ETA NURSE

I’ve been thinking about the entry draft and Aaron Ekblad, and whether or not the Oilers should trade up for Ekblad. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s best to stay at No. 3, and take the BPA. I believe the Oilers list is probably:

  1. Aaron Ebklad
  2. Leon Draisaitl
  3. Sam Reinhart

That’s my guess, based on all kinds of things—including an organization that enjoys exciting their audience with some clues along the way. Let’s say the Oildrop end up with the big German (and I’m fine with it) and we spend the rest of the summer listening to “but the didn’t address defense!” from fans and non-fans alike.

At what point do the Oilers reach that  moment where they can safely say ‘we’ve drafted enough, now we just need to be patient and develop them’? Is that time now?

CURRENT DEPTH CHART

  • Martin Marincin-Jeff Petry
  • Oscar Klefbom-Justin Schultz
  • Andrew Ference-????

 

NURSE?!?!

  • SSM GM Kyle Dubas: “People get obsessed with Darnell’s plus/minus (plus-1, down from plus-15 the year prior), but his underlying numbers are excellent. Relative to the competition he plays [against], he does extremely well. Far greater than 50 percent of the time, the puck is not in our end. To me, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. If we’re taking the other team’s best players and forcing them to play in their end and away from the puck, that’s a successful day. The quality of competition he’s faced is higher than anyone else in our league, especially among defencemen.

On the other side of the coin, we have David Staples counting 6 errors in Oklahoma City Barons games, some other anecdotal evidence, and the brains God gave us. I’d like to drill down on this over the summer.

Are you game? I’ll call up Kyle Dubas or anyone you think can help, and I’d like to make this a group project so throw things out, there are no dumb questions (I believe I lead the way in that category).

So, let’s see if we can help this conversation along. If Darnell Nurse comes into camp and shines like a diamond, should he still be sent away? Or is he that rare player who rate at 19? Who were the last players to play NHL minutes on blue at 19? If we were looking for proof of NHL readiness, what would we look for? Who would we call? How would we compare this player against similar players in his own league?

Is it possible? Let’s see how close we can get.

 

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76 Responses to "ETA NURSE"

  1. Rondo says:

    LT,

    Why no Bennett, seems like the Oilers don’t have a player like him, they do have a Reinhart.

    Might find this article interesting

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-predicts-if-an-nhl-coach-will-be-fired-and-whether-it-matters/

  2. Logan91 says:

    Nurse look very good during last pre season, I don’t see how you can send him down again if he comes in even better than last year.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Rondo:
    LT,

    Why no Bennett, seems like the Oilers don’t have a player like him, they do have a Reinhart.

    I have Bennett No. 1 on my list, but I don’t get the sense the Oilers have him that high. My guess is that they value the three C’s at about the same level, and that size wins the day.

    Gregor:When you look at your existing team now, and you look at the teams in the playoffs, how much does size factor into your analysis of the draft?

    MacGregor: I think that size is very important. It’s going to be a factor, but my job is to present to management here is what I think is the best player, who our group thinks is the best player and present that to them. If both players are identically even you are obviously going to take the bigger player.

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/5/30/stu-macgregor-discusses-draft

  4. spoiler says:

    Well, it would be his draft+2 season. I don’t think it is a big stretch for Nurse, although I would prefer he gets half a season in the A next year first (I think he’s ready for that). Unfortunately the A is not an option. Teams need one exemption a piece on this agreement/rule.

    Maybe it’s because I was just looking at the idea, but it seems to me the unsaid question in ETA Nurse stuff is, “should the Oilers trade Klefbom?”

    That is, how much of the future are people willing to give up to make the rebuild go faster? How much should MacT be willing to give up? How much faster do we/they want to go?

    Klefbom for Ehrhoff/Stewart/Schenn/etc?

    .

  5. Rondo says:

    I think Nurse got a good taste of playoff hockey in Oklahoma. Nurse is so dialled in to getting better , I wouldn’t be surprised if he made the Oilers. Since Oilers don’t really have a NHL calibre defense top to bottom , he has a good shot making the team.

  6. Lowetide says:

    spoiler:
    Well, it would be his draft+2 season. I don’t think it is a big stretch for Nurse, although I would prefer he gets half a season in the A next year first (I think he’s ready for that). Unfortunately the A is not an option.Teams need one exemption a piece on this agreement/rule.

    Maybe it’s because I was just looking at the idea, but it seems to me the unsaid question in ETA Nurse stuff is, “should the Oilers trade Klefbom?”

    That is, how much of the future are people willing to give up to make the rebuild go faster?How much should MacT be willing to give up?How much faster do we/they want to go?

    Klefbom for Ehrhoff/Stewart/Schenn/etc?

    .

    I fear it’s Marincin. Wish it were not true, but there are teams who follow advanced stats and there’s the Edmonton Oilers.

  7. cabbiesmacker says:

    I believe the Oilers list is probably:
    Aaron Ebklad
    Leon Draisaitl
    Sam Reinhart

    If that’s close LT then it says a lot about the Oilers scouting/drafting process. Draisaitl doesn’t make the top 3 on many lists I’ve seen. Maybe Button’s only. Consensus is Reinhart – Ekblad – Bennet top 3 depending on team need I suppose. Draisaitl shows as high as 4 and low as 6 – 7 on the lists I’ve seen.

    Staying with the 3 OV it’s likely the Oilers won’t get a shot at Reinhart. If Buff takes Bennet then Oilers get a nice gift in Ekblad. If Oilers take Draisaitl over Ekblad they’re being foolish.

  8. VanOil says:

    I got to see Nurse play his first OKC game in Abbotsford. His skating was elite. He could add a few pounds but I am sure that will come. The big deficit was experience. Experience he will only get playing in higher leagues like the AHL.

    SSM coaching of him is superior than the lack of coaching Yak received and I would be happy to draft more players out of that program but some learning requires better competition. Nurse’s superior skating, size and skill means he can recover from mistakes in Jr. It will also make him look really good in camp as an Oiler. But, in the NHL he will get burned and the Oilers do not have the quality to shelter him, yet. Why waste a protected/cheap contract year on that.

    If the Oilers picked up a player like Fayne that would help but Schultz, Marincin and Kelfbom need shelter too. Petry can only shelter one of them and Ference needs help him self. As good as Nurse will be and as bad as sending him back to Jr will be, he is better off there than the NHL. It is a shame he can not start 1.5 years of AHL conditioning this year maybe he might get away with 1/2 a year in the AHL the year after.

    There is no short cuts or ways around it. The Oilers defense of the future looks good. But it is not coming to the rescue this summer. MacT must add at least one and preferably two top 4 defenders this summer and force the kids to beat them out for jobs over the next 3 years. Kelfbom halfway through this year, Simpson the year after that and a over ripe Nurse on his way to a Calder the year after that.

