THE NEXT GENERATION

I spoke to Neal Livingston this morning about the OKC Barons, and it struck me how quickly the attention shifts from one generation to the next. Neal and I have spoken many times over the last few seasons, and there’s rarely a segment that passes without me asking after Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton and Ryan Martindale. Except Pitlick is in Edmonton, Martindale is in San Antonio.

The new questions? Khaira, Chase, Oesterle.

OESTERLE oesterle fergusonoesterle ferguson

Neal told me that Oesterle was paired with David Musil (and that Musil typically gets the new hires, encouraging in and of itself). He told me Oesterle looks well ahead of the curve, and this his foot speed and stickhandling are good, but he’ll need to work on decision making and knock off some rust. As with all kids moving to pro, strength and winning battles is going to be an issue. In two games, he has no points and is -1.

chase ferguson

Livingston describes Greg Chase as a pesky, big bodied forward. “To use a basketball analogy, if there was a screen he’d drive right through the pick” Neal told me, and that’s an excellent description of the player I’ve seen play for Calgary.

On Khaira: “I see him as a Hartikainen 2.0. If you were concerned about Hartikainen’s foot speed, Khaira has no problems. He’s a quick skater, he’s very fast and good on faceoffs.” Livingston also talked about his ability on the PP to stand in front of the net and shield the net. “A really good centerman” as Neal describes Khaira. He suggested Khaira might be a good 2C option next season in Oklahoma City.

We also talked about coach Todd Nelson. It’ll be interesting to see what Edmonton does this summer with the head coach of the Barons. He’s already been an assistant coach in the NHL, but I have to believe Nelson could be an enormous help to Dallas Eakins next season. His knowledge of these young players and how to use them would make for a quick transition.

I have no idea if Nelson would be interested in the role.

(all photos by Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved).

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81 Responses to "THE NEXT GENERATION"

  1. Halfwise says:

    As the only former defenseman on the OKC coaching staff, is Nelson responsible for the excellent showings by Marincin and Klefbom?

    If he is the second coming of Charlie Huddy, well, that would be alright wouldn’t it?

    Tough call from a management perspective though, whether it would be better to have Nelson’s familiarity with the young’uns or a veteran NHL coach’s perspective, to whisper in DE’s ear.

  2. Thinker says:

    I have to believe the best thing to help eakins thinking is a lead pipe. I don’t think he is the guy, and the fact of the matter is if you have to support your head coach, he isn’t good enough. It’s up to the coach to find create a vision/style of play. I don’t care about this “We can’t fire another coach” crap. Eakins is inadequate, and must be fired.

  3. Halfwise says:

    Thinker: I have to believe the best thing to help eakins thinking is a lead pipe. I don’t think he is the guy, and the fact of the matter is if you have to support your head coach, he isn’t good enough. It’s up to the coach to find create a vision/style of play. I don’t care about this “We can’t fire another coach” crap. Eakins is inadequate, and must be fired.

    There’s a touch of irony in your nickname, isn’t there?

  4. cahill says:

    It will be interesting to see how their prospects slot in next year. I could see one of the Jones brothers, Holmberg, Winquist get an NHL contract once the Oilers send their junior kids (draft pick/Nurse/Chase if signed/Roy if signed) down next year.

    They have potentially 5 lines of prospects (and Acton & R. Hamilton), 5 defense pairings & 4 goalies that are going to be fighting for time.

    Horak-Yakimov-Pitlick
    Moroz-Khaira-Holmberg
    C. Hamilton(?)-K.Jones-C. Jones
    R. Hamilton-Acton-McCarron
    Winquist-Ewanyk-Marco Roy
    Kessy

    Fedun-Gernat
    Osterle-Musil
    Hunt-Simpson
    Davidson-Gustafsson
    Ludwig-Craig (I think)

    Bachman(replacement)-Brossoit-Bunz-Tuohimma

  5. Ducey says:

    Halfwise: There’s a touch of irony in your nickname, isn’t there?

    Well, to be fair, he is thinking, just not correctly.

  6. blainer says:

    cahill:
    It will be interesting to see how their prospects slot in next year.I could see one of the Jones brothers, Holmberg, Winquist get an NHL contract once the Oilers send their junior kids (draft pick/Nurse/Chase if signed/Roy if signed) down next year.

    They have potentially 5 lines of prospects (and Acton & R. Hamilton), 5 defense pairings & 4 goalies that are going to be fighting for time.

    Horak-Yakimov-Pitlick
    Moroz-Khaira-Holmberg
    C. Hamilton(?)-K.Jones-C. Jones
    R. Hamilton-Acton-McCarron
    Winquist-Ewanyk-Marco Roy
    Kessy

    Fedun-Gernat
    Osterle-Musil
    Hunt-Simpson
    Davidson-Gustafsson
    Ludwig-Craig (I think)

    Bachman(replacement)-Brossoit-Bunz-Tuohimma

    cahill,

    cahill,

    I touched on this earlier today. With all these signings and players returning from this year the competition is going to be very healthy and keep everyone on their toes, and looking over their shoulder to see if they still have a job. There will be fierce competition to just make the team and then they will have to earn the ice time. This bodes well for the parent club also.. if this team and players keep developing as we hope, the completion for the oilers will also be fierce especially in the bottom six. Wow ..how good would a deep calder cup run be now..

