few points:

    1) it is not the case that everyone thought Hemsky’s second deal was an overpay. Many smart people saw it as a discount, or market value.

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2012/2/24/2822724/oilers-re-sign-hemsky

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2012/2/25/2823728/oilers-fans-react-to-hemsky-signing-on-twitter

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2012/02/hemsky.html

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=4379

    2) Don’t forget that the NHL is one of the most effed up labor markets in existence. Players have very little say in where they play and how their value is determined and compensated until they hit UFA status. That is the one time when all their efforts get paid out. It is also the time when the market corrects itself and pays players big dollars. The huge differences in pre and post UFA contracts tend to be smoothed over into handwringing by fans who like to ignore this structural distinction.

    3) Hemsky gave on a long-term deal, NMC/NTC and cash security, which every UFA craves, in favor of staying in EDM.

    He would have gotten a better deal on the open market. Maybe a little less money (not likely) but more term and possibly a clause or two.

  102. Numenius says:

    DBO:
    Side note. again our GM works in secret according to other GM’s. From Friedman’s 30 thoughts:

    19. The minimal return the Oilers received for Ladislav Smid stunned some people. But ultimately, this will be decided by two things: How well Laurent Brossoit develops and what Edmonton does with the cap space. There weren’t a ton of teams who knew Smid was available, either. One exec expressed surprise at hearing the trade, while another scout said he’d known for about two weeks. I had heard Washington was very interested, which makes sense. But that was denied (I was denied more this week than in all of high school – impressive feat).

    Man this annoys me.

    It’s important to take into account that McT likely wanted to do Smid a good turn and not send him too far from his wife’s family, especially in light of the fact that he signed a contract with a home-town discount.

    I doubt the decision was done in purely economic (i.e. human element be damned) terms, and I’m glad that McT is like that. Not that I necessarily agree with the trade.

  103. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I had genuinely not heard that story before. A lot of the bigger stories in years past have sailed by me.

    “We didn’t tell Roger to go get cancer.” — Bobby Clarke.

    One of many many reasons why I detest the Philadelphia Flyers like no other team.

  104. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Not sure where you’re getting this? Extra Skater has his CF% at 45.0% 5v5, middle of the pack on a 45.7% team, and a dreadful 35.3% CF Close %, worse than every Oiler but Larsen and among the very worst in all of hockey.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

  105. Caramel Obvious says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Please some one justify all the love for Couturier. His numbers are going back wards and they have never been close to amazing to begin with. I would have to be blackmailed into trading Ebs for him. Classic overvalue another teams player and undervalue ours. I wouldn’t trade Gagsstraight up for him let alone Eberle.That is a losing team move as Lt has said time and time again. Unless he is Micheal Peca that is a backwards move.

    Maybe Eberle and Jonesfor Couturier, Simmonds and 1st

    Gags and Potter to Toronto for Reimer and Franson

    Hopefully this helps balance out size, defensive awareness,grit and goaltending. Still we would be giving up these best 2 players Offensively.

    There are two fundamental principles of hockey analysis.

    First, scoring translates from league to league. In the case of the AHL the litmus test is around pt/game at around 20 years old. A first round draft pick who scores around a point a game in the AHL in his 20 year old season is a virtual guarantee of someone who will score in the NHL. Couturier scored 28 points in 31 games during the NHL lockout. By comparison Mika Zibanajed of the same draft class scored 11 points in 23 games. Nugent-Hopkins, also the same class, scored 20 points in 19 games. There are clear classes here and Couturier is a lot close to Hopkins than Zibanejed.

    Second, possession numbers like Corsi and Fenwick, adjusted for zone starts, are indicative of real skill. Couturier’s possession numbers are off the charts three seasons in a row. Last season, for instance the Flyers outshot their opponents 26 to 24 despite him having an offensive zone start ratio of 32%. That’s incredible. This despite playing against above average competition with below average teammates. His rookie season was the same.

    Third, contracts matter. Players must be evaluated in relation to the opportunity cost of having them on the roster. Well, Couturier has an unbelievable contract.

