THE HEART OF THE ORDER

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is a splendid example of Edmonton’s future and I believe he’ll serve the team very well in a two-way role for the rest of this decade and beyond. I imagine somewhere about 2017 a commentator will call him ‘the best 2line C in the league’ and that will be his calling card. Nuge, right from the start it seems, was destined to play in the shadow of another. Doesn’t matter to me, he’s the modern Dave Keon and you cannot get a higher grade in my books (unless you’re the modern Bobby Orr and I’m waiting). It’s not certain to me what role he’ll play this season, as McDavid finds his way into the NHL—Nuge will eventually settle in as the two-way man, the Datsyuk, but there’s likely to be a period of transition as McDavid pushes toward some great new dawn. No play is ever completely over, no pursuit is broken when Nuge comes to town. Humble, brilliant, and he just turned 22.

People have underestimated him from pretty much the beginning (there are STILL fans waiting on him to score 50 points in a season) and at least twice a year someone will state “he’s not going to be Datsyuk” without realizing  Datsyuk arrived in the NHL fall of 2001 when he was 23 years old and two months. Nuge will be that age in JUNE OF 2016, we can BEGIN to compare them at that time. The Nuge is a helluva player.

rnh 2014-15 three year trendrnh fancy three year trend ap 2015His 22 EV goals put him in a tie for No. 13 overall in 2014-15 (tied with Ryan Getzlaf and Zach Parise). Nuge at 20 scored .7 points per game, Toews was .841. Nuge at 21 scored .7 points per game, Toews was .895. Toews at 22? .95 points per game. Will Nuge get there? Well, he may not get the PP time and one imagines Taylor Hall will play with Connor McDavid, but RNH with Pouliot—Eberle should be able to post some fine EV numbers and he could easily spike his PP number in the coming season.

MENTOR

“If there is any player in the NHL that I would like to become, it’s Pavel Datysuk. He has amazing offensive skills but is also someone that the coach can put on in the last 30 seconds in a one goal game because he is also very defensive minded. He is the complete 2-way player”.Connor McDavid, when asked if there was anyone in the NHL he looks at and says ‘that’s the player I’d like to become’? (2012 interview)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, at 22, is a vital part of Edmonton’s future. As performer, as mentor, as a brilliant reminder that greatness and humility can walk hand in hand. Incredibly, Connor McDavid appears to be cut from the same cloth. Has a team ever had two humble superstars?

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178 Responses to "THE HEART OF THE ORDER"

  1. Mr DeBakey says:

    And to think Woodguy kept insisting the Oilers take Landeskog.

  2. Woodguy says:

    When opposing coaches send their best out against Hall-CMD, that will make for easier sledding for RNH.

    He might crest 0.85pts/gm this year because of it.

    McLellan said he’s going to send out Nuge against the Getzlaf’s of the world, but on the road he may not get that chance.

    So many interesting story lines to follow this year.

    Is it October yet?

  3. Woodguy says:

    I am now a meme.

  4. Genjutsu says:

    Three scoring lines. They are going to be tough to play against.

    Finally.

  5. John Chambers says:

    With the Prodigy joining the team it takes the pressure off Nuge to become a ppg player.

    Maybe this year with that extra slack he’ll finally break the 50-point barrier.

  6. G Money says:

    Woodguy,

    Remember that time you kept insisting you’d never be a meme? That was hilarious.

  7. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    “I imagine somewhere about 2017 a commentator will call him ‘the best 2line C in the league’ and that will be his calling card.”

    Don’t you mean best 3line C?

    Also are we assuming Malkin and Bergeron retire or something? I love the Nuge but let’s not go too far.

  8. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Woodguy:
    I am now a meme.

    Stop putting Nurse in the NHL opening roster. You, Sir, have an agenda, and it is obvious to us all.

  9. John Chambers says:

    Woodguy obnoxiously always wants to trade Taylor Hall for OEL.

    Get over it, man. Sheesh!

  10. Water Fire says:

    In 2017 Malkin will be 31, Bergeron 32, Nuge 25. I’ll take Nuge playing on the same team as McDavid every time 🙂

  11. Water Fire says:

    Woodguy is still trying to work out a metric for clutchiness.

  12. Bag of Pucks says:

    Talented and humble is the winning combination. Play those cards right and grown men will want to give you a hug 30 years later. Not sure that’s a good thing ; )

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZrs-HgGOqs&sns=em

  13. leadfarmer says:

    Yeah but I wonder what kind of numbers toews would have gotten if he stepped out on the ice with Ference, Schultz, Nikitin. Not saying toews isn’t a great player it’s just hard to compare the two with numbers.

  14. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Water Fire:
    In 2017 Malkin will be 31, Bergeron 32, Nuge 25. I’ll take Nuge playing on the same team as McDavid every time

    That wasn’t what the statement said. “The best 2line C”
    Not the most valuable 2line C because of age.

  15. Really? says:

    I agree with Lowetide on how effective a player RNH is today and believe he will improve with age.

    One additional factor which is key to the Nuge repertoire, is his quiet yet effective leadership. He does not over react to calls or situations in a game. He also has the respect of the entire room.

    These factors suggest that he could be the ideal captain for this team. While your captain has to be a leader, nowhere is it written that he has to be your best player. If he happens to be a tremendous player with both offensive and defensive awareness and skill that is wonderful.

  16. gogliano says:

    How is Bergeron not a #1? It’s RNH v Malkin. Both #1s displaced from the role by generational talents.

    Not obvious that Malkin will be better than RNH in a couple years, especially given Malkin’s injury history. And certainly close enough that a commentator could give RNH the edge.

  17. Bag of Pucks says:

    Really?:
    I agree with Lowetide on how effective a player RNH is today and believe he will improve with age.

    One additional factor which is key to the Nuge repertoire, is his quiet yet effective leadership. He does not over react to calls or situations in a game. He also has the respect of the entire room.

    These factors suggest that he could be the ideal captain for this team. While your captain has to be a leader, nowhere is it written that he has to be your best player.If he happens to be a tremendous player with both offensive and defensive awareness and skill that is wonderful.

    I fully agree with you on the Nuge and the value of quiet leadership. That said, in hockey, one thing your Captain has to be able to do is yap at the refs when you’re not getting the calls. Nuge strikes me as the kind of person who wouldn’t say sh$t if his mouth was full of it. Great quality in a human being. Not ideal when the situation demands a more vocal approach.

    Hallsy will be the next C and he’ll wear it well. He’s been the alpha dog from day one. A massive part of leadership is whether you have the type of personality that people gravitate to and want to follow. I think this young core already sees Taylor as their Captain. Sewing on the C just makes it official.

  18. Water Fire says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: That wasn’t what the statement said. “The best 2line C”
    Not the most valuable 2line C because of age.

    Put two years of age and wear and tear on the two, Nuge heading in to his scoring prime not on the third worst team in the league, and I think he will be the better player, more productive and the most valuable player of the three.

    To me Nuge is a special type of player and will be the lynchpin of the forward group. Not the best player, but the one that pounds the stake through the heart of the vampire that Connor sets. I think Drai can be that as well, lucky us!

  19. SwedishPoster says:

    Ryan Whitney quits hockey due injury. It’s his ankles that aren’t holding up. Probably should have quit a few years ago tbh but I guess it’s hard to give up on something you love while also leaving a lot of money on the table. He was supposed to play for Modo in the SHL, with Peter Forsberg in management, but only got into two games. Makes you question Modos physical evaluation if Whitney gets signed without them making sure he can play, it’s not exactly a new issue.

  20. Woodguy says:

    I was looking at a probable starting roster and seeing if it fits under the cap.

    Its does.

    Cap is $71.4MM this year.

    We’ve been wringing our hands a bit because of the bonuses of CMD, DrySaddle and Reinhart, but I just ran the numbers for what it looks like it may be, and it fits.

    2 key things to remember:

    1) Teams can go over the cap by $5.355MM if its due to performance bonuses, every dollar after counts agains the cap ($5.355 is derived from 7.5% of the upper limit of the cap ($71.4MM) from clause 50.5 h (iii):

    (ii) A Club shall be permitted to have an Averaged Club Salary in excess of
    the Upper Limit resulting from Performance Bonuses solely to the extent
    that such excess results from the inclusion in Averaged Club Salary of: (i)
    Exhibit 5 Individual “A” Performance Bonuses and “B” Performance
    Bonuses paid by the Club that may be earned by Players in the Entry
    Level System and (ii) Performance Bonuses that may be earned by Players
    pursuant to Section 50.2(b)(i)(C) above, provided that under no
    circumstances may a Club’s Averaged Club Salary so exceed the Upper
    Limit by an amount greater than the result of seven-and-one-half (7.5)
    percent multiplied by the Upper Limit (the “Performance Bonus
    Cushion”).

