Craig MacTavish acquired another candidate for Oilers #1 goaltender in 2014-15, and once again the player is a free agent this summer. The success of today’s transactions may hinge on signing the player to a reasonable deal, as the third round pick sent to Los Angeles is small payment if the club can solve their goalie issues long term. It’s a reasonable bet, a trade good NHL teams make all the time—and even if it doesn’t work out it’s a solid bet.
The second trade doesn’t read that way, and suggests the Oilers under Dallas Eakins may have more in common with the truculent Leafs than the ‘advanced math’ verbal we heard at the time of Dallas Eakins arrival.
Matt Hendricks can take faceoffs, penalty kill and play all three forward positions. There is some evidence he played on the top 9 in Nashville, which is incredible when looking at scoring rates:
Hendricks delivered more offensively last season, looks like he’s in a shooting slump this year. Nashville has had a tough time of it this season, his Corsi For % 5×5 is well down from one year ago. I’ll have a look at how he was handled in Washington in a minute
These are the six players who Edmonton now has hanging around at center, although Arcobello is listed as R and of course Smyth is/was currently playing center for the Oilers. I think we can make a case for Nuge-Arco-Gordon-Hendricks now, it’ll be sealed when Gagner is sent away. I can’t find a way to get Lander onto next season’s roster from here. He might be a really nice pickup for a team looking for a 4th liner who can penalty kill.
Hendricks is not a good player this season in Nashville, and his Corsi for 5×5% reflects it:
This shows (courtesy James Mirtle on twitter) that Hendricks is the 8th worst possession forward among regulars in the entire NHL this season. That my friends, isn’t good, especially considering the ask (Dubnyk). What did this category look like one year ago? Well, he’s in a better neighborhood, and then again he was on a different team in a different conference. Hendricks isn’t a good NHL regular, and he’s past 30, so I’m not certain we should expect 47% during his time in Edmonton.
It might be helpful to see how he was used in Washington compared to Nashville:
- EV: 9:12 (NAS) 9:55 (WAS)
- PK: 2:18 (NAS) 1:54 (WAS)
- Faceoffs: 26 (53.8 NAS) 259 (56.8 WAS)
Not a lot of change in TOI, but he played more center in Washington (and had a better season). I doubt either season gives us enough of a sample to draw any kind of conclusion, but it’s something to keep in mind.
TEAMMATES IN NASHVILLE (5×5)
- Paul Gaustad 292minutes
- Rich Clune 137minutes
- Eric Nystrom 110minutes
That looks like 4th line to me, Clune and Hendricks are at the bottom of the EV toi table, with Hendricks getting significant PK time. That’s kind of what he might have seen from Eric Belanger with the Oilers over the last few seasons (along with drastic zone starts, something Hendricks shares to a certain extent).
Nashville: lots of penalty-killing time, played mostly on the wing, fairly severe zone start, 4th line even strength minutes with the offensively challenged. Fair?
TEAMMATES IN WASHINGTON
- Jay Beagle 248minutes
- Alex Ovechkin 118minutes
- Mike Ribiero 95minutes
Well, that’s just weird. I’ll post the link just in case you think I’m crazy.
Not much different here, he plays a little more but is down toward the end of the roster. Washington is a strange hockey team, they really are. I don’t know what to make of the 100 wasted minutes with 8 save for what the hell was Adam Oates doing?
Washington: lots of penalty-killing time, mostly at center, easier zone start, 4th line even strength minutes with the offensively challenged. AND 100 minutes where he was gifted with ridiculous talent for which there is no evidence he was worthy. God that’s weird.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
- Winner: Craig MacTavish, if Scrivens wins the starting job and he can sign the goalie.
- Winner: Los Angeles, they got a pick inside the top 70 for a guy who was moving down the depth chart.
- Winner: Dubnyk, fresh start.
- Winner: Nashville, offloaded a bad contract and take a chance on a good goalie stuck in a bad spot.
- Loser: Craig MacTavish, the Nashville deal was bad no matter how you look at it. Standing pat would have been a better plan.
- Loser: Oiler pro scouts, they appear to be picking from the Belanger tree again.
- Loser: Matt Hendricks, there’s every chance he’ll regret this trade by the time he’s done this contract.
- Loser: Daryl Katz, who has another potential buyout contract on the books.
- Loser: Oilers analytics department. I assume they’re stuffed in a trunk somewhere. Hope they’re getting air.
- Loser: Anton Lander. Jesus, Mary and Joseph.