CHEERS

Josh Winquist scored a goal today, it’s been awhile so it was good to see. As a lifelong hockey fan, one of the things that absolutely makes me smile is the underdog making the grade. In the case of Wingquist, the ‘grade’ might be AHL regular but that’s a terrific peak for anyone. We should never discount the difficulty of this beautiful game, nor should we be too quick to bury 20-year olds who don’t flourish on the first day of pro schooling.

Winquist doesn’t have an Oilers contract and who knows if he’ll get one. This summer, Edmonton has a plethora of prospects turning pro, some signed (Draisaitl, Chase) and as yet unsigned (Slepyshev, Houck) and goodness knows the club is pursuing an Iiro Pakarinen as we speak today. I was told by a scout Winquist is probably the smartest player on every team he joins but the foot speed issue is a legit concern. Still, this is a nice bet by the Oilers, better than a few of their recent draft picks and I hope the young man gets a contract somewhere for next season.

Over the last two years or so, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the way prospects are discussed on blogs and in comments sections. It’s a difficult thing to do, discussing kids at 20 and making statements about their future. Anyone who knows the overall odds on success (100 NHL games, which really isn’t very many, is considered a success in many circles) would be best to bet dead red and adjust to the curveball.

Cynical stance for sure. Me? I just like to cheer from the cheap seats, the longer shot the better. Blame Larry Mavety, blame Larry Patey and blame Greg Smith. They’re the culprits and Josh Winquist is the latest to pass through my purview. Godspeed, son. We’re cheering for you.

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18 Responses to "CHEERS"

  1. Ben says:

    Well you’re in luck, LT, since the Oilers system is chock-full of long-shots and underdogs they selected in the first three rounds of the amateur draft.

  2. Broiler says:

    I hope they sign Winquist, LT is there any European free agents on the horizon, with the economy in Russia in turmoil is there any KHL players ready to come to NA , either as a prospect or immediate help. I hope the oilers are scouring the earth for some help.
    I also hope they are in the running to sign Kenney Morrison, a local R shooting D and of course
    Matt O Conner G

  3. Broiler says:

    Yes and all I have left is HOPE,

  4. Lowetide says:

    Ben:
    Well you’re in luck, LT, since the Oilers system is chock-full of long-shots and underdogs they selected in the first three rounds of the amateur draft.

    Actually, the Oilers early picks (2009 aside) were ‘in the range’ as they say.

  5. Woodguy says:

    David published the url to his new toy:

    http://www.puckalytics.com/superwowy.html

    Enjoy!

  6. Yak2 says:

    Along with Matt O’Connor, I’m really hoping they sign finnish college free agent Ahti Oksanen, who can play both forward and defense, ala Byfuglien and Burns. He’s 6’3 207lbs

    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=56595

  7. Ryan says:

    One reason Oilers assets are devalued around the league is that the Oilers are unique.

    We’re remarkably consistent when it comes to being terrible.

    Other teams have some ebb and flow, but we’re mostly terrible.

    Great fan post if you missed it: http://www.coppernblue.com/2015/3/7/8167691/scoring-chances-goal-differential-2005-present

  8. spud says:

    LT,

    Good thoughts on young players who are not likely to make it to the NHL. When one beats the odds, it is a feel-good story for everyone. The AHL can be a good career for a few years too.

  9. Ontario Oilers Fan says:

    Had my parents over this afternoon to watch the game for a few bevvies and wings. Really had a good feeling after one period. Then everything fell apart. I hear from good sources that Taylor Hall played his last game with Coilers & will be dealt at draft day.
    I’ve finally had it with the 9 years of losing……….. This was my last day as an Oilers fan.
    F@ck you MacT you unfit GM. F@ck you Katz, Howson & Lowe. How dare you idiots treat us fans like suckers? You are all incompetent!

    *Flush toilet*

  10. HiddenDarts says:

    Ontario Oilers Fan,

    I hear from good sources that really, really good trolling shouldn’t be so damned obvious.

  11. G Money says:

    Woodguy:
    David published the url to his new toy:

    http://www.puckalytics.com/superwowy.html

    Enjoy!

    For gits and shiggles, I ran Hall and Gazdic.

    5×5 0:48s together, CF% 33%, GF% 100%, 75.0 Goals/60, PDO 200!

