THE NEW BARONS

Craig MacTavish is a very aggressive guy. Proof? He’s made a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse looking for players. The result? A dizzying number of brand new pro hockey players, and one teenager who is probably the best of the bunch. Steve Tambellini would have taken years to get this done.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

  1. Greg Chase. 19-years old and not yet signed, Chase can’t play pro hockey next season but signed a tryout deal so he could play these down the stretch games. The last guy Edmonton did it with? Jordan Eberle. Incredible. At even strength in the WHL this season, Chase went 70, 25-31-56 (Jordan Eberle went 61, 20-13-33 at even strength in his season after draft). I don’t think it’s possible to soft play this season, or his performance last night. 7th round steal might not sum this up properly. 6.0, 205 according to the AHL site.
  2. Jujhar Khaira. Also 19, Khaira can turn pro this fall and showed well last night. Khaira’s 6.03, 210 according to the AHL site, and from Neal Livingston and others it sounds like he had an effective game. Khaira used his size on the power play and generally played an effective game. Khaira photo in this article via Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved.
  3. Kellen and Connor Jones. Kellen Jones is the Oiler draft pick I’ve rarely mentioned on this blog, but they’ve signed him to a contract for this season and the twins look like they’ll get a fighting chance to win pro jobs. Story is here. Kellen Jones is the last member of the 2010 Oilers draft to sign, and the tenth signed by the Oilers (Jeremie Blain signed in the Vancouver organization). The 2010 draft gave Edmonton Taylor Hall, Tyler Pitlick and Martin Marincin, and Curtis Hamilton, Tyler Bunz and Brandon Davidson remain with the club as minor leaguers.
  4. Joshua Winquist. 20-year old WHL grad coming off a 47-goal season.
  5. Mitch Holmberg. 20-year old WHL grad coming off a 62-goal season.
  6. Graeme Craig. 20-year old WHL monster defender.
  7. Jordan Oesterle, new signing from NCAA who might be a player. We talked about him here.

If Todd Nelson can improve these kids a little over the stretch run it could pay dividends down the line. There are some encouraging arrows here, ladies and men.

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84 Responses to "THE NEW BARONS"

  1. Andy P says:

    Lades? and not a gentleman among us? :)

  2. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Kane may be on the outs in Winnipeg.

    Could be a good salvage project for us. Gagner for Kane, or maybe Yak for Kane + pick? Has size, speed, skill. Maybe not the best head on his shoulders.

  3. sliderule says:

    Chase was not drafted until the seventh more because of his personality than hockey ability.

    This happens more than you might think

    If he turns out to be a Perron clone that’s just fine.

  4. sliderule says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Please ,please no more salvage projects.

    Kane is a terrific player but if he is having “personal” problems buyer beware.

  5. Lynas1 says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    I’d pass on Kane. Seems to have a poor attitude. Need no more of that.

  6. David says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    The Oilers getting Kane would be huge. But Gagner won’t even be close to enough.

  7. Marcus Oilerius says:

    sliderule,

    I think it’s worth a shot. Seguin turned out alright for Dallas. Bertuzzi rehabbed his reputation in Detroit. You’re not going to get a flawless player of Kane’s caliber for Gagner.

    This is exactly the kind of player Don Maloney in PHX would deal for.

  8. Lowetide says:

    I wouldn’t trade Yakupov.

  9. sliderule says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    I will ask Maloney about that Friday night as I am going to game.lol

  10. Alsker says:

    Lowetide:
    I wouldn’t trade Yakupov.

    Exactly, fully agree, what are the posiblities that yakcity, yakimov,chase/khaira as our 3rd line(atleast in preseason) or together in OKC. D-aware center(but O-aware as well), D-deficient winger and protector /body guard/agitator. Could be good for all 3(4) of them.

  11. blainer says:

    Say what you want about MacT but he is on a mission. I am very confident he will make the right moves. I believe this is just the beginning folks. He will find the Ethan Moreau’s and the samsonovs and the Michael peca’s of the world. He has done it before and now has the assets to make it happen. Very impressive week so far. I do think he learned a lot this past year..

  12. Lois Lowe says:

    I had no idea Chase had done so well this season. How strong was the team in Calgary relative to Ebs’ Pats team?

    Also, I would wager that we’re seeing the twilight of Curtis Hamilton’s pro career with the Oilers.

  13. sliderule says:

    Lowetide:
    I wouldn’t trade Yakupov.

    The oilers need more centre depth and more scoring from everywhere other than top four.

    The oilers need improvement in their D but unless the pick up a UFA like Markov no one is going to trade a true top two D to the oilers unless you give up one of the top three scorers.

    The oilers young D are showing that they can move the puck.Klefbom and Marincin can have defensive bad reads but damn they can pass.Schultz drives me nuts with his lackadaisical play but you can see the talent.

