RE 13-14 JESSE JOENSUU: CUL DE SAC

The Edmonton Oilers signed Jesse Joensuu last summer, which inspired Teemu Hartikainen’s flight to Russia. A year later, its not at all clear it was the correct choice. What’s more, Hartikainen is down the line as payment for an enforcer on the blue. And Joensuu, absolutely no screaming hell, is signed for another season! For Craig MacTavish, this transaction thread looks decidedly unimpressive one year later.

Jesse Joensuu 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.65 (12th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.91 (6th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 11th toughest faced among regular forwards (fourth line)
  • Qual Team: 9th best available teammates among regular forwards (third-fourth line)
  • Corsi Rel: -.2 (10th best among regular forwards)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 43.8
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -0.3
  • Zone Start: 32.2% (3rd toughest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 45% (9th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 41/7.3% (9th among F’s >40 shots)
  • Boxcars: 42, 3-2-5
  • Plus Minus: -16 on a team that was -51

RE 13-14: 51, 7-7-14 .275

Actual: 42, 3-2-5 .119

  1. What does these numbers tell us? He played against the soft parade with third line teammates, with a ghastly zone start. 32.2% is prison.
  2. So, the offense is okay considering? Boyd Gordon had more severe zs’s and scored more than 20 points. Gordon had a 20% ZS and scored 0.93/60 5×5, so I think we’d have every right to expect more from him—his line wasn’t facing tough opps. I mean, let’s be honest here: He didn’t score at all.
  3. What did you say about him in pre-season? Quoting the summer/fall RE: I think he has a really good chance here, his competition is Ryan Smyth (a wonderful player for years but nearing the end) and Ryan Jones (an offensive winger trying to overcome injury) and Joensuu is a young man with some nice things (size, 2-way play, some skill of his own). But, here in reasonable it’s best not to get ahead of yourself. Joensuu is signed for 2 seasons at less than $1M per year–he could fill a 4line job and not be overpaid.
  4. Who won? Smyth, and it wasn’t close. Joensuu looked good in game one, got hurt, and we didn’t hear from him for the longest while.
  5. Well, Hartikainen’s 5×5/60 a year ago was nil! So this is better. Joensuu had fully half a season to post offense—hell, if he had 10 points in 42 games we could have a conversation, but this isn’t much to sink your teeth into and project for next season.
  6. His Corsi Rel, 5×5 Corsi For% are average, that’s good considering ZS’s. Right? He played with Boyd Gordon and Luke Gazdic most often, but those two rarely played together. So, we get some insight into how Joenssu worked with this group. They’re all in the 40′s, I’m not sure we can draw and massive conclusions from them, especially in Joensuu’s half season. He spent a productive hour with Sam Gagner btw.
  7. Was there ever a time when he looked good? Start of the season, for sure. There were postgame moments. Eakins: “He feels that ice in front of the net is his and nobody else’s. Dustin is a big man and for Jesse to push him back is a great sign. I just think Jesse was around the net. Pushing Byfuglien back a few feet was impressive, though. He’s a big man.”
  8. What do teams see in him? Over to you, Doug Weight. “Three years ago he was here, and he wasn’t in shape and he was still young. This year he came back and he is fit now, he’s living the right way, he’s very focused. It was unfortunate for him the minute he got here in camp, he had a nagging problem throughout the summer, you know those hernias that everybody gets, and he had to take care of it. With a shortened season he was never able to get off the ground here. Very big kid, he will take the puck to the net; he’s going to compete. He came in and played a game in the playoffs for us and really competed, he played physical and he’s a big Finnish kid that’s going to score some goals around the net. You mix him with, I mean obviously the list of your talent up front is ridiculous with RNH and Eberle and Hall and Sam [Gagner] and now David Perron; you guys got so many guys, it’s crazy. He’ll be able to fit in there and be able to contribute.”
  9. But he never did. No. Injuries and then long stretches where he didn’t do a damn thing.
  10. We love the Finns. LOVE the Finns.
  11. Oilers don’t win anything without Finns on the roster. True.
  12. Where do we go from here? Well, Joensuu has one more year.
  13. How long have the Oilers been looking for a big winger as a solution? They were on the lookout for a Perron forever, and a Joensuu almost as long. In 08-09, MacT had Dustin Penner, Erik Cole, Ethan Moreau, and then guys like Stortini in secondary roles. In 09-10, Pat Quinn had Penner again but added (in a feature role) JF Jacques and Ryan Stone. Tom Renney came in for 10-11 and ignored it—and that was smart based on the available options—and then in 2011-12 Steve Tambellini gifted him Ben Eager.
  14. What about Ralph? Ralph Krueger decided Teemu Hartikainen was the guy. He played 16 games in January and February, but wasn’t putting together anything resembling offense, and it was down the road.
  15. Is Joensuu a better hockey player than Teemu Hartikainen? I don’t believe there’s evidence proving it.
  16. Why did they sour on Harski? I think it must have been conditioning, foot speed or scoring—or all of the above. MacT’s first roster move was to call up Lander and Hartikainen, but he didn’t piss a drop and in summer MacT didn’t offer him a one-way deal.
  17. Which he then gladly offered Joensuu. Yes.
  18. Do their NHL career stats compare? At this point, Hartikainen’s boxcars (52GP, 6-7-13 .250) and Joensuu’s (67GP, 8-7-15 .224) are very similar.
  19. Why didn’t they like Harski? You just asked me this, but okay. There are only a few possibilities.
  20. What are they? Either he wasn’t in shape, he didn’t play with the aggression the Oilers wanted him to, he didn’t skate well enough to project forward or he had an attitude problem.
  21. I never heard a thing about an attitude problem. Me either, but those are the possibles. I’ll guess they wanted him to be more physical, announce his presence with authority.
  22. Joensuu did that. Yes.
  23. And got hurt. Yes.
  24. Morale of the story? Trade for Mark Fraser.
  25. Who will have the better career? Who knows? The Leafs picked up Hartikainen, but they’re making management changes so one wonders what’s happening there, and the Finn may not be heard from again.
  26. And Joensuu? His contract says there’s one more sortie, and maybe that’s all he needs to establish himself.
  27. Why this song? Cul de Sac. This little trade (Hartikainen for Joensuu) is a bit of running in circles and there doesn’t seem to be a way to the other side, the other side representing success.
  28. This is an obscure song. In many ways, all of Morrison’s songs are obscure. That’s okay, makes for bigger (and more pleasant) surprises.

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76 Responses to "RE 13-14 JESSE JOENSUU: CUL DE SAC"

  1. Halfwise says:

    At the beginning of the season I believed we would see good things from both Joensuu and Belov.

    Maybe there had been a sale on Kool-Aid down at the drug store, and I bought some. Maybe they were giving it away, I forget. Anyhoo, I drank a lot of it.

    MacT gets the benefit of a lot of goodwill, doesn’t he? I think it’s because at least he was trying, rather than watching useful players go by on the waiver wire. Effin Tambellini. The hole is still deep.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Lowdown:

    10:05 Steve Lansky, BigMouth Sports
    10:25 Kent Simpson, Oil Kings Color
    11:00 Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus
    11:25 Paul Almeida, Saturday Sports Extra

    @lowetide_ and 10-1260 via text.

