HOCKEY’S ROCKFORD

In a world where no one can agree on anything, Elliotte Friedman has universal appeal. He’s become one of the truly respected men in the sport almost overnight in historic terms, and does it the old fashioned way: hard work.

Friedman is a Godsend for Oiler fans, they’re a  story worth Friedman’s time because the future of Hall, Nuge, Yak and Eberle is compelling for all fans. If they screw it up in Edmonton, maybe one of those guys ends up in Toronto for Jake Gardiner! OR, maybe Yakupov to Montreal for some New Brunswick maple syrup and a Michel Pagliaro .45 (go for “Some Sing, Some Dance” “What the Hell I Got” or the lovely “Rainshowers” if it comes to that).

Anyway, Friedman’s 30 thoughts this past week was a double-album’s worth of what’s ahead on the blacktop in 2014 for Edmonton.

FRIEDMAN’S KILLER QUOTES

  • At some point, most likely after the season, major surgery is coming. All Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish must decide is where to perform the operation.
  • MacTavish sees the games better than all of us who talk about them. It’s the same on-ice mistakes killing their chances. You can talk about the goaltending, the lack of size, the lack of depth, whatever.
  • At some point, it’s no longer coaching. It’s about the way the group chooses to play.
  • But this could go even bigger.
  • The salary cap is going up and the average annual values going up with it. Why are teams chasing Evander Kane and MaxPacioretty? Because they are locked up long-term to contracts of excellent value.
  • How long is it going to be before Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hoplins are seen the same way?

I’ve quoted too much, but wanted to see it as Friedman framed the issue—the “but this could go even bigger” angle—because it’s the most exciting and dangerous. Let me say first that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to deal Hall or Nuge, and I’m pretty sure there are no plans to deal Eberle. I’m less certain about Yakupov (but hopeful) and would think that all of Gagner, Justin Schultz and Ales Hemsky are available for the right price.

Let me cover each player one at a time:

  • Sam Gagner may have a no trade, but his season is askew and he probably has the rest of the season to make good. MacT’s word is solid I’m sure, but Gagner’s wayward ways (and I understand he was hurt) need to end rfn (two weeks ago it was pdq).
  • Justin Schultz is not having a good season at all. A lot of this is confidence I’m sure (Ralph was clearly hockey’s Sparky Anderson, a prospect whisperer) but at some point the defense has to stop making these damn dog whistle errors.
  • Ales Hemsky gets a contract or he’s gone, there’s no neutral ground. I’m hoping contract.

THE OTHER WAY

Of course, MacT doesn’t have to trade any of the big four up front, he could go another route. The first defense MacTavish rolled out in Edmonton 2000-01 lacked superstars but everyone could do something well:

  • Janne Niinimaa, 25, was a wonderful passer and PP option. His headman passes were brilliant in the old era, today he’d be an All-Star. Had some defensive lapses, but played 25 minutes a night.
  • Tom Poti, 23, was a chaos D but could skate the puck up ice, pass expertly and had a large wingspan. He was not a brilliant defensive player.
  • Igor Ulanov, 31, didn’t do it in a fancy way but got the job done. The guy worked hard every night, hell I always got the feeling that as long as there was vodka and herring he’d be in the league.
  • Eric Brewer, 21, who made the usual rookie mistakes but also brought uniqueness to the group. He could close a gap in a heartbeat, had good range and toughness, plus he could do a little offensivey.
  • Jason Smith, 27, in his prime and a brilliant player. Smith played with a lot of bite he was rugged and tough and filthy as required. Smith set the tone for the team defensively, and I think was very underrated for his mobility. Smith could scoot.
  • Sean Brown, 24, tough guy and a kiss defenseman (MacT loved his keep it simple stupid defensemen).

When Frank Musil got hurt they cast about looking for a replacement and would eventually find Steve Staios, who was a Smith-type with a little more offense. Basically, he had exactly one guy we would call a two-way player (Brewer) and then some defensive guys who had some offense (Smith, Staios) and some offensive guys who could play a little defense (Niinimaa, Poti) plus the Russian Cocket.

Today’s Oiler team has a two-way player in the Brewer role (Petry), an offensive guy who can play in the Niinimaa/Poti style (Justin Schultz) and I think Belov fits in the Ulanov role pretty well. What they’re missing is the Jason Smith-Steve Staios type players—although I think that’s the role they wanted Nick Schultz (and Laddy) to play. Andrew Ference fits the description, but only in a ‘back of the roster’ manner—I don’t think he’s going to play a top 4 role unless it’s with Petry on a second pairing. Back in the olden days, the Oilers could find these guys at midnight in a snowstorm, how they grabbed Staios for nothing is a big part of the story of MacT’s coaching era.

If they merely keep Petry, Justin Schultz and Belov, and then add a Jason Smith/Steve Staios or two, could that be enough to get them into the playoffs? Men like Henrik Tallinder, Dan Girardi and Nikita Nikitin aren’t as sexy as Shea Weber, but they don’t cost an impact forward either.

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121 Responses to "HOCKEY’S ROCKFORD"

  1. meanashell11 says:

    And where does Ferrence fit in? He’s here for a while. I know people keep talking a major trade involving one of the four horsemen for weber but anybody dealing a major defender is going to want D coming back. The Oilers are chock-a-bloc full in the AHL with D, look what it cost to get Pronger, our entire cupboard of D we had in the minors and a pretty decent NHLer. Same as we did for Perron, get the same player but with a few years of experience. There are teams going into rebuild who have D that do not fit the age group they will have going forward, that’s who we target.

  2. BrazilianOil says:

    IMO the good option is a mid term. Weber could coast too much but 2 DFD for a second and third paring will not be enough.

    A real first paring is necessary even if his name is not Weber.

  3. Marc says:

    I have a lot of time for Friedman, but his recent piece struck me as more arm chair strategising than based on any solid information. As such it has to be taken with a big grain of salt. How many times did the media speculate that Pittsburgh would trade one of Staal or Malkin to get depth on the wing or D? Or decide that the Blackhawks needed to trade Sharp? The media often take a superficial look at a team, decide what they think is surplus, then base their speculation on that.

    In practice though, teams are very hesitant to trade their most talented players for a package of less talented players that will on paper make their team more balanced.

  4. Lowetide says:

    BrazilianOil:
    Slepyshev Goal

    Yakimov and Slepyshev. Well, that’s good news!

  5. SK Oiler Fan says:

    No. not enough. Maybe in the eastern conference the defence by committee approach will work, but not in the west. You have to aim higher or don’t bother.
    Doughty, Voyonov, Beauchemin, Boyle, Vlasic, Ekman Larsen, Petro, Bow, Kieth, Seabrook, Bieksa, Edler, Suter are proof of that.

  6. Ducey says:

    It doesn’t make much sense to be trading away any prospects/ young players this season.

    We can look forward to the deadline deals of N Schultz, Hemsky, Smyth (if he consents), Jones (if anyone wants him) and maybe Gagner. If I am MacT I’d also deal Bryz and/ or DD.

    The difference from other years is that the assets coming back are more likely to be prospects rather than picks.

    A question: If Ekblad at 17/18 is on the junior team and Nurse at 18/19 isn’t, does that mean Ekblad is a better prospect than Nurse? If so, then the Oilers should not be trading that first rounder.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Ducey: Yes, I think there’s little doubt Ekblad would be considered the better prospect. Nurse was never considered for #1 overall.

  8. Lowetide says:

    slepyshev with 2 goals and +3 today against Norway, Yakimov’s goal changed to an assist and he was +2.

  9. justDOit says:

    Lowetide:
    slepyshev with 2 goals and +3 today against Norway, Yakimov’s goal changed to an assist and he was +2.

    I hope that they rack up some points when beating up on Norway (oh Norway – why aren’t you like Sweden and Finland?).

    For some reason, hockeystreams only shows two games available today – US/CZ and CAN/GER.

  10. Thinker says:

    Thats the route I take now. Try to acquire as many guys who are top 4. If a phaneuf or girardi hits ufa, then take a shot at them, but don’t touch the four horsemen yet. In three years when the cap is up and players are making a kijillion, the contracts of hall, rnh, and eberle will have extreme value. I’m not opposed to trading the core, I just don’t do it now. Talk to me again after we make the playoffs twice in a row, and need to springboard ourselves to contender status. Note: the two season criteria exists because many rebuilding teams make it one year then suck again the next. NYI, Ottawa, Colorado for many years, St. Louis, ect.

  11. Brackenburied says:

    So Ray Ferraro tweeted he has signed with TSN for 10 years.
    Friedman is going to get paid! Sportsnet will be backing up the Brinks trucks to his place.
    Sad part about all of these TSN signings is the chances of Sportsnet hockey coverage improving look grim.

  12. WeirsBeard says:

    LT,
    Daily reader since 05-06, so let me go back in time:
    Adding Mike Johnson and Fernando Pisani up front, then Smith and Staios on D, is that enough?

    Never mind Moneypuck, I think management has forgotten some CheapPuck answers from previous ownership regimes. I am still hopeful however.

  13. Lowetide says:

    WeirsBeard:
    LT,
    Daily reader since 05-06, so let me go back in time:
    Adding Mike Johnson and Fernando Pisani up front, then Smith and Staios on D, is that enough?