    I hope they show patience and don’t deal Gagner as the horrific injury he suffered was bound to affect his play .I know that is not what most of the folks think but this guy has guts and has tried to get better defensively.

    Yakupov I am ambivalent on as he works hard but I am not sure his skill set meshes with the forwards that are definite keepers.I would think that he will be moved for a bigger forward that is better defensively .

  14. blainer says:

    Looking at that pic from LT. My what happened to Dubnyk he can’t even get to play against his former teams farm club. His numbers have fallen off the cliff..even in the minors.. I don’t understand how someone just loses their talent. Was it the goalie coach or work ethic ..I mean how does this just happen..Just makes no sense and don’t know how MacT saw this coming. If anything his moves last summer should have motivated him..

  15. gcw_rocks says:

    I read Neal’s blog. Seems Khairi played well on the powerplay, but was shaky at evens.

    “Jujhar Khaira struggled a bit, but that probably is expected.”

  16. OilClog says:

    sliderule: The oilers need morecentre depth and more scoring from everywhere other than top four.

    The oilers need improvement in their D but unless the pick up a UFA like Markov no one is going to trade a true top two D to the oilers unless you give up one of the top three scorers.

    The oilers young D are showing that they can move the puck.Klefbomand Marincin can have defensive bad reads but damn they can pass.Schultz drives me nuts with his lackadaisicalplay but you can see the talent.

    Ihope they show patience and don’t deal Gagner as the horrific injury he suffered was bound to affect his play .I know that is not what most of the folks think but this guy has guts and has tried to get better defensively.

    Yakupov I am ambivalent on as he works hard but I am not sure his skill set meshes with the forwards thatare definite keepers.I would think that he will be moved for a bigger forwardthatis better defensively .

    You’re insane, Yak hits like a big man, is built like a tree stump.

    You don’t trade Yakupov.

  17. rich says:

    LT, appreciate you calling out the fact that MacT has been aggressive in his attempts to make over the team. Not every move is going to work out, but at the very least, he’s tried to upgrade the team as opposed to Tambellini who managed to just tear it down.

    From time to time we need these reminders.

    Am thankful he’s running the team as opposed to all the pseudo GM’s here who are ready to trade off Yak. Yak’s value right now is at it’s lowest, it’s been stated in many places, but that still is slowing down people here from sending him off for a bag of pucks.

  18. David says:

    Brett Pollock scores again. 5, 4-1-5 so far in the playoffs. I want the Oilers to get this guy so bad.

  19. Acumen says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Kane may be on the outs in Winnipeg.

    Could be a good salvage project for us.Gagner for Kane, or maybe Yak for Kane + pick?Has size, speed, skill.Maybe not the best head on his shoulders.

    I would be ecstatic about this pick up. If there’s a player in the league who reminds me of Billy Guerin it’s Kane, and I LOVED Guerin. He would bring a lot of what we’re lacking in our top 6.

    I’ve thought for awhile that we match up well as trade partners with Winnipeg. They need a little more skill while we need a little more size and both Ladd and Kane have both been mentioned as available throughout the year. While Ladd would be my preference, either would be outstanding.

    I know everyone around here loves him, but I think Perron would need to be the piece that gets moved out to get one of those guys. Gotta give to get, and this season definitely qualifies as selling high.

  20. stevezie says:

    Pretty hard not to love the Oilers signing guys to AHL contracts. A guy like Jones is obviously a several years prospects if he is a prospect at all, so it makes sense for everyone to get him on an AHL only deal.

    Yeah, Kane makes a lot of sense, but if they’re frustrated and want to change their team Ladd is probably my number one target. Earlier in the season he was rumoured to be on the block, but that might not mean anything.

    The problem is we don’t have any spare forwards to move. I wonder what gets that conversation started? Gagner is the obvious suggestion, maybe if we retain salary? If we add in Musil?

  21. Pouzar says:

    IMO, Kane lacks elite puck skills and hockey sense to go with that lethal speed and shot. I don’t rate him as high as some around here.

  22. David says:

    Pollock gets an assist: 5, 4-2-6 ,Oil kings up 3-0

  23. jp says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of new players coming in! Hopefully a few of them are the real deal.

    I wonder if all these signings offset the Oilers lack of draft picks this year? Maybe now Gagner won’t need to be moved for a 2nd and a 3rd…

  24. Ryan says:

    stevezie,

    I’ve never thought of Musil as being the trade chip to push a deal over the edge.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:
  26. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    All these moves sound like Money Farm to me.

    You didn’t mention the best parts LT. The Jones and Holmberg contracts are AHL SPCs, meaning they are basically under the control of the organization without being a burden on the cap or the 50-man roster.

    This is a pretty big deal.

    Chances are they don’t make it. But if they don’t? nothing is lost, not even a Cam Abney roster spot. If they make it is literally like found money.