  3. LMHF#1 says:

    He played that one really strong game with Yakupov, got hurt and that was it. Guess he was probably just amped up and giving an above-his-head performance. Oh well. Shoulda been Teemu. He had a pretty decent year for Ufa. Some interesting players on that team.

  4. Ca$h-Money! says:

    I think there is a chance, not a great one but a real one, that he is a better player next season. I’m of the opinion that a back injury to a power forward is the equivalent of a wrist injury to a sniper (see Semin, Alex). Something you come back from relatively quickly but take FOREVER to actually recover from, and something that subtly but profoundly impacts your effectiveness.

    I wouldn’t bet on it if the odds were 1:1, but it could be that next year we get more of Uncle Jesse from those early games.

    With that said I pray there are other options in the system in the likely case that I’m wrong.

  5. TheOtherJohn says:

    That certainly was a lost season by Joensuu. At least he’s signed for another year at $950K.

    Hey can we trade for Rene Bourque. Heard he was big, good skater with good hands. Can finish (albeit he is not Finnish) A “Gordie Howe” type if the 1st round series is any indication

  6. regwald says:

    Just remember part of Hartikainen’s departure was he wanted a 1 way contract to resign. Based on his results, MacT wasn’t prepared to offer him a 1 way contract and thus he went to the KHL.

  7. Jordan says:

    Nothing wrong with taking a chance on a guy like JJ when you’ve got nothing else going.

    The Oilers need that big forward who can play with skill. The question for me is whether he’s already on his way?

    JUJHAR KHAIRA 6′ 3″ 210 lbs
    MITCHELL MOROZ 6′ 2″ 211 lbs
    BOGDAN YAKIMOV 6′ 5″ 202 lbs
    DANIIL ZHARKOV 6′ 4″ 208 lbs

    None of these prospects are Bona-fide, but I think all of them have a shot at becoming a 20-20-40 guy.

    I’m not including older prospects like Pitlick or Hamilton, as I think they have shown enough for us to know they are not that guy.

    If you had to put your money on one of them becoming that guy, who would it be?

  8. mumbai max says:

    Jordan:
    Nothing wrong with taking a chance on a guy like JJ when you’ve got nothing else going.

    The Oilers need that big forward who can play with skill.The question for me is whether he’s already on his way?

    JUJHAR KHAIRA6′ 3″210 lbs
    MITCHELL MOROZ6′ 2″ 211 lbs
    BOGDAN YAKIMOV 6′ 5″202 lbs
    DANIIL ZHARKOV 6′ 4″ 208 lbs

    None of these prospects are Bona-fide, but I think all of them have a shot at becoming a 20-20-40 guy.

    I’m not including older prospects like Pitlick or Hamilton, as I think they have shown enough for us to know they are not that guy.

    If you had to put your money on one of them becoming that guy, who would it be?

    Impossible to know if any of them will work out, but I am most intrigued by Yakimov.

  9. Jordan says:

    Honestly, I’m pretty excited about the first three – I’m not convinced Danill will come back to play NA Hockey. I’m hopeful that Yakimov will still be happy to play with the Oilers after the disastrous season Nail had, but I’m worried he will have soured. Have to see how that plays out, and how they handle AAA pitching..

    Back to JJ – really hope he can do more next year – even if he can turn himself into a trade chip at the deadline, at least that’s something.

  10. Racki says:

    Not a fan of Joensuu OR Harsky. But I think some excusability with Joensuu due to the bad back. Might have a lot to do with it. Still, unfortunately we need healthy guys who can contribute regularly. He isn’t much help to the team. I hope he can have a better year this year though.

  11. russ99 says:

    Jordan,

    We also need big forwards who can defend.

    So we should suspend the Lucic hunt until one of the many prospects can make the jump and get NHL level shutdown players on the bottom six instead.

    Would the likes of Joensuu, Jones, Lander, Arcobello, Horak, Gazdic, etc. make the bottom six of any of this year’s playoff teams, especially the ones in the Pacific that we need to beat to get a playoff spot? I don’t think so.

    This is where we need to improve, not chasing the rare big 2-way scoring power forward that can push his way onto the first line.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Cul-de-sac (1966) is also one of Polanski’s great, early, weird comedies

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

    ———-
    On Joensuu… I held out hope for a long time but there just wasn’t a player there this year. I accepted that around X-mas I think.

    That doesn’t mean there isn’t a player there… at all…

    As someone who’s had back injuries, that stuff can screw you up for a long time and the simplest gesture can feel like gargantuan tasks. you are always aware of it afterward too. it’s just never right again after it slips that first time.

    SO… who knows maybe he trains hard in the summer and shows up at camp and fights for and wins a job and stays healthy… I doubt it though. classic burying case, he’ll be in the Eager role next year in OKC.

    ———-
    On Hartikainen… there’s a simpler explanation that doesn’t involve any real hard feelings or anything on either side.

    It is entirely possible that Hartikainen felt he’d completed his AHL resume and wanted to make some money. When MacT wouldn’t extend a one-way, they parted ways on amicable terms.

    That certainly means MacT wasn’t certain about Teemu (not certain enough to offer a one-way), but it also means he still saw value in the player and would have had him on his team but for Harti wanting to get on with his life more than play in the NHL.

    remember MacT retained his rights, unlike Rajala.

  13. Rondo says:

    The elephant in the room.

    “This just in from Bloomberg Businessweek, their efficiency rating on which pro sports team do the best at turning dollars spent on salary into wins and championships.

    The worst team on the list of 122 NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB teams? The Chicago Cubs.

    The second worst team? The Edmonton Oilers.”

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/04/24/the-second-least-efficient-team-in-all-north-american-team-sports-here-come-the-oilers/

    Oilers fans look at the symptoms for example who we should trade or draft but this will do very little because the Oilers are one of the worst run teams in Professional sports.

  14. Racki says:

    Rondo:

    As far as I’m concerned.. Tell me something I don’t know. We didn’t need Newsweek to do the research. I’m surprised there is a pro sports team worse run.

    That said, I think Tambellini ran this team into the ground. I know lots don’t feel this way, but I feel like it’s in good hands under MacT. There’s a lot of repair work here though. Tambi left him with some great young forwards, but not much else. I see the arrows slowly starting to point up even though the results last year were the same. The big thing the Oilers have going for them now is they have a GM that has a very obvious plan and is not afraid to execute it.

    There have been lots of reasons to hate the Oilers and their management staff. I think MacTavish is a wise man though who is taking the heat of this organizations ineptitude, undeservingly. He hasn’t turned the team around yet, and he certainly isn’t perfect but in my mind I have to forget the bumblings of Dithers and not hold the new guy (so to speak) accountable for the crap he inherited.

    There have been some setbacks.. As I said, he isn’t perfect. I am not keen on Eakins. But call me stupid.. I think this team is in a lot better hands under MacT than it has been in over a decade
    Not that this is saying much..

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Jordan: DANIIL ZHARKOV 6′ 4″ 208 lbs

    ooph… not looking good for the forgotten Russian.

