LOOKING FOR A GOOD HOME FOR A FORMER FUTURE

NHL teams can begin making trades again Sunday night at midnight. I think the Oilers will be active. The club will want to offload their rentals and there’s still that Sam Gagner item Elliotte Friedman floated a few weeks ago. David Staples details the latest Sam Gagner to LAK rumors (it’s dead) and then passes on a Nashville rumor too.

I’m encouraged the Oilers walked away from the Los Angeles deal, Lombardi is at the smart end of the GM spectrum. Maybe call Montreal. If they’re going to deal Gagner do it in the summer. Nashville is going to offer prospects and picks this time of year, better to wait and see what you can get leading up to the draft. Or hell, keep the guy! I know that’s not terribly popular but Samwise and his terrible year have a solid back story. This isn’t a slump so much as recovery from an assault.

SAM GAGNER PLAYER CARD

gagner player card feb 18His Corsi 5×5% has recovered quite a bit now, and his offense is suffering partly from shooting percentage (halved from the last 2 seasons).

GAGNER’S POWER-PLAY BOXCARS

  • 2012-13: 48, 4-11-15
  • 2013-14:47gp, 1-4-5

I think the Oilers will go bigger at 2C next season, and suspect Gagner is sent away as part of the deal. Those things understood, I sincerely hope he rips it up when things start up again. Edmonton needs to get full value for their former future.

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50 Responses to "LOOKING FOR A GOOD HOME FOR A FORMER FUTURE"

  1. Woodguy says:

    Is Whitney in the picture on purpose?

  2. Lowetide says:

    http://www.puckrant.com/team_sweden/OVERUNDERSIDEWAYSDOWN

    I pick the gold medal contestants, but you have to read until the end.

    WG: It’s one of my favorites!

  3. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy:
    Is Whitney in the picture on purpose?

    First, Lowetide carefully cut off his leg.

  4. Woodguy says:

    hunter1909: First, Lowetide carefully cut off his leg.

    Excellent.

  5. Younger Oil says:

    At what date does the no trade clause for the second year of Gagner’s contract kick in? But Gagner ++ for an upgrade on a #2C would be music, as long as the price of the ++ isn’t too dear. Honestly, I’m at the point where I’d take anything for Gagner, as long as it wasn’t a terrible contract. I’d love to see Lander or Arco between Perron and Eberle, the center gets to play with some offence, and the wingers can have a defensively responsible center. All parties would be better off.

    I already mentioned this at ON, but was looking at the career stats of Oilers, and Gagner has the 2nd worst +/- in franchise history. I know that +/- isn’t the most reliable stat, and depends on team/linemate quality, but that’s still pretty brutal. Also, if Smyth and Hemsky are shipped out at the deadline, Gagner will be the longest serving current Oiler. All the more reason to keep Hemsky!

    For those wondering who the player with the worst +/- for an Oiler is, it’s the assistant coach.

  6. Vince says:

    How would legwand at 2×6=12 go over ?

  7. Lowetide says:

    YO: July 1 is the beginning of each season.

  8. anonymous says:

    With the cap going up a big second line center will be even harder to come by. They’ll probably have to go with a youngish, not quite proven one.

  9. Hammers says:

    Totally agree . Have felt the same way for awhile . McT obviously realizes there are GM’s out there that look to get a bargain when there is a problem . My point being if both LA & Nashville show interest its for more than a run this year as Sam is signed for another 2 years . We are out of it anyway so why help any other team when there is time up untill July 1st . Its the UFA’s that he needs to move if he can and he needs best return on a 6 year player under contract .LT do you think there maybe a chance Hemsky goes to Boston ??? Playing with his old buddy & center at the Olympics .

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I still don’t see how a deal gets done until the season’s over. I’ve said that all along.

    There’s zero rush on MacT’s part to move him. The only way he can rationalize it is if he feels he can get a better deal now… which frankly I don’t see… and based on the LAK offer wasn’t there.

    As much as I’d love to upgrade the position, selling Gagner off for nothing isn’t the way to do it. Sounds like MacT knows that. This is a good thing.

  11. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    http://www.puckrant.com/team_sweden/OVERUNDERSIDEWAYSDOWN

    I pick the gold medal contestants, but you have to read until the end.

    WG: It’s one of my favorites!

    Seems it’s better done,
    Than argued with somebody else.