    An ideal model to follow is LT’s favorite NFL coach comPETEtion Carroll who just had his young star Quarter back win a Superbowl for him; he signed 4 other Quaterbacks this off season, 2 earning more money than the presumed starter. No one gets to start in the show for the Seahawks with out winning the internal competition battle. The Oilers have not had internal competition for a roster spot since the 80′s and it shows.

  9. alex08 says:

    One of the many problems with the oilers development program is players are promoted based on being “NHL ready” rather than if the player accomplished everything he needs to at this level to maximize his potential. When they rush the player and expect them to learn their deficiencies at the NHL level they are set up for failure and fans turn on them. Yakupov shouldn’t be learning to backcheck against the best players in the world; it’s a recipe for failure.

    Oilers would do well to check the ego of these kids and to force them to mature their games outside of the NHL; even if it means the main club struggles (Or management can actually do their jobs and find some NHL veterans).

  10. haters says:

    I think what Klefbom showed us this year is the AHL isn’t the best place for a highly skilled defenseman to develop and grow proper top pairing experience. I’d like to see nurse stay out of the A, and make the call on him in 9 games. Also Nurse>Ferance IMHO

  11. sliderule says:

    Nurse is a terrific athlete.

    If there is such a thing as hockey sense he is short that a bunch.

    I watched a lot of high lites or low lites from ssm and he can make the dumb pass or turnover that even in Junior exposes you.

    He needs elite coaching both at junior level and in pros to maximize his athletic ability.

    I hope that he stays one more year in junior and possible gets a chance to play in WJC.

  12. Loweblow says:

    Nurse had his good points when he played for the Barons, but the bad vastly out weighed the good. Is a great skater, and moves the puck well, but defensively he is severely lacking and the Baron fans would tell you Gernat is a way better option right now. Needs to put on 20-30lbs, was constantly being out muscled and knocked to his ass. Shot needs a lot of work, as does his accuracy, missed 2 wide open nets up close with the Barons. Most of all defensively he sucks, he is not close to being ready. You could rush him and kill what ever potential he has, or wait another year or 2.

    Irresponsible to think Nurse could be a option next season, especially with Gernat, Davidson, and Musil who are clearly better right now. Than there is the fact the Oilers will have Klefbom and Musil with less than a year NHL experience on a questionable D core, disaster waiting to happen if they play Nurse .

  13. justDOit says:

    Loweblow:

    McDavid waiting to happen if they play Nurse .

    FTFY

  14. gogliano says:

    Is not tanking for McDavid just falling prey to the sunk cost fallacy at this point? I mean, we’ve suffered since fall ’06.

    One more year!

  15. justDOit says:

    gogliano:
    Is not tanking for McDavid just falling prey to the sunk cost fallacy at this point?I mean, we’ve suffered since fall ’06.

    One more year!

    Well if that’s the case, fans, mgmt and rookie defenders will all need some of this!

    McDavid. Okay, sure – make it so, and wake me next June.

  16. blainer says:

    I really think Nurse needs to go back to Junior…They may go with him for nine games if he shines at camp and they cannot fill the holes with veterns . Watching him play with OKC showed me he has a ways to go before he’s ready…I think the oilers have seen this also and the result will mean they will work harder to find that Vet that enables them to push him down the depth chart and back to junior.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Loweblow:
    Nurse had his good points when he played for the Barons, but the bad vastly out weighed the good. Is a great skater, and moves the puck well, but defensively he is severely lacking and the Baron fans would tell you Gernat is a way better option right now. Needs to put on 20-30lbs, was constantly being out muscled and knocked to his ass. Shot needs a lot of work, as does his accuracy, missed 2 wide open nets up close with the Barons. Most of all defensively he sucks, he is not close to being ready. You could rush him and kill what ever potential he has, or wait another year or 2.

    Irresponsible to think Nurse could be a option next season, especially with Gernat, Davidson, and Musil who are clearly better rightnow. Than there is the fact the Oilers will have Klefbom and Musil with less than a year NHL experience on a questionable D core, disaster waiting to happen if they play Nurse .

    Nurse in OKC was a very small sample size. I don’t think there’s much to be gained from using that as the ‘level of ability’ instead of the SSM season. He was dominating tough opposition in the OHL, if the SSM GM is to be believed.

    Can he play average AHL opposition at par? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t think his short audition in the AHL at the end of the year (7 games) is an indicator. Kids adapt, as shown by Klefbom’s late season NHL debut, but it does take a few games.

  18. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Are you game? I’ll call up Kyle Dubas or anyone you think can help, and I’d like to make this a group project so throw things out, there are no dumb questions (I believe I lead the way in that category).”

    One thing that might be interesting is seeing if other OHL teams also track adv. stats of some kind (even something as simple as shots for and against) and are willing to discuss games vs. Nurse, even in a very general way.

  19. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Nurse in OKC was a very small sample size. I don’t think there’s much to be gained from using that as the ‘level of ability’ instead of the SSM season. He was dominating tough opposition in the OHL, if the SSM GM is to be believed.
    Can he play average AHL opposition at par? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t think his short audition in the AHL at the end of the year (7 games) is an indicator. Kids adapt, as shown by Klefbom’s late season NHL debut, but it does take a few games

    This, all day this. Was playing with strangers, against strangers, in a strange league. We can’t be basing anything off this sample.

  20. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Let’s say the Oildrop end up with the big German (and I’m fine with it) and we spend the rest of the summer listening to “but the didn’t address defense!” from fans and non-fans alike.
    At what point do the Oilers reach that moment where they can safely say ‘we’ve drafted enough, now we just need to be patient and develop them’? Is that time now?”

    I think the answer is “right now” and I think the names penciled in should be “blank spaces not named Klefbom, Nurse and Ekblad (if they somehow manage to draft him)”

    MacT has to trade or sign free agents to sort out the D right now. And, wait long enough to let those 3 names above pleasantly surprise him after a taking the long development path.

  21. rickithebear says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “Let’s say the Oildrop end up with the big German (and I’m fine with it) and we spend the rest of the summer listening to “but the didn’t address defense!” from fans and non-fans alike.
    At what point do the Oilers reach thatmoment where they can safely say ‘we’ve drafted enough, now we just need to be patient and develop them’? Is that time now?”

    I think the answer is “right now” and I think the names penciled in should be “blank spaces not named Klefbom, Nurse and Ekblad (if they somehow manage to draft him)”

    MacT has to trade or sign free agents to sort out the D right now. And, wait long enough to let those 3 names above pleasantly surprise him after a taking the long development path.