    Basically, if you don’t think Couturier is better than Sam Gagner it is because you don’t believe in the numbers because the numbers are unequivocal that Couturier is a very good to great player on a steal of a contract right now, no projection required. There aren’t two sides to this question. Saying Couturier is an “unproven” player is old school nonsense. Couturier is a proven player. The only advantage of being an “analytics” person is if you know something before everyone else knows it. You don’t need the numbers to tell you Sidney Crosby is awesome. The key is to find the star that no one knows is a star. That guy is Sean Couturier. There is no one else like him in the NHL with the same disparity between reputation and performance.

    Gagner for Couturier straight up would be an unbelievable trade for the Oilers. Unfortunately there isn’t a chance in living hell that the Flyers would do it. There are only two reasonable questions in this hypothetical.

    If the trade is around Gagner what else do you have to give or take back to make the trade reasonable.

    If the trade is around Eberle whether you do the deal straight up. When I proposed this type of deal a few days ago I also wanted to turn Smid and Larsen into Coburn. Obviously that can’t happen now.

  106. Numenius says:

    LT, this comments section has been such a breath of fresh air not having expired kittens posting all the time. If you had anything to do with that (or anyone else), thank you.

  107. FastOil says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Please some one justify all the love for Couturier. His numbers are going back wards and they have never been close to amazing to begin with. I would have to be blackmailed into trading Ebs for him. Classic overvalue another teams player and undervalue ours. I wouldn’t trade Gagsstraight up for him let alone Eberle.That is a losing team move as Lt has said time and time again. Unless he is Micheal Peca that is a backwards move.

    Maybe Eberle and Jonesfor Couturier, Simmonds and 1st

    Gags and Potter to Toronto for Reimer and Franson

    Hopefully this helps balance out size, defensive awareness,grit and goaltending. Still we would be giving up these best 2 players Offensively.

    All I know is that with small wingers who are offense first players a big two way centre is a good compliment, and Couturier isn’t producing which theoretically should devalue him. There are better players but they would cost even more and I think many see Couturier as a better player than his numbers say. Value.

  108. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    Even though it has a chance to be in the top 5, the Oilers 1st rounder in 2014 has to be in play right now for a 1LD.

    Has to be.

    The draft is only 2-3 deep and none one who can probably contribute meaningfully for at least 3 years, more if they don’t get in the top 3.

    By that time Taylor Hall has 3 years left on his contract and Eberle 2 years.

    The time to get that Dman is now.

    I like Nurse and Klef and think they will be good to great players, neither will be able to handle 1LD for years yet.

    Erhoff is available and even though he has a NTC, Edmonton must look better than the future in BUF.

    I proposed 1st, Marincin, and Hemsky (dead line trade bait) on twitter yesterday and Jon Willis suggested it was a slight overpay and that a 1st, Marincin and N.Shultz might do it

    N. Shultz and Hemsky might have similar value at the deadline (D are always over priced at the deadline, especially if Shero is buying) so you keep Hemsky (obv)

    MacT said he’s impatient and bold.

    Let’s see it.

    It better be quick.

    ***********************************************************************************

    But this team is far, far away from contending….

    2 centre’s / 3 d-men- a goalie? ….there are far too many holes in this lineup.

    More importantly – there are no true 1st pairing stud D available.

    This team has no assests to make a 3 for 1 trade…..

  109. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy: “We didn’t tell Roger to go get cancer.” — Bobby Clarke.

    One of many many reasons why I detest the Philadelphia Flyers like no other team.

    I think this is also a pretty good reason to think poorly of Clarke:

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

  110. Romulus Apotheosis says:
  111. Rebilled says:

    IMO, the Oilers need to stop doing this Oil Change documentary now. I’ve never watched it. Have always thought it was joke because the management have the egos of six cups and the brains of worn out hockey players clinging to a dynasty.

    Oil Change is a slap in the face. Just like this ‘rebuild’ is. Hiring Tambo to lose to get high draft picks doesn’t secure getting a cup. Choosing the BPA 3 times doesn’t get you a cup if you don’t build around those players or make trades that balance the roster.

    Is this the Oilers rebuild plan?

    Draft #1′s. Give them all 6 million dollars. Eberle too. Sign Bryzgalov.