    I’m not convinced re Sweden. I think they may be a candidate for an upset. It’s gotta happen to somebody.

  12. jp says:

    MacT’s job is to make the team better. Looks like the available deals for Gagner (predictably) weren’t going to do that. So stand pat. Great to see – this team isn’t going to improve by sending assets away at discount value, even if those assets don’t perfectly fit the team needs.

    Also, Staples: “As for the Oilers picking up Ryan Ellis, why would they do that? He’s not trusted enough in Nashville to get major playing time at even strength. The Oilers already have finesse type d-men who can move the puck in Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry. What Edmonton needs are players who can actually defend tough opposing attackers.”

    Is this really how a lot of people see Petry? A “finesse type” who can’t defend? It just blows my mind. I watch the games too, and honestly don’t see it. I can understand (though don’t fully agree with) those types of criticisms of Poti, Schultz, or even Gilbert. Their ability to play defense suffered, at times, from shying away from contact. I don’t see that from Petry, just a solid, solid defenseman. As LT says, where can we get 5 more?

    I don’t disagree with his point on Ellis, but the whole thing just rubbed me the wrong way.

  13. VanOil says:

    The trade deadline does not thrill me with promise. Shipping people out, who cares the season is over. Shipping people, in the same.

    If the Oilers are going to pick something up from a trade either now or in the summer I hope it to be a young talented Defenseman. With our high draft position a second line center that will have an impact over his rookie contract should not be that difficult to find. A goalies, assuming we sign the Professor, are easy to sign in free agency.

    Erhoff, Edler, Coburn ect would all be an upgrade as long as we do not ship Petry out but I would prefer to go for a young gun with about 200 at bats that is just starting to figure it out. Kulikov is at the top of that list but I am sure there are others like Myers. For a player in this class I would accept Bold assets shipping out.

    My expectation is Boring, more old slow vets in the Hendricks mold to replace old slow vets we are shipping out.

  14. teddyturnbuckle says:

    LT I heard you and Tyler talking about that stat which compares carrying the puck over the blue line opposed to dumping it in. If it doesn’t measure total zone entry attempts including turn overs while trying to carry the puck in then I’m not sold on it. Of course the players have a better chance of getting a scoring chance carrying the puck in but off the top of my head I’d say carrying the puck through the trap only works 50% of the time.

  15. bendelson says:

    Austin Watson hey? A fine idea indeed.

    Nothing to get overly excited about unless he comes in a package I admit but…

    That being said he is an excellent 2nd piece in a deal for Gagner – a player type the Oilers need desperately.

    (A couple of years away perhaps but he enjoys ‘Bendelson approved’ prospect status nevertheless)

    Excellent.

  16. jp says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    LT I heard you and Tyler talking about that stat which compares carrying the puck over the blue line opposed to dumping it in.If it doesn’t measure total zone entry attempts including turn overs while trying to carry the puck in then I’m not sold on it.Of course the players have a better chance of getting a scoring chance carrying the puck in but off the top of my head I’d say carrying the puck through the trap only works 50% of the time.

    Is the likelihood of getting the puck back after a dumpin better than 50%?

  17. The Great One says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    I still don’t see how a deal gets done until the season’s over. I’ve said that all along.

    There’s zero rush on MacT’s part to move him. The only way he can rationalize it is if he feels he can get a better deal now… which frankly I don’t see… and based on the LAK offer wasn’t there.

    As much as I’d love to upgrade the position, selling Gagner off for nothing isn’t the way to do it. Sounds like MacT knows that. This is a good thing.

    Gagner will be all but immoveable in the offseason.

    Teams will have far more cap space and it’s highly unlikely they’ll be spending it on a $4.8M 30 point player.

    Finding a team that is desperate for secondary scoring going into the playoffs is a much better option.

    Worth noting that, despite some saying Gagner is playing better, he has 0 goals and 4 assists in his last 10 games.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    teddyturnbuckle: Of course the players have a better chance of getting a scoring chance carrying the puck in but off the top of my head I’d say carrying the puck through the trap only works 50% of the time.

    Hall was both getting and passing to create brilliant scoring chances many times every period along with his line mates. Most NHLers routinely fail to generate anything from the positions the Hall line was taking/potentially taking shots from. Why? Because, Eberle, Hall and much of the time whoever plays with them receives an extra full half second to calm down, and make a superior play.

