RE 13-14 MARK FRASER: WAVELENGTH

The Edmonton Oilers spent the season adding tough, physical players. The final player added was defender Mark Fraser, who had his share of difficulty helping chaos incorporated—the Oiler blue.

Mark Fraser 13-14

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.19 (7th among D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: 2nd easiest among D
  • Qual Team: 3rd pairing, poorest available among D
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 43.1
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: -0.7
  • Zone Start: 41.9% (toughest among D)
  • Zone Finish: 46.5% (5th best among D)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 5 shots/20% (2nd among D>5 or more shots)
  • Boxcars: 42, 1-1-2
  • Plus Minus: -15 on a team that was -51
  1. What do these numbers tell us? Mark Fraser had some very tough zone starts, which heavily impacted his final numbers.
  2. Are there any good numbers? His -0.7 Corsi Rel, run through his 42% Offensive zone start and subpar mates, seems about right. But there’s not a lot of promise there either.
  3. What do you mean? Fraser isn’t an offensive guy, and he’s not especially effective as a shutdown player.
  4. Is he a low event player both offensively and defensively? Over his time as an Oiler, 252-333 Corsi For-Against events at 5×5.
  5. Hmm. Yes.
  6. They gave up two players for him. Okay.
  7. Will they sign him? It’s possible. Dallas Eakins and Craig MacTavish have to decide what they want their team to be next season. Luke Gazdic and Mark Fraser send the team in a direction that makes it difficult for them to be an effective possession team.
  8. They just play depth minutes. 15:29 a night means 25% of the game played in a certain way. If one of your defensemen gets hurt, then someone moves up the list. The possession game goes sideways because no one can move the puck, and if you’re passing it to Gazdic….
  9. What about Ference and Hendricks. Sure, but that’s a different story. Craig MacTavish and Dallas Eakins added Luke Gazdic and Mark Fraser. It wasn’t Steve Tambellini or Kevin Lowe or the guy selling pretzels, it was the “smart men in the room” who hatched this plan.
  10. You sound upset. As a fan, I’m a little confused about why they abandoned all of the wonderful talk about a possession game. It’s a disappointing turn.
  11. Why are you disappointed, then? I’m disappointed because clarity is such a strong MacT quality.
  12. Should we wait for the MacTavish RE? Sure. We’ll be done by December.
  13. Yeah. Holy. Lots of players. Yeah, I’m not even doing the traded guys.
  14. If you don’t have an enforcer, who do you use? The Oilers could punish teams with the power play, and they could also find big men who can actually play. Other teams do it, the Oilers should be able to find them too.
  15. You draft those players. Sure, but Darnell Nurse is maybe four years from pushing the river, and maybe he never does. You can’t just sit there like a bump on a log.
  16. What do you suggest? Try things. Add people. Maybe San Jose loses their mind and decides Justin Braun is available, or Brian  Campbell in Florida or Christian Ehrhoff in Buffalo.
  17. None of those players are enforcers. If you want an enforcer, hire Fraser. Seems like as good as any, and he’s a likeable sort based on what we know.
  18. And tough. Hell yes!
  19. So we’re agreed. Hire Fraser. You bet.
  20. Anything else? We might want to talk about the next coach.
  21. DAMMIT! Well, if you’re not trying to improve possession you’ve basically decided that Ben Scrivens is Dom Hasek.
  22. Dallas Eakins can have Gazdic playing 8 minutes a night and Mark Fraser at 15 a night and still play a possession game. He has maybe 50 games to prove it, are you sure he’s going to risk it?
  23. Eakins is no fool, he knows that Gagner injury wouldn’t have happened with Gazdic on the ice. Not even you believe that.
  24. Has Eakins made up his mind? No.
  25. What did he say again? Eakins on having a hammer: “I can easily stand here and argue “Yes, we need that.” We’ve got a guy back there that’s more than willing to fill the role  with Mark Fraser and, uh, one side of me says “absolutely, we need the toughness up front, we need it on our back end.”
  26. And then he added something? Yes. Eakins again. “But, Mark [Spector], I… and that’s the honest to God’s truth, there’s one side of me that says: “Yes, we need to old school it and we’ve got to have those guys.” And, then there’s another side of me looking at how teams are, some other teams are building and… I’m not sure.”
  27. He could decide on Fraser and Gazdic. Yes, he could. However, Dallas Eakins is an extremely smart guy, and maybe he finds a solution that involves veterans, toughness from actual NHL players and a less stubborn power play to punish the bad guys.
  28. And maybe he talks MacT into trading for David Clarkson. Sure. Could happen. I’m betting MacTavish and Eakins are creative enough to come up with a plan that allows them to bring in more NHL players and improve the possession game.
  29. And the enforcer role? How badly does Dallas Eakins want to keep his NHL job? I believe the answer to the enforcer role could tell us a lot about his future.
  30. MacT’s too? You bet. The Oilers found a perfectly useful 4line once upon a time that asked Jim Dowd and Boyd Devereaux to work with Georges Laraque.
  31. Would that work? Hell man, it DID work. MacT was an assistant coach on that team.
  32. Or they can just find a power play that works. Yes. That would work, too.