  7. Andy P says:

    Thinker:
    I have to believe the best thing to help eakins thinking is a lead pipe. I don’t think he is the guy, and the fact of the matter is if you have to support your head coach, he isn’t good enough. It’s up to the coach to find create a vision/style of play. I don’t care about this “We can’t fire another coach” crap. Eakins is inadequate, and must be fired.

    That’s right keep firing coaches and changing rosters until you can find coaches and players that can succeed with the designated assistants.

    Brilliant!

  8. SaskFan says:

    cahill:
    It will be interesting to see how their prospects slot in next year.I could see one of the Jones brothers, Holmberg, Winquist get an NHL contract once the Oilers send their junior kids (draft pick/Nurse/Chase if signed/Roy if signed) down next year.

    They have potentially 5 lines of prospects (and Acton & R. Hamilton), 5 defense pairings & 4 goalies that are going to be fighting for time.

    Horak-Yakimov-Pitlick
    Moroz-Khaira-Holmberg
    C. Hamilton(?)-K.Jones-C. Jones
    R. Hamilton-Acton-McCarron
    Winquist-Ewanyk-Marco Roy
    Kessy

    Fedun-Gernat
    Osterle-Musil
    Hunt-Simpson
    Davidson-Gustafsson
    Ludwig-Craig (I think)

    Bachman(replacement)-Brossoit-Bunz-Tuohimma

    I think one of Horak or Pitlick are with the big club, Hamilton isn’t qualified and Marco Roy goes back for another year in the Q. I also doubt that both Fedun and Hunt are on the team, Fedun might be on the Oilers or maybe in a different organization. That leaves the team with about the right amount of players for the team assuming Ludwig and Craig aren’t signed

  9. Ducey says:

    cahill,

    Thanks for that. Roy would likely go back to junior to try and have an injury free season, no?

    Could they send Khaira back to the WHL too?

  10. thinker says:

    Andy P,

    No fire the assistants. Do I have to explain every move I would make. I didn’t say there weren’t other problems, but why would you want to keep a bad coach? Eakins has in no way shown he is a capable coach. Can somebody give me a legitimate reason to keep Eakins? He loses line matching consistently, He installed a system that failed harder than anything seen in Oil Nation before then said well I guess they don’t know how to play defence. Every key player save maybe Hall has regressed under his system.

  11. Oilanderp says:

    I feel I have regressed as well. I mean, regression is normal for me but the rate at which I usually regress has regressed. This has me quite concerned, and am thinking about hitting myself with a lead pipe. Then again, that is regressive thinking, I think. I blame my assistant, or lack thereof.

  12. blainer says:

    SaskFan,

    What about Lander and I assume pinazotto won’t be back . I don’t see both Lander and Horak making the Oilers. Agree Marco Roy gets returned to junior. What do they do with Larsen?

  13. Younger Oil says:

    Not sure if anyone posted this, but here’s a video about Draisaitl from TSN:

    http://www.tsn.ca/VideoHub/?collection=72&show=321126

    Nothing we haven’t really heard already, just thought I’d share it.

  14. Halfwise says:

    Oilanderp: I feel I have regressed as well. I mean, regression is normal for me but the rate at which I usually regress has regressed. This has me quite concerned, and am thinking about hitting myself with a lead pipe. Then again, that is regressive thinking, I think. I blame my assistant, or lack thereof.

    That makes you a Regressive Preservative. Because politics makes strange leadfellows.

  15. cahill says:

    SaskFan: I think one of Horak or Pitlick are with the big club, Hamilton isn’t qualified and Marco Roy goes back for another year in the Q.I also doubt that both Fedun and Hunt are on the team, Fedun might be on the Oilers or maybe in a different organization. That leaves the team with about the right amount of players for the team assuming Ludwig and Craig aren’t signed

    I think Fedun gets signed. The Oilers have a lack of RHS dmen. The organization, like Arco, took a chance on him. I doubt he gets a better deal with another organization. A good organization gives him a two-way contract with a huge bump on his AHL salary 100 – 250 K. The Oilers need a vet call-up option in the event of injuries.

    Horak or Pitlick likely will be given the opportunity to win a job, but it might be at Joensuu’s expense and then he’s sent down. I’m not sure you give up on Curtis Hamilton yet, I’d put his signing @ 50/50.

    Ludwig is signed to an AHL contract for next year.

    I think Roy gets returned to junior, but the Oilers have the option of signing him and sending him to the AHL.

  16. cahill says:

    Ducey,

    I believe they could send Khaira back as an overager. But from the way he’s played so far I doubt that would happen.