    Dallas Eakins probably never bothered to watch Oilers tapes. He assumes he knows all, and then fails everyone. Particularly himself. Arrogant dickhead.

  19. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Great One: Gagner will be all but immoveable in the offseason.

    Teams will have far more cap space and it’s highly unlikely they’ll be spending it on a $4.8M30 point player.

    Finding a team that is desperate for secondary scoring going into the playoffs is a much better option.

    Worth noting that, despite some saying Gagner is playing better, he has 0 goals and 4 assists in his last 10 games.

    The logic behind this is absent.

    If a team thinks Gagner has value now, they will in the Summer when they can afford him, when they can take the long view.

    Gagner isn’t a rental. A team desperate for scoring now into the playoffs wants a rental. They are available. Hemsky, Moulson, Vanek, etc.

    If a team wants Gagner, they want Gagner. Therefore they will want him in the Summer, because they want him, not a few months of scoring. Him.

    Now, many may think they are crazy: why would anyone want Gagner the braying brayers say?

    Because they do is the answer. The reality of that answer strangely is not erased by the braying brayers.

    If Gagner gets traded, MacT will find better deals in the Summer. And, if people want Gagner now, they will want him then.

  20. teddyturnbuckle says:

    jp,

    Probably about 40% chance of getting it back after dumping it in depending on the team but at least its not coming back 3 on 2 which usually happens when you turn it over at the blue line.

  21. The Great One says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Gagner, in the next ten days, will be one of the few players available from the sellers in the marketplace.

    In the offseason, he will be just one of many options including free agents, minor league call ups and draft choices that buyers will have at their disposal.

    The trade deadline is a seller’s market.

    The offseason is a buyer’s market.

    Do you recall how many good players were left standing at the alter in the offseason?

    A rising cap will abet that to some degree but it won’t make the market forces vanish.

    Now, or perhaps, never.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The Great One,

    See above.

  23. The Great One says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    The Great One,

    See above.

    I saw it.

    The logic behind it is absent.

  24. Pouzar says:

    Late to the login party…but thx LT.
    just happy yo be here.

    I agree with LT.

  25. Lowetide says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    jp,

    Probably about 40% chance of getting it back after dumping it in depending on the team but at least its not coming back 3 on 2 which usually happens when you turn it over at the blue line.

    Not close to 40 is my guess.

  26. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: Is Whitney in the picture on purpose?

    Lol… I thought Colorado Porsche was in the picture on purpose.

  27. Lowetide says:

    The Great One:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Gagner, in the next ten days, will be one of the few players available from the sellers in the marketplace.

    In the offseason, he will be just one of many options including free agents, minor league call ups and draft choices that buyers will have at their disposal.

    The trade deadline is a seller’s market.

    The offseason is a buyer’s market.

    Do you recall how many good players were left standing at the alter in the offseason?

    A rising cap will abet that to some degree but it won’t make the market forces vanish.

    Now, or perhaps, never.

    The red zone is loading and unloading.

  28. Pouzar says:

    SInce I come here to learn, and this is slightly off topic, but can we have maybe one day have a discussion on BIG ice versus SMALL ice? I read some retarded HF threads on it and as per usual it’s “it sux” or “I love it”.

    Like how does the BIG ice lend itself well to a trapping game anymore than SMALL ice? Can’t wrap my head around that one. Is it because the neutral zone is so big on the BIG ice? I need the LTs, RAs, WGs, etc to help me here.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Pouzar: Like how does the BIG ice lend itself well to a trapping game anymore than SMALL ice? Can’t wrap my head around that one. Is it because the neutral zone is so big on the BIG ice?

    You’ve kind of nailed it there.

    The blue lines are much closer to the net on the big ice. Here’s a visual:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/olympics_blog/2010/02/by-comparison-nhl-vs-olympic-hockey-rinks.html

    The big ice is actually the same total length as the NHL. But it is wider and the blue lines are closer to the net.

    Basically you end up with the same volume of space from blue line to net, but pushed out to the boards.

    So, think of it this way… the shape of the NHL rink funnels the action toward the net, whereas the big ice pushes it out to the boards. (that’s an exaggeration but you get the idea).

    This means that in the D-zone it is much easier to clog the slot area (yuk!) and push the attacking team out of the zone (off side) or out to the boards and away from the kill zone.

