THE DETROIT MODEL

Last summer, I compared the Detroit minor league system to the Oilers under Steve Tambellini. As you might imagine, it was a depressing day! The Red Wings (in the season I looked at) seemed to take lower draft picks and free agents and develop them better and quicker than Edmonton. Here’s a quick comparison of the two teams (article is here):

  • Of the 19 players aged 19-24 on the Griffins in 2010-11, 9 of them (47%) have played in the NHL. More important, guys like Andersson, Tatar, Nyquist, Emmerton, Smith and Kindl have provided the club with inside solutions to roster problems. That’s a massive advantage, a GM can look two or three years down the road and let veterans go on a team timeline. Smart, smart hockey club.
  • Of the 23 players aged 19-24 on the Barons, 13 of them (56.5%) have played in the NHL. That’s a slightly higher percentage than Detroit’s but that could be explained by losing teams turning over rosters more quickly in search of success and consistency.  More important, and this is incredible, 11 of the 13 (84.6%) have either been cut loose from the club or are chewing on the rope night and day in an effort to get their release. That’s an insane, insane number. Only Mark Arcobello and Jeff Petry remain, with Teemu Hartikainen banished to the hinterland to think about what he’s done (or didn’t do, more likely).

Basically, the Red Wings were becoming NHL players and the Barons were either grabbing jobs with the Islanders (Colin McDonald) or Roosters (Colten Teubert). A year ago, MacT allowed/saw Teemu Hartikainen bolt to the KHL, and it happened again with Roman Horak. Overall, are we seeing any signs of improvement?

2013 SUMMER

  • Teemu Hartikainen bolted to the KHL.
  • Toni Rajala was released and Edmonton no longer retains his rights.
  • Mark Arcobello was retained and played half the season in the NHL.
  • Phil Cornet exited the system.
  • Chris VandeVelde moved on, and played 18 games with the Flyers (no compensation).
  • Magnus Paajarvi was traded in a deal that delivered David Perron.
  • Colten Teubert signed in Germany.
  • Alex Plante exited the system and hit Europe.

Edmonton retained Arcobello and then dealt Paajarvi for Perron. Still a lot of flushing going on here, but at least there was value returning and retained. Slight improvement, still not delivering at close to Detroit levels.

2014 SUMMER

  • Mark Arcobello was signed to a team friendly deal after playing in the NHL in 2013-14 (41GP, 4-14-18).
  • Martin Marincin arrived in the NHL, looking for all the world like he’d developed in the Red Wings’ system (44GP, 0-6-6)
  • Oscar Klefbom struggled early and then turned a corner in OKC. He also spent time in the NHL (17GP, 1-2-3)
  • Ryan Martindale was traded for a veteran AHLer in Steve Pinizzotto. He spent some time in the NHL (6GP, 0-2-2).
  • Tyler Pitlick finally played in the NHL (10GP, 1-0-1) and will get a chance again this season.
  • Anton Lander had a fine AHL season. He also played 27 games in the NHL.
  • Curtis Hamilton got another year, as the team appears to making every effort to be certain they are certain.
  • Andrew Miller, Martin Gernat, David Musil, Brandon Davidson, Travis Ewanyk, Richard Bachman all continued to develop and were retained.

It was a much better season. This isn’t Detroit, but you can see good things happening here.

In the post a year ago, I said:

  • This is kind of galling–the Red Wings are better at developing their picks in the AHL and many of their best kids aren’t the first rounders–I think we knew that much. However, of the players Edmonton employed in OKC in 2010-11, Edmonton threw pretty much everyone overboard, many of them this summer. The new GM wants to put his stamp on things, I understand it. In fact, I don’t really disagree with the decisions to offload Teubert, Plante, VandeVelde and Cornet this summer. I am disheartened by the Islanders getting a perfectly useful player for nothing (Colin McDonald) and that the Oilers can’t seem to develop these players in the minor leagues. Whatever Craig MacTavish has planned, one would hope this development issue is front and center.

