EDMONTON ACQUIRES WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE NIKITA NIKITIN

Bob McKenzie tweeted out this morning that the Edmonton Oilers have acquired a window of opportunity to sign defender Nikita Nikitin. No word on return (will update) for CBJ but this would check off on of MacT’s stated needs (the stay-at-home defender). I wrote about him as a hard target search here, and we’ve known about this player as a possible acquisition for some time, certainly since Scott Howson arrived in good old our town.

mckenzie nikitin

8:35 am. The more I think about this acquisition, the more I believe this may be MacT/Howson’s choice for Justin Schultz’ partner. Nikitin played with Savard in CBJ and had success.

nikitin trade tweet 1nikitin trade tweet 2nikitin trade tweet 3

NIKITA NIKITIN PLAYER CARD THROUGH 41 GAMES, 2013-14

nikitin player card

NIKITA NIKITIN PLAYER CARD, SEASON’S END 2013-14

nikitia extra skater postseason

There’s a look at Nikitin through 41 games, and then through the entire season (hat tip to Alan Hull who picked up on it). Looks like he was above water until the final third of the season, and then things went haywire. We’ll have to break that down.

  • Columbus Head Coach Scott Arniel: “He’s a big-body defensemen, a defending defensemen. He has a big shot. We’ll get him in here and see what he’s all about. This was more about changing our look on the back end. Our scouts think he can play a well-rounded game.”

the hockey news nikitin

That’s from the Hockey News, good reading there for background.

MACT’S SUMMER 2014 LIST

  1. A veteran top pairing defenseman. Nikitin is not this player. The Oilers need a real man, big time EV minutes and a history of successful sorties.
  2. A 2line C with experience and the ability to play a two-way game. This is the other vital piece.
  3. A legit two-way winger who can score 12-15 goals. The Pisani role. Mentor, calms the waters.
  4. Find a way to get value, or make use of, Sam Gagner. This does not include time at center.
  5. Improve the bottom 6F’s.
  6. Retain as much of the young cluster as possible, understanding that the player who represents #1 on this list might cost a young D who will one day fill that role.
  7. Get Petry signed long term.
  8. Sign Schultz but DO NOT break the bank.

I don’t have a slot for Nikitin on the summer list. Why? Well, I didn’t have Nikitin on the list because, for me, the Oilers kids are better options. The depth chart as it may look now:

  • ?????-Petry
  • Marincin-Schultz
  • Ference-Nikitin

It pushes back Klefbom, no big deal because we know defensemen get hurt. I’m not sure about the move, this must be a case of Howson really knowing and believing in the player. If they are getting the 2011-12 version of this player, well it’s music. However, injuries and ineffective play reduced his role and impacted his numbers in Columbus. As the team got better, he faded.

Why? Perhaps Howson believes Nikitin can be a successful partner with Justin Schultz, something Nick Schultz and Andrew Ference were unable to do. Here’s what that might look like:

  • Marincin-Petry
  • Nikitin-Schultz
  • Ference-???

I think that’s probably it. Nikita Nikitin, second pairing and Howson believes that, at 28, there’s lots of track left with Nikita Nikitin.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

At first blush, it’s a confusing move—despite the fact there’s little surprise the club acquired this player. If the Oilers hired him for a support role, then what do they plan to do with Andrew Ference? If it’s a top four role, as I described in the second option, then we have another shoe to drop and it’s probably Martin Marincin for an established defenseman, as I described yesterday.

I think this is the replacement for Nick Schultz, and I do like him better as a player. Fewer miles, and he has been a success in the past. I’m not terribly upset that it pushes Klefbom down the roster, but am very concerned about where this puts Martin Marincin. I’m also not sure they’re any better today. At all.

Next up? What did they give up, and can they sign him?

UPDATE

mckenzie update

One final item: if this is the player acquired in the Greene/Engelland slot, then I’m well pleased.

 SISTER SLEDGEHAMMER

Vollman’s sledgehammer is down, so I’m going with the Sister Sledge from Extra skater:

nikita sledgehammer

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER

vollman nikita nikitan sledgehamer

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215 Responses to "EDMONTON ACQUIRES WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE NIKITA NIKITIN"

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  1. skidplate says:

    Now we are talking. This is what good GM’s do, right?

  2. Woodguy says:

    If Nikitin is the target for the big body Dman I’m pretty good with that.

    If he’s the target for the top pair puck mover, then we have a failure to communicate.

  3. skidplate says:

    4 x 3.7?

  4. skidplate says:

    Woodguy:
    If Nikitin is the target for the big body Dman I’m pretty good with that.

    If he’s the target for the top pair puck mover, then we have a failure to communicate.

    The Oilers could not possibly have him pegged as the top pair dman. These are professionals we are talking about………….

  5. Southern Oil says:

    Do we have any idea what his contract demands are?

  6. book¡je says:

    Is good! Let’s see if anything comes of it.

  7. russ99 says:

    Nice! Hope he signs.

    I’ve been waiting a while for the Oilers to do something like this.

    Seems like a decent crease clearer with some puck moving skills, not a bad choice as a third pairing guy, and would buy the kids in the AHL and CHL some time.

  8. Lloyd B. says:

    Gp is low every year. Is he a bit fragile for a big guy?

  9. skidplate says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Gp is low every year.Is he a bit fragile for a big guy?

    Looks like a lot of small stuff, with a few longer injuries once every couple years. (6 games, 12 games, 10 games)

  10. Beaker says:

    skidplate:
    4 x 3.7?

    Dear god i hope its not this high

  11. thejonrmcleod says:

    “Relies on poise.” Can’t believe he wasn’t a Tambelleni acquisition.

  12. skidplate says:

    Beaker: Dear god i hope its not this high

    2.5 last contract. UFA, top 4 dman in Edmonton, 5.3% of total cap. Maybe it will be in the mid 3′s but I do not see it being much lower.

    Edit, 2.15 cap hit last contract, my mistake. Maybe 3.3??

  13. gr8one says:

    Man. .. If he signs and them we am Ehrhoff that will be sweet music.

  14. RT26 says:

    Woodguy,

    WG,

    I like the pickup, but my fear is that the Oilers brain trust thinks Schultz is the top pair puck mover in 2014-15.

    Or that this deal could portend another deal. If your bottom 5 defensemen were Nikitin, Marincin, Schultz, Ference and Klefbom and you could find a Stralman or Phaneuf to pair with Petry on the top pair, would that be enough progress?

  15. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Let’s see what he signs for (if he does), but if this comes down to “it was either Nikitin or Matt Greene”, I think we should breathe a sigh of relief…

  16. Beaker says:

    skidplate,

    People always say “top 4 in edmonton” as if that means someone should get paid as a “top 4 everywhere” guy. It’s kinda like saying “stralman would be on our first pairing so we kinda gotta give him Weber money” Dude was a 5-6 dman with some healthy scratches in columbus. I dont see a body of work suggesting he should be given extended amount of years at top 4 cash. Though we probably will give him that much doesnt mean its a good idea.

  17. gr8one says:

    Also, I’m not complaining at all, I love this move with the caveat that they’re trying to bring in another better player n but., he sounds an awful lot like Tom Gilbert, no?

    geezus Tambo!

  18. rich says:

    If he’s the top pairing D, there’s real reason for concern as it does not appear that’s the role he’s most suited for.

    If he’s in the 2nd pair (and that’s where his salary demands potentially slot), I wonder if it’s not part of another move with someone going out and someone else coming in.

    At least with MacT, if it doesn’t work out, it won’t be for lack of effort or fear of failure.

  19. oliveoilers says:

    A good pick up if we can sign him cheap enough. I hope it’s just a depth signing. I think Marincin and probably Klef eats his lunch sooner than later.

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—:
    Let’s see what he signs for (if he does), but if this comes down to “it was either Nikitin or Matt Greene”, I think we should breathe a sigh of relief…

    Exactly.

  20. slopitch says:

    I would like to hear from Howson why he was so good 2 years ago and kinda meh since…

  21. oliveoilers says:

    gr8one:
    Also, I’m not complaining at all,I love this move with the caveat that they’re trying to bring in another better player n but., he sounds an awful lot like Tom Gilbert, no?

    geezus Tambo!

    No! Gilbert was a puck moving d-man with some offensive upside. This guy’s more like Staios. Get’s dizzy and disorientated when crossing the opposing blue line.

  22. regwald says:

    Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie · 4m

    Clarification: EDM has window in which it’s permissible to negotiate with CBJ pending UFA Nikita Nikitin, but no trade has yet been made.

  23. Lowetide says:

    Article has been updated to reflect McKenzie’s latest tweet, and I’ve added some quotes and analysis to original. Fun morning!

  24. book¡je says:

    Maybe just an informal agreement for a pick if he signs.

  25. Ben says:

    The greatest quality of Nikita Nikitin is that he is not Mark Fraser.

  26. Andy P says:

    If this is about replacing Fraser then that would be a home run.

  27. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Is this not the exact type of move we have been talking about making?

    He’s not a world beater. He has upside as a second pairing guy, he has downside…. but at the very least he represents credible competition for the kids and makes them knock it out of the park (relatively speaking) to earn an NHL job. And he does so not by being in the Mark Fraser tough guy mold, but rather being big & able to move the puck (much like Klefbom should be).

    This is a prudent move, assuming it isn’t attached to a massive overpay. It basically ensures we won’t see all of Marincin, Klefbom, and Nurse on the team… and we probably won’t see either of Nurse & Klefbom with a non-tryout roster spot until at the very least mid season.

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Just a note on Nikitin.

    Him and Belov have a long history together. Played together at Omsk and have been paired together at the WC before

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=12241

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=20523

    I think that would have made a hell of a bottom pairing this year. Said as much months ago.

    ————-
    allow me to concur with others. If this is MacT getting his stay-at-home D, I’m ecstatic. If he has other plans, I’m dubious.

  29. Hammers says:

    regwald: Bob McKenzie @TSNBobMcKenzie · 4mClarification: EDM has window in which it’s permissible to negotiate with CBJ pending UFA Nikita Nikitin, but no trade has yet been made.

    Maybe the Bryz pick if we sign & a 4th if we don’t .2 things I see one he has a proven potential based on the 11-12 season and then forced down the lineup . Coaching ????

  30. Clarkenstein says:

    Let’s see:
    - Points drop off over past 3 years – CHECK
    - Declining ice time over past 3 yrs – CHECK
    - Russians usually bolt to KHL – CHECK

    Yup, he’ll fit like a glove here!
    Sign him up!

  31. Lowetide says:

    The more I think about it, the more I believe they’re going to sign him to play with Justin Schultz.

  32. Woodguy says:

    Nikitin’s playoffs this year is fascinating.

    5gp (scratched in game 6) 4 different partners:

    Game 1 w/ Savard against dregs (Glass, Sutter etc) 47.8%CF

    Game 2 w/ Savard against Neal/Kunitz then dregs 38.6%CF

    Game 3 w/ Prout against dregs 63.6%

    Game 4 w/ Wizniewski hard matched vs Maklin 45.5% CF

    Game 5 w/ Tyutin vs toughs (Neal/Malkin/Crosby lines) 34.3% CF

    Game 6 scratched

    That looks like a coach who doesn’t know what to do with him, or had some injuries.

    Tyutin has fallen off a cliff the last 2 years.

    Wiz is good

    Savard is not good

    Prout is ok to good.

    Here is Nikitin’s CF% w/ his most common D partners:
    SAVARD, DAVID 49.3% (553 min)
    PROUT, DALTON 52.4% (222 min)
    WISNIEWSKI, JAMES 59% (74 min)
    TYUTIN, FEDOR 26.6% (40 min)
    JOHNSON, JACK 31.2% (34 min)

    I assume the first two partners are in bottom pairing, 1st w/ Wiz and JJ and 2nd w/ Tyutin

    I think he’s a reasonable 3rd pairing option.