    I repeat, SIGN BRYZGALOV.

    Can’t wait for the next episode¡ 4-13-2!

  112. Jon K says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think this is also a pretty good reason to think poorly of Clarke:

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

    Haven’t seen that in a very long time. Since I was a kid maybe. Seeing it again, I thought to myself, “Jesus, #20 was huge.” Quick search and… Pete Mahovlich. Even without all the new pads he looks twice as broad as anyone else on the ice.

    http://www.1972summitseries.com/pmahovlich.html

  113. denny33 says:

    DBO,

    Side note. again our GM works in secret according to other GM’s. From Friedman’s 30 thoughts:

    19. The minimal return the Oilers received for Ladislav Smid stunned some people. But ultimately, this will be decided by two things: How well Laurent Brossoit develops and what Edmonton does with the cap space. There weren’t a ton of teams who knew Smid was available, either. One exec expressed surprise at hearing the trade, while another scout said he’d known for about two weeks. I had heard Washington was very interested, which makes sense. But that was denied (I was denied more this week than in all of high school – impressive feat).

    **********************************************************************************************

    We are always the *smartest* guys in the room…..

    A show of hands if you are surprised……

    If someone in here had proposed this trade before it happened we would have been ripped for days….

    Scary part – there are still a few people who feel it was a good move because Fedun and
    Larsen ( what do you mean …the front of my net? ) pushed out Smid.

  114. Halfwise says:

    Stamkos broken leg?

  115. rickithebear says:

    S

    Lowetide:
    We didn’t tell Roger Neilson to get cancer. -Bobby Clarke.

    That’s diabolical.

    You did not live in Flin Flon!

  116. Melman says:

    If I’m GM of the world (or the Oilers anyway) I spend the next 2 1/2 weeks:
    a) getting Belov signed
    b) seeing what Bryz can do
    c) trying to trade for 1 of Erhoff, Tyutin, Girardi, Coburn
    d) see if there is any noticeable improvement during the 3 games after Calgary – they have a huge stretch at home to practice, watch video, rest, etc. Unless they turn themselves into a real hockey club by the 27th, anyone not named Hall, RNH, Yak, Gordon or Ference (NTC) is available for the right deal involving actual NHL players coming back….knowing once again because of their shitty position you’re going to overpay on any trade.

    If you can’t pull off c) or d) then sit tight until the deadline pushes up player values.

  117. gvblackhawk says:

    Halfwise:
    Stamkos broken leg?

    Stamkos mouthed “It’s broken” to his teammate when they loaded him on the stretcher.

  118. Chris says:

    As much as I’ve never been all that enamoured with Gagner I feel we should all give him the benefit of the doubt for the next month or so. He rushed back from having a severely broken jaw. He should not have been playing hockey for another week or so. He’s going to be playing at about 70% realistically for a few weeks. If anything I lay the fault here with Eakins. The man is a professional hockey coach. If he’s running a playing coming off a severe injury against top competition that is a a stupid decision.

    The one thing about Eakins I really don’t like is he seems to look at things that are “Conventional Coaching Wisdom” in this instance you generally hear from the head coach “We are going to ease Sam back into the lineup.” Eakins on the other hand decides to run him out there like he’s a Kenyan and this is the Boston Marathon.

    I’m not sure over the long term how great a fit Gagner is for this team. RNH is basically a better version of Gagner. It would be preferable to have that big two-way centre at the number two spot. On the other hand Bob Gainey type players don’t exactly grow on trees. However, it would definately be a mistake to try to trade Gagner while he is playing hurt and looks like it.

  119. gvblackhawk says:

    Rebilled:
    IMO, the Oilers need to stop doing this Oil Change documentary now. I’ve never watched it. Have always thought it was joke because the management have the egos of six cups and the brains of worn out hockey players clinging to a dynasty.

    Oil Change is a slap in the face. Just like this ‘rebuild’ is. Hiring Tambo to lose to get high draft picks doesn’t secure getting a cup. Choosing the BPA 3 times doesn’t get you a cup if you don’t build around those players or make trades that balance the roster.

    Is this the Oilers rebuild plan?

    Draft #1′s. Give them all 6 million dollars. Eberle too. Sign Bryzgalov.

