“WHAT DO WE DO ON THE BREAKOUTS?”

There is news seeping through about the draft, but one wonders what to believe. Even when the main characters speak, it’s probably fiction. An example? The Florida Panthers say they’ll take Aaron Ekblad if they don’t trade the pick. Scott Luce, the Florida Panthers’ scouting director talking about Aaron Ekblad:

  • Luce: “Ekblad is this year’s player most likely ready to step in and play in the NHL. He’s physically mature and has got lots of mileage underneath him at the OHL level.”

The Panthers could be telling the truth, or drumming up business (source NHL.com). That makes strategic sense—a team wanting the defenseman, like Edmonton or Calgary, would have to trade up—but there’s a group of talent at the top that appears to be equal in quality. Unlike 2010, when the world gave hockey two exceptional talents, the 2014 draft offers three or four very good ones. It doesn’t make sense to trade up, unless the player you want is the big defenseman.

The same article mentions Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton as being interested in trading up. What would Florida want? As with our conversation yesterday (the Bruins), there’s probably a match but the Oilers are unlikely to want to pay that price. Why would they? The only thing I can think of is Aaron Ekblad. I like the defenseman, he appears to be the real deal, but then again so did Adam Larsson not terribly long ago. Defensemen are harder to track, they really are. What should the Oilers do? Trust your scouts. Otherwise, why bother employing them?

ISSUE TWO

gregor eakins

I love this comment, because it shows that Eakins—thought of as being arrogant, and rightly so based on some events last season—is self aware and capable of admitting he’s wrong. There are people in the world who aren’t able to do that, although an overwhelming percentage seem to be related to me by blood or marriage. I like that Dallas Eakins has the courage of his convictions, and suspect he’ll have more success this season because there’s someone beside him saying “are you sure you want to do that?”

I think the hiring of Ramsay is great news for every player on the team. I imagine Ramsay having a positive impact on two-way forwards, two-way defensemen and the transition game. I have no idea how the power play tied itself in knots, but expect he’ll help there, too. The two main things Ramsay brings: experience and approach. A guy like Ramsay must have seen damn near everything during his time in the NHL (which began over 40 years ago), and his own experience as a young player should serve as an example to all coaches. Ramsay’s rookie season in Buffalo consisted of very little coaching, he was ready out of the box from Peterborough, but that lack of instruction at the NHL level was frustrating for him because there was no plan, no organization. I expect it’s one of the reasons he became a coach.

  • Ramsay: “So I said to one of the players, ‘What do we do with the puck in our own end? What do we do with the breakouts?’ He said ‘Just get it out anyway you can, kid.’ That was coaching.”

ISSUE THREE

marginet eakinsEvery once in awhile someone will mention Kevin Lowe as the man in charge, but I think MacT’s the de facto GM. A man doesn’t walk away from a job, go through life altering health experiences, get a degree and work for Vancouver for the job experience so he can ask permission to piss a drop. Kevin Lowe would certainly be part of the group that helps make things happen, but the conversation described here by Heather seems plausible and rational.

LOWDOWN

TSN 1260, 10am. I’m looking forward to the show today, terrific guests scheduled. We’ll talk to George Richards from the Miami Herald (about Craig Ramsay and the No. 1 overall pick), Billy Moores (!!!!!!) of the Oilers about coaching at all levels, Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey about Ramsay, the draft and how old Craig MacTavish altered his postseason speech from “inspire” to “confuse” and Brock Otten from OHL Prospects will talk about Ekblad, Bennett and the other top quality kids from the Ontario League this season.

@Lowetide_ or 10-1260 via text, I’m excited about the show today. See you on the radio!

 

 

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85 Responses to "“WHAT DO WE DO ON THE BREAKOUTS?”"

  1. JonyPro says:

    Wow an early blog post, I like it! I’m ecstatic of the Ramsey hire. Sounds like he got to work right away too. A little bit of anxiety was washed away today.

  2. Jon K says:

    I’m extremely excited to watch for changes in how the team plays next season. I have no doubt that that the Oilogosphere will have loads of interesting analysis. It’s one of those rare moments as an Oilers fan where a management move has no negative conditions or apparent downside.

    I agree with you regarding Florida, LT. Most of what we’ve been hearing to date has been about how Florida needs another dynamic goal scoring forward. Now, mere weeks before the draft and after we’ve been hearing about teams interested in moving up, we hear rumblings that Florida wants Ekblad. I’m doubtful. I do think that we will see a team trade up to take him though. If we end up with any of the centres I’m just as happy, anyway.

    I got the hockey news and McKeens draft guides this year. There’s some interesting content there. I think we may be surprised to see Ehlers or Dal Colle as the best offensive talents to come out of this draft. Ehlers received high praise in both and was compared to Pavel Bure convincingly.

  3. slopitch says:

    Morning LT. Looking forward to the Billy Moores interview.