    Never mind Moneypuck, I think management has forgotten some CheapPuck answers from previous ownership regimes. I am still hopeful however.

    Yes, and I agree. I think MacT’s Belov signing was an example of the kind of move that brought Staios and Hejda, we just don’t know if he’ll be as good.

  14. Ray Donovon Oiler says:

    Every time I listen to Brad May analyze a Oilers game , I get that same feeling in my gut I had during the torture sequence in “Zero Dark Thirty” . A little sickened, a little dazed and a lot confused. Hopefully Friedman will add some clarity to the current cast.

  15. Marc says:

    Ducey:
    It doesn’t make much sense to be trading away any prospects/ young players this season.

    We can look forward to the deadline deals of N Schultz, Hemsky, Smyth (if he consents), Jones (if anyone wants him) and maybe Gagner.If I am MacT I’d also deal Bryz and/ or DD.

    The difference from other years is that the assets coming back are more likely to be prospects rather than picks.

    A question:If Ekblad at 17/18 is on the junior team and Nurse at 18/19 isn’t, does that mean Ekblad is a better prospect than Nurse?If so, then the Oilers should not be trading that first rounder.

    Whilst projecting draft eligible D isn’t quite the crap shoot that projecting draft eligible goalies is, there is still an awful lot of voodoo involved. There is no way of knowing whether Ekblad will be the best D in his class, let alone whether he’ll be better than Klefbom or Nurse. The only thing we can say about Ekblad with any degree of certainty is that it will be 3 – 4 years (at least) before he’ll be an effective NHL D man.

    I think it would be the height of foolishness not to move the pick because there is a possibility that Ekblad might be available when the Oilers pick. It is probably the least bad way to get the top pairing D that we need, and need no later than the beginning of next season.

    Hall and RNH are already too good to be touchable, and they are still getting better. Eberle is currently 9th in RW scoring and if he’s not in the top 10 RW in the league, he’s certainly in the top 15, and he’s still getting better. If the Oilers are to be a playoff team next year, it would be insane to give him up. And doubly insane if the reason for doing so is that we don’t want to sacrifice our 1st round pick this year. Yakupov is not a good player now, but history tells us that he probably will be. 1st overall forwards almost always turn into something between a very good and a dominant first line player, though it often takes them a couple of year to get there. Schultz has played 79 NHL games so far and has scored at a .5 ppg pace in them. He’s not good defensively, but rookie D rarely are – it took Smid 3 seasons to learn how to play D effectively.

    It would be crazy to give up any of these players for anything less than the type of player that never gets traded. The pick on the other hand, may not turn into a high end player at all, and if it does, it won’t help the team compete any time soon. If we need to get better for next season, it should be the first thing on the offering block to get us there.

  16. oliveoilers says:

    Marc: Whilst projecting draft eligible D isn’t quite the crap shoot that projecting draft eligible goalies is, there is still an awful lot of voodoo involved. There is no way of knowing whether Ekblad will be the best D in his class, let alone whether he’ll be better than Klefbom or Nurse. The only thing we can say about Ekblad with any degree of certainty is that it will be 3 – 4 years (at least) before he’ll be an effective NHL D man.

    I think it would be the height of foolishness not to move the pick because there is a possibility that Ekblad might be available when the Oilers pick. It is probably the least bad way to get the top pairing D that we need, and need no later than the beginning of next season.

    Hall and RNH are already too good to be touchable, and they are still getting better. Eberle is currently 9th in RW scoring and if he’s not in the top 10 RW in the league, he’s certainly in the top 15, and he’s still getting better. If the Oilers are to be a playoff team next year, it would be insane to give him up.And doubly insane if the reason for doing so is that we don’t want to sacrifice our 1st round pick this year.Yakupov is not a good player now, but history tells us that he probably will be.1st overall forwards almost always turn into something between a very good and a dominant first line player, though it often takes them a couple of year to get there. Schultz has played 79 NHL games so far and has scored at a .5 ppg pace in them.He’s not good defensively, but rookie D rarely are – it took Smid 3 seasons to learn how to play D effectively.

    It would be crazy to give up any of these players for anything less than the type of player that never gets traded. The pick on the other hand, may not turn into a high end player at all, and if it does, it won’t help the team compete any time soon.If we need to get better for next season, it should be the first thing on the offering block to get us there.

    Hey Marc, happy xmas! You are correct in everything you say. Too correct. Unfortunately, thinking is that we have untradeable players, and that thinking is why we are in infini-build. Agree with your untouchables, but everyone else should be open minded to a new area code next season. And I would hazard the next two 1st rounders may be offered up….I’m not saying a fire sale for cents on the dollar, but we may have to give up a lot of what we have for a little of what we need.

  17. CopperBandit says:

    How about Mark Fraser who has been scratch a lot lately on the Leafs in the “Jason Smith” role? Big, Loves to hit and will block shots.

  18. Ducey says:

    Marc,

    I think it would be the height of foolishness not to move the pick because there is a possibility that Ekblad might be available when the Oilers pick. It is probably the least bad way to get the top pairing D that we need, and need no later than the beginning of next season.

    If the Oilers don’t want to wait they will have to pay a premium because no other GM wants to wait either. They trade their #1 and someone like Marincin for Brayden Cobourn just so people won’t throw jerseys on the ice and you know it is going to be a bad deal in 4 years.

    They should be able to improve the bottom six and add a decent goalie and defenseman without giving any of their key assets – including that pick. Free agency, Europe, NCAA free agents. I am happy if they repeat what they did last offseason.

  19. Ducey says:

    CopperBandit:
    How about Mark Fraser who has been scratch a lot lately on the Leafs in the “Jason Smith” role? Big, Loves to hit and will block shots.

    Fraser = Theo Peckham/ Mark Fistric?

  20. Woodguy says:

    I think you can get a serviceable 1LD without trading from the cluster. 1st this year + Marincin/Klef + LH roster D (if done in season) would be ok.

    I’m not for selling out of the cluster to get 1LD unless its one of the premier Dmen, but I highly doubt they are on the table.

    I do think though, that you trade out of the cluster for 2C.

    I also think that you trade Eberle, and its for 3 reasons:

    1) I think Hall & RNH are untouchable, so your options are Gagner, Eberle and Yak

    2) I think that Eberle brings the highest return. He’s been an NHL All Star and is in consideration for Team Canada.

    3) I think that Eberle’s production is easiest to replace if you put Gagner or Yak in the same position, ice time and team mates that Eberle has had.

    Remember that last year Gagner actually out-produced Eberle in a tougher role (C compared to RW) with lesser team mates than Eberle.

    12/13 Gagner 38pts in 48gms
    12/13 Eberle 37pts in 48 gms

    To think that Gagner can produce like Eberle does in an Eberle role is not a stretch at all.

    Here’s what I’m thinking broken down a different way:

    1) Eberle is worth 8 units in trade, Yak 6 units, Gagner 4 units

    2) If Gagner were slotted into Eberle’s ice time, line mates etc, I guess he’d produce at about 90% of Eberle’s level, maybe more, bringing him up to a 7.

    3) Since Eberle is worth 8 units, he can bring back 8 units for a 2 C. I would rate a Couturier at at 7, probably more if he played with Oilers forwards.

    So now these players are:

    Eberle (8) + Gagner (4) = 12
    Couturier (7) + Gagner in Eberle role (7) = 14

    Very simplistic way of looking at it, but the bottom line is that you trade Eberle because:

    1) His production is the most easily replaceable from within the roster
    2) He brings back the most in trade and its not close

    Of course you have to think about the non-hockey things like how Hall feels about it, but its professional hockey.

    No one plays with their best buddy their whole career and I think Hall would get that, especially if it fills the giant yawning hole at 2C

  21. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: Fraser = Theo Peckham/ Mark Fistric?

    He’s not as good as Fistric, better than Peckham.

  22. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    They trade their #1 and someone like Marincin for Brayden Cobourn

    There is no way MacT makes a trade that horrible.

    Those pieces for Campbell or Ehrhoff yes.

    Coburn is not in their class.

  23. CopperBandit says:

    Ducey: Fraser = Theo Peckham/ Mark Fistric?

    153 hits, 102BS and +18 in 45 games last season. He is at least 1 tier above those guys.

  24. Woodguy says:

    CopperBandit: 153 hits, 102BS and +18in 45 games last season. He is at least 1 tier above those guys.

    I read a lot on the Leafs every week.

    Fraser is a 6/7 Dman at best.

  25. Logan91 says:

    Lowetide:
    slepyshev with 2 goals and +3 today against Norway, Yakimov’s goal changed to an assist and he was +2.

    Slepyshev was a stud!

    I especially liked during the Canada game when 16 year old McDavid picked Draisaitl pocket like nothing then went for the wrap around and had Petan pick up his garbage. Leon did not look good at all.

  26. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy,

    I agree with point #2 on Eberle but WHOA on #3.

    On what planet is Gagner going to magically replace the offense of Jordan Eberle?
    Love yer posts man but that is folly.

    Man people massively underrate Eberle in Oilerland.