    I repeat, SIGN BRYZGALOV.

    Can’t wait for the next episode¡ 4-13-2!

    Tambellini was not hired to lose. Fans like to think that because he did such a lousy job, but it is not true.

  120. Chris says:

    And of our various defenseman acquisitions thus it far Belov asside I’d have to say its been an epic failure. Ferrence looks like a glorified Nick Shultz and the contract he’s on is brutal. Grebeskov was comming off a horrid season in the KHL and seems to have continued with that downward spiral. Larsen looks like the Danish version of Justin Shultz, which is to say we acquired another offensive defenseman who needs to be sheltered. Sadly we seem to have four bottom pairing defensemen at the moment so we have something of a log jam.

    And all this while we could sign Tom Gilbert for a pittance.

  121. steveb12344 says:

    Chris: And of our various defenseman acquisitions thus it far Belov asside I’d have to say its been an epic failure. Ferrence looks like a glorified Nick Shultz and the contract he’s on is brutal. Grebeskov was comming off a horrid season in the KHL and seems to have continued with that downward spiral. Larsen looks like the Danish version of Justin Shultz, which is to say we acquired another offensive defenseman who needs to be sheltered. Sadly we seem to have four bottom pairing defensemen at the moment so we have something of a log jam.And all this while we could sign Tom Gilbert for a pittance.

    If Gilbert was so good he wouldn’t have been available for a pittance!

  122. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide: http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=C+LW+RW&f5=EDM&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

    Right, that’s after 4 GP and doesn’t include this weekend’s double shit show (+8/-14 in Philly, +8/-24 in Chicago). This year BtN is only updating periodicially so is often a game or two behind.

    Here’s current #’s from ES:
    http://www.extraskater.com/players/on-ice?team=edm&min_gp=25&pos=F&sit=5v5

  123. gvblackhawk says:

    Chris:
    As much as I’ve never been all that enamoured with Gagner I feel we should all give him the benefit of the doubt for the next month or so. He rushed back from having a severely broken jaw. He should not have been playing hockey for another week or so. He’s going to be playing at about 70% realistically for a few weeks. If anything I lay the fault here with Eakins. The man is a professional hockey coach. If he’s running a playing coming off a severe injury against top competition that is a a stupid decision.

    The one thing about Eakins I really don’t like is he seems to look at things that are “Conventional Coaching Wisdom” in this instance you generally hear from the head coach “We are going to ease Sam back into the lineup.” Eakins on the other hand decides to run him out there like he’s a Kenyan and this is the Boston Marathon.

    I’m not sure over the long term how great a fit Gagner is for this team. RNH is basically a better version of Gagner. It would be preferable to have that big two-way centre at the number two spot. On the other hand Bob Gainey type players don’t exactly grow on trees. However, it would definately be a mistake to try to trade Gagner while he is playing hurt and looks like it.

    I’m not sure what you are basing your opinion on, but if he was medically cleared to play, then he was not rushed back. And in a relative sense, he did not suffer a severely broken jaw. He had a compound fracture of his left mandibular body. A simple ORIF (open reduction internal fixation) to correct. A severe mandibular fracture would be something like a bilateral, subcondylar compound where he would have been wired shut (MMF) for an extended period.

    Either way, it does not explain why he is puck-watching in the defensive zone, rather than paying attention to his check. It also does not explain his apparent lack of speed or faceoff ability. The team needs a helluva lot more from Gagner given his role on the team.

  124. Yeti says:

    steveb12344: If Gilbert was so good he wouldn’t have been available for a pittance!

    Maybe so. But he’d still be – at worst – the third best defender on this team. For a pittance, no less.

  125. justDOit says:

    iHockeyWpg:
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockey/opinion/2013/11/30-thoughts-wild-prosper-from-playing-puck-more.html

    I was just about to post that link. Here is an excerpt from it, which is telling in a number of ways:

    “We weren’t going to take the next step, become a serious contender, unless we changed the way we played offensively,” Wild head coach Mike Yeo said Sunday. “I have bit my lip a couple of times on the bench … but we’re going to live with the risk to get more reward.”