Martin Marincin, Mark Arcobello, Anton Lander, Oscar Klefbom. I think they are headed in a very good direction, and can’t wait for this coming season to see these players and the new arrivals continue their development. A lot of heat is dumped on the amateur scouting department, but Edmonton’s activities in the early part of the century (no minor league team, loaning out players) is exactly as stupid as it appeared at the time.

Photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved

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32 Responses to "THE DETROIT MODEL"

  1. Ryan says:

    For those who’re missing Dellow, here’s some interesting data from the project he was working on with Cory S.

    At first glance, it could partly explain how a team like Colorado made the playoffs despite being such a poor possession team. (Bah, I know goaltending too).

    One of these days I’ll try to post something on topic.

    http://hockeyanalysis.com/2014/08/26/team-zone-entry-data-predicting-standings/

    The Oilers fared surprisingly well by this metric.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    For those who’re missing Dellow, here’s some interesting data from the project he was working on with Cory S.

    At first glance, it could partly explain how a team like Colorado made the playoffs despite being such a poor possession team.(Bah, I know goaltending too).

    One of these days I’ll try to post something on topic.

    http://hockeyanalysis.com/2014/08/26/team-zone-entry-data-predicting-standings/

    The Oilers fared surprisingly well by this metric.

    That’s true, but they still didn’t generate shots.

  3. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: That’s true, but they still didn’t generate shots.

    Scroll down to where he adjusts for Corsi…

  4. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: Scroll down to where he adjusts for Corsi…

    Yes. Exactly. Disconnect.

  5. supernova says:

    My Main Questions are:

    1) what are we expecting out of edmonton’s farm system?

    2) what does Detroit expect?

    3) why are they getting something different then we are?

    4) how long until we get what detroit is getting?

    I will try to answer my own questions.

    1) Edmonton’s farm system has alot expected on it IMO when Katz said we are going full rebuild. Part of the issue we are not getting alot from our farm until just recently is the 5 year window. If you circle back to picks in the first 3 rounds from 07-09 aside from the 1st rounders things dont look good.
    Ideally your 1st rounders don’t spend alot of time on the farm, but your 2 & 3rd’s do.

    2) because of make-up of the big club and a lower drafting spot. Detroit really doesnt expect their 1,2,3′s for a few years even to the farm.

    3) we are getting something different because our organization was barren of talent aside from 2nd liners. Tambellini made bad trade after bad trade, misplaced signing after misplaced signing. Lowe failed to restock the farm and also EIG couldnt afford the farm.

    Ownership left management with little options, Management didnt manage well what they had, and also thought what they had was better than what it was. add in bad management post Lowe and it wasnt even more desperate.

    4) we should expect things now. We have a first line, we have the makings of a second line and pieces of a bottom 6. Our D is progressing.

    We shouldnt expect top 6 players from our farm but we should expect bottom 6. we should expect D. if you can figure out goalies you amaze me.

    the foundation on the big club is set which means our farm team knows what should expect. Current Management also sees this and has stated we need our prospects to have a chance.

    this is the year and go forward where we should start seeing the Detroit model. In my opinion until the NHL team is on a path, the AHL team twists in the wind.

    Dallas and Jim Nill did a heck of a job of this. He had maybe 2 top 6 FWDS when he took over. Now he has 5 out of 6 maybe even 6. Amazing. He came from Detroit but he took the shortcut to building a detroit model.

    you need you aces and kings,

  6. PeOiler says:

    Josh Currie blew the doors off the Q in his over-age season. Looking forward to seeing how he progresses with the Condors.

    (From Twitter)
    @QMJHL_FanHouse: The Bakersfield Condors announced that the team has agreed to terms with Josh Currie. #QMJHLAlumni @IslandersHKY @joshcurrie19 @Condors

  7. Ben says:

    Meanwhile, Matty’s going ‘full Stafford’ on Johnny Boychuk. Musil/Gernat + 3rd for Boychuk, Petry for a C?

  8. Hammers says:

    LT : You can put this down to 2 things Lowe having NO system ( Money maybe ) Tambellini building a system / place but with no idea what to do .. Along comes McT and is trying to at least develop players in what Tambo set up .. The only thing Tambo did for this organization is set up an actual AHL system ! Full credit . He just didn’t use it ! .McT is smart enough to use it maybe not like Detroit but he seems to have an idea . Thank God for that .