  17. blainer says:

    thinker,

    Guys when it comes to Eakins ..as frustrated as every Fan is with the coaching MacT has said he is sticking with Eakins. No sense beating it to death. I too am unhappy about it but will accept it for now. Why? I am100% confident that if the oilers record is brutal after the first two weeks next fall Eakins will be gone and mact will be behind the bench. I bet this conversation has already happened between him and Lowe. Don’t ask me how the oilogosphere will react to Mact coaching again but it will happen and I think that is one of the reasons he was taken on as GM. As for the assistants..put them in the office doing something else if you feel loyal.. but get them away from coaching. JMHO…

  18. prairieschooner says:

    Would Eakins listen to an assistant being hired for him?
    MacT fired Ralph because he felt Eakins was his guy as long ass he took Bucky and SS as assistants.
    Would he do it to Eakins again?
    If Nelson really is the right guy what do we need Eakins for.
    From todays LT show Nelson is a very quick study and knows where and who to play players with to maximize their potential.
    I do not know if I would want Nelson with the big club he is doing fabulous work in OKC can we not just over pay him to stay where he is?

  19. Caramel Obvious says:

    thinker:
    Andy P,

    No fire the assistants. Do I have to explain every move I would make. I didn’t say there weren’t other problems, but why would you want to keep a bad coach? Eakins has in no way shown he is a capable coach. Can somebody give me a legitimate reason to keep Eakins? He loses line matching consistently, He installed a system that failed harder than anything seen in Oil Nation before then said well I guess they don’t know how to play defence. Every key player save maybe Hall has regressed under his system.

    It’s interesting because behind the venting some of these are actually empirical questions that can be easily checked.

    For instance, is it actually true that Eakins “loses line matching consistently?”

    If you look at this question what you will find is that Boyd Gordon, their best faceoff man and one of the best faceoff men in the league, is getting a huge percentage of defensive zone starts. Likewise, Yakupov, he of the big shot and erratic defense, is getting a huge percentage of offensive zone starts. Finally, Eakins consistently hides his worst defenders from the best players on the other team.

    All of these are strong evidence (i.e. not vague and/or irrational suppositions) that Eakins is, in fact, doing a good job of line matching.

    Let’s take the notion that everyone except for Hall has regressed.

    I suppose this means Yakupov. And yet his shots/game are up.
    It could mean Perron. Except he’s having his best year of his life.
    Eberle? Points/game is higher than last year and higher than his career average.
    Hopkins? He had four goals last year. Has he regressed from that? His numbers are his career average.

    It’s amazing that despite the fact that this season has been terrible those who want to criticize Eakins nonetheless resort to such obviously false claims.

  20. blainer says:

    prairieschooner,

    Agreed, Nelson has done a great job. When we look at Marincin and Klefbom etc. and how well they have developed..one would hate to see him leave. He has had a huge turnover in players also, especially lately. Would have made it to the calder finals last year short of the game seven goaltending. I think He will get there this year too if he makes the playoffs.

  21. Halfwise says:

    Nothing gets a competitive guy’s attention like losing.

    I believe that both MacT and DE have no illusions that the team has to BE better (MacT!) and PLAY better (DE!) next season. No foolish pride, no ST deer-in-the-headlights inaction. Deal with reality.

    I think they’ve already learned things about their new jobs that they will apply next year. And what they are learning, I believe, is helped by the kind of insights that get tossed around here on Lowetide.

    One non-Lowetide thing. We aren’t connected with the players the way the coaching staff is. From listening to DE and player postgame comments, they started getting on the same page around January, and it’s been building.

    In my view it would be insanity to change the head coach now. Just as it was insanity to disrupt what RK was doing last year and take a chance on a complete stranger. The discontinuity just amplified all the other weaknesses the team started the season with.

    Don’t do it again.

  22. Andy P says:

    thinker:
    Andy P,
    No fire the assistants. Do I have to explain every move I would make. I didn’t say there weren’t other problems, but why would you want to keep a bad coach? Eakins has in no way shown he is a capable coach. Can somebody give me a legitimate reason to keep Eakins? He loses line matching consistently, He installed a system that failed harder than anything seen in Oil Nation before then said well I guess they don’t know how to play defence. Every key player save maybe Hall has regressed under his system.

    Well I don’t think they would fire the assistants, but rather redeploy them where they are a better fit for the role.
    Eakins hasn’t done well but he’s not the problem. If Eakins is the problem, then so was MacT, Quinn, Renney, and Krueger. The players weren’t the problem, the entire roster with the exception of Gags has been turned over with players that showed well elsewhere. It’s not the players.

    Bucky, and Smith to a lesser degree, are the only constants left in the land of suck. Except, with the way the team is players are going at present, who knows they may keep their jobs after all.

    Edit: at the end of the day, all we want is to have a winning team to cheer for, and if they don’t win every game, at least show up for every game.

