SPEERS CANYON

Each year I make a list of top players in the draft based on my down home list of priorities. I love the math if it’s good, a player with a range of skills always gets the nod and I’ll cheat some for a bigger player if he has skill. By the time my final list is ready, the order may be different but all of the usual suspects are there.

Not so this year in the case of Blake Speers, who I’ve stubbornly kept in the first round of the draft (final number: 26). I’m pretty sure this is an exceptional talent and a team taking him—even in the later part of round one—should be pleased with their effort. What IS it about Blake Speers that others are seeing that the math can’t show me? IS it ‘saw him good’ or is my math addled? Let’s have a look.

  • Blake Speers Bob McKenzie rank: No. 72
  • Craig Button NHL comparable: Ryan Callahan
  • Craig Button Scouting Report: Speers is a very determined and purposeful player. He gets involved in all areas of the game, from the offensive parts to the defensive parts, and has a real determination to contribute whatever it may be. Always in the play and on the puck. Improving the explosive elements in his skating will allow him an even greater influence on the game.
  • Source

In regard to his skating, I should mention that the word ‘elite’ was mentioned by a respected scouting service and another very good one talks about an impressive first step. Both services also mention a lack of strength but point out he’s a willing player and tries in all areas. His boxcar numbers (57GP, 24-43-67) are quality for a draft eligible in this era and at 5.11, 181 there seems to be a lot to like. He’s a center who does play the (left) wing—and that often means a pro winger—but I keep coming back to the point-per-game and the assist total. You may say ‘he’s probably getting it all on the power play’ but the numbers break out well compared to a player with similar point-per-game totals.

speers numbersThat’s pretty close, no? I don’t think we can say Speers is a cherry picker based on these numbers, and both services above rank Chlapik 30 spots higher than Speers AND both mention Chlapik’s two-way ability and physical presence.

CHLSTATS NHLE PROJECTIONS

Another way to look at the math side of things is NHLE. CHLStats takes the equivalency to a new level, estimating ice time and then projecting points. Here is the CHL NHLE for 17-year olds from 2014-15.

  1. Connor McDavid 62
  2. Mitch Marner 49
  3. Dylan Strome 46
  4. Timo Meier 31
  5. Evegny Svechnikov 30
  6. Blake Speers, Anthony Beauvillier, Anthony Richard 29

So offense isn’t the issue. I can’t really find a math reason to keep Speers out of the first round (all of the names here are in the first round save Richard who I have on my list but later due to one-dimensional resume). The reasons for Speers’ ranking can’t be math, because math loves Blake Speers. Here’s two scouting reports online and their source.

  • Future Considerations: “A solid two-way winger, elite level speed with a very efficient skating stride…good lateral agility…lacks strength and can get knocked off the puck by bigger opponents…handles the puck well and has some deceptively good hands…makes crisp, accurate passes to teammates…has a decent shot…does all the little things to succeed…can kill penalties, work the power play, lead the rush or bring a strong forecheck…has good leadership qualities and possesses the intangibles that make pro aspirations a possibility in his future.” Source
  • Shawn Reznik, The Hockey Writers: “Speers is lightning quick on his skates which helps him get out of the way of checks. At top speed, his hands are as fast as his feet and he can dangle with the best of them. I was most surprised by his shot. Speers looks for the perfect opening before wiring a wrister past a goalie. When he is not shooting, Speers is equally talented at dishing off the puck to his teammates.” Source

I think he’s a solid late first-round pick and believe he represents exceptional value based on his Bob McKenzie number. If No. 72 is the consensus, Edmonton could get this player with the No. 57 pick. Tremendous value. Once again, here are my reasons for ranking Speers No. 26 in the 2015 draft:

  • The math loves him.
  • He is a skill forward with a range of skills—including speed.
  • The scouting report negatives are things all kids have to work on—strength, attention to detail. There are NO red flags.
  • He’s not a small player (5.11, 181) and could grow to NHL average.
  • His offense is not skewed because of a power-play push.
  • He was not one of the top scoring players on his team.

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69 Responses to "SPEERS CANYON"

  1. v4ance says:

    Who was your Speers “candidate” last year LT?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Closest was Barbashev, I had him No. 12 and he went No. 33. Also had Pastrnak No. 14.
    https://lowetide.ca/2014/06/23/2014-final-top-30-and-mactmatty/

  3. sliderule says:

    This draft is deep

  4. spoiler says:

    “Knocked off the puck easily” seems a common refrain. “Needs to get more involved” is another.

    The first one is a killer criticism at the Junior level.

    Plus he probably gets a little nick for playing on a loaded team. And as Sliderule said, it’s a deep draft.

    I don’t think I could take him in the first… I’m too risk averse that early on.

  5. Wild Bill Hunter says:

    Drafting Blake Speers in the first round would be Niinimaki level dumb…sorry. I don’t know what “down home math” you are using but I hope Chiarelli isn’t drinking that Kool Aid. I have watched Blake Speers and he is small and not the Sam Bennet kind of in your face surprisingly hard on the puck kind of small he’s the blows away in a stiff breeze kind of figure skater small. He is going to have to do more than put on a few pounds of muscle to make it in the NHL, he is going to need to adjust his compete level to pro-sized. Maybe at #57 or third round but never in a million years should he be compared to the guys at the tail end of the first or early second rounds.

