WHAT TO DO ABOUT CENTER

There are already positives in regard to the Edmonton Oilers and their center depth chart. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be completely healthy and a year older. Nuge has been in the NHL for three seasons now, scoring over 50 points twice and playing beyond his years at center in the toughest conference in Christendom.  Sam Gagner no longer plays center for the Oilers, and defensively that’s a good thing.

There are issues. The Oilers plan to use their centermen as follows:

CENTER
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS
NEW FELLOW
LEON DRAISAITL
BOYD GORDON
MARK ARCOBELLO/ANTON LANDER

If the Oilers could acquire someone like Cody Eakin or Patrik Berglund (or as bendelson suggested, Ainisimov from CBJ)  in there, without giving up the first-round pick or a needed defenseman, they could have a nice 1-2 punch and Gordon on the 4. If Leon the Professional can handle the job (and I think they’ll keep him) then Arco is the extra C and Lander is a utility outfielder.

HOW WILL MACT GET THIS DONE?

Let’s use Dallas and Eakin as an example. The Stars need two things: defensemen and cap room. The Oilers don’t want to give up a defenseman (or at least I hope they don’t) but could take on some salary.

MACT WORKING ON CENTER

Since taking over the team over a year ago, Craig MacTavish has added the following centers:

  • Bogdan Yakimov, Kyle Platzer and Greg Chase via the 2013 draft
  • Boyd Gordon and Will Acton via 2013 free agency
  • Leon Draisaitl and Tyler Vesel via 2014 draft.

Since he arrived, MacTavish has added one solid NHL center via free agency, but the really good work has been done below the NHL level. I’d guess that all of Draisaitl, Yakimov and Chase will play in the NHL at some point, and in the case of the Russian and German it might be sooner than later (this year). I think that’s a very aggressive timeline, but the talent is clearly there.

BACKDRAFT

Looking at other teams and their haul from the draft, it’s pretty clear the depth from this year’s crop was a problem. I did a ‘top 137′ in order to cover off all the Oiler picks (hahaha, I had three of six listed) and had No. 39 (G Vitek Vanecek to Washington) at No. 123. By the time the first Elvis came off the list at No. 76, my list was garbage. I’m going to post my complete 137 with names taken crossed off later in the week, I think it’s interesting and instructive. Not that my list is the authority, but it does give an indication of the wide open draft in 2014.

arcobello4

BIG WINNER THIS WEEK

The big winner this week (so far) among Oilers? Mark Arcobello. His name is No. 2 on the C depth chart and he’s probably the best option for 4line RW. Arco can also serve as ‘first best option’ for any number of roles. I’d say the Oilers have him in their plans based on what happened this week. In fact, I’d say there should be enough work for Anton Lander to get plenty of at-bats, too. Tyler Pitlick may be on the outside looking in, but that 4line RW job is there for the taking—if he has another impressive camp and can stay healthy, that would be ideal.

HELP FROM THE FARM

This is a point in the development timeline when the Oilers badly need one of these prospects/farm workers to step up. If we look at the NHL depth chart at forward, and extend it to the call-ups and the injury replacements, we easily see who needs to come through for the Oil:

 

LEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WING
TAYLOR HALL RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS JORDAN EBERLE
DAVID PERRON MARK ARCOBELLO TEDDY PURCELL
BENOIT POULIOT LEON DRAISAITL NAIL YAKUPOV
LUKE GAZDIC BOYD GORDON MATT HENDRICKS
JESSE JOENSUU ANTON LANDER*** TYLER PITLICK***
RYAN HAMILTON*** WILL ACTON*** STEVE PINIZZOTTO***
CURTIS HAMILTON*** JUJHAR KHAIRA*** IIRO PAKARINEN***
KALE KESSY*** BOGDAN YAKIMOV*** ANDREW MILLER***

 LOWDOWN

10am, TSN 1260, and we’re back! Guests include Scott Burnside from ESPN, Travis Yost from Hockeybuzz, we’ll replay interviews with Mark Fayne and Benoit Pouliot from yesterday’s free agency coverage. In hour two, it’s Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey, Ryan Pike from Flames Nation, and Dave Jamieson from TSN 1260.

Looking forward to it! @Lowetide_ or 10-1260 via text. Btw, I’m hanging out with the morning show beginning at 8 this morning.

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213 Responses to "WHAT TO DO ABOUT CENTER"

Newer Comments »
  1. HiddenDarts says:

    Glad to read that you’re back on the radio, LT. It’s always a fun listen.

    Fantastic draft coverage, btw. This site, and the posters, seemed to be faster than TSN!

  2. John Chambers says:

    Big supply of UFA centres and small demand.

    This year’s Grabovski may include Legwand, Ribeiro, Jokinen, Roy, and, well, Grabovski.

  3. John Chambers says:

    HiddenDarts,

    Yeah Skidplate seemed to have info 10 mins prior to the media outlets.

    Giggity Giggity.

  4. Pouzar says:

    My best guess is that their is something cooking on the trade front RE: 2C

  5. Ca$h-Money! says:

    I agree that Arco has icetime on this team next year. To me the interesting battle is for that second last forward spot (the last one is locked up by Gazdic). The consensus seems to be it’s down to Pitlick/Lander, but there are other reasonable shots there:

    1. Uncle Jesse: Hard to say what impact hurting his back had on his performance last year. Maybe his preseason and initial games were the real deal, and the rest of the season was about powering through injury (poorly)….. or maybe he just isn’t very good. We shall see.

    2. Pinzotto: He was pretty good in that limited minutes showing last year, he can fight but isn’t a heavyweight… Hendricks pushes him down more than anything

    3. Iiro Pakarinen: The shiny new fin. Scouting report is interesting, if he rips it up in camp I can see him on the opening night roster in that 4w spot.

    Everyone else I’d say doesn’t have a shot at an opening night gig. I’m high on Khaira (saw him and Chase good at the super series) but I think it’s clear he would benefit from a year under Nelson.

  6. Ducey says:

    LT, I would appreciate your thoughts on the top 3 remaining UFA C’s the Oilers should be targeting – being mindful of the remaining cap room.

    Love that you have converted to the cult of L-C-R!

    Although the Oilers don’t have a true top pairing, you have to love their depth at the defensive position. Guys like Nurse and Betker now have no other option but to stay in junior, the AHL team is packed with legitimate prospects – no more Bryan Helmers.

  7. Ca$h-Money! says:

    My call on 2C for what it’s worth is Olli for $2 million.

  8. Woodguy says:

    Looking at DAL D, and I don’t think the fit is there like I assumed.

    Their top 4 Dmen via 5v5 TOI/gm are back this year.

    They are:

    Dillon
    Goligoski
    Daley
    Benn

    Gonchar was 6th behind Robidas.

    You have to think Oleksiak is making the team as well.

    Dillon is RFA and needs a raise.

    It all depends on how they rate Jordie Benn.

    The could use an upgrade at his spot, but not sure if they have the $$$ to do it by the time they sign Dillon and Eakin (both RFA) and they only have $8.6MM left.

    Based on the verbal I’ve read an that they played Eakin at 2C last year, I’m not sure he’s as available as we’d like.

  9. Woodguy says:

    John Chambers:
    HiddenDarts,

    Yeah Skidplate seemed to have info 10 mins prior to the media outlets.

    Giggity Giggity.

    Is that the new for Treenasoil?

  10. RT26 says:

    I think the 2C solution will depend heavily on how reasonable the contracts are for Petry and Shultz. If those two are reasonable ($3.5 to $4MM for Petry, and $2.5 to $2.8 for Shultz), then we can pick up a FA option for 2C

    I like Grabovski personally and think if he would take $4.5M a year over 3 or 4 years, I would pull the trigger.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Igor Kleyner ‏@IgorKleyner 7m
    Traktor Chel GM Vlad Krechin says Petri Kontiola “received offer [from NHL team] that cant be refused”, bought out last year of KHL contract

    6’0 RH C from KHL.

    2004 7th round draft pick by CHI

    Scored 53pts in 61gm for Rockford in the AHL in 08/09

    29 years old, 30 in October.

    37pts in 53gms last year for Traktor (no 2nd assists in KHL)

    Could be Leafs, Sabers, Oilers.

    Not sure who else is missing a C.

  12. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy,

    Yeah they love Eakin too. As they should.

    Have you checked out Garbutt’s Vollman?
    Sweet Jeebuzz where do the other teams find these guys?

  13. gd says:

    Centre ideas I had while having trouble sleeping last night;

    -I’ve got to think Grabo/Kulemin go to Nashville. Jokinen is the most logical signing for MacT
    -I think Legwand wants to go to a contender, but no contenders have room to pay him. Could the Oil sign him for $4 Mill and trade him to a contender at deadline when 3/4 contract paid
    -Isalnders desperately need D men; Petry for Neilson?
    -Perron for Anisimov
    -Perron for Eller
    -Dallas has no Right D; Petry for Eakin
    -crazy one, but Horcoff with $1.5 Mill withheld for 4th rd pick
    -Carolina in a weird place. Could Petry/Perron for one of the Staals be done?
    - 3 way with Buff/StL; Petry to Buff, StL 1st back to Blues, Berglund to Oil

  14. Pouzar says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    The narrative here in WPG was that Jokinen was no longer a 2nd line Center.
    He played the toughs and had a small neg. RelCorsi
    There are worse options out there.

  15. HallDown says:

    Stauffer mentioned yesterday Bergeron is on the market now that STL has Stastny. The price apparently is a 1st round draft choice. Any word on that, LT? Do we do it?

  16. frjohnk says:

    I think the number 2 AND number 3 center spots are question marks.

    We don’t know if Leon is ready, I hope he is, but it is a question mark. Very few centers drafted in the last decade have actually been ready right after the draft. Leon does have size on his side, but….

    We need another NHL centermen. Just think of our line up if RNH goes down with an injury.

  17. russ99 says:

    RT26:
    I think the 2C solution will depend heavily on how reasonable the contracts are for Petry and Shultz.If those two are reasonable ($3.5 to $4MM for Petry, and $2.5 to $2.8 for Shultz), then we can pick up a FA option for 2C

    I like Grabovski personally and think if he would take $4.5M a year over 3 or 4 years, I would pull the trigger.

    Considering the FA contracts handed out yesterday, I think those reasonable numbers are going up, even if RFA signings are usually cheaper than UFA.

    With bonuses, Capgeek has us with $11,857,500 remaining. I’d assume $7-8M would be needed to sign Petry and Schultz, then we’re down to $3.875M available for a center, which isn’t going to be enough to bring in a big name. Plus most teams prefer to operate with some cash left under the cap during the season, for flexibility.

    Might be wise to wait this one out and see who’s left and can sign cheaper in a few weeks.

  18. Pouzar says:

    Off Topic: Has anyone ever snubbed a trade to the Leafs then approved a trade to the worse team in the league? Bless you Josh Gorges!

  19. John Chambers says:

    Pouzar,

    Indeed, although it had a lot more to do with Scheifele taking the 2C spot away from him.

    The real value of a Jokinen or a Roy, is that although neither of them are world-beaters at C, there’s also little downside; they know how to play the position in the NHL and they should push Drai back to Junior. With our sets of wingers I can see either of them being reasonably successful.

  20. John Chambers says:

    gd,

    You are legitimately full of good ideas.

    Except Eller. Hate that twat.

  21. Hall Awaits says:

    I think Mac-T should swing for the fences and get Berglund. If they want our 1st in 2015 then no but if they’re willing to take our 1st in ’16? I do that.

