RE 13-14 MATT HENDRICKS: GLAD TIDINGS!

The Edmonton Oilers hired a dizzying array of also-rans and never-weres for the depth forward roles, and by mid-season the predictable results were in. Once again, a team that flushed entire seasons for jacks and kings, stubbed its toe trying to find players readily available in every rink in North America.

Matt Hendricks 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.62 (13th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: 10th toughest competition among regulars (third-fourth line)
  • Qual Team: 12th best competition among regulars (fourth line)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 40.8
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -2.7
  • Zone Start: 16.2% (toughest on the team among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 49/6.1% (10th among F’s >45 or more shots)
  • Boxcars: 33, 3-0-3
  • Plus Minus: -6 on a team that was -51
  1. What do these numbers tell us? Insane zone start, that jumps right out at you. Hendricks played punishing minutes in that area. He and Boyd Gordon really did play specialty minutes, the Malhotra minutes, for Edmonton.
  2. Will they do it again next season? Yes. The question becomes who is the third guy. Ideally, you want a player making under one million to fill that third role, because the two veterans are expensive for 4line duty.
  3. But this isn’t traditional 4line. Sure, but you’re not going to get 20 goals out of this unit, so spending $7 million on it looks unwise from here.
  4. Any internal candidates? Lots. I can see Lander, Pitlick, Horak or Joensuu from the group that played in Edmonton this season. Lander’s skill set might be ideal for this role, he’s not a scorer but can move the puck and has defensive acumen. Plus, he can penalty kill.
  5. Anyone on the farm? Sure, although they all probably need more seasoning. Steve Pinizzotto, Travis Ewanyk, others.
  6. Back to Hendricks. He didn’t score. At all. Well, the zone starts make that difficult and Hendricks’ career high in goals (NHL) is nine. Expecting offense under any circumstances is unwise.
  7. You didn’t like the trade. I said “Hendricks is a player we’ve discussed before, he brings clarity to the roster (Lander is probably gone, either back to Europe or to another team) and adds a physical element many felt the team needed, but he does not add that element on the skill lines.”
  8. You like him a little better now? I like the way they used him, and believe the Oilers can get significant value from the player (and the contract) if this 4line idea takes root and thrives.
  9. When do we get to talk about the new 3line? We have all summer, maybe in a few days we’ll begin to talk about it.
  10. Is there anything you don’t like about Hendricks? He takes too many dumb penalties, and despite plenty of fights (6 in Edmonton) isn’t recognized as being qualified for the enforcer role. He’s also good on the draw, but they rarely use him.
  11. What do you like? He begins to address the wicked lack of two-way wingers on this team. This has been a problem forever, and Hendricks does have some ability in this area.
  12. So, you like him as a replacement for Jones? He isn’t replacing Jones.
  13. Ryan Jones in that 3-4 line role? Ryan Jones and Matt Hendricks are not similar players and do not fill similar roles. In any way.
  14. You are okay with his Corsi? Sure, based on zone start. You’d like that number to be closer to 50, or even 45, but as the team improves these depth numbers should improve. Rising tides, do dah.
  15. Do you like the move? It’s a lot of coin, and I’m hopeful one of these kids eventually supplants him, but it was a badly needed two-way addition. If Hendricks could fill the enforcer role, and the Oilers can add an actual NHL player to that line, I’d be very happy despite the price.
  16. Why this song? I’m starting to panic a little, there’s too damn many truly great Van songs and I’m going to miss a bunch. So,Glad Tidings as a greeting, Glad Tidings because it’s too awesome to leave behind, Glad Tidings because Sopranos.

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45 Responses to "RE 13-14 MATT HENDRICKS: GLAD TIDINGS!"

  1. One-Timer says:

    Okay so I was wrong about one blue team (Chelsea). Maybe STL has a chance tonight after all!

  2. sumaclab says:

    Score? We have three guys were paying 18 million bucks to score. Never mind that Gagner,DP and YakCity will be chewing up another 8 or so million in capspace to “score” also”.