  6. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Wild Bill Hunter:
    Drafting Blake Speers in the first round would be Niinimaki level dumb…sorry.I don’t know what “down home math” you are using but I hope Chiarelli isn’t drinking that Kool Aid.I have watched Blake Speers and he is small and not the Sam Bennet kind of in your face surprisingly hard on the puck kind of small he’s the blows away in a stiff breeze kind of figure skater small.He is going to have to do more than put on a few pounds of muscle to make it in the NHL, he is going to need to adjust his compete level to pro-sized.Maybe at #57 or third round but never in a million years should he be compared to the guys at the tail end of the first or early second rounds.

    I’m always a little bit impressed by players that manage to score so much without trying. I mean, imagine how good he would be if he cared?

    I believe that was the exact scouting report for Everle, no? Really good but too small and doesn’t compete?”

    I know lots of 18 year olds that don’t try hard enough at life that grow up. People without skill at 18 rarely develop skill later.

  7. Woodguy says:

    Wild Bill Hunter:
    Drafting Blake Speers in the first round would be Niinimaki level dumb…sorry.I don’t know what “down home math” you are using but I hope Chiarelli isn’t drinking that Kool Aid.I have watched Blake Speers and he is small and not the Sam Bennet kind of in your face surprisingly hard on the puck kind of small he’s the blows away in a stiff breeze kind of figure skater small.He is going to have to do more than put on a few pounds of muscle to make it in the NHL, he is going to need to adjust his compete level to pro-sized.Maybe at #57 or third round but never in a million years should he be compared to the guys at the tail end of the first or early second rounds.

    If only LT had mentioned he was value at 57 and not said to take him in the first round!!!

    Wait a minute…….

  8. LadiesloveSmid says:

    you had Mangiapane fairly high last year right? 2nd round?

    Boy he’d look like a much better pick than Bouchard/Coughlin right now

  9. Lowetide says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    you had Mangiapane fairly high last year right? 2nd round?

    Boy he’d look like a much better pick than Bouchard/Coughlin right now

    I had him No. 52
    https://lowetide.ca/2014/06/27/2014-draft-day-one/

  10. Kmart99 says:

    If you’re the Oilers brass, who do you want CMD living with next year? Does it matter? How much?

    Another young guy like Nuge or Lander? Or maybe a vet like Hendricks?

    I was thinking about how Crosby lived in a family setting with Lemieux and wondered if it was a good thing or not…

  11. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Kmart99,

    A year or two of living with Ference oughta teach him the values of recycling!

  12. Lowetide says:

    Kmart99:
    If you’re the Oilers brass, who do you want CMD living with next year? Does it matter? How much?

    Another young guy like Nuge or Lander? Or maybe a vet like Hendricks?

    I was thinking about how Crosby lived in a family setting with Lemieux and wondered if it was a good thing or not…

    Nuge. Boring as dirt.

  13. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Kmart99:
    If you’re the Oilers brass, who do you want CMD living with next year? Does it matter? How much?

    Another young guy like Nuge or Lander? Or maybe a vet like Hendricks?

    I was thinking about how Crosby lived in a family setting with Lemieux and wondered if it was a good thing or not…

    sounds like CMD is in Edmonton right now

  14. Lowetide says:

    From Gene Principe:
    4m: Well @cmcdavid97 met with @EdmontonOilers brass today. Toured Rexall and Rogers Place.Had dinner and gone.Back to school but he’ll be back.

  15. Klima's_Bucket says:

    Lowetide: Nuge. Boring as dirt.

    Boyd Gordon could easily give Nuge a run for his money if most boring is up for debate.
    Gordo doesn’t even have a horse hobby.

  16. Ryan says:

    Lowetide:
    Closest was Barbashev, I had him No. 12 and he went No. 33. Also had Pastrnak No. 14.
    https://lowetide.ca/2014/06/23/2014-final-top-30-and-mactmatty/

    Good. We can rest assured knowing that Chiarelli’s knowledge of this blog predates his employment with the Oilers. 🙂

  17. LadiesloveSmid says:

    not a lot of love for Fayne in the previous thread. He had a lot of success with Greene. Get him a Greene. Give Sekera 6×6 and run that pair.

    Sekera-Fayne
    Klefbom-Gilbert/Braun/Michalek
    Marincin-Schultz

  18. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Nuge. Boring as dirt.

    Next to McDavid, he’s Rodney Dangerfield.

    Nugent-Hopkins is probably a good choice. He can empathize playing as an 18 year old, playing C, still young enough to remember high school but the kid has an old soul.

    Heh, what I wouldn’t give to watch them play NHL15 against each other though. Man there’d be some very quiet intensity in those games. Compared to Hall and Eberle who probably never stop trash talking the entire time.

  19. Wild Bill Hunter says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: I’m always a little bit impressed by players that manage to score so much without trying.I mean, imagine how good he would be if he cared?

    I believe that was the exact scouting report for Everle, no?Really good but too small and doesn’t compete?”

    I know lots of 18 year olds that don’t try hard enough at life that grow up. People without skill at 18 rarely develop skill later.

