When the Edmonton Oilers signed Benoit Pouliot, buried under the lead (“Role player gets insane contract”) was a pretty effective third-line winger from Manhattan. A franchise that is more wasteful than the Kardashians may have actually gotten value for one of their July 1 trial balloons. Who knew?
BENOIT POULIOT 13-14
- 5×5 points per 60: 1.79 (6th among regular NYR forwards)
- 5×4 points per 60: 3.10 (8th among regular NYR forwards)
- Qual Comp: 10th toughest among regular forwards (3rd line opp)
- Qual Team: 10th best teammates among regular forwards (3line linemates)
- Corsi Rel: 7.3 (4th best among regular forwards)
- Corsi for % 5×5: 55.1
- Corsi for % Rel 5×5: +3.4
- Zone Start: 57.8% (6th easiest among regular forwards)
- Zone Finish: 51.7% (3rd best among regular forwards)
- Shots on goal/percentage: 141/10.64%
- Boxcars: 80GP, 15-21-36
VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (CORSI ON)
A nice spot for a veteran player with some skill. He’s still in the two-way area, but getting a nice zone start (but no push, the Rangers apparently refused to start in their own end) and softer minutes. Terrific P/60 number for a third-line player, has to be one of the best in the business.
RE 14-15 PROJECTION
|.450||BENOIT POULIOT ACTUAL 13-14||80||15||21||36|
|.432||BENOIT POULIOT 14-15 RE||74||14||18||32|
- This is a wonderful third-line winger. Yes. Pouliot is a perfect fit for the need. Home run, MacTavish.
- Contract is stupid. Sure, way worse than Cam Barker or Nikolai Khaibulin or any number of Tambellini deals. It’s full lash and for several years, but they “got their guy” and that’s a big damn deal for Edmonton.
- I hear they’re moving him to center. Summer sportstalk radio is where fiction got it start. Relax.
- He did play center. Who cares? He made it as a LW, they’ll use him there.
- Come on, this is classic MacTavish! I’m surprised he hasn’t hired Pisani to ease the transition. I hate you.
- Hahaha. Remember when they traded Reasoner and then had to play Rem the Gem in the final? I’m going to kill you.
- Okay. Let’s talk about Benoit the winger. A very nice player. The offense is really good, his 5×5 is borderline outstanding. If he could score 1.79/60 from the third line for a decade they’d make the Pouliot Prize.
- Well, he’d be on the second line. Might end up there this coming season, depending on Yakupov.
- I thought Yakupov was off the table until it’s Yakupov time. Right you are.
- Who should Pouliot play with? On a soft minutes line, it would be interesting to see him with Leon or Arco as the center.
- But he wont? I expect there will be long periods during the season when Dallas Eakins has him on a checking line with Boyd Gordon at center.
- How should he be used? As in New York, with two other guys who can handle the puck and send it in a good direction.
- Who did he play with? Derick Brassard (499 minutes), Mats Zuccarello (352 minutes), Carl Hagelin (219 minutes) and this is all 5×5.
- What do they do well? Brassard is average size but sturdy, good speed and can take and make a pass. Good offensive player, probably too good for his role in Manhattan and maybe that’s why he’s so strong at it.
- Edmonton equivalent? Don’t have one. The only center more skilled than Brassard on the current roster is Nuge, and he’s up the road apiece. Draisaitl may be better in terms of skill, but he’s a teenager and the foot speed is going to be a question mark until he proves himself. Oilers don’t have a Brassard, the closest comparable is Arcobello (good speed, can take and make a pass) and that may end up being the match. Arcobello is not as gifted as Brassard which is a key to the NYR line.
- Zuccarello? Diminutive skill winger, stunning passer just a delight. Gets a lot of things to the point of dangerous with a deft pass. Very underrated.
- Edmonton equivalent? Purcell is a bigger player, but does a lot of the same things. I’d say that’s a reasonable match in terms of skill, not a match in size or foot speed portions of a comparable.
- Carl Hagelin? Another undersized bullet with good passing ability. He can scoot by defenders ala Taylor Hall, but doesn’t have the ability to finish consistently. Scary forward with the puck on his stick, though.
- Edmonton equivalent? Yakupov, although he’s a different type of player (Yakupov isn’t as fast, but he can finish more consistently).
- So, the new Brassard-Zuccarello-Hagelin is Arcobello-Purcell-Yakupov? Yes, I think that combination is as likely as any based on fit. Perron-Purcell or Perron-Yakupov would seem to be the likely 2line combinations, so it makes sense. And then Arco until they trade for Cody Eakin.
- But you still think Boyd Gordon? You have to assume there are going to be many nights when nothing rhymes—this is still an unproven team. I imagine coach Eakins will throw Pouliot-Gordon-Hendricks out there a few times and it will probably settle things down. I’m not saying I love the idea of squashing Pouliot’s offense, but the Oilers are going to need two working lines. When the Leon line and the Arco line are swimming, one suspects we’ll see this kind of line get a lot of work.
- And the Nuge line? 28:12 and 44%.
- Now I hate you. Good. They need a more established center is all. The Oilers are close to balance, but they aren’t there. We can’t ignore that in the projections.
- Why this song? As the video above indicates, Mitchell never did get to Woodstock, watched it from New York. Mitchell wrote herself into Woodstock by song, and inserted herself into the history and lore of the event—I bet most people don’t know she couldn’t attend (it’s explained in the video). I think it’s a good match for Pouliot because he was a lottery pick, but he never did get to play that role, so he had to re-write himself and find an NHL career by becoming what you see today. Like Ethan Moreau before him, Pouliot is not the dominant scorer teams pursue when selecting in the top 10 overall, but he worked to become a worthy player. There’s honor in that, maybe more honor than being touched by God and having things come easily even at the highest level.
- Your explanation is longer than the song. Pouliot explains it well: “I consider myself a top-nine forward now. The past three years have been really positive. My game is better (more consistent player). In Tampa and in Boston before New York, I was third line, second line. Different roles on the second and third lines, maybe, but you get used to it and you do the job.”