    2) When you bury a player in the minors, the first $950,000 doesn’t count against the cap. This comes from CBA 50.5 D b 6

    (6) For any Player on a One-Way NHL SPC who is Loaned to
    a club in another professional league, the Averaged
    Amount of such SPC less the sum of the Minimum
    Paragraph 1 NHL Salary and $375,000 for that League
    Year (e.g., $900,000 in 2012-13) for the period during
    which such Player is Loaned to such professional league;
    plus

    This year the minimum is $575K

    Assumed roster (no bonuses):

    FORWARDS
    Eberle 6
    RNH 6
    Pouliot 4

    Hall 6
    CMD 0.925
    Purcell 4.5

    DrySaddle 0.925
    Lander 0.9875
    Yak 2.5

    Korpikoski 2.5
    Letestu 1.8
    Hendricks 1.85

    Klinkhammer 0.725
    Gazdic 0.8

    DMEN
    Sekera 5.5
    Fayne 3.625

    Klefbom 0.894
    Schultz 3.9

    Reinhart 0.863
    Gryba 1.25

    Ference 3.25

    GOALIES
    Talbot 1.45
    Nilsson 1

    BURIED IN MINORS
    Nikitin 3.55
    Scrivens 1.35

    Total 66.1445

    Bonuses
    CMD 2.85
    DrySaddle 2.475
    Klefbom .350
    Reinhart 2.35

    Total bonuses 8.025

    Bonus overage allowed 5.355

    Bonuses on the cap = 2.67

    Salary 66.1445 + cap counted bonuses 2.67 = $68.8145

    That only leaves $2.5855 of room to pay out bonuses without getting a cap penalty next year, but you have all year to create more room in order to not have a cap penalty next year.

    It works.

    Trade Nikitin & Scrivens at 1/2 salary and its easy sledding.

  21. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Woodguy,

    You’re now burying Nikitin in the minors? But you insisted he would be top 4. Haha. Sorry. It was too easy. Couldn’t resist.

  22. Woodguy says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Woodguy,

    You’re now burying Nikitin in the minors? But you insisted he would be top 4. Haha. Sorry. It was too easy. Couldn’t resist.

    You’ll also notice I have Nurse in the line up.

  23. Woodguy says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Woodguy,

    You’re now burying Nikitin in the minors? But you insisted he would be top 4. Haha. Sorry. It was too easy. Couldn’t resist.

    I still think he could, but if the man can’t keep up during skating drills………… bah!

  24. Bag of Pucks says:

    Are we trading Scrivens before the Nilsson vs Scrivens vs Talbot battle plays out, cos of contract?

    That seems like a Kevin Lowe-ish type decision process.

    Competition. Best man wins. Regardless of contract or waiver status. This has to be the new mantra. It’s the only way you build an egalitarian “one for all; all for one” culture.

  25. Real_Hockey_Fan says:

    Ya know I probably shouldn’t say this but I was kinda happy when I heard the Nuge might have lost a tooth or too. Just imargrine the Nuge with a missing front tooth!! I’d say he’d be well on his way to having a decint amount of grit!!!

  26. Yeg_Man says:

    I love this post is about the Nuge; but I’ll get back to him at the end of my comment.

    Having watched McD live a few times now since the draft, my lofty, unrealistic expectation for him is to be the first superstar 2-way centre in NHL history. Until now, true superstars play all offense with poor middling defence (to be generous). And traditional “2-way centres” win the Ms. Congeniality prize; like saying “he has a nice personality”. They are great and necessary to win, but it is code for 2nd tier talent.

    Can you imagine if he is the first player in history to win the Selke, Art Ross, and Hart?

    Backchecking to beat hell. Catching up and zooping away the puck. Lurking in the weeds in the neutral zone during the other team’s breakouts in order to pounce on the puck or puck carrier, only to break back into the offensive zone. Those are things that we have never seen from another superstar. And they are things that I saw from McD. When the play dies, he never leaves the puck in a bad spot. He rarely overcommits and gets caught behind the other team’s breakout.

    As for Nuge (who I love dearly), if McD can play elite D and gets matched up against top lines. What would become of Nuge? Could their 1/2 punch become that much more lethal than the traditional Superstar / Caddy line construction?

  27. Lowetide says:

    SwedishPoster:
    Ryan Whitney quits hockey due injury. It’s his ankles that aren’t holding up. Probably should have quit a few years ago tbh but I guess it’s hard to give up on something you love while also leaving a lot of money on the table. He was supposed to play for Modo in the SHL, with Peter Forsberg in management, but only got into two games. Makes you question Modos physical evaluation if Whitney gets signed without them making sure he can play, it’s not exactly a new issue.

    Probably Forsberg giving a chance to a guy who lost significant time to foot issues. God Forsberg was a great hockey player.

  28. Real_Hockey_Fan says:

    Water Fire:
    Woodguy is still trying to work out a metric for clutchiness.

    Man now you’ve got me excited!!!

  29. Woodguy says:

    Yeg_Man:
    I love this post is about the Nuge; but I’ll get back to him at the end of my comment.

    Having watched McD live a few times now since the draft, my lofty, unrealistic expectation for him is to be the first superstar 2-way centre in NHL history. Until now, true superstars play all offense with poor middling defence (to be generous). And traditional “2-way centres” win the Ms. Congeniality prize; like saying “he has a nice personality”. They are great and necessary to win, but it is code for 2nd tier talent.

    Can you imagine if he is the first player in history to win the Selke, Art Ross, and Hart?

    Backchecking to beat hell. Catching up and zooping away the puck. Lurking in the weeds in the neutral zone during the other team’s breakouts in order to pounce on the puck or puck carrier, only to break back into the offensive zone. Those are things that we have never seen from another superstar. And they are things that I saw from McD. When the play dies, he never leaves the puck in a bad spot. He rarely overcommits and gets caught behind the other team’s breakout.

    As for Nuge (who I love dearly), if McD can play elite D and gets matched up against top lines. What would become of Nuge? Could their 1/2 punch become that much more lethal than the traditional Superstar / Caddy line construction?

    Crosby’s pretty damn good without the puck.

  30. Woodguy says:

    Real_Hockey_Fan: Man now you’ve got me excited!!!

    I’ll work on it especially for you!

  31. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Are we trading Scrivens before the Nilsson vs Scrivens vs Talbot battle plays out, cos of contract?

    That seems like a Kevin Lowe-ish type decision process.

    Competition. Best man wins. Regardless of contract or waiver status. This has to be the new mantra. It’s the only way you build an egalitarian “one for all; all for one” culture.

    I’m making an assumption based on a few things.

    I do not think they’ll break camp with 3 goalies.

    Feel free to swap them in your version of the roster.

    Nilsson in on my version of the roster.

  32. RexLibris says:

    Water Fire:
    Woodguy is still trying to work out a metric for clutchiness.

    Gritensity and Eyeglow/60 are the basics.

    You can then deduce Clutch/60, RelClutch/60, EvClutch/60 and 4v5Clutch/60 measured against TOI using GMoney’s line combo data.

    If you cross reference it with nationality using BirthCertNHLE it gives you a really good picture of who is clutch and has jam. It also gives you a predictive model for Koach’s Korner Kameos.

  33. SwedishPoster says:

    Lowetide: Probably Forsberg giving a chance to a guy who lost significant time to foot issues. God Forsberg was a great hockey player.

    Could very well be the case. Forsberg is a good man and was a beauty on the ice. I’ve mentioned it before but McDavid actually reminds me of a young pre-physical Forsberg but with the added bonus of Fedorovs skating. And what a bonus that is.

  34. Hammers says:

    Good chance we see as many goals from the Nuge line as McD line I’m hoping expecting to see 25 plus goals from Pouliot .

  35. Магия 10 says:

    Woodguy: Nilsson in on my version of the roster.

    Not sure what Nillson did overnight to be demoted from starter.

    Why can’t Woodguy stand behind his predictions? First Nikitin. Now Nilsson.

  36. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy,

    re: roster w/ cap

    Nice work.

    I was scanning WoI’s cap home the other day and got a good laugh at the Flames.

    One of the narratives I was facing daily back around the draft was the cap space the Flames had going into the summer with such a young core showing signs of growth and success.

    And the Oilers were capped out because of Ference, Nikitin, Purcell, and paying a ton of money to their young players without them proving anything.

    Today, the Flames have $220,333 in cap space. Or about enough for some composite sticks and a box of tape. They are the closest team to the cap without being over. They need to re-sign their young stars and supporting players while absorbing their captain’s new contract coming online next season as well. They don’t have a goalie signed for next season, either.

    The Oilers currently have $5,143,333 in cap space with most of the dead weight coming off the books this July and no imminent new contracts pending save Talbot.

    Whenever I think of Brian Burke’s involvement in the Flames (to whatever extent) I go back and look at the Leafs during his tenure and immediately following.

    No GM can make a team race from the bottom to mediocrity as quickly as he, but in doing so he seems to hamstring the organization so that it can’t reach another level.

  37. RexLibris says:

    I’ve long been a fan of Nugent-Hopkins.

    Started lobbying for drafting him in December of 2010.

    I recall watching him in the Oil Kings/Rebels playoff series that spring where he skated in and created a beautiful scoring chance down low that Brossoit prevented, then the puck turns the other way (under St. Croix, if I recall correctly) and there’s a pile up in front of the Red Deer net as the Rebels collapse to defend.

    When they pick apart the scrum, who’s on the bottom protecting the puck? Nugent-Hopkins. He created at one end then hustled back and prevented a goal immediately after right down in front of his own net.

    He and Draisaitl are the kinds of players who may not become captains on their roster, but they are leaders of the most important kind.

