NOBODY’S IN LOVE THIS YEAR

The thing about training camp is that storylines can move in a hurry. Take the battle at center in Edmonton’s TC this fall: After RNH and Boyd Gordon, it’s ? and the mysterians all over. I have guessed (in the RE series) that the TOI will go thusly:

  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  2. Leon Draisaitl
  3. Boyd Gordon
  4. Mark Arcobello
  5. Anton Lander

but that comes from this side of the mountain. A training camp followed by pre-season could change a lot of things. Edmonton could make a trade, a prospect could shine like a diamond, or maybe it shakes out just as I’ve described above. Part of the reason this could go any way is the Oilers don’t really have a major waiver worry. The certain ‘cluster’ players like Leon Draisaitl are non waiver eligible, and the team could probably live through losing Arcobello or Lander via waivers.

In regard to prospects who could jump up and make enough of an impact to force their way onto the team, we’re talking extreme long shots. We discussed Jujhar Khair yesterday, and if we have time (the Oilers are doing a helluva job making no news, so probably) we’ll be able to cover the entire spectrum. Today, it’s Bogdan Yakimov and for good reason. He’s played in a quality men’s league (KHL) and his estimated points-per-60 (2.20) is solid good. I’ve estimated Yakimov’s points-per-game total in OKC to be .703 (the look at Yakimov is here) and that total would put him near the top of Barons’ 20-year old scorers since 2010-11:

  1. LW Magnus Paajarvi (11-12 OKC Barons) 34gp, 7-18-25 .735
  2. LW Teemu Hartikainen (10-11 OKC Barons) 66gp, 17-25-42 .636
  3. LW Phil Cornet (10-11 OKC Barons) 60gp, 7-16-23 .383
  4. RW Tyler Pitlick (11-12 OKC Barons) 62gp, 7-16-23 .371
  5. C Anton Lander (11-12 OKC Barons) 14gp, 1-4-5 .357
  6. C Ryan Martindale (12-13 OKC Barons) 41gp, 6-8-14 .341
  7. LW Curtis Hamilton (11-12 OKC Barons) 41gp, 5-6-11 .262
  8. C Travis Ewanyk (12-13 OKC Barons) 68gp, 7-5-12 .176
  9. LW Kale Kessy (12-13 OKC Barons) 54gp, 2-4-6 .111
  10. RW Cameron Abney (11-12 OKC Barons) 14gp, 0-0-0 .000

A quick note here, Paajarvi’s season came after a year in the NHL, so isn’t really a fair comp for the rest of the group. It is very clear 20-year olds have a terrible time offensively in OKC, and part of that may have to do with playing time (as we’ve discussed in the past). Yakimov’s arrival somewhat coincides with Craig MacTavish’s organizational tweaking of playing time, and perhaps gives the Russian a better shot at establishing himself early.

Bogdan Yakimov is 6.05, 202 according to the Oilers website and is clearly focused:

  • Yakimov: “Last year, I played in the pro league and I think I can play. I need more work, but after development camp, I will stay in Edmonton. In my head? One thought. NHL. NHL. NHL. So no problem if they say eat this, do that, I do it. No problem.” Source

I’m betting Yakimov has a strong training camp and then heads to Oklahoma territory for the winter. Strange things have been known to happen, and coach Eakins may be willing to risk waivers on players if a 20-year old shoots lights out during the pre-season. If we’re making a list of candidates, Bogdan Yakimov would rank very high.

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52 Responses to "NOBODY’S IN LOVE THIS YEAR"

  1. Melman says:

    MacT is on record knowing there is a weakness at 2C but basically saying he isn’t going to give up anything for a marginal upgrade over what he has. The verbiage seems be that “deals take time” in the NHL, and my gut is he has a couple irons in the fire (CBJ for eg.) but unless it’s an Anisimov he’ll stand pat and make a “lateral” type move in season should injuries or poor play dictate.

    They seem to be so close now on a talent basis, that unless they can hit one out of the park finishing 11th vs. 9th in the west is worth keeping their powder dry.

  2. D says:

    What Melman ^^^^ said.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Melman:
    MacT is on record knowing there is a weakness at 2C but basically saying he isn’t going to give up anything for a marginal upgrade over what he has.The verbiage seems be that “deals take time” in the NHL, and my gut is he has a couple irons in the fire (CBJ for eg.) but unless it’s an Anisimov he’ll stand pat and make a “lateral” type move in season should injuries or poor play dictate.