    No that was actually not the exact scouting report that Eberle had. Eberle scored almost twice as many goals/points and was widely lauded as perhaps the best natural scorer in the draft. He was the 2nd leading scorer at the U-18 Tournament. Size was an issue for Eberle, but his scoring was elite. AND the 2008 draft class was nowhere near as good as this year’s.

    Speers has potential but is too big a risk for a 1st round pick in my opinion.

  20. Snowman says:

    Ha Nuge.. boring as dirt. He likes horses that’s… boring as dirt.

  21. NYCOIL "Taking Photos" says:

    Lowetide:
    Closest was Barbashev, I had him No. 12 and he went No. 33. Also had Pastrnak No. 14.
    https://lowetide.ca/2014/06/23/2014-final-top-30-and-mactmatty/

    Bah. Curse those Blues for getting him and making me rue that Perron trade which was otherwise good.

  22. RexLibris says:

    As an aside, I watched most of the Eskimos game last night and came away fairly impressed with Franklin. Decent arm, very calm demeanour in the pocket, good speed when needed. Nichols had a good night on paper but I never felt as comfortable with him there as I did with Franklin.

    The real treat was watching the defense. I’m not typically a fan of defensive games, but I love the aggression and speed of the defense this year (again).

    Now, if they can cut down from 29 penalties a game, this team could go somewhere.

  23. OF17 says:

    I’m a little concerned with the Talbot + Klein for 16 rumors circling around. I think that’s too much to pay, mostly because Klein doesn’t seem like a very good defenseman. He’s the type of guy I wouldn’t mind adding a mid-late pick for if NY wants to drop salary, but bumping the cost up to 16 is just a little crazy.

    Right? Svechnikov is too good of a prospect.

  24. NYCOIL "Taking Photos" says:

    Anyone thinking of going to Young Stars this year in Penticton? Thinking of a road trip up there.

  25. John Chambers says:

    OF17,

    Well the rumour the other day was just Talbot, so at least now we’re seeing progress.

  26. Dashingsilverfox says:

    RexLibris:
    As an aside, I watched most of the Eskimos game last night and came away fairly impressed with Franklin. Decent arm, very calm demeanour in the pocket, good speed when needed. Nichols had a good night on paper but I never felt as comfortable with him there as I did with Franklin.

    The real treat was watching the defense. I’m not typically a fan of defensive games, but I love the aggression and speed of the defense this year (again).

    Now, if they can cut down from 29 penalties a game, this team could go somewhere.

    Doesn’t matter…the Stampeders will crush them.

  27. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    OF17:
    I’m a little concerned with the Talbot + Klein for 16 rumors circling around. I think that’s too much to pay, mostly because Klein doesn’t seem like a very good defenseman. He’s the type of guy I wouldn’t mind adding a mid-late pick for if NY wants to drop salary, but bumping the cost up to 16 is just a little crazy.

    Right? Svechnikov is too good of a prospect.

    Agreed. Klein a few months ago was routinely lauded as being a terrible pick up for the Rangers, now all of a sudden the broader internet community has done a total 180 and seems to be parading him as the answer to our prayers. He somehow went from being terrible and overrated to a net positive asset. I don’t get it.

  28. Dashingsilverfox says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!: Agreed.Klein a few months ago was routinely lauded as being a terrible pick up for the Rangers, now all of a sudden the broader internet community has done a total 180 and seems to be parading him as the answer to our prayers.He somehow went from being terrible and overrated to a net positive asset.I don’t get it.

    Oiler fans get desperate at this time of the year.

    It gets even worse as training camp approaches.

  29. dustrock says:

    I do wonder if Speers gets a push from being on the loaded Hounds team. Wonder how his TOI, scoring and QoC went after they loaded up with Ritchie, DeAngelo, etc.

    Also wonder how Speers did generally in 1st half of season vs 2nd half – is he a riser?

    Finally, these guys arent similar except that they play on the same Hounds team but sure seems like Senyshyn is the guy i see rated for late 1st, early 2nd pick.

  30. LadiesloveSmid says:

    dustrock:
    I do wonder if Speers gets a push from being on the loaded Hounds team. Wonder how his TOI, scoring and QoC went after they loaded up with Ritchie, DeAngelo, etc.

    Also wonder how Speers did generally in 1st half of season vs 2nd half – is he a riser?

    Finally, these guys arent similar except that they play on the same Hounds team but sure seems like Senyshyn is the guy i see rated for late 1st, early 2nd pick.

    Todd Cordell records the splits. https://toddcordell.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/2015-nhl-draft-eligibles-chl-split-stats-part-two/

    Speers goes 1.263PPG in the first half of the season, 1.088PPG the second half of the season. Good call.

    Though Senyshyn goes up from the first half from 0.5625PPG to 0.8438PPG

  31. OF17 says:

    Woodguy:
    For Gmoney on Schultz: https://lowetide.ca/2015/06/14/testify/comment-page-1/#comment-419758

    Pretty damning. Worst part about it is that we don’t even have anyone else that can produce offense with one line. If we get rid of Schultz, we need to add at least 2 defenders that can score 30+ points, which is a taller order than most.