  38. PunjabiOil says:

    Interesting comments from Klefbom from a SWE article (credit HF) – especially that part re: fitness tests
    _____________________________

    – We have been negotiating for over a month and I am really happy for the long term in the contract. It shows that management believes in me.

    – I have been a little bit nervous for a while, since negotiations were long. I am happening it got done before the start of the season. Now I’ll find an appartament and get a car.

    – The long term feels good for many reasons. First of all we have a young and talented team which will become really, really good. Furthermore a lot of things are happening in EDM right now. The new arena will be finished this fall and it will be awesome.

    – It is difficult to understand how much money this is. I went to club office, signed in 2 min, and came back out being guarantueed that kind of money.

    – TC has been good so far. I was in the top of the physical tests, only the captain, ference, beat me in a couple of endurance tests. So that feels great.

    – I have started TC with Schultz who I played with last season and that feels good.

  39. G Money says:

    RexLibris: TOI using GMoney’s line combo data

    Speaking of which:

    I now have an awesome set of algorithms that do this:

    1. Pull the event data from war on ice and use the penalty and goal data to calculate a series of ‘shifts’ representing 5v5
    2. Pull the shift data from the NHL for each individual player and generate the complete list of shifts for each player
    3. Successively calculate the overlap between game 5v5 shifts and each player in the set of interest to generate the overlapped shifts
    4. Which means I can tell you for any specific range of time (date ranges, a game, a game range, seasons, multiple seasons) exactly how much 5×5 time a specific player, pair, forward line, or five man unit played.

    It works great.

    Except for two specific situations (or two variations of one single situation).

    If a double minor occurs, and there is an offsetting single minor penalty, OR if a goal is scored during the first two minutes of a double minor, the second half of the double minor gets thrown out of whack (or rather, doesn’t get adjusted to be earlier, the way it does in an actual game).

    That’s because I do this successively, and by the time I do the offsetting minor and goal adjustments, the information on a double minor is no longer available. Making it so is a gigantic pain in the ass.

    I’m beginning to remember why there were times I was happy not to be programming for a living anymore!!

  40. Lowetide says:

    Магия 10: Not sure what Nillson did overnight to be demoted from starter.

    Why can’t Woodguy stand behind his predictions?First Nikitin. Now Nilsson.

    Musta ripped up some wood last night. This damn house is going way over budget.

  41. Suntory Hanzo says:

    Lowetide,

    He’s my favorite non Oiler of all time.

  42. Woodguy says:

    Магия 10: Not sure what Nillson did overnight to be demoted from starter.

    Why can’t Woodguy stand behind his predictions?First Nikitin. Now Nilsson.

    I must remain a moving target.

  43. B S says:

    Yeg_Man,

    Toews counts in my books.

    You can only post such good numbers if you’re busy pulling the puck out of your own zone every other shift (20-30s carrying it out and up ice & 20s trying to score vs 40s trying to score). The opposite is also true, you can only defend so many sorties if you’re busy playing in the other guys zone. 2-way reputation comes as much from usage by the coach as it does from ability. Toews could post better (elite) offensive numbers if he was gifted more offensive minutes and Crosby could show greater defensive awareness if he was asked to start in the Dzone more often.

  44. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    If and when we win our next Stanley Cup, the subtle and most important element to ultimately cresting that pinnacle will be the play of Nugent-Hopkins. He won’t win the playoff scoring race, he likely won’t win playoff MVP and won’t be the face of the franchise, but he will be the critical difference maker to getting the ultimate job done. He has been a pleasure to watch grow and battle – without complaint – against some ungodly odds sometimes. We are lucky to have him on our team.

  45. Woodguy says:

    RexLibris:
    Woodguy,

    re: roster w/ cap

    Nice work.

    I was scanning WoI’s cap home the other day and got a good laugh at the Flames.

    One of the narratives I was facing daily back around the draft was the cap space the Flames had going into the summer with such a young core showing signs of growth and success.

    And the Oilers were capped out because of Ference, Nikitin, Purcell, and paying a ton of money to their young players without them proving anything.

    Today, the Flames have $220,333 in cap space. Or about enough for some composite sticks and a box of tape. They are the closest team to the cap without being over. They need to re-sign their young stars and supporting players while absorbing their captain’s new contract coming online next season as well. They don’t have a goalie signed for next season, either.

    The Oilers currently have $5,143,333 in cap space with most of the dead weight coming off the books this July and no imminent new contracts pending save Talbot.

    Whenever I think of Brian Burke’s involvement in the Flames (to whatever extent) I go back and look at the Leafs during his tenure and immediately following.

    No GM can make a team race from the bottom to mediocrity as quickly as he, but in doing so he seems to hamstring the organization so that it can’t reach another level.

    That’s fantastic.

    Talbot and Schultz (if he stays) need contracts next year

    Yak, Lander, Reinhart and DrySaddle the year after.

    McDavid the year after that.

    The spacing is good and there’s enough coming off during that time that its really not a worry about keeping the group together and adding one more quality Dman.

  46. su_dhillon says:

    On Klefbom, I like the player and it seems unlikely anyone will complain about the dollar value over the length of the contract but was their any risk he would do something this season that would dramatically increase his value?
    You generally get paid for offense and he isn’t ever going to be PK Subban, feels like this is what he would get paid if everything works out anyways but there is a more than zero chance he struggles in his first full season as NHL regular playing top 4 mins.

    Oh and everyone loves Nuge, life with 97 and 93 as your top 2 centers is a pretty great one

  47. Snowman says:

    Nuge is already in the conversation with Bergeron in my opinion. They scored very similarly in terms of even strength scoring (1.93/60 for Bergeron and 1.92/60 for Nuge). Bergeron scored 2.11/60 against the absolute toughest comp and zone starts basically. He’s a 1C and not really in the conversation for best 2Cs in the league. Bergeron is a better center today. Not much question but Nuge is closing the gap and in two years it’s anyones guess.

    And as for Malkin, Nuge played tougher competition with a zone start push and produced 2.01/60 (all situations) and Malkin produced 2.46/60 (all situations) against easier competition while getting (a bit lesser) zone start push. If things pan out how logic would say they should this season, with Nuge getting easier competition and average zone starts we’ll have a better comparison with Malkin at the end of this season. I like Nuge’s chances though. You gotta think he’ll score more against easier competition and you gotta think his powerplay production will increase (Maclellan). It may be a lot closer than people think.

    As an aside, Datsyuk played a bit easier comp with a bit less offensive zone start push. He had better possession numbers and produced more (2.45/60 all situations, but again, much closer than people think.

    Edit: The more I look at Bergeron, the more impressive he is. He’s like Boyd Gordon except he puts up points. What a fantastic hockey player. Nuge has some ground to cover there.

  48. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: That’s fantastic.

    Talbot and Schultz (if he stays) need contracts next year

    Yak, Lander, Reinhart and DrySaddle the year after.

    McDavid the year after that.

    The spacing is good and there’s enough coming off during that time that its really not a worry about keeping the group together and adding one more quality Dman.

    Ryan Pike had a good article up a short while ago about next year’s cap crunch for the Flames.

    Basically, they are going to lose some dead weight in Jones and maybe Wideman or Russell, but they are also likely facing losing the supporting cast of Byron, Bouma and others.

    The question then becomes, do they have players on ELCs who can replace at the same level.

    Granlund, Ferland and Arnold could graduate to become full-time NHLers but they don’t have a whole lot of backup if they don’t.

    Race to mediocrity.

  49. Water Fire says:

    Real_Hockey_Fan: Man now you’ve got me excited!!!

    Ya as long as it’s in imperial and not sissified actual metric which would make it useless.

    RexLibris: Gritensity and Eyeglow/60 are the basics.

    You can then deduce Clutch/60, RelClutch/60, EvClutch/60 and 4v5Clutch/60 measured against TOI using GMoney’s line combo data.

    If you cross reference it with nationality using BirthCertNHLE it gives you a really good picture of who is clutch and has jam. It also gives you a predictive model for Koach’s Korner Kameos.

    But would it mean anything without cluthngrab/60 – CnG/60 worked in somehow? It has to reference the 90’s, hockey’s greatest era.

  50. Bag of Pucks says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Interesting comments from Klefbom from a SWE article (credit HF) – especially that part re: fitness

    – TC has been good so far. I was in the top of the physical tests, only the captain, ference, beat me in a couple of endurance tests. So that feels great.

    Ference tops in the endurance tests? But I thought he was only bike/stairs fit not ‘hockey’ fit? Memes are confusing.

  51. RexLibris says:

    Water Fire: Ya as long as it’s in imperial and not sissified actual metric which would make it useless.

    But would it mean anything without cluthngrab/60 – CnG/60 worked in somehow? It has to reference the 90’s, hockey’s greatest era.

    DedPk/60 is a thing, but it’s a stat under proprietary protection by the Devils.

  52. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: I’m making an assumption based on a few things.

    I do not think they’ll break camp with 3 goalies.

    Feel free to swap them in your version of the roster.

    Nilsson in on my version of the roster.

    I suspect you’re right cos Chiarelli brought him in. The GM may see something there and he’s got a solid track record with netminders

    Will be an interesting battle to be sure. If Ben washes out now, that’s a serious dagger for his career prospects.