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=103517

    tough year. no way he showed enough to bring him out of his contract for next year in KHL. if he has a good year 14-15 it’s possible he comes back, but he’d probably have to play in the AHL for a while and guys that have established themselves in the KHL are loath to leave for AHL $$

  16. Hammers says:

    Joensuu much like Gags an injury out of the gate and it effected the whole season . . Will Gags be better ? Yes but you can still trade him . Will Joensuu be better , also a yes but probably not to the level Oiler fans want or expect . At his cost if he clears waivers he wouldn’t be a bad guy to have in OKL for recall .As for Harski , it’s time to forget him as he really didn’t prove anything .

  17. Ducey says:

    Rondo: The elephant in the room.“This just in from Bloomberg Businessweek, their efficiency rating on which pro sports team do the best at turning dollars spent on salary into wins and championships.The worst team on the list of 122 NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB teams? The Chicago Cubs.The second worst team? The Edmonton Oilers.”http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/04/24/the-second-least-efficient-team-in-all-north-american-team-sports-here-come-the-oilers/Oilers fans look at the symptoms for example who we should trade or draft but this will do very little because the Oilers are one of the worst run teams in Professional sports.

    The Oilers were trying to tank for at least three of those years. I guess everyone has forgotten that.

  18. Bar_Qu says:

    Zharkov sounds like we can move him from prospects to suspects list, at least this year was a serious down arrow.

    JJ’s year was weird too, and this song is weird, so that’s another connection….

  19. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Ducey,

    I think it’s more about the fact that we spent to the cap while tanking.

    Gotta pay Cam Barker top dollar, there is lots of demand for a guy like that….

  20. regwald says:

    Rondo:
    The elephant in the room.

    “This just in from Bloomberg Businessweek, their efficiency rating on which pro sports team do the best at turningdollars spent on salary into wins and championships.

    The worst team on the list of 122 NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB teams? The Chicago Cubs.

    The second worst team? The Edmonton Oilers.”

    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/04/24/the-second-least-efficient-team-in-all-north-american-team-sports-here-come-the-oilers/

    Oilers fans look at the symptomsfor example who we should trade or draft but this will do very little because the Oilers are one of the worst run teams in Professional sports.

    This is no surprise to Oilers fans, however that is only a measure of results on the ice vs money spent. Katz is also looking at the bottom line for revenue and he is still making money. So who’s the fool here ?

  21. G Money says:

    Joensuu, like Belov, was a good risk to take – minimal cost, high potential. Too bad Belov didn’t work out. At least JJ has a year to redeem himself. Given his size and his back problems, can we call him the Jackknifed Juggernaut (Airbag)?

  22. G Money says:

    Slightly off topic, but an excellent deconstruction of RNH’s season by Staples:
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/04/25/ryan-nugent-hopkins-learning-ropes-in-ultimate-school-of-hard-knocks-nhls-western-conference/

    That second 20-game segment (19.9 TOI, 18 pts, +6) is what I honestly believe reflects the player we will have long-term in the Baby Nuge. Who just turned 21, so I guess we should start calling him the Toddler Nuge.

  23. Ducey says:

    Ca$h-Money!: Ducey, I think it’s more about the fact that we spent to the cap while tanking.Gotta pay Cam Barker top dollar, there is lots of demand for a guy like that….

    So if they didn’t spend to the cap while tanking that would be better?

    If your tanking, your tanking.

  24. Younger Oil says:

    The thing with Zharkov is that he was only getting 6:45 of ice time a game. While I agree his status as a prospect doesn’t look good, he was getting hardly any ice time, which probably means the quality of his line mates were poor as well.

    http://en.khl.ru/players/17309/

    I think the fact that he played 49 out of 54 games, and was a +2 are good signs. Don’t think it will be good enough to earn him a contract, but I’d prefer to sign him and have him on the Barons over someone like Abney or Kessy.

    I agree that Yakimov, Khaira, Moroz, and likely McCarron are much better bets for forwards with size, but we shouldn’t be too quick to give up on him.

  25. Ducey says:

    Bar_Qu: Zharkov sounds like we can move him from prospects to suspects list, at least this year was a serious down arrow. JJ’s year was weird too, and this song is weird, so that’s another connection….

    Yeah, he sure looks the part, but he just doesn’t put up the points. I don’t expect he got quality minutes in his first year in the KHL, but his last season in the OHL was a disappointment.

    If the Oilers need a big guy, why don’t they sign McCarron? Its not like they are floating in 225 lb wingers who can score a little.

    In fact, they have one forward on the Oilers roster (Gazdic) and none on the AHL roster for next year (Eager and Smac will be gone) who are 225 lbs. Sign the man!

  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Younger Oil: I think the fact that he played 49 out of 54 games, and was a +2 are good signs. Don’t think it will be good enough to earn him a contract, but I’d prefer to sign him and have him on the Barons over someone like Abney or Kessy.

    I don’t have a problem with leaving these guys unsigned and in the KHL, or SHL or Liga, or whatever.

    You can use it as a development league just like anything else, retain their rights and if they ever produce and want to come over, then sort it out.

  27. Jordan says:

    Racki:
    Rondo:
    …That said, I think Tambelliniran this team into the ground. … There’s a lot of repair work here though. … There have been lots of reasons to hate the Oilers and their management staff. I think MacTavish is a wise man though who is taking the heat of this organizations ineptitude, undeservingly. He hasn’t turned the team around yet, and he certainly isn’t perfect but in my mind I have to forget the bumblings of Dithers and not hold the new guy (so to speak) accountable for the crap he inherited.

    This team got terrible when Roloson wasn’t brought back. That man stole games. Since then? Khabi stole a couple, Bachman stole one and Scrivens has stolen a couple in half a season. Hockey teams are bound by the performances of their goalies – I’m not saying everything over the last 4 years has been due to poor goaltending, but good goaltending can hide a lot or warts. All of the Oilers’ warts in past years looked even worse because the team couldn’t stop a puck.

    The Oilers are going to improve over the next two seasons just because they have a better goalie. The fact that they have a good stable of prospects on the backend, some high end/elite NHL forwards and some better roleplayers, this team is in much better shape moving forwards. Honestly, the biggest issue now with this team is staying the course. Build through the draft, keep your powder dry. Wait for Pronger to come to you.

  28. Racki says:

    Jordan: This team got terrible when Roloson wasn’t brought back.That man stole games.Since then?Khabi stole a couple, Bachman stole one and Scrivens has stolen a couple in half a season.Hockey teams are bound by the performances of their goalies – I’m not saying everything over the last 4 years has been due to poor goaltending, but good goaltending can hide a lot or warts.All of the Oilers’ warts in past years looked even worse because the team couldn’t stop a puck.

    The Oilers are going to improve over the next two seasons just because they have a better goalie.The fact that they have a good stable of prospects on the backend, some high end/elite NHL forwards and some better roleplayers, this team is in much better shape moving forwards.Honestly, the biggest issue now with this team is staying the course.Build through the draft, keep your powder dry.Wait for Pronger to come to you.