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31 Responses to "RE 13-14 MARK FRASER: WAVELENGTH"

  1. OilClog says:

    If Fraser is anything more then a 7th D.. Another lottery pick.

    I know stats rule the world, but we have to admit Fraser all made us cringe all game, every game for his partner.

    Positioning – Zero
    Puck Pursuit – Zero
    Puck IQ – Zero
    Times he made any Oiler fan cheer in the slightest – Zero, unless he signs in Calgary. Please. Truculence!

  2. rich says:

    To your point about a possession game, Fraser simply can’t make a pass – period. Watching playoff hockey it’s amazing to see teams with d-men who can actually make a first pass out of the zone under pressure. Petry has his moments, but has shown the ability to do it consistently. Marincin looks like he can do the same (yes, 44 games – small sample size) as does Klefbom – even smaller sample size.

    I sure hope that if Fraser is going to be back turning over the pucks or rimming them around the boards he’s good in the room. We can’t really afford to have guys who can’t take/make a pass but it’s even worse when they are on defense.

  3. Bling says:

    The Oilers have a lot of smart fans — guys like you, mc79, Vic, Dennis et al.

    Wonder how long a team can do stupid things that is against all evidence and keep people like that interested.

    Katz is the new Wirtz.

  4. B S says:

    Oilers had a top rate powerplay under Krueger (+ the Renney years), and it didn’t stop a damned injury. It doesn’t work, especially because it depends on the refs. As I see it, there are two ways to keep players from getting intentionally injured. The refs can call the initial infractions, rather than retaliations, and the penalties/suspensions can be made more severe for the more dangerous plays (Hits to the head, slew-foots, hits from behind…), which the league doesn’t want to happen or it would be in place already, or the players can start defending themselves (i.e. lumber-in-the-teeth) and each other, penalties be damned. Enough crazy games during the season, or opposing players getting concussions from ducked hits or sticks in the face and maybe opposing pesks will think twice about trying to rough up an Oiler.

  5. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Not that I’m a fan of either, but how did letting Theo Peckham go and bringing in Mark Fraser advance our mission to remove ourselves from the NHL’s basement?

  6. Lowetide says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Not that I’m a fan of either, but how did letting Theo Peckham go and bringing in Mark Fraser advance our mission to remove ourselves from the NHL’s basement?

    Peckham screwed his chance to be an NHL player. He’s a better hockey player, or was, than Fraser, but he’ll pay for showing up out of shape for the rest of his career.

  7. OilClog says:

    If we’ve moved a Legend IMO Hemsky just to in turn move Yakupov too.. Wtf man! Why can’t we have nice things?!

    Nuge, Hall, Ebs
    XXX, Perron, Yak
    XXX, XXX, XXX
    Gordon, Gazdic, Hendricks

    We have other shiny nice things, we don’t need to eliminate any other forwards other then Samwise, even keeping him wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    We don’t have a Legit #1 D. We have other very nice shiny objects for teams that don’t include that top cluster of forwards we can part with.

    2015-2016 D.