  9. RexLibris says:

    Ben: Meanwhile, Matty’s going ‘full Stafford’ on Johnny Boychuk. Musil/Gernat + 3rd for Boychuk, Petry for a C?

    Musil and a 3rd for Boychuk seems like a steal for Edmonton.

    Musil could become Boychuk, but he is still a ways off. And a 3rd isn’t exactly prime draft territory (except on draft day).

    I understand the idea here is to save the Bruins some cap space, and adding Boychuk does that.

    What would be interesting is if the Oilers added Boychuk and kept Petry, giving them two UFA defensemen on the team.

    It bolsters the blueline and on trade deadline day they can move one or both for picks, perhaps re-signing whichever they prefer.

    It would mean that Klefbom spends the majority of the season in the AHL, barring injury, and probably puts Aulie in the AHL, barring waivers, but if it meant moving Musil and a 3rd for potentially a 2015 1st rounder (which could be moved at the draft for more immediate help), I think I’d be in favour of that.

    Take one heck of a horse-trader to make it work, though. I think Chiarelli would want more than Musil and a 3rd, but they got Perron for Paajarvi and a 2nd, so…

  10. RexLibris says:

    PeOiler: Josh Currie blew the doors off the Q in his over-age season. Looking forward to seeing how he progresses with the Condors.(From Twitter)@QMJHL_FanHouse: The Bakersfield Condors announced that the team has agreed to terms with Josh Currie. #QMJHLAlumni @IslandersHKY @joshcurrie19 @Condors

    Bob Green?

  11. wheatnoil says:

    RexLibris: Bob Green?

    There seems to have been a pretty huge increase in signing undrafted CHL scorers to minor league contracts since he came aboard. It’s pretty low risk. I’m a fan!

  12. godot10 says:

    How is one year of Johnny Boychuk going to help?

    MacT wouldn’t pay his best defensemen. a 26-year year old Jeff Petry $5 million dollars per season. How can anyone think 4 x $5.5 for a rapidly declining 31-year old Johnny Boychuk going to be a good deal? After seeing him for maybe only 40 games, before one has to ink that contract, IF he signs.

    Just sign Petry to that contract instead.

    And no way Boychuk signs for less than the $4.5 million Nikitin forced out of MacT, and certainly not just for 2 years.

  13. bigbadbruin24 says:

    All due respect, I don’t think Musil/Gernat + 3rd gets you Boychuk. He would look good on the Oilers blueline though. The money needed to sign Boychuk would not be unreasonable at 4.5 – 5 per IMHO but could be used better elsewhere for the Oil. Watching the B’s play last year, he certainly has plenty left in the tank to offer even though he has already crossed the 30 year old mark. Boston would prefer to move either McQuaid and/or Bartkowski according to most of what comes out in Bruins rumours. Time will tell.

  14. oilerman1000 says:

    I’d love someone to ask Eakins and Nelson what the impact was from Oilers and the Barons finally having the same systems in 13-14. It allowed a lot of their ahl players to master their positional requirements and when they came into the nhl all they had to do was get up to speed. To my knowledge up until last year each club had a different system. Imagine your a young 20 year old who not only has to get used to nhl speed but also feel uncomfortable and not know where your supposed to be on the ice. Pretty tough for anyone. One of the things I heard last summer was that the oilers recognized that Detroit and their farm team had the same system so that when they promoted a player to the nhl he could step right in and not miss a beat. Now that the oilers seemingly are following the same methodology it’ll be interesting to see how their call ups impact the roster on a go forward basis.

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Anton Lander had a fine AHL season, a very good one. He also ate a ham sandwich.

  16. Ca$h-Money! says:

    godot10:
    How is one year of Johnny Boychuk going to help?

    MacT wouldn’t pay his best defensemen. a 26-year year old Jeff Petry $5 million dollars per season.How can anyone think 4 x $5.5 for a rapidly declining 31-year old Johnny Boychuk going to be a good deal?After seeing him for maybe only 40 games, before one has to ink that contract, IF he signs.