  27. Derek says:

    Braydon Coburn is a second pairing defenceman who looks like a 1st pairing when hes got Kimmo Timmonen playing with him, it’s kind of like Oiler fans have latched onto the fact that he was available in the offseason and are just kind of stuck on him. If you’re giving away a 1st round pick for Coburn it better be in the 20-30 range, not the 1-10 range.

    I agree Draisaitl looked poor today, but its easy to stick out on a poor team against team Canada when you’re talked about as a top 5 pick and you’re 7’10. Man is his skating ever ugly.

  28. oliveoilers says:

    Ducey:
    Marc,

    I think it would be the height of foolishness not to move the pick because there is a possibility that Ekblad might be available when the Oilers pick. It is probably the least bad way to get the top pairing D that we need, and need no later than the beginning of next season.

    If the Oilers don’t want to wait they will have to pay a premium because no other GM wants to wait either.They trade their #1 and someone like Marincin for Brayden Cobourn just so people won’t throw jerseys on the ice and you know it is going to be a bad deal in 4 years.

    They should be able to improve the bottom six and add a decent goalie and defenseman without giving any of their key assets – including that pick.Free agency, Europe, NCAA free agents.I am happy if they repeat what they did last offseason.

    Other GMs don’t sit by their phone waiting to be fleeced. They have basically done what you are suggesting for x amount of off-seasons now. I would be furious if they repeat what they did last off-season. Add a small 4-5-6 defenceman, a big 5-6 dman with no NHL experience, a smallish skilled forward that we already have times a million, a little centreman that could. When our shopping list looks like; a big nasty 1-2 dman, a big nasty skilled two way 2C, a big nasty top 9 power winger and we want them at cost. What last off-season was, was a damn good start. Not the model for success going forwards. Unfortunately, we want what everyone else wants. The moon on a stick. Over to you, MacT…

  29. fifthcartel says:

    I agree Gagner could probably match a little less or roughly Eberle’s production, and additionally help hide his defensive mistakes by moving him to the wing. Although, I think they’re determined to have some ‘big’ winger in the top 6. Playing Perron on RW could be auditioning him for the RW slot if they decide to move Hemsky/Eberle/Yakupov and have a bigger LW.

    I don’t really agree that there the top 6 has to have a bigger winger but I’m betting that’s what they want to add.

  30. CopperBandit says:

    Woodguy,

    Yet he was good enough to spend a lot of time on the Leafs 2nd pairing & even quiet a bit on 1st pairing too(Partnered with Dion) for the 2012-2013 season.

    Leafs D is not the greatest but it’s at least twice as strong as ours is.

  31. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar,

    On what planet is Gagner going to magically replace the offense of Jordan Eberle?
    Love yer posts man but that is folly.

    Explain to me he couldn’t

    I took a good poke at why he could in the post, but you haven’t argued any of my points, you just said “no”

    Explain why you think this way.

  32. Pouzar says:

    fifthcartel:
    I agree Gagner could probably match a little less or roughly Eberle’s production,

    OMG what are people basing this on? Somebody help me.

  33. Woodguy says:

    Derek:
    Braydon Coburn is a second pairing defenceman who looks like a 1st pairing when hes got Kimmo Timmonen playing with him, it’s kind of like Oiler fans have latched onto the fact that he was available in the offseason and are just kind of stuck on him.If you’re giving away a 1st round pick for Coburn it better be in the 20-30 range, not the 1-10 range.

    I agree Draisaitl looked poor today, but its easy to stick out on a poor team against team Canada when you’re talked about as a top 5 pick and you’re 7’10.Man is his skating ever ugly.

    Agreed.

    I wrote this in a thread the other day:

    I don’t like Coburn that much
    .
    The only time he’s done well vs. 1st comp is with Timonen.

    Ask Eric Thulsty about him.

    I think bringing in Coburn to be 1LD is placing above his established NHL level.

    Who know, maybe he’d play well with Petry too, but Timonen is the bus driver on that pairing.

    Coburn 3388min from 2010-2013
    1724min with Timonen 51.2%CF
    1663min without TImonen 47.6% CF

    Timonen with Coburn 51.2% CF
    Timonen without Coburn 53% CF

    Also realize that some of those minutes away from Timonen are not against 1st pairing opp too.
    Not a bad hockey player, but not the one I want for 1LD.

    I lust after Couturier though.

  34. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: OMG what are people basing this on? Somebody help me.

    Did you read my post?

    Gagner actually outproduced Eberle last year in a tough spot (C opposed to RW) and with lesser team mates.

    Explain your side instead of just exclaiming NO! please.

  35. Logan91 says:

    Pouzar:
    Woodguy,

    Man people massively underrate Eberle in Oilerland.

    Right? Led the team in points his first 2 seasons and has been in the top 3 ever since.

    But heck! What do you need someone like that for!?

  36. art vandelay says:

    In practice though, teams are very hesitant to trade their most talented players for a package of less talented players that will on paper make their team more balanced.

    Boston: Joe Thornton. Phil Kessel. Tyler Seguin.

  37. Lowetide says:

    art vandelay:
    In practice though, teams are very hesitant to trade their most talented players for a package of less talented players that will on paper make their team more balanced.

    Boston: Joe Thornton. Phil Kessel. Tyler Seguin.

    Agreed. The Oilers have needed a three for one to add blue since Pronger left Dodge city. They certainly have the bullets to do it.

  38. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    Pouzar,

    On what planet is Gagner going to magically replace the offense of Jordan Eberle?
    Love yer posts man but that is folly.

    Explain to me he couldn’t

    I took a good poke at why he could in the post, but you haven’t argued any of my points, you just said “no”

    Explain why you think this way.

    Not picking for a fight here Woodguy cause I repsect your posts. But your point isn’t backed up by anything either. When comparing the career PPGs of these 2 players the onus is on you explain how Gagner replaces anything Eberle does offensively.

    I am puzzled by the greater narrative that we can suddenly trade any of the big 4 because we have some perceived strength at forward or RW. It’s quite possible and very likely that 2 of Hemsky, Gagner, and Yak could be gone next year.

  39. Pouzar says:

    Logan91: Right? Led the team in points his first 2 seasons and has been in the top 3 ever since.

    But heck! What do you need someone like that for!?

    Not sure if you agree with me or not but Eberle is massively underrated IMO. When guys like Parkatti say he has the best hands in Oilerland since Gretzky I tend to listen.

  40. Woodguy says:

    CopperBandit:
    Woodguy,

    Yet he was good enough to spend a lot of time on the Leafs 2nd pairing & even quiet a bit on 1st pairing too(Partnered with Dion) for the 2012-2013 season.

    Leafs D is not the greatest but it’s at least twice as strong as ours is.

    No, he didn’t spend a lot of time on anything outside the 3rd pairing.

    Here is Fraser’s 5v5 TOI last year with his D partners: (total 660min)

    FRANSON, CODY 513min
    PHANEUF, DION 35min
    GUNNARSSON, CARL 32min
    LILES, JOHN-MICHAEL 30min
    KOSTKA, MICHAEL 21min
    HOLZER, KORBINIAN 17min
    GARDINER, JAKE 11min
    O_BYRNE, RYAN 4min

    He spent 78% of his time on the 3rd pairing with Franson.

    In the 35 minutes he spent with Phaneuf, their CF% together was an unreal abysmal 29%.

    Source: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1217&withagainst=true&season=2012-13&sit=5v5

    Everything fell right for Fraser last year in terms of +/- etc.

    He is, at best a NHL 6/7

  41. Logan91 says:

    Pouzar,

    I definitely agree with you, I would never trade Eberle. I wouldn’t touch any of Hall, Eberle and Nuge. Anyone else is free game

  42. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy,

    Err, WG, I don’t mean to interrupt, but you are always warning us about the evils of small sample sizes and once in a lifetime narratives. Erm, when MacT went shopping it was Eberle teams asked for, not the 7 yr vet that ‘actually out-produced Eberle’. Why do you think that this is? I can’t explain it, perhaps the GMs of Philly etc. can, but Gags is not Eberle in this life or the next. Humbly yours, sir. And I’ve always wanted to ask, but is your avatar British motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson?

  43. Pouzar says:

    Logan91:
    Pouzar,

    I definitely agree with you, I would never trade Eberle. I wouldn’t touch any of Hall, Eberle and Nuge. Anyone else is free game

    That’s my list too

  44. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: Not picking for a fight here Woodguy cause I repsect your posts. But your point isn’t backed up by anything either. When comparing the career PPGs of these 2 players the onus is on you explain how Gagner replaces anything Eberle does offensively.

    I’m not looking to “fight”

    I often learn the most when someone proves me wrong.

    I’m just looking for you to prove me wrong rather than just say it without any back up.

  45. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers:
    Woodguy,

    Err, WG, I don’t mean to interrupt, but you are always warning us about the evils of small sample sizes and once in a lifetime narratives. Erm, when MacT went shopping it was Eberle teams asked for, not the 7 yr vet that ‘actually out-produced Eberle’.Why do you think that this is?I can’t explain it, perhaps the GMs of Philly etc. can, but Gags is not Eberle in this life or the next.Humbly yours, sir.And I’ve always wanted to ask, but is your avatar British motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson?

    I think Eberle is better than Gagner and that he’d bring back waaay more in return.