    I need matt Hendricks to bring me exactly what he brought to the Oilers this year.Grit and character.

    With Gazdic,Hendricks and Fraser on the ice the instances of stupidity against our top players were reduced drastically. Between Gazdic and MH they were a total of 20 fights.

    I wish Taylor Hall would take more penalties.The kind that Messier used to take back in the day.The Elbow to the puss.Or the stick to shins. Hall, EBS and Rnh have a reputation for being soft. A few dumbass penalties at the right moment in a game would go along way to opening up space on the ice for the 3 of them.
    MH was rock freaking solid. He pushed Ryan Jones and his indifferent play right into the press box.

    If I am the Oilers I go out and make sure that Steve Downie is at the top of my FA list this summer. Another puke who can bring it night and night out. And If I can I go get Matt Greene as my 6-7 dman.

    MH along with BG and LG I have no qualms about at all as my 4 th line.

    Lander? where is the intensity? He plays tentative. I’d rather Arcobello be my 3rd line center. Put him with Pinizotto and Downie.

    Pinizotto brought intensity and desire.His birth certificate is against him. But sometimes you need to let that pass and see what old amn power gets you. Pinizotto is a bridge guy. He certainly showed us he wants to play here. Give the guy 20 games and see what he brings . He’s already signed and he is already ours.Like Horvak maybe your solutions are already in the organization.

    MH in a word. Intensity

  3. flyfish1168 says:

    His value on the ice and locker room can’t be measured. His stats will never look good on our team until we are possession leaders in the league.

  4. Woodguy says:

    Like most fancy stats guys I didn’t like the trade.

    I was wrong.

    Hendricks QC went up significantly from NSH to EDM, got tougher zone starts, and his RelCor IMPROVED from NSH to EDM.

    He may fall off in the last 2-3 years of his contract, but that is “may” Today I think he earned it last year.

    Now for some “saw him good”

    I also like his work ethic.

    I believe that work ethic is contagious and players like Hendricks, who works hard every shift (and is a good fore-checker) seems to make others work harder. Either via shame or competition, when someone is working hard, it tends to bring the level up.

    The converse is the Gagner effect. When one player who gets significant ice time moseys on the back check and doesn’t have two fucks to give, other have less fucks to give as well.

  5. Woodguy says:

    flyfish1168:
    His value on the ice and locker room can’t be measured.His stats will never look good on our team until we are possession leaders in the league.

    Yes they can.

    I really dislike when people, (including many MSM) saying “stats can’t measure what a guy like “X” brings”

    Yes they can.

    You look at them in context and measure them against others.

    Hendrick got tougher comp, way tougher zone starts and his shot attempt ratio relative to his team’s shot attempt ratio IMPROVED.

    I also believe that most intangibles are actually tangible.

    If character/grit/heart/eyeglow causes the player to be better, you can measure it.

    Fancystats don’t show you how a player gets results, just the results.

    If Hendrick’s character/grit/hear/eyeglow is what caused his RelCor to improved despite being put in a much tougher situation, then its very tangible.

  6. cahill says:

    I kinda disagree with you on this LT.

    So, you like him as a replacement for Jones? He isn’t replacing Jones.
    Ryan Jones in that 3-4 line role? Ryan Jones and Matt Hendricks are not similar players and do not fill similar roles. In any way.

    They signed Jones right after Hendricks signed with Nashville, he was the Oilers backup plan. It was the wrong bet by the organization to resign Jones, especially with other players still available in the market. Jones should not have had a role on the Oilers for the last couple of seasons.

    You mentioned Malholtra. I am wondering if he should be a primary target for this team in Free Agency.