    Just sign Petry to that contract instead.

    And no way Boychuk signs for less than the $4.5 million Nikitin forced out of MacT, and certainly not just for 2 years.

    Cool, I love hearing inside info. How many years at 5 million was Petry asking for? I hadn’t heard anything specific on his demands.

  17. stush18 says:

    Hey guys.

    Been creeping this site for a while and thought I would try adding some insight/ask some questions.

    Had a question as to why people were so opposed to david clarksons contract, and yet pouliot is our “pisani”, who has nice fancy stats, and his contract is therefore ok. As far as I am concerned they are quite similar, except clarkson comes with a better track record and a history of pk experience? I’ll admit I don’t know clarksons fancy stats and I believe they are worse then pouliots, however I would imagine a lot has to do with playing in Toronto last year. I don’t believe the he’s getting old and slow narrative, and they are similar in age. And I realize clarksons contract is more, but from my understanding we offered him poo’s contract and Toronto upped it. Is that overpay really significant considering what he brings?

    I understand last year we had hemmer and yak and ebs so the right side was full, and it’s seperate years, I was just curious as to what people thought. Not knocking poo at all I think it was a great pickup!

    Keep it up LT love this place!

  18. RexLibris says:

    stush18,

    My take on it is this: Pouliot is a better driver of play than Clarkson based on CorsiRel over the course of their respective careers.

    Neither one plays the best competition and neither one is a 1st line winger.

    Clarkson is paid like one, whereas Pouliot is more in line with a 2nd line winger. Clarkson is not going to live up to his contract, in any way, shape or form. Pouliot will be playing on a slightly inflated dollar figure for awhile, but I suspect in the end he will have provided reasonable value as a UFA pickup. And it is the balance of value/cost in UFA signings that really determines them because of how incredibly skewed the market is for those initial 48 hours that send the rest of the NHL cost structure out of whack for the remaining 363 days of the year.

    364 on leap years.

    Drill down deep enough into the numbers and Pouliot is a superior player.

    Put it this way, scroll down to the second graph of either player’s page on Hockey Analysis and check out their HART, which is a total offensive + defensive rating of the player using a mathematical system that I really don’t care to try and fully grasp.

    You can also check out their relative IPP and GF% to compare. The glossary is helpful in this regard, if you want coherent definitions of the categories.

    Clarkson: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=235

    Pouliot: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=730

    It is a good question though, because until I went and looked just now I had only glanced at Pouliot’s numbers and not really explored the wider range of his statistical impact on the game.

  19. Lowetide says:

    stush18:
    Hey guys.

    Been creeping this site for a while and thought I would try adding some insight/ask some questions.

    Had a question as to why people were so opposed to david clarksons contract, and yet pouliot is our “pisani”, who has nice fancy stats, and his contract is therefore ok. As far as I am concerned they are quite similar, except clarkson comes with a better track record and a history of pk experience? I’ll admit I don’t know clarksons fancy stats and I believe they are worse then pouliots, however I would imagine a lot has to do with playing in Toronto last year. I don’t believe the he’s getting old and slow narrative, and they are similar in age. And I realize clarksons contract is more, but from my understanding we offered him poo’s contract and Toronto upped it. Is that overpay really significant considering what he brings?

    I understand last year we had hemmer and yak and ebs so the right side was full, and it’s seperate years, I was just curious as to what people thought. Not knocking poo at all I think it was a great pickup!

    Keep it up LT love this place!

    Great questions. Pouliot was signed for $4m cap hit, and his job will be (hopefully) to beat up on secondary opposition while getting good zone starts. I’d imagine, if things work out well, he’ll play with Arco and Yakupov and they’ll score well at evens. Pouliot’s possession numbers are very good over a LONG PERIOD and with different teams. He’s got this NHL thing figured out.

    Clarkson issigned for $5.25m cap hit, and for (iirc) two years longer than Pouliot. Clarkson was given the contract based on one good offensive season (well, that season and the lockout year). He was less proven in his role (scoring power forward) than Pouliot in his (third line winger who can outchance opponents and play an effective two-way game).