    I also think that put in a similar spot, Gagner could produce about 90% of what Eberle does.

    My avatar is an ink sketch by a friend of mine titled: “Old Russian”

    Not sure who she modeled it after, if anyone.

    The original hangs in my home office.

  46. gcw_rocks says:

    Woodguy,

    Let me take a shot. You have limited your sample size to just one season. Gagner’s contract year where he was bleeding chances (cheating for offence?) like crazy. When you look at Gagner’s broader body of work he drops in closer to 50-55 points, say, 70-75 percent of Eberle’s offence.

    One could also argue centres tend to be more involved in the offence than wingers and therefore have more opportunity to put up points. Right now six of the top ten scorers are centres despite centres being out numbered 2 to 1 in terms of the pool of players. It has, I think, always been that way. Centres get more touches, and hence more points. How do we know Gagner retains his offence if moved to the wing, even with better players? We don’t. Not for sure.

  47. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: I’m not looking to “fight”

    I often learn the most when someone proves me wrong.

    I’m just looking for you to prove me wrong rather than just say it without any back up.

    I have no desire to prove anything. I am just trying to get you to back up your idea that Sam Gagner replaces what Jordan Eberle does offensively b/c like I said…career PPG doesn’t agree with you.

    I am serious. Why do you think this? Not trying to be argumentative at all here.

  48. WeirsBeard says:

    Woodguy:
    Ducey,

    They trade their #1 and someone like Marincin for Brayden Cobourn

    There is no way MacT makes a trade that horrible.

    Those pieces for Campbell or Ehrhoff yes.

    Coburn is not in their class.

    Agreed. I feel like folks hear “#1 D” and think all star or hall of famer. How many 30min/night players are out there? I’d prefer Campbell, as I think he can really wheel, but many capable and priced right options are definitely out there.

  49. gcw_rocks says:

    You trade Eberle for Subban. You trade Gagner for Ehrhoff. There should be no untouchables, but the return matters.

  50. Logan91 says:

    Woodguy: I think Eberle is better than Gagner and that he’d bring back waaay more in return.

    I also think that put in a similar spot, Gagner could produce about 90% of what Eberle does.

    My avatar is an ink sketch by a friend of mine titled: “Old Russian”

    Not sure who she modeled it after, if anyone.

    The original hangs in my home office.

    Your main reason for thinking Gagner can produce almost as much as Eberle is based upon a 48 game shortened season.

    During the end of that shortened season, Gagner went very cold.

    Where as Eberle only got better.

    Edit: Everyone forgets that Renney played Gagner on the wing and he was not that great.

  51. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy,

    Cool piece of folk art! I’m certain that it is POSSIBLE that Gags could produce that, but Ebs has been consistently out scoring him, with the exception of last season. However, I have to ask, was this Gags over-producing? Ebs under-producing? And don’t the fancy stats like Ebs a lot more? I know the disparity between positions, but Gags is as unproven on the wing as Hall was at C. Could be that the bad habits carry over.

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m curious LT… The last few times you’ve discussed trades you’ve studiously avoided mentioning the 1st rounder. Are you becoming convinced that MacT will keep it?

    ————
    Draisaitl

    He didn’t have a great game. But I don’t think he was as bad as some are making out. This is a tough competition to dominate as a 17 year old, esp. when you are playing with pylons and facing top competition against the premier team.

    A couple of things I’ve noticed:

    1. He’s slower than I expected.* Button’s report from BM’s list says: “Skating is good with much room to improve.”

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=31165

    After a one game sample, I’m guessing this is more an evaluation of how he moves than his speed. He doesn’t possess great straight-away speed, but never seemed to be out of position and he moves good for a big fella.

    *One thing might be that playing on such a bad team, a team that gets stuck in its own end forever, means long shifts. He probably has better legs when deployed more evenly. Also, big men just always look slow — see, Penner.

    2. He’s better defensively than I expected. He got burned a couple of times. Once or twice by players twisting around him with speed and once on a brutal behind the net give away (ironically after making a great backchecking take-away).

    But, he never once — even when down by miles — blew the zone or cheated for offence.* He played “under the puck” as they say, and in his own zone kept moving and had his head on a swivel looking for men to track.

    He looks like a competent 2-way C at this level.

    *the one time I saw him alone in the O-Zone was at the end of a long shift where he got caught up ice and was about to make a change before a turn-over led to a pass and a chance for him and he scooted past Ekblad.

    3. His make/take a pass was off for stretches of the game. Small sample size and all, but I expected softer hands.

    4. He was ok in the dot, not great.

    5. Someone (Ferraro IIRC) offered Kopitar as a comparable before the game. Watching him move through the zones fluidly brought that comparable to life somewhat. That’s a very interesting high water mark for him.

    6. Reinhart, on this day, with these teammates, looked miles ahead.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Lowetide,

    I’m curious LT… The last few times you’ve discussed trades you’ve studiously avoided mentioning the 1st rounder. Are you becoming convinced that MacT will keep it?

    I think he trades the pick. However, it’s also possible the club sees Ekblad as a saviour (after all, Nurse almost made the damn hockey team) and that becomes their target. I don’t think the Oilers have the same amount of concern over youth on blue that we do, certainly it’s never stopped them (Smid, etc).

  54. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ducey,

    I’ve got to disagree with you Ducey. I’ve respected your posts for years while you preached patience, but the time for action is now. The Oilers are not going to draft their way to the Stanley cup, nor can they just wait for the prospects on D to develop into NHL players.

    The only way I see them acquiring a Defenseman capable of playing top pairing minutes is to trade for one. We can disagree about the value of asset X for player Y, but the end result has to come via trade.

    Mac T cannot afford to get to the 2nd week of July when the UFA merry go round stops, and all we’ve got to show for it is Ron Hainsey or Willie Mitchell or another unknown(Anton Belov)

  55. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide: I think he trades the pick. However, it’s also possible the club sees Ekblad as a saviour (after all, Nurse almost made the damn hockey team) and that becomes their target. I don’t think the Oilers have the same amount of concern over youth on blue that we do, certainly it’s never stopped them (Smid, etc).

    I think it depends on where the pick is. If it’s top 3 I think they keep it(or ask for a kings ransom).

    If the pick is 5-10 I think they trade it for an NHL player.

    And I would be fine with either of those results.

  56. oliveoilers says:

    Lowetide: I think he trades the pick. However, it’s also possible the club sees Ekblad as a saviour (after all, Nurse almost made the damn hockey team) and that becomes their target. I don’t think the Oilers have the same amount of concern over youth on blue that we do, certainly it’s never stopped them (Smid, etc).

    I think he TRIES to trade the pick, but there’s some schysters out there (cough, cough Gillis, cough) who’ll try and take advantage. Hope MacT can identify a team willing to do an honest trade, not move the goal posts. Do you think St Louis wants hosing a third time?

  57. Pouzar says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    Ducey,

    The Oilers are not going to draft their way to the Stanley cup, nor can they just wait for the prospects on D to develop into NHL players.

    Unfortunately, all the elite d-men we want so badly were drafted/developed by their teams. I can only think of Chara being acquired recently via free agency and Phaneuf (not elite but a first pairing D) being acquired via trade. These deals just don’t happen much. It’s Nurse and a lot of prayer or d-men by committee a la the ’06 Hurricanes.

  58. Logan91 says:

    Gerta Rauss: I think it depends on where the pick is. If it’s top 3 I think they keep it(or ask for a kings ransom).

    If the pick is 5-10 I think they trade it for an NHL player.

    And I would be fine with either of those results.

    Ekblad and Nurse as a pairing would be pretty damn awesome.

    If they cant get either Reinhart or Ekblad that first round pick will be traded for sure.

  59. slopitch says:

    I think the window is closing on moving that first rounder next year. We are so far behind the pack that the pick needs to be moved rfn or not at all. I can still see this team pushing for 20-22nd overall (especially with a top pairing D) but you cant move Erhoff for Ekblad or Reinhart. That is a long term killer. Obviously if the return is elite like a Weber or Subban then you still entertain the idea but that 6 game losing streak changed the game a bit imo.

    MacT should focus on the 3 for 1 or salary dumps. Keep adding useful players with an eye on tomorrow.

  60. Woodguy says:

    Ok, here’s my Gagner vs Eberle thing.

    Let’s look at the last 3 years of 5v5 production, 10/11, 11/12, 12/13

    5v5 Production

    Eberle 108 5v5 pts in 195games 0.554pts/gm

    Most common line mates (F)
    Hall (1506min)
    RNH (1133min)
    Gagner (669min)
    Horcoff (425min)

    Gagner 80 5v5pts in 191 games 0.419pts/gm

    Most common line mates (F)
    Hemsky (1014min)
    Paajarvi (839min)
    Hall (700min)
    Eberle (669min)

    So as it stands, Gagner has 75% of Eberle’s 5v5 production over the last 3 seasons. Now lets look at the effect of the linemates.

    Goals For/20 WOWY with their two most common line mates

    Eberle
    With Hall 1.029
    Without Hall .871
    With RNH 0.970
    Without RNH .941

    Gagner
    With Hemsky .690
    Without Hemsky .994
    With Paajarvi .882
    Without Paajarvi .875

    And just to bring it all home:
    Gagner with Hall .943
    Gagner without Hall .854

    So it’s clear that Eberle’s most common line mate really help him drive the offence that he produces (and he helps them, he’s a very good player), while with Gagner Hemsky has the opposite effect and there is little difference caused by Paajarvi.