    I keep going back to Yakapov for Ekblad. I’m not sure as an Oilers (and Yakapov) fan Id do it. I like Yakapov, but there are a couple items that work…

    1) Both Barkov and Bjugstad could use a scoring winger.
    2) Yak would be 1st line in Florida. From Edmonton’s perspective, a 2 RW has less value then a top paring D.
    3) Yak would sell more tickets in Florida then Ekblad. The worst team in the league 6 years running sells out in Edmonton.

    Oilers could draft Ekblad and Draisatl and add size (and ability) up the middle of the ice. They could move Gagner to wing or go after Marchand. Either way for 2014-15 your in a world of hurt at C but I see that to be the case now anyways.

    Oilers might be able to get them to add Drew Shore to compensate for 2 years development on Yak. He’s a good 2 way C that is right handed with size that could be 3C/4C split with Gordon. When I say two-way I understand he was sheltered on the vollman graph but I think this is because he was a rookie and was deployed properly. His scouting report reads 2 way Jarret Stoll type player. He didn’t put up a ton of points but his on ice shooting % was 5% which is very low meaning he’s either Anton Lander or a good buy low.

  4. Henry says:

    I would be interested in Mr. Richards’ opinion of Kulikov, why he was -29 on a team that -10 seemed like par and whether a Gagner for Kulikov straight up swap may fill needs on both sides.

  5. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Could I get a ruling on that tweet about Eakins/MacT.

    Is it saying

    1) Eakins approached MacT about Ramsay and not the rest of the management team (just MacT)

    or.

    2) Eakins approached MacT about Ramsay/hiring a new coach. MacT/management didn’t approach Eakins.

  6. wintoon says:

    slopitch,

    I really like what you have put forward and see tremendous medium to long term benefit to this type of move. While Yakupov appears to have the potential to be a dynamic scorer, this is not a certainty. In watching him last year I did not once see him take on the opposing D and make a move to score a goal. He is a trigger man. He does not make players around him better.

    The potential strength of one of the top 3 Centres is that they make other players better and have some scoring ability themselves. When you add Ekblad to that you have the foundation here in Edmonton to have a cup contending team in the medium term.

    As fans we must never lose sight of the objective – it is not the playoffs, it is the Cup.

  7. Ben says:

    Do you recall what was the feel the day the Oil traded Yak for Letang, and Petry for a ‘big body’ F?

  8. Clay says:

    Good laugh this morning LT. When I read “There are people in the world who aren’t able to do that”, I immediately thought to myself “an overwhelming percentage seem to be related to me by blood or marriage”. Glad to see I’m not alone.

    In all seriousness, this is an extremely positive sign. It’s Eakins putting the success of the team before his own ego. It’s the Oilers actually moving out some old-boys-club members in favour of someone better suited for the job. It’s a sign that MacT can recognize weaknesses.

    Now if they actually go with less Mark Fraser types and bring in more actual hockey players, we may get somewhere this coming season.

  9. thejonrmcleod says:

    wintoon,

    If there is no certainty, only potential, about Yakupov being a “dynamic scorer,” there is also no certainty about Ekblad. Also, I’ve always assumed that if the Oilers trade for the #1 overall, they would be flipping first round picks with Florida, which means the Oilers won’t be getting both Ekblad and Draisatl.

  10. Woodguy says:

    Billy Freaking Moores!

    Great get LT.

    What time does he come on?

  11. Pouzar says:

    Rishaug on 1260: “I think Dallas was aggressive in getting this done. MacT obviously OKed it. But, this was Dallas’ move.”

  12. Jordan says:

    Things I’ve learned in the last day:

    No amount of coaching/management changes will stop Oilers fans from making trade proposals

    Craig Ramsay does have a winning coaching record some seasons, but has coached on a lot of bad teams

    Everyone thinks the Oilers will trade Yakupov, even though it’s not a trade they can win. They think this trade will hapen even though MacT just proved everyone who doubted he was aware of what this team needed, and made a smart call

    LT has traded in his cheesy finger-printed, basement-dwelling blogger membership card for a powdered sugar finger-printed, broadcaster booth-dwelling MSM membership card – (I mean seriously – Billy Moores? – You’re in dude – how long till you can vote on NHL Awards?)

  13. Racki says:

    I too like the humble Eakins. I don’t put much stock in the opinion some have formulated that he’s stubborn.. Although I will say the swarm should have been dumped earlier. But in fairness to him, it’s also hard to know when to pull the plug and when you are finally starting to get through. Didn’t seem like anything got through though.

    Anyways, yesterday’s news was a big step forward. Steve Smith will be moved sideways or up soon too and the new replacement announced then. I wonder about Chabot though.

    This is just one of those baby steps that will move this team forward. Enough of these and we will see good progress soon

  14. Andy P says:

    With all due respect I would prefer that Steve Smith walks rather than accept the demotion.
    This will allow the other shoe to drop, if there is one.
    At last we will have a coaching TEAM with shared interests.