    At worst they get scratched by the Barons or help the Condors. At reasonable they help the Barons up front for a year looking towards the season following. At best they round into useful prospects for limited NHL call-up to utility player duty.

  27. RexLibris says:

    Kulda having a nice game tonight for the Oil Kings.

    I still hope the Oilers can find a way to add both he and Mayo this June.

  28. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    All these moves sound like Money Farm to me.

    You didn’t mention the best parts LT. The Jones and Holmberg contracts are AHL SPCs, meaning they are basically under the control of the organization without being a burden on the cap or the 50-man roster.

    This is a pretty big deal.

    Chances are they don’t make it. But if they don’t? nothing is lost, not even a Cam Abney roster spot. If they make it is literally like found money.

    At worst they get scratched by the Barons or help the Condors. At reasonable they help the Barons up front for a year looking towards the season following. At best they round into useful prospects for limited NHL call-up to utility player duty.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8OxKx6zKkQ

  29. RexLibris says:

    Samuelsson makes it 5-0 to start the 3rd.

    Wheat Kings probably can’t wait for this game to end.

  30. jp says:

    OilClog: You’re insane, Yak hits like a big man, is built like a tree stump.

    You don’t trade Yakupov.

    Agreed. I don’t consider him among the small forwards and he can hit like a truck when he wants to (though he doesn’t do it consistently).

    He’s far from a finished product but he’s got 40 goal upside. And he seems to be putting the effort in to improve his game all around. I really, really hope he’s not the piece moved for a D or C this summer.

  31. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    OilClog: You’re insane, Yak hits like a big man, is built like a tree stump.

    You don’t trade Yakupov.

    exactly.

    who did you compare his body to once LT?

    was it Kovalenko?

  32. Hammers says:

    Trust in McT as far as adding players and as you said he may make some more mistakes ( like Grebs) but at least he is driving the bus and not along for the ride ala Tambo . Give the man credit he bleeds for this team . Keep getting it done McT .

  33. VanOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Interesting pieces Rom. I have been wondering for a while if NJ players may have some sort of ‘Tippet Effect’ going on with there possession numbers. I recall the ‘Tippet Effect’, that play for Tippet inflates a goalies stats has been dis-proven. But I won’t let that limit me into blundering into another such false assumption.

    Systems seem to play such a unexplained role in our knowledge so far. I should probably do some research into if they have cracked accounting for systems in Basketball analytics. I just don’t care enough about basketball.

    In hockey it is plain that some players don’t thrive in some systems. David Clarkson is not thriving in Carlyle’s system, Taylor Hall struggled in Lindy Ruffs system last spring. Where I am going with this is do you have to discount Fayne’s impressive stats as a defense man in NJ? Fayne may not be able to bring his full competence into an Eakins system. I accept that it could be argued that Carlyle and Eakins are the problem, but Lindy Ruff does seem to be able to coach successful teams in the NHL still.

  34. Ryan says:

    Hammers,

    Tambellini is often scapegoated by many around here. It’s easy to forget that when he took over as GM of the Oilers, they were a cap strung team choked with immovable contracts. While he was terrible as a GM, losing seemed to be his mandate, starting with getting Hall.

    Mact on the other hand walked into the job of GM of a team with three first picks and only one immovable contract–Horcov which he found a way to move.

  35. frjohnk says:

    jp: Agreed. I don’t consider him among the small forwards and he can hit like a truck when he wants to (though he doesn’t do it consistently).

    He’s far from a finished product but he’s got 40 goal upside. And he seems to be putting the effort in to improve his game all around. I really, really hope he’s not the piece moved for a D or C this summer.

    Scoring 40 goals these days is like scoring 60 goals back in the 80′s. It’s possible that there could be only 2 players with more than 40 goals this year.
    Ovechkin has 48
    Perry has 41
    Pavelski has 38 with 4 games left
    Crosby has 36 with 5 games left
    Kessel has 36 with 4 games left

    There is no doubt a healthy Stamkos is above 40 and possibly past Ovechkin, but if Yak can ever put up a 40 goal season, this team would be doing extremely well.

    Just for fun I looked back and saw that the Oilers had 4 40 goal scorers in 1985-86
    Kurri 68
    Gretzky 52
    Anderson 54
    Coffey 48

    Messier had 35 goals in 63 games

  36. spoiler says:

    LT said…

    At even strength in the WHL this season, Chase went 70, 25-31-56 (Jordan Eberle went 61, 20-13-33 at even strength in his season after draft). I don’t think it’s possible to soft play this season, or his performance last night. 7th round steal might not sum this up properly. 6.0, 205 according to the AHL site

    The one thing about Eberle was that he was their whole team. His TOI was probably far higher than Chase’s and certainly his PP TOI would be through the hot tin roof. But then on the other hand, his QUALTEAM would be at the bottom of the well.