    They seem to be so close now on a talent basis, that unless they can hit one out of the park finishing 11th vs. 9th in the west is worth keeping their powder dry.

    The problem is they need only a short term option. Two years max, maybe less. Leon could be ready enough now, but they don’t know that. Yakimov is an interesting option and further clouds the issue, Khaira too.

  4. Moose says:

    Yeah, to Melman’s point, the MacT verbal in the new 30 in 30 piece on NHL.com was something I hadn’t heard before, but it sounds like MacT is looking for a little more than a stop-gap for Draisaitl.

    Here it is, for those who didn’t see it:

    “”I think there is room for somebody outside of the organization if we can find the right complement,” MacTavish said. “In my mind it’s a real significant piece that we’re looking for, and it would have to be a big incremental difference between who we feel would fill that position currently and the player that we would bring in.

    “If we were able to get a star player that could win faceoffs, play big minutes and be productive at the net front and on the power play, we’d really enhance our ability to compete and to have a great degree of success. But they are tough to find.”

    If MacTavish is unable to bring in a second-line center, the spot will have to be filled internally. The club believes Draisaitl will eventually develop into that player, but whether he’s prepared to take on the responsibility straight out of junior remains to be seen.

    “We’re committed to development, and we need good players and we want to keep the guys that we view are a big part of this solution going forward,” MacTavish said. “We’re going to try to use some other pieces, draft choices and so forth if we can, to try and pry that centerman [via a trade]. But our sense is that we’re going to get to camp with a very similar group to what we have right now and then assess it through camp, much like many other teams will do.”

  5. B.C.B says:

    To be honest, I can’t see Yakimov (or really any of the prospects) beating out Lander this roster spot, for one reason (and one reason only): Penalty Kill.

    Here is a list of the projected Oiler forwards and their PK Ice Time for last season:
    Matt Hendrick 2:57 SH TOI/G
    Boyd Gordon 2:47
    Anton Lander 1:54
    Mark Arcobello 1:38
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 1:14
    Jordon Eberle 0:41
    David Perron 0:28
    Talyor Hall 0:22
    Teddy Purcell 0:01
    Benoit Pouliot 0:00
    Nail Yakupov 0:00
    Luke Gazdic 0:00
    Leon Draisaitl ?????

    If anything, Eakins is going to need to have Lander in the line up (even on the wing of the heavy minutes line) just so he will have enough bodies/centre ice man that can play on the PK. The two newly hired veterans did not play a lick with a man down last season, & the wonder kid from this year’s draft will have enough on his hands to attempt to put in serious PK time.

    LT, who do you think is going to get the SH minutes this season?

  6. Lowetide says:

    Moose: That’s Ryan Johansen.

  7. Marcus Oilerius says:

    The problem with accepting Draisaitl as 2C isn’t that Diesel won’t be better than the other options. The problem is giving up a year of ELC with a player who clearly still has things to work on. A year spent in PA improving his speed is time well spent on its own. Throw in the benefit of extending his ELC into a useful year of his career, and extending his RFA status by one more season, and it’s madness to run with Draisaitl rather than someone modestly worse, like Arco.

  8. matt says:

    Lowetide:
    Moose: That’s Ryan Johansen.

    What would it take? I would trade damn near anyone, up to and including Paulina.

  9. Lowetide says:

    B.C.B:

    LT,who do you think is going to get the SH minutes this weason?

    Boyd Gordon and Nuge will probably be the main centers (Eakins plays the crap out of Nuge) and then Arco will get some time there (Acton too if they keep him). Lander would certainly get plenty of PK time should he make the team.

    On wing, Matt Hendricks, Tyler Pitlick—likely the 4line wingers—and one would guess we’ll see Eberle increase his PK time. He spent about an hour doing it a year ago.

  10. Lowetide says:

    matt: What would it take?I would trade damn near anyone, up to and including Paulina.

    I asked Jonathan Willis today if he would trade Draisaitl and the 2015 first for him. Jon said no, and had good reasons (Johansen’s price tag, and the fact the LH side of the D is unready—MArincin, Nurse, Klefbom) but I could see a package around the German.