    Yah I agree on goaltending. I do think Roli had the benefit of a pretty solid defense though. Pronger alone. Man, what a team can do with that douche bag on their blue line. To have that type of player again would go miles. But I do believe Scrivens is a big step ahead of Khabi and his battered back, and a lot better than Dubnyk. The net is in good hands.. They just need this blueline to get some experience (I’d like to see a vet brought in). The forwards do need some work too. I feel things are going in the right direction in spite of the standings not proving that though.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    If I was running a hockey team, I’d at least use training camp/exhibitiion games to decide on who’s who viz The Roster.

    No “Everyone’s coming to camp equal” bullshit either.

  30. Younger Oil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I don’t have a problem with leaving these guys unsigned and in the KHL, or SHL or Liga, or whatever.

    You can use it as a development league just like anything else, retain their rights and if they ever produce and want to come over, then sort it out.

    I agree, but with Zharkov I think his development may be hurt in the KHL due to the lack of icetime.

    How long do teams retain the rights to a player after they are drafted?

  31. Bank Shot says:

    Jordan: Nothing wrong with taking a chance on a guy like JJ when you’ve got nothing else going.The Oilers need that big forward who can play with skill. The question for me is whether he’s already on his way?JUJHAR KHAIRA 6′ 3″ 210 lbsMITCHELL MOROZ 6′ 2″ 211 lbsBOGDAN YAKIMOV 6′ 5″ 202 lbsDANIIL ZHARKOV 6′ 4″ 208 lbsNone of these prospects are Bona-fide, but I think all of them have a shot at becoming a 20-20-40 guy.I’m not including older prospects like Pitlick or Hamilton, as I think they have shown enough for us to know they are not that guy.If you had to put your money on one of them becoming that guy, who would it be?

    The odds of any of those guys becoming a 20-20-40 guy are pretty long I would say.

    Khaira didn’t produce in his 19 year old season in the W and he has zero points thus far in the AHL. He and Zharkov are looking like guys that would bring 4th line offence to the NHL at best.

    I would bet on Moroz and Yakimov being 4th line guys as well.

    Greg Chase would have a shot at it, while not huge, hes gritty.

  32. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Racki,

    Racki – I agree that I have faith in MacT to navigate us forward. At a minimum he is courageous in asset mgmt (both acquisition and disposition) and he is active. Good ingredients in a GM. But how can you not include Kevin Lowe in the condemnation of that ranking in BusinessWeek? That is atrocious. Absolutely mind numbing and it is accepted as ‘oh well’? It’s amazing to me to be honest and Lowe is directly culpable – every bit as much as Tambellini. This isn’t a deep grievance I have towards Lowe, but a gobsmacked reaction (the latest one at least) to a ranking like that and the man still holding the position. Astounding. For embracers of stats and data as we are as a collective, that stat (amongst many) suggests the regime at the helm that created that situation should be sent down the road. When do you stop looking away at what the data tells you? .

  33. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money: Slightly off topic, but an excellent deconstruction of RNH’s season by Staples:
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/04/25/ryan-nugent-hopkins-learning-ropes-in-ultimate-school-of-hard-knocks-nhls-western-conference/

    Thank you for the kind words, though I believe you may have mistaken me for someone else!

  34. frjohnk says:

    Bank Shot: The odds of any of those guys becoming a 20-20-40 guy are pretty long I would say.

    Khaira didn’t produce in his 19 year old season in the W and he has zero points thus far in the AHL. He and Zharkov are looking like guys that would bring 4th line offence to the NHL at best.

    I would bet on Moroz and Yakimov being 4th line guys as well.

    Greg Chase would have a shot at it, while not huge, hes gritty.

    I think Moroz, Khaira, Yakimov, Chase will fit nicely into the bottom 6, a couple of them may push for mid 6 roles. They bring size, toughness and some skill needed for this team, but probably not ready for two, three years. Also of note, is that Moroz is the only one not listed as a centre.

    Just to think, if we fill the 2nd line center role this summer and some of these young centers come close to their potential, center ice could be a strength

  35. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Why are you talking about Leon Daisaitl and size. he is 6 ’1 and 209 lbs. an average skater in the WHL. Yes he is a bigger guy for th WHL but for the NHL not so much

    Size to me is 6′ 3 and bigger . leon draisaitl is 2 inches taller than Sam Ganer and weigh about the same., and does not play an aggressive game

  36. TheOtherJohn says:

    Ducey: The Oilers were trying to tank for at least three of those years.I guess everyone has forgotten that.

    Ah yes theOilers were trying to tank story.

    The story is not true but it takes on a life of its own. They did not try to tank in Hall’s first year.They did not try to tank in the year that YAK was 1OV and its questionable that they tried to tank in RNH draft year but only Oiler fans cab=n argue the “we were not shitty because we are shitty, we were trying to be shitty.

  37. frjohnk says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Why are you talking aboutLeon Daisaitland size.he is 6’1and 209 lbs.an average skater in the WHL. Yes he is a bigger guy for th WHL but for the NHL not so much

    Size to me is 6′ 3 and bigger . leon draisaitlis 2 inches taller than Sam Ganer and weigh about the same., and does not play an aggressive game

    He is also only 18 years old. He has a big frame and I think his playing weight is most likely over 220, I’m guessing 225 pounds in 2 to 4 years.

    Gagner in junior compared to Draisaitl in junior is a terrible comparision.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    frjohnk: He is also only 18 years old.He has a big frame and I think his playing weight is most likely over 220, I’m guessing 225 pounds in 2 to 4 years.

    Gagner in junior compared to Draisaitl in junior is a terrible comparision.

    biggest difference IMO is evident when you look at their teammates in their draft years:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0008142007.html

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0010012014.html

    Gagner was on a points-machine line. Draisaitl is basically on his own.

  39. VOR says:

    I want to say something about Sam Gagner and his terrible season. I get you all saw him bad and so did I. However, the numbers say something much different and far more interesting.

    If you don’t believe me about this go to extraskater.com and look for yourselves.

    There are 5 Oilers who were zero or better relatively in every possession category. In other words on the entire team there were five players who were consistently as good or better than their teammates in relative CF%, relative FF%, and relative SF% in 5X5 All, 5X5 Close and 5X5 Tied.

    They are Hall, Eberle, Petry, Marincin, and Gagner.

    If you normalize Gagner’s season for SV% and SH% to his career averages pre this year, in other words if you take horrible PDO out of the equation, you get approximately 67 11 goals 21 assists 31 points and -10 at 5X5.

    Interestingly, Gagner faces the toughest competition he has ever seen exactly as his PDO goes to crap. His first 7 games are awful in terms of possession numbers and plus/minus (39.9% CF, -8) and that is being kind. His last ten games are again pitiful in terms of both possession and plus/minus (41.7% CF, -9). In between he more or less holds his own though he does have the odd bad game and one terrible stretch in terms of possession where he gets tough zone starts, tough competition and mediocre teammates resulting in CF% of 33.5% but a plus minus of +2. However he is short shifted, a lot. It is his lowest total ice time and lowest average shift length of the season.

    When he gets both the quality of competition he is used to and the zone start push over two 10 game periods, his games 8-17 and 48-57 he fares much better (48.3% CF and 50.2% CF, even and -1). In both periods he is also getting somewhat short shifts though in the second it is not as noticeable.