    On the NHL ice you can stretch the defensive team out to center ice easier and create cleaner lines to the net.

    ————
    Of course, if they adopted the big ice, there’s no rule they couldn’t keep the NHL blue lines.

  30. Lowetide says:

    What Rom said. The Sochi rink has something wonky along the boards behind the goal line too. Can’t remember where I read it, but there does seem to be more room.

  31. spoiler says:

    jp: teddyturnbuckle:
    LT I heard you and Tyler talking about that stat which compares carrying the puck over the blue line opposed to dumping it in.If it doesn’t measure total zone entry attempts including turn overs while trying to carry the puck in then I’m not sold on it.Of course the players have a better chance of getting a scoring chance carrying the puck in but off the top of my head I’d say carrying the puck through the trap only works 50% of the time.

    Is the likelihood of getting the puck back after a dumpin better than 50%?

    What is the likelihood of the 50% you gave the puck up, with everyone spread and going in the wrong direction, going to be a scoring chance the other way? What is the likelihood of giving the other team a scoring chance when they have to win a battle in their own corner and come through your whole team and 220 feet of ice?

    Also, is your line set up properly to enter the zone with successful possession? How much speed are you hitting the line with? What is the other team giving you, are they set up well? What have your past strategies been and their success?

  32. Pouzar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: You’ve kind of nailed it there.

    The blue lines are much closer to the net on the big ice. Here’s a visual:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/olympics_blog/2010/02/by-comparison-nhl-vs-olympic-hockey-rinks.html

    The big ice is actually the same total length as the NHL. But it is wider and the blue lines are closer to the net.

    Basically you end up with the same volume of space from blue line to net, but pushed out to the boards.

    So, think of it this way… the shape of the NHL rink funnels the action toward the net, whereas the big ice pushes it out to the boards. (that’s an exaggeration but you get the idea).

    This means that in the D-zone it is much easier to clog the slot area (yuk!) and push the attacking team out of the zone (off side) or out to the boards and away from the kill zone.

    On the NHL ice you can stretch the defensive team out to center ice easier and create cleaner lines to the net.

    ————
    Of course, if they adopted the big ice, there’s no rule they couldn’t keep the NHL blue lines.

    Gotcha…and yer last line about keeping the NHL blue lines would probably make the BIG ice, in theory, more exciting then? I would say yes.

  33. TheOtherJohn says:

    MacT is under ZERO pressure to move Gagner. None. Agree with Rom we’ll have more options in the summer. Cannot wait for last minute because Gagner’s NTC kicks in July 1. Last time we did a last minute dealine trade (albeit at trade deadline) was Ryan Smyth and we got Ro Bear Nilsson and some other last minute dreck that the Oiler scouting department liked in their draft year.

    The things Gagner is not doing now he has not done for the last 7 years. Not sure Zach Kassian caused Gagner’s complete disinterest in checking anyone in the defensive zone.

  34. spoiler says:

    I don’t think Gagner will be worth that much more if anything before the draft. Picks carry the most value. Before and after the draft, managers have little incentive to give up Actual NHL Players to acquire another NHL player, because the UFA market is coming and they can solve their problems without creating holes or spending depth in other areas.

    Some teams will be losers in the UFA market though so at that point maybe a good deal can be made. If MacT were to include another player and two come back, the two teams could exchange quality in one area of his team to improve another while maintaining roster numbers. Increased cap, which IIRC doesn’t happen till happy UFA days, will grease the gears of the trade market with needed liquidity.

    However. That’s when Gagner has an NTC. How much this clause will affect the return on any deal is hard to say, but it would probably limit the number of competing interests, which doesn’t help any auction.

    All that said…

    I don’t think MacT will deal Gagner at any point in time unless a reasonable deal shows up, whenever that may be. All depends on what someone else needs, what they’re willing to pay for it, what time pressures they feel to get it and what opinion they have of Gagner and what they think their coach can get out of him. The same is true for MacT and his targets.

    And he knows trading a player of Gagner’s stature is going to mean close examination of the trade. He will be acutely aware of the optics. I’m hoping that leads to a tendency to be loss averse.

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Pouzar: Gotcha…and yer last line about keeping the NHL blue lines would probably make the BIG ice, in theory, more exciting then? I would say yes.

    I think so, yes.

    One thing to keep in mind with these tourneys is other variables.