    That would bring the 3rd pairing D on the roster to: Jultz, Ference, Klefbom and Nikitin

    2nd pairing D on roster: Marincin (crosses fingers), Petry

    1st pairing D on roster : Hopes, dreams, crickets

    Also,

    LOL JJ

  33. Woodguy says:

    Ben:
    The greatest quality of Nikita Nikitin is that he is not Mark Fraser.

    THISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHSITHIS
    THISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHSITHIS
    THISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHSITHIS
    THISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHSITHIS
    THISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHSITHIS
    THISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHISTHSITHIS

  34. justDOit says:

    I was a little concerned that MacT traded a pick for Nik2′s negotiating rights without knowing if he has any appetite to sign in Edmonton. This scenario of getting permission to negotiate before making the trade is much better.

    NYI are now trying to trade the rights to D Boyle now that they’ve found out he won’t sign there.

  35. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    The more I think about it, the more I believe they’re going to sign him to play with Justin Schultz.

    So assuming no more movement on D and Nikitin signs:

    Marincin-Petry
    Nikitin-Jultz
    Klefbom-Ference

    Is that what you see?

  36. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy: So assuming no more movement on D and Nikitin signs:

    Marincin-Petry
    Nikitin-Jultz
    Klefbom-Ference

    Is that what you see?

    Why are you so sure the Oilers see Ference as a 3rd pairing defender? If they still think of Ference as their 2nd pairing man, then Nikitin basically serves as a Nurse/Klefbom blocker in the lineup

  37. Big Dan says:

    Woodguy,

    That would be horrid. MacT will be looking for a #1 guy like Letang. Then move Marincin to the 3rd pairing. Then, the lineup is serviceable.

  38. Lowetide says:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2102056-perfect-fits-for-10-top-prospects-in-the-2014-nhl-draft

    Slideshow alert, say something nice about Trevor Linden. Sincere apologies.

  39. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil: Why are you so sure the Oilers see Ference as a 3rd pairing defender? If they still think of Ference as their 2nd pairing man, then Nikitin basically serves as a Nurse/Klefbom blocker in the lineup

    I was responding to LT saying he thinks they hired Nikitin to play wiht Jultz

    That’s why I laid the pairings out the way I did.

    Certainly not going to put Ference above Marincin.

  40. oliveoilers says:

    Go to the Roger’s Place facebook page. There’s an awesome picture of Katz breaking ground for the tower that is begging for a caption competition. Looks like he’s burying a body…….

  41. Dicky94 says:

    I think Petry will be moved before Marincin.

  42. Woodguy says:

    Big Dan:
    Woodguy,

    That would be horrid.MacT will be looking for a #1 guy like Letang.Then move Marincin to the 3rd pairing.Then, the lineup is serviceable.

    I think taking on Letang’s contract is something MacT would do.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: So assuming no more movement on D and Nikitin signs:

    Marincin-Petry
    Nikitin-Jultz
    Klefbom-Ference

    Is that what you see?

    No. I see Marincin being dealt for a 1D. Or Petry.

  44. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy: I was responding to LT saying he thinks they hired Nikitin to play wiht Jultz

    That’s why I laid the pairings out the way I did.

    Certainly not going to put Ference above Marincin.

    Oh I know, my question was as much to you as it was to LT. Actually I guess it was more to LT… so I’m not really sure why I quoted you. It’s early damn it!

  45. wheatnoil says:

    I don’t mind this pick-up (mostly due to the ‘he’s not Fraser, Greene, or Engellend’; a defensive defenseman who is a puck mover? Down with that!), but I’ve got to say, it would make much more sense if Nikitin shot right.

  46. Dicky94 says:

    Petry and Gagner could get you Coburn.

  47. Evilas says:

    What is the window/rules for signing RFA’s? Any chance the Oil have an opportunity to Offer Sheet Subban? If so, would you do it?

    I’ve seen a lot of talk about trading Petry and Marincin, this doesn’t make any sense at all, these are the D that are needed here.

    If you could trade Jultz to Buffalo for Ehrhoff, would you do it? I would, but only if a miracle happens and PK Subban was signed. Would $8 Mil x 7yrs get it done?

    This would be the Bold move I would hope for. Sign Bellemore for the 6-7 slot and if Nikitin is signed they can fight for this spot. Klefbom gets more development time in the AHL. Sign Fedun for the 8th slot.

    Ehrhoff-Subban
    Marincin-Petry
    Ferrence – Bellemore
    Nikitin-Fedun

  48. hags9k says:

    Nikita Nikitin, NHL defenseman. I like it, although I am struggling to figure out what a fair contract would look like. But sign the man.

    I really like that this would block at least one of the kid D, so a much better chance now we at least see one of Nurse or Klef held back to develop at a proper pace.

    I like the idea of Boyle as a short term overpay type to mentor Jultz.

    What we really need is for some in house options to step up. We label guys top 4 or 3rd pairing as if that is what they are and always will be and that’s it. We need a Jultz, or a Petry, or a Marincin to become a home grown legit top pairing talent. It’s not impossible.

  49. hags9k says:

    Evilas,

    I’d LOVE Subban here, but I really don’t think MTL lets him go anywhere.

  50. russ99 says:

    Dicky94,

    If this signing goes through, I think you can nix the Coburn deal.

    MacT was fairly clear, one bottom 4 pairing bigger guy, one top pairing puck mover. IMO, Nitikin and Coburn would both fill the big guy spot.

  51. Hammers says:

    I see this as a good move by McT & co. Adding an upgrade to the bottom half of your pairings makes 1 of the 2 moves needed for the “D” .Seems he said the last 2 or 3 times in interviews he wants to make Nurse , Klefbom & Marincin fight for there spots unless he couldn’t get what he wanted then he would revert to the kids .Also nothing has happened yet but Howson probably has an inside track as the GM who originally signed him .

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Aaron Portzline @Aportzline · 18m
    #NHL agent on Nikitin’s talks w #Oilers: “Unless it’s 4 years and major money, I don’t know why he wouldn’t go to July 1, see what’s there.”

  53. russ99 says:

    hags9k,

    Agree. That offer sheet would need to be absolutely cap debilitating for Montreal not to match, and I don’t see us weakening ourselves in the ability to sign players and giving up all those picks for one player, even for Subban.

  54. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This deal reminds me of the bonus that cosy relations between GM/teams foster. Like the FLA/CHI deals this year.

    Snow had to pay to talk to Boyle (now, Boyle is better, sure). But, it sounds like EDM isn’t paying an thing unless NN signs. And, even then the price will be marginal. I’m guessing the price will be a 7th rounder in 2025 (Horcoff!).

  55. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    Dicky94,

    If this signing goes through, I think you can nix the Coburn deal.

    MacT was fairly clear, one bottom 4 pairing bigger guy, one top pairing puck mover. IMO, Nitikin and Coburn would both fill the big guy spot.

    Coburn’s played 1st pairing on PHI for 3 years with Timmonen

  56. FastOil says:

    Next, sign Markov and Gilbert.

    Markov Petry
    Marincin Gilbert
    Nikitin Schultz

  57. Dicky94 says:

    Marincin Coburn
    Nikitin Shultz
    Klefbom Ference
    Sign Stoner for seventh d if Klefbom struggles. Sign him just for the name anyway.

  58. hags9k says:

    russ99,

    Yes. But it is fun to imagine him on our back end with those kids up front. Just a guess but I bet he would fit in like a glove in our room too. Who knows, maybe in 4-5 years he shakes loose.

  59. misfit says:

    At first, I was a little disappointed that Nikitin was the first guy they went for (I assume), but the could definitely have done worse. If he signs, I just hope it’s reasonable and we didn’t give up much for the right to sign him early.

    He made $2.15M last year, so I would have to think any deal they come to would be north of that (why give up a shot at free agency for a paycut?). On the short-term, I’m fine with something in the neighbourhood of $2.75 – $3.25M. That basically makes him a placeholder for Nurse/Klefbom.

    EDIT – I didn’t realise he was only 27.

  60. John Chambers says:

    Better acquisition price than my boy Boychuk.

  61. Kirby says:

    I feel this move serves two purposes (if it happens):

    - Pushes Klefbom to the AHL to start the season; and,
    - Provides Schultz with a potential stay at home defensive partner, who is not completely in the dark when it comes to moving the puck.

    I cannot fathom that MacT would be targeting him as the “puck-moving” defenseman he has talked about acquiring. This has to be the “defender that can defend” move. I could potentially see the pairings break down like this:

    Marincin Petry
    Ference ????
    Nikitin Schultz
    *The “????” could be filled with someone like Boychuck

    The Marincin and Ference pairings would be rotated as your number 1 pairing based on the situation and circumstance. For Example, the Marincin pairing could get offensive zone starts against top lines, while the Ference pairing takes the defensive zone starts in those situations. Schultz would then be sheltered at evens, and loaded up with PP time. I like the potential trade/sign. Yes, he has regressed points wise, but he has also been pushed down the offensive depth chart the past couple of seasons (JJ and Wiz). The fancy stats show he can excel if placed in the correct role. I’m hoping the third pair with Schultz produces similar results as with Wiz against the lower levels of competition.

  62. Racki says:

    gr8one:
    Man. .. If he signs and them we am Ehrhoff that will be sweet music.

    I agree, but I am biased on both perhaps :P Trade value through the roof on my keeper team!

    Anywho, I like this. Nikitin was one of my hopefuls for 2nd or 3rd pairing. They still need to swing hard for a top D
    And hell , they still need to SIGN Nikitin, but I like this. MacT has his critics, but I don’t understand it. He is making moves as he can. This isn’t yakupov for a big c bold, but I think it’s the kind of move I can get behind. If he keeps making little moves like this I’ll be quite happy.

  63. DBO says:

    Stauffer tweeting Nikitin can pay both sides.

    Marincin-Petry
    Ference-Nikitin
    ???-Schultz

    Makes more sense if they then get a Matt Greene type. Not world killers by any stretch, but maybe better then last year. And if by chance they get a #1 LD/RD then everyone falls into space much better.

  64. Rondo says:

    Which Nikitin is the real one?

  65. Maverick says:

    A couple quick comments.
    I like the move, take a low risk chance. Howson played a big part in this, Howson knows the player and Ramsay is running the defense this year, I’m sure he saw something he could work with.
    2nd pairing to play with Schultz?
    Ference money?? $3.5/$4.0 per year, 4 years?

    Petry has played 236 NHL games and Nikitin has only played 206 might have some room to grow as a player in the right situation.

  66. 719 says:

    N.N. looks like a 2nd pair pick up.

    I think the kids (Marincin, Klefbom) may actually start in the AHL and only be recalled due to injuries and/or trades.

    If so the D may look like so:

    #1 D through trade – Petry
    N.N. – J. Schultz
    Ference – UFA
    Number 7 – UFA

  67. Racki says:

    For those putting down Marincin as #1 LHD for this coming year, that doesn’t seem way too soon to you? Oilers still need a top LHD. I’d put Nikitin probably in #2 LHD spot, Ference in #3 and acquire a #1 somehow. Ehrhoff would be magical.. Like the unicorn analogy of defense for me.

  68. justDOit says:

    In a memo sent yesterday to all teams and subsequently forwarded by the NHL Players’ Association to all agents, the league will now allow clubs and agents to discuss general parameters of a potential contract for a pending restricted and unrestricted free agent.

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/263862641.html

  69. 719 says:

    Boychuck as a right shooting d-man, would make a lot of sense.

  70. russ99 says:

    Re: Gilbert – been there, done that, don’t wanna go back.

    Any veteran defenseman we acquire has to be able to handle things in our own zone. So that precludes Gilbert who was and still is awful on the boards and one-on-one vs. skilled players.

  71. thejonrmcleod says:

    Does Stauffer get paid to scan the blogs and Twitter to correct misinformation?