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    http://heraldnet.com/article/20140826/BLOG12/140829182/1004/So-whos-still-here

    can Khaira go back to junior? looks like it. for an overage year. I was under the impression he couldn’t.

    I realize this is a moot point as all involved intend to see him in the AHL next year, but hey we love Mr. Moot around here.

  12. Moose says:

    Lowetide:
    Moose: That’s Ryan Johansen.

    Right? What I find interesting is that the player he describes there isn’t the kind of player you usually get back for draft picks and prospects (which he later says is what they’re willing to give up). Does the 2015 1st and a couple of the higher end D prospects get you that player? I dunno.

  13. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    Aren’t the Oilers even harder up on the PK than the double P? So, if we’re just fantasizing here, isn’t the dream player ROR? I know he’s signed, but it doesn’t look like a long term fit.
    I don’t feel comfortable with him being that close to UFA, so I can see the Johansen argument, but given his track record if MacT decides to start pitching Leon or Schultz, I hope his first call is to Sakic.

  14. Halfwise says:

    >After RNH and Boyd Gordon, it’s ? and the mysterians all over.

    Question Mark and the Mysterians? I shed 96 Tears of nostalgia over that reference.

    Maybe it’ll be Schultz for Johansen, and both fanbases will think they won the trade.

  15. Lowetide says:

    stevezie:
    Lowetide,

    Aren’t the Oilers even harder up on the PK than the double P? So, if we’re just fantasizing here, isn’t the dream player ROR? I know he’s signed, but it doesn’t look like a long term fit.I don’t feel comfortable with him being that close to UFA, so I can see the Johansen argument, but given his track record if MacT decides to start pitching Leon or Schultz, I hope his first call is to Sakic.

    How are they harder up on the PK? I’m not understanding. They were mid-pack a year ago, and lost Smyth and Jones. Right? Who am I missing? I don’t see a reason to believe this team is heading into the abyss on the PK. Gordon-Hendricks, Nuge-Eberle, Arco-Lander?

    And of course Pouliot and Purcell may help out too. Ramsay will help, that guy was SO good at it.

  16. matt says:

    Lowetide: I asked Jonathan Willis today if he would trade Draisaitl and the 2015 first for him. Jon said no, and had good reasons (Johansen’s price tag, and the fact the LH side of the D is unready—MArincin, Nurse, Klefbom) but I could see a package around the German.

    Moose: Right? What I find interesting is that the player he describes there isn’t the kind of player you usually get back for draft picks and prospects (which he later says is what they’re willing to give up). Does the 2015 1st and a couple of the higher end D prospects get you that player? I dunno.

    So, basically the time value of money / risk premium? i.e., same draft pedigree, same size, and we’re hoping Draisatl puts up Johanesen-like numbers, so the extra pick is to reflect the fact that Draisatl isn’t producing at that level yet, and there is some risk that he never will. I can see that. Is there anything else nice in Columbus to shop for, if Perron/Petry/Jultz are also in play?

  17. Bling says:

    I think they should let Lander and Arco try to cover the bet at 2C/3C.

    Both guys have proven all there is to prove in the AHL. Arco has even proven something in the NHL.

    But it comes down to opportunity. Both should receive decent linemates and 15 minutes a game with some PP time sprinkled in. Look at what Tatar did for Detroit last year — he was a useful piece, and his AHL numbers were inferior to both Lander’s and (especially) Arco’s.

    Lander, in particular, has been playing with some of the worst 4th liners in the NHL for most of his career.

    Both have a lot to offer. I’m not entirely convinced that “bringing in a veteran” is a wise move — they need some scoring upside, they need some upside in the defensive end — and both Lander and Arco bring that.

  18. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide:
    Moose: That’s Ryan Johansen.

    Is there a deal to be made with Schultz as the primary piece moving from the Oilers end? A trade of two hold-out RFAs, with a bit more added to the package from the Oilers end?

    I feel like I’m constantly trading Schultz, and I don’t actually hate the guy. However, I do think that right now is value is much higher than his worth and I’m not as optimistic as some that he will hit his projected ceiling, which is what is driving up his value.

  19. Marcus Oilerius says:

    matt:
    So, basically the time value of money / risk premium?i.e., same draft pedigree, same size, and we’re hoping Draisatl puts up Johanesen-like numbers, so the extra pick is to reflect the fact that Draisatl isn’t producing at that level yet, and there is some risk that he never will.I can see that.Is there anything else nice in Columbus to shop for, if Perron/Petry/Jultz are also in play?

