RE 13-14 ANDREW FERENCE: AND THE HEALING HAS BEGUN

The Edmonton Oilers will someday (SOMEDAY!) rise to the top of the table, and this season will be remembered as the most trying. It is fitting then, and should be viewed as good fortune, that Andrew Ference was named captain of the Edmonton Oilers for this tumultuous year.

Andrew Ference 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.65 (2nd among regular D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 4.47 (1st among regular D)
  • Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular D
  • Qual Team: 2nd best available among regular D
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 42.9
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -3.1
  • Zone Start: 45.9% (4th toughest among regular D)
  • Zone Finish: 47.1% (best among D)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 77 shots/3.9% (3rd among Oil D>50 shots)
  • Boxcars: 71, 3-15-18
  • Plus Minus: -18 on a team that was -51

RE 13-14: 76, 3-14-17 .224

Actual: 71, 3-15-18 .254

  1. Did he play well? Not especially, but his Corsi Rel was about the same as last year in Boston (-3.4 in Boston, -3.1 here).
  2. Who did Ference play with? At 5×5, 465 minutes with Justin Schultz, 321 with Jeff Petry, 148 with Nick Schultz.
  3. What’s the downside of his season? He didn’t make any difference at all. Andrew Ference was signed as a veteran hand who would come in and still the thunder, use those calm feet to stop the crazy.
  4. No one could have made any difference. Martin Marincin, a raw rookie making diddly, made a difference. That young man delivered as soon as his plane landed.
  5. Weird song choice. It’s about finding a really good place. I think this is the beginning of being a really good place.  For me, last summer, the addition of Ference, Perron and Gordon was the point where the healing began. We’re not dancing to the violins and the two guitars yet, but I do believe there’s a better day ahead with these Oilers.
  6. What value does Ference bring? Shelter, for one. In my opinion this was a good hire for all kinds of reasons, the main one being he’d been down the losing road and could answer all the questions without making a mess.
  7. Answer questions to media or players? Both, one assumes. It can’t be easy to face the media after another loss, Ference did it well. There’s a certain value, I think, in having a veteran do it instead of someone like Hall. I love Taylor Hall as a hockey player, but outbursts are possible in our youth.
  8. What are the other good reasons to have signed Ference? Well, he played some tough minutes this season—second toughest competition, and the zone start was no screaming hell—and he survived it. The Oilers paid him to play in their top 4D, and he did, although the results were a train wreck along with the rest of the team.
  9. Did you like the signing. Here’s what I said a year ago: D Andrew Ference, 4 years times 3.25M. An overpay where he’ll play, Ference is ideally suited as a veteran pairing for Schultz the younger. He was 4th among Bruins in EV TOI (17:06) and fourth in PK TOI (2:13) and will probably play similar minutes with the Oilers. I think we should probably prepare for Ladislav Smid or Nick Schultz heading out of town (Ottawa or Philly is my guess) before training camp. The current LH depth chart is Smid, Ference, N Schultz, Anton Belov, Oscar Klefbom–suspect we’ll see a flip before fall.
  10. Well they traded them all. It made sense, Ference made Smid moot and Marincin came along and did the same for Schultz the elder.
  11. So, Ference failed in his role to be a useful defenseman and succeeded in the postgame scrums? I’d frame it a little differently. He skated miles, gave the team some personality and toughness, and represented the team well in a trying season. But yes, this was a failed season by Ference.
  12. Captains make no difference. Shayne Corson says hello.
  13. What are the on-ice positives we can take from Ference’s season? He played as well or better than any other defender who spent extended time alongside Justin Schultz.
  14. What? Ference-Schultz were 42.1% Corsi for%, Schultz-Schultz 38.4%.
  15. Was anyone better? In far fewer sorties, Belov was 49% with Schultz the younger, Oscar Klefbom was 44.3%.
  16. Where does Ference play next season? Third pairing, with Justin Schultz. That’s an ideal scenario from here.
  17. Expensive pairing. The Oilers signed Ference for more and longer, that’s why he’s here. I’d submit he’s still useful in a third pairing role and as a penalty killer. That has value.
  18. But he couldn’t be captain. I think the changing of the guard depends more on the guy taking over than Ference.
  19. They’re always too young or old when they’re Oilers. Why can’t they have a bunch of defensemen in their prime? That’s the best question you’ve ever asked, and the answer is because Oilers.
  20. Will MacT make it better? I think he’ll try, and eventually it won’t matter because the young players will grow up and cover the gap. One hopes it comes sooner than later. If MacT has to wait on Nurse, he won’t be the GM when things turn north.
  21. Will Andrew Ference skate in a playoff game as an Edmonton Oiler? I believe he will.

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104 Responses to "RE 13-14 ANDREW FERENCE: AND THE HEALING HAS BEGUN"

  1. hunter1909 says:

    Healing? There’s no healing, when your “captain” turns out to be a bottom pairing role player parachuted into leadership by the lazy fucking coach who’s too cool to bother watching the team he’s going to take over, for real.

    More like another lazy, ill informed decision by the bottom of the order management, now gunning for 9 years out of the playoffs. This is coming from a mug who, usually has them pegged for 6th place year after year, lol.

    And I like Ference.

    Note to MacT: Now’s the time to be making the phone calls to those desolate fresh out of tthe playoff GM’s, each hoping to make a splash before training camp.

    I expect Oiler’s to enter the new season half cocked as ever, full of wild assumptions about players as usual, and out of playoff contention by Christmas, with Eakins out of a job by New Year. Naturally I hope I’m wrong but…

  2. Andy P says:

    hunter1909: Healing? There’s no healing, when your “captain” turns out to be a bottom pairing role player parachuted into leadership by the lazy fucking coach who’s too cool to bother watching the team he’s going to take over, for real. More like another lazy, ill informed decision by the bottom of the order management, now gunning for 9 years out of the playoffs. This is coming from a mug who, usually has them pegged for 6th place year after year, lol. And I like Ference. Note to MacT: Now’s the time to be making the phone calls to those desolate fresh out of tthe playoff GM’s, each hoping to make a splash before training camp.I expect Oiler’s to enter the new season half cocked as ever, full of wild assumptions about players as usual, and out of playoff contention by Christmas, with Eakins out of a job by New Year. Naturally I hope I’m wrong but…

    I don’t agree with much of what you’ve said but that’s just my opinion and we each have at least one of those.

    One major indicator to me will be what happens with Bucky. If he stays then I think Eakins won’t. If Eakins goes and is replaced by Bucky then this I believe will be a pointless parade until Katz gets tired of losing and sells or relocates the team. Or Katz wont care how the team does because he is making so much money from the Arena deal.

  3. Halfwise says:

    If Ference is in the bottom pairing then presumably there are 4 better D playing above him. That would help, at least if the cost of the new D is fair market value.

    Glad to see Nurse given his chance, and just as glad that this pro hockey thing turns out to be harder than it looked. If Nurse has the character that MacT says he sees in him, the distant future looks brighter.

    At the draft, if Bennett and Ekblad are gone before the Oilers pick, then what? Maybe as Oiler fans we are doomed to believe that if we could just pick one slot higher everything would be fine. The legend of Tantalus.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantalus

  4. speeds says:

    Halfwise:
    At the draft, if Bennett and Ekblad are gone before the Oilers pick, then what? Maybe as Oiler fans we are doomed to believe that if we could just pick one slot higher everything would be fine. The legend of Tantalus.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantalus

    Run, don’t walk, up to the podium and select Reinhart?

  5. Truth says:

    Andrew Ference was a good add to this team and will play a part in the future. The issue is not that he could not perform as a top line defenceman (because he isn’t one) it’s that the team does not have any better options.

    MacT is on the right track with his search for a top level defenceman this off-season, however I have a bad feeling it will be pre-season and he will be talking about the addition of Ekblad or emergence of Nurse, Klefbom, or Marincin as being that top level player they now have on the roster.

  6. TheOtherJohn says:

    Ference was signed for too much money & for too long w a NMC to be a top 4 D man. He turned out to be a 5/6 & was given the captaincy for some unfathomable reason. He is not an improvement on Smid is older, smaller and is slightly better with the puck. He is a good interview though. Just not sure we should be paying $3.25m for interviews.

    Not one of MacT’s better off season moves although there were clearly worse moves.

    If we run with Schultz, Marincin, Klefbom & Nurse on our D this year we will have another lost season. And if we move Petry out our D will be an absolute tire fire next year

  7. Hammers says:

    Ference did what I expected of him. The problem was in some way Eakins slotting him wrong from the very beginning .McT probably overvalued him but he was probably all he could get. Once he played 2nd or 3rd pairing he tended to find his own level . Marincin playing with Petry helped that .McT needs to get that “D” above Ference’s level at least a #2 . If he can’t you kiss next year away as he indicated he would go with the kids . That puts pressure on to make the trade for a Coburn or Myers and the only thing that gets that is our #3 pick & if we add something to the pick we may get a lower 1st rounder back . I still feel our #3 & Klefbom to Buffalo for Myers or Erhoff and Stewart would immediately help this team .Your option is keep drafting in the top 5 until Hal , Nuge or Ebs ASK to be traded.