  72. Lowetide says:

    DBO:
    Stauffer tweeting Nikitin can pay both sides.

    Marincin-Petry
    Ference-Nikitin
    ???-Schultz

    Makes more sense if they then get a Matt Greene type. Not world killers by any stretch, but maybe better then last year. And if by chance they get a #1 LD/RD then everyone falls into space much better.

    Marincin-Petry
    Nikitin-Schultz
    Ference-Klefbom

    That would be my guess.

  73. Dicky94 says:

    719,

    If you new he could be signed long term, I’d be all over it. You could have him and Coburn. Unfortunately one of Klefbom and Marincin would have to go.

  74. DBO says:

    Lowetide,

    Do they really see Schultz that high in the order? I am hoping more for the 3rd pairing evens, 1st PP treatment for a few more years.

    In the past Ference has played well with top end guys (Chara, etc.). Would it be more likely to be

    Ference-???Coburn
    Marincin-Petry
    Nikitin-Schultz

    The Ference – Coburn pairing is 2nd pairing. but 2 pairings you can trust and feed the 3rd O zone starts and it may work.

  75. G Money says:

    skidplate: Edit, 2.15 cap hit last contract, my mistake. Maybe 3.3??

    oliveoilers: A good pick up if we can sign him cheap enough.

    hags9k: Nikita Nikitin, NHL defenseman. I like it, although I am struggling to figure out what a fair contract would look like.

    Here’s what my magic “fair value for UFA contracts” analysis comes up with for Nikitin: $2.69M. Add in a $0.5M-$0.75M UFA & Oilers overpay and you get $3.2M to $3.44M.

    Per Portzline’s tweet, if he signs with the Oilers, I’d say 4 years x $3.4M should do it, though he may still choose to wait for silly season to start.

  76. su_dhillon says:

    Let me join the chorus of if he takes the Greene/Fraser/Former WHL tough guy who cant skate spot then this is a good move, Term is going to be really important because I would think all the young guys will be eating his lunch by next year and you cant have 2 anchor contracts (with Ferrence already in the bag).

    The other thing to think about is we know MacT has to have a couple of targets higher in the order and if you have to deal one of Marincin or Klefbom to get that player then slotting a guy like this in your bottom 3 is not a bad move if its cheap.

    If the price and term are ok its a good gamble gives you a little flexibility to make other moves and Howson has to have a pretty good read on the player.

  77. oliveoilers says:

    Enigmatic Russian.

  78. speeds says:

    I don’t now, if Nikitin wants a ton of term or money, aren’t you tempted to just walk away and see what’s out there for a D like Nikitin in mid July, or early in UFA?

  79. DBO says:

    oliveoilers:
    Enigmatic Russian.

    sideburns

  80. G Money says:

    Lowetide,
    DBO,

    A look at the WOWY’s suggests that:
    - Ference is an anchor for everyone
    - Schultz plays well with Belov and Marincin (small sample size, but my guess is that it is reflective)

    So I would suggest that either MacT looks at this is as a replay of the Belov situation but with an NHL-ready defenseman, implying what LT said:
    Petry-Marincin / Nikitin-Schultz / Ference-Klefbom

    OR

    (hopefully) MacT’s still looking for that “high end” defenseman, and wants a someone mobile and big to pair with Ference achieving the third pairing holy grail of replacing Fraser with Nikitin, and so the pairings would look like this :

    Niskanen(eg)-Petry / Marincin-Schultz / Ference-Nikitin

  81. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    I don’t now, if Nikitin wants a ton of term or money, aren’t you tempted to just walk away and see what’s out there for a D like Nikitin in mid July, or early in UFA?

    Bird in the hand? I suspect the team likes Nikitin and wants him here. Now, we can see other worthy options (Hainsey, Gilbert, Stralman) but Edmonton has done their due diligence and Howson must have a “real passion for this player.”

    He’s going to get well north of $3M and at least three years, agree?

  82. Lowetide says:

    Someone above mentioned Savard pushing the river in terms of pairing, 2013-14 numbers don’t suggest it

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1394&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5

  83. Lowetide says:

    He actually looked fine wowy Savard and with Dalton Prout. Hmmm.

  84. Caramel Obvious says:

    This is a great move with zero downside. For a team like the Oilers with a ton of cap space and little else of value there are two things to worry about.

    1) Being left without a chair when the music stops.
    2) Trading what meagre assets you have for marginal improvements.

    If they sign him this move adds an NHL quality player without costing any other players. That’s good. There is no way to make that not good.

    There is no downside here. This is unadulterated good news.

  85. Caramel Obvious says:

    I’ll add that it doesn’t matter what label you give him #4, #3, #5. These numbers are meaningless. All that matters is that he is better than what you have. If he is, and he clearly is, then your team is better with him than without him. That’s good.

    And the signal talk is misplaced. If the Oilers don’t add any other D this year it won’t be caused by signing Nikitin, it will be because they couldn’t get the other side to agree to something. Don’t confuse cause and effect. There are no dominoes to signing Nikitin or any other player. It doesn’t work that way.

    Signing guys like Nikitin is almost always better business than acquiring them through trade.

  86. Dicky94 says:

    Does anyone else get the feeling there is more to come today. I hope so. Got the day off and will be glued to this sight all day!

  87. speeds says:

    Lowetide,

    Settling on one option and feeling you HAVE to get that guy when there are many other of similar quality at a lesser price is not the optimal way to manage IMO. Just wait to see which can of pasta sauce others don’t want because it has a small, immaterial dent on it, and buy that one at a lesser price.

  88. speeds says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    The potential downside is the opportunity cost. I don’t have a big problem with acquiring Nikitin in the abstract, but you can’t evaluate the move without knowing the money and term.

  89. leadfarmer says:

    Another third pairing defenseman that is going to cost second pairing money. He is a slightly bigger version of the current Nick Schultz with a better shot. As someone who lives in Columbus this will be this years,. Belov, Ferrence, Grebeshkov.

  90. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Lowetide,

    Settling on one option and feeling you HAVE to get that guy when there are many other of similar quality at a lesser price is not the optimal way to manage IMO.Just wait to see which can of pasta sauce others don’t want because it has a small, immaterial dent on it, and buy that one at a lesser price.

    Sure, agreed. However, Nikitin must be at the top of their list for this spot (I expect it’s the Schultz pairing). I absolutely expect that the idea of having LD of Marincin-Nikitin-Ference isn’t an upgrade at all on Marincin-Klefbom-Ference or Marincin-Smid-Ference, and getting Hainsey in mid-July may be a better option.

    The question is: is Nikitin a useful NHL player who can fill a role that’s available on the team. I absolutely know the Oilers aren’t going to play this hand in a way that is optimum, that ship sailed miles ago.

    I want to know if this fellow is better than Nick Schultz or Ladislav Smid. That’s my curio.

  91. Ducey says:

    I am interested in the fact that N2 can apparently shoot the puck. He had 95 shots in 66 games. That would put him on par with Petry (although ahead of Petry on a per minute or game basis).

    The Oilers don’t have anyone with a big shot from the point.

    He didn’t seem to get much PP time in CLB, but maybe he can help the PP?

    MacT doesn’t seem to have a problem with Russians. Maybe he is setting the stage to bring in Grabo and Kuliman?

  92. Jon K says:

    What the roster may possibly project as, subject to further changes:

    CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
    June 20, 2014

    FORWARDS
    Taylor Hall ($6.000m) / Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($6.000m) / Jordan Eberle ($6.000m)
    David Perron ($3.813m) / Sam Gagner ($4.800m) / Nail Yakupov ($0.925m)
    Matt Hendricks ($1.850m) / Boyd Gordon ($3.000m) / Jesse Joensuu ($0.950m)
    Luke Gazdic ($0.800m) / Mark Arcobello ($0.600m) / Tyler Pitlick ($0.851m)
    Anton Lander ($0.600m) /

    DEFENSEMEN
    Martin Marincin ($0.730m) / Jeff Petry ($3.750m)
    Nikita Nikitin ($3.750m) / Justin Schultz ($3.500m)
    Andrew Ference ($3.250m) / Aaron Ekblad ($3.750m)
    Oscar Klefbom ($0.894m) /

    GOALTENDERS
    Viktor Fasth ($2.900m)
    Ben Scrivens ($2.300m)
    BUYOUTS
    Eric Belanger ($0.000m)
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (estimations for 2014-15)
    SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,012,167; BONUSES: $3,340,000
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $10,087,833

    The team still has about $10 mill in cap space if my estimates are accurate, which they may not be. I really don’t know what Petry or Nikitin might get.

  93. rickithebear says:

    Nikita Nikitin: 6’3″ 217lb
    allows 24.1% of shots inside 20ft
    allows a success rate of 16.5% on those shots.
    2nd/3rd comp last 3 years 1.31 EVGA/60
    1.31?
    1.31!

    1st comp 2.30 EVGA/60
    0.79 EVA/60
    1.54 PKTOI 4.90 PKGA/60

    Savard with Nikitin 1.63 EVGA/60
    w/o nikitin 2.30 EVGA/60

    An awsome 2nd pair Dman with results that allow you to compete with the best teams in the game during his shifts.

  94. leadfarmer says:

    If you sign him to be your third pairing defenseman you might be ok with the player, but probably not the contract. If you sign him to be higher in the lineup this is not going to be pretty.

  95. Bar_Qu says:

    Isn’t this totally in keeping with MacT’s belief (as a coach) that you don’t rely too heavily on young players? I mean, I know his hand was forced the other way at the end of his time, but surely we can look at this as a positive, if Nikitin signs.

    Maybe he’s not better than Marincin and Klefbom, but he is vet D depth and miles better than anything that has played on the bottom of the D roster the past couple years.

    Plus, this seems to be a GM move in the same direction as most people here keeping hoping for. Which gives further hope that this summer will be filled with mainly positive moves for the team.

    Jmo

  96. WeirsBeard says:

    Bar_Qu:
    Isn’t this totally in keeping with MacT’s belief (as a coach) that you don’t rely too heavily on young players? I mean, I know his hand was forced the other way at the end of his time, but surely we can look at this as a positive, if Nikitin signs.

    Maybe he’s not better than Marincin and Klefbom, but he is vet D depth and miles better than anything that has played on the bottom of the D roster the past couple years.

    Plus, this seems to be a GM move in the same direction as most people here keeping hoping for. Which gives further hope that this summer will be filled with mainly positive moves for the team.

    Jmo

    Yes, many little improvements leading to big improvement in the standings. Weber is great, but not available. I have to believe his time as coach taught MacT to know the value of going in with a full roster, not a bunch of rookies and broken men.

  97. Jon K says:

    Fortunately, the fellows over at Union Blue just did a WOWY comparison for the Columbus’ 2013-2014 season:

    http://www.theunionblue.com/2014/06/17/look-2013-14-cbj-wowy-numbers/

    They note that Nikitin and Wiz were the “ideal” top pairing, and Nikitin did seem to thrive with Wiz as the puckmover.

    From an anecdotal perspective, I think that Nikitin has a little bit of “heavy feet” and despite being called a puckmover, I don’t think it’s a strength of his to the point where he can be the primary transition defender on a pairing.

  98. Lowetide says:

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@okcbarons 1m

    NEWS: The #OKCBarons have signed Ty Rimmer and Josh Winquist for the 2014-15 season > http://bit.ly/1stiTMm .

  99. Lowetide says:

    rickithebear:
    Nikita Nikitin: 6’3″217lb
    allows 24.1% of shots inside 20ft
    allows a success rate of 16.5% on those shots.
    2nd/3rd comp last 3 years 1.31 EVGA/60
    1.31?
    1.31!

    1st comp 2.30 EVGA/60
    0.79 EVA/60
    1.54 PKTOI 4.90 PKGA/60

    Savard with Nikitin 1.63 EVGA/60
    w/o nikitin 2.30 EVGA/60

    An awsome 2nd pair Dman with results that allow you to compete with the best teams in the game during his shifts.

    so he’s terrible. I KNEW IT!