    After just one good season, I think it’s fair to hesitate as to whether or not Johansen has covered the bet. Certainly, considering the money he’s asking for as an RFA coming off his ELC suggests he’s not interested in being value for the money, which is almost as important in today’s NHL as being valuable to begin with.

  20. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    Well, with Eberle, RNH, Hall, Yak and Perron they have five pretty established (or even better than that) PP forwards, and Pouliot and Purcell are respectable options there too (I’ll leave out Leon for now). True, after Schultz and Nikita they aren’t bursting with D talent so maybe a forward plays the point, but I’d still say they have the makings of one really good PP line and a 2nd that’s a minimum of “not bad”,

    As far as the new kids go, Purcell averaged 0:01 pergame shorthanded vs. 3:02 on the PP (solidly in Tampa’s top five), and Pouliot averaged even less time on the PK, but saw 1:56 per game with the man up. Both these guys probably expect PP time, and neither had a coach who considered them up for even spot PK detail.

    Out of Gordon-Hendricks, Nuge-Eberle, Arco-Lander, there is only one guy I would call an elite PKer, three guys who should be okay and two who I hope spend most of their time in offensive situations. It’s not the abyss, but if one of these units could use a specialist, the PK is the one.

    Isn’t it? What am I missing?

  21. matt says:

    wheatnoil: Is there a deal to be made with Schultz as the primary piece moving from the Oilers end? A trade of two hold-out RFAs, with a bit more added to the package from the Oilers end?

    I feel like I’m constantly trading Schultz, and I don’t actually hate the guy. However, I do think that right now is value is much higher than his worth and I’m not as optimistic as some that he will hit his projected ceiling, which is what is driving up his value.

    Marcus Oilerius: After just one good season, I think it’s fair to hesitate as to whether or not Johansen has covered the bet.Certainly, considering the money he’s asking for as an RFA coming off his ELC suggests he’s not interested in being value for the money, which is almost as important in today’s NHL as being valuable to begin with.

    Yes to both observations. I would expect MacT to argue that Draisatl has a higher potential ceiling than Johansen (which may or may not be credible), Johansen still has risk to him, and that Johansen has a bad contract. I would prefer that the trade be Jultz and Lander for Johansen (and maybe something else).

  22. B.C.B says:

    Lowetide: How are they harder up on the PK? I’m not understanding. They were mid-pack a year ago, and lost Smyth and Jones. Right? Who am I missing? I don’t see a reason to believe this team is heading into the abyss on the PK. Gordon-Hendricks, Nuge-Eberle, Arco-Lander?

    And of course Pouliot and Purcell may help out too. Ramsay will help, that guy was SO good at it.

    But Smyth was a good PK option in his last couple seasons, and he took up significant minutes (2:31 & 1:41 SH TOI/G, respectively). The option that MacT replace Smyth with Purcell + Pouliot. Purcell, who LT is refering to as our Pisani-type, has barely played the penalty kill over the last three season: 0:02, 0:02, and 0:01 SH TOI/G. Pouliot has been described as an ‘ideal third line winger’ but he never plays in short handed situations on any team he has played on recently: BOS- 0:01,TBL- 0:01, and NYR-0:00 SH TOI/G. Neither veteran winger brought into replace Smyth and Hemsky has a history of excellent defensive NHL play or experience on the PK. This should be worrying, should it not?

  23. stevezie says:

    stevezie,

    Granted they were better on the PK last year- That’s probably what I was missing- but the forward corps is largely the same unit that brought the PP thunder the year before that. Which suggests to me a large part of their problems were in strategy and tactics.

    If Ramsey revolutionizes anything, I expect it to be the PP.

  24. Lowetide says:

    stevezie:
    Lowetide,

    Well, with Eberle, RNH, Hall, Yak and Perron they have five pretty established (or even better than that) PP forwards, and Pouliot and Purcell are respectable options there too (I’ll leave out Leon for now). True, after Schultz and Nikita they aren’t bursting with D talent so maybe a forward plays the point, but I’d still say they have the makings of one really good PP line and a 2nd that’s a minimum of “not bad”,

    As far as the new kids go, Purcell averaged 0:01 pergame shorthanded vs. 3:02 on the PP (solidly in Tampa’s top five), and Pouliot averaged even less time on the PK, but saw 1:56 per game with the man up. Both these guys probably expect PP time, and neither had a coach who considered them up for even spot PK detail.