    “Mact end of season presser.

    I will only chase an elite Dman.
    no middling!
    it will be a 3 for 1.

    I will be ok with our current D.”

    Ference-Petry
    Marincin-Schultz
    Klefbom-Nurse.

  22. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    rickithebear: “Mact end of season presser.

    I will only chase an elite Dman.
    no middling!
    it will be a 3 for 1.

    I will be ok with our current D.”

    Ference-Petry
    Marincin-Schultz
    Klefbom-Nurse.

    scary, isn’t it?

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/04/free-agent-defensemen/

    “if we have to go young, we go young”

    that’s why I posed my comment in the normative. MacT should do these things. What he actually does, might be a lot more touch and go.

  23. spoiler says:

    From RLR link above:

    With that said, the top-end grouping is still not as sexy as last year’s star-studded class that included Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov and Valeri Nichushkin. Frankly on pure talent alone, there’s no one this year we would take over any of those four.

    This is the way I look at this draft too. It is meh.

  24. VanOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    MacT has to trade or sign free agents to sort out the D right now. And, wait long enough to let those 3 names above pleasantly surprise him after a taking the long development path.

    Agreed.

    Much as LT is refining his draft list. I have been refining my bench mark for what I would consider a successful fix of the Defense by MacT.

    I think I have settled on a standard, after trying out young player like Griffin Reinhart and Adam Larsson, vets like Campbell and Erhoff and middling talents with promise like Tyler Myers I have settled on the following;

    Kulikov obtained by trading Gagner or my preference the 2015 1st round pick.

    Fayne acquired as a UFA.

    By adding Kulikov and Fayne I am confident the Oilers would be a better team that could at least challenge for a playoff spot. Thus the pick would have a low probability of delivering McDavid.

    I am OK if the only thing done to fix the Top 6 forwards is drafting a Center of the future as long as the defense is fixed to a Kulikov and Fayne standard. The coaching staff is worthy of some change regardless of additions.

  25. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: scary, isn’t it?

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/04/free-agent-defensemen/

    “if we have to go young, we go young”

    that’s why I posed my comment in the normative. MacT should do these things. What he actually does, might be a lot more touch and go.

    I do like that MacT is in search of a top end d-man. I think that will go a long way. Like you though, if he comes away empty handed in that area, I don’t really want him to pass on some of the more bargain players out there. I don’t see going with Klefbom/Marincin as the top LHD as a good idea at all. He’ll have to find some guys that can fill the team out. I’d also target Nikita Nikitin as a 2nd LHD. Ideally, you push Klefbom and Marincin as far away as you can and let them fight to get on the team.

    James Wisniewski would be one high end guy I’d look at. The BJ’s might not be dying to give him up, but I’d still give them a call and see what it would take.

    Matt Niskanen is going to get a heck of a pay cheque. That might be another good point of interest for the Oilers, but I fear the amount of money he’d cost to come here.

    Christian Ehrhoff has always been a target of mine too. Heck of a value contract. His corsi stinks, but I believe his Corsi Rel is good because the whole D corps there is terrible. Perhaps D corpse is a better word. Tyler Myers still an option… gets crap zone starts, high competition.. escaping with a positive Corsi rel.

    I really like the suggestion of Justin Faulk.

    I know there’s concerns about his ability to play without Timonen, but Coburn is still somewhat of a fave of mine. Speaking of Timonen, he’s also a UFA. Sure, he’s old as Pat Quinn’s pubes, but for a year he might really bring a heck of a lot of experience to this group. Plus if he really had that big of an impact on Coburn…. Thing there though is he is no longer a high minute d-man, so he would be maybe a 3rd pairing guy now.

    Keith Yandle’s name has been mentioned in rumors in the past year and a bit.. he’d check off the high-end D checkbox.

    Dmitri Kulikov is still a guy worth talking about that Tallon could part with.

    I hope these guys pay some attention to the musing of the blog world.

    That’s all I’ve got for now!

  26. FastOil says:

    Lowetide: I fear it’s Marincin. Wish it were not true, but there are teams who follow advanced stats and there’s the Edmonton Oilers.

    The Oilers follow advanced stats. Whether they listen or not, or that Darkhorse or whatever are humble enough to do hockey analytics properly are a completely different story. I think they think they know better, Oilers and darkhorse, despite quite indisputable and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

  27. Rod from Viking says:

    Lowetide, I believe Nurse can go to the AHL after his birthday in February, I don’t know how fair it would be to SSM but what if he stayed in Junior and played at the WJHC and then went to OKC when eligible,
    start the next season down there as well and see how it goes. I would really like 2 or 3 veteran d-men brought in this summer and one of the young defense prospects traded in a package to bring in a second line center, this would allow the proper development of the future defense.

  28. Lowetide says:

    FastOil: The Oilers follow advanced stats. Whether they listen or not, or that Darkhorse or whatever are humble enough to do hockey analytics properly are a completely different story. I think they think they know better, Oilers and darkhorse, despite quite indisputable and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    No.. They have ACCESS to advanced stats, but they traded for Mark Fraser and are now apparently off to hire Derek Engelland or Matt Greene. Talk the talk, walk the walk.

  29. FastOil says:

    Next year’s draft is a deep one. The only way I trade a 2015 first round is for a swap with a worse team, prospects few obviously. I’d love for Mact T get one of Buffalo’s 2. A true artist would operate on several levels at once.

    Do a job signing UFA’s and get in position for a very high end player next draft. There is never a year when draft success isn’t necessary, unless the pick is dealt for quality now.

    Some of the draft booty acquired needs to be used as trade chips or don’t draft BPA, draft for need. A good team can tell the good from the lesser more often than not.

  30. Old School G says:

    Ok; here goes.

    The scenario is MacT calling GM X on Draft Day right after the #2 selection is announced. GM X has an aging core group of players he needs to address and really wants Reinhart. Bennett and Ekblad went one-two. MacT knows about Reinhart because in the wee hours prior to the draft he and GM X worked up something that looks like the below on a pub napkin.

    1st Round #3 (Reinhart) + Sammy G + Future Very Good D Man (Klefbom or Marincin, let me know tomorrow)

    FOR

    1st Round (#15?) + Aging Forward that can play effective 2/3 line minutes + Sub-25 Year Old D Man, showing promise but with some questions

    #3 is why GM X bought the whiskeys.
    Gagner will rebound and be really good for years in a supporting role, this will sting. Klefbom or Marincin need to be part of the deal if they’re taking Gagner. This will also sting, as early as this upcoming season. So we swing the deal, it’s a stinger, we take a less attractive but still really good player later in the 1st Round. We gain an aging, effective, veteran forward that still has some game and will mentor the younger guys. We take a chance on a semi-proven D man that may or may not be as good as Klefbom or Marincin…

  31. Racki says:

    Rod from Viking:
    Lowetide, I believe Nurse can go to the AHL after his birthday in February, I don’t know how fair it would be to SSM but what if he stayed in Junior and played at the WJHC and then went to OKCwhen eligible,
    start the next season down there as well and see how it goes. I would really like 2 or 3 veteran d-men brought in this summer and one ofthe young defense prospects traded in a package to bring in a second line center, this would allow the proper development of the future defense.