  8. icecastles says:

    and the answer is because Oilers.

    Please, please can this meme just die? I can tolerate the mobile-browser-breaking YouTube links to overplayed musicians from the distant past, but isn’t this whole “because Oilers” thing a case study in the exact kind of kneejerk verbiage this blog supposedly shuns?

    Andy P: One major indicator to me will be what happens with Bucky. If he stays then I think Eakins won’t. If Eakins goes and is replaced by Bucky then this I believe will be a pointless parade until Katz gets tired of losing and sells or relocates the team.

    There is exactly zero chance of Bucky replacing Eakins. The Oilers are more likely to get Chara in a straight across trade for Gazdic than they are to make your hypothetical coaching scenario happen.

  9. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles
    There is exactly zero chance of Bucky replacing Eakins. The Oilers are more likely to get Chara in a straight across trade for Gazdic than they are to make your hypothetical coaching scenario happen.

    Every single Andy P post is about throwing shit at Buchberger. Don’t even bother. Pass go and collect your money, don’t say a thing.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Lowdown at 10:

    10:05 Dennis King
    10:25 Travis Yost
    11:00 Scott Cullen

    I’ve been holding out for another guest, but willhave to confirm later.

  11. Racki says:

    Ference is a good guy if you don’t expect him to be your best D. Looking at our D lineup, I’m not sure who was expected to stand out ahead of him. The Oilers need to just trade for Weber already. God, how hard can that really be? It’s not like Nashville likes him or anything :P

  12. OilClog says:

    Ference will skate in a playoff game for the Oilers… What are these playoffs you speak of?!?

  13. Woodguy says:

    icecastles,

    Please, please can this meme just die? I can tolerate the mobile-browser-breaking YouTube links to overplayed musicians from the distant past, but isn’t this whole “because Oilers” thing a case study in the exact kind of kneejerk verbiage this blog supposedly shuns?

    Why do you say that?

    The reasoning behind Because Oilers is that they have been doing the same thing with the roster since 2007.

    It has no balance and most players are playing above their established NHL ability.

    Why?

    We could list a myriad of reasons and pin in on a person, but it has gone on through 3 GMs, so it looks like a systemic thing.

    Why don’t the Oilers have balance and are playing players above their established NHL ability?

    Because they’re not smart?

    Because they don’t know what they are doing?

    Because they do not know how to evaluate players, including their own?

    Because they fail to get he pieces needed in the off-season?

    Because they make too many bad bets on aging players?

    Because they make too many bad bets on young players?

    Because they have a coaching carousel and every year the players start from scratch with a new system?

    Because they trade Actual NHLers for futures without filling the hole they created?

    Its much easier to just write Because Oilers.

    It encompasses all of the above without too much verbiage.

  14. Lowetide says:

    the key to because Oilers, as WG states is brevity. Why did Steve Tambellini make Cam Barker the cornerstone addition to his summer of improvement?

    Do you want 5000 words or two?

  15. Halfwise says:

    speeds: Run, don’t walk, up to the podium and select Reinhart?

    They could do worse, it’s true.

    At #3 I am hoping for someone skilled, blessed with either extreme battle level and adequate size or extreme size and adequate battle level. Glad there is a scouting staff to sort this out.

  16. Jordan says:

    Racki:
    Ference is a good guy if you don’t expect him to be your best D. Looking at our D lineup, I’m not sure who was expected to stand out ahead of him. The Oilers need to just trade for Weber already. God, how hard can that really be? It’s not like Nashville likes him or anything

    My mom’s sister’s father’s grandson said that since Weber was a Minus player this year, the Oilers should set their sights higher….
    Well crap – I was going to have a joke in here about the +/- leaders not meaning anything, but the regular season leader for +/- is Matt Niskanen. I hear he’s kinda good, and is actually what the Oilers need on the back end. #failedtroll

  17. nycoil says:

    Is there any chance at all the Oilers can nab one of the recently fired or soon-to-be fired head coaches who doesn’t manage to get a new head coaching gig (sort of like Renney in Detroit) to be associate and also bring on Todd Nelson? With apologies to Buchberger and Smith and Acton, send them on their way. Eakins-McLellan-Nelson would be fantastic. No? One can dream.

    Ference is a bit overpaid now for what he brings, but probably only a little bit. I think he has gap control issues. But he is well-spoken and I think, as you say, LT, it helps keep the pressure off Hall a bit for now. The final two years of the contract though could be a bit of a boat anchor. But even then, it’s probably a $750K over fair value anchor. Not the end of the world. If he is our #6 making too much in 2016, well, I think the Oilers will be ok, so long as Schultz, Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin, Petry aren’t making too much at the time yet. Hmm, that’s 6 dmen already right there. Would hope we also have a Niskanen or Ekblad or someone like that in there. The more you look at it, the more likely that 3-for-1 unicorn is coming soon.

  18. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide:
    the key to because Oilers, as WG states is brevity. Why did Steve Tambellini make Cam Barker the cornerstone addition to his summer of improvement?

    Do you want 5000 words or two?

    Well, we could go with “because Lowe”. Lowe’s tenure overlaps the Oilers period of failure remarkably well. 100% coverage, in fact.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Well, we could go with “because Lowe”.Lowe’s tenure overlaps the Oilers period of failure remarkably well.100% coverage, in fact.

    No, we can’t, because I don’t buy that argument. We could go on forever on this, but Lowe’s frame of mind after the ‘why me?’ was to distance himself, and I believe he did. Proof is in the lack of creative thinking in the GM office until MacT arrived.

    His cornerstone addition was Cam Barker, WHO HAD BEEN BOUGHT OUT!!!!!!

  20. gcw_rocks says:

    It was a bad move to bring in Ference and force him play above his weight class, but that’s the GM, not Ference.

    Paying Ference $3.25M to play third pairing minutes is equally nuts, especially if his third pairing partner is Schultz.

    Good teams spend about $3.5 – 3.7M on there third pairing total.

    I love the suggestions to put Ference on the third pairing and Gordon and Hendricks the fourth line. That roughly means the Oilers would overspend on their least important forward and defensive lines by ~$5M or more. Where do the Oilers have value contracts to off set this? The money has to come from somewhere, and it either means value contracts or putting interior players in roles on more important lines and pairings. I don’t see a lot of value contracts on the Oilers.

  21. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide: No, we can’t, because I don’t buy that argument. We could go on forever on this, but Lowe’s frame of mind after the ‘why me?’ was to distance himself, and I believe he did. Proof is in the lack of creative thinking in the GM office until MacT arrived.

    His cornerstone addition was Cam Barker, WHO HAD BEEN BOUGHT OUT!!!!!!

    He gave Barker only 1 year. At two and a quarter, but it’s not like he signed a 34-year-old bottom pairing defender to four years with a NMC.

    MacTavish may be more active than Dithers, and he’s made some nice moves (Fasth, Scrivens), but his judgment has proved questionable on a number of occasions. Eakins, Smid, and Clarkson come to mind. That’s a lot of bad decisions for a single season in the big chair. The arrogance with which both MacT and Eakins came into the organization really doesn’t help.

  22. Jordan says:

    Lowetide,

    What did you expect from a GM whose mandate was to lose as much as possible while looking like he was trying to do well?

    Especially after it was clear that he kept making stupid move after stupid move, and not only did K-Lowe do nothing, but D-Katz did nothing too.

    The only reason you keep that guy is if you’re trying to lose and want a fall guy for the losing when you think you’ve got enough to start winning again.

    The funny part of this sad sordid tale is that Toonces did such a good job of tanking the team and destroying anything that had value is that it’s going to take another 3 seasons to get back to the point that they were at in 2009!

    I know that many people don’t buy this “conspiracy theory” stuff, and that’s fine. But at some point, all of the seemingly random bad stuff that happens around this Oilers team has to be seen as more than just a series of bad decisions made worse by circumstance.

    Planned incompetence becomes patterns of incompetence becomes because Oilers.

  23. icecastles says:

    Woodguy,
    Lowetide,

    There you go ruining my bitchiness with good sense, clear argument and valid reasons again. FINE.

    Still, I’m going to take a stab here since I started it and try to defend my position, even though I suspect I’m going to be on the losing end or think myself right out of my own argument.

    I think “because Oilers” oversimplifies or avoids the real conversation. The things you both point out are the what of bad decision-making on the part of management. Saying “because Oilers” is a way of (to my mind) never getting us to understanding why so many of these decisions have been made.