    So the Wild, a historically boring team, started to change over their roster before last season, but still played that defensive style. Their new team makeup didn’t suit the systems, so they made drastic changes, to suit the players.

    And here we have the Oilers – an offensive bunch if ever there was one (and in more than one way, but I digress…), who are in the throes of learning a primarily defensive system. ???

    Also, we should note that it didn’t take the Wild 30 games to get their new systems. Uh-oh, I’m starting to sound like a certain someone…

  126. Chris says:

    Most NHL GMs are under educated ex-athletes, math is generally not one of their personal strong points. Its not entirely dissimilar from Ronick stating that “The lawyers came into the room and told us what to do and we were a bunch of dumb jocks so we did it.” This is why money ball worked in baseball until everyone started hiring geeks to crunch the numbers.

  127. godot10 says:

    Tambellini was hired to shield Kevin Lowe from blame and accountability. Once Tambellini no longer functioned as a shield, he was toast.

    Krueger had an independent mind, and an outsider, and he had smoked Lowe out of the bunker, so he was a threat, so he was sent packing at the first opportunity. If Krueger were to succeed, it would undermine Lowe’s power base. Now that Tambellini was gone, they needed a coach who fealty was to them. So they hired the guy everybody in Toronto thought was a genius, as cover for dumping a good coach.

    What they did not anticipate was the the Toronto genius is actually a dud of a coach. A cocksure fool.

  128. Rebilled says:

    gvblackhawk,

    Oh, Ok. He drafted 3 #1 picks because he was a lousy GM. Not because it’s a cheap way to get high end talent to come to Edmonton.

    I guess that’s what this rebuild was based on. Tambellini trades and not setting kids up to fail with an unbalanced roster with NK in net.

  129. spoiler says:

    godot10: The Oilers have Nugent-Hopkins and Gordon, with Arcobello and Lander and Horak as solid 4th line options.Plus the Oilers have Hall.That means a good coach can keep Gagner away from unfavorable matchups and exploit his offensive abilities.

    As currently constructed,

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Perron, Gordon, Hemsky
    Joensuu, Gagner, Yakupov
    Smyth, Arcobello, Jones.

    Gagner and Yakupov should never have to see a d-zone start, or a difficult matchup.

    Because you play nothing but home games without injuries or special teams play or icings. Yeah.

  130. Chris says:

    A compound frecture means Gagner’s manible was protruding through his flesh. I consider that “severe” for all intents and purposes. His expected recovery time was 6-8 weeks. He was back in what five? Whether he was medically cleared or not its fairly clear that he was returning before a normal recovery period from a broken jaw. And his coach has been using him in heavy minutes since the moment he returned. I do not think this is either wise or what would be standard practice for most coaches.

  131. spoiler says:

    godot10:
    Tambellini was hired to shield Kevin Lowe from blame and accountability.Once Tambellini no longer functioned as a shield, he was toast.

    Krueger had an independent mind, and an outsider, and he had smoked Lowe out of the bunker, so he was a threat, so he was sent packing at the first opportunity. If Krueger were to succeed, it would undermine Lowe’s power base.Now that Tambellini was gone, they needed a coach who fealty was to them. So they hired the guy everybody in Toronto thought was a genius, as cover for dumping a good coach.

    What they did not anticipate was the the Toronto genius is actually a dud of a coach.A cocksure fool.

    Still having those fevered visions, huh?

  132. gvblackhawk says:

    godot10:
    Tambellini was hired to shield Kevin Lowe from blame and accountability.Once Tambellini no longer functioned as a shield, he was toast.

    Krueger had an independent mind, and an outsider, and he had smoked Lowe out of the bunker, so he was a threat, so he was sent packing at the first opportunity. If Krueger were to succeed, it would undermine Lowe’s power base.Now that Tambellini was gone, they needed a coach who fealty was to them. So they hired the guy everybody in Toronto thought was a genius, as cover for dumping a good coach.

    What they did not anticipate was the the Toronto genius is actually a dud of a coach.A cocksure fool.