    Pretty sure that the rule is you have to be 20 by December 31 of the the starting game year (i.e. December 31, 2014 in this case) or you can not play in the AHL for the entire year (or alternatively, have 4 years of junior experience, but that will be uncommon before 20.. I think that means you’d need exceptional status??).

  32. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    VanOil: Agreed.

    Much as LT is refining his draft list. I have been refining my bench mark for what I would consider a successful fix of the Defense by MacT.

    I think I have settled on a standard, after trying out young player like Griffin Reinhart and Adam Larsson, vets like Campbell and Erhoff and middling talents with promise like Tyler Myers I have settled on the following;

    Kulikov obtained by trading Gagner or my preference the 2015 1st round pick.

    Fayne acquired as a UFA.

    By adding Kulikov and Fayne I am confident the Oilers would be a better team that could at least challenge for a playoff spot. Thus the pick would have a low probability of delivering McDavid.

    I am OK if the only thing done to fix the Top 6 forwards is drafting a Center of the future as long as the defense is fixed to a Kulikov and Fayne standard. The coaching staff is worthy of some change regardless of additions.

    Kulikov and Fayne would be very, very nice. And, I think that’s the kind of target that is actually achievable.

    Getting a stud like Ehrhoff would, of course, be even better (plus one of those two mentioned).

  33. FastOil says:

    Lowetide: No.. They have ACCESS to advanced stats, but they traded for Mark Fraser and are now apparently off to hire Derek Engelland or Matt Greene. Talk the talk, walk the walk.

    I think we are saying the same thing.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Old School G:
    Ok; here goes.

    The scenario is MacT calling GM X on Draft Day right after the #2 selection is announced. GM X has an aging core group of players he needs to address and really wants Reinhart. Bennett and Ekblad went one-two. MacT knows about Reinhart because in the wee hours prior to the draft he and GM X worked up something that looks like the below on a pub napkin.

    1st Round #3 (Reinhart) + Sammy G + Future Very Good D Man (Klefbom or Marincin, let me know tomorrow)

    FOR

    1st Round (#15?) + Aging Forward that can play effective 2/3 line minutes + Sub-25 Year Old D Man, showing promise but with some questions

    #3 is why GM X bought the whiskeys.
    Gagner will rebound and be really good for years in a supporting role, this will sting. Klefbom or Marincin need to be part of the deal if they’re taking Gagner. This will also sting, as early as this upcoming season. So we swing the deal, it’s a stinger, we take a less attractive but still really good player later in the 1st Round. We gain an aging, effective, veteran forward that still has some game and will mentor the younger guys. We take a chance on a semi-proven D man that may or may not be as good as Klefbom or Marincin…

    Makes sense! What’s the defenseman’s name?? This is killing me!!!

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler:
    From RLR link above:

    With that said, the top-end grouping is still not as sexy as last year’s star-studded class that included Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov and Valeri Nichushkin. Frankly on pure talent alone, there’s no one this year we would take over any of those four.

    This is the way I look at this draft too. It is meh.

    what’s interesting about this is that by GD’s NHLE the top 3 centers actually don’t look so bad compared to the top end forwards from last year.

    here’s a partial list:

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/5/28/is-leon-draisaitl-nhl-ready

    Jonathan Drouin, Halifax (QMJHL) 19-30-49
    Sam Reinhart Kootenay (WHL) 15-28-43
    Sasha Barkov, Tappere Tampere (SM-Liiga) 18-22-40
    Leon Draisaitl, Prince Albert (WHL) 15-25-40
    Elias Lindholm, Brynas (SEL) 15-25-40
    Nathan MacKinnon, Halifax (QMJHL) 17-22-39
    Sam Bennett, Kingston (OHL) 16-23-39

    LT posted a more thorough version somewhere’s… can’t find it.

    (caveats: this is GD’s .3 for all CHL; not Vollman’s .3 for OHL; .26 for WHL/Q; this is absent other info, like range of skills, etc.)

    but, by this measure, at least, this year’s group doesn’t look so far from last year’s.

  36. Racki says:

    15th is Detroit.. so I’ll take a stab and guess Brendan Smith!

  37. Racki says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: what’s interesting about this is that by GD’s NHLE the top 3 centers actually don’t look so bad compared to the top end forwards from last year.

    here’s a partial list:

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/5/28/is-leon-draisaitl-nhl-ready

    LT posted a more thorough version somewhere’s… can’t find it.

    This one?

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/05/nhles-for-1st-rd-prospects-2014-draft.html

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Racki,

    I like that he’s targeting “high end”… I worry that his definition of high end is “Brooks Orpik” and I worry that he is prepared to ignore perfectly reasonable options in search of a white whale.

    Last year Ron Hainsey and Tom Gilbert would have made a damn fine, serviceable first pair for the money spent on Ryan Jones and Grebs.

    ——–
    I don’t think Nikitin is going to help.

    he was a curio when I thought Belov might stay (they played together in the K and at the worlds), but his play has declined. I hope Howson took note.

  39. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Racki: This one?

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/05/nhles-for-1st-rd-prospects-2014-draft.html

    no.

    it was a comment I believe, not sure what post. I asked about a blended 2013 and 2014 list and he obliged. now I can’t find it.

    IIRC I was bickering about how much better Barkov is than Monahan at the time.

  40. Lowetide says:

    FastOil: I think we are saying the same thing.

    Yes, agreed.

  41. FastOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Kulikov and Fayne would be very, very nice. And, I think that’s the kind of target that is actually achievable.

    Getting a stud like Ehrhoff would, of course, be even better (plus one of those two mentioned).

    Corsi does not tell the whole story. The inventor of said stat insisted on context of usage and other indicators. Erhoff turns 32 this year and is signed till 2021. A bad investment unless a steal. Kulikov according to Dellow’s look is not what the Oilers need. He’s below his team in CorsiRel.

    The Oilers need mobile, able to pass D that can keep position. Limiting high proof chances and stable goalies are what win over time between quality teams.

  42. VanOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Kulikov and Fayne would be very, very nice. And, I think that’s the kind of target that is actually achievable.