    On the advice aspect, Dallas is accepting input from a person that coached him prior.
    As I harped on ad nauseam I felt this was the core issue facing the Oil, that impacted everything else. One we have some decent and relevant data samples to look at I think it will become self evident exactly how much damage Bucky did to this team.

    Obviously, this is not going to turn around overnight, but with good coaching added to competent drafting and trading, we will at last start seeing the team head in the necessary direction.

    I would love to keep Gags and Yak and Schultz long enough to show what a huge difference it makes when you put competent assistants on a team like the Oil.

    if Laxdal joins to coach the offense then I think the team will be complete until Ramsay retires.

  15. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy:
    Billy Freaking Moores!

    Great get LT.

    What time does he come on?

    Right before me. For some reason I have Split Enz’ “Hard Act to Follow” stuck in my brain now.

  16. Jordan says:

    Oh, something else I learned – All the sports news really does break during the Dave Jamieson show.

  17. Woodguy says:

    Racki,

    Although I will say the swarm should have been dumped earlier.

    I don’t think it should have been dumped at all.

    Their corgis laid down for a nap after that and never got up.

    Tweak it so that the wide open looks go away, but it was working in terms of quick transition and winning the corgi battle.

  18. Woodguy says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Right before me. For some reason I have Split Enz’ “Hard Act to Follow” stuck in my brain now.

    Well at least you won’t be at a loss for things to talk about!

    You can just re-hash what Billy said and marvel at it.

    :Not that you ever lack an opinion on anything Bruce…… :)

  19. Hammers says:

    Ramsay will improve both the PP & PK and that on its own will get us more points even with the group we had last year . Now when McT adds 1 or 2 UFA players and makes his 1 maybe 2 trades we become a stronger team . Say 4 new NHL experienced players to the group with losses of Gags ( +1 more ) ( Perron , Petry, Marincin , Klefbom or Yak ) and a couple of minor league players . My problem would be the +1 as I don’t want to loose any of those players . I submitted a list of under age 30 UFA players in all positions that I would be happy with any 2 .

  20. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Billy Freaking Moores!

    Great get LT.

    What time does he come on?

    10:25 ish,. I’m hoping he stays awhile. :-)

  21. Jon K says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    this is good:

    http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2014/06/adjusting-scoring-rate-for-age-in-chl.html

    Bennett fans and age related arguments will be pleased.

    Great find, Rom. I’ve been waiting for someone to do the math relating to the age of draft eligible players. I still think Reinhart comes out on top as the best candidate for #1 in the draft. It further confirms that Ehlers may very well be the top risk/reward pick. If only we knew how much to nick him for playing with Drouin.

  22. Andy P says:

    As for Eakins being stubborn, inflexible: I wonder how much of that was due to complaints by his incompetent assistant? If you were Dallas would you listen to Bucky?

    The difference being
    1) Dallas is no longer a rookie
    2) Dallas will be able to succeed because of his assistants not in spite of them.

  23. slopitch says:

    thejonrmcleod,

    Sure that’s likely a valid assumption. I do like what this does long term though and its more realistic then thinking the Habs wont match a Subban OS ;)

    Jordan,

    I think you mean the Stauffer show. And yes, we’ll be sick of proposing line combos by the first week of September too haha.

  24. sliderule says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    this is good:

    http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2014/06/adjusting-scoring-rate-for-age-in-chl.html

    Bennett fans and age related arguments will be pleased.

    I am pleased that someone took the time and effort to come up with a formula to evaluate age difference scoring.
    In the oilers case it doesn’t matter as they will be taking Draisitl.
    The only way Bennett comes into picture is if they have to choose between him and Reinhart if Ekblad and Draisitl are taken one two.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Jon K: Great find, Rom. I’ve been waiting for someone to do the math relating to the age of draft eligible players. I still think Reinhart comes out on top as the best candidate for #1 in the draft.It further confirms that Ehlers may very well be the top risk/reward pick. If only we knew how much to nick him for playing with Drouin.

    Anecdotally people have said he wasn’t on Drouin’s wing.

    But, I don’t trust people’s eyes, I’m not there and I have no idea about it.

    There are a couple of different ways we can examine Ehlers’ year in relation to his teammates though.

    One is via IPP. Here’s how he came out:

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/06/ipp-and-the-2014-draft-class/

    61 ES Points; 93 On-Ice ES GF; 66% IPP

    Ehlers
    ESONGF: 93 ESONGA: 28
    difference: 3.32 (by McKeen’s measure); or you could just say team scored 77% of the goals while he was on the ice

    Halifax
    ESONGF: 195 ESONGA: 107
    Difference: 1.82 (McKeen’s) 65%

    Difference btw Ehlers/team
    +1.5 (McKeen’s)
    +12%

    So… when Ehlers is on the ice, the team scores 12% more than their already high rate…. HOWEVER, the IPP number tells us that he is not primarily responsible for that boost.