    If we call that a wash… TOI versus TEAM, and I’m not certain it is, then it looks like we have a helluva player in our basement bargain 7th rounder. It is hard to believe this season is just an anomaly. Clearly the scouts were wrong about something, or there’s a skeleton rattling around in the cellar closet. I don’t care. A steal? This is like finding Pocklington’s 1984 Stanley Cup ring at a garage sale for $5. Great late drafting.

    Which makes us Detroit, right? Right? Right?

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggghhhhhht.

  37. Ryan says:

    VanOil,

    Clarkson is not so much struggling under Carlye’s system, rather he’s not a very good hockey player who’s only getting worse.

  38. David says:

    RexLibris:
    Kulda having a nice game tonight for the Oil Kings.

    I still hope the Oilers can find a way to add both he and Mayo this June.

    I’d prefer Pollock and Irving. I do love Kulda but I just don’t see him as having potential to make it to the bigs.

  39. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: exactly. who did you compare his body to once LT? was it Kovalenko?

    I think he said Marcel Dionne.

  40. VanOil says:

    Ryan:
    VanOil,

    Clarkson is not so much struggling under Carlye’s system, rather he’s not a very good hockey player who’s only getting worse.

    Yes, but he look OK in NJ, would Fayne suffer a similar lass of skill moved out of the swamp?

  41. spoiler says:

    LT said…

    There are some encouraging arrows here, ladies and men.

    The Procurement Department might have the biggest arrow of all.

  42. spoiler says:

    Perfect Gordie Howe elbow by Martinez on Sheppard goes uncalled and then Couture wraps around for the go-ahead.

  43. spoiler says:

    And then Joe Thornton fights. Wow.

    Edit: And the replay shows only a few punches thrown and he and Voynov go off for roughing.

  44. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    VanOil,

    thanks!

    NJD is a really weird team the more you look into the numbers. I was blown away to find out that not only are they an elite possession % team, but they are somehow a piss poor shot generation team.

    That means that when they play, nothing is happening. Neither team is shooting the puck at all, but the few times that either team does… NJD makes sure to get the better of the %.

    This is unlike most of the elite % teams. just a really weird situation.

    I suspect the answer is holistic: roster construction and deployment. They just refuse to build a team to play entertaining hockey.

  45. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler: I think he said Marcel Dionne.

    that sounds right. Maybe someone else mentioned Kovalenko? it got in my head somehow. (I’m gonna blame all of you!)

  46. johnnyshaka says:

    Regarding the Kellen Jones signing by the Barons, because he was drafted, does he not have to be signed by the Oilers to an ELC and then assigned to the Barons?

    (I’ve spent the last hour looking for the answer but couldn’t find it…yeah, really busy night over here!)

  47. stevezie says:

    Ryan:
    stevezie,

    I’ve never thought of Musil as being the trade chip to push a deal over the edge.

    I see Musil as exactly a chip to push a trade over the edge. Not nearly substantial enough to be the meat of a trade, but if another GM is on the fence, maybe we say, “We’ll add a recent 31st pick.” Just enough to tip it. The garnish. A side of Musil.

  48. jp says:

    frjohnk:
    If Yak can ever put up a 40 goal season in an Oilers jersey, this team will be doing extremely well.

    There, I fixed it for you.

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    johnnyshaka:
    Regarding the Kellen Jones signing by the Barons, because he was drafted, does he not have to be signed by the Oilers to an ELC and then assigned to the Barons?

    (I’ve spent the last hour looking for the answer but couldn’t find it…yeah, really busy night over here!)

    I’ve never heard anything like that…

    but since they’ve only signed him to an AHL SPC (not an NHL ELC), I think it’s safe to assume your assumption is not the case.

    but I couldn’t say conclusively.

  50. stevezie says:

    VanOil,

    That’s where traditional scouting factors in, non? Stats suggest this guy is good, let’s get some eyes on him to see if it’s true or if he is just a product of a system.

    Ryan:
    VanOil,

    Clarkson is not so much struggling under Carlye’s system, rather he’s not a very good hockey player who’s only getting worse.

    No, this isn’t true. At least not completely true. Clarkson was definitely a good hockey player as of last year. Not great, but good.

    Clarkson’s specialty in NJ was creating his own shots- being a guy who didn’t need a playmaker to get the puck at the net. This year his shot production is in the toilet.

    Word on the street is shooting percentage fluctuates, but talent should reliably get you the chances, right? Clarkson used to be able to do this, now he can’t. The Monstars didn’t suck his talent. Maybe his style does not fit the current system/he was just an incredibly perfect match for DeBoer. Not every player is adaptable- look at M. St Louis suddenly sucking in NY. Look at Souray not standing out in the AHL- and those guys are all-stars/hall-of-famers.

    Or maybe father time fell on him like a tonne of bricks. You could be right about him getting worse.