    Maricin, Klef
    Nurse, Schultz
    Simpson, Gernat
    Ference.

    Next year is truly a transition season, followed by what could very well be the starting 6 unless that stud
    defender is acquired. Gernat is a longer shot, but Maricins success will probably land him a good audition.

    I don’t move Maricin for anything, suck every bit of game out of him that we can for as long possible.

    Klef.. He could be very very good for a long long time.

    Nurse.. Same story, plus he WANTS to be mean. The new Vicious.

    Simpson.. Sounds like Oilers are his childhood team, seems determined.

    Schultz.. Warts, 130 games? Nultz as a partner, Chose to be here.

    I’m slightly just as afraid of moving these pieces, but I’d be more willing to part with this and high picks compared to Hall, Nuge, Ebs, and especially Yak.

    I don’t mind a one way player if he’s a thunderous exciting wrecking ball potting 40, that’s a welcome piece to any team!

    … I forgot Petry, that’s not a slight on him. He’s an actual defenceman. So we have lots of shiny things! Yea! Draft build. Boo.. 20 yrs to get there again.

  8. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Bling:
    The Oilers have a lot of smart fans — guys like you, mc79, Vic, Dennis et al.

    Wonder how long a team can do stupid things that is against all evidence and keep people like that interested.

    Katz is the new Wirtz.

    So young Harrison will be the new Rocky? We Wait.

  9. blainer says:

    Very well written. LT, you addressed a lot of what is wrong with the oilers. The number 1 and biggest problem is….puck possession. I believe a lot of the face punching players are actually coming from Lowe and Mact more than Eakins..thinking the oilers are getting pushed around too much. Eakins said at the beginning of last year he really wasn’t keen on face punchers who can’t play yet we end up with two.

    I think you are Bang on when you said Eakins is too smart and that he will get 50 games to figure it out. If he goes into game 1 of next season with these two players in the line up I believe he won’t make it to 50 games. Hendricks is more than enough. Thornton is doing that job in Boston just fine. What stumps me more than anything is how experienced coaches and a general manager like MacT who knows how to win from his past can’t see this. The fans and bloggers here have played a lot of organized hockey and understand the game quite well.. maybe they should start to take notice and listen to their fan base for a change.

  10. OilClog says:

    Lowetide: Peckham screwed his chance to be an NHL player. He’s a better hockey player, or was, than Fraser, but he’ll pay for showing up out of shape for the rest of his career.

    How does Penner continue on, but Peckham gets blackballed.

    Pancakes are better then burgers?!

    Both are delicious but.. Cruel world

  11. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m ok we dumped him. I haven’t missed him. But how did we end up back at square one again? MacT and Eakins must atone for that piece of tire spinning. That is not how you progress an organization. Having said this, I’m certainly not saying anything many here already agree with. It just shines a light on the silliness of it in a different way.

  12. Lowetide says:

    OilClog: How does Penner continue on, but Peckham gets blackballed.

    Pancakes are better then burgers?!

    Both are delicious but.. Cruel world

    Peckham hadn’t established himself yet. Penner was bona fide and well paid when he got here.

  13. Andy P says:

    Lowetide: Penner was bona fide and well paid when he got here.

    Hi LT,
    I’d say he was well fed, too :)

    Knowing how exercised MacT got with Penner’s seeming lack of commitment, why would MacT and fitness fanatic Eakins want him now? Yet I see a lot of comments abut how well Penner would fit on this team.

    I understand that a big strong winger of Penner’s build and talent would be an asset, but what is the point of us fantasizing about him if there is absolutely no chance of MacT bringing him back?

  14. Bank Shot says:

    Not that Fraser was any good, but boy the amount of typing spent bemoaning the bottom 2-4 players on an NHL roster by some fans is bordering on the absurd.

    Do Fraser, Gazdic, Acton and company suck? Yup. Are they why the Oilers suck? Nope.

    Petry is our best defenseman and how many of the remaining playoff teams does he crack the top three on? Maybe one? Probably none.

    When all the other Oilers defence Marincin, Klefbom, Ference, Schultz are 5-6′s at best on Stanley calibre teams its no wonder the Oilers get pumped every night.