  100. WeirsBeard says:

    Hope this is a return to the old days of finding effective unheralded defensemen at midnight in a snowstorm, to paraphrase our host.

    Going forward, I would like the roster to shake out like:

    ???-Petry
    Marincin-Ference
    Nikitin-Schultz
    Klefbom

    With the Oil still adding an Erhoff or Stralman to play with Petry. Should get six solid defense on any given night. No world beaters there, but asset costs should be minimal to complete this group.

  101. bigbadbruin24 says:

    I don’t mind this if they can get him signed in the range widely being talked about…3-3.5 max per season.

    In pursuit of the bigger fish on D, is PK Subban worth giving up the four first round selections it would require to get him signed on as a RFA?? I assume it would need to be for 7yrs x 8mil per season. I also think the Habs would match pretty much any offer but as both an Oilers and Bruins fan, I wouldn’t mind seeing it happen. It might also show other free agents Edmonton is serious about getting better quicker and perhaps be enough to sway another UFA to take a chance on the Oilers.

    Anyone else think it would be worth doing or would the four picks be too much? Or maybe I’ve had too much coffee this morning and not thinking straight, lol.

  102. hoser313 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Just a note on Nikitin.

    Him and Belov have a long history together. Played together at Omsk and have been paired together at the WC before

    ————-
    allow me to concur with others. If this is MacT getting his stay-at-home D, I’m ecstatic. If he has other plans, I’m dubious.

    Nikitin will talk to Belov, no doubt. Hopefully management has thought this through.

  103. Racki says:

    I like how there are regular simple stats, advanced/fancy stats and rickithebear stats used here. Take your pick to support your argument!

  104. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@okcbarons 1m

    NEWS: The #OKCBarons have signed Ty Rimmer and Josh Winquist for the 2014-15 season > http://bit.ly/1stiTMm .

    Getting awful crowded in the minor league crease. Brossoit, Tuohimma, Rimmer, Bunz by my count. That’s two AHL and two ECHL goalies. Not a lot of room for Bachman to return unless they loan out Bunz to another ECHL team (which they might very well be planning on).

  105. Caramel Obvious says:

    speeds:
    Caramel Obvious,

    The potential downside is the opportunity cost.I don’t have a big problem with acquiring Nikitin in the abstract, but you can’t evaluate the move without knowing the money and term.

    I agree, but only to a point. Because the market for players, such as it is, is fluid and limited the way we normally understand opportunity cost doesn’t always apply. There is no player store here. MacTavish can’t just decide to go and spend the money in some other way. They might be out of stock.

    So there are limits to how high this contract can be and still be good, lowetide’s point about a bird in hand is a good one.

    As the Oilers are currently constructed they need to add so many players that I think the greater danger is not running out of money and missing out on an opportunity but being left with money to spend and the same poor roster.

  106. oliveoilers says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    This is a great move with zero downside. For a team like the Oilers with a ton of cap space and little else of value there are two things to worry about.

    1) Being left without a chair when the music stops.
    2) Trading what meagre assets you have for marginal improvements.

    If they sign him this move adds an NHL quality player without costing any other players.That’s good.There is no way to make that not good.

    There is no downside here.This is unadulterated good news.

    Very short-sighted. Don’t you remember your parents/legal guardians telling you that if you spend all of your allowance money on candy, there won’t be any left for fire-crackers? Just because we have money to spend shouldn’t mean we spend it on the first shiny thing to strut past us. Sign him cheap, he is not a centre-piece, nor shall he ever be.

  107. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Anyone else thought for a second this was about Valeri Nikita… er… Nikitin…um?

    Whether they sign and what they trade should depend on the contract he’d sign. Good use of the relationship to CBJ.

  108. Dicky94 says:

    hoser313,

    Nikitin is a better player than Belov. He will get a good chance to prove that with the Oil and he knows it. Belov wouldn’t have made any other team neither. That’s why he is back in Russia. This maybe sets up for Kulikov to come over?

  109. Symbology says:

    If they do need to move one of Marincin and Petry to bring in a Veteran top-pairing guy, I really hope it’s Petry. I like Petry a lot, but as much as he is the best defenseman on the Oilers right now, I don’t think that will be true at the end of next season. Both Marincin and Schultz have the potential to surpass Petry in short order, and Nurse in a couple of years. His value is now.

    The only caveat to trading Petry is that the return MUST be a legitimate NHL player with top pairing potential, otherwise you’re trading quality for magic beans again and the Oilers can’t afford to do that any more.

  110. vinotintazo says:

    I wouldn’t mind this guy, 28 yrs old, Decent 4-6 Defensement, Sign hims for 4 yrs around 3 – 3.5 mill.

  111. Lowetide says:

    Racki:
    I like how there are regular simple stats, advanced/fancy stats and rickithebear stats used here. Take your pick to support your argument!

    I think its great looking at all of them. Would LOVE it if MacT gave us a stats-based view of this deal at the PC.

  112. Lloyd B. says:

    speeds,

    But if all your cans of pasta have dents in them then you wind up with slightly worse players throughout the line up and there you go…back in 28th.

  113. Racki says:

    Lowetide: I think its great looking at all of them. Would LOVE it if MacT gave us a stats-based view of this deal at the PC.

    One day I can see the organization bringing in some of you smarter fancy stats folks to have some sort of information session. Maybe learn a bit on both sides. If not maybe they’ll sneak In a few monitor shots in Oil Change.

  114. RexLibris says:

    As mentioned above, I believe that a Nikitin signing would usher Mark Fraser to the exit. It would also likely preclude the addition of Matt Greene.

    These are good things.

    I expect Nikitin will earn in the range of $3.5 for between three and five years, so maybe a clone of the Ference contract.

    My only serious concern regarding this potential acquisition (he isn’t signed yet) is the possible inclusion of a movement clause. Ference is the captain and so he ended up deserving the one given, even if this seems like post-hoc rationalization. Offering any movement restrictions on Nikitin’s contract though would undo much of the good work in bringing him here in the first place.

    This season he is meant to provide veteran stability and block the easy progress of prospects. But next season, if progress has been made by one or more of those prospects they need to be elevated and the club must have the flexibility to liquidate player assets in that case.

    It safeguards the cap structure, avoiding losing developing talent, and prevents the stagnation of a developing roster resulting in attrition of young, cheap talent, something that often short-circuits rebuilding teams.

    Ideally, I’d like to be talking about the Oilers trading Nikitin in January 2016 because of the emergence of Musil, Gernat, Nurse, Fedun or some other young prospect. That’s what good teams do.

  115. ashley says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Aaron Portzline @Aportzline·18m
    #NHL agent on Nikitin’s talks w #Oilers: “Unless it’s 4 years and major money, I don’t know why he wouldn’t go to July 1, see what’s there.”

    Agents always say stuff like that because it serves their interests. It might expand the market for their player. Free advertising. It’s probably Nikita’s agent.

    The funny thing is that they think that other people should take this opinion as that of an “expert” at face value.

    The ignored risk is that the chairs all start getting filled after July 1 and Nikita’s offers are all pulled with the only remaining offer one week later is a 2.3 x 2 in Long Island (or worse nothing at all), and he looks at his agent and says WTF we had 3.5 x 3 on June 20? Perhaps Tom Gilbert could lend some advice.

    It’s a gamble. Player and agent dream of the big payoff. But they must assess the market carefully and be reasonable. From the player’s perspective, if you get to front run the FA derby with a solid offer from an NHL club, do you risk July 1? It’s not as easy a decision as the standard “agent quote” above make it out to be.

  116. nycoil says:

    Grabo isn’t Russian. I keep seeing that on here.
    I didn’t know the CBA had a loophole like this. Thought you could only trade for rights. This just sounds like agreed-to tampering. Very interesting case and I am curious to see how this plays out. Does this become commonplace practice or does some GM somewhere say something?

    Also, trying to see this from a CBJ perspective, why would they do this as opposed to the conditional pick route unless the potential reward was much higher?

    I reserve my right to judge the deal once the full details are known. If this is part of a bigger deal where say the Oilers agree to take Umberger’s salary, too, well that changes things.

  117. wheatnoil says:

    speeds:
    Just wait to see which can of pasta sauce others don’t want because it has a small, immaterial dent on it, and buy that one at a lesser price.

    Let’s say the Oilers have a few potential targets for whatever role they have in mind for Nikitin. They’ve evaluated Nikitin, decided on the role he could play for the Oilers, and have a price point and term in mind that they would feel comfortable signing him for.

    They could wait until July 1st and have their offer in with any other suitors. OR, they take advantage of the Howson connection with Columbus. “You’re not going to sign him, mind if we talk to him? If he signs with us, we’ll give you a draft pick.”

    This doesn’t mean that Nikitin is even the Oilers top choice for the particular role in mind. It just means that, of the potential targets, he was available to negotiate with for free and they would be happy to have him at a particular cost. If he doesn’t want to sign, nothing lost. If he does sign, that’s one less thing to worry about in the chaos that is UFA.

    I get your point on buying the sauce can for cheap with the immaterial dent in it… but that’s assuming that such a product exists after the initial frenzy in mid-July. There’s every chance that the left-over cans are much worse quality than Nikitin… there’s also every chance there’s a gem or two left that can be had for cheap. That, however, is a risk that the Oilers may not feel they can afford to take, in their situation. With so many holes in the line-up, it may be more like: establish your field of reasonable and legitimate candidates, acquire one of them at a price that makes sense to you, move on to the next concern, rinse and repeat. You may not get the best deal, but you also avoid getting shut out and being left with a bunch of unlabelled mystery meat cans and expired products.

    Edit: I see in the process of writing this, many others have made the same point above but in a much more concise and clear manner. Sorry about that.

  118. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: I think its great looking at all of them. Would LOVE it if MacT gave us a stats-based view of this deal at the PC.

    Saw this book cross my desk yesterday. Thought it would be a good read for some of the folks here and almost considered dropping a copy off at some Kingsway-area businesses.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/414001.Competing_on_Analytics

    Copyright date is 2007. Too bad Prendergast and company didn’t read it before the draft that year.

  119. PaperDesigner says:

    So many holes, so little summer.

    Nikitin could make sense in conjunction with other moves. He doesn’t make sense as their big summer acquisition. However, if you’re still acquiring one or two other defencemen to play at the top of your line-up, he’s a really good player to have as a “must be at least this good to play in NHL” barrier for Marincin, Nurse, Klefbom, et al. Marincin was there last year, he just needs to come back at that level. Klefbom might be at that level soon, but we’ll see.

    Biggest question is if they can get him for reasonable dollars and term. Actually might make sense getting a similar contract to Ference.

  120. RexLibris says:

    nycoil:
    Grabo isn’t Russian. I keep seeing that on here.
    I didn’t know the CBA had a loophole like this. Thought you could only trade for rights. This just sounds like agreed-to tampering. Very interesting case and I am curious to see how this plays out. Does this become commonplace practice or does some GM somewhere say something?

    Also, trying to see this from a CBJ perspective, why would they do this as opposed to the conditional pick route unless the potential reward was much higher?

    I reserve my right to judge the deal once the full details are known. If this is part of a bigger deal where saythe Oilers agree to take Umberger’s salary, too, well that changes things.

    The trade is probably a “future considerations” deal. Let us talk to Nikitin and if he says yes we’ll throw you a 6th rounder. If he says no, we’ll give them first dibs on one of our expiring UFAs in the future. Keeps everything above board.

  121. Ribs says:

    Player who Nick Schultz replaced in Columbus to replace Nick Schultz in Edmonton. Hmm…

    I wonder if this trade was discussed back when the Schultz trade happened.

  122. rickithebear says:

    Lowetide: so he’s terrible. I KNEW IT!