    Gagner producted 75% of Eberle’s 5v5 offence in the last 3 years while:

    1) Pplaying a more demanding position (center) and with his two most common line mates being Hemsky and Paajarvi, while Eberle had Hall and RNH.

    2) We also see that Gagner’s production goes up almost 10% for when he has Hall on his wing compared to without.

    To sum up:

    With better most common line mates and in a position that demands much less defence, I think Gagner could product about 90% of Eberle’s production.

    1) Eberle is a better player.
    2) Eberle’s value would bring back a much better 2C than Gagner.
    3) The improvement from a 2C like Couturier from Gagner would be much more significant than the loss of 1RW from Eberle to Gagner.

  61. sliderule says:

    Mact has to find two defenceman that can play and are strong enough to break up the cycle of the big western conference teams.I have no ideas who fit that bill who he can get Do you?
    Then Mact has to find a tough winger who will push back at guys like Backes who are intimidating players like Eberle.I thought Yakupov would be traded but after his stick swinging and melee I don’t know how the oilers can punt him.They have too many guys who take it rather than give it out so trading him would be a step backward.
    Finally Mact has to pry one of the young goalies out of Blues or Ducke

  62. Gerta Rauss says:

    Pouzar: Unfortunately, all the elite d-men we want so badly were drafted/developed by their teams. I can only think of Chara being acquired recently via free agency and Phaneuf (not elite but a first pairing D) being acquired via trade. These deals just don’t happen much. It’s Nurse and a lot of prayer or d-men by committee a la the ’06 Hurricanes.

    Weirsbeard touched on this earlier in the thread-I don’t think we’re ever going to trade for an elite D…the Doughty’s, the Weber’s, the Subban’s, the Chara’s…these guys just aren’t traded. I’m looking to trade for a Giordana, an Ehrhoff, a Campbell-a guy that can play first pairing minutes that is clearly an upgrade on anybody we have on our roster right now.

    We have to hope that “our Doughty” “our Subban” “our Seabrook” comes via Nurse, Klefbom, Marnincin, Gernat.

  63. Woodguy says:

    Logan91: Your main reason for thinking Gagner can produce almost as much as Eberle is based upon a 48 game shortened season.

    During the end of that shortened season, Gagner went very cold.

    Where as Eberle only got better.

    Edit: Everyone forgets that Renney played Gagner on the wing and he was not that great.

    See my follow up post

  64. Woodguy says:

    gcw_rocks:
    Woodguy,

    Let me take a shot. You have limited your sample size to just one season. Gagner’s contract year where he was bleeding chances (cheating for offence?) like crazy. When you look at Gagner’s broader body of work he drops in closer to 50-55 points, say, 70-75 percent of Eberle’s offence.

    One could also argue centres tend to be more involved in the offence than wingers and therefore have more opportunity to put up points.Right now six of the top ten scorers are centres despite centres being out numbered 2 to 1 in terms of the pool of players. It has, I think, always been that way. Centres get more touches, and hence more points. How do we know Gagner retains his offence if moved to the wing, even with better players?We don’t.Not for sure.

    Look at my follow up post.

  65. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: I have no desire to prove anything. I am just trying to get you to back up your idea that Sam Gagner replaces what Jordan Eberle does offensively b/c like I said…career PPG doesn’t agree with you.

    I am serious. Why do you think this? Not trying to be argumentative at all here.

    See my follow up post.

  66. Gerta Rauss says:

    Logan91: Ekblad and Nurse as a pairing would be pretty damn awesome.

    If they cant get either Reinhart or Ekblad that first round pick will be traded for sure.

    Hall will be an old man by the time Ekblad or Nurse are playing top pairing on the Oilers.

    Hall can drop the puck at the cermonial face off when we hang his jersey in the rafters..

  67. Lowetide says:

    I’m surprised by people’s reaction to WG’s Eberle/Gagner points. It’s kind of why dealing Eberle makes sense—his skills are duplicated on the roster by a player of similar age. I still don’t think it happens, but Gagner does some things well and they dovetail with ebere’s abilities quite closely.

  68. Ryan says:

    I hate to mention this around these parts, but I was listening to the best of Oilers now earlier this week (Tuesday at lunch IIRC).

    Funniest thing ever.

    They played an interview with Mact at the end of his tenure as the coach of the Oilers (2009).

    If you didn’t already know better, you’d think it was from this season.

    He was rambling on about this team having skill that won’t go to the tough areas that you need to in order to score goals… not having the size to control the puck down low.

    5 seasons later and we still have the same problems… only because Oilers.

  69. Gerta Rauss says:

    slopitch:
    I think the window is closing on moving that first rounder next year.We are so far behind the pack that the pick needs to be moved rfn or not at all.I can still see this team pushing for 20-22nd overall (especially with a top pairing D) but you cant move Erhoff for Ekblad or Reinhart.That is a long term killer.Obviously if the return is elite like a Weber or Subban then you still entertain the idea but that 6 game losing streak changed the game a bit imo.

    MacT should focus on the 3 for 1 or salary dumps.Keep adding useful players with an eye on tomorrow.

    That window closed for me a couple of weeks ago. I was all for trading the pick in the first 15-20 games but that was predicated on having 60 games to right the ship, and push that pick into the 7-10 range(or worse)

    Mac T needs to decide early in the new year who is staying ie:Hemsky, Dubnyk, Smyth etc and offer them contracts, and then it is sell, sell, sell and re-group at the draft.

  70. Gerta Rauss says:

    For me the Eberle/Gagner thing isn’t about how much offense Gagner can replace if we move Eberle, it’s about deciding if your depth at RW is sufficient to move one of the pieces.

    I think a RW group of Hemsky, Yak and Gagner is fine, with the caveat that 2 more moves follow-replacing the 2C position and the 1LD position.

    Moving Eberle can get you one of those pieces for sure.

  71. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    Obviously Eberle gets you the best return, that’s not up for debate.

    I’d keep Eberle though… Eberle’s a legit 1 RW which makes him unique vs. Yakupov and Gagner.

    I’d deal Gagner before his NTC kicks in. Addition by subtraction. For everyone who’s hyping Gagner on the wing, I’ve seen him pretty bad on the wing in the past myself. He’s certainly not 1 RW material. Gagner looks even slower on the wing that at centre. (IIRC Gagner played a ton of RW at the start of the 2010 season which was an epic fail).

    I’d deal Yakupov while he still has the cache of being a #1 overall. I suspect the return will disappoint most of us. I like Yakupov, I just don’t think his value is going to appreciate to anymore than it currently is. He’s lost defensively, lacks Hall’s speed, isn’t very shifty with the puck, but has an elite shot and is a decent passer.

    If he was on any other team and had a different passport, would he even be playing in the NHL this season? We all know the answer to that… :)

  72. OilClog says:

    I’m sorry but moving Gagner into Eberle’s spot and expecting him to match production is ludacris.

    Last season didn’t Ebs play half of it with broken fingers or something? What’s Gags highest goals in a season?

    If I’m trading Ebs it’s because I’ve resigned Hemsky for the position, splitting top 6 duties with Yakupov. Both better choices for Ebs replacement.

    Ebs equals 8 units

    Gags plus Klef or Maricin or whatever package you’d like would also equal 8 units. With possible more upside if either turn into a 4 or 6 unit player this making the package more “wanted” in a trade and having more value.

    Gags, Maricin, 2014 1st. = 10units?

    Weber = 10?

    Subban = 10?

    McDonagh?

    Make the trade keep Ebs

  73. Pouzar says:

    Ryan,

    Agreed. He’s the only legit scoring RW we have. We have a legit #1 line and that will only get better and that’s scary. We have no frickin clue what Yak will end up being and I am more pessimistic than most here on his upside. And Hemsky is at least 60-40 gone this year or next.

  74. Lowetide says:

    What are these units you speak of?

  75. Woodguy says:

    We also need to remember that Eberle’s numbers in my post above include his unreal SH% year.

    So we can just look at straight Corsi For to get a better feel for who is doing what independent of SH%

    Reminder: Ebele’s SH% in 11/12 was 18.9%.

    His SH% over the years:

    10/11 11.4%
    11/12 18.9%
    12/13 12.0%
    13/14 11.3%

    I certainly looks so far that 11/12 SH% of 18.9% is an outlier and not his true ability

    So, here’s the Corsi For WOWY’s (per 20min 5v5 TOI) for the same players over the same 3 seasons:

    Eberle
    With Hall 19.98
    WIthout Hall 16.46

    WIth RNH 19.27
    WIthout RNH 17.60

    Gagner
    With Hemsky 16.45
    WIthout Hemsky 17.53

    WIth Paajarvi 15.75
    WIthout Paajarvi 17.75

    Gagner with Hall 19.62
    Gagner without Hall 16.22

    What this show (besides the fact that Hall is the motor that makes the Oilers run) is that Gagner’s offence was dragged down by him most common linemates, while Eberle’s was brought up by his.