    He also does fine when the games are tied. However, he completely collapses when it is close. Historically he has actually been a little better close than tied. His PDO is slightly worse close than when it is tied.

    More to the point when the game is in garbage time he goes to pieces. In something like 112 minutes of garbage time he was outscored 9-0. His PDO was .843 with a shooting percentage of 0% during garbage time. He has always been bad defensively in these situations but made up for it with scoring. Not this year.

    So certainly some of Gagner’s very obvious struggles are bad luck. Every time he makes a bonehead play it goes in the net because the goaltending while he is on the ice is awful. Other players make bonehead plays and get away with it. Not Gagner. So we see him bad.

    But for some reason he is massively off in terms of his offence and it isn’t that he isn’t generating chances because he is, at about the same rate as he always has. It just isn’t going in. Yes, his linemates aren’t helping, but he is also in a shooting slump himself. So there are very few highlight reel goals to dispel the negative image of his defensive lapses.

    The way his year played out I think there is some reason to suspect post-concussion syndrome. As an overall rule which comes first in a game, tied or close or garbage time 5X5. The later in the game or the more overmatched Gagner was the worse he did and then he totally fell apart at the end of the year. That would be the exact pattern you would expect if Gagner had suffered a concussion at the same time he broke his jaw.

    Reinforcing that position is the fact that in his two brutal stretches, his games 1-7 and 58-67, he gives up over half his goals at times beyond his average shift length (in the first stretch 55% of the goals scored are over his season and career average shift length times, in the final ten games it is 42%) and that is in comparison to 27.4% in the middle 50 games (by the way, in that stretch his highlight reel mistakes are often still at the ends of long shifts). His shifts of more than 1 minute remain roughly stable around 25% through the entire season.

    I am betting sometime near game 58 he aggravated his concussion. I could be wrong, there are alternative possibilities – not in condition the first 7 games, gives up on the season the last 10 games. Either way, if you returned him to his career average level of competition and zone starts and the PDO is more “typical” you are talking about a player that far outperforms his team.

    I think trading him may be a horrible mistake. To make the point lets pretend he had the shooting percentage, as did his linemates from last year, and lets say the SV% when he was on the ice was the same. That would give likely boxcars of 67 games played, 13 goals 25 assists 38 points and -4 at 5X5 which . Thus, allowing for PDO if he has the same luck this year as last he would have been tied for second on the Oilers in even strength points with Jordan Eberle in fewer games and with a better +/- though a comparable GD per 60.

    Let me close by asking, how sure are you now that your eyes told you the truth? Could bad luck and an injury be keeping us from seeing Sam Gagner good while the numbers make it much clearer?

  40. frjohnk says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: biggest difference IMO is evident when you look at their teammates in their draft years:

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0008142007.html

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0010012014.html

    Gagner was on a points-machine line. Draisaitl is basically on his own.

    I was thinking the exact same thing. What would Draisaitl put up for points if he centered a 18 year old Patrick Kane and a 19 year old Kostitsyn?

    Or what would the point totals look like if him and Reinhart switched teams?

  41. Bag of Pucks says:

    If you’d just posted a link to Van’s Cleaning Windows and left the rest of the entry blank, that likely would’ve sufficed.

    Probably what Joesnuu will be doing for a living within 3 years.

  42. TheOtherJohn says:

    Very nice points VOR. Was not aware of some of that info

  43. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    VOR:
    I want to say something about Sam Gagner and his terrible season. I get you all saw him bad and so did I. However, the numbers say something much different and far more interesting.

    If you don’t believe me about this go to extraskater.com and look for yourselves.

    There are 5 Oilers who were zero or better relatively in every possession category. In other words on the entire team there were five players who were consistently as good or better than their teammates in relative CF%, relative FF%, and relative SF% in 5X5 All, 5X5 Close and 5X5 Tied.

    They are Hall, Eberle, Petry, Marincin, and Gagner.

    If you normalize Gagner’s season for SV% and SH% to his career averages pre this year, in other words if you take horrible PDO out of the equation, you get approximately 67 11 goals 21 assists 31 points and -10 at 5X5.

    Interestingly, Gagner faces the toughest competition he has ever seen exactly as his PDO goes to crap. His first 7 games are awful in terms of possession numbers and plus/minus (39.9% CF, -8) and that is being kind. His last ten games are again pitiful in terms of both possession and plus/minus (41.7% CF, -9). In between he more or less holds his own though he does have the odd bad game and one terrible stretch in terms of possession where he gets tough zone starts, tough competition and mediocre teammates resulting in CF% of 33.5% but a plus minus of +2. However he is short shifted, a lot. It is his lowest total ice time and lowest average shift length of the season.

    When he gets both the quality of competition he is used to and the zone start push over two 10 game periods, his games 8-17 and 48-57 he fares much better (48.3% CF and 50.2% CF, even and -1). In both periods he is also getting somewhat short shifts though in the second it is not as noticeable.

    He also does fine when the games are tied. However, he completely collapses when it is close. Historically he has actually been a little better close than tied. His PDO is slightly worse close than when it is tied.

    More to the point when the game is in garbage time he goes to pieces. In something like 112 minutes of garbage time he was outscored 9-0. His PDO was .843 with a shooting percentage of 0% during garbage time. He has always been bad defensively in these situations but made up for it with scoring. Not this year.

    So certainly some of Gagner’s very obvious struggles are bad luck. Every time he makes a bonehead play it goes in the net because the goaltending while he is on the ice is awful. Other players make bonehead plays and get away with it. Not Gagner. So we see him bad.

    But for some reason he is massively off in terms of his offence and it isn’t that he isn’t generating chances because he is, at about the same rate as he always has. It just isn’t going in. Yes, his linemates aren’t helping, but he is also in a shooting slump himself. So there are very few highlight reel goals to dispel the negative image of his defensive lapses.

    The way his year played out I think there is some reason to suspect post-concussion syndrome. As an overall rule which comes first in a game, tied or close or garbage time 5X5. The later in the game or the more overmatched Gagner was the worse he did and then he totally fell apart at the end of the year. That would be the exact pattern you would expect if Gagner had suffered a concussion at the same time he broke his jaw.

    Reinforcing that position is the fact that in his two brutal stretches, his games 1-7 and 58-67, he gives up over half his goals at times beyond his average shift length (in the first stretch 55% of the goals scored are over his season and career average shift length times, in the final ten games it is 42%) and that is in comparison to 27.4% in the middle 50 games (by the way, in that stretch his highlight reel mistakes are often still at the ends of long shifts). His shifts of more than 1 minute remain roughly stable around 25% through the entire season.

    I am betting sometime near game 58 he aggravated his concussion. I could be wrong, there are alternative possibilities – not in condition the first 7 games, gives up on the season the last 10 games. Either way, if you returned him to his career average level of competition and zone starts and the PDO is more “typical” you are talking about a player that far outperforms his team.

    I think trading him may be a horrible mistake. To make the point lets pretend he had the shooting percentage, as did his linemates from last year, and lets say the SV% when he was on the ice was the same. That would give likely boxcars of 67 games played, 13 goals 25 assists 38 points and -4 at 5X5 which . Thus, allowing for PDO if he has the same luck this year as last he would have been tied for second on the Oilers in even strength points with Jordan Eberle in fewer games and with a better +/- though a comparable GD per 60.