  26. Racki says:

    Woodguy:
    Racki,

    Although I will say the swarm should have been dumped earlier.

    I don’t think it should have been dumped at all.

    Their corgis laid down for a nap after that and never got up.

    Tweak it so that the wide open looks go away, but it was working in terms of quick transition and winning the corgi battle.

    I may be at a disadvantage for not studying the numbers, but by eye, they were exposed on a lot of defensive breakdowns.. Out manned chances against in particular.. Guys open with no one around…

    Not to say the simplifying afterwards was that much better, but while I think it worked wonders offensively (due to its nature of providing quick transitions) it was tough to watch guys leave a man open in the slot night after night.

    It was a bit of a double edged sword for me. Yes, they could very quickly transition to offense, but lots of five alarm chances against. I’m not sure corgis showed that because they are based on the belief that “all shots are equal” (maybe belief is too strong a word.. But the theory that it all evens out) . Maybe my eye was being overly critical but that was my belief on that.

  27. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    sliderule: I am pleased that someone took the time and effort tocome up with a formula to evaluate age difference scoring.
    In the oilers case it doesn’t matter as they will be taking Draisitl.
    The only way Bennett comes into picture is if they have to choose between him andReinhart if Ekblad and Draisitl are taken one two.

    It sure looks that way…

    But, I’d really caution against any kind of fatalism regarding the pick. Until it happens we don’t really know.

  28. Woodguy says:

    Racki: I may be at a disadvantage for not studying the numbers, but by eye, they were exposed on a lot of defensive breakdowns.. Out manned chances against in particular.. Guys open with no one around…

    Not to say the simplifying afterwards was that much better, but while I think it worked wonders offensively (due to its nature of providing quick transitions) it was tough to watch guys leave a man open in the slot night after night.

    It was a bit of a double edged sword for me. Yes, they could very quickly transition to offense, but lots of five alarm chances against. I’m not sure corgis showed that because they are based on the belief that “all shots are equal” (maybe belief is too strong a word.. But the theory that it all evens out) . Maybe my eye was being overly critical but that was my belief on that.

    There was no question they left too many open looks.

    We remember them more due to the fact that the goalies rarely stopped them as well.

    I think the best approach was to tweak it to minimize the open looks and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  29. Woodguy says:

    sliderule: are taken one two.
    It sure looks that way…

    That author is a good follow on twitter too @Thats_Offside … despite being a Dys fan. :)

    Great blog too.

    Well worth it to comb his archives.

  30. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Dang, I posted Drouin’s assists on Ehlers’ 49 goals in a prior thread I can’t find now. Shows they played a bit of PK and some PP together, but at evens they were on separate lines. Let me see if I can go find it again.

  31. Racki says:

    Woodguy: There was no question they left too many open looks.

    We remember them more due to the fact that the goalies rarely stopped them as well.

    I think the best approach was to tweak it to minimize the open looks and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    I get Ya. I don’t remember when Eakins dumped the swarm exactly… But the Oilers had something like 13 wins and 29 losses (including loser points).. Tough to go continue to tweak when it was that far off. I will say though that I’d have to be pretty clueless to not have seen that the goaltending here in that time was terrible. You are right. But I think it had to be scrapped altogether just because of the defensive disasters and the fact that these young guys had too many new messages in the last 5 years.

    That said, I seem to recall him mentioning tweaking that system a bit too though so it wasn’t so aggressive. Obviously that didn’t work (well, I say “didn’t work”, but maybe it did improve the underlying numbers.. I have not dug into that). I wonder if he will and can go back to trying it again with a much safer approach in the D zone

  32. nycoil says:

    Found it.
    Drouin’s assists on Ehlers’ goals:
    5 v 5: 6
    5 v 4: 7
    4 v 5: 4

    17/49. Not a small number, but I would say that’s not nearly enough to say Ehlers was piggy-backing on Drouin.
    I still think on pure offensive talent, Ehlers is Top 3in this draft, perhaps fighting for #1. He just has a higher bust potential than bigger, multi-tool guys like Reinhart. He has blazing speed and a great shot, though. Best QMJHL rookie season since Sid.

  33. nycoil says:

    The “one fair offer” mentioned in the nhl.com article above that LT posted, probably Calgary?
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=722012

    Agree with the sentiment that the most likely reason to move from the 3~5 range to #1 is to select Ekblad.
    1) Calgary Ekblad
    2) Buffalo Reinhart
    3) Edmonton Draisaitl
    4) Vancouver Bennett
    5) NYI Dal Colle
    6) Florida Ehlers (+something like a Brodie from Cgy?, Schroeder from Van?)

    Could be one plausible scenario perhaps?