    If the Oilers could ice a line
    Wilson/Bailey (Gagner Trade)-Gordon-Perron (Defensive can face the toughs)
    Gazdic-Malholtra-Hendricks (For Tough Zones) – You can sub out Gazdic in tough situations.
    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    ?-Arcobello/3rd Overall Pick-Yakupov (Soft Minutes Line)

  7. PaperKurtRussell says:

    I’m watching the playoffs, and yes we definitely need more guys like Hendricks (aka Titus Pullo). I can’t imagine RNH or Gagner getting the Dubinsky treatment… The Oil need more guys like Hendricks who play what I like to call “Balls Deep” nearly every shift. As it stands, the Oil only have about 3-4 balls deep type players. Does anyone know what I mean??

  8. Lowetide says:

    cahill:
    I kinda disagree with you on this LT.

    They signed Jones right after Hendricks signed with Nashville, he was the Oilers backup plan.

    Great point. STILL, if you’re asking Ryan Jones to do Matt Hendricks job, what does that say about you?

  9. cahill says:

    Woodguy: He may fall off in the last 2-3 years of his contract, but that is “may” Today I think he earned it last year.

    The Oilers should look for two more years out of him and hopefully replace him at a lower cost. The Oilers could trade him or buy him out. If the Oilers buyout he last year of his contract. It would only be a 600k on the cap for 2 years. Which would be roughly .8% of the cap hit, based on a 75 cap hit (likely going to be higher) in 2017-18.

  10. godot10 says:

    With Boyd Gordon around, why not ease and groom Anton Lander for the Marcus Kruger role.

    Balance out the D-zone heavy lifting between

    Gordon (with Perron and somebody) and Lander (with Hendricks and somebody)

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Kulemin, Gordon, Perron
    xxx, GagnerOrReplacement, Yakupov
    Hendricks, Lander, Arcobello.
    Gadzic, Joenssu

  11. flyfish1168 says:

    Woodguy: Yes they can.

    I really dislike when people, (including many MSM) saying “stats can’t measure what a guy like “X” brings”

    Yes they can.

    You look at them in context and measure them against others.

    Hendrick got tougher comp, way tougher zone starts and his shot attempt ratio relative to his team’s shot attempt ratio IMPROVED.

    I also believe that most intangibles are actually tangible.

    If character/grit/heart/eyeglow causes the player to be better, you can measure it.

    Fancystats don’t show you how a player gets results, just the results.

    If Hendrick’s character/grit/hear/eyeglow is what caused his RelCor to improved despite being put in a much tougher situation, then its very tangible.

    My comment is ment to measure the pat in the back the posive comments he make, the voice in the locker room and on the ice. The postive reinforcement to the young team. Sticking up for his teammate Not about the corsi or corgi stats and +/-

    Now is there a stat for that?

  12. Woodguy says:

    godot10:
    With Boyd Gordon around, why not ease and groom Anton Lander for the Marcus Kruger role.

    Balance out the D-zone heavy lifting between

    Gordon (with Perron and somebody)and Lander (with Hendricks and somebody)

    Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Kulemin, Gordon, Perron
    xxx, GagnerOrReplacement, Yakupov
    Hendricks, Lander, Arcobello.
    Gadzic, Joenssu

    I swap Kulemin and Arco, but I like what you got there.

  13. VanOil says:

    Glad tidings, epic.

    It has me in a good mood. Imagine a world where the Oilers throw Jones money at the real Malhotra and give him a 2 year term. (He could be Philly capped away in a LTIR if it came to it).

    3d line of Gordon-Hendricks-Arco (Arco for a little offensive pop)
    4th line of Malhotra-Lander-Joensuu (Joensuu for all his flaws is signed and better at hockey than Gadzook and would be able to hold up the puck in the ozone corner once it got there allowing for a change)

    That is 2 lines able to do some heavy lifting. Plus 5 out of the 6 can take draws and play on the PK. Joensuu could park his but in front of the net on the 2nd PP or be replaced by Pitlick or Kharia when they are ready.

    A glad tidings and unrealistic dreams.

  14. rickithebear says:

    Woodguy: Fancystats don’t show you how a player gets results, just the results.