  53. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/sports/nhl/former-nhl-enforcer-todd-ewen-dies-at-49/ar-AAewMXu?li=AAadgLE&ocid=mailsignoutmd

    Former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen passed away last night. According to the above link he was an Oilers draft pick in ’84.

    Can you tell us anything about him LT..? I don’t recall this player at all.

  54. Bootstrap Effexor says:

    It’s 2025. Somewhere in the middle chapter of a middle volume of Lowetide’s collected writings A Month of Sundays he recounts a story or two that never quite made it into the blog as original copy.

    ———

    “It’s a true story, so help me God,” my scowling regular obliges with smoke on his breath after knocking back another warm finger of Laphroaig.

    “Stan is biding time on some hapless victor emerging from the Memnon Memorial Gladatorial, and I’m with this girl having dinner at the Taste of Hades Sheep Spit—in that place, a 10 m bonfire pit counts as cozy. She isn’t anybody I would bring home to my mother, but I’m jonesing to score big. Stan is up in the armpitheater, holding forth in the Granite Gonadola—that’s what we called the high table—with Athena and Aphrodite and the rest of his Olympian entourage. My date looks around, impressed, then points up, and says, ‘My God, there’s Stan! Do you know him?’

    “I said, ‘Sure, he’s a friend of mine.’ Which he was. But I made it sound like my whole life. ‘We’re like brothers!’ She didn’t believe me. So I said, ‘Wait here, sweetheart,’ and I hot-hoofed up to Stan’s table.

    ‘What do you want, Knothead?’ he said. That was his nickname for me. I told him I was trying to impress this girl and would he do me a very big favor and come over and just say hello. He said, ‘For you, Knothead, I’ll do it.’”

    Five minutes later, Stan strolls over and says, “Woodguy, how the hell are you?”

    Yeah—so I just look up and say, “Not now, Stan. Can’t you see I’m with somebody?”

    ———

    I vaguely recall the chapter title—precog copy-proofing is a humdilly mental strain—as “The Offending Champion“.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Ference tops in the endurance tests? But I thought he was only bike/stairs fit not ‘hockey’ fit? Memes are confusing.

    Iirc the endurance test is on a bike, so it’s not a test of hockey endurance.

    I wish Ference could use a bike on the ice.

    Would be an improvement.

  56. RexLibris says:

    Given Hitchcock’s recent comments about 3v3 overtime, I think it would be very appropriate recompense for the Dallas series of the 90s and all the Dead Puck era bs the Oilers had to endure if that game went to OT.

    Hitchcock is a great guy, by all accounts, but taking this team’s speed and offensive potential to a team like the Blues, who so epitomize the last vestiges of Dead Puck, and winning in that format would be such sweet justice.

  57. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/sports/nhl/former-nhl-enforcer-todd-ewen-dies-at-49/ar-AAewMXu?li=AAadgLE&ocid=mailsignoutmd

    Former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen passed away last night. According to the above link he was an Oilers draft pick in ’84.

    Can you tell us anything about him LT..? I don’t recall this player at all.

    Drafted in the summer of Edmonton’s first Stanley, even first-round picks didn’t get a sniff. I do recall him getting a few mentions in the Hockey News but Sather traded prospects like crazy in those years. He was a tough player, that I do remember.

  58. stevezie says:

    Yeg_Man: Can you imagine if he is the first player in history to win the Selke, Art Ross, and Hart?

    If not for a late season injury Federov would have done this in… 94?

  59. Pouzar says:

    Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug
    Chiarelli on Klefbom “he will be a top 2 defenceman”

    Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance
    Peter Chiarelli says he’s already factoring what he’ll have to pay Connor McDavid down the road when doing deals like Klefbom’s.

  60. Магия 10 says:

    Bootstrap Effexor: I vaguely recall the chapter title—precog copy-proofing is a humdilly mental strain—as “The Offending Champion“.

    That’s the problem with these guys. Eventually they develop a future.

  61. RexLibris says:

    Pouzar:
    Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug
    Chiarelli on Klefbom “he will be a top 2 defenceman”

    Craig Custance ‏@CraigCustance
    Peter Chiarelli says he’s already factoring what he’ll have to pay Connor McDavid down the road when doing deals like Klefbom’s.

    Wouldn’t it be better to challenge him first, say series of one-year contracts, to see if he’s ready?

    😉

  62. RexLibris says:

    Mtl ahead of Wpg 22-3 at the half.

    Man, those Bombers.

  63. Магия 10 says:

    RexLibris: Wouldn’t it be better to challenge him first, say series of one-year contracts, to see if he’s ready?

    ?

    Chia was going for 8. But MacT convinced him to challenge Klef the last year.

  64. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: Iirc the endurance test is on a bike, so it’s not a test of hockey endurance.

    And yet it’s the endurance test used by all the teams in the NHL.

    Reason being: it’s a controlled environment perfect for comparative data acquisition.

    We can hate Ference for a multitude of sins, but this meme that he’s not in superlative shape to play hockey? Hogwash.

    Klefbom is 22, Ference 36. And Ference is beating the young’un on VO2max. I’m greatly impressed by that regardless of whether it’s on skates or not.

    By contrast, I did 25 mins of yoga with my wife this morning and then another 25 on the rowing machine and that’s a full day for me. lol

  65. MessyEH says:

    Bootstrap Effexor:
    It’s 2025.Somewhere in the middle chapter of a middle volume of Lowetide’s collected writings A Month of Sundays he recounts a story or two that never quite made it into the blog as original copy.

    ———

    “It’s a true story, so help me God,” my scowling regular obliges with smoke on his breath after knocking back another warm finger of Laphroaig.

    “Stan is biding time on some hapless victor emerging from the Memnon Memorial Gladatorial, and I’m with this girl having dinner at the Taste of Hades Sheep Spit—in that place, a 10 m bonfire pit counts as cozy.She isn’t anybody I would bring home to my mother, but I’m jonesing to score big. Stan is up in the armpitheater, holding forth in the Granite Gonadola—that’s what we called the high table—with Athena and Aphrodite and the rest of his Olympian entourage. My date looks around, impressed, then points up, and says, ‘My God, there’s Stan! Do you know him?’

    “I said, ‘Sure, he’s a friend of mine.’ Which he was. But I made it sound like my whole life. ‘We’re like brothers!’ She didn’t believe me. So I said, ‘Wait here, sweetheart,’ and I hot-hoofed up to Stan’s table.

    ‘What do you want, Knothead?’ he said. That was his nickname for me. I told him I was trying to impress this girl and would he do me a very big favor and come over and just say hello. He said, ‘For you, Knothead, I’ll do it.’”

    Five minutes later, Stan strolls over and says, “Woodguy, how the hell are you?”

    Yeah—so I just look up and say, “Not now, Stan. Can’t you see I’m with somebody?”

    ———

    I vaguely recall the chapter title—precog copy-proofing is a humdilly mental strain—as “The Offending Champion“.

    I spit my Coffee all over my phone. Thanks?!

    I enjoy the comments here as much as the articles. I swear Lowetide has the smartest commentators in all of the blogosphere. Keep it up folks. I throughly enjoy lurking here.

  66. Ryan says:

    Bag of Pucks: And yet it’s the endurance test used by all the teams in the NHL.

    Reason being: it’s a controlled environment perfect for comparative data acquisition.

    We can hate Ference for a multitude of sins, but this meme that he’s not in superlative shape to play hockey? Hogwash.

    Klefbom is 22, Ference 36. And Ference is beating the young’un on VO2max. I’m greatly impressed by that regardless of whether it’s on skates or not.

    By contrast, I did 25 mins of yoga with my wife this morning and then another 25 on the rowing machine and that’s a full day for me. lol

    vo2 max testing is scaled to body weight.

    There’s the rub.

    Klefbomb is listed at 26 lbs heavier than Ference.

    There’s a reason that the athlete’s with the highest Vo2 maxes typically are endurance runners or cyclists…

    Because they look like this: http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/4/590x/froome-414601.jpg

  67. Bag of Pucks says:

    Ryan: vo2 max testing is scaled to body weight.

    There’s the rub.

    Klefbomb is listed at 26 lbs heavier than Ference.

    There’s a reason that the athlete’s with the highest Vo2 maxes typically are endurance runners or cyclists…

    Because they look like this:http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/4/590x/froome-414601.jpg

    And V02max scores typically peak in early 20s and start a precipitous decline in mid to late thirties. Klefbom is heavier. Ference is older.

    The test results adjust for weight. They don’t adjust for age.

    VO2Max measures the amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise. It is measured as “milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight.” This measurement is generally considered the best indicator of an athlete’s cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance.

    http://abt.cm/1dD06Or

    If the argument was, Ference might be a better player with more muscle/weight and a little less fitness/endurance, that’s even more tenable than Ference’s fitness is overrated cos the data is compiled on a bike. Funny how quick some reach to discount the data when it doesn’t line up with the personal bias.

    Ference, mediocre D? Yes. Ference incredibly fit? Yes to that too. Lululemon endorsement too metro for my tastes? Absolutely.

  68. Lowetide says:

    The Oilers, if they were trying to get Ference into a better slot ala Chiarelli’s words, put the TEAM in a tough spot.