  51. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: that sounds right. Maybe someone else mentioned Kovalenko? it got in my head somehow. (I’m gonna blame all of you!)

    I had started it with Kovalchuk, or a mini-Kovie really. Pretty much any Russian with Kov in their name was built… Krutov was the first Russian nicknamed” The Tank”.

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    stevezie: I see Musil as exactly a chip to push a trade over the edge. Not nearly substantial enough to be the substance of a trade, but if another GM is on the fence, maybe we say, “We’ll add a recent 31st pick.” Just enough to tip it.

    the thing about Musil is… while we all sit here frustrated about the pick and thinking it over…

    he did go quite high and BM had him at 41

    http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=44973

    so a bit of reach, but not crazy.

    He’s played on a well-respected jr team and has been pretty good in pro so far.

    couple that with the tendency of NHL GMs to overvalue size and defensive-D all the time and I’d guess he has some value as a throw in.

  53. stevezie says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I also enjoyed your CnB posts, especially the conclusion (as I understood it), that “fancy stats” are less truth themselves as opposed to a new tool to dig at the truth.

    Which seems obvious enough to me, but apparently it is not.

  54. jp says:

    Ryan:
    VanOil,

    Clarkson is not so much struggling under Carlye’s system, rather he’s not a very good hockey player who’s only getting worse.

    Clarkson is a just turned 30 year old with a solid history as a middle 6 forward (both in terms of scoring and possession stats). He’s having a tough year and surely isn’t worth 7X5.25M, but he’s a fine hockey player who’d be a welcome addition to almost any team in the league. Just like Horcoff, still a good hockey player, just not worth the salary.

  55. steveb12344 says:

    spoiler: I had started it with Kovalchuk, or a mini-Kovie really.Pretty much any Russian with Kov in their name was built… Krutov was the first Russian nicknamed” The Tank”.

    I’m pretty sure Kharlamov was the player Rom was thinking of.

  56. Thinker says:

    This draft steal stuff got me thinking about Tobias Reider, and how stupid that trade was. It was like trading a lottery ticket for a napkin. Sure you probably weren’t going to win anyway, but what sane person makes that trade. BTW Reider looks like a player 67gp, 27 goals 19 assists for 46 points as a rookie abler.He’s 5 11 but 190. Talk about size all you isn’t he isn’t really small. he could have made room for an Eberle or Yakupov or Perron trade. Stupid Stupid management. Lowe oversaw it all. What kind of man watches a proposal like that and doesn’t say; “Ya that’s stupid, you’re fired.”

  57. jp says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: that sounds right. Maybe someone else mentioned Kovalenko? it got in my head somehow. (I’m gonna blame all of you!)

    Kovalenko has definitely been mentioned (possibly by me, though I honestly don’t remember). Regardless, I like that as a comp in terms of physique once Nail adds his “man strength”.

  58. johnnyshaka says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: I’ve never heard anything like that…

    but since they’ve only signed him to an AHL SPC (not an NHL ELC), I think it’s safe to assume your assumption is not the case.

    but I couldn’t say conclusively.

    I guess I wonder why the Oilers would burn a contract on a guy like Abney (who obviously couldn’t play hockey) while they could have done what they appear to be doing with Jones and saved a contract instead?

    ’cause Oilers or am I missing something?

  59. stevezie says:

    johnnyshaka,

    I’m taking this as a sign they are capable of learning lessons. It’s a positive.

    Also Abney was a much higher draft pick. Jones had no leverage to demand anything- he is probably thrilled to be getting paid to play anywhere.

    (You can say Abney shouldn’t have had any leverage, but draft pedigree is independant of where a guy “should have” been picked.)

  60. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: that sounds right. Maybe someone else mentioned Kovalenko? it got in my head somehow. (I’m gonna blame all of you!)

    Nope, I’m wrong, I looked it up. That was LT, You had started the convo with Tik, I joked with Stan Jonathan and then LT rang in with Tank and Kovalenko.

    So the blame is all LT’s!
    :-D

  61. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    That series was the clearest example of a miracle I have ever personally experienced.

    I was fourteen, old enough to be know it is all kinds of silly to pray for sporting events, but when they scored three goals in five minutes… well a desperate young fan had dropped to his knees about a minute before the magic started.

    Grandma beating cancer was also pretty cool.

  62. Andy P says:

    I’m wondering how good this team would be with the current roster and pipeline if they were really well motivated and coached at the assistant level?

    I suspect well enough to win most of our close games and move the blowouts to competitive, entertaining games. This, however, is pure speculation unbiased so faqr by a complete lack of analytics on my part. How do you measure confidence and motivation?