    Its interesting that Gagner’s CF/20 without Hall is almost identical to Eberle’s.

    I think this is more evidence that Gagner could effectively replace Eberle as 1RW without a massive drop off in production.

    I think guessing a 90% replacement in production is actually pretty even minded given the WOWYs and who is actually driving the bus.

  76. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide:
    What are these units you speak of?

    They are quatloos man, get with the program..:)

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

  77. boxman says:

    LT I believe OIlclog meant eunuchs. For the life of me though I don’t know why anyone would want 10.

  78. Woodguy says:

    OilClog,

    I’m sorry but moving Gagner into Eberle’s spot and expecting him to match production is ludacris.

    So is your spelling of ludicrous.

  79. Lowetide says:

    boxman:
    LT I believe OIlclog meant eunuchs.For the life of me though I don’t know why anyone would want 10.

    Oh, well that makes sense. Quinn loved those guys.

  80. Marc says:

    Woodguy:

    1) Eberle is a better player.
    2) Eberle’s value would bring back a much better 2C than Gagner.
    3) The improvement from a 2C like Couturier from Gagner would be much more significant than the loss of 1RW from Eberle to Gagner.

    Nice analysis. Can’t fault the conclusions, but I would also factor in the following (admittedly less quantitative) factors as well:
    - Eberle is already at age 23 one of the 10 or 15 best players at his position in the league. When you’re fortunate enough to draft such a player you don’t trade them, you build around them.
    - Yakupov is not a good NHL hockey player yet. Even if he projects to be better in the long run, if we’re making the trade to try and win now it seems counter productive to trade a very good, actual NHL player and slide someone who is neither right now into the top 6. It’s putting him in a position to fail.
    - Gagner was terrible when he previously played on the wing. It might be that the skills of Hall and RNH can make him adequate, or even good. But if they can’t, where does Gagner play? RNH, Couturier and Gordon would have the first three centre spots locked up, so you’d either have a $5M per year fourth line centre, or you dump Gagner for pennies on the dollar in a trade. And you have a big hole at RW.

    One further point that doesn’t factor into my thinking, but probably does factor into the thinking of the man signing the cheques – Eberle is probably the most popular player on the team for the fan base. There’s a reason he’s in the ATB and Coke Zero commercials rather than Hall or RNH – the focus groups have no doubt told the admen that he’s the guy that the fans love the most. Owners don’t like trading guys like that.

  81. Woodguy says:

    Ryan,

    For everyone who’s hyping Gagner on the wing, I’ve seen him pretty bad on the wing in the past myself. He’s certainly not 1 RW material

    In order to declare if Gagner would be a failure at 1RW, I’d first want to see him with the 1C.

    Gagner’s TOI 5v5 with RNH

    This year: 5:34
    Last year: 7:27

    So in Gagner’s last 986min of 5v5 TOI, he played with RNH for a total of 13:01 and you are able to come to a conclusion on him?

    That’s a whole 1.3% of TOI in the last two seasons.

    Also,

    In my previous posts I’ve already showed that he basically plays as well as Eberle does with Hall.

    Imagine that,except Gagner with 1/3rd of the D responsibility at RW and RNH in the middle.

    I may have undershot it with my guess that he replaces 90% of Eberle’s production.

  82. wheatnoil says:

    My Humble Opinion: Trade Gagner if you can take advantage of a team who is desperate for a centre and can get inflated value. Otherwise, trade Eberle for WG’s 2C or as part of a deal for someone like Erhoff (if it spares the 1st rounder this year), sign Hemsky to a 3 year deal and draft Reinhart. Then: BAM! Stanley Cup! ;)

  83. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    Ryan,

    For everyone who’s hyping Gagner on the wing, I’ve seen him pretty bad on the wing in the past myself. He’s certainly not 1 RW material

    In order to declare if Gagner would be a failure at 1RW, I’d first want to see him with the 1C.

    Gagner’s TOI 5v5 with RNH

    This year: 5:34
    Last year: 7:27

    So in Gagner’s last 986min of 5v5 TOI, he played with RNH for a total of 13:01 and you are able to come to a conclusion on him?

    That’s a whole 1.3% of TOI in the last two seasons.

    Also,

    In my previous posts I’ve already showed that he basically plays as well as Eberle does with Hall.

    Imagine that,except Gagner with 1/3rd of the D responsibility at RW and RNH in the middle.

    I may have undershot it with my guess that he replaces 90% of Eberle’s production.

    WG…what’s Hall’s numbers With/Without Eberle?

    Nice analysis btw. Thx for that.

  84. Woodguy says:

    OilClog,

    Last season didn’t Ebs play half of it with broken fingers or something? What’s Gags highest goals in a season?

    He actually scored more after the injury than before.

    If I’m trading Ebs it’s because I’ve resigned Hemsky for the position, splitting top 6 duties with Yakupov. Both better choices for Ebs replacement.

    Agreed that if you are trading Ebs then Hemsky must be re-signed.

    I think we can all agree that Gagner doesn’t have the all around game needed to be an effective 2C.

    I think his offensive production is very similar to Eberle’s when Eberle isn’t with Hall so replacing Eberle with Gagner that much of a stretch.

  85. oliveoilers says:

    Woodguy:
    Ryan,

    For everyone who’s hyping Gagner on the wing, I’ve seen him pretty bad on the wing in the past myself. He’s certainly not 1 RW material

    In order to declare if Gagner would be a failure at 1RW, I’d first want to see him with the 1C.

    Gagner’s TOI 5v5 with RNH

    This year: 5:34
    Last year: 7:27

    So in Gagner’s last 986min of 5v5 TOI, he played with RNH for a total of 13:01 and you are able to come to a conclusion on him?

    That’s a whole 1.3% of TOI in the last two seasons.

    Also,

    In my previous posts I’ve already showed that he basically plays as well as Eberle does with Hall.

    Imagine that,except Gagner with 1/3rd of the D responsibility at RW and RNH in the middle.

    I may have undershot it with my guess that he replaces 90% of Eberle’s production.

    I suspect that you trying to blind us with science. It would be asinine to assume that the 29 other teams in the NHL have not also ran these figures. Our hobby is their business. Except, as per my previous post, the other potential trade partners did not ask for Gags. They asked for Ebs. And these are guys that really do ‘run the numbers’. I do not for one minute believe that Ebs would be dangled before Gags, gentleman’s agreement or no. But I do wholeheartedly agree that we may have to give up Ebs for what we need right now as he has the higher trade value.

    On a lighter note, did Oilclog mean that the world renowned thespian and urban poet Ludacris was expecting Gags to match Ebs? Bob MacKenzie, watch out! Lol, only kidding Oilclog! It just wasn’t proper England that I was teached when I was a children ;-)

  86. justDOit says:

    Woodguy,

    About the only thing I would be concerned with if Ebs was traded, would be his close friend Hall’s opinion on the trade.

  87. wheatnoil says:

    justDOit:
    Woodguy,

    About the only thing I would be concerned with if Ebs was traded, would be his close friend Hall’s opinion on the trade.

    I don’t know Hall personally, but I suspect if the team starts winning, he’ll be fine with it. Friends are friends, business is business.

  88. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: WG…what’s Hall’s numbers With/Without Eberle?

    Nice analysis btw. Thx for that.

    Same time period for Hall.

    Goals For per 20min 5v5 TOI

    Hall = .911 GF/20

    With Eberle 1.029
    Without Eberle .753

    With RNH .959
    Without RNH ..890

    With Gagner .943
    WIthout Gagner .899

    With Hemsky .731
    Without Hemsky .976

    Also for some interesting small sample stuff:

    Hall with Yak 1.847
    Hall without Yak .890

    Its only 54min of 5v5 TOI together, but Lordy.

    Hall numbers are dragged down pretty significantly by Hemsky.

    Boy Hemsky is just a drag on lots of players’ GF/20 isn’t he? I like Hemsky as 3RW going forward, great game without the puck.

    Its interesting that Hall’s WOWY with RNH and Gagner are almost identical.

    Also,

    Corsi For/20

    Hall total 19.34

    With Eberle 19.98
    Without Eberle 18.48

    With RNH 20.66
    Without RNH .18.74

    With Gagner 19.62
    WIthout Gagner 19.23

    With Hemsky 19.00
    Without Hemsky 19.46

    WIth Yak (54min) 14.40
    WIthout Yak (54min) 19.45

    The ONSH% when Hall and Yak are on the ice must be 25% or something. Lordy.

  89. Gerta Rauss says:

    wheatnoil: I don’t know Hall personally, but I suspect if the team starts winning, he’ll be fine with it. Friends are friends, business is business.

    And further to Marc’s last point in his (exellent as usual) post: If the team starts winning, the fanbase will forgive MacT for trading Eberle.

  90. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: Same time period for Hall.

    Goals For per 20min 5v5 TOI

    Hall = .911 GF/20

    With Eberle 1.029
    Without Eberle .753

    With RNH.959
    Without RNH ..890

    With Gagner .943
    WIthout Gagner .899

    With Hemsky .731
    Without Hemsky .976

    Also for some interesting small sample stuff:

    Hall with Yak 1.847
    Hall without Yak .890

    Its only 54min of 5v5 TOI together, but Lordy.