    Let me close by asking, how sure are you now that your eyes told you the truth? Could bad luck and an injury be keeping us from seeing Sam Gagner good while the numbers make it much clearer?

    LT, that deserves to be a guest post with its own thread.

  44. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    VOR: There are 5 Oilers who were zero or better relatively in every possession category. In other words on the entire team there were five players who were consistently as good or better than their teammates in relative CF%, relative FF%, and relative SF% in 5X5 All, 5X5 Close and 5X5 Tied.
    They are Hall, Eberle, Petry, Marincin, and Gagner.

    I’m sympathetic to this but I find the approach pretty weird.

    why insist on all these categories being ticked off? seems you are going to get some weird artifacts in the data when you demand such a weird set.

    and relative to the Oilers, who have boasted a lot of garbage, is also problematic.

    If we just look at each category and not REL we get this (all > 200min)

    CF% 5×5: 13th
    CF% 5x5Close: 11th
    CF% 5x5Tied: 5th

    FF% 5×5: 10th
    FF% 5x5Close: 7th
    FF% 5x5Tied: 2nd

    SF% 5×5: 10th
    SF% 5x5Close: 7th
    SF% 5x5Tied: 3rd

    Well, I think we’ve found the artifact!

    Gagner has a pretty nice showing vs. the rest of the team 5x5Tied. Is that enough for us to skew the other samples?

    If a player is consistently better than Gagner at 5×5 and 5x5Close, but not 5x5Tied… is Gagner better than that player because he barely touches positive rel in the first two categories?

    I highly doubt it. Seems more likely, since we don’t have much of a sample at 5x5Tied that this showing is an anomaly, otherwise, we’ll have to come to some understanding/theory of why a player shows much better at Tied than Close or simple 5×5.

  45. VOR says:

    The Other John

    Neither was I. It was only because I was working on an idea for a post about how much more Sean Couturier would bring to the Oilers than Gagner that I started to see the pattern. Pure fluke, but once you see such a pattern it is hard to unsee. I spent a long time trying to prove myself wrong because I was convinced he played like crap all year. That is not what the numbers show.

    If you accept PDO is not in a players control, and most advanced stats people do, then much of Gagner’s bad season vanishes. You are left with two outlying segments his games 1-7 and 58-67. If both of those are due to injury I may owe Mr. Gagner an apology for the rude things I said about him.

  46. theres oil in virginia says:

    VOR,

    It would be hard to believe that he didn’t have a concussion and didn’t have PCS. I’m not sure the effects are measurable, but it’s bound to have played a part. However, one quibble: Gagner not marking his man 10 feet from the net and allowing a 10-bell chance resulting in a goal is not luck or awful goaltending.

  47. Ducey says:

    VOR,

    I looked at Gagner’s point production with mask and without. I posted it a while back but am too lazy to find it. There was a pretty big difference. I think he was at about .45 ppg with the mask on and then at .60 ppg when it came off. I think he was injured the last few games. I think a leg.

  48. VOR says:

    Rom,

    My point was and is that he is still one of 5 to be positive in all categories. You’ve merely accused me of picking weird categories. My point was there are weird anomalies. His tied numbers look much like his other seasons give or take, the rest of the numbers don’t look like previous seasons. Which set is more likely to be indicative of an unusual occurrence? I am saying fatigue, possibly due to a concussion was at least responsible for the first 7 games which shaped our thinking about his playing terrible defence. Then something goes badly wrong in the final ten games and reinforces our pre-conception. I am merely speculating on what happened in that ten games as I said in the post. What I can say is that his possession numbers don’t match up with the awful +/- and that part of that is probably due to luck, from great PDO to terrible PDO from last year to this. getting rid of a useful player because you can’t see past a cognitive bias is the sort of things bad teams do.

  49. G Money says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Ha, sorry Bruce! Dang it, I was scrolling down and saw Staples’ head and your headline and swapped the two of you.

    And to reiterate, excellent article!

  50. VOR says:

    I think Ducey that it might well be two separate injuries. I remember your post about the mask.

    There is Oil in Virginia. Not marking your man is the exact sort of thing I’d expect if Gagner had PCS. The research shows that concussions reduce the time it takes your brain to get fatigued and make dumb mistakes. What is not marking your man but a dumb mistake?

    I don’t know how much of the bad defence is the result of injury but I think we would all concede some of it is. What if 80% of it was injury? Would your trade Gagner before you knew? Especially given his value is near zero.

  51. G Money says:

    VOR,

    It’s an interesting analysis, thanks. I’m a bit with Rom, I think the categories might be a bit non-standard, but your point that he’s one of the few that is in the plusses is a worthwhile observation too.

    Personally, it is precisely what you’ve noted – the fact that his strong point, creative albeit streaky offensive play – have been consistently off this season, combined with ‘seen him bad’ weird defensive decision making that convinces me he is still suffering the after-effects of coming back too soon from a concussion.

    Whether he recovers and contributes at a level that is more in line with his potential and the Oilers decide to keep him, or whether next year playing with a clearer head and hopefully an improved roster and coaching continuity simply makes his numbers look stronger for value in trade, either way I hope for better things from and for Sammy next year.

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    VOR:
    Rom,

    My point was and is that he is still one of 5 to be positive in all categories. You’ve merely accused me of picking weird categories. My point was there are weird anomalies. His tied numbers look much like his other seasons give or take, the rest of the numbers don’t look like previous seasons. Which set is more likely to be indicative of an unusual occurrence?

    You’ve picked a very strange set. take 5x5Tied out and it your strange list looks a lot more normal across the board.

    On your set this can happen:

    player X is +100 in A; +100 in B and -.001 in C
    player Y is +.001 in A; +.001 in B and +.001 in C

    and because player Y is + in all three categories, he’s included in the set and therefore “better” and the other player isn’t included in the set and “worse”

    And, you have to offer a theory for why a player would post poor numbers at 5×5 and 5x5Close but not at 5x5Tied, a theory mind you that accounts for the fact that the sample sizes at both 5×5 and 5x5Close are much larger.

    I can’t think of a reason why Gagner would be his old self in a narrow period of time and situation, or why we should take that as a stronger evaluative/predictive tool.

    VOR: I am saying fatigue, possibly due to a concussion was at least responsible for the first 7 games which shaped our thinking about his playing terrible defence. Then something goes badly wrong in the final ten games and reinforces our pre-conception. I am merely speculating on what happened in that ten games as I said in the post. What I can say is that his possession numbers don’t match up with the awful +/- and that part of that is probably due to luck, from great PDO to terrible PDO from last year to this. getting rid of a useful player because you can’t see past a cognitive bias is the sort of things bad teams do.

    I haven’t contested the idea that Sam was severely impacted by injury or poor luck, or that he’s due to rebound wherever he ends up.

    Just the construction of your set. I don’t think it’s helpful.

  53. SK Oiler Fan says:

    JJ looked like Krushelniski in his first game then fell of a cliff.
    Bad backs are a bitch.