  22. Racki says:

    Woodguy,

    They just picked up Spezza, and also have some up and comers at C like Seviour. He could be available (Eakin). I don’t think he’d be easy to acquire though. He’d be great to have on the Oilers though.. Very hard working player.

    I was going to suggest maybe the Oilers could handle gonchar’s contract but it seems that everyone in the league has a nmc or ntc. So that won’t happen. Gonchar has his.

  23. Henry says:

    Did Loui Ericsson play centre in Dallas? I remember he and Benn switching off at times two years ago, but am not sure.

    Boston is in terrible shape with the cap. The have to sign Reilly Smith, Krug, Bartkowski and some filler with $2M. The savings they get from LTIR of Savard is spent on Jarome’s bonus last year.

    Someone will be available for a draft pick. Arcobello is as good or better than Chris Kelly. Ericsson is a fine player at $4M.

  24. Darrell says:

    LT,
    I got a chuckle out of your depth chart at 2C “New Fellow”. IMHO I still think MacT makes a splash to wake-up the CORE as our fate rests in their hands. It may need to be Yak as its my thought he will want more than 6M if he has a decent season and that will rock the boat. Yak+Petry/Shultz to clear the books and obtain a 2C and another depth defenceman.

    If you could pick the perfect (signed or untouchable) 2C who would it be and why? I would like to use him as a comparable and appreciate your hard work as always.

    Cheers,
    Darrell

  25. frjohnk says:

    Off topic but with Calgary not qualifying Roy, the trade is now Smid for Broissant and the rights to Horak.

  26. Pouzar says:

    John Chambers: Pouzar, Indeed, although it had a lot more to do with Scheifele taking the 2C spot away from him.The real value of a Jokinen or a Roy, is that although neither of them are world-beaters at C, there’s also little downside; they know how to play the position in the NHL and they should push Drai back to Junior. With our sets of wingers I can see either of them being reasonably successful.

    Can’t argue with that.

    I really think Berglund is their primary target though.

  27. OF17 says:

    HallDown,

    Do you mean Berglund? Because a 1st for Bergeron is a no-brainer. I wouldn’t trade the 1st for Berglund, nor would I trade one of the Marincin-Klefbom-Nurse trio for him. Long term, the Oilers have 2C wrapped up, and I’m not sure if Berglund has enough offense to justify losing a real quality asset for him. I’d trade any prospect other than those three and our 2nd in 2015 for him though. It would suck losing Chase, Yakimov, or Moroz, but even then, Berglund would be an excellent add.

    Hoping for either a Berglund trade or an Olli Jokinen signing. Not much interest in Eakin. The player is great, but it would likely cost Petry and ruin the actual NHL defense we seem to have. I’d also look at bringing in Steve Ott. ~35 points per year, good defense, good physicality. He would round out the top-9 really nicely, giving each line on it an offensive, defensive, and at least somewhat physical presence.

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle
    Perron-Draisaitl-Purcell
    Pouliot-Ott-Yakupov

  28. Woodguy says:

    More from Igor Kleyner:

    Igor Kleyner ‏@IgorKleyner 4m
    No clue who the “offer” from. But Kontiola had to pay ~$600K to buy out last year of his deal @Artful_Puck @Woodguy55

    BUF, TOR and EDM have rich ownership, so paying $600K to buy Krechin out of his contract doesn’t eliminate anyone.

    Any other guesses?

    VAN maybe? CAL?

  29. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar:
    Ca$h-Money!,

    The narrative here in WPG was that Jokinen was no longer a 2nd line Center.
    He played the toughs and had a small neg. RelCorsi
    There are worse options out there.

    I had a look and he played 2nd toughs. LIttle played the toughs, but Ollie had tougher ZS playing 2nd toughs.

    Kinda the Gordon role, but with better wingers.

  30. FastOil says:

    I’m not sure Eakin brings enough offense or experience for 2C on a good team. And lacking both of those he’s also light so doesn’t bring a true physical element. Really he’s a 3C. I think the Oil need more.

  31. Rondo says:

    Woodguy,

    Ottawa needs a centre

  32. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Can someone explain to me the collective pants tightening over Berglund? There are UFA options that cost nothing to acquire that I would prefer, and if it’s down to a trade he isn’t my first choice, especially if it costs a first rounder in any year. Until proven otherwise I always assume that’s a top ten pick.

  33. HiddenDarts says:

    Agreed with most of the posters that Eakin is very unlikely. Too much “hard working center of the future” to get him without giving up too much. Won’t happen.

    That Horcoff idea, though, is hilarious. With Dallas retaining salary? Man, what a “That’s Incredible” moment that would be!

  34. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy,

    WG…what is this about? Who?

  35. Racki says:

    FastOil:
    I’m not sure Eakin brings enough offense or experience for 2C on a good team. And lacking both of those he’s also light so doesn’t bring a true physical element. Really he’s a 3C. I think the Oil need more.

    I was actually surprised at his size. Always thought he was bigger because, I think he plays above it. This team can’t be too picky either. I’d the choice is Eakin or rushing draisaitl or putting Arco there, I’d go Eakin. Not my first choice for center but he’d be a good option if other choices are grim.

  36. Hammers says:

    RT26: I think the 2C solution will depend heavily on how reasonable the contracts are for Petry and Shultz. If those two are reasonable ($3.5 to $4MM for Petry, and $2.5 to $2.8 for Shultz), then we can pick up a FA option for 2CI like Grabovski personally and think if he would take $4.5M a year over 3 or 4 years, I would pull the trigger.

    Thought the same thing as the 2 “D” need signed before anything else but cost will be higher than you show probably 7.5 to 8 required . Maybe we could get a guy like Campbell out of Boston for a pick or an AHL player . 1 year left at under 2 and that still leaves some wiggle room if needed.

  37. Pouzar says:

    Ca$h-Money!: Can someone explain to me the collective pants tightening over Berglund? There are UFA options that cost nothing to acquire that I would prefer, and if it’s down to a trade he isn’t my first choice, especially if it costs a first rounder in any year. Until proven otherwise I always assume that’s a top ten pick.

    Young, big, 2 way, cost controlled, positive RelCorsi on a Corsi Machine, honest to god NHL Center.
    I can’t comment on his offensive chops. I’ll defer to the experts.

  38. Younger Oil says:

    It’s very tough as to what to do with regards to the #2C. Any C that could fill that role through free agency would likely make it fairly tough to resign Petry and Schultz without going over the cap.

    As for trades, there are very few players that actually fill our ideal needs: someone 22-28 who can play 2C for a few years, but then drop back to 3C when Draisaitl is ready for 2C. I suppose a player 29-32 with a few years left on a reasonable contract would also work.

    A trade is also tough, because we don’t really have the assets to deal for a #2C without creating a significant hole in the lineup. What we likely have to give up is:

    One of Eberle, Perron, or Yakupov.
    One of Petry and Schultz.
    Earlier 2015 draft picks

    To me, as it stands, we either need to try to take advantage of a cap strapped team, or a stupid GM.

    To me, the most ideal options are Couturier (cap strapped team), Anisimov (perfect fit), or Tavares (insane I know, but maybe not as insane as Snow).

    To me, what seems like the most ideal option right now is to turn Perron and a pick into a #2C. He has not been described as “one of the core”, his value is very high right now, and he has a great contract right now, but it also runs out in just two years where he will likely get a huge raise.

    Could Perron and a 3rd get us Anisimov?

    Would it be possible to trade Perron and a 2nd/3rd for Couturier and Lecavalier, then use a compliance buyout on Lecavalier? Not too sure on compliance buyout rules.

    Would Snow be batshit crazy enough to give us Tavares and Hamonic for Eberle, Schultz, and a 2015 1st?

    Going into next year with

    Hall-RNH-Ebs
    Pouliot-Anisimov/Couturier-Purcell
    Arco/Yak-Draisaitl-Yak/Arco
    Hendricks-Gordon-Lander/Gazdic/Pitlick/UFA

    I think is an improvement on what we have now.

    However, right now, I think the priority should be on resigning Petry and Schultz (unless the plan is to trade them), see how much cap space we have left, then make a move for a 2C accordingly.

  39. HallDown says:

    OF17,

    Yeah, I meant Berglund. No more blogging before coffee.

  40. Woodguy says:

    gd,

    -Isalnders desperately need D men; Petry for Neilson?

    NYI has lots of D

    Hamonic and De haan are the real deal 1st pair
    Lubo and Hickey play 2nd
    Reinhart and one of Donovan/Strait/Crarkner play 3rds

    The could use an upgrade on the 2nd pair, but they don’t lack D.

    They love Neilson to death too.


    -Perron for Anisimov

    I floated that out there last year too.

    I’d prefer to get Dubinksy, but he would cost more and is in the last year of his deal. Kekalainen couldn’t stop talking about how awesome he was last year.

    Love me some Anisimov though.

    Outscored Berglund at 5v5 playing tougher comp with worse line mates last 3 years.

    The more I look at Berglund the more I go “meh”, no thanks.

  41. Woodguy says:

    Rondo:
    Woodguy,

    Ottawa needs a centre

    The day Euge pays $600K to get someone out of a KHL contract is the day LT posts 1 item a day.(across all his outlets)

  42. Racki says:

    No way in hell should the Oilers trade Perron for Anisimov straight up, let alone add to it. Yikes.. I’d rather overpay a free agent than do that.

  43. icecastles says:

    Rondo: Ottawa needs a centre

    Ottawa needs a team.

  44. Racki says:

    Younger Oil,

    Compliance buyouts are done now

  45. HallDown says:

    I’ll be the first to admit Oilers are not the Sharks/Blackhawks/Kings yet. Pouliot,Purcell, and Nikitin seem like real good players, but MacT sort of has a Land-Of-Misfit-Toys here. Nikitin was odd man out on a good D core, Purcell was the Gagner of Tampa Bay. Pouliot hasn’t unpacked his suitcase since he was drafted.
    That said, if the 2C role could be filled with a Berglund type-guy with size,skill, and Hitchcock training- I think this team might have a chance. Schultz needs to become EDM’s Seabrook, Yakupov has to put it all together, and the Kid line needs to become the man line and dominate. Lot to ask, but maybe.. just maybe..
    If we did get Berglund, he could make a great 3C once Draisaitl takes the job from him.

  46. Pouzar says:

    I’ve got it!

    Drop Nuge to 2C and………………

    trade for this guy!!!!!

    “Claude Giroux was reportedly arrested Tuesday night after repeating grabbing a male officer’s buttocks.”

  47. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar:
    Woodguy,

    WG…what is this about? Who?

    Petri Kontiola bought out of his KHL contract ($600K) to accept a “substantial” NHL offer.

    He led Traktor in scoring last year.

    6’0 RH Center.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=76181

  48. Younger Oil says:

    Woodguy:
    More from Igor Kleyner:

    Igor Kleyner ‏@IgorKleyner4m
    No clue who the “offer” from. But Kontiola had to pay ~$600K to buy out last year of his deal @Artful_Puck @Woodguy55

    BUF, TOR and EDM have rich ownership, so paying $600K to buy Krechin out of his contract doesn’t eliminate anyone.

    Any other guesses?

    VAN maybe? CAL?