    Sekera-Fayne (tough ZS’s)
    Klefbom-Schultz (ZS push)

    and you need that third pairing to basically be Sekera-Fayne again and if that happens we’re cooking with petrol. Last season, Ference was overwhelmed and Nikitin’s wheels don’t turn (I saw him in a game where he could NOT push off properly).

    Reinhart-Gryba

    That may be the best option for third pairing.

  69. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: And yet it’s the endurance test used by all the teams in the NHL.

    Reason being: it’s a controlled environment perfect for comparative data acquisition.

    We can hate Ference for a multitude of sins, but this meme that he’s not in superlative shape to play hockey? Hogwash.

    Klefbom is 22, Ference 36. And Ference is beating the young’un on VO2max. I’m greatly impressed by that regardless of whether it’s on skates or not.

    By contrast, I did 25 mins of yoga with my wife this morning and then another 25 on the rowing machine and that’s a full day for me. lol

    No one has every accused Ference of being out of shape.

    Quit making things up.

    Next you’ll tell me I have Nurse on the opening night roster.

    The problem is that an uber-fit Ference is not longer a NHL quality Dman.

  70. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: No one has every accused Ference of being out of shape.

    Quit making things up.

    Next you’ll tell me I have Nurse on the opening night roster.

    The problem is that an uber-fit Ference is not longer a NHL quality Dman.

    WG, I don’t think you’ve ever floated that meme. Gmoney and others have argued that Ference’s training methods are a sub-optimal process for hockey fitness.

    I’m suggesting the VO2max results point out fairly definitively that Ference’s oxygen recovery and muscle efficiency are elite and perfectly suited for hockey where your body is consistently taxed with this type of recovery post shift.

    He’s in better shape than a 22 year old and some still want to suggest his training is flawed. Seems extremely counter intuitive.

  71. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide:
    The Oilers, if they were trying to get Ference into a better slot ala Chiarelli’s words, put the TEAM in a tough spot.

    Sekera-Fayne (tough ZS’s)
    Klefbom-Schultz (ZS push)

    and you need that third pairing to basically be Sekera-Fayne again and if that happens we’re cooking with petrol. Last season, Ference was overwhelmed and Nikitin’s wheels don’t turn (I saw him in a game where he could NOT push off properly).

    Reinhart-Gryba

    That may be the best option for third pairing.

    That’s my bet coming out of pre-season. Whether Jultz will deserve that placement on the depth chart is another question entirely….

  72. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Gmoney and others have argued that Ference’s training methods are a sub-optimal process for hockey fitness.
    I’m suggesting the VO2max results point out fairly definitively that Ference’s oxygen recovery and muscle efficiency are elite and perfectly suited for hockey where your body is consistently taxed with this type of recovery post shift.
    He’s in better shape than a 22 year old and some still want to suggest his training is flawed. Seems extremely counter intuitive.

    Ference is better shape than a 22 year old? So then, he’s simply shite at playing hockey?

  73. hunter1909 says:

    The new management have already decided Ference ain’t keeping the C. After calling out his team to the press, because the actual team ignores him, lol.

    Next stop – press box. Thecaptainfordallaseakins sure won’t like that very much.

    Final stop – traded with salary retained.

  74. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Bag of Pucks: That’s my bet coming out of pre-season. Whether Jultz will deserve that placement on the depth chart is another question entirely….

    McL talked positively about Jultz in his latest interview on the Oilers site. Said he looked stronger and more confident, and moved the puck well in scrimmages. Early returns, but at least it’s something.

  75. frjohnk says:

    hunter1909:
    The new management have already decided Ference ain’t keeping the C. After calling out his team to the press, because the actual team ignores him, lol.

    Next stop – press box. Thecaptainfordallaseakins sure won’t like that very much.

    Final stop – traded with salary retained.

    He wont get traded. He came to Edmonton to play for his hometown and then retire.

    I think if he is in the press box for most of the year, he retires next summer.

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    hunter1909: Ference is better shape than a 22 year old? So then, he’s simply shite at playing hockey?

    Pretty much. He’s failing, but he’s failing with extraordinary effort.

  77. Little Poteet says:

    RexLibris,

    You gotta remember that gritensity is inversely proportional to side burn length and directly related to teeth lost/season

  78. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: By contrast, I did 25 mins of yoga with my wife this morning and then another 25 on the rowing machine and that’s a full day for me. lol

    That’s actually pretty good.

    I have no idea how I came to this, but somehow this reminds me of someone comparing a US Army Navy Seal, all buff and crazy fit and hella trained as having approximately a 50/50 chance of surviving, were he dropped into a ditch with any circa 1943 Stalingrad veteran holding a sharpened shovel.

    I guess the point being, there are many ways to skin a cat.

  79. Bag of Pucks says:

    JD¡™ David O’Connor’s Reel: McL talked positively about Jultz in his latest interview on the Oilers site. Said he looked stronger and more confident, and moved the puck well in scrimmages. Early returns, but at least it’s something.

    Was TMac talking about him in real hockey or XBox hockey?

  80. Pouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: He’s in better shape than a 22 year old and some still want to suggest his training is flawed.

    It is flawed. For hockey. We want to train FOR HOCKEY. Fast Twitch. Anaerobic. Short bursts.
    Because training anaerobically means training without oxygen. Anaerobic exercise is defined as short duration, high intensity exercise lasting anywhere from merely seconds up to around two minutes. After two minutes, the body’s aerobic system kicks in. Examples of anaerobic exercise are ones that use fast twitch muscle fibers such as jumping and sprinting. By using and developing those fibers we enhance that musculature.

  81. hunter1909 says:

    frjohnk: He wont get traded. He came to Edmonton to play for his hometown and then retire.
    I think if he is in the press box for most of the year, he retires next summer.

    I wish Ference had declined Eakins’ poisoned chalice offer to becoming the team’s captain.

    Eakins showed himself to be a slimy(although slightly clumsy) machiavellian type. Anything to deflect heat from him, and his shiny hair.

    Ference must have been honored to be offered the position, while not having the brains to figure that the youngsters just as likely as not would hate this stranger getting handed the freaking captaincy, just like that.

    Last year’s Oilers management chain of command :

    Lowe – MacT – Eakins – Ference

    By now, Taylor Hall would probably getting the Souray treatment if those clowns were still in charge.

  82. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pouzar: It is flawed. For hockey. We want to train FOR HOCKEY. Fast Twitch. Anaerobic. Short bursts.
    Because training anaerobically means training without oxygen. Anaerobic exercise is defined as short duration, high intensity exercise lasting anywhere from merely seconds up to around two minutes. After two minutes, the body’s aerobic system kicks in. Examples of anaerobic exercise are ones that use fast twitch muscle fibers such as jumping and sprinting. By using and developing those fibers we enhance that musculature.

    I would believe the V02max results didn’t matter if you could convince me they don’t matter to the Oilers, and every single team in the NHL for that matter.

    V02max measures muscle efficiency/oxygen recovery under cardiovascular stress. The fact that 36 year old Ference topped the charts on this test shows he knows a thing or two about training for hockey if there was ever a doubt.

    Again, for emphasis, if there was a better test for baselining hockey fitness, I’m sure the best league in the world would be adopting it?

  83. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: WG, I don’t think you’ve ever floated that meme. Gmoney and others have argued that Ference’s training methods are a sub-optimal process for hockey fitness.

    I’m suggesting the VO2max results point out fairly definitively that Ference’s oxygen recovery and muscle efficiency are elite and perfectly suited for hockey where your body is consistently taxed with this type of recovery post shift.

    He’s in better shape than a 22 year old and some still want to suggest his training is flawed. Seems extremely counter intuitive.

    It really depends on what you are testing.

    The research lately is that biking in an incorrect conditioning method for skaters.

    Something to do with the hips, but I’m not informed enough on it to comment.

  84. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: Gmoney and others have argued that Ference’s training methods are a sub-optimal process for hockey fitness.

    They are.

    Great for maxing your Vo2Max results on a bike test though. Fantastic for that.

    Hockey? Not so much.

  85. Woodguy says:

    hunter1909: Ference is better shape than a 22 year old? So then, he’s simply shite at playing hockey?

    Age gets us all.

    901 games as an 8th rounder, undersized Dman.

    Usually undersized Dmen need to bring a pile of offence, but he never did.

    A gritty defensive Dman for his career.

    His career is a testament to his will and conditioning.

    He should be very proud, it was a hell of a career.

    Its pretty much over now though.

    He should go out with his head held very high.

  86. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: Again, for emphasis, if there was a better test for baselining hockey fitness, I’m sure the best league in the world would be adopting it?

    It’s used because
    a. it’s easy
    b. it’s controlled
    c. it’s reproducible
    d. it has a low risk of injury

    But no NHL or NFL team in the world uses bike training as a fundamental underpinning to its actual training programs. Not a one.

    If it’s such a great way to train for hockey, why isn’t the best league in the world adopting it?

  87. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Was TMac talking about him in real hockey or XBox hockey?

    We may need to be prepared for McLellan, Woodcroft and Johnson’s ability to turn Jultz into a NHLer.

    He has most of the tools.

    Hasn’t had NHL level coaching in his career yet though.

  88. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy: Age gets us all.