    The bidge stastement!

    these are all results:
    A. pocessions
    B. failed zone entry
    C. zone entry
    D. lost zone pocession
    E. Corsi
    F. Misses
    G. Pucks directed at net
    H. Blocks
    J. Shots
    K. Saves
    L. Goals

    Only on is a final result
    Pocession – failed zone entry = zone entry
    Zone entry – lost procession = corsi
    Corsi – Misses = pucks directed at net
    Pucks directed at net – blocks = shots
    shots – saves = Goals

    (A-B) = C
    C is first real measure of Success
    Controlled pocession in Ozone

    (C-D) = E
    Corsi is not the final measure of a influenced release puck.
    Misses by the shooter is the final influenced data before release.

    ((C-D)-F) = G
    The next measure of of success
    Pucks actually directed at the net.
    We can call this RTB! :)

    G – H = J
    Another success measure Pucks to net (shots)

    J-K = L
    the final measure pucks in Net
    The true measure .

    the only measure that takes in all factors.

    So 4 levels of defined points of Oppostion influence
    1. pocession to every of Zone. (Zone ENTRY)
    2. Pocwssion to release of Puck to net (RTB)
    3. Pocession on Net (shots)
    4. Pocession in Net (goals)

    Wood Guy if you are going to provide accurate pucks at net.
    Please provide me with RTB not Corsi.

    I want PUCKS TO NET (RTB)
    this is to a players point of release.

  15. justDOit says:

    I loved what Hendricks brought to the Oilers, and I’m hoping he can continue that. And from his appearance on After Hours, he’s also a great interview.

    I also thought that the short audition of Pinizzotto went well – anyone else see him good?

    Lastly, Mitch Moroz. Classy.

  16. misfit says:

    I was pretty neutral on the Hendricks trade at the time. I wasn’t too concerned with his numbers in Nashville because they were decent enough prior to this year, and players have bad years all the time. The number that did stand out in a bad way was the $1.85M cap hit, though. That’s a lot for a 4th liner, but if he can lock down a 3LW role and get decent results, it’s not that bad.

    The thing I love about the acquisition is having another strong faceoff man playing on Gordon’s wing (also glad they didn’t try playing him as a center). MacT always had 2 centers on the ice for important defensive zone draws, and having the 2nd faceoff guy as the permanent winger seems like a great move if you have the means to do it. Less confusion after the draw IMO.

    If those two play together next year, that’s going to be the line that sees the DZone and “big center” assignments. So whether you call it the 3rd or 4th line, the RW needs to be someone capable of playing against NHLers in less than ideal circumstances. Which is why I don’t like the idea of Joenssu, Pitlick, or Horak with them. I like the Moss idea mostly because of his past history playing with Gordon, but Kulemin or Stempniak (who doesn’t get talked about enough IMO) are probably better players who can provide a little offense as well.

  17. RT26 says:

    If we are going to have a tough zone start 4th line with Hendricks and Gordon, why not add Phil Larsen to the off wing? An extra floating defenseman in your own zone can only help.

    Then put Arcobello with Yakupov and one of Joensuu, Horak, Lander or Pitlick as a sheltered, offensive ZS line to kill the soft parade. Trade Gagner + for d help and go get Perron quality 2nd line help.

  18. jfry says:

    interesting look at the ahl playoffs here with some advanced stats. i didn’t realize texas was so dominant. wow

    http://nhlnumbers.com/2014/4/21/calder-cup-2014-possession-preview

    sorry if this was posted before and i missed it

  19. 719 says:

    What about Larsen on that 4th line? Right hand shot with some speed, and real good defensive instincts. I liked what I saw this year, not the biggest guy, but seems what you need if you got Gordon and Hendricks on the 4th line.

    3rd line is where I see Arco centering. Who is on his right and left is still a mystery to me. I am guessing Lander and Horak will get a look for one of the spots. The other spot has to go to a veteran who puts up points and has a two way game.