    This probably doesn’t mean much, but I found this in a Finnish article on Draisaitl:

    http://www.jatkoaika.com/Haastattelu/saksan-superlupaus-kontiola-on-paras-pelaaja-jota-vastaan-olen-pelannut/156870

    ” Suurimman vaikutuksen minuun teki täällä kuitenkin Petri Kontiola. Hän on mielestäni aivan maailman kärkipelaajia, pelisilmä on todella huippuluokkaa. Hänen peliään oli erittäin hauska katsoa ja ottaa siitä oppia.”

    Running this through google translate:

    “The biggest impression on me was doing here, however, Petri Kontiola. I think he is right in the world’s top players, the game’s eye is really top notch. His game was very fun to look at and to learn from it.”

    Food for thought.

  49. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: Petri Kontiola bought out of his KHL contract ($600K) to accept a “substantial” NHL offer.

    He led Traktor in scoring last year.

    6’0 RH Center.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=76181

    Oilers could be the most Russian team if this is an Oiler pick up.

  50. rickithebear says:

    A Srickland says kontiola to blues or ducks!

  51. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy,

    Roger that thanks.

  52. Pouzar says:

    rickithebear: A Srickland says kontiola to blues or ducks!

    Blues eh……hmmmmmmm….now why would they want another Center???

  53. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: Young, big, 2 way, cost controlled, positive RelCorsi on a Corsi Machine, honest to god NHL Center.
    I can’t comment on his offensive chops. I’ll defer to the experts.

    Last season was his 1st positive RelCor season.

    The two seasons before he was a negative playing 3rd comp w/ Perron and Stewart

    There is an argument that Stewart was the drag, but Perron dragged as much imo.

    Not until he was flanked by Taresenko and Schwartz was he a positive RelCor.

    Berglund’s 5v5 pts/60 last 4 years:

    1.72
    1.39
    1.70
    1.76

    That’s pretty awful when you consider he had 3rd comp with good wingers.

    Here’s Perreault’s 5v5 pts/60 playing 3rd comp C for the last 4 years:

    MATHIEUPERREAULT 2.14
    MATHIEUPERREAULT 1.92
    MATHIEUPERREAULT 2.41
    MATHIEUPERREAULT 2.07
    MATHIEUPERREAULT 2.45

    Oilers were in on Perreault , but WIN got him for $3MM x 3

    Say no to Berglund.

    Under performing at 3C, would get buried at 2C.

  54. Ca$h-Money! says:

    book¡je,

    I think he’s a fin.

  55. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Retweeted by Rob Vollman
    DucksNPucks® ‏@DucksNPucks93 20h
    @DucksTalkShow @Amateur_hockey: According to Iltalehti. #NHLDucks sign Finnish centre Petri Kontiola from the #khl

  56. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Woodguy,

    That was my take.

    There’s some upside I suppose, I’d take him vs. nothing…. but I’m not excited about it. I’d rather have any number of UFAs or other trade targets, including Olli, because at least he could be a cheap 1 year deal.

  57. LMHF#1 says:

    Worth another shot for Mueller if they strike out on the Grabovski/etc group.

  58. FastOil says:

    KHL’ers really knock it out of the park over here. I hope MacT isn’t going to experiment in key positions again.

  59. FastOil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Retweeted by Rob VollmanDucksNPucks® ‏@DucksNPucks9320h
    @DucksTalkShow @Amateur_hockey: According to Iltalehti. #NHLDucks sign Finnish centre Petri Kontiola from the #khl

    Phew.

  60. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    missed out on all the fun yesterday.

    Wife’s b-day happens to coincide with Canada-Day (stupid day to put FAF on, really). So, really, I didn’t miss out on any fun at all, but missed the frenzy.

    at any rate.

    Engelland! hahaha that’s so great.

    And Orpik… man… Bolland… man…

    The biggest win for me yesterday was seeing Hemsky follow Spezza to Dallas (spits). ecstatic to see him play with skill for another year.

    Really happy with Fayne. Targeted him for most of the year. Pouliot kind of came out of left field after I had concentrated so much effort on Moss, Winnik and Kulemin.

    Still missing a C.

    Kontiola would have been interesting. Tracked him since that stray rumor last year. Hope that Ducks rumor goes unconfirmed.

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Rob Vollman ‏@robvollmanNHL 8m
    I’m being told privately that Kontiola to the Ducks is a hoax. I do believe they have his rights, acquired in the Wisniewski/Pahlsson deal?

  62. bendelson says:

    Well, I have taken the screen shot, called all my relatives, and am gleefully basking in the glory.
    Bold and caps LT? Sweet music. What a day!

    Anisimov costs you Perron which is more palatable if you could convince Kulemin to sign on…
    Does Anisimov + Winnick mitigate the loss of Perron? Not as sure…

  63. Woodguy says:

    rickithebear:
    A Srickland says kontiola to blues orducks!

    STL doesn’t make any sense.

    They are moving Berglund to make room for Jori Lehtera who is coming over from the KHL.

    He had 44pts in 48gms last year in the KHL (no 2nd assists)

    3rd round pick by the Blues in 2008

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=96457

  64. HiddenDarts says:

    Trading Perron MUST be a no-go unless it’s for a serious 2C or 1D.

    Say it with me, “Must not trade the best player in a deal…”

  65. Woodguy says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Retweeted by Rob VollmanDucksNPucks® ‏@DucksNPucks9320h
    @DucksTalkShow @Amateur_hockey: According to Iltalehti. #NHLDucks sign Finnish centre Petri Kontiola from the #khl

    3C replacement for Bonino

  66. book¡je says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    book¡je,

    I think he’s a fin.

    Yes – commented without thinking – more coffee needed !

  67. sumaclab says:

    Brayden Shenn is the target. Flyers over the cap and still need to retool their defence to be more mobile. I do not know how the the Pronger salary works against the cap but I would assume it comes off after the season starts. Either way it sure would behoove us not to inquire.

  68. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy: Last season was his 1st positive RelCor season.The two seasons before he was a negative playing 3rd comp w/ Perron and StewartThere is an argument that Stewart was the drag, but Perron dragged as much imo.Not until he was flanked by Taresenko and Schwartz was he a positive RelCor.Berglund’s 5v5 pts/60 last 4 years:1.721.391.701.76That’s pretty awful when you consider he had 3rd comp with good wingers.Here’s Perreault’s 5v5 pts/60 playing 3rd comp C for the last 4 years:MATHIEUPERREAULT 2.14MATHIEUPERREAULT 1.92MATHIEUPERREAULT 2.41MATHIEUPERREAULT 2.07MATHIEUPERREAULT 2.45Oilers were in on Perreault , but WIN got him for $3MM x 3Say no to Berglund.Under performing at 3C, would get buried at 2C.

    I hear ya on all that. Still puzzled as to why we would be in on Perrault though. Don’t we need a 2C in the 2nd Comp minute mold?

  69. VanOil says:

    What to do about center seems likely to be answered with our D prospects.

    If Schultz and Petry resign what are the timelines now with the other young D?

    When does Kelfbom earn full time NHL employment? Does he have to wait for Ferrence to retire?

    Does Nurse replace Nitikin in a year and a half? Or does Kelfbom and Nurse waits on Ferrence?

    Do Simpson, Musil or Germat force the issue or move on? How long do they have to make it to the show before they are considered busts?

    Signing Petry and Schultz (so you know where you stand cap wise) and then waiting for camp to see the which D prospects you most want to hold on to before getting involved in any trades seems prudent. MacT seems a little more impatient than that.

  70. JorgeR04 says:

    Couldn’t Klefbomb and a 3rd get us a decent 2nd line center like Eakins or maybe someone a little more established who has already reached their potential (instead of Eakins who they might think will still improve and therefore is worth more)?

  71. HallDown says:

    VanOil,

    All our D prospects are Left shots. Petry/Fayne/Schultz signings are irrelevant.
    You should guess-timate Shultz at $3mm/yr and Petry at $3.25mm/yr (as per Stauffer)
    The plan for Mact is the future D looks like this:

    Klefbom Schultz
    Nurse Petry
    Marincin Fayne

    Klefbom will replace Nikitin in 2 yrs, Nurse will replace Ference in 3. This is the plan, and the rest of the prospects either get traded or take over if one of the big 3 crash and burn for some reason.

  72. VanOil says:

    HallDown:
    VanOil,

    All our D prospects are Left shots. Petry/Fayne/Schultz signings are irrelevant.
    You should guess-timate Shultz at $3mm/yr and Petry at $3.25mm/yr (as per Stauffer)
    The plan for Mact is the future D looks like this:

    Klefbom Schultz
    Nurse Petry
    Marincin Fayne

    Klefbom will replace Nikitin in 2 yrs, Nurse will replace Ference in 3. This is the plan, and the rest of the prospects either get traded or take over if one of the big 3 crash and burn for some reason.

    That seems like a valid plan. I would love for Nurse to get 1.5 years experience in the AHL. MacT’s words yesterday about doing what is right for the players development sound good, and unbelievable based on the Oilers recent history. Lets hope he means it.

  73. Oilanderp says:

    I’d guess that all of Draisaitl, Yakimov and Chase will play in the NHL at some point, and in the case of the Russian and German it might be sooner than later (this year). I think that’s a very aggressive timeline, but the talent is clearly there.

    Yakimov in the NHL this year?!?! Holy! Say it isn’t so!

    I think it’s time to give Patrick Thoresen a call.

  74. Jordan says:

    HallDown:
    VanOil,
    All our D prospects are Left shots. Petry/Fayne/Schultz signings are irrelevant.
    You should guess-timate Shultz at $3mm/yr and Petry at $3.25mm/yr (as per Stauffer)
    The plan for Mact is the future D looks like this:

    Klefbom Schultz
    Nurse Petry
    Marincin Fayne

    Klefbom will replace Nikitin in 2 yrs, Nurse will replace Ference in 3. This is the plan, and the rest of the prospects either get traded or take over if one of the big 3 crash and burn for some reason.

    Problems
    Marincin has already shown he’s much better than a 3rd pairing D-man. No way Nurse is going to be a better bet than Marincin for top-4 minutes in 3 years. Maybe he gets a push due to being MacT’s first pick, but won’t be based on ability.
    Klefbom hasn’t even played half a season without a major injury. And you want him to be on the top pairing? With Schultz, who can’t check his coat?

    This is blue skying of the worst kind. It presumes everyone meets their potential, and doesn’t account for what the proven track records of these players have done, and are good bets to do.

  75. OilClog says:

    Oilanderp: Yakimov in the NHL this year?!?! Holy!Say it isn’t so!

    I think it’s time to give Patrick Thoresen a call.

    Why is this such a stretch.. Guy has been playing in the KHL and MHL for what 2-3yrs. He’s been playin against men, I don’t see what will change. If his feet can keep up, he’ll play at somepoint next year.

  76. wintoon says:

    Oilers made some interesting additions this spring and summer so far. However, we should not look at what the Oilers have done in a vacuum. The other western teams have been busy as well and we have lost ground to them once again.

    New additions to western rosters include Kesler, Richards, Iginla, Spezza and Hemsky, Vanek, Stastny, Bonino and Bennett. We do not have one player that matches up well with the calibre of players that our competition have added.

    While we have upgraded our defense, all these others have increased their offensive cache. Unfortunately the Oilers, while be considered to have lots of offensive talent, are among the worst offensive teams in the NHL in terms of GF. As yet I don’t see any reason to expect any significant change in this statistical area

  77. misfit says:

    Plan A should still be signing a guy out of this year’s crop of free agents to a 1 or 2 year deal.