    After a WJC, a World Cup or an Olympics you often get people talking about how exciting the games are and usually people talk about various nationalistic narratives that infuse the games with energy. Sometimes they talk about rink size.

    Both of these things certainly affect how the game is experienced.

    But, I think what really makes these kinds of events exciting, esp. when you get down to the top 5-6 teams, is the high level of competition.

    If these events are an argument for anything related to the NHL game it should be for contraction IMO.

    Lose 10 teams and hockey will instantly be way more entertaining.

  36. jp says:

    spoiler:
    What is the likelihood of the 50% you gave the puck up, with everyone spread and going in the wrong direction, going to be a scoring chance the other way?What is the likelihood of giving the other team a scoring chance when they have to win a battle in their own corner and come through your whole team and 220 feet of ice?

    Also, is your line set up properly to enter the zone with successful possession?How much speed are you hitting the line with? What is the other team giving you, are they set up well?What have your past strategies been and their success?

    Gheez, and I thought my percentage of recovered dumpins was a rhetorical question. FAR less than 50% I’d guess. And agreed that it seems obvious you’re going to have more pucks coming back at your own net on a blueline turnover vs a dumpin (we’ve had lots of chances to reflect on that this season). But on balance, it’s still better to (try to) keep possession of the puck.

    I’ve been aware of Eric T’s zone entry analysis, but had never looked closely at it until now (the gist of it seemed very sensible to me, so I didn’t feel the need to read it all). A couple of his articles are here and address most of what we’re talking about: http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2011/12/14/2635710/zone-entries-and-scoring-chances and http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/7/9/how-important-is-neutral-zone-play

    Seems to suggest that teams get a SOG ~55% of the time on carries and ~25% of the time on dumpins. Scoring chances are similar at 19% vs 7% (and goals follow the same trend). Surprisingly scoring chances against don’t appear to be any higher after an attempted carry (8.4%) than a dumpin (9%). That last part is a little hard to believe, but at least with whatever data he used it seems to be the case. A dumpin would have to be a LOT safer play to offset the value of a carry though – that much seems clear.

    Btw, this data appears to exclude dumpins that are made for a line change: “As a reminder, zone entry tracking means we note each time a team sends the puck into the offensive zone (with the intent of generating offense; we exclude plays where they just dump it in and go for a line change).”

    I was already convinced, but this is awfully difficult to argue with. Scoring chance wise it’s more than twice as productive to carry the puck in, with basically no effect on chances against.

    I think this addresses Teddy’s original comment too.

  37. Lowetide says:

    JP: The other item is that it doesn’t matter if it is 3rd or 1st line, the value of a possession sortie is true.

  38. spoiler says:

    jp: A dumpin would have to be a LOT safer play to offset the value of a carry though – that much seems pretty clear.

    Actually this is something that coaches evidently disagree considerably about. I don’t think Hitchcock values shot rate as much as Bylsma does. Then again, Bylsma has better horses and thus can gain the zone with possession more often. They are forced to shoot it in less.

    And I would think that forcing the other team to win a battle and take it 200 feet through your entire team IS a lot safer than a bad pass or move at the blue line with everyone going the wrong way.

    Who’s on the ice matters too. You are much more likely to fly by Ryan Whitney with the puck and if it’s not there chip it past him and then flyby him then say you would with Doughty. Or even Doughty if you catch him flat-footed.

  39. jp says:

    spoiler,

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting 100% dumpins or 100% carries. Of course the dumpin is the better play sometimes, and I certainly don’t want to see Gazdic lugging the puck all the time rather than getting the damn thing as far from his own net as possible.

    What you’re given and the players involved definitely matter. I guess a lot of it just comes down to good “puck management” – something the Oilers are still learning. That was the issue with Hall earlier in the year. Far too many plays coming back hard at the Oilers net. The problem seems to be that Eakins has over-corrected. Hall is one of those horses who should be carrying it in more often than not. Asking him to dump it in and make the safe play takes away the strengths of his game and forces his line to defend more than it should have to. Fewer blueline turnovers, but also less offensive zone time and chances for.

    I think a lot of what we’ve seen in this mess of a season is the painful learning/teaching process. Getting the players to think responsibly, then let more of the offense back into their games. I’d bet the game plan we’re seeing is not Eakins final vision of “Oilers hockey”.