  34. Caramel Obvious says:

    Dumping the swarm was a terrible idea. If you watch the playoffs you’ll see that almost every team plays a variation of it.*

    You can’t win without the swarm. You just have to learn to execute it better.

    *Where swarm is defined as a zone defense in which the defense tries to outman the puck in the corners on loose pucks by sending a third man in and rotating accordingly.

  35. Racki says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Dumping the swarm was a terrible idea.If you watch the playoffs you’ll see that almost every team plays a variation of it.*

    You can’t win without the swarm. You just have to learn to execute it better.

    *Where swarm is defined as a zone defense in which the defense tries to outman the puck in the corners on loose pucks by sending a third man in and rotating accordingly.

    Maybe Ramsay’s voice will be the one that finally gets the message through. What you say may be true, but the execution by the Oilers was terrible, thus the “(oopsies), I assumed they understood defense systems here ” (slightly paraphrased by memory) comment from Eakins.

  36. Truth says:

    Racki, Woodguy,

    If I remember correctly, Eakins tossed out the swarm around the same time he made the comments that the players on this team were relatively clueless on how to execute a “normal” defensive system. My understanding would be that at that point he scrapped the swarm to teach them how to operate a “normal” defense. Maybe consider the entire rest of the season a prerequisite to the swarm being reintroduced this season?

    No matter which way you look at it, if the players do not improve individually on defense they’re going to have a hell of a time executing the swarm to success. All of the breakdowns (that I can remember) were related to one or two major mis-reads or missed coverages by individual players.

    It could also be the “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” idiom. Nail Yakupov: ““I love more playing with the puck. I don’t really like playing without the puck, skate all the time and do forecheck and hit somebody every shift — I don’t think it’s my game. I try to do it some time, but I’m not here to crush everything. I just want to play hockey.”

  37. russ99 says:

    Re: Eakins’s comments: The proof is in the results and not the press conferences.

    That he’s willing to listen to Ramsay is half the battle.

    I’m really interested to see what goes down roster improvement wise between draft day and the middle of July.

    But we’ve got to get his pesky Cup thingy out of the way first. Feel really bad for the Hawks… A shot off a shoulder is a hell of a way to miss out on another title.

  38. Woodguy says:

    Ha!

    Billy Moore’s tells LT that he listens to his his show and has high praise for it.

    LT thanks him then fumbles out the next question obviously a little gobsmacked by the comment.

    Great moment.

    High praise that you deserve sir.

  39. Woodguy says:

    Truth:
    Racki, Woodguy,

    If I remember correctly, Eakins tossed out the swarm around the same time he made the comments that the players on this team were relatively clueless on how to execute a “normal” defensive system.My understanding would be that at that point he scrapped the swarm to teach them how to operate a “normal” defense.Maybe consider the entire rest of the season a prerequisite to the swarm being reintroduced this season?

    No matter which way you look at it, if the players do not improve individually on defense they’re going to have a hell of a time executing the swarm to success.All of the breakdowns (that I can remember) were related to one or two major mis-reads or missed coverages by individual players.

    It could also be the “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” idiom.Nail Yakupov: ““I love more playing with the puck. I don’t really like playing without the puck, skate all the time and do forecheck and hit somebody every shift — I don’t think it’s my game. I try to do it some time, but I’m not here to crush everything. I just want to play hockey.”

    That a good point.

    By the end of November the season was done and perhaps they decided to build some basics.

    4th year of Hall’s careers and they are still working on ABCs.

    Thanks Tambo!!!

  40. sliderule says:

    Woodguy: There was no question they left too many open looks.

    We remember them more due to the fact that the goalies rarely stopped them as well.

    I think the best approach was to tweak it to minimize the open looks and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    I think for me the swarm was dead when I heard Smith comment that they had tried it before and it didn’t work.
    As Mact said lots of chaos in the coaches room.
    If the oilers read this blog they should have expected it.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Ha!

    Billy Moore’s tells LT that he listens to his his show and has high praise for it.

    LT thanks him then fumbles out the next question obviously a little gobsmacked by the comment.

    Great moment.

    High praise that you deserve sir.

    That’s exactly what happened. Litereally NO IDEA what to say. :-)

  42. Racki says:

    I tuned in late, but I loved hearing Billy Moores’ Gretzky 5on3 quote.

    For those that missed it, basically the Coles notes version is Moores saw Gretzky working on 5on3 pp with teammates. Moores spotted room for improvement by Gretzky (basically a fake shot /pass through slot to open man). Gretzky took the tip very receptively noting that he was missing this idea and then worked on it.

    The moral of the story.. If the best hockey player in the world can be receptive to coaching ideas, everyone should be. Some guys on this team probably need to hear that story.