    Getting a stud like Ehrhoff would, of course, be even better (plus one of those two mentioned).

    Agreed. I would love to add Erhoff. I just wanted to place a line in the sand to measure actual performance against. Kulikov and Fayne is achievable and would be very good, over achieving with Campbell and Erhoff would have me dreaming of a Cup run.

  43. Hammers says:

    Lowetide: Nurse in OKC was a very small sample size. I don’t think there’s much to be gained from using that as the ‘level of ability’ instead of the SSM season. He was dominating tough opposition in the OHL, if the SSM GM is to be believed. Can he play average AHL opposition at par? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t think his short audition in the AHL at the end of the year (7 games) is an indicator. Kids adapt, as shown by Klefbom’s late season NHL debut, but it does take a few games.

    There is a difference . Klefbom is older plus played against men in Sweden before coming to the AHL . It wasn’t just Staples who gave Nurse some bad marks in his 7 games . I’m not even sure he should get his 9 games unless he really shines in training camp .Most of us say the “D” take longer and Nurse is the perfect example . Hell Klefbom is close but should go back to the AHL for half a season, similar to Marincin before his call up . The problem is who can McT get for a short span say 2 years . Answer a 35 -36 year old on downward side . Boyle 37 or Markov 35 If he goes after Nikitan 27 or Fayne 27 you will be at $ 5 or 6 mill X 6 or 7 years . P.S do you think McT goes after Santorelli from Van ,his UFA ..

  44. Old School G says:

    Lowetide,

    MacT slides the napkin back to Kenny Holland and gives him the names Smith or Kindl to ponder prior to his call after the #2 pick. He scratched out the sub-25 and wrote sub-30.

    At #15 we select Alex Tuch, according to your ranking, power forward with enough skill to play on a scoring line. I like how it all works so far!

    Is the time right to ask about Franzen?

  45. spoiler says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Kulikov and Fayne would be very, very nice. And, I think that’s the kind of target that is actually achievable.

    Nah. Kulikov was brought into the NHL straight after he was drafted. He’s been ruined by Florida.
    ;-)

    Romulus Apotheosis: but, by this measure, at least, this year’s group doesn’t look so far from last year’s.

    Sure. Don’t know by what measure we are saying near or far, but I still think every one of those players last year is likely better than anyone in the top 4 this year. KW is including Nichushkin too. There’s a very good chance none of the players at the top of this draft will be 1st liners. I think Reinhart and Ekblad have the best chance and Nylander has an outside shot at it. Reinhart at wing though. Still, pretty weakass.

    Mackinnon is blowing his projection out of the water. Like Tavares it now looks like he flattened out due to “running in place”. Ennui. NHLE doesn’t tell us this. It also doesn’t tell us about nagging injuries or personal life issues or bad environments. It doesn’t tell us about scoring that adapts or scoring that won’t adapt. And we don’t have shooting percentage data.

    The thing about NHLE is that it is more of a range than a single number. I do think of it as more or less centred on the numbers it chunks out. The middle spot on a bell curve. That’s why I can’t get too excited about 1 or 2 point differences in prospect NHLEs.

  46. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    FastOil: Corsi does not tell the whole story. The inventor of said stat insisted on context of usage and other indicators. Erhoff turns 32 this year and is signed till 2021. A bad investment unless a steal. Kulikov according to Dellow’s look is not what the Oilers need. He’s below his team in CorsiRel.

    The Oilers need mobile, able to pass D that can keep position. Limiting high proof chances and stable goalies are what win over time between quality teams.

    I didn’t mention corsi, nor did I imply it should be taken without context.

    Ehrhoff is still playing fine by a number of indicators. he’s signed long term, but at very reasonable money for what he is. And, he’s likely to retire before his contract expires (for which the Sabres will be on the hook for cap recapture).

    ———–
    I don’t think MC79′s kulikov graph paints as stark an image as you suggest:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/2014/05/corsirel-and-famous-defenceman-requests/

    what it shows is he starts a big drop in 2011 and slowly starts to rebound up to present 2013-14

  47. hoser313 says:

    Well, this is a major issue. The kid needs to make his mistakes somewhere.

    If MacT doesn’t sign another FA defenceman of at least a Ladi Smid caliber (see what I did there), there is every chance Nurse makes the team out of training camp.

    I do not see the Oilers sending Nurse back to junior if he plays noticeably better than a lot of the current D. I see Petry, Marincin, Ference as the pretty clear 1, 2 and 3 (on this roster). I would expect Klefbom, Nurse and Schultz (in what order I don’t know) to be the 4-6 and to put in a better showing than Fraser, Fedun and the current other Ds.

    Maybe Fedun plays lights out and makes the team out of training camp. That might be the best result for everyone.

    I’m not as worried about Marincin being traded as some of you are. Eakins wouldn’t be calling in favours to Chara to take care of Marincin if the Oilers brass didn’t think highly of Marincin.

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    well… I can’t post the Kulikov stuff…

    look at florida 2011-12 (K’s 21 year old season)

    CorsiRel: -1.5% on a 49.5%CF team

    WOWY:

    most of season with Weaver (c. 130 minutes with Campbell). big difference depending on who he plays with:

    K with W: 47.2
    K w/o W: 50.3
    W w/o K: 45.7

  49. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    This comment?
    Sorry I don’t know how to link to the comment itself but…
    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/05/entry-draft-14-oilers-and-the-qmjhl.html#comments

    P.S. I agree with you. This draft may not be as strong as last year or next year, but I think it the top 15 is being underrated by the media, at least by the only measures I can use (NHL equivalencies). I haven’t seen all the projected first rounders play.

    DESJARDINS’ NHL Equivalencies for 12-13 Forwards
    Jonathan Drouin, Halifax (QMJHL) 19-30-49
    Sasha Barkov, Tappere Tampere (SM-Liiga) 18-22-40
    Elias Lindholm, Brynas (SEL) 15-25-40
    Nathan MacKinnon, Halifax (QMJHL) 17-22-39
    Max Domi, London (OHL) 15-18-33
    Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat (WHL) 14-19-33
    Sean Monahan, Ottawa (OHL) 13-20-33
    Anthony Mantha, Val d’or (QMJHL) 17-13-30
    Valeri Nichushkin, Chelyabinsk Traktor (KHL) 20-10-30
    Adam Erne, Quebec (QMJHL) 9-15-24
    2014 DRAFT ELIGIBILES NHL EQUIVALENCIES (per 82gp)
    Sam Reinhart (WHL) 15-28-43
    Kevin Fiala (SHL) 11-30-41
    Leon Draisaitl (WHL) 15-25-40
    Sam Bennett (OHL) 16-23-39
    Nikolaj Ehlers (QMJHL) 18-20-38
    Robby Fabri (OHL) 19-18-37
    Michael Dal Colle (OHL) 14-21-35
    Nikolai Goldobin (OHL) 14-21-35
    Sonny Milano (USHL) 12-23-35
    Ivan Barbashev (QMJHL) 12-21-33

  50. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    2012-13

    CorsiRel +1.2% on a 49.1% CF team

    again Weaver:

    K with W: 51.3
    K w/o W: 49.4
    W w/o K: 45.4

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    2013-14

    CorsiRel +0.3% on a 50.9% CF team

    WOWY

    again Weaver most common partner

    K with W: 52.2
    K w/o W: 50.2
    W w/o K: 45.2

    ———-
    lots of other factors too… but I don’t think MC79s graph shows Kulikov bad. I think it shows a young player, playing with a vet, who he was rather quickly supplanting.