    2nd line centre being the guy they draft “is very Oilers” (to steal a phrase from woodguy)

  20. 719 says:

    RT26:
    If we are going to have a tough zone start 4th line with Hendricks and Gordon, why not add Phil Larsen to the off wing?An extra floating defenseman in your own zone can only help.

    I see I was beat to to this thought.

  21. Woodguy says:

    Posted this in the last thread:

    Tyler with his best work to date: http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6983#comment-350884

    Oilers make a tactic change to increase face off winning percentage and it has a devastating effect on shot attempt ratio.

    This is the type of analytics teams should be doing.

    I highly doubt that many teams are getting this deep in analysis, including the ones that I know that use shot data to help with decision making.

    That’s two major tactical changes Tyler has found that Eakins has made that had serious negative impact on the shot attempt ratio.

    Not good.

    I’m not Godot yet, but until the actions match the verbal, I’m pretty skeptical.

    I don’t get rid of him, but they better come out of the gates as a well oiled machine.

  22. Hammers says:

    PaperKurtRussell:
    I’m watching the playoffs, and yes we definitely need more guys like Hendricks (aka Titus Pullo).I can’t imagine RNH or Gagner getting the Dubinsky treatment… The Oil need more guys like Hendricks who play what I like to call “Balls Deep” nearly every shift.As it stands, the Oil only have about 3-4 balls deep type players.Does anyone know what I mean??

    Yes I do but who are the other 3 . Smyth retired so I don’t see any “Balls Deep” other than Hendricks .

  23. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear,

    Wood Guy if you are going to provide accurate pucks at net.
    Please provide me with RTB not Corsi.

    But when I use corsi, its not to provide accurate pucks at the net.

    Its to tell me where the puck is.

    Don’t want it to be anything else.

  24. Hammers says:

    719:
    What about Larsen on that 4th line?Right hand shot with some speed, and real good defensive instincts. I liked what I saw this year, not the biggest guy, but seems what you need if you got Gordon and Hendricks on the 4th line.

    3rd line is where I see Arco centering.Who is on his right and left is still a mystery to me.I am guessing Lander and Horak will get a look for one of the spots.The other spot has to go to a veteran who puts up points and has a two way game.

    2nd line centre being the guy they draft “is very Oilers” (to steal a phrase from woodguy)

    I like this solution & said much the same thing a month ago . Larsen can also be on 2nd PP unit .I don’t see Eakins thinking outside the box . He is to predictable in his strategy and his lines & pairings .

  25. rickithebear says:

    Woodguy:
    rickithebear,

    Wood Guy if you are going to provide accurate pucks at net.
    Please provide me with RTB not Corsi.

    But when I use corsi, its not to provide accurate pucks at the net.

    Its to tell me where the puck is.

    Don’t want it to be anything else.

    Zone entry does that.
    in or out
    that is were it is.
    ;)

  26. Zangetsu says:

    I hate how the term two way player is used nowadays. Hendricks is not a two way player, he is a one way defensive player. I have no argument that he isn’t a fourth liner today, and he actually did better than I expected him to. That being said I still think we find him to be a major liability come january. Only way I’m ok with a dreg like him on the team is if he replaces Gazdic.

  27. VOR says:

    My problem with all the roster postings and suggested trades is that there is only one of the top ten turnarounds in hockey that involved free agent signings and big name trades. Maybe it is a good model for the Oilers to emulate but it is the long odds play. The rest of the turnarounds either involve players already in the system or players drafted between the last bad season and the first high end season.

    Let me start by talking about Boston and Chicago. There seems to be an idea that Chara turned Boston around. Not true. His first year in Boston was their last bad year. Nope the turnaround happens with one roster change of significance, Milan Lucic’s rookie season. What happens is Tim Thomas save percentage goes from .905 to .921. Turns out that makes a difference. Notice, both are players in the system.

    Chicago turns it around when Toews and Kane show up at the same time. For the LA Kings it was Murphy and Wells. In Detroit it was Lidstrom and Konstantinov. In Vancouver it was Linden and Bure. In Quebec it was Sundin and Nolan going supernova in the same year. I could go on and. But there is an outlier and they did some very odd things.