  63. stevezie says:

    Andy P,

    Well I guess you can compare performance here to performance somewhere else, which for most of our key players isn’t an option. I would argue Hendricks is actually playing better here than he was in Nashville, but other than that what do we have? Ference is worse, but his defensive partners are also tremendously worse while his qual comp has shot up, plus he is a year older at a key stage in his life, so I’m note sure it is a fair comparison.

    Kruger is an obvious comparison, but as you point out the assistants were the same.

    I think this is the reason why I don’t enjoy the assistant coach debates- there’s almost no objective evidence one way or the other what is on the players and what is on the coaches. I think gut feelings and subjective opinions have personal value, but it’s not always fun or edifying to hear about what someone else’s gut is telling them.

  64. Marc says:

    One of Tambellini’s biggest achievements as GM was his investment in the farm system. It wasn’t likely to, and indeed didn’t, pay off during his tenure, but the Oilers will benefit from it for years to come.

    MacT is taking it to another level. They now have an AHL an ECHL and WHL team through which minor pro (Barons and Condors) and European and US college (Oil Kings) talent can be developed. They are leveraging Katz’s $$$ for a competitive advantage. This is a very, very good thing.

  65. godot10 says:

    VanOil:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    In hockey it is plain that some players don’t thrive in some systems. David Clarkson is not thriving in Carlyle’s system, Taylor Hall struggled in Lindy Ruffs system last spring. Where I am going with this is do you have to discount Fayne’s impressive stats as a defense man in NJ? Fayne may not be able to bring his full competence into an Eakins system. I accept that it could be argued that Carlyle and Eakins are the problem, but Lindy Ruff does seem to be able to coach successful teams in the NHL still.

    Taylor Hall did NOT struggle in Lindy Ruff’s system. Taylor Hall turned the puck over in an early game at the opposition blue line, and since he is not a veteran or named Claude Giroux, he found the bench. When he played, he was actually one of Canada’s better players.

    New Jersey is a heavy cycle team. Clarkson didn’t drive the cycle on his line. He was the garbage collector of the cycle.

    Toronto and Edmonton are still mostly rush teams and not cycle teams, so one should be very wary of signing a free agent long term from a cycle team, unless he is the bus driver of the cycle. Clarkson wasn’t driving the cycle. He was scavenging off of it.

  66. godot10 says:

    johnnyshaka:
    Regarding the Kellen Jones signing by the Barons, because he was drafted, does he not have to be signed by the Oilers to an ELC and then assigned to the Barons?

    (I’ve spent the last hour looking for the answer but couldn’t find it…yeah, really busy night over here!)

    No, the Oilers would have to offer him an entry level contract to retain his rights for two years since he is a 4-year college player, till August 15 of the year of his graduating class.

    Kellen Jones would be a UFA on August 15, regardless. A AHL contract in your hand, along with playing with your brother is probably all he was going to get anyways. Waiting till August 15, in his case, would have been risky, for a marginal prospect.

  67. oliveoilers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    VanOil,

    thanks!

    NJD is a really weird team the more you look into the numbers. I was blown away to find out that not only are they an elite possession % team, but they are somehow a piss poor shot generation team.

    That means that when they play, nothing is happening. Neither team is shooting the puck at all, but the few times that either team does… NJD makes sure to get the better of the %.

    This is unlike most of the elite % teams. just a really weird situation.

    I suspect the answer is holistic: roster construction and deployment. They just refuse to build a team to play entertaining hockey.

    Man that 2012 ECF was just horrible to watch. Hardly any shots, but the ones that did happen were blocked. Not a good series. Then NJD played LA in the final, and that wasn’t much better. In fact except for the Pens/Flyers, it a terrible year for the neutral hockey fan.

  68. gcw_rocks says:

    HAMMERS says:
    April 3, 2014 at 9:08 pm
    Trust in McT as far as adding players and as you said he may make some more mistakes ( like Grebs) but at least he is driving the bus and not along for the ride ala Tambo . Give the man credit he bleeds for this team . Keep getting it done McT .

    Yes, keeping getting it done, MacT. We love our bottom feeding teams and 41 FF% here in Edmonton. Let’s see if you can knock another fee percentage points of next year.

    MacT may be active in adding players, but those players have contributed to a team that is performing materially worse against the west this year than last year. So, sure, keep it up.

  69. stevezie says:

    godot10: New Jersey is a heavy cycle team. Clarkson didn’t drive the cycle on his line. He was the garbage collector of the cycle.
    Toronto and Edmonton are still mostly rush teams and not cycle teams, so one should be very wary of signing a free agent long term from a cycle team, unless he is the bus driver of the cycle. Clarkson wasn’t driving the cycle. He was scavenging off of it.

    This makes sense to me, but I don’t think you’re giving the Devil his due. I’ll admit I don’t watch a lot of regular season hockey, but Clarkson’s huge shot total (finished fourth in the league in 2013) and lack of second assists don’t suggest a pure cycle player to me. Cycle players work it around, play off each other. Maybe someone is setting Clarkson up but he doesn’t give the puck back, he shoots it. Or he bangs in rebounds when they shoot it- but his relatively low shooting percentage doesn’t suggest a Craig Simpson type.