  52. nycoil says:

    LT,
    Sir, love the idea of your calling Mr. Dubas. I mentioned that in the comments section of one of your other posts a few weeks back that I think he would be a great interview on your show and would love to hear you interview him. Just to pick his brain in terms of what kind of advanced stats they use (without giving away trade secrets), for one thing.

    I’d be curious to know if you do call him:
    1) Did Oilers management (MacT) call him to speak with him prior to drafting Nurse? Just want to know if the Edmonton brass is making use of every resource out there.
    2) Did they happen to track Nurse’s WOWY numbers ? Is he driving the bus for others around him?
    3) Do they have his average TOI–by discipline if possible, but if not, at least a total? I wish the CHL provided that info but as they don’t, maybe he can at least give us an approximate, and that would help our context.

    Thanks for the great work as always!

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nycoil,

    yep! thanks. that’s the one.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/05/entry-draft-14-oilers-and-the-qmjhl.html/comment-page-1#comment-316390

    if you want to post a comment as a link, click the timestamp right under the poster’s name on any comment and you’ll get a url you can cut/paste.

  54. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    spoiler:

    Sure. Don’t know by what measure we are saying near or far, but I still think every one of those players last year is likely better than anyone in the top 4 this year. KW is including Nichushkin too. There’s a very good chance none of the players at the top of this draft will be 1st liners. I think Reinhart and Ekblad have the best chance and Nylander has an outside shot at it. Reinhart at wing though. Still, pretty weakass.

    Mackinnon is blowing his projection out of the water.Like Tavares it now looks like he flattened out due to “running in place”. Ennui.NHLE doesn’t tell us this. It also doesn’t tell us about nagging injuries or personal life issues or bad environments.It doesn’t tell us about scoring that adapts or scoring that won’t adapt.And we don’t have shooting percentage data.

    The thing about NHLE is that it is more of a range than a single number.I do think of it as more or less centred on the numbers it chunks out. The middle spot on a bell curve.That’s why I can’t get too excited about 1 or 2 point differences in prospect NHLEs.

    VN was run through the NHLEs as well. he shows up well below many of this year’s group.

    I have no idea how these players will shake out for their careers. And, I’m not denying anyone’s expertise here. Merely noting, by this one measure at least, this year’s crop looks fine vs. last year’s.

  55. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Cheers, will do that in the future! Read your “Burkian Vision” today. Gave me a chuckle. I could see Burke preferring a guy like Virtanen or Dal Colle over Bennett, and if that’s what he does, I’ll sleep a little easier provided the Isles get Bennett and not the Nucks.

    P.S. Burke’s hair is starting to creep me out as much as Donald Trump’s!

  56. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    nycoil:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Cheers, will do that in the future! Read your “Burkian Vision” today. Gave me a chuckle. I could see Burke preferring a guy like Virtanen or Dal Colle over Bennett, and if that’s what he does, I’ll sleep a little easier provided the Isles get Bennett and not the Nucks.

    P.S.Burke’s hair is starting to creep me out as much as Donald Trump’s!

    Haha. thanks for reading!

    I have a marked preference for Centers.

    That said, I don’t think Dal Colle would be a reach at 4. And, I’m sure given enough rope I could argue Virtanen’s EV Goals make him worthy of being picked at 4 (my heart wouldn’t be in it, but I could argue it)

    the post was mostly tongue in cheek about how narratives form around players and how attachments get made for a variety of non-empircal reasons.

    Burke loves the idea of boiling a player down to some character trait expressed in the form of a representative story, typically concerning a non-hockey related event.

    I could see him in 15 years telling the press about that time Virtanen tied his tie with his one good arm, even though they were told just to wear golf shirts.

    He was impressed.

  57. G Money says:

    - In addition to the small sample warning on Nurse in the AHL, let us also bear in mind that the kid went straight from Jr to playing in the final 4 games of a desperate playoff race, then three more games IN THE PLAYOFFS against one of the best teams in the AHL (currently one win from being in the Calder Cup finals).

    Every opponent he faced was at the top of their game at the end of the AHL season, adapted to the stress, and was playing at 100% effort every night. Hardly the scenario to expect a guy fresh from Jr to shine.

    Let’s see how he does when he’s in training camp with and against players starting at the same level of preparation as he is before we conclude anything about him.

    I’d still like to see him get his nine games then go down for another season of Jr development, but he may play himself a la Marincin onto the roster too.

    - Re: the Oilers, #fancystats, and Fraser. The hiring of the latter does not necessarily invalidate use of the middle by the former. For some reason, “grit” and “facepunching” seem to be one of those things that smart teams seem otherwise willing to overlook everything they know.

    Exhibit #1: The San Jose Sharks traded for Mike Brown. The San Jose Sharks seem to know a thing or two about possession hockey. (except in the playoffs)

    Counter-example #1: The Oilers traded for David Perron, citing “fancy stats” indicating they were getting a better player.

    Therefore … the existence of Luke Gazdic and Mark Fraser on the Oilers roster is not a good sign, but by does not by itself invalidate the possession player decision making process of the Oilers.

  58. G Money says:

    On a vaguely related note, I am of the opinion that the single best thing the Oilers can do for next year is to add two NHL level UFA defensemen. This would in turn also allow the Oilers to keep Nurse in Jr and Klefbom in the AHL, and also take some pressure off Petry and Marincin every night.

    The top of list for me have been Niskanen and Fayne, based on a combo of boxcars, seen him good, age, projection, and some light fancystats. (*** note – others have reached similar conclusions on these two, not claiming this is an original conclusion or rocket science by any means!)

    Dellow has a nice little chart showing why getting Niskanen might be a very good thing:
    http://www.mc79hockey.com/2014/05/corsirel-and-famous-defenceman-requests/
    (just before Smid)

    I’m not entirely in agreement with his methodology, but the results make sense – especially in light of how bad the other defensemen on the Penguins look (which is fair I think).