    Woodguy raises a bunch of questions rhetorically, some of them about why but mostly more what questions. I know it’s silly to rehash the same points every time it comes up, but there are myriad reasons the Oilers are in the spot they’re in.
    - Bad decisions.
    - Bad bets that shouldn’t have been made.
    - Good bets that went bad.
    - Crappy luck. Sometimes shit just happens.
    - Few tradeable players and too many holes to safely trade away the good ones.
    - Bad blood among players.
    - Bad blood with the coach.
    - Bad blood with the organization.
    - Bad blood from zombie/vampire/werewolf exposure.
    - Poor negotiating.
    - Unwillingness to live in Edmonton.
    - Unwillingness to come to such a poor team.
    - Outmanouvered by more experienced GMs.
    - Misunderstanding team need.
    - Misunderstanding player’s ability level.
    - Failure to do due diligence on things like injury history.

    I would argue that lumping them all under “because Oilers” while indeed a 2 word replacement for 5000 words, is still a shorthand for 5000 words of “don’t know, don’t care; it’s all madness.” If it were shorthand for a clear idea, I’d be all for it.

    Maybe I’m just stubbornly refusing to admit there is quite as much incompetence at the top as is actually the case, and “because Oilers” works precisely BECAUSE many decisions the teams has made have been lacking in good reasons. Sigh. I suspect this is a lot of it. Damn you, Oilers! Damn you for making me care! Damn you for being so goddamn inept for so goddamn long!

    Goddamnit.

  24. TheOtherJohn says:

    Woodguy:
    icecastles,

    Please, please can this meme just die? I can tolerate the mobile-browser-breaking YouTube links to overplayed musicians from the distant past, but isn’t this whole “because Oilers” thing a case study in the exact kind of kneejerk verbiage this blog supposedly shuns?

    Why do you say that?

    The reasoning behind Because Oilers is that they have been doing the same thing with the roster since 2007.

    It has no balance and most players are playing above their established NHL ability.

    Why?

    We could list a myriad of reasons and pin in on a person, but it has gone on through 3 GMs, so it looks like a systemic thing.

    Why don’t the Oilers have balance and are playing players above their established NHL ability?

    Because they’re not smart?

    Because they don’t know what they are doing?

    Because they do not know how to evaluate players, including their own?

    Because they fail to get he pieces needed in the off-season?

    Because they make too many bad bets on aging players?

    Because they make too many bad bets on young players?

    Because they have a coaching carousel and every year the players start from scratch with a new system?

    Because they trade Actual NHLers for futures without filling the hole they created?

    Its much easier to just write Because Oilers.

    It encompasses all of the above without too much verbiage.

    OMG——-THIS!!!!

  25. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lowetide: No, we can’t, because I don’t buy that argument. We could go on forever on this, but Lowe’s frame of mind after the ‘why me?’ was to distance himself, and I believe he did. Proof is in the lack of creative thinking in the GM office until MacT arrived.

    His cornerstone addition was Cam Barker, WHO HAD BEEN BOUGHT OUT!!!!!!

    His actual cornerstone additions when the Oilers were trying to start to compete were Belanger, Eager and…… as Spector calls him “a top 3 D man” ….Barker

    Have no idea why the pro scouts that recommended the above trio still have a job ….at all Like even as a greeter at Walmart. Little alone in hockey and certainly not at the NHL level. If anyone recommened any one of those 3 to me to hire and I was stuck with them…… I might quit listenening to them for recommending 1 of these guys but for 2 or 3 of 3, I’d fire them . Oilers……” I have complete faith in pro scouting department”

  26. Racki says:

    People say “Because Oilers”, because saying “because Coyotes” really makes no sense.

  27. Bag of Pucks says:

    nycoil:

    I think he has gap control issues.

    That’s what she said.

  28. icecastles says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    If you highlight part of a post then click “quote”, it will only quote the relevant part in your post, saving interminable scrolling. Of course, if the entire content of your post is a one-word agreement, the whole exercise in good communication is probably moot anyway. And yes, I’m extremely bitchy today. I’ll shut up now.

  29. Woodguy says:

    Ference’s net WOWY with his most common partners:

    SCHULTZ, JUSTIN -1
    PETRY, JEFF -2.2
    SCHULTZ, NICK -0.3
    LARSEN, PHILIP 8.3
    FRASER, MARK -3.1
    BELOV, ANTON -10.6
    KLEFBOM, OSCAR -6.6

    So everyone is worse with him except Larsen.

    When we looked at him at the time of signing we figured he was a reasonable 4/5 Dman.

    So the Oilers play him as a 2/3, mostly with rookies and the roof caves in.

    Standard. (trying to avoid Because Oilers for icecastles)

    The left side depth in the future looks good right now with Marincin, Klef, Nurse, Simpson, Gernat.

    The left side depth today is poor with Marincin, Ference, Klef

    I still have Ference ahead of Klef, but that may change as Klef gets more ice time next year.

    If Marincin is 2LD, Ference is 3LD and Klef is your 7D you are in decent shape next year.

    If everyone is up a notch, then its a repeat of this year.

  30. icecastles says:

    TheOtherJohn: Have no idea why the pro scouts that recommended the above trio still have a job ….at all Like even as a greeter at Walmart.

    I’ve wondered this same thing so many times. The ankle injury with Whitney was a monstrous red flag as well. The amateur scouting saw a major overhaul and seems to be better for it. Has there been any change in the pro scouting department in the last several years?

    Some things have been gambles that simply didn’t pay off and there have been some good acquisitions, but man oh man have there been some egregious errors, and surely this should fall at least largely if not entirely on the shoulders of the pro scouts. The GM pulls the trigger, but he has to be able to trust the information his scouts provide.

    Additionally if there has been little changeover in the scouting staff for some years, I would venture that we can safely say advanced analytics are still a dirty word to the vast majority of the staff. A worrying but very likely notion.

    Racki: People say “Because Oilers”, because saying “because Coyotes” really makes no sense.

    I’m going to start answering everything with “because Lauren Pronger.”

    Of course the runner up is pretty solid too.

  31. Bag of Pucks says:

    gcw_rocks:
    It was a bad move to bring in Ference and force him play above his weight class, but that’s the GM, not Ference.

    Paying Ference $3.25M to play third pairing minutes is equally nuts, especially if his third pairing partner is Schultz.

    Good teams spend about $3.5 – 3.7M on there third pairing total.

    I love the suggestions to put Ference on the third pairing and Gordon and Hendricks the fourth line.That roughly means the Oilers would overspend on their least important forward and defensive lines by ~$5M or more.Where do the Oilers have value contracts to off set this?The money has to come from somewhere, and it either means value contracts or putting interior players in roles on more important lines and pairings.I don’t see a lot of value contracts on the Oilers.

    Ference played Top 4 mins in the playoffs the year the Oilers acquired him.

    I’m fairly certain MacT saw him as a viable second pairing option at the time they signed him.

    AF has a stellar compete level, but I think he works better with a physical fireplug like a Chara, Boychuk or McQuaid and not a wandering waif like Schultz. Not enough poundage in that pairing to compete against overtly physical lines.

  32. Woodguy says:

    icecastles,

    Misunderstanding player’s ability level.

    That’s about 80% of it right there.

  33. icecastles says:

    Woodguy: Standard. (trying to avoid Because Oilers for icecastles)

    Jerk. :)

  34. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Ference played Top 4 mins in the playoffs the year the Oilers acquired him.

    I’m fairly certain MacT saw him as a viable second pairing option at the time they signed him.

    AF has a stellar compete level, but I think he works better with a physical fireplug like a Chara, Boychuk or McQuaid and not a wandering waif like Schultz. Not enough poundage in that pairing to compete against overtly physical lines.

    I looked fairly deeply into Ference when they signed him.

    He was a 4/5

    See this post: http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/07/the-story-of-a-man-ready-to-make-a-connection.html/comment-page-1#comment-239289

    Here’s the key part:

    If we assume (correctly I think) that when he was with McQuaid it was 3rds, SIedenberg and Boychuck 2nds and Chara 1sts, we can break down his assignments over the last 3 years like this:
    3rds – 45%
    2nds -36%
    1sts – 19%

    The end result is that I think we can say that Ference was a competent 4/5 Dman for BOS.

    He played top 4 in playoffs and did well that year, but for the most part 4/5 is a more accurate description given that 45% of this 5v5 time was on the 3rd pair with McQuaid.

  35. regwald says:

    Lowetide:
    the key to because Oilers, as WG states is brevity. Why did Steve Tambellini make Cam Barker the cornerstone addition to his summer of improvement?

    Do you want 5000 words or two?