    Youth can be overrated. The first time I snuck into a bar I was aged 16. I drank and drank until I blacked out, only to wake up in the back seat of a car vomiting. The next morning(afternoon probably) I remember coming to on my bed, wearing all of my winter clothes, everything completely 100% saturated in puke.

    Whereas these days, I make sure to have a bottle on hand for some hair of the dog.

  89. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: It’s used because
    a. it’s easy
    b. it’s controlled
    c. it’s reproducible
    d. it has a low risk of injury

    But no NHL or NFL team in the world uses bike training as a fundamental underpinning to its actual training programs.Not a one.

    If it’s such a great way to train for hockey, why isn’t the best league in the world adopting it?

    Guys you’re missing the greater point here. The bike is simply the tool to facilitate putting the body under stress. They could put them on a bike, on skates, or hand them an axe and a bucket and tell them to chop wood and carry water. The tool putting the body under stress is not nearly as material to the equation as the data gathered during that stress and what it tells us about the athlete’s inner workings. You’re arguing the data acquisition tool but discounting the hard data and what it says.

    V02max actually does a great job of simulating stress under short burst anaerobic conditions. It can be easily configured to simulate that environment.

    What do you make of the fact that Klefbom makes no bones about the fact that old man Ference beat him? He’s not making excuses or claiming the test is not relevant to hockey fitness.

    These boys train all offseason and they’re uber competitive. They all take the same test and I guarantee it’s a badge of honour to win this.

  90. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: It’s used because
    a. it’s easy
    b. it’s controlled
    c. it’s reproducible
    d. it has a low risk of injury

    But no NHL or NFL team in the world uses bike training as a fundamental underpinning to its actual training programs.Not a one.

    If it’s such a great way to train for hockey, why isn’t the best league in the world adopting it?

    Don’t recall those Senator post game pressers a few years back? ; )

  91. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: V02max actually does a great job of simulating stress under short burst anaerobic conditions. It can be easily configured to simulate that environment.
    What do you make of the fact that Klefbom makes no bones about the fact that old man Ference beat him? He’s not making excuses or claiming the test is not relevant to hockey fitness.
    These boys train all offseason and they’re uber competitive. They all take the same test and I guarantee it’s a badge of honour to win this.

    No old boy, you’re missing the point (and seem to always have).

    Specificity of training exists. It is a big deal. A huge deal actually. Every advance in exercise physiology in the last twenty years has been around it.

    Vo2max is a highly specific aspect of fitness, and generally having a higher Vo2max is a good thing.

    I say “generally” because of that whole specificity thing.

    To get a high Vo2max, you have to engage in a ton of high volume long distance cardiovascular training. Like the long-distance biking that Ference and Eakins engage in.

    You do that, and you’ll have a terrific Vo2max. And that’s great. If you’re a long distance cyclist.

    But if you’re a hockey player, the question is what you had to give up to get it. The bike test is just one of the fitness tests they run. They also run the Wingates, strength, agility, etc.

    If the emphasis of your training program is long-distance biking, you will do GREAT on the Vo2Max test. On the rest of it? Not so much.

    And there’s the rub.

    Turns out that aerobic endurance accounts for only about 30% of the drivers of performance in hockey. Hockey is a sprint, power, and strength (and skill of course) sport, where you go all out full body max strength – but only for about 45 seconds at a time, and with long periods of rest in between.

    And even elite defensemen will only do that for about 30 minutes max, and that’s over two and a half hours.

    The demands of hockey, in other words, are NOTHING like the demands of long distance biking.

    Long distance biking WILL get you a great score on the Vo2max bike test.

    It will not prepare you almost not at all for the actual physical demands of playing hockey.

  92. Bag of Pucks says:

    hunter1909: Youth can be overrated. The first time I snuck into a bar I was aged 16. I drank and drank until I blacked out, only to wake up in the back seat of a car vomiting. The next morning(afternoon probably) I remember coming to on my bed, wearing all of my winter clothes, everything completely 100% saturated in puke.

    Whereas these days, I make sure to have a bottle on hand for some hair of the dog.

    That is hard core. Reminds me of the scene in Leaving Las Vegas when Cage pours a full glass of Cuervo and then drains it dry in one drink. Whoever the special effects whiz was that replicated the tint of Cuervo in that water should’ve won the Academy Award.

  93. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: Don’t recall those Senator post game pressers a few years back? ; )

    You mean where they (like most hockey and football teams) use bikes for cool downs?

    Yup, they’re great for that. Compact space. Low impact. Good for an initial warm up too, before the critically important sport specific warmup.

  94. Snowman says:

    I want Andrew Ference to retire so we can stop talking about his fitness.

    The guy has play 900 games in the NHL after being an 8th round pick. He obviously knows how to train effectively. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have reached 100 games. His career longevity is all you need to know about how he trains. Honestly anybody who assumes that a 900 game career NHLer has a training focus based on endurance and VO2 max is just completely out to lunch. It doesn’t make sense. Really it doesn’t.

    Perhaps the reason he’s lost a step has absolutely nothing to do with a bike or running or fitness at all… perhaps he’s lost a step because he a 36 year old in the NHL who has played 900 games. Is there anybody here who can reasonably assert that a 36 year old Andrew Ference, even if he used the absolutely best possible NHL specific training program ever conceived would be an effective NHLer? He’s not effective because he’s old. Not because he trains incorrectly or for the wrong sport or because he recycles or anything other than he’s a 36 year old who’s played 900 games.

  95. Bag of Pucks says:

    Gmoney, do a little research and you’ll find that they’ve developed a hockey specific test protocol for VO2max as they have for almost all the major sports.

    The test is configured precisely for short burst/quick recovery activity like hockey so the data acquired is directly applicable to specificity of training.

    You’re right, the science has moved on and the NHL has been smart enough to keep pace with it.

    Do you honestly think they would spend multi million $’s on players and not?

  96. G Money says:

    By the way, I have in my archives a snipped and interesting measured Vo2max table for hockey players at various levels:

    Cunningham et al : Minor : 56.6
    Montpetit et al : University : 58.1
    Rusko et al: National : 51.5
    Green et al: NCAA : 59
    Rhodes et al: NHL : 54.1
    Twist & Rhodes : NHL : 57.4

    Notice how NHL players are NOT the top of the table for Vo2Max? In fact, notice how NHL players for Vo2max are more comparable to minor players than NCAA players?

    You know why that is?

    Because Vo2max is not as important to elite hockey as other fitness factors, like power (acceleration), speed, strength, and muscular endurance.

    I don’t have those, but I can pretty much guarantee you that university and NCAA athletes (let alone minors) will NOT outperform NHL players on those measures.

    Because they matter. Because those are what distinguish the best players – not Vo2Max.

    And training for Vo2max (which will of necessity substantially reduce your time and energy available for training for those other factors, the ones that matter) will not improve your results as a hockey player. They will in all likelihood make them worse.

    That’s what specificity of training is, and why it matters.

  97. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: Gmoney, do a little research and you’ll find that they’ve developed a hockey specific test protocol for VO2max as they have for almost all the major sports.

    I’ve done the research.

    See post above.

    Where’s your research?

    The vo2max protocol is NOT hockey specific. It is a widely used test. It has standardized measuring equipment and standardized protocols. That’s one of the reasons they use it. In order to test Vo2max, you have to use sprints, that’s how it works.

    If the NHL could somehow figure out how to test Vo2max by having their athletes skate instead, they would. Because it would be way more relevant. But having them wear breathing apparatus would be a tad unwieldy and error prone, and probably not give usable results.

  98. Hammers says:

    Funny thing is that if Ference makes the team on 3 Rd pairing is it will be his fitness that gets him there. I’m always afraid that older players get judged on previous years of performance and fitness . That maybe why Nikitin doesn’t make it as he won’t be fit until Xmas . Ference will stay fit if nothing else .

  99. G Money says:

    Snowman: Honestly anybody who assumes that a 900 game career NHLer has a training focus based on endurance and VO2 max is just completely out to lunch. It doesn’t make sense. Really it doesn’t.

    The working hypothesis is that Ference is still around because his superb Vo2max levels (which as I’ve noted above, will typically only be achieved through a training program that overall is sub-optimal or even detrimental to hockey fitness) jived with Dallas Eakins’ viewpoint on life, which is also seen through a long-distance athlete’s Vo2 lens.

    But it’s a bad lens, and using it might make you conclude that Andrew Ference is a good hockey player “because fitness”, when in reality he is not a good hockey player NOR is his fitness particularly great for the actual task of playing hockey.

    Worse still, if the entire team was forced to adopt a training protocol that biased Vo2max scores over other, more important, fitness measures, the performance of the entire team would suffer as a result, relative to other teams whose fitness programs focused on things that matter more.

    That particular theory was floated (by me) midway through Dallas Eakins’ first season, based on my subjective observation that the Oilers looked slower and less explosive as a team than they ever had in my memory.

  100. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: Age gets us all.

    901 games as an 8th rounder, undersized Dman.

    Usually undersized Dmen need to bring a pile of offence, but he never did.

    A gritty defensive Dman for his career.

    His career is a testament to his will and conditioning.

    He should be very proud, it was a hell of a career.

    Its pretty much over now though.

    He should go out with his head held very high.