    Out of Gordon-Hendricks, Nuge-Eberle, Arco-Lander, there is only one guy I would call an elite PKer, three guys who should be okay and two who I hope spend most of their time in offensive situations. It’s not the abyss, but if one of these units could use a specialist, the PK is the one.

    Isn’t it? What am I missing?

    lol. Don’t think we’re going to agree here. Cheers!

  25. Woodguy says:

    First post is up at my blog.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/

    Strange Days.

  26. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    Fair enough, but I’ll be honest- I don’t get it. I’m not trying to be argumentative, I just don’t see what you see.

    Which you should maybe take an assurance that you’re right. I mostly come here for the music, man.

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    I have guessed (in the RE series) that the TOI will go thusly:
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
    Leon Draisaitl
    Boyd Gordon
    Mark Arcobello
    Anton Lander

    If they are going to run both Arco and the German at center they have to bring in another NHL forward to play on Gordon’s RW.

    They can run Nuge and Gordon’s lines against the best the other teams have to offer and they can piece together the 2 other lines centered by Arco and Leon.

    I’d prefer they added an NHL centerman, but I’ll take 1 more NHL forward.

    They’ve come this far with the roster this summer, starting the season with roster space and a mitt full of money under the salary cap is…well…perplexing.

  28. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy:
    First post is up at my blog.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/

    Strange Days.

    Like, Ralph Fiennes fin de ciecle Strange Days? Because that is some pretty dark stuff.

    Anyway, I’ve offered my two cents at the Woodblog and look forward to your musings (I offer an alternate euphemism for those).

    Best of luck and I’ll keep checking in.

  29. Lowetide says:

    stevezie:
    Lowetide,

    Fair enough, but I’ll be honest- I don’t get it. I’m not trying to be argumentative, I justdon’t see what you see.

    Which you should maybe take an assurance that you’re right. I mostly come here for the music, man.

    It’s all good. Either would be fine and we disagree on who to pursue. That happens all the time. No harm nor foul. :-)

  30. Gerta Rauss says:

    Woodguy:
    First post is up at my blog.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/

    Strange Days.

    Did google buy up blogspot..? I used to have a blogspot account prior to LT launching the dot ca domain name, but blogspot is now prompting me for my google account info(which is my real name, not my gerta rauss name)

    Anyway, best of luck, I’ll check in occasionally and try to add something useful to the discussion.

  31. Lowetide says:

    I tried to comment, but was unable to sign in under my google account. So I’ll say it here:

    Awesome, Woodguy! Welcome to the crazy! I think we should smash a bottle champagne on Jim Matheseon!

  32. lubrication lover says:

    Woodguy:
    First post is up at my blog.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/

    Strange Days.

    Hey WG.

    My family just moved to Edmonton. Took the wife on a date tonight to RGE RD because of reading your recommendation on this site (thanks LT for the great site!). That restaurant was fantastic. I am pleasantly surprised to find such quality in the city. Any other suggestions?

    PS. I would post on your blog but you already have a troll on it :)

  33. Hammers says:

    My guess is Yak2 has a better chance than Khairi due to KHL . McT will not spend all the money left due to bonuses for Yakipov & Leon ( guessing they hit some extra $$$ plus $ 3.3 for Schultz ) I still expect RNH , Leon , Arco , Gordon with Lander starting on the wing & Hendricks the other . If for some reason it doesn’t work he will probably go the trade route . If it does work you have Acton then Yak2 for callups due to injury .My question still is who plays with those other 3 centers and in what combinations . For Me it’s Hall / Purcell ; Ebs / Pouliot ; Perron / Yak but i’m not sure the center who gets each pair .

  34. Lowetide says:

    Hammers:
    My guess is Yak2 has a better chance than Khairi due to KHL . McT will not spend all the money left due to bonuses for Yakipov & Leon ( guessing they hit some extra $$$ plus $ 3.3 for Schultz) I still expect RNH , Leon , Arco , Gordon with Lander starting on the wing & Hendricks the other . If for some reason it doesn’t work he will probably go the trade route . If it does work you have Acton then Yak2 for callups due to injury .My question still is who plays with those other 3 centers and in what combinations . For Me it’s Hall / Purcell ; Ebs / Pouliot ; Perron / Yakbut i’m not sure the center who gets each pair .