    I replicated his work for Fayne to see how he looks when using the same methodology (had to use FF% instead of CF% but the results should be very close), and it certainly confirms that Fayne should also at least be near the top of the Oiler wish list:
    http://i.imgur.com/CftIr8R.png

    (the other stat of importance: 215 and 200, as in lbs – immediately making the two of them the largest two of the Top 4 D on the Oil by quite a margin, and bringing the Oiler Top 4 D at least in spitting distance of size of mid-size teams like the Hawks).

  59. Bank Shot says:

    The only rational way to go is to keep Nurse in juniors for another year.

    The best case scenario would be that Nurse plays decent in the NHL and gets some experience. The worst case is that he plays poorly and it costs the Oilers points in the standings and possibly hurts his development.

    The reward really isn’t worth the risk IMO. I’d rather see the Oilers overpay for a proven commodity.

    Oilers are not anywhere near risk averse enough. They gamble.away way too many seasons chasing poor bets. Hopefully Mact can actually learn.

  60. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Bank Shot:
    The only rational way to go is to keep Nurse in juniors for another year.

    The best case scenario would be that Nurse plays decent in the NHL and gets some experience. The worst case is that he plays poorly and it costs the Oilers points in the standings and possibly hurts his development.

    The reward really isn’t worth the risk IMO. I’d rather see the Oilers overpay for a proven commodity.

    Oilers are not anywhere near risk averse enough. They gamble.away way too many seasons chasing poor bets. Hopefully Mact can actually learn.

    This, this, a thousand times this.

    Same goes for whomever we draft this year (let’s say Draisaitl). It doesn’t matter how he does in training camp, the team benefits by sending him to Junior. We fill that hole with the best UFA we can find, so that next year we’ve got an abundance of talent… what a wonderful problem that would be to have. Who knows, maybe we will have tradeable assets in a year or two that we can ship off to make room for kids who are actually ready to play at the NHL level.

  61. Racki says:

    I’m not good with the fancy stats, because I’ve been slow to adopt them… but aren’t Mark Fraser’s fancy stats … uhm… satisfactory? Not superb, but not bad either. Maybe the Oilers were going with what they thought was a safe defenseman?

    He had decent minutes in Tor last year (almost 15/gp), had terrible zone starts and was in the blue for Corsi Rel. Basically the entire team had terrible Corsis, but he was in the positive end relative. Plus, obviously he’s a lot easier to acquire than most guys out there.

    Now, again, my understanding of the fancy stats is still quite weak,and my interpretation probably sucks.. but maybe the Oilers came to that conclusion based on info above. I don’t think they had him figured for anything more than a depth guy.. 6th/7th man, who provides toughness. Not a fan of Fraser, just trying to justify it a bit and say that the fancy stats looked to be involved a bit??

    .. or were there other fancy stats that showed he sucked? .. or you guys are approaching it from the view that there were players with much better fancy stats they should have signed?

  62. Psyche says:

    From what I understand, regarding Bennett and the lack of a pull-up:
    At the Combine, for the pull-up test, athletes start from a dead hang on the bar and begin their pull-up(s) once the they hear the beep. The problem with Bennett is that he did a kicking motion on his initial try – which is improper form. Supposedly they only get one chance. So now Bennett is hanging there after burning a bunch of energy with loads of onlookers. He then tried to do the pull-up from a dead hang (no legs) and couldn’t. Then he stopped.

    The question, if what I understand is true, is: why Bennett didn’t understand that he couldn’t use his legs on the pull-up? Was he the first to test? Also, it is possible his strength trainer taught him pull-ups with the kicking motion (as CrossFit folks call it – a kipping pull-up)?

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Racki,

    Toronto is such a weirdly bad team that it can make things look better/worse from afar.

    http://www.extraskater.com/player/591/mark-fraser

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/toronto-maple-leafs/2012

    he was +1.1% (rel) on a 44.1%

    now… you’re thinking two thoughts… how hard is it to look good on such a bad team? and, still… if he’s outperforming them, isn’t that a good thing?

    the real tell, though, is the WOWY.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=1217&withagainst=true&season=2012-13&sit=5v5

    Franson helped him a touch… and his forwards were all the good ones.

  64. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    it’s possible the Oilers, all the same, were looking at Fraser’s adv. stats somewhat.

    If I were, and I was looking for something nice, I’d look hard at that 2010-11 season in NJD:

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67&ds=1&f3=MARKFRASER&f1=2013_s+2012_s+2012_p+2011_s+2010_s+2009_s+2009_p

    ————
    At any rate, the full story is this:

    1. the pro scouts didn’t in the end find something worthwhile.
    2. management didn’t spend anything much on giving him a test ride.
    3. the acquisition, all the same, and the subsequent verbal suggest MacT is still interested in this kind of player and the run of Peckham, Fistric and Fraser represents various attempts by the team to find a permanent solution to the itch.
    4. so far, MacT hasn’t done anything permanent about this. if/when he signs Engelland or Greene for 2 years, we’ll know a lot more about it. there’s big difference btw test driving Fraser at the back end of a wasted season and signing him (or equivalent) in the lead up to a fresh charge over the hill.

  65. slopitch says:

    Bank Shot:
    The only rational way to go is to keep Nurse in juniors for another year.

    The best case scenario would be that Nurse plays decent in the NHL and gets some experience. The worst case is that he plays poorly and it costs the Oilers points in the standings and possibly hurts his development.

    The reward really isn’t worth the risk IMO. I’d rather see the Oilers overpay for a proven commodity.

    Oilers are not anywhere near risk averse enough. They gamble.away way too many seasons chasing poor bets. Hopefully Mact can actually learn.

    I’m with Ca$h-Money. This 1000 times.

  66. rickithebear says:

    Two Statements:
    They both leave the same Question.

    “it is raining.”
    “Player X corsi is X.”
    Why?

  67. rickithebear says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: “if we have to go young, we go young”

    Ference-Petry
    Marincin-Schultz
    Klefbom-Nurse

    Does not scare me as much as the Forwards we had Against Buf in our loss in Edmonton.

    Hall-Gagner-Perron
    Lander-RNH-Pitlick
    Gazdic-Smyth-JOnes
    Hendricks-Gordon-Larsen

    7 4th line forwards and a Off Dman in our Bottom 9.

  68. Darkrainz says:

    I would send Nurse back to Juniors for one more year. Once they do that I’d say do the following:

    - Trade Gagner to Florida for a 2nd and rights to Kulikov.
    - Try and sign Stralman from the Rangers as he is a UFA this summer. These two alone shores up the defensive depth needed for Edmonton next year.