  40. Oilanderp says:

    jp,

    Surprisingly scoring chances against don’t appear to be any higher after an attempted carry (8.4%) than a dumpin (9%). That last part is a little hard to believe, but at least with whatever data he used it seems to be the case.

    This is madness! This is almost like saying that playing team defence doesn’t matter! Go ahead, turn the puck over at the blue line with everyone headed the wrong way, it’s ok since the stats say that scoring chances against don’t increase in such cases. Even if we had fired it deep behind their net we’d still be no further ahead in preventing scoring chances against than if we had turned it over via a failed carry and now face an odd-man rush.

    It’s like saying the trap doesn’t affect scoring chances against.

    It’s like saying the punt is ineffectual.

    This simply cannot be true. Perhaps Tlusty is Max Born, and this is my own personal version of ‘God does not play dice’ (without the genius).

    P.S. Yay! I can comment!

  41. spoiler says:

    jp: The problem seems to be that Eakins has over-corrected.

    Yes I’m pretty much saying the same things except for this. I don’t see anything in Tlusty’s study or Tyler’s (I’ve only had a chance to scan it) that says coaching is the main problem (or that it is general coaching although for some reason that’s something Tlusty implies) There’s a myriad of things going on here, including the learning curve of the player and also the learning curve of those he’s playing against.

    Trust me every coach wants the optimal play every time. Some coaches define optimal differently, but our coach doesn’t appear to have the defense-first conservative philosophy.

  42. Oilanderp says:

    Oilanderp,

    After some thought, I may be able to answer my own question. Carry-ins work better because smart players only do it when it is obvious to do so and will probably succeed. The bias of remembering the fantastic blunders (unsuccessful carry-in resulting in a breakaway) and forgetting all the non-events (a successful zone entry) is at work here. The fact is that in Tlusty’s sample, unsuccessful carry-ins result in slightly LESS odd-man rushes against than successful dump ins! I’ll wait while you read that last sentence again.

    NHL players are, for the most part, smart and don’t blindly try to carry it in against all odds. The work seems to show that they should however try to carry it in a little more.

    Perhaps if they did we would see the resulting data change, which would in turn (at the extreme) suggest to not carry it in as much. Sort of hockey’s version of quantum uncertainty. The very act of observation changes that which you are observing. I wonder where Shrodinger’s Cat fits in.

    Sorry LT, this is not what the thread was intended to be about at all. Apologies.

  43. jake70 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    Lose 10 teams and hockey will instantly be way more entertaining.

    I don’t initiate the topic but when someone brings up NHL contraction I always support that idea, FULLY.

    The big ice does not result in clogged up, low scoring hockey. It’s the inability of most teams to ice teams that can score so they sit back and wait for a mistake by the other team. I watched Norway and Russia yesterday…….unbelievable how Norway had no interest in scoring…dumping in almost every time and noone chasing, even when there was no need to shift change. Their forecheck was a guy waiting/hovering near the offensive blue-line.

  44. book¡je says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I think so, yes.

    One thing to keep in mind with these tourneys is other variables.

    After a WJC, a World Cup or an Olympics you often get people talking about how exciting the games are and usually people talk about various nationalistic narratives that infuse the games with energy. Sometimes they talk about rink size.

    Both of these things certainly affect how the game is experienced.

    But, I think what really makes these kinds of events exciting, esp. when you get down to the top 5-6 teams, is the high level of competition.

    If these events are an argument for anything related to the NHL game it should be for contraction IMO.

    Lose 10 teams and hockey will instantly be way more entertaining.

    I think that once you get past the top two teams you are below average NHL talent. I think the lack of practice time and coaching influence makes the games better. The games are less perfect from a coaching standpoint making them more exciting for fans.

    As per the argument that the NHL has been diluted with expansion since the 80s (which is not an argument you made but it does come up), I would argue that the Talent pool has more than doubled since 1980 (Russians, other Euros, game growth in USA, population growth, etc.) while the league has grown by 50%. There has been no dilution of talent.

  45. jp says:

    Oilanderp:
    jp,

    This is madness!This is almost like saying that playing team defence doesn’t matter!Go ahead, turn the puck over at the blue line with everyone headed the wrong way, it’s ok since the stats say that scoring chances against don’t increase in such cases.Even if we had fired it deep behind their net we’d still be no further ahead in preventing scoring chances against than if we had turned it over via a failed carry and now face an odd-man rush.