    Hey, if you believe that “goals are the only stats that matter” and “PDO can be coached” (and its logical corollary “sample sizes don’t matter”), clearly the Oilers failings are clear:

    We don’t play Luke Gazdic and Taylor Hall together nearly enough.

    Note to RTB: the EVGF/60 is OFF THE CHARTS! Sample size be damned, this is clearly the best 1-2 pair of forwards in the league!

  12. G Money says:

    HiddenDarts,

    Funny thing is, apart from the fourth sentence, everything else was clear and logical!

  13. Hammers says:

    Ontario Oilers Fan:
    Had my parents over this afternoon to watch the game for a few bevvies and wings. Really had a good feeling after one period. Then everything fell apart. I hear from good sources that Taylor Hall played his last game with Coilers & will be dealt at draft day.
    I’ve finally had it with the 9 years of losing……….. This was my last day as an Oilers fan.
    F@ck you MacT you unfit GM. F@ck you Katz, Howson & Lowe. How dare you idiots treat us fans like suckers? You are all incompetent!

    *Flush toilet*

    Thank God your from Ontario go back to the Leafs .

  14. Hammers says:

    Talked to a friend who knows Tuebert playing in Europe making about 400k . Happy as hell enjoying his hockey . Would have liked to make NHL but feels he will be OK if he can get 5 years in . This relates to your article about all these kids trying to make the NHL . Really sounds like if you don’t make it after say 3- 4 years in the AHL there better of going to Europe . No matter if it’s Winquist or any of the other guys, sometimes making a financial decision for yourself makes more sense . LT you talk about players needing up to 5 years but many still don’t make it so making that move may in fact make more sense for them . Hartsky , Omark and the list goes on . Good Luck to them all.

  15. smellyglove says:

    Hammers,

    Hope to hell he saves it, because once he gets off the ice his earning potential is in the high school grad range. Not meant to be a rude comment, professional sports isn’t good to the second cut.

  16. wheatnoil says:

    smellyglove:
    Hammers,

    Hope to hell he saves it, because once he gets off the ice his earning potential is in the high school grad range. Not meant to be a rude comment, professional sports isn’t good to the second cut.

    Pro sports is a hell of a gamble. You’ve got to dedicate every hour of your day to it which doesn’t give you give you much opportunity to work on a back up plan. The one good thing is that, if you don’t make it, you’ve often plenty young enough to go back to school and re-invent yourself. I’ve met a couple former AHLers that have done just that and have done well for themselves.

    Five years post-draft is 23. Give it another couple years and you usually have a good idea of where you stand. 25 years old is practically still a kid. Plenty young enough to have a career change or three.

    That said, psychologically that’s a tough adjustment to make. You hope like hell for these kids to land on their feet if they don’t make it.

  17. rickithebear says:

    G Money: For gits and shiggles, I ran Hall and Gazdic.

    5×5 0:48s together, CF% 33%, GF% 100%, 75.0 Goals/60, PDO 200!

    Hey, if you believe that “goals are the only stats that matter” and “PDO can be coached” (and its logical corollary “sample sizes don’t matter”), clearly the Oilers failings are clear:

    We don’t play Luke Gazdic and Taylor Hall together nearly enough.

    Note to RTB: the EVGF/60 is OFF THE CHARTS!Sample size be damned, this is clearly the best 1-2 pair of forwards in the league!

    100 minutes min for forwards.
    60 min if you can identify the forward trio.

    G money: I enjoy you smartassedness counter points.
    This one made me smile.

    Counterpoint:
    LW-C-LW

    Makes Eakins system player use look genius compare to yours!
    Have some common sense Buddy!
    😉

  18. Ice Sage says:

    wheatnoil: Pro sports is a hell of a gamble. You’ve got to dedicate every hour of your day to it which doesn’t give you give you much opportunity to work on a back up plan. The one good thing is that, if you don’t make it, you’ve often plenty young enough to go back to school and re-invent yourself. I’ve met a couple former AHLers that have done just that and have done well for themselves.

    Five years post-draft is 23. Give it another couple years and you usually have a good idea of where you stand. 25 years old is practically still a kid. Plenty young enough to have a career change or three.

    That said, psychologically that’s a tough adjustment to make. You hope like hell for these kids to land on their feet if they don’t make it.

    All True.
    And the toll this game takes on the body and brain makes for a big comedown for a lot of these guys.
    Unless they can ‘stay in the business’ scouting, coaching, media etc.

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