    This team needs definitive upgrades to Defence and center depth at the top of the roster or its not going anywhere no matter how good our fourth line and 7th defenceman is next year.

  15. "Steve Smith" says:

    Bank Shot,

    But the pitfalls of focusing on the guys at the top of the roster are well-documented: it makes you get rid of Jeff Petry because he’s not a bona fide number one defenceman, when we should be keeping him as a bona fide number three (or whatever) defenceman.

    Fraser, in contrast, doesn’t belong on the team at all.

  16. Zangetsu says:

    Andy P,

    I think it’s so you can say I told you so later. We’re a pessimistic group.

  17. Andy P says:

    Zangetsu:
    Andy P,

    I think it’s so you can say I told you so later. We’re a pessimistic group.

    I’m wrong often enough that I don’t make a fuss if I occasionally turn out right :)

  18. spoiler says:

    "Steve Smith": But the pitfalls of focusing on the guys at the top of the roster are well-documented: it makes you get rid of Jeff Petry because he’s not a bona fide number one defenceman, when we should be keeping him as a bona fide number three (or whatever) defenceman.
    Fraser, in contrast, doesn’t belong on the team at all.

    On the other hand, Fraser doesn’t take you very far towards an upgrade, whereas Petry might. It’s not an easy job being an NHL GM and not able to deal from a position of strength.

    I’ve read a lot lately about following the Detroit model and sending high draft picks back to their Junior leagues, but the problem with that argument is that we are not Detroit organizationally.

    Every team filled with star veterans has the luxury of patience with their picks. It’s not one team’s model. The Bruins do a wonderful job of it. Those that don’t have the luxury, and aren’t A list UFA destinations partly because they’re in a rebuild, are forced to introduce players earlier then they would if they were deep. Gotta get deep first. Otherwise even draft-plus-ones are an improvement on the weak links, like Fraser.

    It’s seems obvious to me from the Oilers verbal that they would prefer to find a solution through trade or signing–but if it isn’t there…

  19. "Steve Smith" says:

    spoiler,

    Sure, if we’re moving Petry in a “giving-up-quality-to-get-quality” trade, that’s fine – it’s why I think most of us who liked MPS are, at least by now, totally supportive of the trade that sent him out (I was cautiously supportive at the time – too cautiously, as it turns out).

    But too often, the impulse is to first decide that Player X needs to go, and then figure out specific trades. “Petry’s our number one defenceman, Petry’s not good enough to be a number one defenceman on a contending team, so if we want to be a contending team, Petry has to go.”

    “The syllogism is invalid”, as M. Mustafa Hirji would say.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Bank Shot,

    Not that Fraser was any good, but boy the amount of typing spent bemoaning the bottom 2-4 players on an NHL roster by some fans is bordering on the absurd.
    Do Fraser, Gazdic, Acton and company suck? Yup. Are they why the Oilers suck? Nope.

    Incorrect.

    LT addresses that here:

    They just play depth minutes. 15:29 a night means 25% of the game played in a certain way. If one of your defensemen gets hurt, then someone moves up the list. The possession game goes sideways because no one can move the puck, and if you’re passing it to Gazdic….

    LT picked 15:29/gm because that is exactly what Mark Fraser averaged this past year.

    Having him on the team willingly gives the opposition the advantage, almost a man advantage while he is on the ice and 25% is a massive, massive chunk of time.

    We can argue about the ability to hide a 5-7min/night 4RW, but there is no hiding any Dmen.

    Oilers are already stuck with Ference falling off the rails due to age and odometer reading.

    That’s 1 LHD to hide for the next 3 years.

    Add another and its lottery city in the HOV lane.

  21. blainer says:

    Bank Shot:
    Not that Fraser was any good, but boy the amount of typing spent bemoaning the bottom 2-4 players on an NHL roster by some fans is bordering on the absurd.

    Do Fraser, Gazdic, Acton and company suck? Yup. Are they why the Oilers suck? Nope.

    Petry is our best defenseman and how many of the remaining playoff teams does he crack the top three on? Maybe one? Probably none.