    I enjoyed Gregors interview with MacT were he stated
    that the amazing stats department can trend for any player.
    That in the program they can call up video of every shift for that player in question.
    Can call anyone, look and determine if the events match what the analytics say.
    A perfect marriage of scouting and analytics to find that value player.
    I really liked when he stated it was in an office next to his.

    That is f…………..g hands on!

    Nikitins EVA/60 is better than Doughty and Subban last 3 years.

    1.31 EVGA/60 24.1% inside 20ft jesus!
    Might as well get the best in the League.

    Better Check his Corsi though! LOL!

  123. wheatnoil says:

    Richards bought out by NYR.

    He’s on the wrong side of 30 and probably isn’t interested in coming to Edmonton, and would probably want more term in his contract than the Oilers should be giving him…

    …but he’s a legitimate centre with a strong corsi taking on second toughs, scoring 50 points, and coming off an unlucky year with a PDO of 982. He’d solve a lot of problems for the Oilers and take some heat off of RNH.

    At the least, it increases the supply in the UFA centre market, which may help reduce the premium the Oilers have to pay to acquire Legwand or Grabo.

  124. Racki says:

    nycoil:
    Grabo isn’t Russian. I keep seeing that on here.
    I didn’t know the CBA had a loophole like this. Thought you could only trade for rights. This just sounds like agreed-to tampering. Very interesting case and I am curious to see how this plays out. Does this become commonplace practice or does some GM somewhere say something?

    Also, trying to see this from a CBJ perspective, why would they do this as opposed to the conditional pick route unless the potential reward was much higher?

    I reserve my right to judge the deal once the full details are known. If this is part of a bigger deal where saythe Oilers agree to take Umberger’s salary, too, well that changes things.

    I’m not one calling him Russian, but a lot of people paint anyone under the former Soviet Republic blanket as close-enough-to-Russian. But no, not Russian.

    Anywho, I didn’t understand how this is a loophole in CBA. I missed something here. What do you mean?

  125. misfit says:

    I know Stauffer mentioned him as a RD, or at least that being his preference, but nearly every one of his defense partners in his 3 years in Columbus were RDs.

    I remember the same nonsense when we brought in N.Schultz. Tambellini even chimed in on that saying he could play both, but it simply wasn’t the case with him either. Both guys are LDs.

  126. John Chambers says:

    I dunno. Nikitin was a 3rd pairing guy last year.

    I doubt he gets more than $2.5M and my guess it’s a 2-year deal maybe 3.

    This is a depth player. If so, it’ll be a great depth signing.

  127. v4ance says:

    In other news:

    Chip Alexander ‏@ice_chip 4m
    Francis also said Ricky Olczyk has been added to the Canes management team as an assistant GM.

  128. nycoil says:

    Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun 48s
    Brad Richards has been bought out by the New York Rangers, source says

  129. FastOil says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    I’ll add that it doesn’t matter what label you give him #4, #3, #5.These numbers are meaningless.All that matters is that he is better than what you have.If he is, and he clearly is, then your team is better with him than without him.That’s good.

    Signing guys like Nikitin is almost always better business than acquiring them through trade.

    This ^^^

  130. Bag of Pucks says:

    Racki:
    I like how there are regular simple stats, advanced/fancy stats and rickithebear stats used here. Take your pick to support your argument!

    I love Ricki’s stats for D. Avoids myopic corsi focus and actually considers acumen in the D zone.

    Rishaug’s mentions this morning on TSN that the analytics guys will ‘like Nikitin as a solid possession player”

    The needle is definitely moving on the conversation btw msm and analytics. They will be assimilated! lol

  131. nycoil says:

    Racki,

    Tell that to Ukraine!

    My understanding was that these types of trades were always actual trades. Conditional picks going one way, rights to the players going the other. In this case Nikitin remains CBJ property while the Oilers negotiate with him with no trade. Teams ask for permission to talk to assistant coaches under contract often but I was unaware the CBA allowed for this to occur with players. I can’t think of another example of it and if it is allowed why hasn’t it been done before? This is why I am wondering if this is a loophole.

  132. VanOil says:

    I buy Nititin as an improvement on Fraser and Greene.

    But does he help MacT meet my Fayne/Kulikov line as a successful summer fixing the D?

    I am unsure if I prefer Fayne or Nikitin. Fayne is coming off injury and has the Swamp Hockey effect that leads me to discount his stats.

    If you think Nitikin < Fayne how much does MacT have to exceed Kulikov in quality to make equal or exceed the Fayne/Kulikov line?

  133. Bag of Pucks says:

    RexLibris: Saw this book cross my desk yesterday. Thought it would be a good read for some of the folks here and almost considered dropping a copy off at some Kingsway-area businesses.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/414001.Competing_on_Analytics

    Copyright date is 2007. Too bad Prendergast and company didn’t read it before the draft that year.

    Good find. I read that particular tome back in the day when my co. tasked me with leading the implementation of an extremely sophisticated data-mining suite platformed on SAS technology.

    Someday, someone will develop an algorithm that factors fluid decision dynamics for NHL players and we will all walk around for a week with massive erections. Wives will weep and small children will laugh and point.

  134. Racki says:

    nycoil:
    Racki,

    Tell that to Ukraine!

    My understanding was that these types of trades were always actual trades. Conditional picks going one way, rights to the players going the other. In this case Nikitin remains CBJ property while the Oilers negotiate with him with no trade. Teams ask for permission to talk to assistant coaches under contract often but I was unaware the CBA allowed for this to occur with players. I can’t think of another example of it and if it is allowed why hasn’t it been done before? This is why I am wondering if this is a loophole.

    Oh don’t get me wrong. I am of Russian decent so I tend to laugh at the whole Russian blanket for the former Soviet Republic countries that many have and tend to correct people too. I guess it’s kind of like how some people seem to call all Asians “Chinese”.

    And I didn’t know Nikitin is still CBJ property. You sure? I assumed he was Oilers for now (of course UFA July 1st still). I hadn’t read up on Twitter on the deal though. Does sound odd if that’s the case.

  135. calgaryoilbaron says:

    It looks like NIkitin was doing just fine under Scott Arniel and fell out of favour when Todd Richards took over. I’m sure Howson knows the player well, since he traded for him originally. I’m hopeful they can work out a good deal. And I’ll bet Yak is looking forward to adding another countryman to the roster too. I’d like to see him paired with Shultz and keep Petry and Marincin together. Maybe add Mark Fayne as a third-pairing right-shooter too?

  136. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear: I enjoyed Gregors interview with MacT were he stated
    that the amazing stats department can trend for any player.
    That in the program they can call up video of every shift for that player in question.
    Can call anyone,look and determine if the events match what the analytics say.
    A perfect marriage of scouting and analytics to find that value player.
    I really liked when he stated it was in an office next to his.

    That is f…………..g hands on!

    Nikitins EVA/60 is better than Doughty and Subban last 3 years.

    1.31 EVGA/60 24.1% inside 20ftjesus!
    Might as well get the best in the League.

    Better Check his Corsi though! LOL!

    Ricki,

    If you switch to SA/60 from GA/60 i’ll find you a wife. Promise.

    Dmen don’t stop the puck.

    Bobrovsky has one of the best 5v5 SV% in the NHL last year.

    Mikitin played mostly 3rd pairing.

    Most 3rd pairing D have higher ONSV% because a reasonable percentage of their opponents have feet for hands.

  137. frjohnk says:

    Does Nikitin fill in Smid’s spot and get somewhere in that salary range? ( Just under $4M)
    I bet the Nikita camp is looking for something like this and Edmonton in desperation of wanting to improve the backend may bite.

  138. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: I love Ricki’s stats for D. Avoids myopic corsi focus and actually considers acumen in the D zone.

    Rishaug’s mentions this morning on TSN that the analytics guys will ‘like Nikitin as a solid possession player”

    The needle is definitely moving on the conversation btw msm and analytics. They will be assimilated! lol

    No.

    Using Goals Against makes the stat reliant on SV%

    It’s been proven over and over again that Dmen do not affect ONSV%.

    Using shots tells a more complete story.

    3rd pairing D on teams with very good goalies always have a heavy presence among the D with the lowest GA/60 because of the goalie and the opposition.

  139. John Chambers says:

    frjohnk,

    This is a great point. How different is Nikitin from Smid? They’re very good comparables actually.

    Smid would’ve had 3 x $3.5M left on his contract, so anything less than this is a win.

  140. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: No.

    Using Goals Against makes the stat reliant on SV%

    It’s been proven over and over again that Dmen do not affect ONSV%.

    Using shots tells a more complete story.

    3rd pairing D on teams with very good goalies always have a heavy presence among the D with the lowest GA/60 because of the goalie and the opposition.

    I’m referring more to the stats he quoted in his earlier post…

    allows 24.1% of shots inside 20ft
    allows a success rate of 16.5% on those shots.

  141. Kitchener says:

    If Nikitin signs, the nice part is that we could trade him at a trade deadline in 1-3 years and:

    - thin out the D-corps for our current prospects
    - get a draft pick that compensates for the overpay

    In sum, Nikitin is at worst a free bridge. At best, he’s a solid addition. I like the strategy.

    If I’m Taylor Fedun, I’m redoubling my prep for training camp. I’m maybe even asking Teddy Peckman to be my personal chef for the summer.

  142. Racki says:

    John Chambers:
    frjohnk,

    This is a great point. How different is Nikitin from Smid? They’re very good comparables actually.

    Smid would’ve had 3 x $3.5M left on his contract, so anything less than this is a win.

    I’m not so sure they are that good of a comparable. Nikitin more bias towards possession/shooting/puck mover type, Smid more of a banger, simpler player. The fancy stats murdered Smid as a possession D iirc.

    Money wise, maybe similar contract though. Skill set I don’t really think so.

  143. frjohnk says:

    John Chambers:
    frjohnk,

    This is a great point. How different is Nikitin from Smid? They’re very good comparables actually.

    Smid would’ve had 3 x $3.5M left on his contract, so anything less than this is a win.

    Two years ago Nikita put up 32 points, Smid has never had any offensive acumen. I believe one season Smid had 0 goals. Last year, both players were basically 3rd pairing and Nikita was a healthy scratch a few times early in the year. At 28, Nikitin is still young enough to prove last year was an aberration and would be a better D man than Smid.

  144. frjohnk says:

    Racki: I’m not so sure they are that good of a comparable. Nikitin more bias towards possession/shooting/puck mover type, Smid more of a banger, simpler player. The fancy stats murdered Smid as a possession D iirc.

    Money wise, maybe similar contract though. Skill set I don’t really think so.

    Totally agree.

  145. misfit says:

    Why is it that the one time there’s a surplus on the market in an area of need for us, we’re still not in the running to get any of them.

    Thornton – NMC
    Spezza – 10 team “no trade” list has all the Canadian teams on it.
    Kesler – Canucks will look everywhere else first, also NTC.
    B.Richards – Looking for a contender, doesn’t want to play in Canada or WC (at least historically).
    Lecavalier – NTC, wants to win now.

    The only one who is available that we could really have a shot at is Ryan O’Reily out of Colorado. He’s probably the best of the bunch, but also the one who’s the least “available”.

  146. wheatnoil says:

    misfit:
    I know Stauffer mentioned him as a RD, or at least that being his preference, but nearly every one of his defense partners in his 3 years in Columbus were RDs.

    I remember the same nonsense when we brought in N.Schultz.Tambellini even chimed in on that saying he could play both, but it simply wasn’t the case with him either.Both guys are LDs.

    Fedor Tyutin shoots left doesn’t he? Tyutin was his most common defense partner if you combine his last 3 years with Columbus. Does anyone know if Nikitin played on the right side when paired with him?

    Actually, in his good year (2011/12) he played mostly with Tyutin. In his poor year (the lockout shortened year) he also played mostly with Tyutin, though their corsi together was 48%, so better than his 46.1% otherwise. This last year he had an absolutely atrocious corsi with Tyutin (26.6%) but that was a really small sample size.