  54. theres oil in virginia says:

    VOR:
    I think Ducey that it might well be two separate injuries. I remember your post about the mask.

    There is Oil in Virginia. Not marking your man is the exact sort of thing I’d expect if Gagner had PCS. The research shows that concussions reduce the time it takes your brain to get fatigued and make dumb mistakes. What is not marking your man but a dumb mistake?

    I don’t know how much of the bad defence is the result of injury but I think we would all concede some of it is. What if 80% of it was injury? Would your trade Gagner before you knew? Especially given his value is near zero.

    Agreed on those points.

  55. Ryan says:

    VOR,

    I think you’ve spent a long time doing a post mortem on a train wreck season for Gagner which is all fine and good. However, you’re losing sight of the ‘big picture.’

    There’s an enormous amount of data on Gagner for five years pre injury which shows that he’s a softer minutes 2nd line center who consistently gets his teeth kicked in on the Corgis and generally outscored 5v5 except in 2008-9 when he had a PDO of 1016. His defensive follies have always been there even before he got mugged by Kassian.

    What we’re left with is the question of whether or not his value will rebound to the point that we could significantly improve the return on a Gagner trade or if it’s time to cut bait and free the cap space towards loftier pursuits (Statsny sweepstakes etc).

    I’m not proffering my opinion one way or the other, rather I’m just framing the issue.

  56. jb says:

    Vor just did a great job proving the lack of value these early advanced stats are actually providing.

    Number aside, there’s room on NHL teams for a Gagner, just not this one. Can anyone imagine a deep playoff run with Nuge/Gagner as 1-2? Pretend their offense is a wash, factor in contracts and you take Nuge everytime based on defensive acumen. You need a David Backes on the first to successfully shelter a Gagner imo.

    The answer is clear, wait for Pittsburgh to get bounced, then throw a Gagner, 1st, ++ package for Malkin. Problems solved.

  57. B S says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Rom, I don’t have long so for brevity, let me turn it around on you. If Gagner is only slightly worse in the other 5X5 categories, but much better in 5X5 tied than other players, then isn’t he overall contributing more?

  58. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    jb: Vor just did a great job proving the lack of value these early advanced stats are actually providing.

    this may well be the least persuasive thing written here in the last year.

    jb: The answer is clear, wait for Pittsburgh to get bounced, then throw a Gagner, 1st, ++ package for Malkin. Problems solved.

    Why would they trade Malkin?

  59. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    B S:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Rom, I don’t have long so for brevity, let me turn it around on you. If Gagner is only slightly worse in the other 5X5 categories, but much better in 5X5 tied than other players, then isn’t he overall contributing more?

    that’s not the way Vor constructed his set. He doesn’t account for slightly more/less.

    He’s accounting for + vs. –

    if you are a +1000 or +.000000001 doesn’t matter, you are a plus

  60. Jordan says:

    VOR,

    Echoing those who’ve said so before me… very interesting – thank you for posting.

    I can’t help but wonder after reading how difficult a time he has managing tough minutes about something said years ago. Is Sam Gagner the same player as Kyle Wellwood?

    Does he need to be on a soft minute out-scorer role to put up numbers and not get eaten alive? Thinking back over the last few seasons, he’s always been behind other centres, usually facing 3rd-4th line opposition, no? Horcoff’s always been ahead of him to shelter him, and RNH does that too. Now, do they need Gordon to do that as well?

    I’d suggest that most teams would see he’d be most effective in an out-scoring role that doesn’t see the toughs. The only way to do that on the road is to have 3 lines that are harder to play against/more scoring power than Sam’s line. If you’re at home, you can last change him into any situation you want.

    I hate his salary for the role, but I think Sam fits best on the 4th line with some soft minute killers. I’d love to see something more viable, but with the current roster makeup… maybe that’s Joensuu/Gazdic & Yakupov next season?

    H-N-E
    DP-XXX-XXX
    H-BG-XXX(AL?)
    LG/JJ-SG-NY
    (MA?)

    XXX-XXX
    MM-JP
    AF-JS
    OK?

    The Oilers have 28M to fill those holes & re-sign JS & JP. Works out to about 4M per. Can you fill those positions for ~4M each with adequate players? I’d say yes for the forwards, and no for the defense. If you presume Lander plays 3RW, and signs for about 1M, then you have a little more to play with. But that really hurts your effectiveness of your shut-down line. Might be better used on the 2nd, depending on who you get, and for how much.

    Its moments like this that the Ferrance overpay and the Gagner deal look pretty terrible, cap-wise.

    This summer is going to be rough…

  61. Marcus Oilerius says:

    VOR:
    I don’t know how much of the bad defence is the result of injury but I think we would all concede some of it is. What if 80% of it was injury? Would your trade Gagner before you knew? Especially given his value is near zero.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to recall discussion about Gagner’s defensive habits last year. I’m not sure if it was here or another blog, but to my mind criticisms of his play without the puck grew throughout the season.

  62. G Money says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to recall discussion about Gagner’s defensive habits last year. I’m not sure if it was here or another blog, but to my mind criticisms of his play without the puck grew throughout the season.

    They did. He fell off a Corsi cliff last year. However, most of the criticisms of Gagner “always” being terrible defensively are not true, they appear to be mostly an artifact of not being able to remember past last year aka recency bias.

    Sam actually showed solid progress defensively his first three years, reached a 5×5 FF% peak of 49.5% in 2009-10 while also achieving the best shot rate of his career at 18.59 (but had a terrible sh% that year so not a great year for points). But after that year, it sure seemed like Sam was finding his range to be a terrific 2C.

    He backslid a bit defensively under Renney’s first year but regained some of his scoring touch as well, so it was probably a wash overall. His second year under Renney was his best overall by far I would say – 5×5 FF% of 48.7% and his career high for points/60 on a decent but not particularly good sh%.

    Defensively, it all went to shit for Gagner under Krueger (as it did for Hemsky and almost every player other than Hall/Ebs/RNH). He hasn’t been able to recover this year, and most of his offensive markers are also in the toilet relative to his past.

    That’s why it’s not illogical to believe that at least part of Gagner’s mystifying defensive miscues could be attributable to post-concussion syndrome, and why some/many of his offensive miscues appear to be a blend of that plus a modicum of simple bad luck.

    I took the trouble to graph and annotate a variety of Sam’s data trends so you can draw your own conclusions:
    http://i.imgur.com/rNMtzjn.png

  63. Jordan says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Gagner’s defensive deficiencies have been brought up and reviewed on a couple of different sites, LT’s included. I think most Oilers fans recognize he may never going to be a strong defensive player at the NHL level.

    The hypothesis that has been posited related to his apparent degeneration in both the offensive zone and defensive zone. The idea that his play fell off due to Post-Concussion Syndrome seems to fit the story of Gagner’s falling off this year. If his bad play may improve next year just from having some time off to heal his noggin, it begs the question, would there be enough value in keeping him for another year, instead of holding onto him in the hopes that he’s worth more later?

    It depends on what teams would offer for him, but it’s not a question that can be answered with complete certainty. In my experience, many conservative-minded people would be more likely to hold onto an asset they know, instead of risking trading it for a loss. Which means you need to hide him somewhere in the lineup where he can produce offense, but not be a defensive liability.