    When all the other Oilers defence Marincin, Klefbom, Ference, Schultz are 5-6′s at best on Stanley calibre teams its no wonder the Oilers get pumped every night.

    This team needs definitive upgrades to Defence and center depth at the top of the roster or its not going anywhere no matter how good our fourth line and 7th defenceman is next year.

    I think we all know how much work has to be done all through the lineup…however this blog while imo states the obvious about fraser and Gazdic, it is about making the easier changes occur promptly and increase puck possession.. be it ever so small… every bit will help the corsi and help save what sometimes can change the momentum of a game especially while playing on the road..Man it was painful at times how the last change killed us with Fraser Gazdic and company on the road…I will say the players may be requesting that Gasdic stay and that does account for a lot..but..if they do retain his services it should be as the 13th forward…

  22. blainer says:

    Woodguy,

    Well said. That is a lot of time to give the opposition an advantage. Couldn’t agree more on Ference. I was really hoping for better things but really wasn’t expecting them and thought the defence played way better when he was injured. IMO I would rather see Klefbom taking his time next year even though he could use some more seasoning in the minors. I do believe he can help as a vetern but again my expectation on his play for next year is not high. To me he is a bottom six Dman .

  23. Hockeyman 99 says:

    If I’m the GM I talk to Talon and look at a Yak and #3 for Huberdeau or Barkov and #1.
    A 6’1″ or 6’3″ center and Ekblad may suit our needs better even if Yak turns into their next great Russian Panther. The Panthers need offence and if they are looking to move down they may be wanting one of the forwards anyway. A former #1 and a #3 for a #1 and former #2 or #3. Sounds realistic to me. Yak could sell a lot of tickets in florida.

  24. Rebilled says:

    Colin + Mark = No more Frasers

  25. Hammers says:

    Hockeyman 99: If I’m the GM I talk to Talon and look at a Yak and #3 for Huberdeau or Barkov and #1.A 6’1″ or 6’3″ center and Ekblad may suit our needs better even if Yak turns into their next great Russian Panther. The Panthers need offence and if they are looking to move down they may be wanting one of the forwards anyway. A former #1 and a #3 for a #1 and former #2 or #3. Sounds realistic to me. Yak could sell a lot of tickets in florida.

    Maybe but I hope not .

  26. Bank Shot says:

    Oilers are already stuck with Ference falling off the rails due to age and odometer reading.

    That’s 1 LHD to hide for the next 3 years.

    Add another and its lottery city in the HOV lane.

    The Oilers were already well into lottery city before Mark Fraser came to town.

    It doesn’t really matter how good your guy getting 13 minutes a night is, if you have Justin Schultz getting clobbered in his 20.

    When three of your top four defencemen are Petry, Marincin and Schultz going into next season you are going to need Weber as your other top four if you want to compete for the playoffs.

    The problem with this team isn’t Fraser. Its that MacT will probably run with Marinicin, Nurse and Klefbom all in the lineup opening night next season.

  27. Woodguy says:

    Bank Shot: The Oilers were already well into lottery city before Mark Fraser came to town.

    It doesn’t really matter how good your guy getting 13 minutes a night is, if you have Justin Schultz getting clobbered in his 20.

    When three of your top four defencemen are Petry, Marincin and Schultz going into next season you are going to need Weber as your other top four if you want to compete for the playoffs.

    The problem with this team isn’t Fraser. Its that MacT will probably run with Marinicin, Nurse and Klefbom all in the lineup opening night next season.

    Quit moving the goal posts.

    You said having Fraser didn’t matter, then listed 3 Dmen who are probably better than Fraser (Nurse is a maybe, the other two are) and said the Oilers are in the lottery if those 3 are in the line up opening night.

    So how does having a worse Dman (Fraser) in the line up making it less so?

    Incremental change makes a big difference.

    Marincin and Petry are ok.

    Shultz was actually ok away from Ference and Nultz.

    Minimizing the ice time of the weak links (Ference) is important.

    Adding another weak link (Fraser) is a disaster.

