By my count the Edmonton Oilers have seven very useful players for next year: Nuge, Hall, Eberle, Pouliot, Gordon, Hendricks and Fayne. The club also has four emerging youngsters who should be able to help from opening night: Klefbom, Yakupov, Lander (rfa), Schultz. After that they have some contributors and some prospects, some suspects and some also-ran’s and lordy a few never were’s. I like several, from Marincin to Purcell. I think a few might not help next season, from Ference to Aulie. There are even some UFA’s I’d welcome back: Roy and Klinkhammer, Jeff Petry too. I’d say Edmonton needs to add a quality center, a legit LH NHL D, and a quality starting goalie. It’s the summer of less is more! I think the Oilers could compete next season if they decided it was important.

nelson capture1

Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts have some great items on the Oilers, including an insightful exchange between Todd Nelson and Nail Yakupov. I think we may get derailed on Eakins v Nelson (or Krueger v Eakins) but as fans that’s not really the point. If Nelson can deliver Yakupov, music! Schultz, the same. Klefbom and Lander? Well that’s simply incredible. Sometimes it’s the message, other times the messenger. And sometimes the journey and timing have more to do with it than any outside source. Would Nail Yakupov be in the same space now if Dallas Eakins remained? What about Lander? Timing is everything and Todd Nelson has it this season.

The Oilers are doing a good job in college free agency this decade. Justin Schultz, Mark Arcobello, Taylor Fedun, Andrew Miller and others have found their way into the organization and had pro hockey success. O’Connor would be the first goalie to sign with the Oilers out of college since Ty Conklin  (unless I’ve missed someone). I’ll have Alex on today’s show to talk about O’Connor and the Oilers goaltending situation.

I think the San Jose Sharks may in fact change plans on Niemi—bad goaling is death—but if they do trade him at the deadline that likely means free agency for the veteran. Let’s compare Niemi’s EV save percentage to Ben Scrivens over the last several seasons:


niemi scrivens compThe thing about goalies is they’re voodoo. Devan Dubnyk posted an .897 EV SP for the Oilers in 2013-14, this season he’s running at a .932 clip for the Wild. Will Scrivens stay at .901 next season? History suggests he’ll correct to career average, which puts MacT in a weird spot. Does he go out and get Niemi, using Scrivens as his backup for 2015-16? Does he sign Niemi to a big money deal despite advancing age (Niemi will be 32 in the summer)? I think we’ll see Niemi or Craig Anderson in Edmonton this fall but agreed with MacT last summer and feel that same bet should be made this one. Keep Scrivens, acquire another reasonable bet (Martin Jones, Jacob Markstrom) to form the other half of the duo. Does MacT have that kind of confidence? I don’t know. It’s easy for me to say stay the course, quite another to be the guy with his job on the line. I imagine we see Scrivens tonight.


bouchard atlanta

A lot of people (including me) are disappointed in MacT these days and many are beside themselves about the goalie bet for 2014-15. I said at the time and will say again it was fine by me, goaling is an area where an astute GM can save some money and acquire league-average or better performance for middling money. It hasn’t worked out that way but that doesn’t mean the decision to stay away from $5 million dollar goalies was a bad one.

May I give you an example of bad decision making by a GM, and how long it can take to recover? In 1972, the player in the photo above (Daniel Bouchard) had just completed a two-year audition for the Hershey Bears and Boston Braves of the AHL. He was a Bruins draft pick, ready to march into the NHL as a backup to either Gerry Cheevers or Eddie Johnston (two veteran goalies for Boston).

Milt Schmidt was the GM and he had a lot on his mind. The WHA was raiding teams left and right that summer and Cheevers was a target. The NHL was expanding and the Bruins were going to lose good players. Schmidt decided to protect his veterans (Johnston was 90 at the time) and allowed Bouchard to be drafted by Cliff Fletcher and the Atlanta Flames. The Bruins—Stanley Cup champions that summer—entered the fall without Cheevers or Bouchard, and the results were dramatic. Johnston struggled, the club called up minor leaguers Ross Brooks (himself an older player) and John Adams and the position was horrible all year long. It got so bad Schmidt was forced to trade the first-round pick that became Ian Turnbull in March of 1973 for Jacques Plante (who was 1,000 years old at the time).

Harry Sinden came in as GM and traded for Gilles Gilbert and Cheevers would eventually return, but that was some bad decision-making by the GM. MacT may have his faults and is having a bad year, but none of these cats are long term issues and he can in fact right the ship this summer. My fear? He gets Eddie Johnston on a five-year deal.



At 10 this morning, we hit the ground running on TSN1260.