    Legwand would be ideal, but he wants to go to a contender. Personally, I’d be pitching a one-year deal with the Oilers if the contending teams are capped out or too close to the cap to pay him a competitive salary. If the Oilers make the playoffs, then he gets his shot at a cup. If they’re not a playoff team, then they could trade him to a contender at the deadline. The Oilers are in a position where they can retain salary, so any contender in need of center depth should be able to fit him.

    Grabovski would be a good choice, but he wants term, and we really shouldn’t be giving out any long term contracts to 30 year olds.

    I’ve never been a big Jokinen fan, but I’d rather take him on a 1/2 year contract than give up anything for Berglund.

    Even Steve Ott, who I’m not overly high on (and I consider him a better LW than C) would be a better short term option. I’d like for the guy we add to be able to win a draw or two, and he’s the best faceoff man of the bunch (after 3/4Cs like Fiddler, McClemment, Konopka of course).

    If the Stars need cap space and have to re-sign Eakin, what about bringing Horcoff back for the year? We have the cap room (Dallas may even retain some), and he’s a UFA after the season. I know it’ll never happen, and his offense has fallen off entirely, but…actually, nevermind.

  78. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar: I hear ya on all that. Still puzzled as to why we would be in on Perrault though. Don’t we need a 2C in the 2nd Comp minute mold?

    If someone is killing 3rd comp its reasonable to play them at 2nd comp.

    Your expectaion need to be lowered, but its a good bet.

    When shopping for players it can be cheapest to target guys ready for a jump in the line up.

    Don’t confuse this with playing players over their heads.

    It kinda is, but its a realistic bet.

  79. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy,

    Gotcha. I think he plays the 3rd comp role in WPG unless Scheifele struggles.
    Brian Little is really good at hockey btw.

  80. Ducey says:

    Any thoughts on Mike Ribeiro?

    Bought out by Arizona. Lots of off ice problems http://www.fiveforhowling.com/2014/6/30/5855414/mike-ribeiro-buy-out-arizona-coyotes – probably with the bottle.

    He refused to waive his NTC to be bought out by Calgary last week.

    Did put up 47 points last year on an very defensively inclined team. Has had seasons of 59, 83, 78, 53, 71, 63, 49 (in 48 games), and 47. Is 34. CF 52.9 Rel Corsi +3.2% Got a huge push with zone starts – only 19.6% DZS but had more balanced starts the year before with WASH (and a better CF% 54.9 – not sure if that is the Ovenchicken effect)

    Not doubt he is a very good player. He is a C but lousy on the dot – 43%.

    May not have a lot of options and there is no way you give him more that 1 yr. Maybe at $2 million.

    The Oilers, including MacT, have some experience with these types of issues. Maybe they can rehabilitate him?

  81. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Jordan,

    I think that’s a lot of assumptions. Jacob Trouba has turned out to be a fantastic defender for the Jets, just a year removed from his draft – the hit-and-miss 2012 draft where he was picked 9th. Nurse showed phenomenal athletic ability in camp and I think he was sent down (wisely) after his first bad preseason game because if he showed too much he might stay for 9 games and secure a roster spot.

  82. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Ducey,

    No way. Phoenix is known for reclamation projects. If *they* gave up on Ribeiro, no way do I want him near our kids. He needs a season or two or three off to learn some humility and deal with his problems, whatever they may be. Given his lack of pallor and thinness, I imagine his problems come in a powder form rather than liquid.

  83. bendelson says:

    AND a shout out on the Lowdown today LT? Whoa.

    Question: Do I need to drop by to pick up my ‘inner circle’ membership card or will Woodguy be delivering it personally?

  84. Woodguy says:

    wintoon,

    New additions to western rosters include Kesler, Richards, Iginla, Spezza and Hemsky, Vanek, Stastny, Bonino and Bennett. We do not have one player that matches up well with the calibre of players that our competition have added.

    Of you list I don’t rate these players very high:

    ‘Richards
    Bonino
    Bennett (why is he here, he’s never played a NHL game)

    I like Bonino fine, but he’s a 3C as is Richards now who will play 2C for CHI, but with excellent wingers.

    Kesler and Statsny didn’t leave the conference.

    Spezza, Hemsky and Vanek are the only “new” adds to the WC

  85. Woodguy says:

    Pouzar:
    Woodguy,

    Gotcha. I think he plays the 3rd comp role in WPG unless Scheifele struggles.
    Brian Little is really good at hockey btw.

    I think the plan is for Perreault to replace Oliie playing 2nds.

    Scheifele played 3rds last year and is still a kid, its best to leave him there.

  86. Gerta Rauss says:

    bendelson:
    AND a shout out on the Lowdown today LT?Whoa.

    Question:Do I need to drop by to pick up my ‘inner circle’ membership card or will Woodguy be delivering it personally?

    BE SURE TO DRINK YOUR OVALTINE

  87. Woodguy says:

    Ducey,

    Ribero cheats worse than Gagner.

    Pass.

  88. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Woodguy,

    Vanek and Spezza are genuinely new, no quotation marks needed. Neither strikes me as an elite first liner any more, but overall free agency seems to have favored the West over the East.

  89. Gerta Rauss says:

    frjohnk:
    Off topic but with Calgary not qualifying Roy, the trade is now Smid for Broissant and the rights to Horak.

    And a roster spot on D, $3.5M in cap space in 14,15 and 16, and whatever actuall dollars this saved Katz when they realized the season was a write off.

    I’m not defending the org or the trade – I was a big fan of Smid – but I think Smid’s days were numbered the minute they signed Ference

  90. Jordan says:

    LT, sometimes you kill me.
    “…we’ll talk about the 2nd line centre that the Oilers need after trading Sam Gagner…”

    Yes, because the Oilers didn’t need a 2nd line centre with Sam Gagner in the lineup, because he was such an effective player at centre. Following in the footsteps of players being incredibly effective NHLers for the Oilers like: Belanger, MacIntyre, Schultz (both), Acton, Jones, Whitney, Smithson, Hordichuk, Barker, Chorney, Strudwick, Omark, O’Marra, Jacques, Peckham, Deslaurier, O’Sullivan, Reddox, Stortini, Potulny, Schremp, Nilsson… I think I’m just going to leave it here.

    We’ve seen more than enough floatsam & jetsam here for too long. Really hoping they can get a good established 2C, and make some noise this year.

  91. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Jordan,

    Das Salty Forumer?

  92. Shau-co says:

    A bit off-topic for this post, but i think we need a separate discussion or post on what to do about the No. 1 or No. 2 defender. I know many are against trading Petry, but it makes sense to me if we can upgrade him by packaging other assets along with him. Hard to do I know, but i cant stop dreaming about that 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 deal!

  93. Jordan says:

    Marcus Oilerius,

    Its like Arya Stark’s list, except I don’t want to see each of them dead, I just want them to go play for the other teams in the NHL.

    Especially Calgary.

  94. wintoon says:

    Woodguy,

    The point I was trying to make (and not very well I guess) is that most of the potential playoff teams like Ana, Chi, Col, Dallas, Minn, STL have upgraded the quality of their offense. I acknowledge that the Oilers first priority was to upgrade their D but we do not yet have any proof positive that the Oilers can compete offensively with their rivals for a playoff berth.

    What perhaps concerns me the most is that the Oilers have very few assets they can use to acquire a key #2C. This has been a concern of mine for several years.

  95. FastOil says:

    wintoon:
    Oilers made some interesting additions this spring and summer so far. However, we should not look at what the Oilers have done in a vacuum. The other western teams have been busy as well and we have lost ground to them once again.

    New additions to western rosters include Kesler, Richards, Iginla, Spezza and Hemsky, Vanek,Stastny, Bonino and Bennett.We do not have one player that matches up well with the calibre of players that our competition have added.

    While we have upgraded our defense, all these others have increased their offensive cache. Unfortunately the Oilers, while be considered to have lots of offensive talent, are among the worst offensive teams in the NHL in terms of GF.As yet I don’t see any reason to expect any significant change in this statistical area

    It’s true the Oilers haven’t gained ground. Strong teams got stronger. St Louis landing Stastny is hideous. At least Steen and Backes are on the top of the slope looking down, maybe Elliot goes back to a below average SV%.

    As to the Oiler’s offense, it is low because the team play is so appaling. With D that can make a pass and wingers that can hold the O Zone boards better the GF is going to go up.

    Last year the Oilers had one proper NHL D in Petry. No team is going to generate much that way. Not that Marincin didn’t do well, but everyone seems to forget he was a rookie. He helped move the puck the right way but it’s not the same as playing with an experienced player.

  96. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    I think the plan is for Perreault to replace Oliie playing 2nds.
    Scheifele played 3rds last year and is still a kid, its best to leave him there.
    ***********************************************************************************
    Ollie embarrassed himself here in Winnipeg two years ago with his performance. To his
    credit, he owned up to it. ( over his head at 2C )

    Last year, Ollie was solid – mainly becuase he was cast down a slot at 3C.

    Scheifle after a slow start to the season took the 2C spot and ran….

  97. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Jordan,

    Sorry, I thought you were starting to post like someone else, a notorious poster from when I was still lurking who seems to have been uninvited from continued participation.

  98. Ducey says:

    HallDown: Stauffer mentioned yesterday Bergeron is on the market now that STL has Stastny. The price apparently is a 1st round draft choice. Any word on that, LT? Do we do it?

    The Oilers should not be giving up their first round pick unless a superstar is coming back.

    Ottawa walked away from this draft with the their highest pick being 40th overall. Now they have a bunch of holes to fill. They could have had Fiala at 10th overall. He would have been ready in a year or two.

    NYI made the infamous trade for Vanek and now might be giving up a chance at McDavid next year.

    If you are a top 10 team and you’re going for the Cup, then trading your first is justifiable. Teams that are still building (the Oilers likely still pick top 10 in 2015) should not be giving up first round picks.

  99. Woodguy says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Woodguy,

    Vanek and Spezza are genuinely new, no quotation marks needed.Neither strikes me as an elite first liner any more, but overall free agency seems to have favored the West over the East.

    No question the West added more of the upper echelon.

  100. G Money says:

    FastOil: As to the Oiler’s offense, it is low because the team play is so appaling. With D that can make a pass and wingers that can hold the O Zone boards better the GF is going to go up.

    Quoted for truth.

    Not a point that is recognized nearly enough.

    The upgrades on D automatically represent an upgrade on O as well. That’s why you build a team “up the middle” – which means G, then D, then C, then W. It’s not a coincidence that Hemsky and Horcoff, had their best years (and Smyth his second best year) playing in front of the Gap Tooth Baby Gorilla.

    Upgrades in the forwards *can* mean an upgrade on defense, but not necessarily.

    MacT has upgraded the G and now the D substantially – more than I could have hoped given the Oilers troubles signing players and lack of assets for trades.

    It will mean more scoring for the good guys. Just replacing a single of those “three minutes straight of the other guys cycling in our end” per game with back and forth play instead will probably add 5 goals to Hall’s totals.

    The C remains weak, yes, but at this point we’re pushing the boundaries of the idea of “build up the middle”, and I think it’s a worthwhile experiment. A powerful set of scoring wingers, some of the best in the business (especially if the Yak gets untracked) means that maybe instead of your C having to be your best offensive player, the Oilers need to get good two-way guys in the middle to have success by letting the wingers fly.

    Kind of the Horcoff model (whether with Hemsky and Smyth or a rookie Hall and Eberle).