    Sounds like a good conspiracy theory. However, I think it is a matter of a bad management group procuring a bunch of mediocre players, getting rid of real NHL players for nothing, and expecting rookies to carry the team to glory. You can blame the coach if you’d like (yes he has made mistakes), but no coach on Earth could guide this team to the playoffs.

  133. godot10 says:

    spoiler: Still having those fevered visions, huh?

    With each additional 30% something Corsi/Fenwick results against Western Conference teams, it may not be me who has those fevered delusions.

  134. Woodguy says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I assume by “COL” you mean “CBJ”, since the Avs are already 200 points ahead of the Oil.

    Yup, meant CBJ.

    Thanks Bruce.

  135. RMGS says:

    Woodguy: No, you trade the 23 year old because he good enough to get you what the team needs.

    Hemsky can’t get you what you need.

    Its not choosing Hemsky over Eberle at all.

    Its using Eberle to fill massive gapping holes that are keeping the Oilers shitty.

    I see what you mean, but if you’re trading Eberle for anything other than Subban-like quality, you’ve given up the best player in the deal. Eberle for Couturier? That’s a bad move for the Oilers.

  136. gvblackhawk says:

    Rebilled:
    gvblackhawk,

    Oh, Ok. He drafted 3 #1 picks because he was a lousy GM. Not because it’s a cheap way to get high end talent to come to Edmonton.

    I guess that’s what this rebuild was based on. Tambellini trades and not setting kids up to fail with an unbalanced roster with NK in net.

    You stated that Tambellini was brought in to lose but history shows that was not the case. He attempted to improve the existing team with trades (eg Erik Cole for Patrick O’Sullivan), free agent signings (eg. Nik Khabibulin), and was allowed to spend to the salary cap limit. It was his ineptitude that caused the team to finish last in 2010, not because he was trying to do so.

  137. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    justDOit: And here we have the Oilers – an offensive bunch if ever there was one (and in more than one way, but I digress…), who are in the throes of learning a primarily defensive system. ???

    I think it’s less “learning a primarily defensive system” and more “learning a primary defensive system”

    These kids aren’t ready for secondary school.

  138. Lowetide says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Right, that’s after 4 GP and doesn’t include this weekend’s double shit show (+8/-14 in Philly, +8/-24 in Chicago). This year BtN is only updating periodicially so is often a game or two behind.

    Here’s current #’s from ES:
    http://www.extraskater.com/players/on-ice?team=edm&min_gp=25&pos=F&sit=5v5

    Ah, good. Thanks Bruce.

  139. DBO says:

    4 coaches in 4 years people. Not easy, especially for young guys. And this new one is smart, like MAcT, and his system is not the same as most so now the learning curve is steep. Unfortunately this coincided with an injuries to our to 2 centres, meaning people were forced to play higher in the lineup, and Hall was out of position. Steeper curve, players now different then expected. And in Eakin’s system the forwards play a huge role. Not excusing eh D, but the forwards have to crash hard and play aggressive, but only at the right moment (which is the issue, as most have never thought about anything below the blueline).

    Yes the D needs to be better, but our F’s are the most to blame for our D zone mistakes. The worst thing we can do is change the coach again. Let these guys learn it, and after a few wins they will be in a better spot emotionally and that is important. They are down, frustrated and just lost a huge lockerroom guy like Smid (which must have smacked them in the face, and not in a good way).

  140. gvblackhawk says:

    Chris:
    A compound frecture means Gagner’s manible was protruding through his flesh. I consider that “severe” for all intents and purposes. His expected recovery time was 6-8 weeks. He was back in what five? Whether he was medically cleared or not its fairly clear that he was returning before a normal recovery period from a broken jaw. And his coach has been using him in heavy minutes since the moment he returned. I do not think this is either wise or what would be standard practice for most coaches.

    Chris:
    A compound frecture means Gagner’s manible was protruding through his flesh. I consider that “severe” for all intents and purposes. His expected recovery time was 6-8 weeks. He was back in what five? Whether he was medically cleared or not its fairly clear that he was returning before a normal recovery period from a broken jaw. And his coach has been using him in heavy minutes since the moment he returned. I do not think this is either wise or what would be standard practice for most coaches.