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. We’ll talk goaltending, the Bruins and the trade deadline.
  • Sean Beissel, Donnan. We’ll talk about hockey development and playoffs.
  • Andrew Bucholtz, 55-yard line. Andrew wrote a brilliant article on the changing sports TV landscape in Canada.
  • Alex Thomas, Oilers Rig. O’Conner the goalie, Subban the goalie, tonight’s game.

10-1260 on text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Talk soon!


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406 Responses to "BRUINS AT OILERS, G59 2014-15"

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  1. meanashell11 says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”:
    OK, I watched that ahem, financial planner commercial again. There are ZERO disclaimers at the bottom. Honestly, how does Canada allow such an outrageous claim to be made with no disclaimer? We’ll save you $1500 a year and your kids can go tosummer camp?
    In the US that kind of claim without all the disclaimers would be illegal. This kind of thing annoys me. Sorry. Go Oilers.

    Question, we do not know any of the salient points regarding this family’s situation. For example, what is their income. If you assume the average Canadian then it may be difficult to get $1500 in savings. But what if they earn $100k. $1500 is 1.5%, not really that hard??? There are many examples of pertinent information not shared that could easily reap $1500 in savings. No?

  2. lance says:

    There is no room to be high and mighty about American advertising iintegrity. Here the waste is incredible. So many beads. What to do with all the beads? 21 years ago I was in the French Quarter and 2 days ago I was back. So different. A thread high jack warning: proceed at your own risk.

    20 years ago I saw 400 sets of tits, Tuesday I didn’t see one. Granted, it was pretty cold, and also we cleared out not long after dark, but the vibe is way different. Katrina seems to have been the impetus to clean it up, or maybe that was the straw that allowed the change. Last time cops left the tourists alone and we hardly even saw them. Now they’re everywhere and everyone is a potential target. There is no special status for a foreigner anymore. But unlike Canadian cops, these cops are jovial and good natured, are having fun and try their best to be good hosts and tour guides.

    Balconies were the luxury, and still are, but now there are bleachers too. It all costs more than a photographer makes, but sometimes friends slide in to cover. Years ago Neil Young and Crazy Horse were playing in San Fran and buddy said Lowetide could stay on his boat (you probably should have taken that offer). He is from Nola and his family has a condo on the parade route. So we watched the zulu and rex? parades from the fourth floor then headed into the jazz section of the quarter, Frenchman and Chartres actually, to see fairly incredible live music.

    I’d probably take my kids. We did the whole day on $80 and forty of that was dinner. Peanut butter burgers at Mimi’s. Legendary according to the locals. Indeed. We came home with all our phones and wallets, no one got arrested and no one went to the ER. And I got a photo of a guy wearing a leather hockey sweater.

    Back to work bitches. Apparently we’re all supposed to be clean and proper again.

  3. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:



    It’s not about American advertising integrity. The point is that in America the law forces you to qualify/support your claims with legal mumbo jumbo. If you ever tune into CNBC and watch the zillions of financial ads that they have, you will see it. No one is allowed to make a claim that they can make you x or save you y without exact specifics of what it is that they are doing.

    And Meanashell your second paragraph is the exact point! We don’t have a clue how these guys saved $1500 by going to this bank because the ad doesn’t explain anything. The ad implies that if you go to them they will save you money, possibly $1500. In the US, if you take a license to become a financial anything, you are not allowed to make any claims about things like that unless you’re talking about a specific campaign: eg. we will take $1500 off your first year’s commissions or broker fees or whatever it may be.

    It’s the loose implication without any qualification that going to Bank x will save you $1500 so your kids can go to summer camp (which, Meanashell, if that was really a big deal to them then they probably aren’t super rich such that $1500 is a drop in the bucket to them and thus easy to do) that I have a problem with.

    It doesn’t say: invest with us and we may save you money under these and these circumstances. The couple walk in, a banker smiles at them, and presto they walk out with $1500 in savings. That’s not how it works!

  4. lance says:

    The Artist formerly known as “NYCOIL”,

    You seem to suggest statute laws apply to the too-big-to-fail. Its like saying cops are paid to protect people or the Oilers run on a team work model.

    dare to dream.

  5. czar says:


    I was in New Orleans this summer and noticed a much stronger police presence on the streets, almost on every corner of Bourbon street. We asked a young lady, formerly from Peace River, who owns an antique shop about it and she said it was in response to the shooting at the end of June.

    If you get the chance try Huck Finn’s. It has the best breakfast in town and the beni’s are excellent. I also enjoyed Deanie’s seafood but get there early for supper.

  6. The Artist formerly known as "NYCOIL" says:


    Well, no, they clearly do not apply because that kind of ad was allowed by regulators in Canada; what I am saying is that kind of ad would not be allowed to air on TV in the US. The offending bank would be fined, patted on the back and then told to keep on with their “criminal” behavior, but don’t make it so obvious.

    If you think I’m dreaming about big bank regulation, you don’t know me or my post history here.

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