    I agree, but I suspect the pride that pushed him to truly be at 100% of his capability is the same pride that will lead him to blindly not accept his current state.

    I also think it creates tension between individuals like himself and others who don’t require as much day to day dedication to perfection and fitness to be successful.

    I don’t know that and am surmising it from interviews, etc.

  101. Pouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: I would believe the V02max results didn’t matter if you could convince me they don’t matter to the Oilers, and every single team in the NHL for that matter.

    V02max measures muscle efficiency/oxygen recovery under cardiovascular stress. The fact that 36 year old Ference topped the charts on this test shows he knows a thing or two about training for hockey if there was ever a doubt.

    Again, for emphasis, if there was a better test for baselining hockey fitness, I’m sure the best league in the world would be adopting it?

    I don’t have to convince you of anything. Steady state exercise isn’t optimal for training hockey players. Captain can have the mountain bike races.

  102. Bag of Pucks says:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/how-freakish-keith-became-an-nhl-workhorse/

    The mathematical formula for a VO2 number is mL/(kg*minute). An average male comes in around 30-40. Vorkapich says a great athlete will be in the 60s. Then, he pauses.

    “Duncan Keith scored a 71. To this date, that is the highest ever by an MSU hockey player.”

  103. Bag of Pucks says:

    Pouzar: I don’t have to convince you of anything. Steady state exercise isn’t optimal for training hockey players. Captain can have the mountain bike races.

    Does this sound like steady state to you?

    “We use what is called a ‘discontinuous’ test. Three-minute stages. After each one, we stop for 90 seconds and prick their finger to measure their blood-lactate level, to see how hard they are working. Roughly the fourth stage is game-intensity. The first 20 seconds of each stage are a gimme, because that’s when speed and incline of the treadmill go up.”

    “He got a minute into Stage 7.”

    Stage 1 is six miles per hour and a zero incline. Stage 2 is the same speed and an incline of five. Both numbers go up one from there. So, Stage 7 is 11 miles per hour with an incline of 10. Piece of cake, right?

  104. G Money says:

    Pouzar: Captain can have the mountain bike races.

    Yup.

    Based on their twitter feeds, guys like Hall and McDavid spent their offseasons at Gary Roberts and Biosteel – camps that focus heavily on hockey-specific training involving strength, power, and acceleration. Because they do that work repeatedly over an extended period of time, it will of course positively affect their endurance and Vo2max. But it’s incidental.

    On the other hand, as recently as August 29th, this was Andrew Ference’s training:
    FEELING STRONG? GOT LEGS OF STEEL?
    We’ll test that.
    Join MEC and the Captain of the Edmonton Oilers, Andrew Ference in this one-of-a-kind challenge combining cycling or running and stair climbing throughout Edmonton’s River Valley. The challenge will have you riding over 25 kms on both single track and paved trails, and climbing/descending over 2000 stair steps – carrying your ride each and every step. For those of you on two feet instead of two wheels you will be running 8-10 Kms on both single track and paved trails and climbing/descending a yet to be determined amount of stairs. (Don’t worry the number will be in the range of lots – too many!)

    That’s fantastic exercise, and one that will undoubtedly max out your Vo2max scores.

    But for actually playing hockey? Not so much.

  105. ashley says:

    Remember when we were so worried about nuge because he was only 167lbs and scored all his junior points on the pp? How many threads agonized over that. 1000 maybe? And landeskog was so big and “ready”. Credit to stu, he never wavered in his opinion. He said all season that there was one guy head and shoulders above the rest and they were hoping for the 1ov pick. Nuge now 6″1′ and 200lbs, clever, quick, hockey sense, defensive-minded and one of the deadliest wrist shots in the league.

    It takes skill to draft, even at the top. If anything the stakes are even higher. Also remember stu saying hall and seguin were different players but similar ceilings so they went with character to make the decision. Another good decision.

    I miss stu.

  106. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    So he did great in the Vo2max test.

    We know this already.

    Given his training protocol, this should be expected.

    The question is – how did he do on all the other tests?

    You know – the ones that actually matter more to hockey?

  107. Snowman says:

    G Money,

    If the theory is that Ference is around because he is fit, that’s wrong, he’s around because his contract says he’s around.

    If the theory is Ference is a good hockey player because he is fit, that’s wrong. He’s not a good hockey player (relatively) despite his fitness (and it might be the case that his fitness actually is making him better than he otherwise might be which is frightening).

    If the theory is that Eakins offseason training program caused the team to be slower and less explosive I would point to Nuge as an example that might cause you to rethink that. He got significantly faster and more explosive over Eakins tenure and I can’t see Nuge balking at the team endorsed training program. There are a number of players who didn’t look slower by my eye either.

    Hall who did balk at the training program did look slower. I’m pretty sure I agree with the idea that Eakins program was not the best but I don’t think I can say your theory holds much water. It might be possible but it might not. The team looked slower but I would point more to pace of practice as a cause for that. You play how you practice so if the team lacked speed in practice day in and day out they would lack speed in the game.

    Furthermore, even if the training program during the offseason was poor, the in season training is based on playing so players would get faster as the season wore on because they would be playing explosive in game situations more than they would be “training”. This doesn’t fit the narrative either. They didn’t get faster as the season went on.

    The main problem I have with all this fitness theorizing is that almost nobody has any concrete evidence of anything and everyone ignores the history of the players and any other variables external to training programs which could impact performance (losing, disliking your coach, playing too many minutes, age, injury etc). All of those things could reasonably be expected to impact performance and yet those are rarely cited as reasons for anybody’s underperformance. Somehow the conversation always goes back to bicycles.

  108. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money:
    Bag of Pucks,

    So he did great in the Vo2max test.

    We know this already.

    Given his training protocol, this should be expected.

    The question is – how did he do on all the other tests?

    You know – the ones that actually matter more to hockey?

    I’ve given you facts and links and your consistent response is “doesn’t matter cos bikes ain’t hockey.”

    This despite the fact that V02max can be configured to test for short burst, high impact activity like hockey.

    I’ve also shown you a direct correlation between one of the elite players in the NHL, Duncan Keith, a player widely recognized for his ‘hockey fitness’ and his record Vo2 score.

    So I think we’ll just agree to disagree on this one. Peace out.

  109. G Money says:

    Snowman,

    I take no issue with your comments. All are true.

    It’s fun to float a theory, but even as a theory, at no point would I have argued that it was the only explanation, or even a primary explanation.

    Possible factor? Yes.

    What isn’t, or shouldn’t, be in doubt is the absolute necessity of specificity of training.

    And the flipside to that, which we should not need to argue but apparently are, is that training that maximizes Vo2Max as a primary goal is not helpful or can even be detrimental to hockey. It is. Hockey players overall have very middling Vo2max scores in the overall pantheon of elite athletes, because that aspect of fitness is not actually that important to hockey. It’s more like a ‘hygiene factor’ – as long as you train hard enough on the things that matter, your vo2max will automatically be within the reasonable range for hockey.

    If it’s below that range, it’s a sign you didn’t train hard enough. Above that range and you aren’t improving your hockey performance one whit. (Hell, Vo2max scores can’t even be used to predict the winners of marathons).

    And in Ference’s case, this isn’t a theoretical discussion. His twitter feed – contrasting with most of the other players I follow – is packed with references to long distance cycling competitions.

    Point again being – great for Vo2max, bad for hockey.

  110. wheatnoil says:

    Woodguy:
    Total bonuses 8.025

    Bonus overage allowed 5.355

    Bonuses on the cap = 2.67

    Salary 66.1445 + cap counted bonuses 2.67 = $68.8145

    That only leaves $2.5855 of room to pay out bonuses without getting a cap penalty next year, but you have all year to create more room in order to not have a cap penalty next year.

    So the bonuses already counted on the cap make up most of McDavid’s bonuses, which we should anticipate him hitting.

    The extra $2.58M of room is only for Klefbom, Nurse, Reinhart and Draisaitl. Of them, only Reinhart and Draisaitl have the big Schedule B bonuses.

    Reinhart (if he plays in the NHL) will likely be getting 3rd pairing minutes, PK work and no PP time. He’s going to be awfully hard-pressed hitting his Schedule B bonuses in that setting.

    Draisaitl, unless he moves up to the wing in the Top 6, is also unlikely to get the Schedule B bonuses. He’s not eligible for the Calder, I doubt he’ll be on the year end all star team, be in the top 10 for points, goals or assists, get a lot of votes for the year end trophies, etc etc. He’ll be hard-pressed to hit those bonuses as well.

    Klefbom has minimal Schedule A bonuses, which he’ll likely hit if they’re for TOI, games… may not for points. Nurse has a bit more bonus structure to his contract, but he’s got a mountain to climb to get the games played, TOI, points, etc needed for those bonuses. He might hit a few, but that’s what the cushion is for.

    Now, we also have to account for injury and call-ups, so it might get pretty tight to the cap, but if there’s an overage, I think it’ll be fairly minimal and a lot of things would have to go right to make it happen.

  111. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks: This despite the fact that V02max can be configured to test for short burst, high impact activity like hockey.

    AAAARGH. VO2MAX CANNOT BE CONFIGURED FOR HOCKEY.

    Vo2max is a physiological measure.

    It’s like saying “blood pressure” or “heart rate” can be configured for hockey. No. They can’t.