    Pouliot scored 15 goals last season, and received a $4m contract for it. Clarkson received a $5.25 m deal, and scored 5 goals in the following season. Even ifPouliot scores 5 in the coming season, the disappointment will be far less imo.

    Clarkson was hired for a role he could not fill. Pouliot the opposite.

  20. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Great questions. Pouliot was signed for $4m cap hit, and his job will be (hopefully) to beat up on secondary opposition while getting good zone starts. I’d imagine, if things work out well, he’ll play with Arco and Yakupov and they’ll score well at evens. Pouliot’s possession numbers are very good over a LONG PERIOD and with different teams. He’s got this NHL thing figured out.

    Clarkson issigned for $5.25m cap hit, and for (iirc) two years longer than Pouliot. Clarkson was given the contract based on one good offensive season (well, that season and the lockout year). He was less proven in his role (scoring power forward) than Pouliot in his (third line winger who can outchance opponents and play an effective two-way game).

    Pouliot scored 15 goals last season, and received a $4m contract for it. Clarkson received a $5.25 m deal, and scored 5 goals in the following season. Even ifPouliot scores 5 in the coming season, the disappointment will be far less imo.

    Clarkson was hired for a role he could not fill. Pouliot the opposite.

    @Stush18

    What he said.

  21. RexLibris says:

    Hey LT,

    Finished reading your protected list article re: expansion draft.

    And Omark is playing overseas now.

    Timing.

    I’d wonder about an expansion team taking a defender like Petry whom they could possibly flip at the deadline for more picks, or offer to re-sign while he is still somewhat young. Seems to me he’d be a very strategic choice for an expansion club.

    I can’t say there’s anyone else on the eligible list that looks very interesting, save perhaps Fasth.

    Here’s a question though: how do NMCs stand in relation to expansion drafts?

  22. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris:
    Hey LT,

    Finished reading your protected list article re: expansion draft.

    And Omark is playing overseas now.

    Timing.

    I’d wonder about an expansion team taking a defender like Petry whom they could possibly flip at the deadline for more picks, or offer to re-sign while he is still somewhat young. Seems to me he’d be a very strategic choice for an expansion club.

    I can’t say there’s anyone else on the eligible list that looks very interesting, save perhaps Fasth.

    Here’s a question though: how do NMCs stand in relation to expansion drafts?

    Don’t know that answer, I acted as if they did not apply (and of course as if the draft arrived in 2015, so Petry was UFA).

  23. Hammers says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:

    You think that’s funny ?

  24. stush18 says:

    Great to get actual insight on here.

    My point is that I feel clarkson better fills a role (pisani) here then pouliot. One of the narratives going into this year is our pk, especially if lander is not playing. Plus we add a guy with leadership and those fabled “intangibles” (which I believe in). Pouliot really has no pk experience, and I can’t see him making up more time in the power play with our lineup. Also with a clarkson in the lineup maybe we don’t feel the need to have a guy like gazdic dressing, save for special occasions, opening up another roster spot for a hockey player.

    I don’t believe he will have as bad as year this year, nor did I expect his abysmal year last year. I feel he is a 20 goal 50 point guy, who fills a role very well. Again for the record I love poo since his boston days, just thinking macT missed the beat here. For the record here’s my lineup.

    Hall-RNH-Purcell
    Perron-arco-ebs
    Yak-Leonidus-clarkson
    Lander-gordan-Hendricks

    Also clarkson and Perron on a line with a tenacious arco would absolutely frustrating our opponents.