  23. blainer says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    I was actually going to bring up the same topic. He has matched fairly well lately especially with the best defenseman taking on the other teams best players. He is dealing the cards that have been dealt to him. he can only play the players he has. However I do think Rnh and Gags have also regressed. I was expecting it with gags though. I realyy don’t think we need Gazdic or Jones anyway with Hendricks on board

  24. blainer says:

    Next year I would rather see the bottom six as two strong lines. Easier said than done I know but it can happen. Get rid of the face punchers please. If you need fighters then have guys like Hendricks and thornton who can make and catch a pass and provide energy with exciting clean hits. It should be possible if you look at Chicago and St Louis and Boston. Players who can score enough but are very sound defensively. This will make it so much better for the coach when you are not getting creamed with the corsi all the time. It helps to have a strong third pairing also..

  25. speeds says:

    SSM lost tonight, Erie is up 3-0 n that series. If Erie wins at home tomorrow night, would it be reasonable to expect Nurse in OKC for the weekend?

  26. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers have themselves some intriguing prospects. Maybe some of them turn out great, like they’re supposed to.

    Next year I expect Oilers to struggle and unless I’m mistaken, they probably won’t make the playoffs either. We’ve been gifted a practical course in Zen Buddhism this season.

    Many of you think otherwise, that there is all kinds of strategy to argue and consider. As if the management of this joke team is listening.

    Of course maybe they pull a Colorado Avalanche out of their arses and everyone goes home with a smile and a jig.

  27. Bruce McCurdy says:

    As per a couple of threads ago, I liked the suggestion of Zappa for the off-season theme. Here’s a can’t miss song choice from his gargantuan catalog which might apply to more than a few Oilers, from roster players right on up through the suits.

    Warning: This here song might offend you some.

  28. hunter1909 says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    As per a couple of threads ago, I liked the suggestion of Zappa for the off-season theme. Here’s a can’t miss song choice from his gargantuan catalog which might apply to more than a few Oilers, from roster players right on up through the suits.

    Warning: This here song might offend you some.

    Zappa was cool, particularly Hot Rats. Weasals Ripped My Flesh too.

  29. Hammers says:

    Why would Nelson want to go back to an asst coach in the NHL . Either he stays in OKL or moves to another organization . It will be the Oilers loss .

  30. speeds says:

    Hammers:
    Why would Nelson want to go back to an asst coach in the NHL . Either he stays in OKL or moves to another organization . It will be the Oilers loss .

    Presumably the Oilers would offer him more money. He also might look at the situation and say “This team probably gets better even without me doing anything, I like the future upside, and I think I can help a bunch as well. I can wait for a chance that either might never come, or not come for awhile, or I can try this route and hope that in 2 years I can find a head coaching job elsewhere in the NHL, provided the Oilers climb the charts.”

  31. prairieschooner says:

    Maybe they should have hired Eakins for OKC and Nelson for the Oilers

  32. justDOit says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    As per a couple of threads ago, I liked the suggestion of Zappa for the off-season theme. Here’s a can’t miss song choice from his gargantuan catalog which might apply to more than a few Oilers, from roster players right on up through the suits.

    Warning: This here song might offend you some.

    That is awesome – would this be Fraser’s song if you were deciding?

  33. hunter1909 says:

    prairieschooner:
    Maybe they should have hired Eakins for OKC and Nelson for the Oilers

    What!?? And let him fuck up all the prospects?

    Leave him where he’s already done his worst, lol.

  34. Bruce McCurdy says:

    justDOit: That is awesome – would this be Fraser’s song if you were deciding?

    Have to admit his was one name in the forefront of my mind.

  35. justDOit says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Well there are 99 official Zappa releases, so I’m sure you can find something else for Jonesy.

    Edit: And here’s a list of all his songs.

  36. cahill says:

    Gonna do my best sales pitch for Steve Earle. Mainly cause he’s my fav artist. I like Van but he seems like an artist to kick off a season.

    Songs of Hope, Heartbreak & Goodbye; Comin’ Around, Feel Alright, Heaven or Hell, Goodbye’s All We Got Left to Say, My Old Friends the Blue, ect … I think it pretty much sums up the Oilers.

    Suggestions;
    Taylor Hall – I Aint Ever Satisfied.
    Nail Yakupov – Tom Ame’s Prayer “I ain`t askin` for a miracle Lord. just a little bit of luck will do”
    David Perron – The Unrependant – “His tank is full and his toll`s paid. Hellbound and determined. He run a dangerous payload. When he comes to the crossroads. Ah, man it`s all times to explode ”
    Sam Gagner – Poison Lovers “But nothin` ventured, nothin` lost. You can`t say we didn`t try. That is unless you weigh the cost of every tear we cried.”
    Martin Marincin – All of My Life “I’ve been waiting all of my life. All of my life!”
    Ben Scrivens – Here I Am “With a song in my heart. And an attitude from the start. I took everybody apart”
    Ryan Smyth – Angry Young Man “Got a lot of memories tied up in this place. So much time spent in so little space. What looked like the world through the eyes of a child. Kind of closes in on you after awhile.”