    Hall numbers are dragged down pretty significantly by Hemsky.

    Boy Hemsky is just a drag on lots of players’ GF/20 isn’t he?I like Hemsky as 3RW going forward, great game without the puck.

    Its interesting that Hall’s WOWY with RNH and Gagner are almost identical.

    Also,

    Corsi For/20

    Hall total 19.34

    With Eberle 19.98
    Without Eberle 18.48

    With RNH20.66
    Without RNH .18.74

    With Gagner 19.62
    WIthout Gagner 19.23

    With Hemsky 19.00
    Without Hemsky 19.46

    WIth Yak (54min) 14.40
    WIthout Yak (54min) 19.45

    The ONSH% when Hall and Yak are on the ice must be 25% or something.Lordy.

    So Hall is significantly worse without Eberle?? Am I reading that first stat right?

  91. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers:
    Woodguy,

    Cool piece of folk art!I’m certain that it is POSSIBLE that Gags could produce that, but Ebs has been consistently out scoring him, with the exception of last season.However, I have to ask, was this Gags over-producing?Ebs under-producing?And don’t the fancy stats like Ebs a lot more?I know the disparity between positions, but Gags is as unproven on the wing as Hall was at C.Could be that the bad habits carry over.

    She’s *almost* a full time artist.

    Here’s here website: http://www.deniselefebvre.com/

    I own a few of her paintings.

    Here “Twiggy” with the green background hangs in my living room and takes people’s breath away. Picture doesn’t do it justice, its fantastic.

  92. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: So Hall is significantly worse without Eberle?? Am I reading that first stat right?

    In terms of Goal For/20.

    The major reason for the drop seems to be Hemsky though.

    You look at the drop between RHN/Gagner (C’s) isn’t significant, but he drop in RW is huge.

  93. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: So Hall is significantly worse without Eberle?? Am I reading that first stat right?

    This one’s even more interesting:

    Eberle with Gagner 1.224
    Eberle without Gagner .865
    Gagner without Eberle .759

    Remember that this is goals/20 and can by swung quickly by SH%

    If we look at CF/20 we see

    Eberle with Gagner 19.29
    Eberle without Gagner 17.97
    Gagner without Eberle 16.38

    That’s over 3 years of data too.

    Gagner and Eberle are much together than apart.

  94. Ryan says:

    Woodguy,

    Woodguy, while I generally agree with your analysis, this time you’re missing one big factor. position.

    Intuitively, it’s easy to think that a player like Gagner who’s weak on faceoffs, terrible defensively would look a whole lot better on the wing …. except for one problem.

    We’ve seen it back in 2010 and it wasn’t pretty.

    Gagner’s lack of foot speed, poor puck retrieval skills, and lack of size don’t make him a screaming hell on the wing.

    Not completely the same, but sort of the same reason why a player like Arcobello looks better IMHO at centre than he did at wing.

    Agree with Marc’s comments above.

  95. Pouzar says:

    Also, the return better be good for Ebs if Gagner is the fall back option.
    Gagner is a mere 1.2 million less of a cap hit and has a NTC going forward.
    So he’s a least 90% of the salary. :)

  96. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy: In terms of Goal For/20.

    The major reason for the drop seems to be Hemsky though.

    You look at the drop between RHN/Gagner (C’s) isn’t significant, but he drop in RW is huge.

    When you break it up by year, you see an interesting split…

    All numbers are Corsi For / 20 minutes
    2010/11
    Hall with Eberle: 19.35
    Hall without Eberle: 18.06

    2011/12
    with Eberle: 19.31
    without Eberle: 19.71

    2012/13
    with Eberle: 21.48
    without Eberle: 16.80

    2013/14 (so far)
    with Eberle: 18.11
    without Eberle: 14.52

    Something really changed in the last 2 years!

    Now, for Hemksy:

    2010/11
    Hall with Hemsky: 17.69
    Hall without Hemsky: 19.06

    2011/12
    with Hemsky: 20.23
    without Hemsky: 19.03

    2012/13
    with Hemsky: 17.45
    without Hemsky: 20.50

    2013/14
    with Hemsky: 15.06
    without Hemsky: 16.86

    Hall did pretty well with Hemsky in 2011/12 (and in a good number of minutes too… 352 minutes is his third most common forward behind Eberle and Nuge). That year appears to be an outlier though. Was that a fluke or was the team doing something different tactically that year (or was Hemsky doing something different?). As for that rookie season, Hall did pretty well away from Eberle, despite poorer numbers with Hemsky. The reason for that? Hall’s number with Penner was 19.39 in almost as many minutes as Hemsky.

    This year, though, Hall hasn’t found magic with many people other than Eberle. There’s two forwards he has a better CF20 with than he does with Eberle… Gordon in 12 minutes of work and Arcobello in 75 minutes. As for Yak, let’s not get too excited. In 59 minutes this year their CF20 is a ghastly 13.85 and last year in about as many minutes was 14.40 with a Corsi% of 41 and 35.8 respectively. Of course… it’s early in the year and Hall has been finding his gear in the last few games… let’s revisit this at the end of the year.

  97. wheatnoil says:

    wheatnoil,

    I should also point out that LT had a post on Hall recently that referenced his poor WOWYs this year… I can’t remember which one but it was a fairly recent game day thread I believe and he also pointed out Hall’s improving corsi% in the more recent games.

  98. JohnnyOilfan says:

    Gents, would Shawn matthias from FLA be a good option for the 2C spot? What does his numbers translate? Would a deal for gagner straight up be enough or deal for prospect. Gags has some history living in FLA when papa Dave played.

  99. Andy P says:

    Lowetide: I’m surprised by people’s reaction to WG’s Eberle/Gagner points. It’s kind of why dealing Eberle makes sense—his skills are duplicated on the roster by a player of similar age. I still don’t think it happens, but Gagner does some things well and they dovetail with ebere’s abilities quite closely.

    This is where this blog substitutes stats for gut feel. My gut says we lose more shootouts because Eberle > Gags on shootouts, and we lose clutch games because Eberle has > “clutch” scoring ability than Gags. Also if we trade Eberle for Coutourier, who is the better player? If E is better than C, then are we trading better for worse? I “think” so but lack the empirical stats you folk have to substantiate that.

  100. Woodguy says:

    This is interesting, the more I look at it, the more Eberle seems to make everyone better in terms of GF.20 (not so much via CF/20)

    Just to show you all I’m not married to my narrative, look at this:

    http://statsportsconsulting.com/2013/12/20/thor-for-all/

    These guys presented a paper for Total Hockey Rating (THoR) at the analytics conference last year.

    This is their attempt to produce a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) metric for hockey.

    I’d like to look at their entire formula because some of the results are off by eye.

    1) Crosby isn’t top 10 in the NHL
    2) Doughty isn’t top 10 Dmen

    3) Eberle is ranked #1 in the NHL (!)

    Only he and Ovechkin get a rating about 6.

    Would like to know more about his metric before commenting on it, but there you go.

    Eberle ranked as #1 in the NHL at WAR.

    Interesting.

  101. Woodguy says:

    Andy P,

    This is where this blog substitutes stats for gut feel.

    There are lots of gut feel blogs.

    This one used to be very, very math heavy.

  102. Woodguy says:

    Ryan:
    Woodguy,

    Woodguy, while I generally agree with your analysis, this time you’re missing one big factor.position.

    Intuitively, it’s easy to think that a player like Gagner who’s weak on faceoffs, terrible defensively would look a whole lot better on the wing …. except for one problem.

    We’ve seen it back in 2010 and it wasn’t pretty.

    Gagner’s lack of foot speed, poor puck retrieval skills, and lack of size don’t make him a screaming hell on the wing.

    Not completely the same, but sort of the same reason why a player like Arcobello looks better IMHO at centre than he did at wing.

    Agree with Marc’s comments above.

    Who did he play with?

    How many minutes?

    Was that 09/10 or 10/11?

    Results?

  103. Lowetide says:

    Andy P: This is where this blog substitutes stats for gut feel. My gut says we lose more shootouts because Eberle> Gags on shootouts, and we lose clutch games because Eberle has > “clutch” scoring ability than Gags. Also if we trade Eberle for Coutourier, who is the better player? If E is better than C, then are we trading better for worse? I “think” so but lack the empirical stats you folk have to substantiate that.

    Well, that’s okay. This blog loves stats but we have eyes. For me, Eberle is part of the original 2010 cluster with Hall, and that’s starting point here. To move him, you’d have to get an enormous return, which is what we’re talking about of course.

    And as I mentioned, still don’t think it happens. The first signs of a new dawn for Edmonton came when they took that kid 22nd overall, and the talent that has flooded into the system since hasn’t overwhelmed him.

    It’s always been my point about Eberle. People keep saying he’s like another #1 overall, except he isn’t. He CAN play with them, and that’s testimony to how good he is and how much he’s improved since his draft day.

    He was good on his draft day, but is a much, much better player today.

  104. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil,

    Cool stuff.

    I want to dig deeper into it but gotta go to the inlaws.

  105. Woodguy says:

    Marc: Nice analysis.Can’t fault the conclusions, but I would also factor in the following (admittedly less quantitative) factors as well:
    - Eberle is already at age 23 one of the 10 or 15 best players at his position in the league. When you’re fortunate enough to draft such a player you don’t trade them, you build around them.