    The wing combinations are fascinating, aren’t they? I like Nuge-Perron-Eberle and Leon-Hall-Perron the best, and that means Arco-Yak-Purcell is the 3line. I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that Leon is going to get a bigger push than Yak, don’t know how it can be avoided.

  35. jp says:

    OT, and maybe already mentioned here before (though I missed it if so).

    From the Oilers top prospect list on NHL.com (http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=728676), regarding #5 Greg Chase:

    “Greg had a great year last year,” Howson said. “Great hands, great shot. He lost some weight this summer, came to development camp 10 or 15 pounds lighter, which I thought he had to do. He’s from Edmonton, so he’s there training with our guys all year. It’ll be a big year for Greg, going into Calgary for his last year in junior. He had a great year last year, but we really want to see him be one of the best players in the league this year and he’s certainly ready to do that.”

    I’m guessing he didn’t lose 10-15 lbs of muscle… I expect the tolerance for an 18 year old athlete being even a little chubby is pretty low. And it could certainly have factored into his slide to the 7th round.

    In any case, it’s good to hear he’s a little more committed these days. And it would be quite something if he could take another step forward this season.

  36. jp says:

    Lowetide: The wing combinations are fascinating, aren’t they? I like Nuge-Perron-Eberle and Leon-Hall-Perron the best, and that means Arco-Yak-Purcell is the 3line. I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that Leon is going to get a bigger push than Yak, don’t know how it can be avoided.

    The combinations certainly are fascinating. Though I’m still partial to keeping the kids together:
    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Perron-Draisaitl-Perron
    Pouliot-Arcobello-Yakupov
    Lander-Gordon-Hendricks

    There will no doubt be lots of fluidity throughout the year though.

  37. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide: I like Nuge-Perron-Eberle and Leon-Hall-Perron the best, and that means Arco-Yak-Purcell is the 3line.

    jp:
    Hall-RNH-Eberle
    Perron-Draisaitl-Perron
    Pouliot-Arcobello-Yakupov
    Lander-Gordon-Hendricks

    When did Perron turn into Ovechkin? :)

  38. Bank Shot says:

    Last season the Oilers were 22nd in the NHL in allowing shots on the PK at 55.7 SA/60. That’s not good.

    They were 8th in save percentage which stats guys say is random, so they were lucky to be midpack.

    The Oilers definitely haven’t upgraded the Pk at forward. I would argue its worse with the loss of Smytty.

    Its a far cry from the the PK units of the last good team:
    Peca-Moreau
    Horcoff-Smyth
    Stoll-Dvorak
    Reasoner-Pisani

    8 deep.

    In contrast Gordon-Hendricks is really the only established pairing on the current team.

    It’s a bizarre oversight in my mind. Where’s the veteran center that can push back Leon and add to even strength play and the PK?

  39. Hockeyman 99 says:

    Lowetide,

    Sounds more like he’s talking about jumbo joe to me.

  40. Lowetide says:

    Bank Shot:
    Last season the Oilers were 22nd in the NHL in allowing shots on the PK at 55.7 SA/60. That’s not good.

    They were 8th in save percentage which stats guys say is random, so they were lucky to be midpack.

    The Oilers definitely haven’t upgraded the Pk at forward. I would argue its worse with the loss of Smytty.

    Its a far cry from the the PK units of the last good team:
    Peca-Moreau
    Horcoff-Smyth
    Stoll-Dvorak
    Reasoner-Pisani

    8 deep.

    In contrast Gordon-Hendricks is really the only established pairing on the current team.

    It’s a bizarre oversight in my mind. Where’s the veteran center that can push back Leon and add to even strength play and the PK?

    I think C’s will be Nuge, Gordon and Arco. they’ll need three wingers, Hendricks is likely and one suspects EDM will run Lander, Pitlick or whomever wins the other 4line job. After that, Eberle, Perron, who knows? Depends on who makes the 1PP I’d guess.