  37. justDOit says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Jones Crusher “Baby Snakes” 2:53

  38. mumbai max says:

    There is a lot of negativism evident these days, which seems to discount some very big improvements.

    1. The 13 – 10 – 3 record in the last 26 games. A substantial sample size that includes a tough schedule.

    2. The emergence of Marincin and Klefbom. This is BIG. Two potential top 2 D showing up fully formed at more or less the same time. It changes everything in terms of the team timeline, the medium term needs etc. (add Nurse, Gernat etc. for more positive feelings if you can stand it)

    3. The apparent willingness to change and learn, exhibited by the head coach. This was a big question mark for me at Christmas, and is having a positive trend.

    4. A GM who is doing a good job. You have to be a pretty ardent MacT hater to say otherwise. One assumes his astute moves and exhibited combo of patience and aggressiveness will continue through the summer.

    I think it is reasonable to say that the current roster, with the current coaching, could be shown through the gate next year, and finish above .500. Now hopefully there will be one or two competent D added and Gagner will morph into something useful, and we will find a 2C under a rock, and we can make a run for the playoffs.

    It seems to be ‘cool’ to be negative and to sum up our smugness with ‘because Oilers’. Always easy to be clever from the sidelines.

    Yes, it has been some years since we experienced success, but that does not mean it is necessary to maintain the negative narrative while ignoring the trend towards success.

    That is all. Go Oilers Go

    p.s. Does it GET any better than the Leaf situation. Makes the whole season worthwhile.

  39. justDOit says:

    mumbai max:

    p.s. Does it GET any better than the Leaf situation. Makes the whole season worthwhile.

    Yes. Yes it does.

  40. fifthcartel says:

    Apparently Stauffer this afternoon was talking about given what he feels is the Oilers’ relative developmental strength at the D prospect position, there is a strong argument to be made for drafting a C instead. I’d love to have the organization thinking this as I agree with this sentiment, and I have been on the pick one of centers train for a bit now.

  41. Bruce McCurdy says:

    justDOit:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    Well there are 99 official Zappa releases, so I’m sure you can find something else for Jonesy.

    Edit: And here’s a list of all his songs.

    Yeah, that was another name that crossed my mind. He deserves more of a “Sail On” though.

  42. icecastles says:

    justDOit: Well there are 99 official Zappa releases, so I’m sure you can find something else for Jonesy.

    An Oilers-themed playlist by a guy with 99 releases? Well that’s as oddly fitting as you’ll ever get.

  43. justDOit says:

    icecastles: An Oilers-themed playlist by a guy with 99 tracks? Well that’s as oddly fitting as you’ll ever get.

    99 releases. Albums.

  44. icecastles says:

    justDOit,

    Whoops, meant releases, yes. Fixed.

  45. justDOit says:

    icecastles,

    List of songs: http://lib.ru/SONGS/frankzappa/listofsongs.txt

    Not sure of it’s accuracy though.

  46. justDOit says:

    icecastles:
    justDOit,

    Whoops, meant releases, yes. Fixed.

    Took that for being snarky, originally – my zappologies.

  47. icecastles says:

    justDOit: Took that for being snarky, originally – my zappologies.

    Not snarky, just braindead on my part. Thought that 99 figure was pretty wicked.
    I’m not a rawker by any stretch, but anyone who hates Zappa hates creativity.

  48. Giant Squid Overlord says:

    Not sure if this has already been discussed, but Elliotte Friedman’s 30th thought:

    “30. Another follow-up from the last blog: the NCAA defenceman Edmonton targeted was the one they got, Jordan Oesterle. They were trying hard to keep it quiet, because other pursuers were thinking he might go back to college…”

    Reminds me of the Kurri draft story.

    BTW LT, love listening to the second hour of your show on my lunch break, but one of your regular advertisers makes a dig at Flin Flon. As a fairly new resident of the community, it doesn’t help me in shaking the “arrogant Albertan” stereotype with my coworkers, who otherwise enjoy listening as well. Granted, FF is located North of the middle of nowhere.

  49. stevezie says:

    cahill,

    After I say Steve Earle’s acoustic only tour I had to change my list fof the three best concerts I’ve ever seen to the four best (Pearl Jam, Pixies and Big Sugar, if you were curious). I didn’t know anything other than Copperhead Road at the time, I saw him on a lark.

    The new pick can get Johnny Come Lately.
    Hemsky – Now She’s Gone
    Gazdic – Devil’s Right Hand

    This thing practically writes itself.

  50. icecastles says:

    I remember I was staying with these rather bizarre and strung-out guys in Christchurch, NZ in the mid-90s. We had been out most of the night ‘entertaining’ the citizenry of that fine city (some people are so unappreciative) and most of us had found our way home but Antony was still out. We knew he had been on some rather potent hallucinogens that night and as weird as we were, we weren’t really into that scene ourselves.

    Antony had been reading a boo about Frank Zappa and had a gigantic poster of him in his room across from his bed – the famous shot of him grinning maniacally.