    That’s why I think a decent, cheap two-way guy like Legwand would be a worthwhile experiment.

  101. Lloyd B. says:

    I know we want all the holes filled this year so we make the playoffs. Then tweak the line up the two years after to challenge for and win the cup. What if we have filled all the holes we can this year leaving the in house talent to fill the 2C spot.

    Rotate all the Cs we have and hope ( ugh ) that someone jumps up and grabs 2C by the throat. Arco was servicable with good wingers in the role last year. Maybe Lander finally takes the next step and brings some of his AHL offense with him. Maybe Draisaitl goes bezerk for 7 games before blowing up and being sent down. Maybe a contender loses all their defencemen and have to trade a #1 center for a defenseman. Limp through this year.

    MacT obviously looks at LTs list every year and does that. Next year the #1 item of LTs to do list is 2C. #2 item is the BHAD. ( Big hairy assed defenceman ) Only two items on the entire list.

    A nightmare and a dream all in one post.

  102. Ducey says:

    wintoon: Woodguy, The point I was trying to make (and not very well I guess) is that most of the potential playoff teams like Ana, Chi, Col, Dallas, Minn, STL have upgraded the quality of their offense. I acknowledge that the Oilers first priority was to upgrade their D but we do not yet have any proof positive that the Oilers can compete offensively with their rivals for a playoff berth. What perhaps concerns me the most is that the Oilers have very few assets they can use to acquire a key #2C. This has been a concern of mine for several years.

    They have a #2 C – Draisaitl. He won’t be ready for prime time for a year or two but they have him.

    Most of the teams that did well in free agency were teams that have a chance to compete for the Cup. Until the Oilers have the look of a winning team, players are not going to waive NTC or come here as UFA’s.

    The Oilers just finished 28th with a – 67 goal differential and the worst goals against in the league. Realistically, they can’t really be expected to finish better than 20th this year.

    Worrying about what the playoff teams are doing is the least of our problems.

  103. DoubleJ says:

    I’m not sure why no one is mentioning Patrick Sharp.

    Chicago is over the cap. They need to resign Saad, Toews,Kane.

    He’s the guy. The perfect fit for 2 nd line center.

    If not him take Ribero dirt cheap for the year.

  104. Woodguy says:

    wintoon:
    Woodguy,

    The point I was trying to make(and not very well I guess) is that most of the potential playoff teams like Ana, Chi, Col, Dallas, Minn, STL have upgraded the quality of their offense. I acknowledge that the Oilers first priority was to upgrade their D but we do not yet have any proof positive that the Oilers can compete offensively with their rivals for a playoff berth.

    What perhaps concerns me the most is that the Oilers have very few assets they can use to acquire a key #2C. This has been a concern of mine for several years.

    I agree that DAL, STL, ANA, MIN and CHI got better.

    I also think EDM and WIN got better.

    COL got much worse losing Statsny. Iginla can score, but can’t play toughs anymore and is slow.
    They also traded for Brad Stuart, which is like trading for Smid or worse right now.

    VAN is meh.
    NSH is meh.
    CAL is comedy (I still think they add Grabbo and Kulimen)
    PHX is worse

    SJS is same
    LAK is same

    I see these teams as playoff locks unless they lose their 1G and others

    LAK
    SJS
    MIN
    DAL
    CHI
    STL

    I see these teams as locks to miss the playoffs

    VAN
    NSH
    CAL

    I see these teams fighting for the last 2 playoff spots:

    WIN
    COL
    EDM
    PHX
    ANA

    ANA is the best of that bunch, which probably means EDM has to be better than WIN, COL, and PHX.

    If WIN sticks with Pavelec they can be had. If they upgrade G, they will be tough.

    COL got worse up front and on D and rode unsustainable goaltending last year, they can be had.

    PHX can’t be counted out because of TIppett, but man their roster looks barren.

    First step is the make the playoffs, and with the right 2C, its within reach.

    ***This all assumes that Ramsay straightens out Eakin’s CF killing systems. I’m hoping he does***

  105. Woodguy says:

    Mark Spector ‏@SportsnetSpec 3m
    Mikhail Grabovski expecting to sign later today with US-based team, despite interest from a few in Canada. – source

  106. Rondo says:

    Offer sheet Ryan Johansen.

  107. theres oil in virginia says:

    Marcus Oilerius:
    Jordan,

    Sorry, I thought you were starting to post like someone else, a notorious poster from when I was still lurking who seems to have been uninvited from continued participation.

    I’m sure Foxy is still welcome. I don’t think he’s feeling so salty these days. I wonder if he would take the Hemsky-Brown bet with Woodguy for this year.

  108. Ducey says:

    Woodguy,

    Sorry man, but there is no way that ANA is “fighting for a playoff spot”. They finished second in the entire league last year, only lost 8 games all year at home, have a good GM, a ton of prospects and as you acknowledged, improved this off season.

    The only question is whether they win the President’s Cup.

  109. Ice Sage says:

    Woodguy: I agree that DAL, STL, ANA, MIN and CHI got better.I also think EDM and WIN got better.COL got much worse losing Statsny. Iginla can score, but can’t play toughs anymore and is slow.They also traded for Brad Stuart, which is like trading for Smid or worse right now.VAN is meh.NSH is meh.CAL is comedy (I still think they add Grabbo and Kulimen)PHX is worseSJS is sameLAK is sameI see these teams as playoff locks unless they lose their 1G and othersLAKSJSMINDALCHISTLI see these teams as locks to miss the playoffs VANNSHCALI see these teams fighting for the last 2 playoff spots:WINCOLEDMPHXANAANA is the best of that bunch, which probably means EDM has to be better than WIN, COL, and PHX.If WIN sticks with Pavelec they can be had. If they upgrade G, they will be tough.COL got worse up front and on D and rode unsustainable goaltending last year, they can be had.PHX can’t be counted out because of TIppett, but man their roster looks barren.First step is the make the playoffs, and with the right 2C, its within reach.***This all assumes that Ramsay straightens out Eakin’s CF killing systems. I’m hoping he does***

    thanks, WG, that’s a brilliant and practical summary (“what does it all mean?”, style) – may I borrow for the BBQ circuit?

    I’d only quibble with SJS – I see them as being as vulnerable as ANA, especially if Wilson’s defeatism sets in on the bench. It’s a tough breach to bridge, into the playoffs in the WC.

  110. Dipstick says:

    I am a bit worried that if MacT signs a 2C, that they will leave themselves vulnerable to an offer sheet on Schultz or Petry. I hope he signs them before emptying the cupboard on any other FAs.

  111. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    DAL and STL are the big winners I think. STL addressed their biggest weakness, and DAL added major firepower on their second line.

    I’m not sure why ANA isn’t a lock for the playoffs now too – Kesler is a major add.

    With an aging Thornton and Marleau refusing to be traded, I wonder how long until the wheels fall off for SJS. Probably not this year, but it can sneak up on you.

    VAN is borderline comedy too. Two years ago with Kesler out of the lineup, they were a poor team. Last year, with Kesler in the lineup, they were a poor team. This year, even with Miller, will be worse than either of those years I think.

    So it still comes down to the same thing you said: “EDM has to be better than WIN, COL, and PHX.”

    COL was a faux contender and got quite a bit worse, and EDM is now arguably also on par with the other two teams.

    All I ask of the Oilers is that they’re at least scrapping for a spot til the end.

    Playoffs at this point may depend on whether Scrivens is the real deal and if they can convince a real NHL player to play 2C.

    But at least it’s gone from “pipe dream” to “on the horizon”!

  112. Hammers says:

    G Money: Quoted for truth.

    Not a point that is recognized nearly enough.

    The upgrades on D automatically represent an upgrade on O as well.That’s why you build a team “up the middle” – which means G, then D, then C, then W.It’s not a coincidence that Hemsky and Horcoff, had their best years (and Smyth his second best year) playing in front of the Gap Tooth Baby Gorilla.

    Upgrades in the forwards *can* mean an upgrade on defense, but not necessarily.

    MacT has upgraded the G and now the D substantially – more than I could have hoped given the Oilers troubles signing players and lack of assets for trades.

    It will mean more scoring for the good guys.Just replacing a single of those “three minutes straight of the other guys cycling in our end” per game with back and forth play instead will probably add 5 goals to Hall’s totals.

    The C remains weak, yes, but at this point we’re pushing the boundaries of the idea of “build up the middle”, and I think it’s a worthwhile experiment.A powerful set of scoring wingers, some of the best in the business (especially if the Yak gets untracked) means that maybe instead of your C having to be your best offensive player, the Oilers need to get good two-way guys in the middle to have success by letting the wingers fly.

    Kind of the Horcoff model (whether with Hemsky and Smyth or a rookie Hall and Eberle).

    That’s why I think a decent, cheap two-way guy like Legwand would be a worthwhile experiment.

    Cheap . He will want $ 5 mill

  113. Ducey says:

    Woodguy: Mark Spector ‏@SportsnetSpec 3mMikhail Grabovski expecting to sign later today with US-based team, despite interest from a few in Canada. – source

    I am guessing the NYI give him his 5 x $5. They need to get to the floor and Snow’s ass is on the line.

    At least its not CGY.

  114. Pouzar says:

    Olli Jokinen to NSH

  115. striatic says:

    Jokinen to NSH 1 year 2.5m.

    Clearly Edmonton not interested. They had the space to exceed that offer.

    Really thought Jokinen would fetch more, but he’s a soft minutes 3C and not what teams are looking for right now.

  116. Kris11 says:

    Assuming that the Oilers either add a 2C or Arcobello can play decently well there, the fate of the team will depend on the following question marks

    Schultz and Yakupov being better and closer to the hype they came with
    Nikitin being decent with top 4 minutes
    Marinicn continuing to play as well as he did last year
    Goaltending, as always
    Health, as always

    If Yak or Schulyz explodes, this team is offensively powerful.
    If the new D falters, any new found offense won’t matter that much

    We know what to expect from a lot of the players and much of it is good. The top line, the 2nd and 3rd line wingers (though not Yak), Petry, etc. all have a baseline established. Some of it not so good: Ference, Gazdic, etc.

  117. Ducey says:

    striatic: Jokinen to NSH 1 year 2.5m.Clearly Edmonton not interested. They had the space to exceed that offer.Really thought Jokinen would fetch more, but he’s a soft minutes 3C and not what teams are looking for right now.

    Never know. Ollie may not have wanted to come here.

  118. G Money says:

    Hammers,

    He can want whatever he wants. *I* want $5M too. Doesn’t mean anyone’s going to give that to me.

    Legwand’s a 33 year old with a 51 pt season behind him and he made $3.5M last year.

    Even in silly season, that doesn’t exactly give him the strongest of bargaining positions.

    Doesn’t mean somebody won’t pony up that kind of cash (TO is looking pretty desperate right now).

    But it means he could be in exactly the same kind of situation Mason Raymond and Maxim Lapierre were last year, where the they were still standing when the FA music stopped, and they had to sign cheap one or two-year deals just to have a place to play.

    It may or may not be Legwand, but there’s a good chance some half-decent 2C/3C will be in that boat this year.

  119. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ducey: I am guessing the NYI give him his 5 x $5.They need to get to the floor and Snow’s ass is on the line.

    At least its not CGY.

    Eklunds got it as PITT or Carolina as of a minute ago

    When Grabbo signs that should set the upper limit for the market, and Jokinen the lower limit. Legwand should fit somewhere in between you would think

  120. Henry says:

    G Money,

    Woodguy,

    As much as I dislike VAN, losing Tortorella is going to add quite a few wins, the Sedins are too good not to bounce back and their defense is very good. They may battle for the playoffs.