  43. RexLibris says:

    nycoil:
    The “one fair offer” mentioned in the nhl.com article above that LT posted, probably Calgary?
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=722012

    Agree with the sentiment that the most likely reason to move from the 3~5 range to #1 is to select Ekblad.
    1) Calgary Ekblad
    2) Buffalo Reinhart
    3) Edmonton Draisaitl
    4) Vancouver Bennett
    5) NYI Dal Colle
    6) Florida Ehlers (+something like a Brodie from Cgy?, Schroeder from Van?)

    Could be one plausible scenario perhaps?

    God I hope so.

    If Burke/Treliving send out an established asset like Backlund or Brodie to take Ekblad I almost wouldn’t care anymore about the Oilers’ selection.

  44. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Racki: The moral of the story.. If the best hockey player in the world can be receptive to coaching ideas, everyone should be. Some guys on this team probably need to hear that story.

    This ^^^ all day long.

  45. Jordan says:

    Racki:
    I tuned in late, but I loved hearing Billy Moores’ Gretzky 5on3 quote.

    For those that missed it, basically the Coles notes version is Moores saw Gretzky working on 5on3 pp with teammates. Moores spotted room for improvement by Gretzky (basically a fake shot /pass through slot to open man). Gretzky took the tip very receptively noting that he was missing this idea and then worked on it.

    The moral of the story.. If the best hockey player in the world can be receptive to coaching ideas, everyone should be. Some guys on this team probably need to hear that story.

    NO! This is terrible! If everyone started LISTENING to all the thoughtful advice people give, everyone would start improving!

    How would the Oilers get any more high draft picks if the team gets better!?

    Keep this man away from the Oilers! He’s anathema to the infinite rebuild model.

  46. commonfan14 says:

    Truth: Nail Yakupov: ““I love more playing with the puck. I don’t really like playing without the puck, skate all the time and do forecheck and hit somebody every shift — I don’t think it’s my game. I try to do it some time, but I’m not here to crush everything. I just want to play hockey.”

    Sounds like he wants to be a possession player to me.

  47. Racki says:

    OK so where is this Nedeljkovic ranked..

  48. Racki says:

    commonfan14: Sounds like he wants to be a possession player to me.

    The thing some guys need to learn is to be a possession players it is best to possess the puck. There’s my Harry Carayism for the day.

  49. nycoil says:

    Damn, sorry I am detained and unable to tune into what sounds like a great show. Making a splash to trade up to #1 would be so Burke. Think Oilers should sit tight and take whoever comes to them at 3. They’re in a good position no matter who it is.

  50. Racki says:

    Maybe just posturing, but doesn’t sound like Calgary would likely move up. Burke expressed interest in Ritchie, saying they need a big winger. With him and Dal Colle being top big winger candidates, I don’t see any reason for them to move up. Florida won’t draft a winger, neither will Edmonton.

  51. Henry says:

    Racki,

    Why wouldn’t Florida want a winger? They are pretty solid at centre.

  52. Rondo says:

    Brock Otten on the draft

    Anonymous said…
    Have you seen Reinhart or Draisaitl play? I wonder how they compare to your top 2.

    Blogger Brock Otten said…
    I’ve seen Reinhart and Draisaitl play several times (a few televised WHL games, the international events, and the top prospect’s game). Never seen them play live though, which obviously gives you a better and different perspective.

    I still prefer Ekblad and Bennett over both of them.

    I think Bennett has a little more offensive potential than Reinhart (I think he has the same smarts but is the more dynamic player), and he’s more consistent without the puck and a better overall player than Draisaitl.

    Just my two cents.

  53. nycoil says:

    Henry:
    Racki,

    Why wouldn’t Florida want a winger?They are pretty solid at centre.

    Flordia does want a winger. Tallon has said so himself. If they don’t trade down they probably take Ekblad, but he absolutely wants a “Kane-type”

  54. Racki says:

    LT and Bruce.. Your spot today was far too positive for this fan base. Please scale things back and slowly wane folks off of suicide watch.

    In all seriousness I guess this time of year typically brings that positive vibe, and early December typically crushes it. But I’m happy that the Oilers have what appears to be a legit NHL assistant on board. I like the analogy of that pick up being equicalent to acquiring a 2nd line center.

  55. Racki says:

    Henry:
    Racki,

    Why wouldn’t Florida want a winger?They are pretty solid at centre.

    Well maybe I should have said they wouldn’t want a young forward, more so (this is my own belief those based on the players they have now and coming up) . I am pretty sure it’s Ekblad for them or they move the pick for immediate help. I suspect that their pick will be moved for immediate help for whomever actually does want ekblad or a center.

  56. nycoil says:

    Racki,

    Who doesn’t need a big winger? There’s a Calgary Herald article with an interview with Burke from June 6th. I can’t link it here. He runs through his thoughts on the top prospects. I don’t see him favouring Ritchie over the others. He also says Ekblad will play in this league for “20 years.”