    The problem with WOWY is you lose sample size in a single season. If you combine the data from the last 3 years:
    with Tyutin (shoots left) (almost 900 minutes together):
    corsi together = 51.1% (Nikitin apart = 48.2%, Tyutin apart = 48.8%)

    with Savard (shoots right) (560 minutes together):
    corsi together = 49.2% (Nikitin apart = 49.1%, Savard = 46.9%)

    with Prout (shoots right) (just under 500 minutes together):
    corsi together = 48.3% (Nikitin apart 49.3%, Prout = 47%)

    with Lebda (shoots left) (small sample size – 136 minutes together):
    corsi together = 45.7% (Nikitin apart 49.3%, Lebda = 47.3%)

    with Wisniewski (shoots right) (small sample size – 123 minutes together):
    corsi together = 56.9% (Nikitin apart 48.7%, Wisniewski = 50.2%)

    I imagine he played tougher comp when paired with Wisniewski and no doubt Wis was carrying him in those relatively few minutes (just over 100 minutes in 3 years, so we’re not going on much). Other than that, he played with with left-shooting Tyutin over the last 3 years and may have been carrying right-shooting Savard and Prout a little bit.

    So… did he play on the right side when paired with Tyutin? If so, they might be looking at him as the 3rd pair right side D-man.

  147. Woodguy says:

    Racki: One day I can see the organization bringing in some of you smarter fancy stats folks to have some sort of information session. Maybe learn a bit on both sides. If not maybe they’ll sneak In a few monitor shots in Oil Change.

    Dan Haight is pretty sharp.

    His analytics company Dark Horse is on contract for the Oilers.

  148. Woodguy says:

    Savard and Prout shoot right.

    They have been Nikitin’s most common partner in the last year.

  149. admiralmark says:

    Start the Russian wave this summer. Nikitin, Kulikov, and Grabovski in. Gagner, Fraser, and Joensuu out. Spark a fire under Yakupov. And we might be onto something?

  150. Kitchener says:

    Another positive point about this deal: MacT finds out if Nikitin wants to play here, reducing the variables to consider next week. “Yes” or “no” makes the rest of the week’s planning clearer.

    If the Oil want him (and presumably they do), this is a great no-risk win-win for both teams. Makes me wonder why there aren’t more deals like this made by teams with UFAs at this time of the year.

  151. admiralmark says:

    misfit,

    Why? Because this is not considered a winning organization. If/When this team becomes a perennial playoff contender you would see 1/2 that list as a potential acquisition . Since its a Northern Frontier however it will never be up with NYR’s and LA’s… but imo thats a built in character test that those other teams don’t have.

  152. nycoil says:

    Cue Sean Connery in “Entrapment”

    “You’re playing both sides!” Nikitin can play both sides.

    Mmmm. now thinking about Ms. Zeta Jones in that film.

  153. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: I’m referring more to the stats he quoted in his earlier post…

    allows 24.1% of shots inside 20ft
    allows a success rate of 16.5% on those shots.

    Agreed.

    I like the shot stat too.

    Have to throw out the goal rate.

  154. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy:
    Savard and Prout shoot right.

    They have been Nikitin’s most common partner in the last year.

    During his best season, it appears Nikitin played almost exclusively on the right side with Tyutin on the left.

    http://www.jacketscannon.com/2012/8/28/3273836/blue-jackets-mailbag-august-28th

  155. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear,

    Here’s the top 20 Dmen in terms of ONSV% last year.

    By eye 13 of the 20 are 3rd pairing D in front of decen to very good goaltending.

    Hey look! Nkitin is 5th.

    KEVANMILLER BOS .964
    IANCOLE STL .958
    DOUGIEHAMILTON BOS .952
    JOHNMOORE NYR .943
    NIKITANIKITIN CBJ .942
    BENLOVEJOY ANA .942
    BRETTBELLEMORE CAR .941
    ALECMARTINEZ L.A .939
    JOSHGORGES MTL .939
    SLAVAVOYNOV L.A 938
    DANNYDEKEYSER DET .938
    JAMIEMCBANE BUF .938
    DAVIDSAVARD CBJ .938
    MATTHEWBARTKOWSKi BOS .937
    ZDENOCHARA BOS .937
    TOREYKRUG BOS 936
    CARLGUNNARSSON TOR .936
    ANDREJSUSTR T.B .936
    WILLIEMITCHELL L.A .936
    PAULRANGER TOR .935

    5 of the 20 play in from of Rask, but goalies have nothing to do with it eh?

  156. speeds says:

    Caramel Obvious

    The store might end up out of stock, but hard to make that evaluation before it opens. Just last year both Hainsey and Gilbert were unsigned into September.

    Having said that, I do understand, and agree with (to a point), that knowing you have someone at a price you may not love, but can handle, makes sense, and frees you up at least a little bit to be more choosy once July 1 hits in terms of filling other holes.

    There exists some number where it makes sense for EDM to commit now. I would guess that number to be higher for MacT and EDM’s mngmnt than I (based on the fact they made this move), that I’d be willing to roll the dice a bit more than them, but that’s just a guess and we’ll get a better sense of that if/when he signs.

  157. Woodguy says:

    If the Oilers hire Nikitin to play RD then either the RD Depth is:

    Petry
    Nikitin
    Jultz

    OR

    Petry is out the door for a trade.

    If you send out a RH Dman, you need a RH coming back.

    Yak, Petry and the 3rd overall for:

    Letang
    Weber
    Subban
    ??????? – Anyone else?

    Yak + Petry for:
    Wisneiwski
    Campbell
    Hamonic
    ?????? – anyone else?

    NOTE: Not that I would do all these trades, just getting rumours started.

  158. frjohnk says:

    Woodguy:
    If the Oilers hire Nikitin to play RD then either the RD Depth is:

    Petry
    Nikitin
    Jultz

    OR

    Petry is out the door for a trade.

    If you send out a RH Dman, you need a RH coming back.

    Yak, Petry and the 3rd overall for:

    Letang
    Weber
    Subban
    ??????? – Anyone else?

    Yak + Petry for:
    Wisneiwski
    Campbell
    Hamonic
    ?????? – anyone else?

    NOTE: Not that I would do all these trades, just getting rumours started.

    Not sure if that trade would work out with the Canadiens cause even though
    Alan Letang was drafted in 1993 by the Canadiens, he is no longer with the team.
    and Yannick Weber was also drafted by the Habs, he is now with the Canucks organization.
    But PK Subban is still with the Canadiens. :)

  159. Caramel Obvious says:

    speeds,

    That’s pretty reasonable. Out of curiosity how many UFA D out there do you think are better than Nikitin?

    Myself, I think the number is pretty low. Stralman, Markov, and Niskanen certainly, Fayne and Hainsey maybe.

    That’s about it.

  160. Caramel Obvious says:

    Someone mentioned Brett Bellemore the other day. He looks pretty good on Capgeek’s new free agent sorting gimmic (which is freakin’ great)

  161. PerryK says:

    Evilas:
    What is the window/rules for signing RFA’s?Any chance the Oil have an opportunity to Offer Sheet Subban?If so, would you do it?

    I’ve seen a lot of talk about trading Petry and Marincin, this doesn’t make any sense at all, these are the D that are needed here.

    If you could trade Jultz to Buffalo for Ehrhoff, would you do it?I would, but only if a miracle happens and PK Subban was signed.Would$8 Mil x 7yrs get it done?

    This would be the Bold move I would hope for.Sign Bellemore for the 6-7 slot and if Nikitin is signed they can fight for this spot.Klefbom gets more development time in the AHL.Sign Fedun for the 8th slot.

    Ehrhoff-Subban
    Marincin-Petry
    Ferrence – Bellemore
    Nikitin-Fedun

    Man! I would be in favour of planning the parade if that takes place!

  162. rickithebear says:

    Woodguy: No.

    Using Goals Against makes the stat reliant on SV%

    It’s been proven over and over again that Dmen do not affect ONSV%.

    Using shots tells a more complete story.

    3rd pairing D on teams with very good goalies always have a heavy presence among the D with the lowest GA/60 because of the goalie and the opposition.

    Utter Bull Shit!

    i have read 2 of the arguements
    re: D men do not Affect goalie stats.
    One the guy says there is a 1.3 to 2% chance of affecting the goalies .915 save %.
    1.5% of 100% is not that much!
    People use this as support.

    I laughed my ass off.
    27 of 30 starters have a save % of .912 (91.2%) to .927 (92.7%)
    A range of 2.5%
    1.3/2.5 = 52%
    2/2.5 = 80%

    52 to 80%

    Think of how goalies play.
    There are 7 holes.
    Goalies have limited movemnet of pads.to extend for a wider low shot.
    they control the size of the 5 hole.
    Goalies have Arm movement of blocker and glove.
    though area covered is not a large %
    Great blocker and glove saves are more puck to blocker or glove.
    In the glove
    swing the arm.
    OHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
    Rather than glove or Blocker to puck.

    It is largely about the shooter hitting the blank spot.
    As the shot distance increases the angular variance causes the shooting area to shrink!
    Perspective!
    In close more visually to shoot at.
    Shooting gun in close and at distance.

    So if MR. Dman keeps the shooters in the poor visual shot perspective distance. the Probabilty goes down. league average Shot is around 25 ft. to the point is is around 1/3 of 8.5%
    2.83%

    Inside 25 ft you can get 3 times above the league average.
    Dubnyk was 27%

    Visually a player is skilled to hit a certain inch squared area.
    At the blueline (point)
    That perspective.
    The holes are a much smaler % of the visual shooting area.
    HArder to see and hit the holes.
    In close 1 or 2 holes may be a large % of the shooting Perspective.
    Easier to see and hit the holes.

    This is my thought process on why we see such a variance in Shooting.
    Goalies reaction time is more limited when they are closer.
    (ball to plate) fastball versus Baseball.
    The closer to the net the larger shooting areas a Player can attack.

    Any thoughts Wood Guy!

    Hence give me D that keep the most shots to the outside with the best %.
    Give me a Dman with a really good (Corsi-(blocked + Missed))

    And forces to the greatest distance possible.

    It is visual targeting.
    Playing Qb in Midget Football.
    Throw in in a Rugby lineout!
    Passing a ball out of scrum to a center half 1/4 of the distance across the feild.

    Playing center half and leading a ball to a target holding forward.

    When we discuss the games we love.
    Think the other sports we play and what influences a lot of them.

    when it comes to goalies I see alot ofpuck hitting or not hitting. I see very little goalie moving to save the puck.

  163. Racki says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    speeds,

    That’s pretty reasonable.Out of curiosity how many UFA D out there do you think are better than Nikitin?

    Myself, I think the number is pretty low.Stralman, Markov, and Niskanen certainly, Fayne and Hainsey maybe.

    That’s about it.

    Add to your side of the argument, most of the better UFAs will get paid lude money. Nikitin is also likely though of as 2nd or 3rd pairing option whereas the bigger names 1st (maybe 2nd on a good team).

  164. speeds says:

    Off the top of my head I think I would add Gilbert.

  165. rickithebear says:

    Subban at even lower assit per 60 and more evga chaos.
    Gorges is an amazing Dman.

  166. Younger Oil says:

    If we can get Boychuk for cheap, I would be fairly happy going into next year with

    Marincin-Petry
    Nikitin-Schultz
    Ference-Boychuk
    Klefbom

    as our depth chart. That would be a really well rounded “defence by committee” group IMO. It’s very realistic. Of course, it would be ideal to make a trade to bring a top pairing Dman into that group to move everybody down one slot, and get some more depth, but the group of 7 above seems very realistic, and if we get Nikitin for a late round pick, and Boychuk for a mid round pick/middilng prospect, we don’t have to give up a whole lot for it.