    Schultz – Kulikov
    Petry – Stralman
    Ference – Marinicin

    - Then I’d put a offer sheet in for Kreider – it might cost us 3 draft picks in 2015 so what it adds the size and skill needed on a 2nd line.
    - Then try and sign Statsny for our 2nd line centre.

    Hall – Hopkins – Eberle
    Kreider – Statsny – Yakupov
    Perron – Lander – Pitlick
    Hendricks – Gordon – Arcobello

  69. nycoil says:

    Darkrainz,

    Where’s the part where MacT drugs Tallon before making that trade? Gagner for Kulikov and a 2nd? Wow. Some blackmail pictures out there we must not know about.

  70. Darkrainz says:

    nycoil,

    Florida will not be resigning Kulikov as the GM does not like the players mindset. If Florida doesn’t sign him he goes to the KHL for nothing. In my scenario Florida gets Gagner for a 2nd and Kulikov becomes the Oilers problem to sign.

  71. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Darkrainz:
    nycoil,

    Florida will not be resigning Kulikov as the GM does not like the players mindset. If Florida doesn’t sign him he goes to the KHL for nothing. In my scenario Florida gets Gagner for a 2nd and Kulikov becomes the Oilers problem to sign.

    I don’t know if it would cost that much.

    and, I’d guess the trade might have a conditional pick (conditional on signing the player).

  72. Deadman Waiting says:

    I’ve decided I don’t believe in the Detroit model, or at least not the whole of the bliss-wagon that this phrase is normally used to evoke: slow and steady and straight-line; a stately ripening on the vine from green, to yellow, to orange, to ruby red.

    What happens when you jump a prospect over a gently simmering cauldron is that certain types of errors become expensive, so the prospect shies away from fast-tracking certain skill sets. But there is an exactly converse problem to set against this: Nurse’s physical game battling for the puck in the corners might best develop by throwing him in against the wolves, where he gets away with nothing at all. Hard to develop a habit that doesn’t translate when you get away with nothing at all.

    If we give Nurse forty games in the NHL at a young age, that would set a solid foundation for his battle level. Some other aspect of his development might take a back seat for a while; even if he jumps into the play from time to time, he might not be able to do with often enough at the NHL level to reach his full potential in this area, whether the potential is poor, modest, or dynamic (the investment to develop a stay-at-home defenseman who pounds in the odd goal in 2OT pays for itself in gold bullion).

    Suppose Nurse spends forty games in the NHL to develop his compete level, then the team decides he needs to return to the AHL to work on his positioning and ability to jump into the play.

    What happens here is that the narrative goes screwy. Because loss aversion.

    It looks like the player is going backward. It looks like the player is damaged goods. It looks like yet another triumph of hope over experience. It looks like another triumph of incompetence feeling its way forward over experience taking the prudent route.

    It is well established that the human brain is asymmetric in how it processes positive and negative news. For every snark at your domestic partner, there needs to be six compliments or conciliatory coos just to regain par. When couples are observed either by hidden cameras—or cameras that have been around for so long they’ve forgotten about it—if more than one interaction in six scores as negative, the likelihood is that the cotter pin’s locking clip fell away and went for a tumble half-way through a Tim Horton’s loyalty card you’ve long since redeemed; all that remains to set your hitch back down on the ball after the next pothole impact is the flexible plastic restraining clip on the brake-light wiring harness.

    It’s certainly possible to mess a prospect up by filling his head full of too many things, to the point where even his plus skills are back on his heals. Yet the messaging with Nurse strikes me as being about as easy as it ever gets: stay above the puck, when the puck enters your zone, contest possession like a raw-boned wet-eared Tasmanian devil seconded to train with the Navy SEALs.

    Once he settles into his future groove in the man strength department, send him back down for a stretch to perfect his mobility game. I just don’t see anything wrong with this as a conscious coaching decision, with appropriate messaging up front—at least not until loss aversion gains control of the conversation under cover of endorsing the Detroit model.

    Loss aversion is an interesting thing. It’s such a fixed feature of human psychology that we’ve developed a companion reflex, loss aversion vulturehood.

    Every petty tyrant in training is acutely sensitive to the social dynamics of loss aversion, because that’s when it’s easiest to jump into the conversation to whip up a shit storm of malcontents.

    When researchers looked at college students who enjoyed good professors vs those who suffered with bad professors, the lucky students played the role of the hare and the unlucky students played the role of the tortoise. When the time came around for the follow-up study, the tortoises had clearly taken the lead. Clearly becoming flustered is bad, but it’s hard to find a study which shows that a competent person enduring protracted adversity on the way to eventual success comes out any the worse for wear; what results we do have tend to suggest the opposite.

    It’s by no means necessary to become flustered just because you’re in over your head. Flustered is what happens when you’re in over your head while being evaluated against conflicted metrics.

    With Nurse, 80% of his success metric needs to center around his maintaining a Bermuda crescent of extreme truculence between his post, his corner, and the high slot on just one side of the ice. If he does just that much, good game Darnell. Of course, you still bang him over the head with the game tape when he loses his positioning or fumbles the zone exit. If he can also manage to work out those bugs while maintaining his Bermuda crescent, then he might not even need a return trip to the waiting-for-coffee league. He can choose to work toward that too, but only while he’s succeeding at job one.

    What moron is going to sit around counting corgis if a raw-boned 19-year-old kid is successfully patrolling a power-forward no-fly zone for twelve minutes a game?

    I think this sentiment underlies the MacT–Eakins messaging love-fest public perception disconnect. But enough said. I don’t feel like throwing myself on top of that grenade just at the moment, so soon before lunch.

  73. Loweblow says:

    Lowetide,

    Was he dominating in the OHL is highly debatable, the people that pick the WJC team would disagree with you. Outside his offensive stats, things would point otherwise. Nurse has all the potential to be a top4 D, but is there a reason to rush him? Unless he pulls off a Belov and gains 20-30lbs in the off season, and his defensive skills improves it would be wishful thinking that he has a chance.

  74. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    In the proposed scenario the Oilers are receiving 32 overall and the rights to Kulikov for Gagner. I stand by my position that no way is Sam after the season he had going to fetch that kind of return. I don’t know what Kulikov will fetch due to his unwillingness to sign at $5m per with Florida, but I think some other team could offer a better value deal. Some of it likely depends on whether Florida takes Ekblad or trades down and receives a d-man in the process.

  75. nycoil says:

    Darkrainz,

    So he trades 32 overall for Gagner but why is he giving Kulikov for free? I know Kulikov turned down Tallon’s contract offer but it is possible he just wants a trade or to get paid. Someone will offer something decent for his rights. He is a big, mobile, competent defender who has had his growing pains.

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