  57. speeds says:

    No idea if it’s true that FLA would want a winger, but if it is true, who knows, maybe some deal involving Yakupov might make sense for them?

  58. nycoil says:

    Here is Dale Tallon himself talking about the Panthers. Start from 2:33 when he discusses Ehlers.
    He says the Panthers are set with C and D prospects. He clearly wants a sniper, replicate his Chicago model with Kane. I remain convinced he wants Ehlers or Nylander, but obviously won’t take them at #1 overall. He either stays put and takes Ekblad or he deals down for an asset that can help now, and then takes one of the skilled wingers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNCYOuI-d6I

  59. russ99 says:

    Rondo,

    LOL – The hype for Bennett around here is so thick you can cut through it.

    How does Bennett have a little more offensive potential than Reinhart? I know we’re talking about mostly “saw him good” opinions, but IMO Reinhart is the most skilled forward and is most likely to stay at his skill level at the NHL level among the forwards at the top of the draft.

    And there’s a long history of players like Bennett losing their scoring acumen due to the rigors of playing a 2-way game against men. Toews is the exception, not the rule – and he didn’t put up huge numbers playing in the NCAA during and after his draft year.

    Also, say no to a Yak trade to Florida. They don’t have good enough pieces to warrant that. Kulikov is going to UFA, and Gudbranson is way too risky. But if Buffalo wanted to swap picks and throw in Ehrhoff or Myers, I’d entertain that…

  60. Lloyd B. says:

    Eakins really impressed me in talking to McTavish about hiring a new coach to help him. It did not work out so well for the last guy that told McTavish that. I’m thinking Eakins probably hasn’t turned his electronic communication devices on yet. He may not want to as there may be a note to Skype the boss.

  61. Deadman Waiting says:

    I think Kevin is either the village elder with ruined teeth who sits around and tells all the good stories about yesteryear, but with only the most nebulous influence over any real decision, or he’s the Winston Wolf for Katz’s arena construction supply chain, who organizes Paulina G’s personally authorized body double to emerge from a giant birthday cake at little Bobby Jr’s thirteenth birthday shindig to ensure prompt delivery times from Bobby Sr’s I-beam emporium (to another client: “oh, it didn’t arrive? well, says here it was en route yesterday, I don’t know where it could be … I tell you, we’re hunting it down as we speak”) The man who can grease that wheel simply can not be replaced.

    It appears that Eakins loves to rush in and butt heads with failure mano-a-pezuña, but he’s also a quick study, an rarely returns to the scene of his crime for a second crack without first growing a thicker skull.

    When this team finally does make the upturn, success will have a thousand I-told-you-sos (hey, that worked out better than expected). Perhaps also some I-TOLD-YOU-SOs. If the team (gasp) managed to find success with last year’s crop of assistant coaches intact, there’d be no post hoc justification for the contention they were part of the problem all along. Wouldn’t that be a pity.

    ————

    Lovely interview with Billy Moores this morning. It’s the first time I’ve tuned in. Now my mind’s eye and my mind’s ear are in a state of cognitive dissonance. Too many modalities collapse the wave function, after some friction. My soundscape was previously populated with the whup whup whoosh of Shuriken fire logs cascading in a concussion of kindling and clay from the red brick hearth mantle of domestic record.

    I liked Moore’s depiction of Tuckman’s stages of group development.

    foramen stomodeum Normandy perineum

    Password Strength: excellent.

    Uh, Clare, small problem. I’m not sure you should have shared that with the whole world.

    Most of the foramina (vacancies) of the human body occur in the skull; stomodeum are the stem cells in demand (NHL 2030) after you spit out your lips, gums, and teeth; Normandy is what Ben Scrivens single-handedly repelled; perineum is what bruises when you pull your Pouliot. There, I’ve got an indelible visual already (it’s not this one) which I mustn’t share; the art lies not in keeping your secrets, but in their execution.

  62. Bag of Pucks says:

    Genius marketing idea?

    A complimentary tab of acid with each new DW post.

  63. OilClog says:

    Lloyd B.:
    Eakins really impressed me in talking to McTavish about hiring a new coach to help him.It did not work out so well for the last guy that told McTavish that.I’m thinking Eakins probably hasn’t turned his electronic communication devices on yet.He may not want to as there may be a note to Skype the boss.

    I think Eakins is just a really good tickler..

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    Cause for concern?

    Craig Ramsay coached Dallas Eakins.

    Dallas Eakins was a CRAPPY hockey player.

  65. wheatnoil says:

    Been reading the posts regularly but have been away from the comments for a few months (side effect of having a new baby). When did Deadman change his name to Deadman Waiting from Deadman Waking? Is there a significance to this shift?

  66. Henry says:

    speeds:
    No idea if it’s true that FLA would want a winger, but if it is true, who knows, maybe some deal involving Yakupov might make sense for them?

    For Barkov?