  167. rickithebear says:

    Ferecne and Boychuck were WOWY nightmare.

  168. Gerta Rauss says:

    nycoil: My understanding was that these types of trades were always actual trades. Conditional picks going one way, rights to the players going the other. In this case Nikitin remains CBJ property while the Oilers negotiate with him with no trade. Teams ask for permission to talk to assistant coaches under contract often but I was unaware the CBA allowed for this to occur with players. I can’t think of another example of it and if it is allowed why hasn’t it been done before? This is why I am wondering if this is a loophole.

    The Habs/Leafs made a similar deal with Sundin at the draft a few years ago. Nothing came of it, so there was no compensation, but at that point the Leafs were trying to get something for Sundin, and in the end he signed with Vancouver. Giving permission to talk to a player is nothing new, it just wasn’t used very often.

    Kitchener: If the Oil want him (and presumably they do), this is a great no-risk win-win for both teams. Makes me wonder why there aren’t more deals like this made by teams with UFAs at this time of the year.

    We might see more of this in the future-I think this comes down to timing and the new “shopping period” for Free Agents…..CBJ may have said,”well, give us a 5th roiund pick and you can have Nikitin’s rights”, and the Oilers would have said…”nah, we’ll wait until June 25 and then we can talk to him–and all the other Free Agents”
    So CBJ is just trying to get something(to be determined) rather than get nothing when NN walks on July 1

    This new “shopping period” for Free Agents prior to July 1 was a great idea by the league/PA afaik

  169. OilClog says:

    Dicky94:
    MarincinCoburn
    NikitinShultz
    Klefbom Ference
    Sign Stoner for seventh d if Klefbom struggles. Sign him just for the name anyway.

    On the island this summer I’m kinda gonna be fan boy beggin Stoner to sign with the Oilers. Closer to home too!

  170. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    not much new to offer here, but if you’re interested, my post on Nikitin:

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/06/oilers-acquire-nikitins-rights/

  171. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy:
    If the Oilers hire Nikitin to play RD then either the RD Depth is:

    Petry
    Nikitin
    Jultz

    OR

    Petry is out the door for a trade.

    Or it paves the way for the much rumoured Coburn addition on the left side. The trick is getting him without giving up Petry or Marincin, which might be tough, because that leaves Klefbom, Yak, this year’s first and next year’s first as chips and I’m not thrilled about trading any of those for Coburn. Depends how tight the cap pressure is on Philly. At first glance they’re pretty high up against the cap with only 18 players signed and only $4.2M in room (and Schenn still unsigned), but a lot of room is created once they put Pronger on LTIR at the start of the season and if the Rogers money comes early.

    A Coburn-Petry top pair might actually be able to hold its own. Or split them up and go more defense by committee with Marincin-Petry & Coburn-Nikitin. Or maybe Coburn is good enough to carry Schultz better than Ference.

  172. eidy says:

    Few thoughts came up about recent quotes from MacT when he was on his recent media tour.
    1. Looking at a few players that had “fallen out of favour” with their current organizations: I am still hoping that this is Kulikov, but could have been Nikitin.

    2. Trading Petry: I think it was on the Gregor interview that they said they were expecting him to sign in the near future. He said it ia a bullet point regarding the current blue and that put my mind at ease that he would be back. unless its a counter-trey

    3. Bob McKenzie said something on 1260 about NN doing well in a place with a lot of russians. With Yakupov, Yakimov, possibly slepyshev that is a good start. Then sign Kulemin (and his buddy grabovski-even though he isn’t russian:-)). And of course Kulikov…

    Bottom line, if NN is in and fraser/green/bellemore are out- that’s a win. hopefully the dollars, maybe more importantly term, are reasonable. I don’t think this means Petry is gone, but I worry about Marincin. Typically need more NHL D than the oilers have so I am all in favour of getting actual NHL defenseman.

  173. v4ance says:

    Aaron Portzline ‏@Aportzline 4m
    #CBJ get 5th-rd pick if #Oilers sign D Nikita Nikitin, likely No. 137 overall. That’s originally CBJ pick, traded to EDM for Nick Schultz.

    So basically, we traded Nick Schultz to CLB for a month for Nikitin’s rights

  174. Lowetide says:

    v4ance:
    Aaron Portzline ‏@Aportzline4m
    #CBJ get 5th-rd pick if #Oilers sign D Nikita Nikitin, likely No. 137 overall. That’s originally CBJ pick, traded to EDM for Nick Schultz.

    So basically, we traded Nick Schultz to CLB for a month for Nikitin’s rights

    I’m fine with that. Now, the contract.

  175. hoser313 says:

    Personally, for a defenceman I think I like SA/60 more than CORSI as an evaluation tool.

    As a defenceman, it is my job to stop the other team from getting scoring chances. It is not my job to skate through 5 players on the other team to generate positive scoring chances.

    The problem with CORSI arises where you have a D who sucks big time in his own zone, but hey, as long as he can pass the puck to Taylor Hall, his CORSI will be OK.

    As a defenceman, you have a lot of opportunities to reduce shots against your team: 1) pinching at the other team’s blue line; 2) cutting off neutral zone passes (very effective, btw); 3) “standing up” forwards at your blue line; 4) stopping passes/shots out of the corner; and 5) tying up the man in front of the net. Oh, and actually blocking shots.

    However, unless you’re Eric Karlsson, your opportunities to generate shots on net are not nearly as much in your control.

    Of course it’s not perfect. You still have QualComp and zone starts to consider. Here’s an example (assuming I haven’t botched the link):

    http://www.extraskater.com/players/possession?pos=D&sort=sa&type=rate

  176. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: As the Oilers are currently constructed they need to add so many players that I think the greater danger is not running out of money and missing out on an opportunity but being left with money to spend and the same poor roster.

    Bingo.

  177. Lloyd B. says:

    admiralmark,

    Mac T is a year ahead of you. :) Maybe he is after the entire Russian National team.

  178. vinotintazo says:

    Lloyd B.:
    admiralmark,

    Mac T is a year ahead of you. Maybe he is after the entire Russian National team.

    they did win the WC haha

  179. misfit says:

    wheatnoil: Fedor Tyutin shoots left doesn’t he? Tyutin was his most common defense partner if you combine his last 3 years with Columbus. Does anyone know if Nikitin played on the right side when paired with him?

    Actually, in his good year (2011/12) he played mostly with Tyutin. In his poor year (the lockout shortened year) he also played mostly with Tyutin, though their corsi together was 48%, so better thanhis 46.1% otherwise. This last year he had an absolutely atrocious corsi with Tyutin (26.6%) but that was a really small sample size.

    The problem with WOWY is you lose sample size in a single season. If you combine the data from the last 3 years:
    with Tyutin (shoots left) (almost 900 minutes together):
    corsi together = 51.1% (Nikitin apart = 48.2%, Tyutin apart = 48.8%)

    with Savard (shoots right) (560 minutes together):
    corsi together = 49.2% (Nikitin apart = 49.1%, Savard = 46.9%)

    with Prout (shoots right) (just under 500 minutes together):
    corsi together = 48.3% (Nikitin apart 49.3%, Prout = 47%)

    with Lebda (shoots left) (small sample size – 136 minutes together):
    corsi together = 45.7% (Nikitin apart 49.3%, Lebda = 47.3%)

    with Wisniewski (shoots right) (small sample size – 123 minutes together):
    corsi together = 56.9% (Nikitin apart 48.7%, Wisniewski = 50.2%)

    I imagine he played tougher comp when paired with Wisniewski and no doubt Wis was carrying him in those relatively few minutes (just over 100 minutes in 3 years, so we’re not going on much). Other than that, he played with with left-shooting Tyutin over the last 3 years and may have been carrying right-shooting Savard and Prout a little bit.

    So… did he play on the right side when paired with Tyutin? If so, they might be looking at him as the 3rd pair right side D-man.

    Looking at Tyutin’s most common defense partners each year (30% or more), it would seem like he’s a LHS who primarily plays RD.

    2013-14: Jack Johnson (LD) – 63.4%
    2012-13: Jack Johnson (LD) – 33.7%, Nikita Nikitin – 33.5%
    2011-12: Nikita Nikitin – 49.6%
    2010-11: Marc Methot (LD) – 30.4%
    2009-10: Stralman (RD) – 56.4%
    2008-09: Methot (LD) – 48%, Klesla (LD) – 32.5%

    So aside from the one year he played with Stralman 5 years ago, it appears his most common linemates were all LDs.

    So if Nikitin plays with RDs +Tyutin, and Tyutin plays with LDs +Nikitin, it only stands to reason that when they were paired together, Tyutin was on the right and Nikitin was on the left.

    Not only that, but in St.Louis, Nikitin’s most common partners were Polak and Pietrangelo…both RDs. His next most common partner was Strachan, though they didn’t play much together. Strachan is also a RD.

    Nikitin may have played RD on the big ice with Omsk, but he’s never played that side in 4 years in the NHL from what I can tell. And I watched him a fair bit last year when the Jackets played the Oilers (there was a lot of talk around him as a trade target), and he was always on the left against us.

    So while Stauffer is bullish on him preferring the right, all of his NHL coaches have felt otherwise.

  180. misfit says:

    v4ance:
    Aaron Portzline ‏@Aportzline4m
    #CBJ get 5th-rd pick if #Oilers sign D Nikita Nikitin, likely No. 137 overall. That’s originally CBJ pick, traded to EDM for Nick Schultz.

    So basically, we traded Nick Schultz to CLB for a month for Nikitin’s rights

    Works for me, as long as the contract isn’t crazy.

  181. borisnikov says:

    rickithebear,

    I’m not sure if anyone remembers this, or has looked at it recently, but I came across it last week. It is in regard to d-men and their affect on limiting shot quality. Here is a quote and the link…

    Bottom Line:

    The ability of defensemen to affect shot quality against does exist in the population, but it is so small that we will never be able to sensibly apply it to any player in particular. And a paradox is created, the type of defensemen who are helping the goalie save percentage a bit (presumably because they make fewer mistakes of the spectacularly bad variety) are, as a group, seeing slightly worse save percentages behind them, because they are the guys the coaches are leaning on to play tougher opposition. And the guys who have talent but are guilty of the occasional egregious error … as a group, they do a whisker better than average by 5v5 save percentage score. This is presumably because their coaches have the good sense not to play them much against Malkin, Kovalchuk and Heatley types.

    I have to agree in part with Hoser313. There are things like events in the neutral zone that are pretty hard to quantify with current data but we are still comparing a player like Nikitin to his teammates over a 3 year stretch. Corsi or shot differential don't tell the whole story but give a pretty good barometer.

    His TOI has declined but his results have maintained. His wowy's show that no one really suffers ill effects (possession wise) when they are with him. It could turn out to be a prudent move by MacT/Howson. That being said, the landing on the Edmonton blueline has proven to be not much of a soft one for 3rd paring guys in recent years.

  182. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    v4ance:
    Aaron Portzline ‏@Aportzline4m
    #CBJ get 5th-rd pick if #Oilers sign D Nikita Nikitin, likely No. 137 overall. That’s originally CBJ pick, traded to EDM for Nick Schultz.

    So basically, we traded Nick Schultz to CLB for a month for Nikitin’s rights

    The rights are free. If he agrees to a contract then yeah it boils down as nick for nik.

  183. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear,

    Utter Bull Shit!

    Did you see the top 20 Dmen in terms of SV% that I posted?

    Do you think they are the top 20 Dmen in the NHL?

  184. Woodguy says:

    wheatnoil: Or it paves the way for the much rumoured Coburn addition on the left side. The trick is getting him without giving up Petry or Marincin, which might be tough, because that leaves Klefbom, Yak, this year’s first and next year’s first as chips and I’m not thrilled about trading any of those for Coburn. Depends how tight the cap pressure is on Philly. At first glance they’re pretty high up against the cap with only 18 players signed and only $4.2M in room (and Schenn still unsigned), but a lot of room is created once they put Pronger on LTIR at the start of the season and if the Rogers money comes early.