    But without filling the holes, the team isn’t good.

    TBY has some great players (Stamkos, St. Louis etc) but needed to broaden their depth to get better.

    - Yakupov is not a good NHL hockey player yet. Even if he projects to be better in the long run, if we’re making the trade to try and win now it seems counter productive to trade a very good, actual NHL player and slide someone who is neither right now into the top 6. It’s putting him in a position to fail.

    Yakupov on the 2nd line with a Couturier type C would shelter him enough imo. He needs a rock to cling to while learning (Hall and Ebs had Horcoff all year), but Gagner isn’t that man. Someone who plays without the puck as well as Couturier would work.

    - Gagner was terrible when he previously played on the wing. It might be that the skills of Hall and RNH can make him adequate, or even good.But if they can’t, where does Gagner play? RNH, Couturier and Gordon would have the first three centre spots locked up, so you’d either have a $5M per year fourth line centre, or you dump Gagner for pennies on the dollar in a trade. And you have a big hole at RW.

    This is where I need proof.

    Who did he play with? How many minutes? Results?

    One further point that doesn’t factor into my thinking, but probably does factor into the thinking of the man signing the cheques – Eberle is probably the most popular player on the team for the fan base.There’s a reason he’s in the ATB and Coke Zero commercials rather than Hall or RNH – the focus groups have no doubt told the admen that he’s the guy that the fans love the most. Owners don’t like trading guys like that.

    There is that.

    It would take huge balls to make a move this BOLD.
    :)

  106. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil,

    Just had a quick peek at Eberle’s GF WOWY’s after his high SH%.

    They actually get better. (at first glance)

    I need to look deeper into this, but don’t have the time right now.

  107. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    wheatnoil,

    Just had a quick peek at Eberle’s GF WOWY’s after his high SH%.

    They actually get better. (at first glance)

    I need to look deeper into this, but don’t have the time right now.

    Good discussion people!

    Good luck at the inlaws :P

  108. fifthcartel says:

    Horak and Marincin recalled..

    Hmmmm…. I like the Horak recall.

  109. Woodguy says:

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 12m
    #Oilers recall defenceman Martin Marincin and forward Roman Horak from the @OKCBarons. pic.twitter.com/wEy3XEdugm

  110. Woodguy says:

    Ooops. 2nd in with that.

    Horak up so Lander down?

    Marincin up.

    Larsen’s been day-to-day with an illness for the last few games.

    Hmmmmm.

  111. Hammers says:

    Woodguy: Did you read my post?

    Gagner actually outproduced Eberle last year in a tough spot (C opposed to RW) and with lesser team mates.

    Explain your side instead of just exclaiming NO! please.

    I partly agree with what you think as I also said of the tradeable players Eberle has the most value but right now Gags is probably second to that so if you want Coutorier and others want Coburn I would suggest a multi player deal Ebs ? Gags & Klefbom for Coutorier / Coburn & Simmonds

  112. Andy P says:

    Woodguy: Andy P, This is where this blog substitutes stats for gut feel.There are lots of gut feel blogs.This one used to be very, very math heavy.

    I enjoy the objectivity of this blog, which requires factual or statistical analysis to back up opinions. I earned a living through my statistical analysis for more than a year or two, which makes me quite at homer with masses of integers. I just haven’t found a hockey cube yet tha tI can slice and dice to my satisfaction, the closest I have come is behind the net.
    However I also know that sometimes, gut feel can indicate an anomaly in the data cluster that is being used to justify a certain prognosis, where the flaw is not yet apparent. I such instances I have usually been able to dig deep enough into the cube, perhaps slice and dice from a different perspective to reveal or discredit the gut feel.

    Hence my question, and thank you for your response.

  113. jp says:

    Woodguy:
    I think you can get a serviceable 1LD without trading from the cluster.1st this year + Marincin/Klef + LH roster D (if done in season) would be ok.

    I’m not for selling out of the cluster to get 1LD unless its one of the premier Dmen, but I highly doubt they are on the table.

    I do think though, that you trade out of the cluster for 2C.

    I also think that you trade Eberle, and its for 3 reasons:

    1) I think Hall & RNH are untouchable, so your options are Gagner, Eberle and Yak

    2) I think that Eberle brings the highest return.He’s been an NHL All Star and is in consideration for Team Canada.

    3) I think that Eberle’s production is easiest to replace if you put Gagner or Yak in the same position, ice time and team mates that Eberle has had.

    Remember that last year Gagner actually out-produced Eberle in a tougher role (C compared to RW) with lesser team mates than Eberle.

    12/13 Gagner 38pts in 48gms
    12/13 Eberle 37pts in 48 gms

    To think that Gagner can produce like Eberle does in an Eberle role is not a stretch at all.

    Here’s what I’m thinking broken down a different way:

    1) Eberle is worth 8 units in trade, Yak 6 units, Gagner 4 units

    2) If Gagner were slotted into Eberle’s ice time, line mates etc, I guess he’d produce at about 90% of Eberle’s level, maybe more, bringing him up to a 7.

    3) Since Eberle is worth 8 units, he can bring back 8 units for a 2 C.I would rate a Couturier at at 7, probably more if he played with Oilers forwards.

    So now these players are:

    Eberle (8) + Gagner (4) = 12
    Couturier (7) + Gagner in Eberle role (7) = 14

    Very simplistic way of looking at it, but the bottom line is that you trade Eberle because:

    1)His production is the most easily replaceable from within the roster
    2) He brings back the most in trade and its not close

    Of course you have to think about the non-hockey things like how Hall feels about it, but its professional hockey.

    No one plays with their best buddy their whole career and I think Hall would get that, especially if it fills the giant yawning hole at 2C

    For what it’s worth, I agree with you 100% on Eberle/Gagner.

  114. gr8one says:

    Woodguy:
    I think you can get a serviceable 1LD without trading from the cluster.1st this year + Marincin/Klef + LH roster D (if done in season) would be ok.

    I’m not for selling out of the cluster to get 1LD unless its one of the premier Dmen, but I highly doubt they are on the table.

    I do think though, that you trade out of the cluster for 2C.

    I also think that you trade Eberle, and its for 3 reasons:

    1) I think Hall & RNH are untouchable, so your options are Gagner, Eberle and Yak

    2) I think that Eberle brings the highest return.He’s been an NHL All Star and is in consideration for Team Canada.

    3) I think that Eberle’s production is easiest to replace if you put Gagner or Yak in the same position, ice time and team mates that Eberle has had.

    Remember that last year Gagner actually out-produced Eberle in a tougher role (C compared to RW) with lesser team mates than Eberle.

    12/13 Gagner 38pts in 48gms
    12/13 Eberle 37pts in 48 gms

    To think that Gagner can produce like Eberle does in an Eberle role is not a stretch at all.

    Here’s what I’m thinking broken down a different way:

    1) Eberle is worth 8 units in trade, Yak 6 units, Gagner 4 units

    2) If Gagner were slotted into Eberle’s ice time, line mates etc, I guess he’d produce at about 90% of Eberle’s level, maybe more, bringing him up to a 7.

    3) Since Eberle is worth 8 units, he can bring back 8 units for a 2 C.I would rate a Couturier at at 7, probably more if he played with Oilers forwards.

    So now these players are:

    Eberle (8) + Gagner (4) = 12
    Couturier (7) + Gagner in Eberle role (7) = 14

    Very simplistic way of looking at it, but the bottom line is that you trade Eberle because:

    1)His production is the most easily replaceable from within the roster
    2) He brings back the most in trade and its not close

    Of course you have to think about the non-hockey things like how Hall feels about it, but its professional hockey.

    No one plays with their best buddy their whole career and I think Hall would get that, especially if it fills the giant yawning hole at 2C

    I totally and completely agree with this, only you’ve articulated it in a way that I never could have.

    I love Ebs, but I also believe that long term he will be the one least likely to live up to his contract and I also believe that as good as he is more of a complementary player rather than one that drives the bus. Hall, Nuge and Yak I believe are or will be bus drivers.

    Obviously if it came down to it we’d all rather be able to Trage Gagner for a piece or pieces that we need but Gagner doesn’t get us that in return whereas Eberle does, yet Gagner would be a reasonable fill in for Eberle’s role.

    I couldn’t agree more WG.

  115. gr8one says:

    Hammers: I partly agree with what you think as I also said of the tradeable players Eberle has the most value but right now Gags is probably second to that so if you want Coutorier and others want Coburn I would suggest a multi player deal Ebs ? Gags & Klefbom for Coutorier / Coburn & Simmonds

    I would do that trade, I don’t think Philly does though.

  116. jp says:

    CopperBandit:
    Woodguy,

    Yet he was good enough to spend a lot of time on the Leafs 2nd pairing & even quiet a bit on 1st pairing too(Partnered with Dion) for the 2012-2013 season.

    Leafs D is not the greatest but it’s at least twice as strong as ours is.

    Good God man! The Leafs give up the most shots in the league. They’re outshot by almost 10 shots per game. Twice as strong as our D? That’s absurd.

  117. spoiler says:

    How did Brett Maverick end up heading this blog… and why’s he wearing a suit?

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