    He made his mark by getting his own shot off. To me this is a grinder who can bring offence to an untalented line because it doesn’t look like he uses his teammates a lot.

    I used this page http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/07/16/what-to-expect-david-clarkson/ for evidence. Considering his player type I am surprised he is not a penalty killer.

  70. Woodguy says:

    oliveoilers: Man that 2012 ECF was just horrible to watch.Hardly any shots, but the ones that did happen were blocked.Not a good series.Then NJD played LA in the final, and that wasn’t much better.In fact except for the Pens/Flyers, it a terrible year for the neutral hockey fan.

    The influence of Jacques Lemaire needs to be exercised from the Devils organization if they ever want to ice an entertaining team.

    That won’t happen as long as Lou runs the show, and he will for as long as he wants.

    Winning 2-0 (with an empty netter) is too run and gun for Jacques and Lou.

    Also,

    NJD is a good trade partner target.

    Lots of good Dmen (Larsson still isn’t a regular) and no one who can shoot other than FA Jagr.

    Trading with Lou is fraught with peril though. He’s liable to drop an anchor on you.

  71. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    johnnyshaka: I guess I wonder why the Oilers would burn a contract on a guy like Abney (who obviously couldn’t play hockey) while they could have done what they appear to be doing with Jones and saved a contract instead?

    ’cause Oilers or am I missing something?

    Well, you are assuming mgt. continuity.

    It’s still early and there are warning signs (Smac, Gazdic) but so far I think it’s safe to say Abneys are no longer drafted much less offered ELCs under the MacT regime.

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    stevezie:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I also enjoyed your CnB posts, especially the conclusion (as I understood it), that “fancy stats” are less truth themselves as opposed to a new tool to dig at the truth.

    Which seems obvious enough to me, but apparently it is not.

    thanks.

    I tend to be long winded and not very clear.

    But, yea… my overall point was basically suggesting that the way adv. stats has percolated up to the mainstream has an unfortunate side-effect of making possession appear the be-all-end-all of analytics and that in turn puts unwarranted burdens on it.

  73. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Woodguy: Trading with Lou is fraught with peril though. He’s liable to drop an anchor on you.

    That’s reason enough for me to caution MacT and Howson to stay away. Let Slats and Lou fight it out together.

  74. borisnikov says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    You’ve added weight to the scales, with those two posts, as to why the stats community will eventually win the day in hockey analysis. The amount of thought and quality of detail you’ve put into this is obvious and admirable. The skills an intelligence needed to do so are enviable. Well done:)

  75. cahill says:

    stevezie:
    Andy P,

    I think this is the reason why I don’t enjoy the assistant coach debates- there’s almost no objective evidence one way or the other what is on the players and what is on the coaches. I think gut feelings and subjective opinions have personal value, but it’s not always fun or edifying to hear about what someone else’s gut is telling them.

    I think the main problem with the assistant coaching, is the lack of experience. If you look at any other organization they typically have roughly 10+ years coaching experience OUTSIDE of the organization. They learn other processes, methodology and communication practices. Steve Smith & Kelly Buchburger had one year head coaching experience between them before becoming assistants in the best league in the world.

    In any other line of work that I’ve been exposed too that doesn’t work. So why is it acceptable in the NHL? Now, what typically happens is you have the HC you have two assistants with 5-10+ years experience outside the organization. Then sometimes you hire a junior coach that you are trying to mentor. The Oilers figured they know how to win (6 rings and all) and they would hire their own.

    Just look at the coaching staffs in our division: (Years Coaching Outside Organization)

    LAK: Sutter Assistant Coaches: John Stevens (10+), Davis Payne (10+) both former Head Coaches
    ANA: Boudreau ACs: Lauer (10), Bob Woods (15+), S. Niedermayer (0)
    CGY: Hartley AC’s: Jacques Cloutier (15+), Clint Malarchuk (5+), Martin Gelinas (0)
    PHO: Tippett AC’s: Jim Playfair (15+) former HC, Newell Brown (25+)
    SJS: MacLellan AC’s: Larry Robinson (15+) former HC. He knows a thing or two about winning (9 rings) J. Woodcroft (3 Years), Jim Johnson (4 Years)
    VAN: Torts. AC’s: Glen Gulutzan (10+), Mike Sullivan (10+) both former HCs

    4/6 teams have former NHL head coaches on staff. 4/6 teams have two AC’s with 10+ years coaching expeirence outside their organization. 5/6 teams have two AC’s with 5+ years experience.
    John Anderson, Dave Lewis, Craig Ramsey,

    The Oiler’s had no mentoring process in place. It’s a poorly run business.

    Sorry for the long rant.