    It’s like saying the trap doesn’t affect scoring chances against.

    It’s like saying the punt is ineffectual.

    This simply cannot be true.Perhaps Tlusty is Max Born, and this is my own personal version of ‘God does not play dice’ (without the genius).

    P.S. Yay! I can comment!

    Yeah, I agree it’s pretty weird.

    One thing I was thinking about last night is that there could be an inherent bias in the data. That is, players who are more likely to carry the puck into the zone may be better at playing defense than guys who are more likely to dump it in. I’m thinking Hall vs Gazdic here. And I guess it wouldn’t have to be defensive play specifically. If the players carrying it in (and those they’re on the ice with) are “better” players generally that could offset the effect of more blueline turnovers.

    It’s also possible that our eyes really are deceiving us and we remember the bad events like you suggest above.

    Something else is that maybe the average dumpin isn’t as safe a play as we think. If it’s “with the intent of generating offense” as Tlusty says, then you have 1 or 2 guys chasing the puck 200 feet from your own net. A couple of crisp passes by the defenders and there’s a 5 on 4 or 4 on 3 for the length of the ice almost every time.

    I don’t know the answer, but there likely is a sensible explanation for all this.

  46. jp says:

    spoiler: Yes I’m pretty much saying the same things except for this.I don’t see anything in Tlusty’s study or Tyler’s (I’ve only had a chance to scan it) that says coaching is the main problem (or that it is general coaching although for some reason that’s something Tlusty implies)There’s a myriad of things going on here, including the learning curve of the player and also the learning curve of those he’s playing against.

    Trust me every coach wants the optimal play every time.Some coaches define optimal differently, but our coach doesn’t appear to have the defense-first conservative philosophy.

    Well there is this from Dellow’s 2nd article (which happens to be as far as I’ve read):

    “Assuming that all of this analysis is accurate – I’m fairly confident in it – I think it’s fair to ask why this happened. It’s hard for me to link it to anything other than a tactical emphasis from the coaching staff that has had undesired consequences. Is it reasonable that this has kind of festered all year? I’m not sure. As I said above, I like what I’ve heard from Dallas Eakins.”

    Maybe he hashes it out more or changes his conclusions in the 3rd and 4th pieces, or maybe he’s wrong. But he did suggest it’s on the coaching staff.

  47. jake70 says:

    Kurri smiling after the Finns win. Man that has to sting for Russia on home soil.

  48. book¡je says:

    jake70:
    Kurri smiling after the Finns win. Man that has to sting for Russia on home soil.

    Putin may imprison their families.

  49. russ99 says:

    Considering how MacT caved on Gagner right before last year’s July arb meeting deadline and how some potential draft day trades got away from him, I’d prefer to see a deal done to move Gagner now.

    The Kings story/rumor should have increased his value somewhat, so Mac T should drive up the price by pushing deals with multiple teams.

    Besides, there’s that old adage – something is only really worth what you can get for it. I don’t see us getting vastly more at the draft or before/after the FA period opens, especially if as rumored – Sam has to agree on which city he’s to go to as part of the “handshake agreement”.

  50. FastOil says:

    I don’t think Gagner’s NTC amounts to much. He has one now in reality. He has apparently agreed to waive it and would later I am sure if circumstances don’t change – although I am sure he’ll want a say in destination which may well have to do with his fiance if they are still an item.

    I wonder what the Oilers long term planning looks like. They have problems and a lot of young players close to ready that don’t necessarily fix them. Ference’s long deal isn’t looking any better these days that’s for sure given he can’t do (first pairing) what I am sure they hired him for. What a different scenario if he could.

    MacT might surprise us but I am expecting to be underwhelmed as usual and would not be surprised to see next fall something like

    Hall RNH Yak
    Perron 2C Eberle
    Hendricks Gordon Gagner
    Smyth Lander 4RW

    Marincin Petry
    Ference JS
    Klefbom 3RD

    Scrivens
    2G

    Good UFA signings could change this and they are still due some more luck I think. I don’t think good trades are going to materialize, it seems like the GM’s are in bandit mode at least in regard to the Oilers. The team needs to scrap it out and move out of weakness and earn some respect it seems.

    The team does have the cap to overpay UFA’s as far as I can tell monkeying with armchair GM on capgeek. If the term is appropriate that is the best scenario until players can be moved for a decent return.

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