    Edit: Looking at G-Money’s post, I can’t help but think his challenges are also exacerbated by team composition. (ie: Gagner needs his Penner back.)

  64. VOR says:

    The point I am trying to make about Gagner is a typical Gagner year would in fact be as soft minutes killer, like 2011-2012 (when by the way Ryan he was also a + player. Typically Gagner quarterbacks your 2nd power play and gets a zone push against middle of the road competition with middle of the road teamates. In that role he is more than acceptable (if you look at all goals both 5X5 and 5X4 and 4X5 that year he was +27, on the ice for 27 more goals for than against.)

    Overall Eakins tried to do something very interesting with Gagner this year. He tried to give him really good linemates and great zone starts but not shelter him from the toughs. That worked much better when Eakins protected him somewhat from the competition and also gave him the zone start push, though quality of teammates wasn’t quite as important, though the stretch of games he played at right wing with best players, best zone starts and toughest competition also produced good corsi and +/-. Length of shift also mattered, shorter being better.

    Gagner’s competition was tougher than Gordon’s by all measures. However, Gordon got horrible zone starts and pitiful teammates.

    Discussions of Gagner’s defensive lapses last year need to be tempered by the realization he was joined at the hip to Nail Yakupov. I like Yak and think he will be a very good, maybe even great player for a long time. However, whoever was on the ice at center when Yakupov and Whitney were on the ice together (other than on a powerplay) was going to look bad, really bad. God would have looked bad.

  65. icecastles says:

    G Money: Baby Nuge. Who just turned 21, so I guess we should start calling him the Toddler Nuge.

    Can we call him Nugget?

  66. VOR says:

    And GMONEY and JORDAN have just beautifully said that much better than I did, so my apologies for duplicating their efforts with an inferior response.

  67. G Money says:

    icecastles,

    We could, but – baby face!!

    I mean just look at him:
    http://www.nhlsnipers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/66ab572c482db47e3438bbc680ca.jpeg

    If my six-year-old brought that picture home and said this was his friend Ryan who was coming over for a playdate, I’d believe him.

  68. theres oil in virginia says:

    VOR:
    And GMONEY and JORDAN have just beautifully said that much better than I did, so my apologies for duplicating their efforts with an inferior response.

    Thanks, VOR, for providing some content and something to engage my brain while I stare at the progress meter here at work.

  69. G Money says:

    VOR:
    And GMONEY and JORDAN have just beautifully said that much better than I did, so my apologies for duplicating their efforts with an inferior response.

    Ha, I think the credit goes to you and to Jordan on that one. I was just pointing out that the idea that Gagner has “always” been terrible defensively is not true. He’s shown promise in the past, but he’s backslid horribly the last two years.

    Your point about Gagner’s teammates this year and Jordan’s point about missing Penner are really critical to any rational discussion of Sam, I think.

    That’s why LA seems like a logical destination for Sam – put him on the ice with four big nasty defensively smothering players and I think his offensive gifts will likely shine a lot brighter.

    Put him on the ice with four small defensively questionable Oilers every night, and you’re going to put his shortcomings under a spotlight every night.

  70. Big Dan says:

    Joensuu said last September that if he didn’t make the cut in the NHL, he would go back to Europe rather than play in the AHL.

    So no big deal. Arcobello, Gazdic, Lander, and Horak will all make the roster ahead of him. Oilers will send him down. He’ll either get lost on waivers (and save us a roster spot) or go back to Europe. I give it 10% odds he is wearing Oiler silks next season. He was a “nice try”; sail on Jesse.

    That one wasted spot is no big deal. MacT will have a lot of roster spots at his disposal once Smyth, Jones, Eager, MacIntyre, C.Hamilton, Larsen, Belov, Fraser, and Grebeshkov come off the books.

    He really evolved over the course of the year. He came in with all these bold promises; now he keeps things closer to his vest. He did a great job clearing out dead weight (M.Brown, Labarbera, Omark, Abney, Potter, Dubnyk, Schultz). He made a few steals – Perron, Hendricks, Scrivens, Fasth… & Horak – you’ll see. His moves were impulsive and random at first (Joensuu, Jones, Grebeshkov) but very intentional and cautious and well thought out as the year wore on.

    MacT’s biggest mistake that ruined the whole year was choosing Labarbera over Khudonin or Greiss. What a different start we would have had!

    He learned over the course of the season to not hand out NHL contracts like candy. See Mitch Holmberg or the Jones twins as examples. Or ditching O.Roy (NHL contract) for Pickard (minor league deal). Or Ty Rimmer not getting one.

  71. icecastles says:

    G Money:
    icecastles,

    We could, but – baby face!!

    I mean just look at him:
    http://www.nhlsnipers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/66ab572c482db47e3438bbc680ca.jpeg

    If my six-year-old brought that picture home and said this was his friend Ryan who was coming over for a playdate, I’d believe him.

    Nugget it is. Sounds like Nugent, but he’s our unrefined little future gold medal.

    Like your graph on Gags by the way. Very nice colours. Should have made the lines more intersecty though, and thrown in a Shyamalan-style plot twist somewhere, like giving him a negative shooting percentage or something.

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Big Dan: Joensuu said last September that if he didn’t make the cut in the NHL, he would go back to Europe rather than play in the AHL.

    I didn’t know that.

    do you have a link?

    That would lead, presumably, to an unconditional buyout waiver situation. get him off the books cap and 50-man roster wise. that would be great!

  73. B S says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I see your point then, thanks for the correction.

  74. Big Dan says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I didn’t know that.

    do you have a link?

    That would lead, presumably, to an unconditional buyout waiver situation. get him off the books cap and 50-man roster wise. that would be great!

    I couldn’t find the link but I remember watching the interview. He said he enjoyed playing overseas and that this was his last kick at the NHL. He was optimistic but if he didn’t make the Oilers’ NHL squad, he would go back.

  75. Hockey Buddha says:

    Joensuu had a great start to the season playing a tremendously effective physical game. He was a force on the ice at the start of the season, and it was beauty to behold, but then the back injury. If you’ll recall when he returned from the back injury early this season, he tried to play the exact same style that he had before the injury with his tender back. It wasn’t long before he re-injured himself. It was when he returned for a second time from injury that his play was much more restrained, but it had to be, or he would run the risk of re-injury yet again. The sad part is that playing restrained really limited his effectiveness. Joensuu simply has to play physically to be effective. He was a human wrecking ball on the ice in those first few games. He was incredible, but the body simply can’t endure that kind of punishment and sustain that kind of play over the course of an 82 game season. Joensuu has to learn to pick his spots a little better. He has to be physically involved, but he has to dial it down just a bit from how he began the year. I think that if Joensuu can do that, we’ve got a player there. He’ll be a very effective player for a long time. It’s imperative for Joensuu to learn to play smart physical and effective hockey. I’m really glad Joensuu is signed for another season; we’ll get an opportunity if he can make the necessary corrections to his game. I think that he can. I’m still holding out hope on him. He’ll never be an offensive dynamo, but he can create room and goaltender screens for others to be.

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