    Their last bad season they had a rookie head coach, a dominant star on the cusp of greatness who could push the river but didn’t quite produce the way people had hoped when he was drafted. There the similarities end. Ten years of mediocre to truly awful had resulted in endless shuffling of the deck chairs. The result was tremendous centre depth and a veteran, gritty (hell down right frightening) D corp with some offensive punch. They needed upgrades on the wings and in goal.

    In the off season they traded their top Dman who was tougher than nails and gifted offensively for a soft minutes offensive Dman. The attraction was recency bias, The previous two years on much better teams the new guy had put up huge points. Apparently that was a teammate effect since he didn’t even replace the offence the team had given up to get him. This really bad team did try to improve the wings by overpaying for a great player who was coming off a fabulous season but was 32 years old. We can all predict the result, his offence fell off the cliff.

    None of this mattered because of four remarkable facts. The sophomore coach turned out to be a motivational and strategic genius. One of his best moves happened when he promoted this Finnish kid from his fourth line checking role and joined him at the hip with his 1C. The aging goaltender every one had wanted to replace had the best season of his outstanding career. And last but probably most importantly the year before this team had traded a box of hockey pucks in deal must saw as an overpay. The return was a failed first rounder and while he might not have been Cam Barker his career was certainly headed that way. But the young head coach saw something in him and promoted him to 1D. Like I said the young coach was a genius.

    The coach would become a legend, Ken Hitchcock. Sergei Zubov didn’t fill Kevin Hatche’s immense shoes that year but in the long term Dallas won that trade big time. The effect Jere Lehtinen had on Mike Modano’s outcomes was astounding. Andy Moog had his last great year. And of course Hitch was right about Daryl Sydor.

    Now keep in mind this is the only turnaround that involved huge trades or big off season signings between the last bad year and the first good year. Anybody think Dallas Eakins is Ken Hitchcock, that Jere Lehtinen is hiding on the roster, that trading Jeff Petry would get us back Sergei Zubov, or that spending a fortune on Pat Verbeek would be worth it. Now it is possible that Marincin might be Zydor and Scrivens might be the real thing in net.

    Still our best hope is Nurse steps in and plays 1D like a huge Larry Murphy, that Hopkins goes all Sundin and Yak decides he is Owen Nolan. Then maybe this was our last bad year. And it didn’t involve a massive roster shakeup at all. By the way as far as I can tell no great turnaround has ever involved the number of players most proposals being presented here are suggesting.

  28. pboy says:

    I can’t help but think that Mike Richards is going to be an Oiler next season. He’s had a pretty disappointing season by his standards in LA this year but he brings a lot of the intangibles that the Oilers are looking for. Also, his lowest point totals are about on par with Samwise’s best years. Richards makes a lot of money and for a long time but he’s getting buried pretty deep depth wise in LA and no team can afford that kind of money on their 3rd or 4th line.

    RNH – Richards > RNH – Gagner

  29. Lowetide says:

    Zangetsu:
    I hate how the term two way player is used nowadays. Hendricks is not a two way player, he is a one way defensive player. I have no argument that he isn’t a fourth liner today, and he actually did better than I expected him to. That being said I still think we find him to be a major liability come january. Only way I’m ok with a dreg like him on the team is if he replaces Gazdic.

    Imagine my surprise when Ryan Jones got mentioned as a two-way type.

  30. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide: Imagine my surprise when Ryan Jones got mentioned as a two-way type.

    Nobody said he was succeeding at the role! I’m pretty sure that’s the role they were hoping he would fill.

  31. Caramel Obvious says:

    Mike Richards is a shadow of his former self. That contract is toxic.

  32. pboy says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Mike Richards is a shadow of his former self.That contract is toxic.

    I’m not advocating it but I thinks it’s the kind of move we are going to see.