    In his case, it was an intraoral communication but that is splitting hairs. They would not have let him play if he was not ready. That’s medical malpractice; the coach/manager cannot overrule the surgeon.

    Whether or not he was ready for heavy minutes at center is another argument altogether.

  141. Gret99zky says:

    Hopefully MacT doesn’t make anymore rash trades.

    Let’s give the players some more time and if they still suck and the team keeps losing just play them out of position or give them more time.

    Keep everything the same and hope the results will change.

    Smrt.

  142. Traktor says:

    I don’t know if its Eakins or Smith but Edmonton’s D has the worst gap control I have ever seen in my life. Edmonton allows other teams to gain the red line for free and the majority of the time the blue line as well. Its like being worried that the opposing football team is going to throw a 60 yard pass so you allow them to run the ball for 10 yards every down.

    First and goal.

  143. Woodguy says:

    jfry,

    This is why I lust after Couturier as 2C for the Oilers:

    1) Sawed off against the best as a 18-19 year old without the best linemates

    Everyone loves a line or player that can elevate a line that will get 50%CF against the best in the NHL. These players are fairly rare and are usually very good.

    The fact that Couturier managed to do this as a 18 and 19 year old is quite impressive.

    Here is a link to his numbers for his first 2 years in the league: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1509&withagainst=true&season=2011-13&sit=5v5

    He posted a 49.2%.

    His most common linemates over the 2 years are Talbot, Rinaldo and Reed. Not exactly amazing linemates.

    2) He achieved his 49.2% with meh line mates while getting the Maholtra/Gordon treatment.

    Couturier started in offensive zone 40.4% of the time in 11/12 and 32.1% of the time in 12/13

    Both years it was the lowest on the team.

    Being able to saw off vs the toughest opponents, with meh help, while starting the majority of the time in Dzone is simply incredible.

    To do all that as a 18-19 year old is simply unheard of.

    3) Has a history of offense

    Couturier scored 96pts in 58 games in his draft year.

    He also scored 28pts in 31 games in the AHL

    In those situations he was a feature C getting offensive line mates, and probably not tied the rock of hellacious zone starts.

    Its probably safe to say if he was given Gagner’s most common line mates over the same stretch : Hemsky, Eberle, Hall he would have produced offence more in line with his history.

    Its also probably safe to say that if he had Gagner’s zone starts (54.1% and 51.4%) over the same time period, he would have produced offence more in line with his history.

    Its also probably safe to say that if he had Gagner’s quality of compeition (2nd line as opposed to best line) he would have produced offence more in line with his history.

    The Oilers have a pile of talent on the wings.

    What the need from their 2C is someone to help cover the defensive deficiencies while helping add offence.

    I don’t think there is a more suitable candidate than Couturier.

    I think he would bring as much offense as you would lose in Eberle going the other way (or close0, but he would bring up the defensive ability 10 fold.

    He’s also on a ridiculously cheap contract of $1.75/yr for the next two years and would provide some much needed cap flexibility.

    Its such a huge win on so many fronts that paying a bit too much for him will seem like peanuts in about 20 games, let alone the 5 years you are guaranteed to have him.

  144. Numenius says:

    Woodguy:
    jfry,

    What the need from their 2C is someone to help cover the defensive deficiencies while helping add offence.

    I don’t think there is a more suitable candidate than Couturier.

    The other option to my mind would be to find another Gordon, which is easier to find through free agency. (Maholtra would have been nice, considering his play now) Then put Gordon or the new guy as 2nd line C.

    In other words, find a strong, defensively minded C that still has some offence and can play with skill. As we’ve found with Gordon, the skilled wingers make up for the offensive deficiencies in the C so that the line and the C himself produces. Gordon’s never had higher numbers.

    Then you don’t have to get rid of Eberle or the other skill on the wings and you get the same result and hopefully better.

  145. Woodguy says:

    Numenius: The other option to my mind would be to find another Gordon, which is easier to find through free agency. (Maholtra would have been nice, considering his play now)Then put Gordon or the new guy as 2nd line C.

    In other words, find a strong, defensively minded C that still has some offence and can play with skill. As we’ve found with Gordon, the skilled wingers make up for the offensive deficiencies in the C so that the line and the C himself produces. Gordon’s never had higher numbers.