    If Giordano thrives this season like the last one, he should win the Norris. That team is in an epic battle with Buffalo for McSaviour. Playing in the west, they have a shot.

    I don’t understand why COL didn’t go harder after Niskanen, Strahlman etc. They had the capspace, a fanbase and a good story. They have excellent forwards despite losing Stastny, a hot/good goalie and holes on defense. Do they believe their record or the amount of time they spend in their own zone?

    Question for you guys: Do you think Legwand is a good solution for 2C while Draisatl incubates? Good meaning that the roster will be playoff competitive.

  121. hoser313 says:

    2 points:

    1) Given Draisaitl scored 100 pts. + in junior last year and is already 210 lbs. +, what is the point exactly of sending him back to junior (assuming his footspeed and reaction time are passable by NHL standards)?

    2) Fans howled last year when Arco was taken out of the line-up and Gagner went back in. Now fans are saying Arco shouldn’t be our 2C or 3C.

    The team is not challenging for the cup this year. The worst thing to do would be to sign a mediocre UFA centre to a multi-year deal.

    I’m OK with giving Arco and Draisaitl their shots, and saving an overpay on a centre until a year in the which the Oilers can actually make a run. Besides, that cap money is better spent resigning Petry.

  122. hags9k says:

    hoser313,

    I’m not opposed to either being in the NHL this year but the thing is, injuries…. I think we still need another C. What if heaven forbid, arco got hurt along with a Nuge or a Gordon. All of a sudden the clown circus is back in town.

  123. 719 says:

    With Detroit needing a Right Shot D-Man and the Oilers needing a Centre, does anyone think Riley Sheahan for Jeff Petry?

    Then maybe obtaining Boychuk who is rumored to be on the market?

  124. Ducey says:

    Gerta Rauss: Eklunds got it as PITT or Carolina as of a minute agoWhen Grabbo signs that should set the upper limit for the market, and Jokinen the lower limit. Legwand should fit somewhere in between you would think

    If its PIT, maybe MacT can pry Brandon Sutter from them? Not sure he is who EDM wants but has size and some defensive acumen.

    PIT would have Crosby, Malkin, Grabbo, Goc, Spaling.

    Sutter is an RFA, possibly due to receive a raise from his $2 million/ yr.

  125. Marcus Oilerius says:

    hoser313,

    1. Experience. Endurance. When I was 18 I was in better shape than I am now, but I couldn’t work 10 days straight, never mind 24. The physical and mental fatigue were too much.

    2. Fans are idiots. I consider myself as example number one.

    3. If we’re not challenging for the Cup, why burn ELC years?

  126. LMHF#1 says:

    I was always assuming it was Jussi Jokinen they wanted, not Olli.

  127. bucknuck says:

    I think there is a possibility that Arco outplays Draisaitl in the centre slot and that sends the big man back to Junior (where he belongs). The way he played when he got back to the AHL in a playoff race last year tells me there’s a real player there. Especially with big bodied wingers like Pouliot and Purcell on his wings.

    That said. I would LOVE it if they brought in Anisimov.

  128. rickithebear says:

    Ducey: The Oilers just finished 28th with a – 67 goal differential and the worst goals against in the league. Realistically, they can’t really be expected to finish better than 20th this year.

    Are we talking end of year roster or
    start of season roster.

    All year versus the east.
    14-14-4 .500

    Without 3 of HAll; Perron; Gagner; Smyth; Eberel; YAK
    1-7

    Healthy
    13-7-4 .625

    Versus CGY; WPG; NSH all season
    6-2-3 .682

    our start of season roster
    was 1-18-2 versu s the best of the west.

    wewe got rid of
    Dubnyk; Labarbera;
    Smid; N. schultz.
    Hemsky); Bryz

    We were 7-9 versus the best of the west
    6-3 Versus ANA; VCR; PHX; MINN
    1-6 versus SJS; LAK; STL;COL

    we rolled at end of year;
    with 4year avg (take – Give) per season in brackets.
    you know when they actually have the puck!

    LW Hall; Perron; (Jeonsu(-8)/Jones(-2)/Lander(-1)); Gazdic
    C RNH; Gagner(-10); Gordon; Smyth(-3)
    RW; Eberle; (Pitlick; Lander; Jones; Larsen) Hendricks
    D Marincin; Petry (Schultz /Larsen ); (Ference/Belov); Klefbom; Fraser.
    G Scrivens; Fasth

    Hemsky was (-9) per season

    I have more faith in;
    LW Hall (-13); Perron(+13); pouliot(+10): Hendricks(+7)
    C XXX; RNH(+10); Draisatl/Yakimov; Gordon(+10)
    RW Eberle(even); Purcell (+7); Yak(-13); Arco (+10)

    D:
    Marincin 2.08 EVGA 1st comp;
    Petry 2.24 EVGA 1st comp;
    Nikitin 1.31 EVGA 2nd comp;
    Fayne 1.61 EVGA 2nd comp ;
    Ference 2.19 EVGA 2nd comp;
    Schultz 3.08 EVGA 1st/2nd comp
    Aulie 2.09-3.05 1st comp 2.15 2nd comp

  129. Pouzar says:

    bucknuck: I think there is a possibility that Arco outplays Draisaitl in the centre slot and that sends the big man back to Junior (where he belongs). The way he played when he got back to the AHL in a playoff race last year tells me there’s a real player there. Especially with big bodied wingers like Pouliot and Purcell on his wings.That said. I would LOVE it if they brought in Anisimov.

    Ansimov in the #2 slot and Arco in the soft minutes #3 scoring line would be dreamy.

  130. Melman says:

    Woodguy,

    I’m confused as to why you don’t have ANA as a lock for the playoffs. Goaltending, or something else? They lost Sbisa, Bonino, Selanne, Koivu (I think), picked up Kesler, Thompson and Stoner & Souray should be back and it’s reasonable to get some improvement from Smith-Pelly, Etem and the young crop.

  131. Marcus Oilerius says:

    rickithebear,

    We were also outshot by over 10 shots per game to start the season, and 10 shots per game to end the season. Goaltending (and to a lesser extent shooting percentage) were the difference in the win/lpss records over that time.

  132. Deadman Waiting says:

    The word “overpay” originates in the view that the value of a hockey player is equivalent to what it says on his hockey card and that you evaluate the strength of your team using the bridge formula: assigning 4 points for an ace, 3 points for a king, 2 points for queen, and one point for a jack then added them all up, with bonuses for depth, and favour given to nines and tens supporting a couple of face cards in the same suit. This is a 90% linear assessment of hand strength.

    But it doesn’t work that way in practice. When most of your young nucleus was procured from the BPA ice cream truck, complementary vitamins and minerals are obtained from free agent frenzy. Turtle soup, grizzly liver, elephant tusk, and rhinoceros horn doesn’t come cheap. Even after you buy it, you’re not sure it is what it claims to be.

    Throwing this word around as glibly as they do on trade day also serves to buttress the general fan perception that the ranks of general managership is filled with morons and fools, rather than create the perception that each GM is solving his solving his own particular problems as best as he can.

    There’s a huge difference between a great GM and a weak GM, but the bar of outright incompetence does not divide the ranks down the middle nearly so much as this vocabulary suggests to the unthinking fan.

    I regard this as a form of Dunning–Kruger porn: it gives a nice glow to the type of person walking around in a happy bubble of illusory superiority. The business of selling hope has many tributaries.

    One of the great impediments to clear thinking in this world of ours is the incredible racket of sheep being sheared that constitutes the background soundscape. Wherever sheep are found, so too are noisy clippers.

    During the cold war, urban legend has it that whenever a Soviet apparatchik was taking on tour of a western grocery store to experience the diversity of the western economy, the smug and sincere question came back “but how to you force the grocery store to stock all these products?”

    How does the MSM know how to do their part in the shearing of sheep? Nielson ratings. This is why I put so much stock in the Eakins and MacTavish verbal. The spin is still there, but is hasn’t become part of the water supply.

    What happened at the frenzy is entirely consistent with the view I’ve formed of the Eakins–MacTavish relationship over the past year, as formed from all the pressers I’ve watched.

    What Eakins really meant when he said “My bad” was “I’ll be back.” I’ve yet to detect any evidence that this long term vision has changed one iota. Except concerning the fitness room, he’s not unduly wedded to any particular method.

    If life really were linear, there wouldn’t be much human drama. Eakins has many strengths and no few weaknesses. Whether he can organize himself so that his strengths are greater than the sum of the parts with his weaknesses less than the sum of the parts remains to be seen.

    It’s a universal Dunning–Kruger effect that we all try to find a place in life where our strengths outshine our weaknesses, and then foolishly admit this as evidence we can perform equally well at something of a subtly different stripe.

    One works so hard to get all one’s strengths seated at the front of the bus, and one’s weaknesses seated at the back of the bus, and then you pull into your new environment, and somebody comes up and opens the rear doors. “What the heck are you doing?” you immediately blurt out. “Oh, yeah, everyone who comes here is surprised by this, but that ornate edifice you see over there is Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory, and half the kids in this district have trouble boarding through the main door.”

    You’ve got it all organized, then life throws a curve ball with chubby cheeks.

  133. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Deadman Waiting,

    Eakins does seem pretty wedded to two methods: unskilled goon, and blame the Russian.

  134. bendelson says:

    Gerta Rauss: BE SURE TO DRINK YOUR OVALTINE

    Ovaltine?

    I figure there must be a joke in there somewhere…
    Unfortunately, I am unable to locate it.

  135. G Money says:

    Henry,

    Fair points.

    - I agree Torts was a disaster. The thing is, they didn’t replace him with an experienced coach with a track record of coaching a veteran team (you know – like an Alain Vigneault, LOL), they replaced him with an NHL first-timer. So it’s not a given that Desjardins is automatically an improvement on JT.

    - The Sedin’s are an interesting study. A big part of their strength has always been consistency and durability, with long Ironman streaks for both. Last year, it (and they) started to fall apart. At 33, that shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. So yeah, they may bounce back, but personally I’m betting that they’ve just started on an ever-steepening downhill slide.

    - I think COL is a cap-constrained team. Because it’s Denver, we assume it’s a hockey town, but it’s actually not so much. I used to work for a company HQd in Denver and I spent months per year down there. Saw more live Avs games then Oiler games for a year or so! It’s not that great a hockey town. I remember being at the Pepsi Center during a game vs the LA Kings (the year they won their first recent Stanley) when both teams were in a life-or-death race for the last playoff position. My buddies and I managed to get cheap lower bowl seats the day before the game. It was dead in there. Quiet, and my group (one fellow Canuck and one Brit) were the loudest in our section. That might explain their reluctance to go after more than one marquee free agent. And an aging Iggy at that – oy.

    - I think Legwand is a fine stop-gap 2C. More than one year would be problematic though. And, no I don’t think that makes the Oilers a playoff team. Lots of chips have to fall just right for that to happen anyway, so I think the Oilers are better off making incremental improvements where they can, but leave some powder dry for the next couple of years to address gaps as we hopefully move from bum to playoffs to contender.