    So we did the only thing good friends could do. We took glow-in-the-dark sidewalk chalk and coloured in Frank’s eyes and teeth. And on the ceiling above Antony’s bed, we scrawled in big letter,s, “ZAPPA’S DEAD.”

    Antony staggered home at about 4am and dragged his stoned self into his bedroom without even flipping on the light. We heard him hit the bed, then we heard him scream. And scream. Then we saw him run from his bedroom. Then he screamed some more. After that, our laughter drowned everything else out.

    Don’t do drugs, kids. Or else Frank Zappa will get you.

  51. justDOit says:

    icecastles: Not snarky, just braindead on my part. Thought that 99 figure was pretty wicked.
    I’m not a rawker by any stretch, but anyone who hates Zappa hates creativity.

    Or maybe they just heard “Shut Up n Play Yer Guitar” first, and decided that was enough. I probably would – it’s pretty dense, and doesn’t employ any of the mainstream musical tricks that the modern ear learns to love. Want to shut down a party early? Put on The Black Page (not that easy, teenage, NY version either).

    The first Zappa I heard, was “Man From Utopia”, and I dug it, mostly. But many years later, my buddy bought “One Size Fits All” and “Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation” on cd. That was it.

    Maybe what I love most about FZ, is that he was an intense archivist. He probably recorded more live material than most acts, and tried to record them as faithfully as possible. The “You Can’t Do That On Stage” series is a wicked collections of live music, as the albums “Live in NY” and “Roxy and Elsewhere”.

  52. justDOit says:

    icecastles:

    Don’t do drugs, kids. Or else Frank Zappa will get you.

    That’s a good one!

    Frank almost got kicked out of the band he started (The Mothers of Invention), because he didn’t do drugs, and insisted that no one else do them either.

  53. icecastles says:

    justDOit: Or maybe they just heard “Shut Up n Play Yer Guitar” first, and decided that was enough. I probably would – it’s pretty dense, and doesn’t employ any of the mainstream musical tricks that the modern ear learns to love.

    Steve Vai’s ver early work (check out Flex-able”) was really reminiscent of SUAPYG, so when I discovered Zappa, there was already a warm familiarity to it.

    Then again, I tend to go for the slightly nontraditional.

    justDOit: Frank almost got kicked out of the band he started (The Mothers of Invention), because he didn’t do drugs, and insisted that no one else do them either.

    I did not know that! Awesome.

  54. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Seems like we have a good tussle for bottom six centre ice time shaping up in Yakimov and Khaira. Big men with some scrape to their game. I look forward to their presence in the system over the next couple of years.

    I also have this feeling we need to afford more attention to Musil as a steady force in the 5-6 slot in coming years. I really haven’t seen much of him but when I have, seems like a steady, low risk, take no sh!t type of defenseman that isn’t afraid to engage and dutifully bang a little. He may sneak up on us yet. I have read the reviews that his foot speed is a big issue, but I’m feeling like this guy is the proverbial tortoise in the race to the big club.

  55. stevezie says:

    icecastles: Don’t do drugs, kids. Or else Frank Zappa will get you.

    That’s a great story, Man, drugs are awesome! And so is not doing drugs, apparently! Life is cool.

  56. unca miltie says:

    Giant Squid Overlord,

    What in the world would take a guy to Flin Flon nowadays ..?
    I did a couple years there when it was a thriving community in the 60′s

  57. spoiler says:

    Cory Schneider has lost six 1-0 games this season. Wow.

    Meanwhile Bryzgalov has back-to-back shutouts.

  58. justDOit says:

    icecastles: Steve Vai’s ver early work (check out Flex-able”) was really reminiscent of SUAPYG, so when I discovered Zappa, there was already a warm familiarity to it.

    I’ve always considered Vai’s playing, like a cocaine high – everything is glistening and excellent. FZ’s guit-fiddling, like a poppy-seed tea and mushroom high.

    He also considered tobacco to be his vegetable, and he died of cancer. He was fucking brilliant, but not perfect.

    I did not know that! Awesome.

  59. justDOit says:

    spoiler:
    Cory Schneider has lost six 1-0 games this season. Wow.

    Meanwhile Bryzgalov has back-to-back shutouts.

    And the Nucks were just eliminated, while surrendering a shutout to the Duck rookie tender, Gibson. Nice.

  60. icecastles says:

    justDOit: And the Nucks were just eliminated, while surrendering a shutout to the Duck rookie tender, Gibson. Nice.

    This makes my night.

    Scratch that… this makes my hockey season.

  61. spoiler says:

    If Nelson is an assistant next year, I’d bet it is only with the promise he gets the head job if Eakins’ team struggles again.

    But I think it will be tough to get Nelson to bite. There could be quite a few head coaching jobs available this summer and he may have one of his best chances ever to snag a skipper role.

    Buf if Nelson isn’t in OKC for either reason, then my money is on Huddy for OKC HC.

  62. fifthcartel says:

    spoiler,

    I was thinking they see if Laxdal from the Oil Kings wants the job.