    I even shorten it for twitter purposes. #causeoilers

    It is ’cause the management team in Edmonton is one of the worst in the league and since the summer of 2006 have been wandering through the desert thinking they are on track to getting better. And by Christmas every year, we know the answer because it’s the same one for the past 7 seasons.

  36. regwald says:

    icecastles: I’ve wondered this same thing so many times. The ankle injury with Whitney was a monstrous red flag as well. The amateur scouting saw a major overhaul and seems to be better for it. Has there been any change in the pro scouting department in the last several years?

    Some things have been gambles that simply didn’t pay off and there have been some good acquisitions, but man oh man have there been some egregious errors, and surely this should fall at least largely if not entirely on the shoulders of the pro scouts. The GM pulls the trigger, but he has to be able to trust the information his scouts provide.

    Additionally if there has been little changeover in the scouting staff for some years, I would venture that we can safely say advanced analytics are still a dirty word to the vast majority of the staff. A worrying but very likely notion.

    I’m going to start answering everything with “because Lauren Pronger.”

    Of course the runner up is pretty solid too.

    Aliens ? Do we need Mulder and Scully to investigate ? Can the Aliens build the arena quicker just like the pyramids.

    I like this Alien theory. We could come up with some awesome stories and comments about Aliens.

    Love it !

  37. TheOtherJohn says:

    The Oilers ineptitude is not restricted to 30/30/29/24/28. If we want to know how the Oilers have done since we were last in the playoffs and slide back a further 3 years we get to add to those numbers 21/19/25

    So the Oilers actual abominal performance is 25/19/21/30/30/29/24/28

    Or to go with the above abbreviation “because Oilers”

  38. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Woodguy: I looked fairly deeply into Ference when they signed him.

    He was a 4/5

    See this post: http://lowetide.ca/blog/2013/07/the-story-of-a-man-ready-to-make-a-connection.html/comment-page-1#comment-239289

    Here’s the key part:

    If we assume (correctly I think) that when he was with McQuaid it was 3rds, SIedenberg and Boychuck 2nds and Chara 1sts, we can break down his assignments over the last 3 years like this:
    3rds – 45%
    2nds -36%
    1sts – 19%


    The end result is that I think we can say that Ference was a competent 4/5 Dman for BOS.

    He played top 4 in playoffs and did well that year, but for the most part 4/5 is a more accurate description given that 45% of this 5v5 time was on the 3rd pair with McQuaid.

    Do you save all your posts?

    How do you keep track of all this stuff? :o

  39. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: How do you keep track of all this stuff?

    Because Woodguy.

    (you know, I think I’m even pissing myself off today. I rock so hard.)

  40. russ99 says:

    Ference did himself no favors by being the early mouthpiece of Eakins.

    I know the captain is supposed to do that, but he made likely things worse reinforcing some bad ideas (where a cup ring carries a lot of weight), and making the captaincy decision look even worse to the core kids. I’d think that, and Dallas’s unbending nature pushed the buy in and real growth within the systems back a few months.

    On the ice, I have few issues. Had we 2 quality NHL defensemen he’d fit into his expected role much better.

    Salary wise, whatever. The idea that players should somehow be better because of a pay increase is pretty dumb. Ference is what he is. If MacT thought experience and leadership was worth the premium price, that’s on him.

  41. icecastles says:

    russ99: (where a cup ring carries a lot of weight),

    I’ve heard Lowe can’t even raise his hand anymore.

  42. Henry says:

    Woodguy:
    Ference’s net WOWY with his most common partners:

    SCHULTZ, JUSTIN-1
    PETRY, JEFF-2.2
    SCHULTZ, NICK-0.3
    LARSEN, PHILIP8.3
    FRASER, MARK-3.1
    BELOV, ANTON-10.6
    KLEFBOM, OSCAR-6.6

    So everyone is worse with him except Larsen.

    When we looked at him at the time of signing we figured he was a reasonable 4/5 Dman.

    So the Oilers play him as a 2/3, mostly with rookies and the roof caves in.

    Standard.(trying to avoid Because Oilers for icecastles)

    The left side depth in the future looks good right now with Marincin, Klef, Nurse, Simpson, Gernat.

    The left side depth today is poor with Marincin, Ference, Klef

    I still have Ference ahead of Klef, but that may change as Klef gets more ice time next year.

    If Marincin is 2LD, Ference is 3LD and Klef is your 7D you are in decent shape next year.

    If everyone is up a notch, then its a repeat of this year.

    I think this is perfectly said Woodguy.

    I like Ference, the guy a lot. He seems to have the sort of positive and balanced temperament you’d want in any workplace and especially a close-knit hockey team. If in the third pairing he could be more than fine for next year.

    My problem with him is that he is undersized for a defenseman and even if he is in better shape than everyone, he’s going to be nicked up as he ages during his remaining three years. Because of this the contract he was offered is too long to have an NTC with it.

  43. icecastles says:

    russ99: Salary wise, whatever. The idea that players should somehow be better because of a pay increase is pretty dumb. Ference is what he is.

    I wonder of all fanbases behave much like folks here in Edmonton…

    I think of guys like Horcoff, Ference, Horcoff, Gagner, Horcoff. It seems like fan tolerance of a given player here is directly tied to what he is earning. Result of the ‘blue collar’ fanbase we constantly hear about (though I’m not sure how much I buy that compared to any other market. It’s hockey, not the opera. A certain demographic will always be disproportionately represented.

    Sucks when a guy is overpaid, but I agree with you completely that the notion that more money means he’s supposed to play better is more than a little silly.

    Also, why is it so hard to see opera in Alberta? Or ballet. I want to go to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and hear some guy in the back of the concert hall screaming between gulps of beer that the prima ballerina is soft and needs to hit more. Actually… I think I’ll just be that guy.

  44. Henry says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Well, we could go with “because Lowe”.Lowe’s tenure overlaps the Oilers period of failure remarkably well.100% coverage, in fact.

    Lowe did pretty well with defense after CFP hamstrung the Oilers. He managed to get Pitkanen, Souray (I know, but a very good Dman every other season), Lubo, and Gilbert. Charley Huddy even turned Grebeshkov into a bona fide NHL defenseman for a couple years.

    I would love to have a beer with Tom Renney and go over the dismantling of the Oilers defense during the Tambi years.

  45. icecastles says:

    Henry: Lowe did pretty well with defense after CFP hamstrung the Oilers. He managed to get Pitkanen, Souray (I know, but a very good Dman every other season), Lubo, and Gilbert. Charley Huddy even turned Grebeshkov into a bona fide NHL defenseman for a couple years.

    Very true. Lowe has some significant warts, there’s no doubt. He seemingly can’t separate business from personal and gets much too emotionally involved, and had a bad habit of whale hunting and the overpays that came with it. But there seems to be a lot of revisionist history taking place in Oiler land where Lowe is painted as an incompetent hothead who never managed a good trade or signing. He did amazing things with no money and one hand tied behind his back as often as not.

    As to Huddy… I think this is one of those places we say “because Oilers.” In the house cleaning that happened a few years ago, he is one I’d love to have back. To quote Walk Hard, “the wrong kid died.”

  46. Woodguy says:

    Marcus Oilerius: icecastles: I’ve wondered this same thing so many times. The ankle injury with Whitney was a monstrous red flag as well. The amateur scouting saw a major overhaul and seems to be better for it. Has there been any change in the pro scouting department in the last several years?
    Some things have been gambles that simply didn’t pay off and there have been some good acquisitions, but man oh man have there been some egregious errors, and surely this should fall at least largely if not entirely on the shoulders of the pro scouts. The GM pulls the trigger, but he has to be able to trust the information his scouts provide.

    Google-Fu is getting good in my old age.

  47. Woodguy says:

    icecastles: Because Woodguy.

    (you know, I think I’m even pissing myself off today. I rock so hard.)

    I am not a meme!!

    I’m an internet message board poster!!

  48. icecastles says:

    Woodguy: I am not a meme!!
    I’m an internet message board poster!!

    Because meme.

  49. Woodguy says:

    Garth Snow got the rights to Halak (UFA July 1) today for a 4th rounder from WAS.

    Sounds a little steep.

    Usually these things (buying an exclusive negotiation window until July 1) cost 6th or 7th and can be conditional on the player signing.

    I wonder if the market for Halak’s rights was warm or if Snow just overpaid Because Snow?

  50. Andy P says:

    icecastles: Please, please can this meme just die? I can tolerate the mobile-browser-breaking YouTube links to overplayed musicians from the distant past, but isn’t this whole “because Oilers” thing a case study in the exact kind of kneejerk verbiage this blog supposedly shuns? There is exactly zero chance of Bucky replacing Eakins. The Oilers are more likely to get Chara in a straight across trade for Gazdic than they are to make your hypothetical coaching scenario happen.