  136. DBO says:

    So if Grabovski and Jokinen are gone, the list of centres is dropping I have talked myself into Mike Santorelli from Vancouver. He is not big (6’0) but he is solid two ways, can PK, is good on the dot (51% on 400+ last year), held his head above water (positive corsi) with the hardest zone starts and quality of comp of any Vancouver centre last year. He can play RW as well. Wonder if a two year deal around $2 mill would work. he can be a 4 RW or 2/3 C. Kill penalties and play responsibly. Not a world beater, but he is 28, knows his own zone and brings decent offense (28 pts in 49 games) while still contributing solid two way play.

    Everyone else is either just offensively minded or over 32 (otherwise known as The Cliff)

  137. Pouzar says:

    DBO: So if Grabovski and Jokinen are gone, the list of centres is dropping I have talked myself into Mike Santorelli from Vancouver. He is not big (6’0) but he is solid two ways, can PK, is good on the dot (51% on 400+ last year), held his head above water (positive corsi) with the hardest zone starts and quality of comp of any Vancouver centre last year. He can play RW as well. Wonder if a two year deal around $2 mill would work. he can be a 4 RW or 2/3 C. Kill penalties and play responsibly. Not a world beater, but he is 28, knows his own zone and brings decent offense (28 pts in 49 games) while still contributing solid two way play.Everyone else is either just offensively minded or over 32 (otherwise known as The Cliff)

    He’s my UFA choice. I think MacT is trolling the trade market for a bigger fish however.

  138. striatic says:

    DBO: Not a world beater, but he is 28, knows his own zone and brings decent offense (28 pts in 49 games) while still contributing solid two way play.

    10 Goals, 28 Assists is decent balance too.

    That said, looks like he spent most of his time with either Kesler or with the Sedins and there is no evidence he wouldn’t flounder with weaker teammates.

  139. Gerta Rauss says:

    bendelson: Ovaltine?

    I figure there must be a joke in there somewhere…
    Unfortunately, I am unable to locate it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdA__2tKoIU

    Our host is fond of this movie

    I substituted your “inner circle” comment for “secret circle”

  140. commonfan14 says:

    LMHF#1: Worth another shot for Mueller if they strike out on the Grabovski/etc group.

    Seconded.

    How many more of us do we need before we can draw up the paperwork?

  141. bendelson says:

    Gerta Rauss: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdA__2tKoIU

    Our host is fond of this movie

    I substituted your “inner circle” comment for “secret circle”

    Thanks for walking me through it Gerta – I missed the reference completely.
    I really should have recognized the line, Uncle Buck is a classic!

  142. Woodguy says:

    bendelson:
    AND a shout out on the Lowdown today LT?Whoa.

    Question:Do I need to drop by to pick up my ‘inner circle’ membership card or will Woodguy be delivering it personally?

    That’s Steve Smith’s job.

    He may have some words for you as well.

  143. bendelson says:

    Woodguy: That’s Steve Smith’s job.

    He may have some words for you as well.

    Only two I would predict.

    Should I be concerned?
    Translation: I am concerned.

  144. LMHF#1 says:

    commonfan14: Seconded.

    How many more of us do we need before we can draw up the paperwork?

    Seeing no objections I believe that motion would be carried.

  145. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    Steve Smith or “Steve Smith”? There’s a big difference, you know. Like for example, I think the latter is a much better hockey coach. Also, both of them should POAST MOAR.

  146. Melman says:

    striatic,

    From the “saw him good” Santorelli’s good play stood on it’s own merit and not riding the coattails of his line mates. I’d be OK with him as a UFA solution if MacT can’t upgrade via trade. I’d take him over Roy and Grabbo at 5×5.

    Not sure why Van hasn’t resigned him – may be due to his injury? He’s a local boy and seemed to fit in really well.

  147. skidplate says:

    Woodguy: Is that the new for Treenasoil?

    Oh trust me, I am the furthest thing from bra and panties. Now if we are talking banana hammmocks..

    And regarding the early posts, my wife’s sisters mothers brothers uncles aunt knows a guy. Just wait for the next move, it’s a doozy. :)

  148. Woodguy says:

    denny33:
    Woodguy,

    I think the plan is for Perreault to replace Oliie playing 2nds.
    Scheifele played 3rds last year and is still a kid, its best to leave him there.
    ***********************************************************************************
    Ollie embarrassed himself here in Winnipeg two years ago with his performance. To his
    credit, he owned up to it. ( over his head at 2C )

    Last year, Olliewas solid – mainly becuase he was cast down a slot at 3C.

    Scheifle after a slow start to the season tookthe 2C spot and ran….

    Ollie played tougher comp and had tougher zone starts.

    That is 2C in my books.

  149. rickithebear says:

    Marcus Oilerius: Goaltending (and to a lesser extent shooting percentage

    So really what you are saying is we were alowing less of the shots
    inside 25 ft and had a better save% goalie inside 25 ft.
    so we ended up with better results!

  150. hoser313 says:

    hags9k,

    Marcus Oilerius,

    All fair comments. I forgot about the ELC point.

  151. G Money says:

    rickithebear,

    No to the first, and sort of yes to the second, in that the correct statement is we “had a better goalie”.

  152. Henry says:

    G Money:
    Henry,

    Fair points.

    - I agree Tortswas a disaster.The thing is, they didn’t replace him with an experienced coach with a track record of coaching a veteran team (you know – like an Alain Vigneault, LOL), they replaced him with an NHL first-timer.So it’s not a given that Desjardins is automatically an improvement on JT.

    - The Sedin’s are an interesting study.A big part of their strength has always been consistency and durability, with long Ironman streaks for both.Last year, it (and they) started to fall apart.At 33, that shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.So yeah, they may bounce back, but personally I’m betting that they’ve just started on an ever-steepening downhill slide.

    - I think COL is a cap-constrained team.Because it’s Denver, we assume it’s a hockey town, but it’s actually not so much.I used to work for a company HQd in Denver and I spent months per year down there.Saw more live Avs games then Oiler games for a year or so!It’s not that great a hockey town.I remember being at the Pepsi Center during a game vs the LA Kings (the year they won their first recent Stanley) when both teams were in a life-or-death race for the last playoff position. My buddies and I managed to get cheap lower bowl seats the day before the game.It was dead in there.Quiet, and my group (one fellow Canuck and one Brit) were the loudest in our section.That might explain their reluctance to go after more than one marquee free agent.And an aging Iggy at that – oy.

    - I think Legwand is a fine stop-gap 2C.More than one year would be problematic though.And, no I don’t think that makes the Oilers a playoff team.Lots of chips have to fall just right for that to happen anyway, so I think the Oilers are better off making incremental improvements where they can, but leave some powder dry for the next couple of years to address gaps as we hopefully move from bum to playoffs to contender.

    Thanks, I’ve seen Legwand hurt the Oilers a few times with goals, but usually could attribute it to a monstrous screw up by the D rather than superb play on his part. Other than that I see Nashville rarely and have no read except the numbers. They fit the need, sort of. My impression of him is that he was smart and a good skater and now is merely ok. I worry about ‘not very good’ as he approaches 35.

    I didn’t see Torts as a disaster. More as a great gift from Sather to hockey fans in Edmonton. A sane rookie coach in VAN will let the very good veterans they have play the style they know best. The Sedins look like they aged, but with age the legs go first. Their game is cerebral and doesn’t depend on speed as much as some. I don’t trust them not to bounce back.

    Your view of Denver’s hockey base and budget surprises me. Would be a shame for them to waste a season not upgrading the D (but I don’t care). Johnson goes down to injury and they are back to bouncing back from playoffs to lottery. O’Reilly’s contract will point to their goals.

  153. Rondo says:

    Melman,

    Surprising they have not signed Santorelli , He got a lot of hype before he got injured

  154. Woodguy says:

    Grabbo and Kulimen to NYI

    They will make the playoffs.

    Book it!!!

  155. russ99 says:

    How the heck did the Islanders get the Grabovsky – Kulemin pair and we didn’t?

    Disappointing…

    Still think Trevor Lewis is our guy if we can’t get a 2C.

  156. Gerta Rauss says:

    Willis has a thorough piece – would you expect any less – ? up at ON re: Patrik Berglund

    I still think he’s a nice fit, no way I give up a 1st for him…Petry…?….I’m having second thoughts

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/7/2/what-should-the-edmonton-oilers-be-willing-to-trade-for-patrik-berglund

  157. Gerta Rauss says:

    So what shakes loose now that Grabbo/Kulimen is done…?

    Legwand appears to be the next up on the hit parade of availalbe C

  158. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    Grabbo and Kulimen to NYI
    ***************************************************
    More importantly – Doug Wilson signed big John Scott today…

    Mike Brown and Scott on the same line….

  159. RexLibris says:

    So Jokinen signed for one year at $2.5 million in Nashville.

    Would a one year $3 million here have been better for the Oilers?

  160. Henry says:

    Deadman Waiting,

    Great post, even by your standard.

  161. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ducey: I am guessing the NYI give him his 5 x $5.They need to get to the floor and Snow’s ass is on the line.

    At least its not CGY.

    That’s some fine sleuthing there Ducey

  162. LMHF#1 says:

    Woodguy:
    Grabbo and Kulimen to NYI

    *smashes things into the wall*

  163. Ducey says:

    Gerta Rauss: That’s some fine sleuthing there Ducey

    Thanks

    I outguessed Eklund.

    Quite the accomplishment.

  164. Ca$h-Money! says:

    RexLibris,

    Hard to say. Nashville is one of the four jurisdictions with no state income tax (Nashville, Dallas, Florida, TB). But then again Edmonton & Calgary are quite competitive in that regard.

    The reality is we just don’t know. Could be that he didn’t want to play for Edmonton as a two time former flame… maybe he was tired of disappointing Canadian fans… maybe it’s weather related. Maybe his cousin owns a Karaoke bar across the street from the Nashville arena and they’ll give him 10% off wings for him and his friends.

    POINT: It’s pointless, irritating, and psychologically dangerous to go down the “if we had only offered x more than the other guy, we would have had him for sure” line of reasoning. It doesn’t always work that way.

  165. G Money says:

    russ99: How the heck did the Islanders get the Grabovsky – Kulemin pair and we didn’t?
    Disappointing…

    It makes perfect sense. They signed for 4 years – too long for a deal here, since we have Draisaitl waiting in the wings.

    With Kulemin, it was also mentioned that they signed as a package deal, which I’m guessing might be why they didn’t go to any cap constrained teams. But as a package, in total they chew up > $9M a year in cap.

    In other words: Grabo @ 2 years x $5M is a great fit for this team. Grabo/Kulemin @ 4 years x $9M is not. (And because of the easy lifestyle of the EC, I’m guessing it wouldn’t have been enough to match that offer, the Oilers would have had to put out either more term or more $).

  166. pboy says:

    God Bless Ed Snider and the Philadelphia Flyers. 1 yr – $1.25 million for Nick Schultz. Hextall is carrying on that proud Philly tradition.

  167. jake70 says:

    Off topic. Great discussion on PrimeTimeSports – NHL salaries – McCowan and Grange had Don Meehan on. Topics ranged from cap floor – cap ceiling – too many mediocre players earning 4-6M and distorting salary structures – star players not being able to max out , etc. Quite a good discussion.

  168. Melman says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    Maybe playing in Cowtown and the Peg got him hooked on Country AND Western music

  169. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Melman,

    Add that to my Karaoke bar theory and we might be on to something.

  170. Jordan says:

    I like offering Legwand more than he’s been getting paid on a one year, and a handshake deal to send him to one of the 10 teams with the highest points at the trade deadline, should the Oilers not be in a playoff position at that time.