    A Coburn-Petry top pair might actually be able to hold its own. Or split them up and go more defense by committee with Marincin-Petry & Coburn-Nikitin. Or maybe Coburn is good enough to carry Schultz better than Ference.

    Now that I’ve seen the Nikitin thing, I think they are aiming higher on the puck mover.

    I’m thinking Phaneuf – Letang type of salary range with Yak + Dman + pick (maybe) going the other way.

    I think BOLD is coming.

  185. G Money says:

    hoser313,

    You are absolutely correct. Corsi is demonstrably a weak tool for defensemen (though I think it is at least as useful or moreso than traditional tools like boxcars or +-). SA/60 can be a useful adjunct. So can ricki’s shot distance metrics (though not nearly so much the GA metrics, as WG pointed out).

    To my mind, this is why the Vollman tool is so useful. It takes key metrics that have limited utility individually and provide tremendous useful information when combined – Corsi, ZS, QoC, and TOI – and packages them all into one elegant chart.

    That’s the statistical starting point for assessing the goodness of a defender to my mind.

    The big weakness of Vollman … or perhaps more accurately, of its two-dimensional format … is that you actually need at least one more critical interrelated piece of information, namely QoT. Or even more specifically, what would truly be useful is WOWY information.

    It’s not just whether you do well with Taylor Hall (most defenders will do much better with him than with Gazdic).

    It’s also whether Hall (and Eberle, and RNH, and Perron, and other defenders) do better with you than without you in similar ZS/QoC situations.

    If someone could somehow combine all those individual pieces of information into one easy to compare chart, *that* would truly provide an incredible valuation tool for defensemen.

  186. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: Now that I’ve seen the Nikitin thing, I think they are aiming higher on the puck mover.

    I’m thinking Phaneuf – Letang type of salary range with Yak + Dman + pick (maybe) going the other way.

    I think BOLD is coming.

    This is what I’ve been saying. And it is BOLD but mostly it’s GODDAM DANGEROUS!!!!!

  187. Woodguy says:

    hoser313:
    Personally, for a defenceman I think I like SA/60 more than CORSI as an evaluation tool.

    As a defenceman, it is my job to stop the other team from getting scoring chances.It is not my job to skate through 5 players on the other team to generate positive scoring chances.

    The problem with CORSI arises where you have a D who sucks big time in his own zone, but hey, as long as he can pass the puck to Taylor Hall, his CORSI will be OK.

    As a defenceman, you have a lot of opportunities to reduce shots against your team: 1) pinching at the other team’s blue line; 2) cutting off neutral zone passes (very effective, btw); 3) “standing up” forwards at your blue line; 4) stopping passes/shots out of the corner; and 5) tying up the man in front of the net.Oh, and actually blocking shots.

    However, unless you’re Eric Karlsson, your opportunities to generate shots on net are not nearly as much in your control.

    Of course it’s not perfect.You still have QualComp and zone starts to consider.Here’s an example (assuming I haven’t botched the link):

    http://www.extraskater.com/players/possession?pos=D&sort=sa&type=rate

    You’re right that you can’t use just pure corsi (not CORSI btw, its not an acronym) to evaluate Dmen.

    Everyone is trying to figure out better ways.

    You are wrong in that a positive corsi relies on a Dman being like Karlsson.

    A Dman who can re-gain possession of the puck over in their own zone and make a good first pass have a significant impact on corsi.

    Offence starts with getting the puck back, then exiting your zone with possession, maintaining possession in the neutral zone and gaining the ozone with possession of the puck.

    Stralman is a perfect example of that.

    Tyler gets deeper into it here (its a good read) http://www.mc79hockey.com/2014/06/points-arent-offence/

    You are also correct when you mention that who you are passing to makes a difference. It does.

    Systems also matter a ton.

    Watching the Kinds gain possession in the dzone and then exit the zone with all 5 players within 30 feet of each other was a beautiful thing to behold.

    They are a great team in terms of turning possession into shots.

    Once they get the puck, there is a very good chance the puck is going to get to the ozone with the Kings still owning it.

    Watching the Oilers last year, if the Dmen ever got the puck there was a much better chance of off the glass and out and chase their tails than exiting the zone with possession.

    Steve Burtch from Pension Plan Puppets came up with dcorsi (delta corsi) as a measure.

    I’m not sold on it (mostly because it over-rates 3rd pairing D imo) but its interesting to read:

    This is a reasonable explanation of it and application: http://www.hockeywilderness.com/2014/1/3/5267714/wild-about-numbers-an-introduction-to-dcorsi-with-wild-defencemen

  188. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: O

    In the next 2 weeks MacT can do:

    1) Something really great and propel the team in/close to the playoffs

    2) Something awful and set the team back 5 years

    3) Something mediocre with doesn’t change the team much

    4) Something between 1 & 3

    5) Something between 2 & 3

    I can’t wait to see what happens.

    Most exciting time of the year for Oiler fans!!!

  189. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: In the next 2 weeks MacT can do:

    1) Something really great and propel the team in/close to the playoffs

    2) Something awful and set the team back 5 years

    3) Something mediocre with doesn’t change the team much

    4) Something between 1 & 3

    5) Something between 2 & 3

    I can’t wait to see what happens.

    Most exciting time of the year for Oiler fans!!!

    Just don’t trade No. 3 away for something middling. Get that jack or king, baby.

  190. jb says:

    Keep it up Ricki, your way of evaluating defenseman actually tells us something, unlike corsi. I strongly believe dman affect shot quality more than anything, which then factors greatly into SV%. Dman Corsi should be ignored completely.

  191. PLUGGER says:

    Wow! Quiet Friday in silly season for everybody today? Nikitin will talk to Belov and Thanks, But, NO Thanks. If he does sign, I would guess a rerun of Ference’s deal. So two years of two boat anchor contracts for number 7 defencemen. This is improvements? As much as I would prefer better development, AHL defence is harder to play than structured NHL defence. Let Klefblom play if you are going to over-extend on Nikitin’s and Ference”s. HAPPY FRIDAY!

  192. denny33 says:

    rickithebear,

    Nikitins EVA/60 is better than Doughty and Subban last 3 years.
    1.31 EVGA/60 24.1% inside 20ft jesus!
    Might as well get the best in the League.
    Better Check his Corsi though! LOL!
    ****************************************************
    That is why CBJ scratched him in the playoffs ….

  193. Racki says:

    I heard on the Jason Dreger show that this Nils Niskanen is a pretty good pick up!

  194. rickithebear says:

    borisnikov:
    rickithebear,

    I’m not sure if anyone remembers this, or has looked at it recently, but I came across it last week. It is in regard to d-men and their affect on limiting shot quality. Here is a quote and the link…

    I have to agree in part with Hoser313. There are things like events in the neutral zone that are pretty hard to quantify with current data but we are still comparing a player like Nikitin to his teammates over a 3 year stretch. Corsi or shot differential don’t tell the whole story but give a pretty good barometer.

    His TOI has declined but his results have maintained. His wowy’s show that no one really suffers ill effects (possession wise) when they are with him. It could turn out to be a prudent move by MacT/Howson. That being said, the landing on the Edmonton blueline has proven to be not much of a soft one for 3rd paring guys in recent years.

    So going to the box or perimete is aplayers personal choicecause i see dmen wit inside the box rates of 20-34%.
    a variance of 14% for shot greater than 8.5%.
    That is at least a 40% variance of 5 of shots inside the box.

    WG: BS was unfair.

    The key to measuring the function of any machine iss properly defining the range an instrument is measuring.

    I question those studies range.

    No i don’t quetion it.
    IT IS WRONG!

    i get paid money to point these things out in Industrial plants.

    We see a variance in :
    % of shots from a dmans box area.
    we see a variance in success rate ofshots in a dmans box area.
    we see the numbers to be repeatable over a number of years.
    the good EVGA dmen hve better box numbers.
    We know shot success rate reduces by distance.
    We know acuracy in sport is lost by distance.

    you still want to tell me Dmen do not influence results.

    I look at these studies sited and they all say 40% when the proper range is stated in the conclusion.
    Mine says 40%

    You guys will find this surprising but I have office admin to type up my reports!

  195. Bag of Pucks says:

    The interesting thing about applying corsi to D evaluation too, is it’s completely counter-intuitive to what our eyes tell us.

    If we see D angling off the forward and continually forcing the low percentage shot from distance, we know that’s how it should be done. Conversely, if the forward establishes position in the slot for a high percentage shot, we get the inevitable ‘where the hell was the D on that play?’

    So, corsi be damned, I’ll take the 5 low percentage shots over the 1 five alarm chance against every time. This is where Ricki is really onto something imo. Shot distance (i.e. quality) is HUGE in the evaluation of D.

    Yes, Corsi and the law of averages tell us that the more shots against, the more likely a goal being scored. BUT the reality is, it’s far easier for offenses to achieve shots from distance largely because a defending team is far more willing to concede those types of shots. With this in mind, shot charts should theoretically show a greater proportion of shots from distance. The reason they don’t is rebounds are hard to control, and as we all know, once shots are bouncing around the slot and crease, the O can quickly make a number of shots in succession driving up totals for the short range shots.

    Thus it’s far more important for D to limit shot totals in the high percentage range, and this is where skills like positioning, slot clearance and rebound control play such a critical role in the actual job description.

    It would seem the holy grail would be the infamous ‘chip in puck’ to generate shot quality (by distance, point of origin and speed) data and somehow correlate that to personnel placement, So, now we need a chip in the helmet too!

  196. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    rickithebear: You guys will find this surprising but I have office admin to type up my reports!

    The ONLY thing that would surprise me is if DeadManWhatever is really Ricki’s office admin taking the ‘puter on lexical joy rides in between parsing Ricki’s numbers.

  197. НИНТЕНДО⁶⁴ says:

    Bag of Pucks: . The reason they don’t is rebounds are hard to control, and as we all know, once shots are bouncing around the slot and crease, the O can quickly make a number of shots in succession driving up totals for the short range shots.

    That Bob/Quick thing a while back worked on the idea that a stingy D can let a guy like Quick play out to cut angles down on shots. Everything gets washed out by the time you mix in solo sorties, tic-tac-toe, good and bad rebound and perimeter control. By that point they are all shots and mostly they tell you what zone time would tell you if measured directly.

  198. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: So, corsi be damned, I’ll take the 5 low percentage shots over the 1 five alarm chance against every time. This is where Ricki is really onto something imo.

    If this is a true thing, then what you should see are two things:
    - the team will have a high shot count against, and a low GAA
    - or conversely, the team that gives up these five alarm chances will have a low CA, but a high GAA

    That effect should remain sticky regardless of goalie, because even the best goalies are more likely to give up a goal on a five bell chance than on a low percentage shot.

    You don’t see that. At all. The best teams (like LAK) have a low GAA, a high sv %, and a solid Corsi.

    The teams with a poor Corsi but a low GAA are like TOR last year and COL this year – they aren’t playing good defense and only giving up low percentage shots, what they’re getting is shoddy defense coupled to shockingly good but unsustainable goaltending. They almost always come crashing back to earth.

    As WG has posted a few times – this has been studied to death. It is an urban myth that there exists a cadre of defenders out there that look bad by Corsi but in fact are great defenders/teams that only look bad because they give up a bunch of low percentage shots. Doesn’t exist in the real world.

    Attempts to demonstrate that they do lead to nonsensical statements like ricki’s that Nikitin > Doughty and Subban.

  199. Caramel Obvious says:

    It’s simple statistical fluency. The noise in Ricki’s data swamps the signal. So while he is clearly right that shot quality matters, he is also clearly wrong that you can see this in goals against data

    So the lesson here is interpreting data. If you don’t understand the how noise can swamp signal you aren’t competent to have an opinion on this issue.

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