    That would be a wonderful thing to not happen, however:
    1) Katz and as such the Oilers are extremely loyal to the BOTB. Kelly is a BOTB and therefore part of this club.
    2) Kelly has been groomed for the HC position, first of all, with his short tenure as HC of Springfield where he brought the team up to a .500 record, secondly, with his unreasonably long tenure as Offensive Assistant, while the carousel above him, swirled and swirled. Why else would he survive so long, with his abysmal offensive coaching record if he were not a crown prince?

    I’m not sure MacT would willingly put KB in the HC slot. He is clearly, to then rest of us, unsuited to the offensive assistant position, let alone HC.

    That means to me that if he were made HC it would be a Katz call made via 6 Rings overruling MacT. Which is why it would be the worst possible indicator of ongoing future failure.

    I’m interested to hear what makes you so certain this will not happen?

  51. Woodguy says:

    icecastles: Because meme.

    Because Because Because Because Because

    Becuase of the wonderful things Lowe does

  52. "Steve Smith" says:

    Bag of Pucks: Ference played Top 4 mins in the playoffs the year the Oilers acquired him.

    I’m fairly certain MacT saw him as a viable second pairing option at the time they signed him.

    AF has a stellar compete level, but I think he works better with a physical fireplug like a Chara, Boychuk or McQuaid and not a wandering waif like Schultz. Not enough poundage in that pairing to compete against overtly physical lines.

    So are you saying that you haven’t loved watching him play?

  53. Andy P says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Well, we could go with “because Lowe”. Lowe’s tenure overlaps the Oilers period of failure remarkably well. 100% coverage, in fact.

    How about “Because Katz” seeing as his ownership coincides exactly with the decline of this team.

    BTW I just proved you wrong :)

  54. icecastles says:

    Andy P: I’m interested to hear what makes you so certain this will not happen?

    Because your reasoning is speculation and heresay from top to bottom, dependent entirely on a series of future things happening, any one of which seems completely out of line with reality. Because it flies in the face not only of logic, but of past events (2 other rookie head coaches hired; one of them previously an assistant coach while KB was not hired), and of recent and very clear verbal from the GM.

    You have formed a theory entirely out of your imagination, then sought out “facts” to support it. There were no facts, so you instead made some up (KB is being “groomed” etc.)

    As to the extreme loyalty, there is a degree of that, sure. But if you make a list of BOTB fellows currently with the Oilers and ones who have been let go or moved on, you may be surprised which list is longer. head coach: not a former Oiler. Newest ass’t coach hire: not a former Oiler. Head of amateur scouting: not a former Oiler. Last GM before MacT (who was himself let go during Katz’ reign. there’s your extreme loyalty): not a former Oiler. Head coach before Eakins: not a former Oiler. Two more subsequent head coaches before Kreuger: Not. Former. Oilers.

    Facts, man. They shed wonderful light on ideas.

  55. Woodguy says:

    “Steve Smith”: So are you saying that you haven’t loved watching him play?

    I liked this post:

    “STEVE SMITH” says:
    July 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm
    Bag of Pucks,
    Well, he was certainly bleeding shots against for those minutes, more so than any other defenceman on the team. But I’m sure his dirty work/60 was outstanding.

    You need to post more sir.

  56. icecastles says:

    Andy P: BTW I just proved you wrong

    proof noun
    1.
    evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth.
    2.
    anything serving as such evidence: What proof do you have?
    3.
    the act of testing or making trial of anything; test; trial: to put a thing to the proof.
    4.
    the establishment of the truth of anything; demonstration.
    5.
    something Andy P neither possesses nor comprehends.

  57. Bag of Pucks says:

    “Steve Smith”: So are you saying that you haven’t loved watching him play?

    Obsess much?

  58. Andy P says:

    TheOtherJohn: His actual cornerstone additions when the Oilers were trying to start to compete were Belanger, Eager and…… as Spector calls him “a top 3 D man” ….BarkerHave no idea why the pro scouts that recommended the above trio still have a job ….at all Like even as a greeter at Walmart. Little alone in hockey and certainly not at the NHL level. If anyone recommened any one of those 3 to me to hire and I was stuck with them…… I might quit listenening to them for recommending 1 of these guys but for 2 or 3 of 3, I’d fire them . Oilers……” I have complete faith in pro scouting department”

    I’d suggest part of this is that Katz is an inexperienced owner, and part of that is misplaced loyalty. It’s one thing trusting people that you know are good at their role based on years of experience, but trusting people because you like them rather than because they do a good job, is what gets one into situations like this. Such as sticking too long with Mr Dithers as GM, and other items of loyalty which should be self evident.

    In the face of this I actually think MacT is a good choice as GM and Eakins is not a bad coach, but rather a rookie coach that was not as ready for the NHL as he thought he was. If MacT is given a free hand and the owner keeps his nose out of player selection and coaching decisions, then we wont be so badly off.

    We need to understand though that MacT has a much tougher job than most GM’s, so his trades cost more and are harder to consummate. I think MacT has done the best that could be expected of a rookie GM in the circumstances. I don’t mind Eakins either, I think both of his predecessors were better qualified for the job than he is, but with the appropriate support from MacT I think he will be good enough for the time being.

  59. icecastles says:

    Andy P: In the face of this I actually think MacT is a good choice as GM and Eakins is not a bad coach, but rather a rookie coach that was not as ready for the NHL as he thought he was. If MacT is given a free hand and the owner keeps his nose out of player selection and coaching decisions, then we wont be so badly off.
    We need to understand though that MacT has a much tougher job than most GM’s, so his trades cost more and are harder to consummate. I think MacT has done the best that could be expected of a rookie GM in the circumstances.

    This I agree with totally. As agonizing as it is to accept after the past several years of being urged to be patient, we are at a stage now where we are going to have to continue to be patient. I do believe we’ll have more to show for that patience than under Tambo, but it will take time.

  60. Andy P says:

    icecastles: Because your reasoning is speculation and heresay from top to bottom, dependent entirely on a series of future things happening, any one of which seems completely out of line with reality. Because it flies in the face not only of logic, but of past events (2 other rookie head coaches hired; one of them previously an assistant coach while KB was not hired), and of recent and very clear verbal from the GM.You have formed a theory entirely out of your imagination, then sought out “facts” to support it. There were no facts, so you instead made some up (KB is being “groomed” etc.)As to the extreme loyalty, there is a degree of that, sure. But if you make a list of BOTB fellows currently with the Oilers and ones who have been let go or moved on, you may be surprised which list is longer. head coach: not a former Oiler. Newest ass’t coach hire: not a former Oiler. Head of amateur scouting: not a former Oiler. Last GM before MacT (who was himself let go during Katz’ reign. there’s your extreme loyalty): not a former Oiler. Head coach before Eakins: not a former Oiler. Two more subsequent head coaches before Kreuger: Not. Former. Oilers. Facts, man. They shed wonderful light on ideas.

    What you say is surprising, I does not mean that my theory is entirely imagination, it was based on Bucky’s exceptional tenure through multiple coaches – Is that because he’s good at what he does? If so, why is our offense such a mess? Is he a good assistant stuck with a weak roster? What about the 2 or 3 posts I picked up on, on the ON site, where people on the comments reported on hearing him run down Eakins behind his back?
    So my POV is a blend of things I read and things I think, for sure, but changes when I see other people like you who are at least prepared to put fact based contrary opinions on the table.

    Therefore I agree that based on your facts, one would think that incompetent BOTB would not progress any further, and in case would be gently moved on. In which case, I’d be interested in your observation on how this Assistant has survived every coach he has worked under, on a failing team.

    And then I’ll stop throwing shit at Bucky.

  61. stevezie says:

    Maybe I don’t understand stats that well, but Ference’s look pretty good, don’t they? We can all agree he’s was played over his head, but doesn’t scoring more than anyone else and showing at least a slight tendency to move the puck from his end to their end not show that maybe he wasn’t as bad as some claimed?

    icecastles,

    I agree completely on hating the meme and disagree on the overplayed, old musicians. One of the things this series has taught me is I should buy a Van Morrison album.

  62. Woodguy says:

    CapGeek ‏@capgeek 7m
    Career earnings: $28.875M. http://capgeek.com/player/862 RT @AdamVingan Tom Poti has officially announced his retirement after a 14-year career.

  63. Woodguy says:

    stevezie,

    Maybe I don’t understand stats that well, but Ference’s look pretty good, don’t they?

    His fancystats are not good.

    Everyone is better away from him except Larsson.

    His Corsi For % is 43%.

    Replacement level is considered about 45%.

    Not good at all.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=568&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

    He also posted a negative relative corsi on the 2nd worst corsi team in the NHL.

    As bad as the Oilers were, they were worse off with him on the ice compared to off the ice.

    Not good.