    Fraser does matter because that means Ference is playing higher in the line up, which is to be avoided at all costs.

  28. rich says:

    Woodguy,

    Could not agree more with your assessment here re: Fraser.

    What worries me is the mental tug of war the coach/GM is having re: these kinds of players. They’ve played the game and they should know better that it is impossible to hide a weak link on defense. The other team spots it, pressures it and creates scoring chances off it.

    A man who can’t make a pass or skate it out does not belong on the blue and that’s what we have here. If Fraser (or a Fraser type) is playing 15 minutes a night again next season, it’s going to be another long winter.

  29. rickithebear says:

    When you look at our Season.

    other D bad with Fraser; Belov; Smid!
    all jhigher than 3.60 EVGA/60
    Buy Fraser; Belov; Smid.

    Ference is a strong leverage Dman who has a reduced shot rate in side 20ft.
    Ference was 27% inside 20 Dman in boston with a 7.4% scoring rate with an average shot distance of 37ft.
    He was 25% inside 20 ft 7.3% 39 ft shot average dman til mid jan.
    Ference lost his ability to leverage under other dman. at that time.
    Started losing all his battles. was 30% inside 20ft his shot average distance greatly reduced.
    was a 4.50 EVGA dman from that point.
    Fraser was brought in end of Jan. and Marincin was brought in Jan.

    Ference-Petry were 2.37 EVGA/60 versus 1st Comp.
    far outperforming Smid-Petry.

    Marincin-petry was also in the 2.37 EVGA/60 range
    Marincin-Schultz 2.11 EVGA/60 versus 1st comp.

    Larsen was 3.60+ evga/60 with Frasr/Belov/Smid
    Larsen was 1.43 EVGA/60 with the rest of the D.

    We needed top box protection Dmen with good skating and puck movement skills.

    EVA Dmen last 3 years: 13-14; 12-13; 11-12
    total [rank] (EVA/gm)
    Ference 13 [67] (.183); 8 [50] (.167); 15 [48] (.208)
    Schultz 11 [95] (.149); 8 [50] (.167)
    Petry 9 [115] (.113); 9 [36] (.188); 18 [26] (.246)
    Larsen 4 (.133); 3 (.100); 8 (.146)
    Marincin 4 ( .091) (.133) last 2/3 of season
    Klefbom 2 (.118)
    Smid 6 [164] (.082); 2 (.042);
    Gilbert 21 [13] (.288); 7 [90] (.125); 15 [48] (.224)

    .22 EVA/gm top 30
    .183 EVA/gm top 60
    .16 EVA/gm top 90
    .110 EVA/gm top 120
    .095 EVA/gm top 150

    Marincin faced 1st comp with 3rd/4th teamates in 45.3 zone start.
    Do you think his EVA rate would be the same facing 1st comp with 1st teamates and 50+% zonestart.

    Woodguy Do some better work re Ference.
    You understand Center of Gravity and Leverage.

    Or have you never;
    1. Played ILB and had to leverage off a larger Guard or Center.
    2. Wrestled Roman-Greco
    3. worked off a rolling Maul.

  30. Bank Shot says:

    Woodguy: Quit moving the goal posts.You said having Fraser didn’t matter, then listed 3 Dmen who are probably better than Fraser (Nurse is a maybe, the other two are) and said the Oilers are in the lottery if those 3 are in the line up opening night.So how does having a worse Dman (Fraser) in the line up making it less so?Incremental change makes a big difference.Marincin and Petry are ok.Shultz was actually ok away from Ference and Nultz.Minimizing the ice time of the weak links (Ference) is important.Adding another weak link (Fraser) is a disaster.Fraser does matter because that means Ference is playing higher in the line up, which is to be avoided at all costs.

    I’m not moving anything. Fraser sucks but the Oilers will suck without him.

    Having 3-4 guys in your top four who are “ok” is a kiss of death.

    The Oilers would be a stronger team if they acquired a good top defenceman and ended up with Schultz-Fraser as their bottom pairing, than if they just replaced Fraser with Klefbom.

    Changing out one bottom pairing defenceman does literally nothing to improve expected wins.

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