  33. Caramel Obvious says:

    There’s an easy heuristic to finding undervalued players.

    1) Go to team page on extraskater.com
    2) Sort by relative shot metrics
    3) identify guys as good or better than their teammates
    4) Sort by zone starts/quality of teammates etc.
    5) identify guys not getting zone start pushes and not playing with best teammates
    6) Guys in groups three and five are the ones you want
    7) Look up their minor league record and see if they ever scored near a pt/game

    On the Kings this means you want Tyler Toffoli or Tanner Pearson, which is a surprise to no one. However, what might be a surprise is that these guys are better than Richards right now, let alone in the future.

    So there is no trade to be made with the Kings but there are 29 other teams to do this with.

  34. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: 3) identify guys as good or better than their teammates
    4) Sort by zone starts/quality of teammates etc.
    5) identify guys not getting zone start pushes and not playing with best teammates

    Our friend the Vollman Sledgehammer has done exactly this for us. Easier to go here:
    http://www.hockeyabstract.com/playerusagecharts
    and look for players with big blue bubbles in the top left (two way) or top right (offense first) quadrants. The extra bonus is the bubble size tells you who the coach is relying on, vs someone whose good numbers are a figment of sample size.

  35. G Money says:

    VOR,

    Your post is true, unfortunately what your recommendation boils down to is: wait for RNH, Yak, and Nurse to become legit 1C, 1R, and 1D players. Otherwise hope is lost.

    In one sense you are correct – at this point, if RNH and Yak do not start playing like legit 1OV players and Nurse does not become a legit top pairing D, it’s hard to see how the Oilers will ever contend with this current group of players.

    Unfortunately, I still don’t think that’s enough – RNH/Yak/Nurse fulfilling potential is a necessary but not sufficient condition. That’s where the trades and draft (along with other players developing) comes in.

    This draft (assuming no trade), we will with high probability get either our future 2C or (other) future top pairing D. It will take a couple of years for that to be a valid statement, but at least that’s still in the window for this group.

    Within that window, barring an Ekblad draft, we will also need the farm to graduate another NHL-calibre D (to replace Ference, and assuming that Nurse, Petry, Marincin, and Klefbom will form a core of four, and Schultz actually develops into what his potential suggests he could be).

    We will also need the farm to produce at least a couple of cheap and capable third and fourth liners. I keep hearing that the 3 and 4 lines don’t impact the game much, and directly I believe that’s true. Indirectly, I believe they have a huge impact – if you don’t have a defensively reliable bottom 6, you have to overplay and/or rob offensive zone starts from your top 6, and that domino effect I think was pretty substantive for the Oilers this year.

    Especially with a 180 lb 1C who is unlikely to respond well to playing 20+ minutes against the other teams power each and every night.

    Any future success relies on all of this happening: RNH, Yak, Schultz, Marincin, Klefbom, Nurse developing, this years draft pick working out at 2C or top pairing D, and the farm contributing a few capable D and third and fourth liners.

    MacT can accelerate the timeline AND markedly remove the development risk by way of astute trades and/or astute signings. Signing or trading for the equivalent of e.g. Niskanen, Fayne, Grabovski and Kulemin would take care of virtually everything but the RNH/Yak/Nurse development requirement.

    That’s huge. That’s why the trades and signings remain so important.

  36. justDOit says:

    pboy: I’m not advocating it but I thinks it’s the kind of move we are going to see.

    Mike Richards could be the new Horcoff – overpaid and underperforming, but decent in the circle and a good mentor for Sam Bennett (*hopes*). I’m pretty sure Stevie Y likes him too, so it’s a slam-dunk!

  37. theres oil in virginia says:

    What I’ve learned from watching the Hawks-Blues game today:

    Bickell is a marksman of the highest quality. He hit the dead-center of the target on a hard shot. Someone just needs to tell him that the idea is to shoot around the goalie.