  64. icecastles says:

    stevezie: disagree on the overplayed, old musicians

    I honestly misread this as “overpayed” rather than “overplayed”. I’ve been reading too much Oilers critique, it seems… (not that either term doesn’t’ seem to apply to much of our roster these days)

    If you don’t mid cassettes, I can give you most of VM’s entire discography for nothing. I’ve not listened to them in years. He’s too heavy for me. Too dark.

  65. icecastles says:

    Woodguy: His fancystats are not good.
    Everyone is better away from him except Larsson.

    I’m coming to place enormous value on that WOWY stat. Amazing the stories it can tell on so many players.

    Still marvel at that Dellow (I think) article on Smid after he was traded to the Flames, showing is WOWY in both Edmonton and Calgary. Made me hate the trade a lot less.

    Also made me wonder if this was just lucky, or if MacT has been looking deeper into the numbers lately when making some of his roster moves.

  66. Andy P says:

    icecastles: proof noun1.evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth.2.anything serving as such evidence: What proof do you have?3.the act of testing or making trial of anything; test; trial: to put a thing to the proof.4.the establishment of the truth of anything; demonstration.5.something Andy P neither possesses nor comprehends.

    You missed my point entirely, so I will spell it out for you:

    You claimed I threw shit at Bucky in every post I made. I did not throw shit at Bucky in that post.
    ‘Nuff said :)

  67. godot10 says:

    MacT compounded his mistake in the coaching change by trading Horcoff, and losing a captain whom the players had a relationship with, had been though the losing wars with, and whom they trusted, and who could have provided continuity and a conduit to the new coach when Eakins was driving the Oilers bus straight over the cliff.

    Okay. You dumped Krueger. Fine. But then it was absolute lunacy to dump Horcoff too.

    MactT set up the dressing room for the early season chaos and dysfunctionality.

    Ference, if he was signed to replace Whitney or NSchultz, was a decent signing. If he was signed to replace Smid and be captain, it was a bad decision.

    Off-season task #1: Acquire a veteran legit top 4 RD to pair with Ference, so the Oilers can run with three relatively balanced pairings. Where Schultz really becomes a 3rd pairing D, like Nick Leddy.

    Ference/New proven vet
    Marincin/Petry
    Klefbom/Schultz

  68. Jordan says:

    Woodguy:
    CapGeek ‏@capgeek7m
    Career earnings: $28.875M. http://capgeek.com/player/862RT @AdamVingan Tom Poti has officially announced his retirement after a 14-year career.

    Well crap – there goes my all-troll Oilers defense…

    Pitkanen-Petry
    Poti-Schultz
    Grebeshkov-Gilbert
    Ferrence

  69. icecastles says:

    Andy P: You missed my point entirely, so I will spell it out for you:
    You claimed I threw shit at Bucky in every post I made. I did not throw shit at Bucky in that post.
    ‘Nuff said

    Marcus Oilerius wrote that, not me. Seriously man, do facts and reality hold even the vaguest interest for you? That said, I would tend to agree with him. It’s close enough to being the one note you sound here.

    (That said, I do get the intended humor of your ‘proving him wrong’ post. It actually made me chuckle, so well played)

    To save you from having to scroll:

    Marcus Oilerius: Every single Andy P post is about throwing shit at Buchberger. Don’t even bother. Pass go and collect your money, don’t say a thing.

    I need to take his advice here. This is a silly conversation. And I’m never ever silly.

  70. raventalon40 says:

    Sorry to change the topic, but if there’s no GM in Washington, who exactly traded away Halak?

  71. Melman says:

    icecastles: I wonder of all fanbases behave much like folks here in Edmonton…

    I think of guys like Horcoff, Ference, Horcoff, Gagner, Horcoff. It seems like fan tolerance of a given player here is directly tied to what he is earning. Result of the ‘blue collar’ fanbase we constantly hear about (though I’m not sure how much I buy that compared to any other market. It’s hockey, not the opera. A certain demographic will always be disproportionately represented.

    Sucks when a guy is overpaid, but I agree with you completely that the notion that more money means he’s supposed to play better is more than a little silly.

    Also, why is it so hard to see opera in Alberta? Or ballet. I want to go to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and hear some guy in the back of the concert hall screaming between gulps of beer that the prima ballerina is soft and needs to hit more. Actually… I think I’ll just be that guy.

    Catching up late here – the old inconvenient work thing. The blue collared shouts against the “overpaid bums” rings true. The irony that gets neglected though is that many of the blue collared fans (especially if they can regularly afford tickets to games) get overpaid relative to what others in the private sector may earn. They certainly have no issue making double time on the stat holidays, so if anyone could appreciate a guy making as much as he could you’d think they’d be all over it.

  72. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Melman: Catching up late here – the old inconvenient work thing.The blue collared shouts against the “overpaid bums” rings true.The irony that gets neglected though is that many of the blue collared fans (especially if they can regularly afford tickets to games) get overpaid relative to what others in the private sector may earn.They certainly have no issue making double time on the stat holidays, so if anyone could appreciate a guy making as much as he could you’d think they’d be all over it.

    As one of those “blue collar” types, I take issue with that statement.

    There’s a cap. Resources are limited, especially in a city like Edmonton where all we have to offer is money, a frozen wasteland, a brutal travel schedule. and a rabid fanbase. If you’re going to sign a $7m/year contract, you need to deliver $7m/year of value. Horcoff didn’t. Ference won’t.

    Find me a forward earning $7m/year and putting up 35 points, and I’ll show you a hundred quotes on HFB from a fanbase that despises that contract, and perhaps the player himself. Doesn’t matter if it’s Edmonton, Toronto, or New York.

    Case in point: David Clarkson and the Leafs.

  73. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Find me a forward earning $7m/year and putting up 35 points, and I’ll show you a hundred quotes on HFB from a fanbase that despises that contract, and perhaps the player himself. Doesn’t matter if it’s Edmonton, Toronto, or New York.

    Not sure HFBoards are the metric by which we want to set our standards…

    Marcus Oilerius: If you’re going to sign a $7m/year contract, you need to deliver $7m/year of value. Horcoff didn’t. Ference won’t.

    Nor is trying to convince people that Horcoff is paid $7 million a year. I thought that myth had long been put to bed. He was paid $7 million for the first year of his six-year contract. His cap hit, the figure that actually matters, was NEVER even close to $7 million.

    So what you’re suggesting is that if management offers to overpay a player, the player should refuse the contract if they fear they won’t live up to it? I’m not sure even Comrade Lenin would have stood beside you on that one.

  74. VOR says:

    Totally off topic but are any of the Val d’Or Foreurs overage players worth the Oilers offering a contract – say Louick Marcotte, or Guillame Gelinas, maybe Samuel Henley or strangest of all Randy Gazzola – the ultimate late bloomer?

  75. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    I wonder if the market for Halak’s rights was warm or if Snow just overpaid Because Snow?
    *************************************************************************************
    I think the only thing that is warm is Snow’s chair….

  76. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles: Not sure HFBoards arethe metric by which we want to set our standards…

    So what you’re suggesting is that if management offers to overpay a player, the player should refuse the contract if they fear they won’t live up to it? I’m not sure even Comrade Lenin would have stood beside you on that one.

    I’m using HFB as an example. No doubt I could find articles and blog posts about bad contracts elsewhere. Google “David Clarkson contract” if you don’t believe me.

    I’m not saying the player should refuse the contract, but if you’re looking at a massive offer, you also need to consider your quality of life. If you’re already earning millions, is an extra million dollars a year worth being hated for over the next five years of your life, in the city you signed the deal in? Fans absolutely have a right to bitch about bad contracts, whether it’s Marty Lapointe in Chicago, Shawn Horcoff in Edmonton, or David Clarkson in Toronto – and those three guys are by all accounts heart-and-soul type of players.

    Yet at the same time, you can’t help but question the motivation of someone whose future is now secured, he’s guaranteed huge money for the next 5-10 years, and the fans are going to resent him whether he plays at 100% and delivers the best seasons he can (which still won’t be his career year contract season) or if he just cruises at 70% throughout the season and then notches it up if the team makes the playoffs.

    All too many players have had the knack of racking up career years in contract years. Khabibulin for starters. I’ll throw out Gagner as another example.

  77. icecastles says:

    denny33:
    Woodguy,

    I wonder if the market for Halak’s rights was warm or if Snow just overpaid Because Snow?
    *************************************************************************************
    I think the only thing that is warm is Snow’s chair….

    My understanding was they got him for a 4th round pick. Seems like a decent price.

  78. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: I’m using HFB as an example. No doubt I could find articles and blog posts about bad contracts elsewhere.

    Then why use such an incredibly poor example if there are better ones out there? If I didn’t like Olivia Chow, I wouldn’t use Rob ford to support my position, whether he agrees with me or not. Because he’s a crappy example. Having an example isn’t the same as having a credible example.