  32. Jonathan Willis says:

    From ISS on Speers:

    The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds center plays a highly skilled offensive game who brings quickness and a slick skill-st all at a high tempo. Speers is a high-energy skilled forward who can spark his team with his non-stop offensive motor. Aggressive on the attack and has great speed to pressure the puck carrier and steal pucks on the forecheck. Great skating and competitive instincts makes him a force on and off the puck. Plays with intensity and challenges the opponents in forcing mistakes and quickly reacting on transition. Smarts with the puck, ability to read the offensive zone and vision in all zones makes him an intriguing prospect. Must focus on game-by-game consistency and adding muscle to his small frame.

    Scout quotes include “does not give up possession easily” and “has ability to read teammates and get open for them as well as find them off cycle.” Size/strength/physical play are all listed as average, defensive play good, all other areas very good.

    With all that said, ISS rates him 105.

  33. Woodguy says:

    OF17: Pretty damning. Worst part about it is that we don’t even have anyone else that can produce offense with one line. If we get rid of Schultz, we need to add at least 2 defenders that can score 30+ points, which is a taller order than most.

    Oilers just need D to win a battle and pass/skate the puck to the right spot.

    Lots of offence up front.

    Offence from the D certainly helps, but at his price with his skill set there just isn’t enough there.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan Willis:
    From ISS on Speers:

    Scout quotes include “does not give up possession easily” and “has ability to read teammates and get open for them as well as find them off cycle.” Size/strength/physical play are all listed as average, defensive play good, all other areas very good.

    With all that said, ISS rates him 105.

    Which, based on his performance in the world’s best junior league, makes no sense. UNLESS there’s something we’re missing. The ‘saw him good’ doesn’t line up with the math.

  35. OF17 says:

    Woodguy: Oilers just need D to win a battle and pass/skate the puck to the right spot.

    Lots of offence up front.

    Offence from the D certainly helps, but at his price with his skill set there just isn’t enough there.

    We’re saying the same thing, because realistically, 90% of offense from the defense (to pull a number out of my ass) comes from passing the puck to the right spot.

    Right now we have exactly one guy who can do that consistently in Klefbom, and he’s unproven. Schultz can do it when the mood hits him. Marincin can do it sometimes. But even without moving Schultz, we need 1-2 additions who can move the puck and make a pass in the offensive zone (a point shot would be a big plus too). Moving Schultz makes that problem worse, even if Schultz is far from what we’d call an overall effective defenseman.

    You need at least decent offense from the back end to win. Dropping Schultz without replacing his offense just makes the problem worse.

  36. G Money says:

    Woodguy:
    For Gmoney on Schultz: https://lowetide.ca/2015/06/14/testify/comment-page-1/#comment-419758

    Woodguy: You gotta be careful with those numbers G.
    imo, RNH is driving that bus.
    Check this out.
    Schultz WOWY RNH:
    OZS%
    With RNH 73.1% (!!)
    W/O RNH 57..7
    GF%
    With RNH 60%
    W/O RNH 37.5%
    CF%
    With RNH 51.6%
    W/O RNH 49.3%

    Sorry my good man, but you’re kind of cherry picking one half of those numbers to make Schultz look bad. I did look at other players, including the Oilers’ big 3, and it is very clear that Schultz is an incredibly important part of the five man set.

    Here’s the idea:

    As you pointed out,

    Schultz w RNH: GF% 60% CF% 51.6%
    Schultz w/o RNH: GF% 37.5% CF% 49.3%

    Pretty damning, right? RNH is clearly driving the bus for Schultz.

    EXCEPT:

    RNH w/o Schultz: GF% 33.9% CF% 48.7%

    If I dropped the middle line and just showed you this:

    RNH w Schultz: GF% 60% CF% 51.6%
    RNH w/o Schultz: GF% 33.9% CF% 48.7%

    … pretty obvious that Schultz is driving RNH’s bus, no?

    In fact, what this really tells you is that those guys are dynamite together, and not nearly so good when apart. In fact, the word “crap” comes to mind. And RNH suffers more apart than Schultz does – though ZS could explain that I suppose, since RNH “only” gets 52.1% OZS w/o Schultz.

    You see very similar results BTW when you look at Hall and Eberle too.

    Which gets, ipso facto, back to my original point: the Oilers without Schultz, even the good ones, will find it *a lot* harder to score.

    If that is Schultz’s one trick, it’s a damn good trick.

  37. pocession charge says:

    NYCOIL “Taking Photos”:
    Anyone thinking of going to Young Stars this year in Penticton? Thinking of a road trip up there.

    I’m contemplating it. I’ve always wanted to go, and this year seems like a good time to get an early CMD fix before training camp starts. Plus the Okanagan is still smoking hot in September. I’ll keep in touch with you as the summer progresses.

  38. G Money says:

    OF17: Right now we have exactly one guy who can do that consistently in Klefbom, and he’s unproven. Schultz can do it when the mood hits him.

    You need at least decent offense from the back end to win. Dropping Schultz without replacing his offense just makes the problem worse.

    As noted, it’s more than just when the mood hits him. For all his defensive failings, Schultz is an integral part of whatever octane the Oilers offense has.

    And dropping that without replacing it – which will, I suspect, be both difficult and expensive to do – will make the problem quite a bit worse.

    I want to emphasize this point, because it was really at the heart of an extended discussion I had with Snowman in the last thread.

    Jultz’s defensive failings are not only obvious, but extremely aggravating to the eye.

    But the stats clearly point to the guy as being a key part of the offense.

    The extremely high YATV/60 (Yelling At the TV/60) metric of the former is overriding our collective ability to appreciate the latter.

    This is how people who don’t include reasonable objective measures into their decision making process to supplement our easily fooled and easily biased subjective impressions can make really bad mistakes.

    Schultz has a high YATV/60, but his stats indicate a number of redeeming features, and some promise forming half of an effective pairing with Klefbom.

    Nikitin has a high YATV/60, but his stats indicate a number of redeeming features, and at least some promise of forming half of an effective pairing with either Marincin or Fayne.

    Ference has a high YATV/60, and pretty much no redeeming statistics on his side. He makes every D partner quite a bit worse.

    Ference is the problem, far moreso than Schultz or Nikitin. Far more.

  39. monsterbater4 says:

    Hey Pouzer,

    I responded to you In a previous blog, but you were asking about the PMP credential and exam. I didn’t get through all the comments so I’m not sure if you got the answers you were looking for but I’ve written and passed (first try) the exam and working in project management for the last 5 1/2 years. Let me know if you have any questions

  40. Halfwise says:

    The decision whether to qualify Schultz has to be made the day after the draft, right? Short fuse.

    I would take a deep breath, then tell him there will be no QO. Try to trade his rights before the draft, but the price won’t be high, all things considered.

    Tell him he’s worth $2 million max given his performance and that will be the UFA offer figure when the UFA window opens. If he walks, he walks, and there’s some new cap space, yet another hole on the blue line and one less NSF cheque to bounce. There is also another UFA D man out there so it reduces the UFA competition slightly.

    Now we’re down to Ference and Nikitin. I would guess that Nikitin will be better than last year, but nothing special. Keep him and if he has to be waived some time during the year because he’s obviously done, so be it. A team would do that if there’s someone better on the farm, and wouldn’t do it if there isn’t someone better on the farm.

    So it comes around to Ference. Chiarelli needs to have The Talk with his broken down former ex-employee about retirement. At the very least, Ference won’t have the C at the end of The Talk, and he may well choose to retire rather than sit in the pressbox for 30 games this year and 50 the year after.

    Then, go find some actual NHL defensemen to help the Davidsons, Nurses and Marincins find their NHL-level feet. Don’t trade MM unless there’s someone better to take his place (crazy, huh?)

  41. Johnny Larue says:

    Kmart99:
    If you’re the Oilers brass, who do you want CMD living with next year? Does it matter? How much?

    Another young guy like Nuge or Lander? Or maybe a vet like Hendricks?

    I was thinking about how Crosby lived in a family setting with Lemieux and wondered if it was a good thing or not…

    CMD will be living with Ryan Smith and his family is my bet

  42. Lowetide says:

    If there’s a way to sign Schultz to a series of one-year, $1.7M contracts I’ll be thrilled.

  43. Johnny Larue says:

    G Money,

    I agree it is Ference that needs to go. Shultz needs to be qualified we cannot throw the baby out with the bath water . Let’s see how he performs with a real coach first before we throw away a defence man that has ” Norris potential” . I think that comment and MacT ‘s love of him is a large reason why people want to walk away. Thankfully I don’t see Chia doing that

  44. G Money says:

    Here’s what I would do if I were Chia Pete:

    – Convince Ference to retire. This team goes nowhere defensively next year if Ference is still playing more than ten minutes a night.

    – Go out and sign one top notch UFA D man, someone who can hold their own against the toughs, partnered with Fayne. Sekera, Seabrook, Ehrhoff, Martin, even Hamilton, there’s a few out there who could likely handle the job for at least a year or two. The catch is finding the right blend of money and term so you’re not capstrung, nor stuck with another Ference situation in a year or two. Won’t be easy but should be possible.

    – Sign Schultz to a decent deal. I’d say his influence on the offense is worth $5M, but his defensive miscues dock at least $2M. I can live with $3M for Schultz in a “show me” year.

    – Run:
    New guy-Fayne against the toughs (same role that Fayne had and did well with when partnered with Greene in NJ. Hell, maybe even get Greene himself).
    Klefbom-Schultz with the scoring line(s) as much as possible
    Nikitin-Marincin as your third pairing, with Nikitin providing the point shot on the PP2
    Davidson as 7D
    Nurse on the farm

    – If Nikitin’s short but extremely strong time with Marincin proves to be the real deal, we have a solid third pairing, and Nurse gets to spend a year ripening. If it turns out not to be the real deal, Nurse comes up halfway through the year and stays for the next fifteen years. Either way, Nikitin’s gone at the end of the year and Nurse gets some decent AHL exposure.

    – You might argue that this is no better than last years defense, but in my opinion, “New guy” needs to be as good or better than Petry, and Ference is addition by subtraction. Ference was a huge drain on Petry (and whoever he played with), and him gone probably means the D feels like lead weights have been taken out of their boots. Plus it’s doable. I mean hey, if Chia can sign two good defenders and fit them both under the cap (would require a Nikitin buyout or a Schultz walkaway, and the latter would hurt a LOT more), more power to him.

    – Plus, the most important step of all to shore up the defense: Sign a f**king goalie.

  45. pocession charge says:

    Johnny Larue: CMD will be living with Ryan Smith and his family is my bet

    I heard that he’s moving in with the Pocession Charge family. I would even consider letting him drive my new e63 amg, but he’d have to have it back by midnight. Beats the hell out of horse travel (take that Nuge!).

  46. G Money says:

    Johnny Larue: Let’s see how he performs with a real coach first before we throw away a defence man that has ” Norris potential” . I think that comment and MacT ‘s love of him is a large reason why people want to walk away.

    Agreed. A huge part of the hatred for Schultz is the juxtaposition of MacT’s fucking stupid “Norris” comment with the glaring, lazy errors that Schultz keeps making.

    But this distracts us from recognizing other aspects to Schultz’s game, for example:

    Hall w Schultz: GF 67.6% CF% 52.9%
    Hall w/o Schultz: GF 36.1% CF% 49%

    Eberle w Schultz: GF 57.1% CF% 49.6%
    Eberle w/o Schultz: GF 40% CF% 50%

    Again, no one should mistake me for arguing that Schultz is somehow the one driving the bus. He’s not. At least some of the GF/CF dropoff (some, NOT all) can be attributed to ZS differentials. But to suggest Schultz is somehow a passenger on someone else’s bus is also not a supported statement.

    Get rid of Schultz and there’s an excellent chance the bus, while it won’t stall, will have a helluva time getting up hills.

  47. bsmart says:

    G Money: Agreed.A huge part of the hatred for Schultz is the juxtaposition of MacT’s fucking stupid “Norris” comment with the glaring, lazy errors that Schultz keeps making.

    But this distracts us from recognizing other aspects to Schultz’s game, for example:.

    Hall w Schultz:GF 67.6% CF% 52.9%
    Hall w/o Schultz: GF 36.1% CF% 49%

    Eberle w Schultz: GF 57.1% CF% 49.6%
    Eberle w/o Schultz: GF 40% CF% 50%

    Again, no one should mistake me for arguing that Schultz is somehow the one driving the bus.He’s not.At least some of the GF/CF dropoff (some, NOT all) can be attributed to ZS differentials.But to suggest Schultz is somehow a passenger on someone else’s bus is also not a supported statement.

    Get rid of Schultz and there’s an excellent chance the bus, while it won’t stall, will have a helluva time getting up hills.

    if you wanted him signed I would deem it wise to take him to club elected salary arbitration and get that number down to 3.15 for Schultz. I could live with that number

  48. G Money says:

    bsmart: if you wanted him signed I would deem it wise to take him to club elected salary arbitration and get that number down to 3.15 for Schultz. I could live with that number

    Agreed. There’s something magnetic about the $3M number for me. My theory is that it stems from a thought process something like this:

    G Money: Sign Schultz to a decent deal. I’d say his influence on the offense is worth $5M, but his defensive miscues dock at least $2M. I can live with $3M for Schultz in a “show me” year.

    LT wants it to be $1.7M, I guess maybe those defensive errors are -$3.3M in that case!

  49. bsmart says:

    G Money: Agreed.There’s something magnetic about the $3M number for me.My theory is that it stems from a thought process something like this:

    LT wants it to be $1.7M, I guess maybe those defensive errors are -$3.3M in that case!

    I would love to see the number at 1.7 but I don’t think it’s possible to retain Schultz at that number. If the number is 1.7 he will not be in orange and blue silks.

  50. Lois Lowe says:

    Marc, who is a semi-regular poster around these parts, has been saying the exact sane thing about Schultz as G Money’s math is saying. Just want to give him a bit of credit because I argued at length with him that Schultz is garbage.

  51. striatic says:

    Woodguy: Oilers just need D to win a battle and pass/skate the puck to the right spot.
    Lots of offence up front.
    Offence from the D certainly helps, but at his price with his skill set there just isn’t enough there.

    Isn’t that a little like saying that football teams just need a quarterback who can pass or run the ball to the right spot, no biggie?

    I think that having a high minutes high level puck moving defenceman is critical to the success of any NHL team right now. Defences are so good that your Forwards need to be set up with an advantage to even have a shot at generating chances.

  52. Melman says:

    Do you offer Schultz 3×3.5 and if balks either go to arbitration to grind him down to 3.15 or let him walk. That’s a way of finding out if he’s committed first to the team or to his wallet.

  53. Woodguy says:

    striatic: Isn’t that a little like saying that football teams just need a quarterback who can pass or run the ball to the right spot, no biggie?

    I think that having a high minutes high level puck moving defenceman is critical to the success of any NHL team right now. Defences are so good that your Forwards need to be set up with an advantage to even have a shot at generating chances.

    Yes.

    It seems MacT missed that class and the Oilers are in a world of shit because of it.

  54. Woodguy says:

    G Money:
    Sorry my good man, but you’re kind of cherry picking one half of those numbers to make Schultz look bad.I did look at other players, including the Oilers’ big 3, and it is very clear that Schultz is an incredibly important part of the five man set.

    Here’s the idea:

    As you pointed out,

    Schultz w RNH: GF% 60% CF% 51.6%
    Schultz w/o RNH: GF% 37.5% CF% 49.3%

    Pretty damning, right?RNH is clearly driving the bus for Schultz.

    EXCEPT:

    RNH w/o Schultz: GF% 33.9% CF% 48.7%

    If I dropped the middle line and just showed you this:

    RNH w Schultz: GF% 60% CF% 51.6%
    RNH w/o Schultz: GF% 33.9% CF% 48.7%

    … pretty obvious that Schultz is driving RNH’s bus, no?

    In fact, what this really tells you is that those guys are dynamite together, and not nearly so good when apart.In fact, the word “crap” comes to mind.And RNH suffers more apart than Schultz does – though ZS could explain that I suppose, since RNH “only” gets 52.1% OZS w/o Schultz.

    You see very similar results BTW when you look at Hall and Eberle too.

    Which gets, ipso facto, back to my original point: the Oilers without Schultz, even the good ones, will find it *a lot* harder to score.

    If that is Schultz’s one trick, it’s a damn good trick.

    Ha!

    Missed that the drop off for RNH was that big this year.

    Previous 2 years it’s not so I assumed the trend continued.

    I agree it probably has something to do with the massive ozs.

    Also probably has to do with MacT completely forgetting to hire a 2C until halfway through the year.

    13/14

    RNH & Jultz
    GF 50%
    CF 42.2%
    OZS 60%

    RNH away
    GF 43.5%
    CF 46.5%
    OZS 56.5%

    Schultz away
    GF 38.5%
    CF 43%
    OZS 37.3% (wtf Eakins?)

  55. GCW_69 says:

    G Money:
    Sorry my good man, but you’re kind of cherry picking one half of those numbers to make Schultz look bad.I did look at other players, including the Oilers’ big 3, and it is very clear that Schultz is an incredibly important part of the five man set.

    Here’s the idea:

    As you pointed out,

    Schultz w RNH: GF% 60% CF% 51.6%
    Schultz w/o RNH: GF% 37.5% CF% 49.3%

    Pretty damning, right?RNH is clearly driving the bus for Schultz.

    EXCEPT:

    RNH w/o Schultz: GF% 33.9% CF% 48.7%

    If I dropped the middle line and just showed you this:

    RNH w Schultz: GF% 60% CF% 51.6%
    RNH w/o Schultz: GF% 33.9% CF% 48.7%

    … pretty obvious that Schultz is driving RNH’s bus, no?

    In fact, what this really tells you is that those guys are dynamite together, and not nearly so good when apart.In fact, the word “crap” comes to mind.And RNH suffers more apart than Schultz does – though ZS could explain that I suppose, since RNH “only” gets 52.1% OZS w/o Schultz.

    You see very similar results BTW when you look at Hall and Eberle too.

    Which gets, ipso facto, back to my original point: the Oilers without Schultz, even the good ones, will find it *a lot* harder to score.

    If that is Schultz’s one trick, it’s a damn good trick.

    Noticed you dropped the zone starts. Need to include those to have a true picture. Is RNH starting significantly more in the defensive zone when not with Schultz? I would bet he is.

  56. Soup Fascist says:

    LT. Speers sounds a bit like Darren “Matt” Helm clone to me. Is that in the ballpark for a comparable type NHLer ?

  57. G Money says:

    GCW_69,

    I did make explicit note of it! And RNH suffers more apart than Schultz does – though ZS could explain that I suppose, since RNH “only” gets 52.1% OZS w/o Schultz.

    Contrasts per WGs earlier post with 57.7% for Schultz w/o RNH, which is notable but not a massive difference.

    Again, to be clear: if you want to argue that Schultz is bad defensively, you will get absolutely no disagreement on that point from me.

    But if you are arguing that Schultz is useless and doesn’t contribute or help in any way, etc., … well, I’d suggest that you are on extremely shaky ground, that you’re letting your aggravation at Jultz’s defensive miscues blind you to the positive contributions that he does make.

    Without Jultz on the ice, both teams have more difficulty scoring – and the Oilers moreso.

    I’m not sure how attributing uselessness to Jultz differs from those who were unable to see Jeff Petry’s massive defensive contributions and retrieval and possession of the puck because they couldn’t get past the “giveaways” and the “he needs to hit more”.

    Yeah I said it!

  58. G Money says:

    Woodguy: Also probably has to do with MacT completely forgetting to hire a 2C until halfway through the year.

    Schultz away

    OZS 37.3% (wtf Eakins?)

    Jeebuz. WTF indeed.

  59. G Money says:

    Lois Lowe,

    Exact “sane” thing – typo or slick use of language?

    To sum it all up before LT kicks off the next thread (and I have to leave for work):

    “Schultz is defensively garbage” is a true and supportable statement.

    “Schultz is garbage” isn’t nearly as supportable, and is a perception driven almost certainly from an “anger overhang’ from the previous statement.

  60. Pouzar says:

    monsterbater4:
    Hey Pouzer,

    I responded to you In a previous blog, but you were asking about the PMP credential and exam. I didn’t get through all the comments so I’m not sure if you got the answers you were looking for but I’ve written and passed (first try) the exam and working in project management for the last 5 1/2 years. Let me know if you have any questions

    I just got it this AM….responded to you on the other thread.

    “Yeah anything you can tell me….I am a ways away from writing it myself. How much time did you put into preparing for it and what books/courses did you follow? I have a co-worker who is registered for a 6 month online prep course. Sounds intense.

    Congrats on passing that btw and thanks in advance for your feedback.”

    Cheers!

  61. Lowetide says:

    Soup Fascist:
    LT. Speers sounds a bit like Darren “Matt” Helm clone to me. Is that in the ballpark for a comparable type NHLer ?

    Well, Helm scored 24 points in his draft year so that part doesn’t jive. I genuinely think this guy has a chance to be a top 6F, meaning there’s a seam here between perceived and actual value. That’s MONEYBALL imo. This guy is a moneyball player.

  62. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Lowetide,

    He is exactly the type of player that represents a good bet outside of the 1st and 2nd round. There are plenty of reasons to believe he might turn into a top 6 forward.

    It’s not that this bet always works out. Martindale comes to mind as a good example of someone who could score in Junior, that had lots of tools, but that scouts for whatever reason were sour on (and rightly so, as it turns out).

    I still make that bet.

  63. Yeti says:

    G Money: – Convince Ference to retire.

    I can’t believe that GMoney wants to Jon Snow Ference.

  64. monsterbater4 says:

    Pouzar,

    For the exam i basically studied 6 or 7 days a week for about 2-3 hours a day for about a little over a month. The best advice i can give is to prepare a study plan. There is (13 i think) major chapters, some much larger than others, and i planned the days i planned to have each chapter done working back from my exam date and a planned 4-5 day overall review. It is a pretty intense studying plan but i found it worked best for me.

    It’s really up to your strengths as to whether you feel an online course is necessary. The course sounds like it could qualify as the 50 hrs (i think it’s 50 if you have a degree) you need to have of “certified training in project management” prior to writing the exam, so it may be worth it. Coming out of my degree i had the requisite hours already from a Project Management class i took. Me studying on my own worked best for me because i found a great study guide/prep book (RMC – Rita Mchullay). I read both it and the gargantuan PMBOK in parallel (RMC guide actually refrences specific sections in the PMBOK, but i read it all just to be safe) by reading the appropriate chapter in the PMBOK first, then going through the RMC guide which parsed out the pertinent information. The best part is after each chapter there is a quiz to test your knowledge. If you can’t get at least 75-80% on a chapter you should review what questions you got wrong and why (another great part about the guide is it tells you why certain “wrong” answers are provided as a trap and tells you why the correct answer is the “best answer:

    As for the exam itself, you have 4 hours to write it and i used almost all of it (i am typically one of the first 15% of people to finish an exam). i could have reviewed my answers more but at that point it was diminishing returns. The hardest part about the whole exam is not so much about recalling all the necessary information, but about making proper decisions. Its all multiple choice (or true/false) but at least 3 or 4 of the answers are correct, with one being the “most” correct. Reading and fully comprehending the question is the single most important key to success and the RMC guide really helps you with this.

    FInally, as far as how it’s helped me career wise i’ll say this:
    – I got promoted from being a project coordinator (essentially PM’s right hand man/person) to a full time project manager in less than a year along with another colleague who wrote around the same time. We were close to prepared/deserving of a promotion before we wrote, but it definitely sped the process along.
    – Our clients (Oil and Gas sector) are starting demand that all PM’s that work on their projects have a PMP (this is a real sticking point for the “older crew” who don’t fell it’s necessary). This is likely a sign of companies becoming more business savvy, and new generations taking more leadership roles to influence these types of things
    – My company is informally mandating it for our staff to get their credentials and use it as a point against (no longer just a point for) in review of people’s qualifications
    – As always these are just my personal results, to quote LT “your mileage may vary”.

    Anyways i’ve hijacked the thread enough, I’ll get back to the hockey talk unless you have anymore questions.

    Cheers

  65. Soup Fascist says:

    Lowetide: Well, Helm scored 24 points in his draft year so that part doesn’t jive. I genuinely think this guy has a chance to be a top 6F, meaning there’s a seam here between perceived and actual value. That’s MONEYBALL imo. This guy is a moneyball player.

    Well then you have my attention. I didn’t notice him much in the Erie-Soo series, other than he did have crazy wheels – but he IS only 18 (17 in hockey age). Despite all the talk about youth, this has not been an exceptionally speedy team, here in good old our-town. McDavid and Nurse will help raise the bar there, but you really can’t have too much speed.

  66. G Money says:

    Yeti: I can’t believe that GMoney wants to Jon Snow Ference.

    G Money got a heavy hand
    G Money take control
    G Money got a mean streak
    G Money got no soul …

  67. Pouzar says:

    monsterbater4,

    Wow man very informative…I thank you a million times over. Great information.

    I will be starting my PM certificate (8 courses in all) this fall. I have a BComm degree with a diploma in Information Technology and 15 yrs programming experience. I want to get out of the coding racket and go in a different direction. I am currently employed with the Province and they have a huge demand for PMers. My boss was excited when I told her I was going in that direction and can’t wait to pass on PM-type work to me lol. So gaining experience shouldn’t be an issue.

    Thx again for all your insights!

    Cheers!

  68. dustrock says:

    Lowetide: Well, Helm scored 24 points in his draft year so that part doesn’t jive. I genuinely think this guy has a chance to be a top 6F, meaning there’s a seam here between perceived and actual value. That’s MONEYBALL imo. This guy is a moneyball player.

    So long as the drop in ppg is explained by the acquisition of Ritchie, et al, then yes. The EV production is good.

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