  76. godot10 says:

    stevezie: This makes sense to me, but I don’t think you’re giving the Devil his due. I’ll admit I don’t watch a lot of regular season hockey, but Clarkson’s huge shot total (finished fourth in the league in 2013) and lack of second assists don’t suggest a pure cycle player to me. Cycle players work it around, play off each other. Maybe someone is setting Clarkson up but he doesn’t give the puck back, he shoots it. Or he bangs in rebounds when they shoot it- but his relatively low shooting percentage doesn’t suggest a Craig Simpson type.

    He made his mark by getting his own shot off. To me this is a grinder who can bring offence to an untalented line because it doesn’t look like he uses his teammates a lot.

    Clarkson is NOT a grinder. Grinders drive the bus on the cycle. Clarkson is a scavenger. He was able to finish and garbage collect off the grinders and cyclers on his line, and he was able to support the cycle.

    He is Ryan Smyth without actual hockey skills. Ryan Smith is a scavenger and garbage collector who can actually play hockey also….skate, pass, and carry the puck.

    The question about Fayne is similar. Does he look like a good defensemen only because NJ is such a good possession cycle team? He might be a disaster on a team that is still mostly a rush team.

  77. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    borisnikov,

    wow. thanks!

  78. shawnmullin says:

    I watched Kellen and Connor play quite a bit in Junior A when they were with Vernon and I called games for Trail. They were fantastic at that level and have clearly had strong college careers too. They’re guys committed to the whole ice that buy completely in and think the game exceptionally well. I don’t know if there’s an NHL future for them, but I do know people bet against them to have an impact in Junior A and in college so I wouldn’t bet against them here. It’s a cheap bet by the Oilers with the Barons deals and one I’d say is worth taking.

    They were both actually also dynamite baseball players in Trail. Both the best pitchers and hitters on their team. Like other twins they just think sports as a two-man unit.

    Chase looked really good with Calgary. Carried himself like a pro prospect on the ice. At the very least he is hard to play against and can agitate. He has a very good shot and is strong on the puck. Certainly has the tools. I still don’t get how he splipped so far.

    Wanted to also mention having covered Graeme Craig in Swift Current and watched him extensively in Saskatoon and PA this year… Craig took a big step forward this season. He was in better shape, skated better, took on a leadership role and seemed way more confident with the puck on his stick. He’s never had a huge mean streak that some coaches would want for a guy his size, but he’s a smart player and it’s hard to teach 6’5. He’s got a lot of work to do like anyone making the transition from junior to pro. This season made me think though that there’s a chance for him to do that.

  79. russ99 says:

    Would be nice to start the season in OKC with a promising young forward group next year.

    Hope some of these guys stick and aren’t rushed to the big club.

  80. russ99 says:

    Thinker:
    This draft steal stuff got me thinking about Tobias Reider, and how stupid that trade was. It was like trading a lottery ticket for a napkin. Sure you probably weren’t going to win anyway, but what sane person makes that trade. BTW Reider looks like a player 67gp, 27 goals 19 assists for 46 points as a rookie abler.He’s 5 11 but 190. Talk about size all you isn’t he isn’t really small. he could have made room for an Eberle or Yakupov or Perron trade. Stupid Stupid management. Lowe oversaw it all. What kind of man watches a proposal like that and doesn’t say; “Ya that’s stupid, you’re fired.”

    Anyone “small” and/or European has a few strikes against him in the organization right off the bat. It wasn’t the first time we were burned on something like this, and as long as Lowe runs things, it won’t be the last.

  81. theres oil in virginia says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    borisnikov,

    wow. thanks!

    Just read the first installment. It kicked ass; very well done. The above praise is well-earned. Did you work on this for some time or just crank it out quickly? It’s very well-developed.

  82. prairieschooner says:

    Thinker:
    This draft steal stuff got me thinking about Tobias Reider, and how stupid that trade was. It was like trading a lottery ticket for a napkin. Sure you probably weren’t going to win anyway, but what sane person makes that trade. BTW Reider looks like a player 67gp, 27 goals 19 assists for 46 points as a rookie abler.He’s 5 11 but 190. Talk about size all you isn’t he isn’t really small. he could have made room for an Eberle or Yakupov or Perron trade. Stupid Stupid management. Lowe oversaw it all. What kind of man watches a proposal like that and doesn’t say; “Ya that’s stupid, you’re fired.”

    We discussed this at the time and Reider was behind a lot of players and unlikely to get a good opportunity with the Oilers.
    My inside guy told me that he told the Oilers he was not going to sign
    The Oilers made a deal to at least get something for him
    Oilers can be blamed for a lot of things but not this time.
    We lost that one but we won on Justin Schultz

  83. Ryan says:

    Not sure why, but the Coyotes fame thread keeps crashing on my ipad. Anyone else having this issue?

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