    Marcus Oilerius: If you’re already earning millions, is an extra million dollars a year worth being hated for over the next five years of your life

    Is this a serious question? Are you seriously asking if I would turn down an extra million dollars because I don’t want strangers I will never meet to dislike me?

    No. I would not turn down the money for the sake of having strangers (maybe) like me more.

    Marcus Oilerius: Fans absolutely have a right to bitch about bad contracts

    Fans also have the right to say the earth is flat. Saying it doesn’t make it true.

  79. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles:
    Fans also have the right to say the earth is flat. Saying it doesn’t make it true.

    I’m going to save this quote for the next time I see you complaining about a MacT signing.

  80. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Yet at the same time, you can’t help but question the motivation of someone whose future is now secured, he’s guaranteed huge money for the next 5-10 years, and the fans are going to resent him whether he plays at 100% and delivers the best seasons he can (which still won’t be his career year contract season) or if he just cruises at 70% throughout the season and then notches it up if the team makes the playoffs.

    There’s truth in this for sure. It’s the downside of a union-negotiated contract that if a player doesn’t perform to the expected level, you can’t simply cancel or rescind the contract. Players expect the be paid millions to perform, but once that deal is signed, they’re getting their money even if they curl up under the bench every game and have a nap. They might get bought out, but even then they’re getting a big chunk of that promised money and their team is still on the hook for it.

    Of course this is an extreme example and it doesn’t happen because players have careers and future contracts to consider, as well as the obvious matter of personal pride. But the risk you point out is surely a real one.

    That said, I wonder if it is an actual verifiable fact that a majority of players perform better in contract years. We certainly notice when it happens, but given the hundreds of contracts signed annually, perhaps these are outliers and not truly indicative of how things tend to go. I’m tempted to crunch some of the numbers on it myself… I’ll try tonight.

  81. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: I’m going to save this quote for the next time I see you complaining about a MacT signing.

    If I complain about a MacT signing, I’ll most likely complain because of specific verifiable factors like past performance, projection, market value or team need. Not because I saw the people on HFBoards complain about the signing. And I will provide evidence so others can weight the value of my criticism.

  82. Numenius says:

    Woodguy: Standard. (trying to avoid Because Oilers Because Icecastles)

    Fixed it for you.

  83. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles: If I complain about a MacT signing, I’ll most likely complain because of specific verifiable factors like past performance, projection, market value or team need. Not because I saw the people on HFBoards complain about the signing. And I will provide evidence so others can weight the value of my criticism.

    The way you’re making it sound is as if your opinion is somehow valid but another fan’s isn’t.

    I don’t think there’s any argument out there that the likes of Lapointe, Horcoff, Semin, and Clarkson either did not or will not live up to their contracts, and they were right to hear grumbling. In the cases of a guy like Clarkson in particular (the man rides the bus and train, for crying out loud, and never refuses an autograph), it’s painful, but what can you do? He even took a lesser contract to come to Toronto, but his value was still overestimated.

    Now the guy has to live with daily questions, weekly headlines, and every-3-month “worst contracts in the NHL” articles where his name features prominently.

    You made the comparison to Lenin and perhaps it’s me being brought up in a communist country, but I would genuinely feel bad about being a drain on my team’s resources and not delivering value. Then again, people always tell me I have an overdeveloped sense of shame, so maybe it really is just me, but I could not fathom taking home first-line money and playing on the third line. It would eat me from the inside out.

  84. Zangetsu says:

    I think Ference’s best quality is being a bottom pairing dman with a steep decline coming in the next two years. I’ve seen this show before-NSchultz.

  85. Numenius says:

    icecastles:
    Woodguy,
    Lowetide,

    There you go ruining my bitchiness with good sense, clear argument and valid reasons again. FINE.

    Still, I’m going to take a stab here since I started it and try to defend my position, even though I suspect I’m going to be on the losing end or think myself right out of my own argument.

    I think “because Oilers” oversimplifies or avoids the real conversation. The things you both point out are the what of bad decision-making on the part of management. Saying “because Oilers” is a way of (to my mind) never getting us to understanding why so many of these decisions have been made.

    Woodguy raises a bunch of questions rhetorically, some of them about why but mostly more what questions. I know it’s silly to rehash the same points every time it comes up, but there are myriad reasons the Oilers are in the spot they’re in.
    - Bad decisions.
    - Bad bets that shouldn’t have been made.
    - Good bets that went bad.
    - Crappy luck. Sometimes shit just happens.
    - Few tradeable players and too many holes to safely trade away the good ones.
    - Bad blood among players.
    - Bad blood with the coach.
    - Bad blood with the organization.
    - Bad blood from zombie/vampire/werewolf exposure.
    - Poor negotiating.
    - Unwillingness to live in Edmonton.
    - Unwillingness to come to such a poor team.
    - Outmanouvered by more experienced GMs.
    - Misunderstanding team need.
    - Misunderstanding player’s ability level.
    - Failure to do due diligence on things like injury history.

    I would argue that lumping them all under “because Oilers” while indeed a 2 word replacement for 5000 words, is still a shorthand for 5000 words of “don’t know, don’t care; it’s all madness.” If it were shorthand for a clear idea, I’d be all for it.

    Nice post, Icecastles. Pace Woodguy and LT, I think you’re right on this one.

    It’s the vagueness of “because Oilers” that makes it difficult to use intelligently and in a non-lazy way.

  86. OilLeak says:

    Woodguy:
    icecastles,

    Please, please can this meme just die? I can tolerate the mobile-browser-breaking YouTube links to overplayed musicians from the distant past, but isn’t this whole “because Oilers” thing a case study in the exact kind of kneejerk verbiage this blog supposedly shuns?

    Why do you say that?

    The reasoning behind Because Oilers is that they have been doing the same thing with the roster since 2007.

    It has no balance and most players are playing above their established NHL ability.

    Why?

    We could list a myriad of reasons and pin in on a person, but it has gone on through 3 GMs, so it looks like a systemic thing.

    Why don’t the Oilers have balance and are playing players above their established NHL ability?

    Because they’re not smart?

    Because they don’t know what they are doing?

    Because they do not know how to evaluate players, including their own?

    Because they fail to get he pieces needed in the off-season?

    Because they make too many bad bets on aging players?

    Because they make too many bad bets on young players?

    Because they have a coaching carousel and every year the players start from scratch with a new system?

    Because they trade Actual NHLers for futures without filling the hole they created?

    Its much easier to just write Because Oilers.

    It encompasses all of the above without too much verbiage.

    You forgot “Because they think AHL journeymen can replace NHL players overnight.”

  87. icecastles says:

    Marcus Oilerius: The way you’re making it sound is as if your opinion is somehow valid but another fan’s isn’t.

    No. I’m saying an opinion without good evidence isn’t as valid as an opinion with good evidence. I don’t think that”s at all an unreasonable statement. Folks like Woodguy, Romulous and Lowetide aren’t thought of highly here because they have a lot of opinions. They’re thought of highly because they back them up with objective reasoning and provide evidence of their reasoning.

    If you come on here and say any opinion is valid because people on HFBoards have the same one, not many here are going to see that as reason to agree with you. Indeed, most people will simply ignore your comments entirely, like you correctly and wisely suggested I do with Andy P’s.

    It doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It just doesn’t mean you’re going to convince folks you’re right or get a conversation going. Unless there’s some annoying dude like me who always seems to take the bait.

    Marcus Oilerius: You made the comparison to Lenin and perhaps it’s me being brought up in a communist country, but I would genuinely feel bad about being a drain on my team’s resources and not delivering value. Then again, people always tell me I have an overdeveloped sense of shame, so maybe it really is just me, but I could not fathom taking home first-line money and playing on the third line. It would eat me from the inside out.

    I hear you. this is indeed a noble trait and I have all the time in the world for nobility, honour, etc. I’ve been on the minority side of plenty of arguments on here (seriously, I lose way more arguments on here than I win, but the fun of this blog is in the exchange of ideas with intelligent people) about the importance of role models, culture and honour. However, I think that’s quite a different conversation than the one about contract value or, to tie it back to the original point, if a player is any good and is of a service to the team.

    Take Horcoff for example. The Horcoff of 3 years ago to make it a bit easier. That he was overpaid is more or less universally agreed on. However, he was providing a service on the team (faceoffs, tough minutes, D-zone starts, leadership/mentoring) that nobody else on the team was close to being able to provide. If the Oilers weren’t able to effectively replace him (they eventually did an excellent job of it with Boyd gordon) and could afford his 5.5m cap hit, then he is still a good player, a good player for *this team*, and was necessary for the Oilers.

    The fact that he was overpayed for that role does not make him any worse of a player. Fans were writing him off as a bad hockey player not because of his ability or contribution, but because of his ability and contribution relative to his salary. I believe it confuses the argument of player quality with the argument of player value.