  67. RexLibris says:

    The most sensible trade idea I’d heard regarding Florida at the draft was for them to trade with Calgary down to 4th and pick up a defender, then move back down to 6th and draft Ehlers or Nylander.

    This nets them a roster-ready d-man, a skilled winger, and likely one other asset like a mid-range prospect or extra pick to move for more assets as required.

    The Oilers offering Yakupov for the 1st overall while retaining the 3rd overall lets them take Ekblad and either Reinhart or Draisaitl and theoretically meets Tallon’s requirements of getting a one-shot scoring winger, but sets back the Oilers’ current crop of players significantly. On paper it seems like it would work, but I’m not sure it beats out the other potential deals Tallon could strike with the other GMs.

  68. OilClog says:

    The Oilers offering Yakupov for the first overall makes me want to smash my face in with shards of glass and vinegar. If the oilers trade Yakupov we will be looking for a shoot first ask questions later player for another 30yrs.

    Why don’t we package Yak, Perron, and Petry together for a draft pick and some thumb tacks. Blarg.

    Also, when did it become deadman waiting..

  69. OilClog says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Cause for concern?

    Craig Ramsay coached Dallas Eakins.

    Dallas Eakins was a CRAPPY hockey player.

    Dallas Eakins played with Selanne in Winnipeg. Check mate.

  70. VanOil says:

    OilClog: Also, when did it become deadman waiting..

    Sometime after “Caramel” became an official rank in the Legion of Godot.

  71. OilClog says:

    VanOil: Sometime after “Caramel” became an official rank in the Legion of Godot.

    The times.. They are a changing

  72. VanOil says:

    OilClog: The times.. They are a changing

    As long as they do not involve trading Yakupov this summer, they may change for the better. Oops, I may have drank to much of the Ramsey Kool-Aid. I am sure the great man can even turn Gagner into a somewhat defensively aware player that shoulder checks in the high slot for oncoming danger.

  73. Woodguy says:

    VanOil: As long as they do not involve trading Yakupov this summer, they may change for the better. Oops, I may have drank to much of the Ramsey Kool-Aid. I am sure the great man can even turn Gagner into a somewhat defensively aware player that shoulder checks in the high slot for oncoming danger.

    He’s a coach, not a magician.

  74. book¡je says:

    You know, the more I think about the Oilers hiring Ramsey, I realize that I haven’t been this excited about a coaching hire since they hired Eakins, which was the most excited I’d been since they hired Krueger, which was the most excited I had been since they hired Quinn and Renney.

  75. leadfarmer says:

    Congratulations to Craig Ramsey the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers starting this December.

  76. Surly says:

    Garrioch tweeting that Murray confirms Spezza has indeed requested a trade.

  77. OilClog says:

    Woodguy: He’s a coach, not a magician.

    So what you’re saying.. We need a magician!!

  78. OilClog says:

    Surly:
    Garrioch tweeting that Murray confirms Spezza has indeed requested a trade.

    He’d make the Nuges career from here on out much easier to fulfill.

    Who do you cover Nuge line or Spezza line.. Why can’t we dream?!?!

  79. OilClog says:

    leadfarmer:
    Congratulations to Craig Ramsey the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers starting this December.

    If that happens I hope someone punches your puppy or goldfish or something.

    If Ramsay ends up coach in December.. Look at all the frwakjng coaches
    We’ve just missed out on..

    Can we just punch your puppy now?

  80. commonfan14 says:

    Surly: Garrioch tweeting that Murray confirms Spezza has indeed requested a trade.

    Maybe we can re-sign Omark and then package him up for Ottawa with Pitlick and Musil…

  81. OilClog says:

    commonfan14: Maybe we can re-sign Omark and then package him up for Ottawa with Pitlick and Musil…

    Murray has stated he knows he won’t get full return in trade but wants players that can play now.

    Hemsky payed off beautifully whether he resigns there or not.

    Says 2-4 teams seriously interested and no desire to trade him to the east on the sens part.

    Gags, a few prospects and a pick .. I’m probably in the minority but I do hope the Oilers are one of the serious teams.

  82. commonfan14 says:

    Paywalled article re-doing the 2009 draft.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/nhl-draft/post?id=584&refresh=true

    Spoiler alert: Mags falls out of the first round.

  83. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Racki: LT and Bruce.. Your spot today was far too positive for this fan base. Please scale things back and slowly wane folks off of suicide watch.

    In all seriousness I guess this time of year typically brings that positive vibe, and early December typically crushes it.

    Seasonal Affective Disorder, Oil Fans Strain: giddy in June and July, depressed by mid-November, non-responsive from January to April.

    Racki: I like the analogy of that pick up being equicalent to acquiring a 2nd line center.

    Thanks. As with the team, one acquisition can’t solve all the problems, but it sure can be a step in the right direction. Like you I’m optimistic about the Ramsay add.

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