    Reading back it seems like I’m rambling. But I’m slightly drunk and excited about talking to people who don’t think that hall is overrated.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Hammers: You think that’s funny ?

    absolutely.

    the words “ham sandwich” are funny regardless of context. so, even if i just wrote “ham sandwich,” it would have been a funny post.

    the context makes it even funnier. lander, as we all know too well, had a terrible nhl year. brutal. even when it looked to all the world like he scored a hard-working, drive-the-net goal, it was ruled after the fact to be someone else’s. he just couldn’t catch a break.

    lowetide, as is his nature, can’t write a bad word about anyone. if you want to know who lowetide is disappointed, or frustrated in, you have to look at what he doesn’t say. after reviewing all the call-up kids, lowetide writes this about lander:

    “Anton Lander had a fine AHL season. He also played 27 games in the NHL.”

    now that “also” actually refers to the other call-up kids, not to lander, i.e., like these others, lander also played some in the nhl.

    but, you can also read it as a husband mumbling bad news as he wanders into the next room after delivering good news to the wife.

    that, in itself is funny.

    but, the fact that one can read it this way, as a bit of tossed off information, opens the door for putting anything in that second statement. all manner of things could be funny here, the more orthogonal to the first statement the funnier.

    “Anton Lander had a fine AHL season. He also learned how to smoke and cure lean meats”

    “Anton Lander had a fine AHL season. He also developed a fear of antiquities.”

    “Anton Lander had a fine AHL season. He also discovered double-sided tape.”

  26. Ca$h-Money! says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I can’t respect a man who doesn’t have at least a modest fear of antiquities, that’s just good judgment.

    I want Lander to get it together this year so much. I swear he was OK by eye last year. Not great, but not as bad as the boxcars suggest… it would help this team so much if he lived up to his potential at the NHL level.

  27. russ99 says:

    supernova,

    Great summary. Considering we went from no farm club to a shared farm club to a one-year folded club to a miscast farm club in Springfield to OKC, I’d think we’re ahead of where we should be, and that’s a credit to Todd Nelson and his staff.

    I disagree with the idea that we don’t need to develop top 6 players on the farm.

    Injuries, trades and free agents happen, and other teams have prospects that allow them to plug in players in the top 6 with not too much drop-off.

    I think this is why Arcobello is such a polarizing player for us as some fans think he’s top 6, and some don’t.

    I much prefer the Chicago model for bringing skill players along more than the Detroit (leave in the AHL to stew until they are needed) model, as skilled prospects are taught some two-way play in the AHL and “audition” on the NHL 4th line. Then they make the jump the the top 6 as they are needed.

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ca$h-Money!:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I can’t respect a man who doesn’t have at least a modest fear of antiquities, that’s just good judgment.

    I want Lander to get it together this year so much. I swear he was OK by eye last year.Not great, but not as bad as the boxcars suggest…it would help this team so much if he lived up to his potential at the NHL level.

    He’s part of that line of guys we’ve seen who get called up and simply watch as the Gords smite them. Omark all last year was just as, if not more, snake bit. He looked really good and generated a number of scoring chances most times on the ice… nothing went in.

    For Lander, I think a very real problem may have been when they moved him to wing he was out-of-sorts. The guy’s a center and plays like one. That’s going to be a problem considering Eakins’ comments (which LT has highlight a number of times) about Lander needing to play many different roles to crack the NHL line-up.

  29. Woodguy says:

    stush18,

    Age is also an issue.

    Physical players like Clarkson tend to trend down steeply after their 30th birthday.

    Clarkson will turn 31 during this upcoming season and is signed for 5 more years after this upcoming season. That is not a smart bet at all.

    Pouliot turns 28 soon and is signed for 4 years after this upcoming year. A much better bet

  30. supernova says:

    russ99,

    It’s not that I don’t think the farm team should develop top 6 it’s that a top 6 or even top 3 are far more rare to actually play in the AHL.

    I agree Chicago has a good model as does Tampa Bay just recently.

    Chicago model didn’t take off though until after Kane and Toews played on the big club. They had top 5 picks for a few years as well. They just had a reverse order. They drafted D and then got F’s sometimes that is how the draft shakes out sometimes that’s a plan.

  31. Cameron says:

    Ham Sandwhich.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: absolutely.

    lowetide, as is his nature, can’t write a bad word about anyone. if you want to know who lowetide is disappointed, or frustrated in, you have to look at what he doesn’t say. after reviewing all the call-up kids, lowetide writes this about lander:

    “Anton Lander had a fine AHL season. He also played 27 games in the NHL.”

    Oh dear. You’re reading me. :-)

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