    Seems to me Ramsay’s arrival will have a great impact, but could be wrong. MacT’s quote specifically mentions power play, and I’d rather spend the money on offense.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Hockeyman 99:
    Lowetide,

    Sounds more like he’s talking about jumbo joe to me.

    Would love to see Joe here.

  42. russ99 says:

    A training camp invite to Koivu, Steckel, Loktionov or Handzus hurts nothing, and gives us some cover in case Leon isn’t ready – and doesn’t cost us anything to acquire during the season.

  43. Hammers says:

    PK options if Gordon , Hendricks , Lander is a line . All those 3 plus RNH are your top 4 plus potentially Arco & Ebs . Not sure about Purcell & Pouliot . As for the line Combos , Facinating is a great word and those combos maybe what makes or breaks Arco & Leon . RNH can play with any combo but getting it right for the other 2 is going to be the toughest decision .

  44. russ99 says:

    jp,

    I’m holding out hope that Ramsay gets some feedback on the lines and does a much more conventional group like:

    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Perron – Draisaitl – Yakupov
    Pouliot – Gordon – Purcell
    Hendricks – Arcobello – Gazdic (when he’s back)/Pitlick

  45. Hammers says:

    I have to split Purcell & Pouliot as that extra size & puck posestion they bring is so important and the 2nd & 3rd are going to be interchangeable if McT is to be believed . Eakins is lucky in some ways as if 1 of his top lines is hot any given night he can ride them .

  46. russ99 says:

    Hammers,

    Would rather see us shut down with one line than weaken all three lines by spreading the possession players across them. This is even more vital in the Pacific Division than in years past.

    Speaking of which, did you see this:

    http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2014/8/26/6072591/nhl-expansion-las-vegas-seattle

    Would love to see us out of the Pacific and in a division with the Canucks, Flames, Avs, Jets, Wild and Seattle. A team in Las Vegas may be able to accomplish that “New Smythe” division.

  47. jp says:

    russ99:
    jp,

    I’m holding out hope that Ramsay gets some feedback on the lines and does a much more conventional group like:

    Hall – RNH – Eberle
    Perron – Draisaitl – Yakupov
    Pouliot – Gordon – Purcell
    Hendricks – Arcobello – Gazdic (when he’s back)/Pitlick

    I’m holding out hope we see some unicorns. No doubt they’ll shift back to 3 lines (including Gordon) during tight games, but 3 scoring lines makes sense with this group IMO.

  48. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy:
    First post is up at my blog.

    http://becauseoilers.blogspot.com/

    Strange Days.

    Good stuff, Woodguy, happy to see it. I tried to post a comment under my WordPress account, but got stonewalled by an illegal character in the URL (the space?) and when I removed it the URL was fine but I got warned I didn’t own that domain so it still wouldn’t accept my comment. (Which was all about how badly the Oilers will miss Ryan Jones this season!) :)

    Anyway, I hope you’ll post heads-up & links here when your early posts go up, I look forward to your continuing contributions in a new role.

  49. Shredder says:

    I bumped into this yakimov kid in a restaurant a week ago or so. He’s just monstrously huge…but polite. I didn’t know who it was at first but he was all decked out in oilers gear, so I asked my buddy the chef and sure enough all the oilers prospects were going there….if I had waited longer I would’ve seen yakipov too I guess. Yakimov is physically a tower of power. Here’s hoping he has the skills to make it.

  50. Younger Oil says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Good stuff, Woodguy, happy to see it. I tried to post a comment under my WordPress account, but got stonewalled by an illegal character in the URL (the space?) and when I removed it the URL was fine but I got warned I didn’t own that domain so it still wouldn’t accept my comment. (Which was all about how badly the Oilers will miss Ryan Jones this season!)

    Anyway, I hope you’ll post heads-up & links here when your early posts go up, I look forward to your continuing contributions in a new role.

    Woodguy, just to add to this, I tried to comment on it as well, and had the exact same problem! Just wanted to say congrats on the new blog, your comments here are always a joy to read!

  51. matt says:

    russ99: A training camp invite to Koivu, Steckel, Loktionov or Handzus hurts nothing, and gives us some cover in case Leon isn’t ready – and doesn’t cost us anything to acquire during the season.

    THIS

  52. Wolfpack says:

    I am a bit hesitant to use the term “possession players” with respect to our new acquisitions. They might find “possession” to be slightly more difficult in their new division than it was out east.

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