  63. OilClog says:

    If Nelson came up to assist, you would have to believe there would be some sort of handshake he takes over if Eakins stumbles.. Otherwise why would he ever agree to join the big club?

  64. DeadmanWaking says:

    I have to believe the best thing to help eakins thinking is a lead pipe.

    Halfwise: There’s a touch of irony in your nickname, isn’t there?

    Tinker, Failure, Smoulder, Die.
          —- Thinkerbelt

  65. icecastles says:

    DeadmanWaking: Tinker, Failure, Smoulder, Die.
          —- Thinkerbelt

    I look with a mixture of wonder and loss at DMW’s shortest post ever.

    In all seriousness, I actually get excited when I see your handle at the top of a long post, DeadManWaking. Please never fall prey to brevity!

  66. mumbai max says:

    OilClog:
    If Nelson came up to assist, you would have to believe there would be some sort of handshake he takes over if Eakins stumbles.. Otherwise why would he ever agree to join the big club?

    Money. Exposure.

  67. Peter P. says:

    Could not resist putting together a Guided By Voices/Robert Pollard playlist for the end of year recap. This fits the Next Generation theme too. Pollard comes out of the 60s (The Who, The Beatles) and then filters through the punk of Pere Ubu and Wire via Genesis for something truly unique. Perhaps the most prolific songwriter ever, there are songs for every occasion, but mostly for drinking.

    This would be a great soundtrack for being an Oilers fan here:
    On the Tundra
    Delayed Reaction Brats
    Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping Stones
    Avalanche Aminos
    Your Name Is Wild
    If We Wait
    Drag Days
    Psycho is a Bad Boy
    Let It Rest For a Little While
    Keep It In Motion
    White Whale
    Youth Leagues
    Johnny Optimist
    Accident Hero
    Beauty of the Draft
    I am an All-Star
    How Many Stations
    We All Got Out of the Army
    Hold On Hope

    Taylor Hall = Magic Man Hype
    Jordan Eberle = Skills Like This
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins = Surgical Focus
    David Perron = “Wished I Was A Giant”
    Sam Gagner = The Challenge is Much More
    Nail Yakupov = Huffman Prairie Flying Field
    Justin Schulz = To Remake The Young Flyer
    Boyd Gordon = My Kind of Soldier
    Anton Lander = Wondering Boy Poet
    Matt Hendricks = Silk Rotor
    Luke Gazdic = Slopes of Big Ugly
    Will Acton = My Son Cool
    Tyler Pitlick = A Crick Uphill
    Ryan Hamilton = Slow Hamilton
    Steve MacIntyre = Come On Baby Grace
    Andrew Ference = Andy Playboy
    Ryan Smyth = Wish You Were Young
    Ryan Jones = The Hard Way
    Mark Arcobello = Game Of Pricks
    Jeff Petry = Sad If I Lost It
    Mark Fraser = Blatant Doom Trip
    Phillip Larsen = Navigating Flood Regions
    Martin Marincin = Matter Eater Lad
    Oscar Klefbom = Bomb in the Beehive
    Denis Grebeshkov = Keep In Orbit
    Anton Belov = Much Better Mr Buckles
    Viktor Fasth = And I Don’t (So Now I Do)
    Ben Scrivens = It’s Only Up To You

    Craig MacTavish = Watch Me Jumpstart
    Kevin Lowe = Dodging Invisible Rays
    Dallas Eakins = Learning to Hunt
    Daryl Katz = The Brides Have Hit Glass

    Ladi Smid = (I’ll Name You) The Flame That Cries
    Ales Hemsky = Alone, Stinking and Unafraid
    Tom Gilbert = Welcome to Miami
    Devan Dubnyk = I Get Rid of You

    Most of this stuff is on youtube but I’m happy to assist with primers.

  68. godot10 says:

    The thing about goaltending, or coaching, or whatever, someone once said, that if you have to ask the question…

    The thing about assistant coaching is that if you have to ask the question whether you have to hire another veteran to help the coach and the veteran assistant coach he hired last year…

  69. gcw_rocks says:

    I have been reading Willis’ articles on Todd Nelson over at cult of hockey. Brilliant stuff. Nelson seems like a very intelligent guy.

    Then I try to imagine Eakins answering the same questions and I shudder.

    Nelson sounds like he gets it. Eakins sounds like he is making it up as he goes, while parroting things he has heard others say.

  70. russ99 says:

    Tons of rumbling that Gillis could be out in Vancouver.

    Which leads me to think if other entrenched brass can be ousted for poor performance than why not Lowe?

    Again at some point Katz is going to have to choose between hanging with the 80s Oilers and winning hockey.

  71. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    As per a couple of threads ago, I liked the suggestion of Zappa for the off-season theme. Here’s a can’t miss song choice from his gargantuan catalog which might apply to more than a few Oilers, from roster players right on up through the suits.

    Warning: This here song might offend you some.

    Our numbers (Zappa votes) are growing astronomically! (I so funny.)

  72. Pouzar says:

    Just scouring the UFA list for RWers.