    Then you don’t have to get rid of Eberle or the other skill on the wings and you get the same result and hopefully better.

    That’s a fair way of looking at it.

    I honestly believe that Couturier would bring enough offence that you wouldn’t miss Eberle much, whereas another Gordon would lower the offensive output.

  146. Numenius says:

    Woodguy: That’s a fair way of looking at it.

    I honestly believe that Couturier would bring enough offence that you wouldn’t miss Eberle much, whereas another Gordon would lower the offensive output.

    You may be right.

    When I think of last year, though, how Hall and Yakupov killed it being centered by Horcoff, I’m not so sure.

    The other thing is that Couturier is a bit of a beanpole and so you would still have to find a heavier skilled winger on the top lines to make up for that. If you find that size in a C, you don’t have to do that. (though I know Gordon himself isn’t that big)

  147. G Money says:

    Woodguy: I honestly believe that Couturier would bring enough offence that you wouldn’t miss Eberle much, whereas another Gordon would lower the offensive output.

    Here’s the thing … I’m as much a believer in the value of advanced stats (used correctly) as anyone.

    Preaching to the converted:

    Advanced stats help provide a much “deeper” look into a player or a team then “saw him/them good” and boxcars alone do.

    The part where I begin to question the way in which people are using advanced stats is when you start pushing the advanced stats as a replacement for rather than an enhancement of the boxcars or what you see.

    Here’s the thing about Couturier: his boxcars are not particularly good. 27 pts in 77 games, +18, then 15 pts in 46, -8, and 3 pts in 16, -1 so far.

    So I buy that his offensive output is compromised because of his role and his zone starts – this was the same argument used for Horcoff, and it was fair.

    But you are on shaky ground if you argue that Couturier is a gifted offensive player – this is *not* supported by the boxcars. It may be at some point – if you give him the opportunity, maybe he’ll blow the doors off. Then again – maybe he won’t. Whatever the case, to argue that he is any sort of gifted offensive player is most assuredly not supported by the data right now.

  148. Woodguy says:

    G Money: Here’s the thing … I’m as much a believer in the value of advanced stats (used correctly) as anyone.

    Preaching to the converted:

    Advanced stats help provide a much “deeper” look into a player or a team then “saw him/them good” and boxcars alone do.

    The part where I begin to question the way in which people are using advanced stats is when you start pushing the advanced stats as a replacement for rather than an enhancement of the boxcars or what you see.

    Here’s the thing about Couturier: his boxcars are not particularly good. 27 pts in 77 games, +18, then 15 pts in 46, -8, and 3 pts in 16, -1 so far.

    So I buy that his offensive output is compromised because of his role and his zone starts – this was the same argument used for Horcoff, and it was fair.

    But you are on shaky ground if you argue that Couturier is a gifted offensive player – this is *not* supported by the boxcars. It may be at some point – if you give him the opportunity, maybe he’ll blow the doors off.Then again – maybe he won’t.Whatever the case, to argue that he is any sort of gifted offensive player is most assuredly not supported by the data right now.

    You have to look at the whole situation that he plays in.

    Its pretty clear that playing a Gordon role with meh offensive linemates is affecting his offense.

    You have to put boxcars in context of:

    1) Opposition
    2) Zone Starts
    3) Team mates

    That’s why you pay through the nose for Toews, Hossa, Tavares etc.

    They put up points against the best.

    His points in the CHL and AHL tell us this is a player who puts up points when playing the offensive minutes.

    Toews most common linemates (2 F and 2 C) over last 2 years:

    Keith, Seabrook, Hossa and Saad/Kane tied for 2nd F.

    Toews zone starts last 2 years: 64% and 55%

    Couturier:

    Colburn, Carle, Talbot, Rinaldo

    Zone stars 40% and 32%

    Now ask yourself this:

    Does Toews put up the same numbers in PHI with Colburn, Carle, Talbot, Rinaldo as his most common line mate and zone stars 40% and 32% as he did in CHI with his zone starts and team mates?

    The answer is obviously no.

    You need to take Couturier’s situation and then try to extrapolate what he can do in a better situation.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca