NORTH: IT’S A DIRECTION

by Lowetide

I believe this Edmonton Oilers team will be better than we’ve seen in some time, but the question surrounding ‘how much better?’ is extremely difficult to answer. Last year’s team was terrible and this year’s has to be better. Reasons? A few:

  • Connor McDavid
  • Cam Talbot
  • Todd McLellan
  • Andrej Sekera
  • The Hall cluster reaches its prime

oilers comparables 2014-15-16Those numbers would put Edmonton No. 10 in the Western Conference (No. 19 overall) if the final standings held year over year.

wc 1415I can see Edmonton getting past Arizona again, and Colorado seems as wobbly as last season. San Jose? I think they’ll be stronger this season and Dallas should be too. Vancouver and Calgary are both in the conversation—speak now or forever hold your peace—meaning the Edmonton Oilers (by my arcane ciphering) will finish ahead of (No. 14) Arizona, (No. 13) Colorado, (No. 12) Vancouver and (No. 11) Calgary. Thoughts?

THE HALL CLUSTER

hall clusterAlthough we’ll hear a lot about McDavid (with good reason) this is the heart of the team and a big reason why we should see a spike. Three quality offensive players (some of whom are emerging as complete forwards) along with a defensive pairing who may be developing as a pairing. Anton Lander is a nice bonus for the cluster.

One thing you should know about this cluster? A lot of hockey people are going to come up shy on giving them their due when the wins roll in.

  • Kelly Hrudey: “I think Connor McDavid is in a good spot simply because his coach will make him a great pro.  More than the people surrounding him in the dressing room.  It’s important the organization supports him in the proper ways because, like I said, what they have in the dressing room isn’t good.  Individually they’re great players but not a great team and they need to get on the right track.  They need to make a big U-Turn.” Source

The years of losing have impacted Hall’s reputation and there exists the general idea that youngsters in Edmonton run the show. Andrew Ference’s comments last winter seemed to confirm it, we’ll see how this rolls. I do believe we were maybe a year or less from MacT trading the heart of the cluster, believe that risk has been reduced mightily but we shall see.

MCDAVID CLUSTER

mcdavid clusterCrosby scored over 100 points and his Penguins didn’t improve much, suspect McDavid’s Oilers will spike more but a lot of it will have to do with other elements. This is the future though—the five names here represent the future in a very big way. My goodness that’s a lot of talent.

VETERAN CLUSTER

veteran clusterI think Craig MacTavish added some nice pieces (Pouliot, Fayne, Hendricks) but there’s some real problems here and one suspects Scott Howson may have to answer for Nikitin if the Russian doesn’t turn it around this season. I have Ference playing 28 games, maybe he surprises, but it’s also possible Eric Gryba becomes an everyday player.

THE GOALIES

goalies clusterIf you want to find out where the improvement is going to come from, run last year’s numbers alongside these projections. It WAS the goaltending, stupid. We’ll see how this goes, but I’m absolutely certain Peter Chiarelli won’t piss away a season watching the goalies burn in October and November. Good Christ what a bollocks last season.

UPSTARTS, ALSO-RANS AND NEVER WERES

also ransLots of wildly random in here, you could just as easily have seen Greg Chase and Kyle Kessy at the bottom. I do think we’re about to see a season-long audition among several wingers, represented here by Pakarinen, Miller, Pitlick and Klinkhammer. Hell, maybe Slepyshev beats them all to do the job, or Leon does. One more thing: McLellan will eventually have to decide between Davidson and Musil for “value deal” at the end of the defensive group. Edmonton has about $8 million tied up in that spot now, incredibly.

tomei33

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Alex Thomas, Oilers Rig. We get ready for the rookie camp by touching base with Alex on some of the more interesting storylines.
  • Brian King, NonStop Sports Picks. The Eskimos added about 800 pounds of O-Line yesterday and addressed a massive need. Huge item. We’ll talk to Brian about it.
  • Brad Gagnon, Bleacher Report. NFL opening night! For God sakes weigh the balls!
  • Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. Blue Jays, Brady, the first Boston album and McDavid changes everything.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. See you on the radio!

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Ice Sage

Turning North Indeed.

It looks like a long way to the promised land of the playoffs but it seems, every year, one or two ‘locks’ for the playoffs fall out of contention (see LA, 2015). Vancouver is an easy pick but who else could implode then realize, too late, that they gotta get their shite together? Minnesota, Dallas, Calgary are vulnerable and maybe, just maybe, the Kane fiasco, talent leaching and years of long springs catch up to Chicago.

This summer has been agonizing…

FTO

I’m gonna be heading to Penticton here with the Oilers Now group, anyone else gonna be there?

commonfan29

Critical Mass

noun
1. Physics. the amount of a given fissionable material necessary to sustain a chain reaction at a constant rate.
2. an amount necessary or sufficient to have a significant effect or to achieve a result:

To be determined soon.

N64

Jordan: I see what you did there.

Did the unicorn-riding, rainbow-flatulating leprechaun who informed you of the pending signing of Brent “3 Rings” Seabrook happen to tell you about his contract details?

Lowetide: No doubt of that. By next season both should be locked and loaded along with Klefbom, Sekera, Fayne and Seabrook.

…and thrilled that they waited to sign Seabrook in the UFA market rather than giving up Yak to rent him.

Regretzky

Lowetide,

If 3, 4, & 5 can be coached out of the equation where do they finish?

Jordan

Lowetide: No doubt of that. By next season both should be locked and loaded along with Klefbom, Sekera, Fayne and Seabrook.

I see what you did there.

Did the unicorn-riding, rainbow-flatulating leprechaun who informed you of the pending signing of Brent “3 Rings” Seabrook happen to tell you about his contract details?

böök¡je

I’ve worked for people who consistently made dumb decisions that made my life much harder and that significantly hurt their own interests. I’ve worked in at least one situation where the whole organizational hierarchy was essentially like that but the company was an established part of a larger industrial chain so it continued to survive.

In those situations, I stopped fighting against their ineptitude and I did what they told me without a lot of enthusiasm. I wasn’t building a career at the time and was just paying the bills as a student, so I really didn’t care about the future of the organizations and I had no power to impact them anyway.

I imagine that this is exactly how Hall, Eberle, etc. have felt about the Oilers. Really, how optimistic and individually motivated can you be to play your best and ‘be a good team player’ when the organization consistently makes stupid moves. If you are inherently selfish, you could do so for your own good in terms of your next contract. However, if you are a real team player who deeply wants to win, it would be disheartening.

Honestly, the organization has never given the young cluster the chance to succeed. I think they have now, so lets see what happens.

V. Chilly

I think 10th is realistic but I see the Flames finishing ahead of the Oilers with one of Dallas or San Jose dropping. I think I’m the only person that doesn’t like what the Stars did. They basically replaced their old goalie who they were paying too much for too long with an old goalie they are paying too much for, then they went and got the Hawks spare parts. Seguin and Benn are star players but Spezza and Sharp are running out of gas, and at this point in his career Oduya is barely an upgrade over Trevor Daley. The Stars didn’t miss the playoffs because they couldn’t score last year, they missed because they couldn’t keep the puck out of their net and they didn’t do much to fix that. As for the Sharks, I’ll believe Martin Jones is an NHL starter when I see it, I like Joel Ward but he’s a complimentary player and it’s not the Sharks’ complimentary players that are the problem, and Peter DeBoer has had exactly one good season as a NHL coach. So I think both of those teams are vulnerable to a drop this year.

SwedishPoster

Whenever I see Darnell Nurse in his beard I think he’s going to start talking early 70s politics. With Leon it’s more late 90s Balkans politics. Greg Chase instead looks like Yaks half-brother. And Kyle Platzer looks like RNHs little brother. That’s all the opinions for today from the Entertainemnt Channels shallow and judgemental crew.

RexLibris

Lowetide: No doubt of that. By next season both should be locked and loaded along with Klefbom, Sekera, Fayne and Seabrook.

One of the things I’ve argued in my Oilers RE is that the Oilers could start the season with serious problems at Ds 2 through 5 and end the season having solved one or all of those spots internally, depending on development.

I expect some pushback from the FN crowd on that front. 🙂

RexLibris

Lowetide: you’ll hate my five-part “Griffin Reinhart should play his entire entry-level deal in the ECHL” series.

Will that include a slideshow?

TheGreatMutato

G Money,

Love it.

The only downside would be the inevitable confusion resulting from our trading away of many high picks at this year’s draft, the result of which was still a NiceBearThough.

G Money

TheGreatMcMutato,

In that theme I guess you could revise #4 to Experienced successful HC LegoHair replaces inexperienced unsuccessful coach ChopsWood.

Though in these weird and horrawful pre-election days, I kind of prefer NiceHairThough to ChopsWood or CarriesWater.

TheGreatMutato

Regretzky:
I’ve read many discussions this summer on why the Oilers should see a spike in 2015/16. Perhaps a good exercise at this point would be to examine which of the elements that made them so bad in recent years have been addressed by management vs. the ones that yet linger around the organization. What issues remain that will keep us in the bottom half of the leagues standings as per Lowetides prediction above?

Regarding improvements:

1) AllRings making no decisions
2) WearsGlasses making no decisions
3) MakesSense hired as GM
4) LegoHair hired as experienced HC

Regarding lingering issues, HatesSmid covered most of those =)

N64

Lowetide: you’ll hate my five-part “Griffin Reinhart should play his entire entry-level deal in the ECHL” series.

Yay more clickbait pr0n. Then you can get back to the classic series on why a 52% chance is objectively less valuable than 24% +12%.

Cuz it’s all gonna be moot by next season when Nurse and Reinhart are high in everyone’s projected lineup. We wait.

Drew

Mr. D.:
One of our serious problems is players goals against/60.
This is why Gryba was brought in. I don’t see him sitting at all. We addressed some problems and I can’t see him sitting. We have supposed puck mover D all over the place. In my books a good first pass (no stat for this) is critical. DEFENCE dangling out of their own end looks pretty but the results can lead to disastrous odd man rushes against. I like the safe play to forwards that support the D and skate it out as a last resort. I also like the D supporting the play up the ice.

I think Gryba will see a little more ice time, depending on situations and opponents (is that the same?). I expect him to get a little more play when the opponent is a bigger cycling team. I expect him to fill some enforcement duties as he will be on the ice more than Gazdic (thank goodness).

Regretzky

I’ve read many discussions this summer on why the Oilers should see a spike in 2015/16. Perhaps a good exercise at this point would be to examine which of the elements that made them so bad in recent years have been addressed by management vs. the ones that yet linger around the organization. What issues remain that will keep us in the bottom half of the leagues standings as per Lowetides prediction above?

SwedishPoster

RexLibris,

Nylander was committed as well but since he played in Europe when drafted he could go straight to the AHL.

Mr. D.

One of our serious problems is players goals against/60.
This is why Gryba was brought in. I don’t see him sitting at all. We addressed some problems and I can’t see him sitting. We have supposed puck mover D all over the place. In my books a good first pass (no stat for this) is critical. DEFENCE dangling out of their own end looks pretty but the results can lead to disastrous odd man rushes against. I like the safe play to forwards that support the D and skate it out as a last resort. I also like the D supporting the play up the ice.

Material Elvis

TheGreatMcMutato: Hooooooooooo, wat?

I think I ask which group contains the most McDavids. Does Calgary have two McDavids? If not, then I choose the one with the single McDavid even if it means I only get that one McDavid and no one else.

My reasoning: Woooooooooooooooot!

edit: Also, if people could please stop quoting Verdad posts, that would be delightful. I have a browser script that hides his posts so that I don’t have to read them (same can be applied to any other user who tends to derail the discussion), but quoting forces his drivel to appear on my screen regardless.

So you are saying that you hate OEL?

Pouzar

Lowetide:
Rex: I haven’t read it (writing a Bleacher Report and finishing off the 5pm post that people will hate) but kudos to you for even attempting it. VERY difficult to suss out four teams worth of prospects/invites, wouldn’t even try it.

By the by, anyone going to the Penticton camp AND comfortable coming on the radio with me? I’m actually quite nice and won’t bite.

NYC baby!

TheGreatMutato

RexLibris:
Just going to leave this here and see if it starts anything: http://flamesnation.ca/2015/9/10/chris-johnston-flames-young-core-better-positioned-than-oilers-for-future-success

Hooooooooooo, wat?

FlamesNation: Hey Chris, if you had to choose between Edmonton’s young core of players or Calgary’s, which would you pick and why?

Chris Johnston: If I could choose today I’d take Calgary’s. I think that we’ve seen more out of those players in terms of the team producing.

I think I ask which group contains the most McDavids. Does Calgary have two McDavids? If not, then I choose the one with the single McDavid even if it means I only get that one McDavid and no one else.

My reasoning: Woooooooooooooooot!

edit: Also, if people could please stop quoting Verdad posts, that would be delightful. I have a browser script that hides his posts so that I don’t have to read them (same can be applied to any other user who tends to derail the discussion), but quoting forces his drivel to appear on my screen regardless.

RexLibris

Lowetide:
Rex: I haven’t read it (writing a Bleacher Report and finishing off the 5pm post that people will hate) but kudos to you for even attempting it. VERY difficult to suss out four teams worth of prospects/invites, wouldn’t even try it.

By the by, anyone going to the Penticton camp AND comfortable coming on the radio with me? I’m actually quite nice and won’t bite.

Thanks, I enjoyed doing it.

My point in trying it is to make Flames fans aware that they aren’t the only ones with shiny toys and that there are other teams out there who may *gasp* have even better prospects.

The “we’ve got this rebuild in the bag” attitude is going to be an interesting one to watch.

My RE series will come out closer to training camp and it is going to raise the ire of some fans there.

Here’s something to think about: the Flames had the 7th worst possession numbers in 12/13, 4th worst in 13/14, and 3rd worst in 14/15. Two of those years they finished 25th and 27th overall, the third year (last year) they beat those odds.

Now, what would a reasonable person suggest for a team trending in the wrong direction analytically this following season?

N64

Lowetide: writing a Bleacher Report and finishing off the 5pm post that people will hate

If LT’s long waited 3 for 1 ever happens ya just know Griff + Yak will be in it.

RexLibris

SwedishPoster: Will Calgary really send Kylington to the CHL? To me that’s incredibly stupid, he needs to learn how to defend against grown ups, not living off his insane skating which he can do against junior players. Here’s to hoping Calgary fucks it up but from what I’ve heard it’s more likely he plays in the AHL.

He’s committed to the WHL, though I’m not sure what happens to him as a European player should he not make the Flames. If he can skip over the CHL and go straight to the AHL then he’ll likely progress quickly. Depends on how the CHL and AHL interpret his contract status.

LoDog

RexLibris:
pocession charge,

Thanks for the info, apparently I made a boatload of mistake in the article, citing Kylington as AHL-ready rather than CHL bound.

Klimchuk is described as a fast skater, good hands and a high energy level. I’m not sure he makes it as more than a depth winger, but he has things that observers often cite. Kind of reminds me of Pitlick in a way, although without the injuries.

Have the flames stated something about CHL? He is eligible for the AHL is he not?

Hammers

Ducey: Terrific.

You then have an 18/ 19 year old #1 C (have we seen how that movie turns out for the first 3 years enough times?), a 19/20 year old #2 C, and a guy who has played 1/2 of one good season as your top 3 C’s.

Then when those guys finally start to hit their prime we can trade them for the next shiny prospect coming down the pipe.

So you think Nuge is 1 St line centre for 3 years ? Not a chance .

SwedishPoster

RexLibris:
pocession charge,

Thanks for the info, apparently I made a boatload of mistake in the article, citing Kylington as AHL-ready rather than CHL bound.

Klimchuk is described as a fast skater, good hands and a high energy level. I’m not sure he makes it as more than a depth winger, but he has things that observers often cite. Kind of reminds me of Pitlick in a way, although without the injuries.

Will Calgary really send Kylington to the CHL? To me that’s incredibly stupid, he needs to learn how to defend against grown ups, not living off his insane skating which he can do against junior players. Here’s to hoping Calgary fucks it up but from what I’ve heard it’s more likely he plays in the AHL.

RexLibris

pocession charge,

Thanks for the info, apparently I made a boatload of mistake in the article, citing Kylington as AHL-ready rather than CHL bound.

Klimchuk is described as a fast skater, good hands and a high energy level. I’m not sure he makes it as more than a depth winger, but he has things that observers often cite. Kind of reminds me of Pitlick in a way, although without the injuries.

Material Elvis

RexLibris:
Ahem – SHAMELESS PLUG!

My look at the prospects for the Canucks *spits*, Jets *spits*, Flames *spitstwice* and Oilers *peace be upon them*.

http://flamesnation.ca/2015/9/10/2015-penticton-prospects-at-a-glance

Thank you, I know return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Thanks for the link Rex. Always nice to know what the enemy is doing.

Btw, Jared McCann plays for the Soo Greyhounds, not Erie as you have listed.

And Morgan Klimchuk is 6 feet like Andrew Ference is 5’11” — both wearing 2 inch lifts. Funny enough, I am a distant relative of Morgan Klimchuk and just saw him at a wedding. My first comment to the family: “He better be fast if he wants to play in the NHL with that size”. Apparently he’s got decent hands and vision. Our mutual cousin did not appreciate it when I told him that Darnell Nurse would literally pulverize him in the corner. Oh well.

JD_Wry
Pouzar

Boyes to Leafs on PTO.

F^ck.

russ99

GCW_69:
Buffalo got Franson on a nice deal.If Chiarelli didn’t offer a similar deal, I am disappointed in him.

This is why Chia didn’t sign Franson:

2016-17 Salary Cap Amounts:

Franson – $3.3M
Nikitin – $1.5M (buyout)
———————
Amount of cap room for a defenseman vastly better than Franson next year: $4.8M

And more room if we dump Ference or trade Schultz.

Pouzar

G Money: Schultz
Hunt – AYFKM?
Nikitin – AYFKM?
Fayne – actually, his partnership with Nikitin was pretty successful
Petry – fast ship stuck in dock
Ference – anchor for said ship

That is so mindnumbingly bad there are no words. They got 1 right. Sweet Jezzuz.

JD_Wry


Amalie Benjamin Verified account
‏@AmalieBenjamin

The three first round picks all failed the conditioning test: Senyshyn, DeBrusk, Zboril.

Word on the interwebz is that the Bruins set body fat threshold at 10%. Roberts targets a 10 – 12 percent range, according to that article about McD training with him.

RexLibris

B S:
RexLibris,

Great article Rex, and you’re a brave man for reading the comments section.

“when will you accept that [insert memorial cup MVP’s name here] is a bust?” is not a question I can read without exploding. Keep trying to inform the unwashed masses.

Ha, thanks.

I usually leave that stuff to sort itself out. If nothing happens or I change my mind I’ll engage politely to ask them to justify their statement.

Give them a chance to make a reasonable argument or undermine themselves with their own words.

G Money

I’ve posted this a few times, but it’s still a good reminder.

These were the Edmonton Oilers defensive ice time leaders in Game #1 last year (in descending order):

Schultz
Hunt – AYFKM?
Nikitin – AYFKM?
Fayne – actually, his partnership with Nikitin was pretty successful
Petry – fast ship stuck in dock
Ference – anchor for said ship

The combination of bad roster decisions (e.g. Hunt over Marincin) and bad ice time decisions (Petry third pairing?) made that defense a level of putrid that is hard to fathom.

Yet the team overall looked competent defensively the first 10 or 20 games – an effort sewered by horrendous goaltending (particularly the soft goals at the worst times) – before giving up the ghost and backsliding into oblivion.

This years opening night D roster by ice time will likely look something like this:

Sekera
Klefbom
Schultz
Fayne
one of Nikitin, Ference, Reinhart, Nurse
Gryba

(Note: those aren’t partnerships, just a reflection of versatility. I think Sekera-Fayne and Klef-Schultz make sense, but we’ll see more of Sekera and Klefbom in all situations than we will of their partners).

In five of those six spots, I expect there to be an upgrade on the ice, in some cases substantial, relative to last year:

1 Sekera > > Schultz last year
2 Klefbom > > > > Hunt
3 Schultz this year > Nikitin last year
4 Fayne this year > Fayne last year (it’s a partner thing)
5 Whoever wins the spot this year – I’ll guess Nikitin < Petry … (but also Nikitin this year > Nikitin last year)
6 Gryba > Ference

I think overall the team is also likely to play better at both ends of the rink than they did to start the season last year. That’s a coaching thing and a confidence thing.

I think Hall and Ebs’ experience with TMc (and those shiny gold medals around their necks) might make a bigger difference than we think. Imagine two ridiculously talented guys like that raving about TMc to their teammates. With the bling to back it up.

I get that players might have had their doubts about Eakins and MacT, and that tiny bit of doubt can play out in insidious ways, on and off the ice. The players have no such excuses with Chia and TMc. I don’t buy the “blame the young players” bullshit we’ve seen over the last few years. But on the other hand … if as a player, you can’t buy in to what TMc is coaching this year, you need to be gone.

This team is not a finished product – we need to see Nurse and Reinhart in NHL action and then Chia needs to figure out what he really needs to finish off the D – nor is it likely a playoff bound team. But I do expect it to be a markedly better team each and every night than what we saw last year.

And I believe that would have been true even if we didn’t have the best player in a generation joining the team at 2C.

ALL HAIL MCDAVID!

Also: Fuck the Flames. Fuck ’em.

JD_Wry

Interesting comments on Slepy from ON:

RickCarriere on Slepyshev…

“He has been in town a few days skating with the veterans at the Royal Glenora. He is incredibly fit. He’s very strong, he has a powerful stride, he makes plays at high speed, has good hands and he can shoot the puck very well. He is a solid American Hockey League player now, but he’d be a guy you would say is a solid NHL prospect when you watch him play. His best asset is he can make plays with high tempo. He thinks the game well and things happen continuously with him.

“Not every player can develop hockey sense. A lot of guys can make a play when there is no pressure. A lot of guys can skate very well, until they get the puck. It is a real skill to do it all in combination and do it well, Slepyshev can.”

rickithebear

Record – GF – GA
Eakins
31gm 7-19-5 65 – 103 2.10 GF/gm 3.32 GA/gm
without Hall OR without RNH
6gm 2-4-1 15 – 25 2.50 GF/gm 4.17 GA/gm
With Hall and RNH
25gm 5-15-4 50 GF 78 GA 2.00 GF/gm 3.12 GA/gm

macT
5gm 0-3-2 11 – 20 2.20 GF/gm 4.00 GA/60

Nelson
46gm 17-22-7 117 – 153 2.54 GF/gm 3.33 GA/60
Witout hallor Without RNH
27gm 7-16-4 53 – 92 1.96 GF/gm 3.41 GA/gm
With Hall and RNH
19gm 10-6-3 64 – 61 3.37 GF/gm 3.21 GA/gm

we really need to improve or GA/gm

I hope the better HCS d and #1 HCS goalie make a difference.

Armchair GM

Obviously Kelly Hrudey wasn’t watching what Hall and Eberle could do when surrounded with excellent players, defenders who can actually defend, goalies who can stop a puck and a coach who is experienced, capable, organized and able to communicate properly with the team. What should be obvious to everyone is that Hall and Eberle HATE losing. They are hyper-competitive personality types (as are most elite athletes). “What they have in the dressing room isn’t good.” should be expected in an organization that has lost as many games as the Oilers. Do any of us really want Hrudey to say, “Sure they lose a lot of games but they have a great dressing room?” Of what use would that be? Who wants a team of happy congenial losers?

If I’m not mistaken, the Glory Oilers had various issues in the dressing room. Winning (and a healthy fear of Mark Messier) has a way of minimizing the internal conflicts. Once this latest version of the Oilers start winning it will be amazing how much better reports of the dressing room will be.

Jaxon

Based on age clusters I find it interesting that Nuge and Yak were born less than 6 months apart and Yak has played 3 seasons already, yet they are in different clusters. Yak is also less than 4 months younger than Klefbom. Yakupov has only played 66 games less than Nugent-Hopkins and 115 games more than Klefbom. Yakupov should be included in the first cluster.

I think before the middle of next season, LaLeggia will be included in that 1st cluster as well. His offensive abilities will be too good to keep off the NHL roster. He is the next Goligoski, Liles, Shattenkirk type player.

I predict by next season, the McDavid cluster (he being the youngest of the cluster) will include Slepyshev, Yakimov (4LW?) and maybe even Bukarts (4RW) who had the best NHLE last season among the RW hopefuls of Pitlick, Pakarinen, Platzer and Chase and has enough of a two-way physical game to make it work in the pros.

Ducey

JD¡™ David O’Connor’s Reel: That’s good.

You should also thank VD2 for starting to include the odd carriage return – that’s an improvement. Up next, double spacing!

Maybe at some point: contemplation

RexLibris
Ducey

Hammers: Who has most value , RNH and Ebs . We need more D . Leon moves to second C .Lander 3 Rd .

Terrific.

You then have an 18/ 19 year old #1 C (have we seen how that movie turns out for the first 3 years enough times?), a 19/20 year old #2 C, and a guy who has played 1/2 of one good season as your top 3 C’s.

Then when those guys finally start to hit their prime we can trade them for the next shiny prospect coming down the pipe.

Tapdog

hags9k,

Are you sure you were looking at the scale correctly???/
Shouldn’t that read 9 lb 7 oz baby McJesus ;))

Tokyo Oil

godot10,

Amen.

Oil Country is going to have their faith restored this year with McLellan coaching the team. Krueger’s skill is leadership through positive motivation and his short time as coach saw the team challenging for the playoffs down to the last month. Solely against the Western conference teams too. I like MacT but man was that a colossal F-up when he dissed Krueger for Eakins. And the way he did it was the opposite of being professional – by Skype.

The Oil have more skilled players than most other teams in the league and with McLellan behind the bench and Chiarelli as GM, good times are on the horizon. I’ve been reading Lowetide’s posts all summer and for the most part he has tried to temper the fans expectations for this year. I understand why – the last 3 years have been an absolute disgrace, a gong show, an embarrassment to the knowledgeable fans of Edmonton for the dismal results achieved.

Eakins is long gone, we saw how the team started to smile and have fun playing under Nelson, producing slightly better results in the W-L column while looking like a team that finally seemed willing to commit to a game plan and to sticking up for each other.

The coaching and management in Edmonton has been the primary reason for our misery these last few years. With the new leadership behind the bench and in the front office our expectations should not be tempered. Gretzky made the playoffs in his first year in the NHL and I expect that McDavid will do the same.

One last run at Rexall/SkyReach/Northlands would be pretty special.