    Oshie is so good, he doesn’t even know that he’s good. He scored on a nice, short shot from in front of Miller, and his teammates are celebrating while he’s just standing there. They come over to him, and you can see his confusion and read his lips: “Did I score?”. He needs to watch some Yak-celly vids.

  38. delooper says:

    Woodguy:
    Hendricks QC went up significantly from NSH to EDM, got tougher zone starts, and his RelCor IMPROVED from NSH to EDM.

    Has anyone tried to find modified player metrics that are less dependent on the linemates a player has, or which team they’re on? Hendricks would seem to be a cautionary tale in too much reliance on metrics. He does not appear to have changed as a player at all in his move from Nashville to Edmonton. Yet his metrics changed.

  39. One-Timer says:

    VOR,

    I’m a believer in incremental change, and agree that the Oilers are not going to become contenders through a blockbuster trade. We’ll get one more nice piece (choose wisely, MacT), and the rest will have to grow into place. For balance, that means picking up a C on draft day.

    By the way, are you the guy who used to do “The Rrrrest of the Story” on CHQT?

  40. speeds says:

    Woodguy:
    Like most fancy stats guys I didn’t like the trade.

    I was wrong.

    Hendricks QC went up significantly from NSH to EDM, got tougher zone starts, and his RelCor IMPROVED from NSH to EDM.

    He may fall off in the last 2-3 years of his contract, but that is “may”Today I think he earned it last year.

    Now for some “saw him good”

    I also like his work ethic.

    I believe that work ethic is contagious and players like Hendricks, who works hard every shift (and is a good fore-checker) seems to make others work harder.Either via shame or competition, when someone is working hard, it tends to bring the level up.

    The converse is the Gagner effect.When one player who gets significant ice time moseys on the back check and doesn’t have two fucks to give, other have less fucks to give as well.

    Why are you so quick to conclude you were wrong? It is certainly possible, I’ll also fully agree that he was better than I thought he’d be in year one, and the better he is now, probably the better you could expect him to be going forward. But year one was never the major concern with the deal.

  41. One-Timer says:

    G Money:
    VOR,

    MacT can accelerate the timeline AND markedly remove the development risk by way of astute trades and/or astute signings.Signing or trading for the equivalent of e.g. Niskanen, Fayne, Grabovski and Kulemin would take care of virtually everything but the RNH/Yak/Nurse development requirement.

    It’ll have to be Option B. This team is still in the larval stage, and the Oil would have to give up way too much right now for those parts they need the most. GM’s don’t just give away top C’s and D’s. 3-for-1 sounds real cool, but it’s something you do to become a Cup contender, not a Playoff contender. (Signal the flood of counter-examples to come in…)

    Go whale-hunting for Stastny and some 8-9-10′s this summer with the cap space. In cetacean terms, that would be one Finback and a couple of Minkes.

    Then maybe we finish outside of the bottom 10. Would anyone turn their nose up at 18th place next year? I’d be elated.

  42. iwin76 says:

    Woodguy: Yes they can.

    I really dislike when people, (including many MSM) saying “stats can’t measure what a guy like “X” brings”

    Yes they can.

    You look at them in context and measure them against others.

    Hendrick got tougher comp, way tougher zone starts and his shot attempt ratio relative to his team’s shot attempt ratio IMPROVED.

    I also believe that most intangibles are actually tangible.

    If character/grit/heart/eyeglow causes the player to be better, you can measure it.

    Fancystats don’t show you how a player gets results, just the results.

    If Hendrick’s character/grit/hear/eyeglow is what caused his RelCor to improved despite being put in a much tougher situation, then its very tangible.

    Wouldn’t a big reason his RelCorsi went up be that it was now relative to the Oilers? Nashville is no screaming hell, but they are better than Edmonton. If a player maintains his level of play but is now examined relative to a worse group of comparators, would his RelCorsi not go up?

  43. lawrenharris says:

    Lowetide: Imagine my surprise when Ryan Jones got mentioned as a two-way type.

    Imagine my surprise when Hendricks got imentioned as a two-way type (33-3-0-3).

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