    You can have poor quality at good value (a league-minimum contract for a 4th line player), good quality at good value (far too little of this on the Oilers though Scrivens and Marincin probably qualify at this point), poor quality at poor value (“because Oilers”) and good quality at poor value (a 30 goal scorer paid like a 50 goal scorer).

  88. Andy P says:

    icecastles: Marcus Oilerius wrote that, not me. Seriously man, do facts and realityhold even the vaguest interest for you? That said, I would tend to agree with him. It’s close enough to being the one note you sound here.

    (That said, I do get the intended humor of your ‘proving him wrong’ post. It actually made me chuckle, so well played)

    To save you from having to scroll:

    I need to take his advice here. This is a silly conversation. And I’m never ever silly.

    I know I can be out there sometimes with some of the associations I make, but as this is a well informed board, I also welcome being shown if and why I am wrong. I have never claimed to be anything other than a student of this amazing game that I have only watched, but I do absolutely appreciate facts. All I’m doing is extrapolating a small number of facts that I have to hand, and when someone comes back with additional facts, then that is welcome, and changes the direction of the guessing game, which it seems to me most of the people here play in.

    So yes, thank you for at least responding and you are also correct, ’nuff said on this one. Until something happens in that area one way or another.

  89. OilLeak says:

    Expecting Ference to elevate the Oilers defense when he couldn’t in Boston was always going to be a bad bet. Maybe MacT made a mistake or maybe he’s using Ference as a stop gap until the young defenseman arrive; I’m hoping it’s the latter. Ference was was used as a top 4 Dman in Boston to due injuries rather than talent level. Boston has better team depth to protect players like Ference the Oilers simply do not have that luxury.

    Looking at the UFA Dman and there are no viable top end options for the Oilers, management is better off spending the cap space on good 2 way forwards(Kulemin, Stasny) rather than overpaying for a mediocre defenseman. Aging Dman like Markov and Boyle are going to get big money from good teams so Mact is better off addressing the holes in the lineup that will be more cost effective in free agency.

  90. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    icecastles: He seemingly can’t separate business from personal and gets much too emotionally involved, and had a bad habit of whale hunting and the overpays that came with it

    The thing about bad mixes of emotion and business is who’s actually doing the mixing. The Comrie-Perry thing could have been Lowe, but it also could have been key shareholders. The Vanek thing looks like Lowe to me, but it also looks a very cold-blooded and rational bit of business. The shareholders were at war on Lowe’s extension, So he parlayed swinging at some fences (thank Gord he missed on Vanek) into unblocking that extension. Not pretty, but if Katz saw it that way, then you rule out keeping him as GM but consider using Lowe’s better judgement in a different role.

    Because the only thing worse than a meddling owner is meddling owners.

  91. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    icecastles: Folks like Woodguy, Romulous and Lowetide aren’t thought of highly here because they have a lot of opinions.

    I agree with the more positive reading of that sentence.

  92. icecastles says:

    Andy P: I know I can be out there sometimes with some of the associations I make

    Out there assumptions are the most interesting and fun ones to debate. And this blog is awesome precisely because we can be so vitriolic and cutting, but still be willing to consider the crazy stuff. Never back down just because we’re jerks!

    Andy P: So yes, thank you for at least responding and you are also correct, ’nuff said on this one. Until something happens in that area one way or another.

    If Bucky does indeed become HC one day, I’ll be the first on here to buy you a beer. You’ll be buying the next round because we’ll have a great deal of Oiler-induced shame to drown at that point.

    НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴: I agree with the more positive reading of that sentence.

    Hahahahaha! Beauty.

  93. Marcus Oilerius says:

    icecastles,

    When I bring up HFB or any other fan site to suggest that players need to consider quality of life before signing huge contracts, it’s because when it comes to quality of life for that player in that city, the opinions of the fans and media matter.

  94. Lowetide says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    icecastles,

    When I bring up HFB or any other fan site to suggest that players need to consider quality of life before signing huge contracts, it’s because when it comes to quality of life for that player in that city, the opinions of the fans and media matter.

    Meh. I don’t think that’s a factor at all.

  95. Andy P says:

    Marcus Oilerus:
    What gives you the right to suggest that people should ignore the posts of another commenter on this board? Everyone who posts on this board is uninformed one way or another, because few if any of us spend time in the locker room, and those that do likely know how to keep their mouths shut.

    So, everyone, to some degree, extrapolates based on what they know, and the debates that go back and forth are both interesting and amusing. Some posts are incomprehensible to others, and because one can not comprehend what is being said, or comprehend the line of thought, that does not mean that what you don’t understand is stupid.

    It’s your choice whether or not to respond to something another person writes, but launching personal attacks and suggesting others boycott a commenter simply because you do not agree with or like what you say is somewhat childish, and something I reject with contempt.

    I have many decades of experience in running businesses and managing small and large groups of people, as well as fixing other people’s fuck ups, and it is my experience in this area that I sometimes apply to what I see happening with the Oilers.

    You may or may not notice (I don’t care either way) that I have seldom if ever suggested this or that trade, or stuff like that, because I think MacT knows what he is doing, and is constrained by making the trades he wants to, by circumstance, not by lack of trying.

    So while it might seem to people like you that I am pulling stuff out of my ass that is not the case. I never claim things to be factual that are not and I am more comfortable than most with the world of analytics. I just don’t see the value of arguing over deck chair placement when the ship is tilting at 45 degrees and there is a big fucking hole in the ship below the water line. Either fix the hole so you can pump out the water or get off the ship. Which is to say, if the Oil have discord between HC and Assistant/s you can shuffle your lines all you want and add all the players you can find that want to play here, and the team will not make the playoffs. The players you have will perform below par and the core will eventually leave through free agency or will ask for a trade.

    That’s all I have to say for now.

  96. G Money says:

    raventalon40:
    Sorry to change the topic, but if there’s no GM in Washington, who exactly traded away Halak?

    Probably Ovie. Got bored of playing both wings at the same time, decided to try his hand at management. As a result, next year the all-star team voters will simultaneously vote him to the all-star team at LW, RW, D, and G.

  97. stevezie says:

    icecastles: I’m coming to place enormous value on that WOWY stat.

    Probably my favorite one

    icecastles: If you don’t mid cassettes, I can give you most of VM’s entire discography for nothing. I’ve not listened to them in years. He’s too heavy for me. Too dark.

    Thanks for the offer, but my own cassettes are wasted on me

  98. G Money says:

    Not sure why people are shitting on the Ference hire.

    He’s got experience, an angry on-ice disposition, a cup ring, and the credibility that comes with playing top 4 on a Cup champion.

    The issue ultimately was role (he’s a 4D not a 1D) and situation (he needs to be paired with someone big and physical, not BE the big and physical one on his pairing). Playing him in a 1D role as the “big physical” D spending half his time babysitting youngsters … that one’s on management.

    The overpay was inevitable, but as others have posted, it seems like many Oiler fans cannot separate on-ice performance from salary.

  99. Lowetide says:

    G Money:
    Not sure why people are shitting on the Ference hire.

    He’s got experience, an angry on-ice disposition, a cup ring, and the credibility that comes with playing top 4 on a Cup champion.

    The issue ultimately was role (he’s a 4D not a 1D) and situation (he needs to be paired with someone big and physical, not BE the big and physical one on his pairing).Playing him in a 1D role as the “big physical” D spending half his time babysitting youngsters … that one’s on management.

    The overpay was inevitable, but as others have posted, it seems like many Oiler fans cannot separate on-ice performance from salary.

    The Oilers have to overpay for free agents because they’re a losing organization. I don’t think there’s any mystery there.

  100. godot10 says:

    Lowetide: The Oilers have to overpay for free agents because they’re a losing organization. I don’t think there’s any mystery there.

    Then you shouldn’t be tossing away actual hockey players, like Horcoff, who you don’t have to.

  101. Lowetide says:

    godot10: Then you shouldn’t be tossing away actual hockey players, like Horcoff, who you don’t have to.

    I love Horcoff, but do believe it was time to move on.

  102. speeds says:

    Lowetide: The Oilers have to overpay for free agents because they’re a losing organization. I don’t think there’s any mystery there.

    If certain desired players insist you pay over market values for their services, might it be more prudent to wait until July 15th and pick through the remaining players at that point?

  103. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Lowetide: Meh. I don’t think that’s a factor at all.

    Fair enough.

    Can you explain why you think it was time for Horc to move on, then, if not Horcoff’s fatigue from being dumped on?

  104. Lowetide says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Fair enough.

    Can you explain why you think it was time for Horc to move on, then, if not Horcoff’s fatigue from being dumped on?

    Horc is slowing down, it happens.

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/567/shawn-horcoff

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