    What’s the deal with Steve Downie? I think he would be just what the doctor ordered on RW with Gordon and Hendricks. The Volmanns show a big blue bubble bordering on Shutdown/2 way playing the tough competition. Is he too much of a jerk in the Avery mold?
    He is still young at 27 as well.

    Thoughts?

  73. theres oil in virginia says:

    Pouzar:
    Just scouring the UFA list for RWers.

    What’s the deal with Steve Downie? I think he would be just what the doctor ordered on RW with Gordon and Hendricks. The Volmanns show a big blue bubble bordering on Shutdown/2 way playing the tough competition. Is he too much of a jerk in the Avery mold?
    He is still young at 27 as well.

    Thoughts?

    As edgy as Hendricks is, I don’t think you can put together a list of absolutely dirty things he’s done that would come close to matching that of Downie. He looks unstable to me. Kinda like Matt Cooke. Youtube is full of the evidence against him. I did a quick search for “Matt Hendricks dirty” to see what popped up, and it was a whole lotta nothing. Let me know if you can find something on Hendricks; I’d like to see it. I don’t mind toughness, but some of these guys are out of control. No thanks.

  74. russ99 says:

    Pouzar,

    I like Downie, but he’d be better suited to the 4th line with Hendricks and whichever checking center we can grab via UFA. Surely he’d be a better option than kids and facepunchers.

    Still need two quality shutdown wingers for the third line with Gordon. Hope we shoot higher than Downie (and Hendricks) for that.

    A better defensive bottom six – and the coach using them against the toughs – along with some NHL quality in each pairing on defense is the surest path to the playoffs.

  75. theres oil in virginia says:

    icecastles: Not snarky, just braindead on my part. Thought that 99 figure was pretty wicked.
    I’m not a rawker by any stretch, but anyone who hates Zappa hates creativity.

    I don’t think Zappa is really “rock”, although he’s enjoyed by a lot of people who like rock and he’s done that genre. He’s also hit many other genres, including jazz, and he particularly liked contemporary classical, which he also wrote and conducted. Apparently, one of the shockers for new members joining the Mothers was that they were expected to read sheet music and to be conducted at times by Zappa. Some of his concerts even featured him with the conductor’s baton, and not just for show. There are some very interesting musical elements in his work that unfortunately get lost due to the shock value that the media was so focussed on. They effectively pushed him to the fringe. The guy was definitely talented and unique.

    As an example of his variety, check this out (it’s definitely not rock):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNxpSCiEFn8

  76. icecastles says:

    gcw_rocks: Eakins sounds like he is making it up as he goes, while parroting things he has heard others say.

    Funny, I can point to a few folks on here who give me that impression…

    Please give us an example of where Eakins sounded like he was making it up as he goes, or was “parroting.”

  77. theres oil in virginia says:

    icecastles: Not snarky, just braindead on my part. Thought that 99 figure was pretty wicked.
    I’m not a rawker by any stretch, but anyone who hates Zappa hates creativity.

    He even hit the metal genre with “Muffin Man“.

  78. cahill says:

    russ99: Pouzar,
    I like Downie, but he’d be better suited to the 4th line with Hendricks and whichever checking center we can grab via UFA. Surely he’d be a better option than kids and facepunchers.

    I don’t like the top 6 bottom six talk. I would try and piece the team the same way that Anahiem is doing it. A top line and a bottom 9 that can play up and down the lineup. Downie is not what I would consider a 4th line player.

    Downie is a good player. Can play up and down the lineup? Physical can score. He is completely crazy, I think he’s closer to Darcy Tucker than Cooke or . I would take him in a heartbeat. The concern for me is, will his body hold up.

    5×5 Pts/60 for the last 5 years is 2.089, if you want to put that in context Nuge’s career Pts/G0 is 1.616. He’s also having his worst year of his career. Could be a good buy low candidate or he could be a player who’s body breaks down. Given his age, size history, I would guess he will sign in the 3 – 4 million range.

  79. godot10 says:

    Pouzar:
    Just scouring the UFA list for RWers.

    What’s the deal with Steve Downie? I think he would be just what the doctor ordered on RW with Gordon and Hendricks. The Volmanns show a big blue bubble bordering on Shutdown/2 way playing the tough competition. Is he too much of a jerk in the Avery mold?
    He is still young at 27 as well.

    Thoughts?

    Get smart players. Keep smart players. Downie is NOT a smart player.

    Patrick Roy didn’t think it was a good idea keeping him around. Jon Cooper got rid of him almost as quickly as Patrick Roy did.

  80. Pouzar says:

    godot10: Get smart players.Keep smart players.Downie is NOT a smart player.

    Patrick Roy didn’t think it was a good idea keeping him around.Jon Cooper got rid of him almost as quickly as Patrick Roy did.

    Yeah that’s the red flag for me. He seemed to be doin really good in COL then boom….gone.

  81. Peter P. says:

    Pouzar,

    running the captain in training camp is really not the kind of thing that endears one to a franchise

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