    Sign Schultz to a 3X2 bridge, sign Petry to Nikitin money but more term 4.5 X 5 and throw the rest at Legwand on a 1 year. Its going to mean hard decisions next year, but there will be hard decisions next year regardless – Yak needs a raise, as will Marincin.

  171. thejonrmcleod says:

    Someone on a Capitals blog just said that Nick Schultz is “an awesome player.”

  172. G Money says:

    thejonrmcleod:
    Someone on a Capitals blog just said that Nick Schultz is “an awesome player.”

    And he is! In the same way that “Sam Gagner is a promising rookie.”

  173. G Money says:

    Speaking of stopgap centers … any thoughts on Michal Handzus? Is he done like dinner? Or could he last one more season and be a serviceable 2C?

  174. Ducey says:

    G Money: Speaking of stopgap centers … any thoughts on Michal Handzus? Is he done like dinner? Or could he last one more season and be a serviceable 2C?

    http://oilersnation.com/2014/6/13/michal-handzus-is-not-the-answer-he-isn-t-close-to-the-answer-the-answer-doesn-t-take-his-calls

  175. Factotum says:

    Deadman Waiting,

    Well done. I’m encouraged that Eakins seems to be self-aware enough to realize that his selfie was poorly-photographed and lemon juice doesn’t actually work (“my bad”) – see Ramsay recruitment and talk of hiring a younger assistant. Different strengths to seat at the front of the bus.

  176. Hammers says:

    Pouzar: He’s my UFA choice. I think MacT is trolling the trade market for a bigger fish however.

    Said this about a week or so ago . Santorelli should be had for 2 X $ 1.5 . He is similar to Arco but could also kill penalties .

  177. G Money says:

    Ducey,

    Woof … those are some impressive WOWYs!

    Ouch!

  178. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Hammers,

    Arco was one of our better faceoff men (at least early in the season while I was paying attention) and could probably kill penalties… I’m not sure how big a step up he is over Arco.

  179. jb says:

    Love the idea of a Draisaitl-Yak easy minutes line, probably what we end up seeing.

    I think we see a trade for a Center at some point. No real UFA’s left that can fill that spot. I think you gotta go all in to fill that spot appropriately. Does Boston have any interest in something like 2015 1st, one of Marincin/Klef/Nurse, 2016 2nd for Bergeron type cap relief offer? If not what does a package like that get you? That’s the kinda deal we need to make to close the gap in the Western conference anytime soon imo.

  180. Ducey says:

    Don’t look now but the Flames now have the most cap room and only Bennett and Colbourne to sign.

    For a team that wasn’t going to go full rebuild, they are coming pretty close.

  181. Dicky94 says:

    Thank god we did not get Grabo or Kullemin! I know lots were wanting them but I think the two of them on the Island will be a huge bust. MacT will be patient finding a #2 center and it will be through trade. Let the dust settle a bit and pluck one off a team needing to shed salary..

  182. cabbiesmacker says:

    G Money:
    Speaking of stopgap centers … any thoughts on Michal Handzus?Is he done like dinner?Or could he last one more season and be a serviceable 2C?

    As a Hawks follower…..Yeeeshhh. You really don’t want to go there. IMO he’s not even a serviceable 4th

  183. justDOit says:

    Sharks signed John Scott, traded for Tye McGinn (who had his face reworked by Mike Brown last year), re-signed Brown, and already have Torres. Are they going for a rebuild, or a McRebuild?

  184. spoiler says:

    So with Grabo in Brooklyn, does that mean the Caps are chasing Legwand? Don’t know why they wouldn’t re-sign Grabo, unless they have another solution.

  185. Ducey says:

    justDOit: Sharks signed John Scott, traded for Tye McGinn (who had his face reworked by Mike Brown last year), re-signed Brown, and already have Torres. Are they going for a rebuild, or a McRebuild?

    Maybe they are going to have punchouts in practice in an effort to encourage certain players to waive their NTC’s.

  186. Ducey says:

    spoiler: So with Grabo in Brooklyn, does that mean the Caps are chasing Legwand? Don’t know why they wouldn’t re-sign Grabo, unless they have another solution.

    They have no cap room

    http://www.capgeek.com/capitals/

  187. Woodguy says:

    Re: My ANA prognostication

    ANA has better players than the Oilers and are a better team. Full stop.

    That being said, last year was a combination of a few different kinds of luck.

    1) Winning percentage in one goal games (not including OT/SO)

    -ANA posted a 17-4 record when the game ending in regulation. I don’t have the articles handy, but a team’s record in one goal games are dominated by luck. (note: I did not factor in empty net goals)

    -Even if you don’t believe that to be entirely to be true you have to admit going .809 in one goal games is not sustainable. That number is actually quite ridiculous. Stanley Cup champs Kings went 9-14 in one goal games (regulation wins)

    2) PDO

    This factors into winning the one goal games in a big way.

    I believe teams can sustain higher than 1000 PDO due to goaltending, but its not much higher than 1000.

    No team has shown the ability to maintain high PDO on SH%. It simply doesn’t repeat over time.

    2a) SH%.

    ANA shot 9.8% 5v5 last year. Good for 1st place a full point above PDO darlings COL at 8.8%.

    3 previous years ANA shot : 9.1% and 8.0%. Its gonna come down.

    What that? ANA had players who shoot at high %? Ok, let’s take a look at that:

    Everyone on ANA who shot over 10% compared to their career: (throwing out everyone who scored less than 3 goals)

    Emerson Etem 15.9 — 10.9% (6.2% last year)
    Corey Perry 15.4 — 13%
    Ryan Getzlaf 15.2 — 12.3%
    Mathieu Perreault 15 — 17.3% – PLAYING FOR WIN
    Nick Bonino 13.8 — 11.1% – PLAYING FOR VAN
    Saku Koivu 13.6— 12.6% – PROBABLY RETIRED
    Andrew Cogliano 13.4 — 12.5% (TRAKTOR WAS RIGHT!!)
    Dustin Penner 13 — 12% — UNEMPLOYED
    Patrick Maroon 11.8 — 11.3 %
    Kyle Palmieri 9.5 — 10.2%

    So, most of the players are over their career average. There is no question the best bet is for their SH% to come down. It might not, but the best bet (and its not close) is for it to come down.

    That’s it.

    They got really, really lucky in one goal games. They got good goaltending, which might continue, but they shot the lights out, and that won’t continue.

    They will lose much more one goal games and the media will say “what’s wrong with ANA?” and come up with a bunch of theories, all of which are wrong.

    At least they would if NHL media paid attention to California teams. They don’t so you won’t hear much.

    All the writers in the Eastern Time Zone were thrilled to watch Doughty in the playoffs proclaiming him among the elite in the league.

    If they watched during the regular season they wouldn’t have been surprised.

    They voted some pretty pedestrian years for the Norris. (Seriously, Keith playing 2nd toughs and Weber posting negative RelCor and both being on the ballot was full LOLZ)

    Watch for Doughty to win the Norris next year, even if he gains 25lbs and smokes during his shifts.

  188. justDOit says:

    Ducey,

    Ding ding ding!

  189. MrEd says:

    NYI seem pretty deep at C now.
    Tavares
    Grabbo
    Bailey
    Nelson
    Neilson
    Strome.

    Any one of those bottom 4 are interesting.

  190. G Money says:

    spoiler,

    ‘Cause after blowing their wad on Niskanen and Orpik, they have $1M of cap space left and one more player left to sign. So unless they plan on getting Legwand for $1M …

    I see also that Vern Fiddler just signed with DAL for $1.25M. Not at the top of the list, but seemed like a possible fallback. Tick tick tick …

  191. Halfwise says:

    G Money: And he is! In the same way that “Sam Gagner is a promising rookie.”

    “We can’t say enough good things about him.”
    “You should waste no time checking him out.”

    What a great language.

  192. Woodguy says:

    Deadman Waiting,

    If life really were linear, there wouldn’t be much human drama. Eakins has many strengths and no few weaknesses. Whether he can organize himself so that his strengths are greater than the sum of the parts with his weaknesses less than the sum of the parts remains to be seen.

    Adding Ramsay gave him a “Are you sure you want to do that?” voice.

    He didn’t have it last year.

    We all need that voice.

    Desperately.

  193. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Woodguy,

    Steve Smith or “Steve Smith”?There’s a big difference, you know.Like for example, I think the latter is a much better hockey coach.Also, both of them should POAST MOAR.

    How do you know “Steve Smith” isn’t Steve Smith?

  194. belcolt91 says:

    Ca$h-Money!,

    I think the idea is just to have more cushion in terms of NHL capable centres, who are still in or entering their prime. That way, if injury occurs we’re not filling a hole with inexperience. Plus, if we do end up keeping Draisatl we can ensure that he’s firmly planted on the soft parade line.

  195. Woodguy says:

    skidplate: Oh trust me, I am the furthest thing from bra and panties. Now if we are talking banana hammmocks..

    And regarding the early posts, my wife’s sisters mothers brothers uncles aunt knows a guy.Just wait for the next move, it’s a doozy.

    Did you nail some stuff?

    On here or twitter?

  196. G Money says:

    Woodguy: How do you know “Steve Smith” isn’t Steve Smith?

    I’ve read “Steve Smith”.

    I’ve heard Steve Smith talk.

    Steve Smith, sir, is no “Steve Smith”.

  197. Woodguy says:

    Henry: Thanks, I’ve seen Legwand hurt the Oilers a few times with goals, but usually could attribute it to a monstrous screw up by the D rather than superb play on his part.Other than that I see Nashville rarely and have no read except the numbers.They fit the need, sort of.My impression of him is that he was smart and a good skater and now is merely ok.I worry about ‘not very good’ as he approaches 35.

    I didn’t see Torts as a disaster.More as a great gift from Sather to hockey fans in Edmonton.A sane rookie coach in VAN will let the very good veterans they have play the style they know best.The Sedins look like they aged, but with age the legs go first.Their game is cerebral and doesn’t depend on speed as much as some.I don’t trust them not to bounce back.

    Your view of Denver’s hockey base and budget surprises me.Would be a shame for them to waste a season not upgrading the D (but I don’t care).Johnson goes down to injury and they are back to bouncing back from playoffs to lottery.O’Reilly’s contract will point to their goals.

    Don’t forget that Sakic and Roy are rookies.

    Rookies are awful.

    Rookies who get lucky their first year tend to be too self confident and remain awful for a while.

    Haha!

  198. Woodguy says:

    denny33:
    Woodguy,

    Grabbo and Kulimen to NYI
    ***************************************************
    More importantly – Doug Wilson signed big John Scott today…

    Mike Brown and Scott on the same line….

    WTF Wilson?

    This confuses me greatly.

  199. Woodguy says:

    russ99:
    How the heck did the Islanders get the Grabovsky – Kulemin pair and we didn’t?

    Disappointing…

    Still think Trevor Lewis is our guy if we can’t get a 2C.

    5 and 4 year terms.

    Long for those two .

    Very good players today and tomorrow though.

  200. Melman says:

    Woodguy,

    Thanks WG. Anecdotally that makes some sense as at the beginning of the year I thought they’d be good, but nowhere near where they ended up. Similar to the season Edm. had the ridiculous SO success and you knew it wasn’t repeatable and inflated their record from (presumably) a D to a C-

    Having said that while they might not dominate like they did last year, it’s pretty hard not to consider them a lock for playoff spot.

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