    Vo2max is UNCORRELATED with hockey success. For every Duncan Keith with a high Vo2max, there is an Andrew Ference. You will find plenty at the other end of the scale.

    If you don’t understand either of those points, or the critical importance of specificity of training for hockey (which PRECLUDES training for maximizing vo2max), I don’t know how much more I can explain to you.

  112. Snowman says:

    G Money,

    Ok, well than we’re all in agreement. Nothing to see here.

    Mcdavid! WOOOOOOOOOOT!

  113. Adam Wu says:

    Woodguy: We may need to be prepared for McLellan, Woodcroft and Johnson’s ability to turn Jultz into a NHLer.

    He has most of the tools.

    Hasn’t had NHL level coaching in his career yet though.

    Part of the frustration with Schultz in some quarters, and the willingness to hope for him in others is that he DOES have most if not all these tools. We have seen flashes of absolute defensive brilliance from him, as well as evidence of a high hockey IQ. He SHOULD be able to learn to be at least a passable defender, and that plus his offense would make him a top 4 D.

    Everyone says that D do not develop in a straight line. Shultz does not even have 3 full seasons under his belt yet.

    I’ve always thought that he was played too much. Fatigue can look like lollygagging, and it also predisposes decisions for true lollygagging. Plus when one is trying to learn new skills and habits, one is much more likely to revert to the old familiar habits when one is fatigued.

  114. hunter1909 says:

    G Money: FEELING STRONG? GOT LEGS OF STEEL?
    We’ll test that.
    Join MEC and the Captain of the Edmonton Oilers, Andrew Ference in this one-of-a-kind challenge combining cycling or running and stair climbing throughout Edmonton’s River Valley. The challenge will have you riding over 25 kms on both single track and paved trails, and climbing/descending over 2000 stair steps – carrying your ride each and every step. For those of you on two feet instead of two wheels you will be running 8-10 Kms on both single track and paved trails and climbing/descending a yet to be determined amount of stairs. (Don’t worry the number will be in the range of lots – too many!)

    This cat is starting to remind me more and more of Sean Avery. Modelling and doing extra curricular stuff, seemingly secure in the knowledge that he’s gifted a spot in the NHL.

    Borderline delusional.

  115. hunter1909 says:

    Adam Wu: I’ve always thought that he was played too much. Fatigue can look like lollygagging, and it also predisposes decisions for true lollygagging. Plus when one is trying to learn new skills and habits, one is much more likely to revert to the old familiar habits when one is fatigued.

    Add: “It’s often difficult to learn when coached/managed by idiots.”

  116. spoiler says:

    G Money: That particular theory was floated (by me) midway through Dallas Eakins’ first season, based on my subjective observation that the Oilers looked slower and less explosive as a team than they ever had in my memory.

    Pretty sure Hall beat you to the punch by a few months.

  117. wheatnoil says:

    #Oilers assign Ethan Bear (Seattle), Caleb Jones (Portland), Loik Leveile (Cape Breton) & Cole Sanford (Medicine Hat) to junior clubs.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 20, 2015

  118. wheatnoil says:

    #Oilers also assign Ben Betker, Alexis Loiseau, Connor Rankin, Ty Rimmer & Marco Roy to the Bakersfield @Condors of @TheAHL.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 20, 2015

  119. spoiler says:

    ashley: Nuge now 6″1′ and 200lbs, clever, quick, hockey sense, defensive-minded and one of the deadliest wrist shots in the league.

    Love me some golden Nuge, but he still struggles to hit the net consistently. Till he doesn’t, I’m not calling him deadliest anything. Most frustrating part of his game, and I hope he worked on it this summer in between bench-pressing Yakupov.

  120. hags9k says:

    Well, I’m off to beer league to test my VO2min once again. I just hope the defibrillators are charged and standing by.

    But it’s ok because I’m not thecaptain.

  121. Cameron says:

    RexLibris,

    I think you’ve been drinking too much Kool-aid.

    Hiller $4.5M won’t be retained at worst,and is likely traded.
    Ramo $3.8M likely won’t be either depending on the Gillies/Ortio development
    Wideman $5.25 was a dead man walking (trade) as soon as Cgy signed Hamilton
    Russell $2.6M can easily be moved as well if necessary (Morrison age 23, or Nakladal 27 replace him, or best case scenario IMO, Rasmus Anderson simply earns the job)
    Colborne has already been displaced by cheaper younger alternatives, and won’tget a big raise even if he stays.
    Byron is (at best) a depth possession winger of dubous offense, and easily replaced.

    And if the Flames can move Engelland and Bollig (and if there is a Gord, it will be both), that’s another $5+M

    All of which means more than enough to give the core players their raises and keep the playoff band together.

    More interesting to me is how on Earth the Oil would even be able to afford an upgrade on defense should they actually manage to aquire one?

  122. Snowman says:

    On the discussion of VO2 max….

    A person is born with specific limitations. Its somewhat simiiar to intelligence. Everyone is born with a potential based on their genetics and you can’t exceed that potential no matter what you do. You can maximize it within your genetic range but you can’t move past those genetic limitations.

    You are born with certain physiological traits that essentially put your VO2 max within a certain range. You can train to increase your V02 max but once you hit your ceiling as determined by your genes that its. There’s nothing else you can do. You can’t even cheat to improve it. And its unique in that the specific range of VO2 is relatively narrow so that within the population there are significant differences in VO2 max that can’t be overcome. It’s not like muscle building where you can increase your mass by 100%. There’s a narrow range, you can maximize your potential within that range but you can’t increase it beyond that.

    So somebody having a higher VO2 max than somebody else is really pretty meaningless in determining the effectiveness of their training even in endurance sports. The elite endurance athletes were born with a very high genetically determined range and then they train to maximize it. That’s why some people can get off the couch and run a 10k without training and some people train for years and struggle to complete one.

    So Duncan Keith might have a freakishly high genetic range for example (and Andrew Ference) and for lack of a better example Taylor Hall might have a lower range but they can all only maximize their performance within that genetic range. You can do absolutely nothing to overcome it. Not steroids or blood doping or any other form of cheating. VO2 max is what it is.

  123. leadfarmer says:

    Vo2 max is a measure that says how much oxygen you can pump into your muscles. It does not say what you do with your muscles. So boneheaded plays can continue. It also difficult to translate from one body type to another but like Corsi and other stats it gives us a general idea of the shape your in, and good to compare a player to himself the year before. Example Nikitin pulls the same numbers as last year that means all the yelling to get in shape was ignored by the player. High Vo2 max will not make a poor player a good one, but it can be enough to give a guy like Ference a long productive career. So even if hockey seems anaerobic it is still a lot more aerobic than football which is truly an anaerobic sport and you don’t hear football players complaining about using VO2 max.

  124. leadfarmer says:

    Cameron,

    They can make due with their cap with effective trades, but I don’t think you get a starting goalie and a decent backup for much cheaper so using those two as a money saving measure isn’t going to work. Most starters want to get paid and a decent backup will cost 2 mil. So if they traded Hiller and got a guy like Niemi they would have broken even.

  125. Bag of Pucks says:

    G Money: AAAARGH.VO2MAX CANNOT BE CONFIGURED FOR HOCKEY.

    Vo2max is a physiological measure.

    It’s like saying “blood pressure” or “heart rate” can be configured for hockey.No.They can’t.

    Vo2max is UNCORRELATED with hockey success.For every Duncan Keith with a high Vo2max, there is an Andrew Ference.You will find plenty at the other end of the scale.

    If you don’t understand either of those points, or the critical importance of specificity of training for hockey (which PRECLUDES training for maximizing vo2max), I don’t know how much more I can explain to you.

    The data for this physiological metric can be acquired using different testing protocol, one of which can be configured to approximate playing conditions for elite hockey players.

    Google hockey specific vo2max testing protocols.

    The U of A is one of the institutions contributing to this science. Results from skating treadmills have been compared to cycles. The data differences are negligible.

    I understand specificity training. I’m not suggesting cycling is the best form of training. Ference could very well be over training. What is indisputable is his test score in a hockey specific test protocol used by the entire league.

  126. Pouzar says:

    G Money: AAAARGH.VO2MAX CANNOT BE CONFIGURED FOR HOCKEY.

    Vo2max is a physiological measure.

    It’s like saying “blood pressure” or “heart rate” can be configured for hockey.No.They can’t.

    Vo2max is UNCORRELATED with hockey success.For every Duncan Keith with a high Vo2max, there is an Andrew Ference.You will find plenty at the other end of the scale.

    If you don’t understand either of those points, or the critical importance of specificity of training for hockey (which PRECLUDES training for maximizing vo2max), I don’t know how much more I can explain to you.

    VO2 Max as a Predictor of Performance

    In elite athletes, VO2 max is not a good predictor of performance. The winner of a marathon race for example, cannot be predicted from maximal oxygen uptake (15).

    Perhaps more significant than VO2 max is the speed at which an athlete can run, bike or swim at VO2 max. Two athletes may have the same level of aerobic power but one may reach their VO2 max at a running speed of 20 km/hr and the other at 22 km/hr.

    While a high VO2 max may be a prerequisite for performance in endurance events at the highest level, other markers such as lactate threshold are more predictive of performance (3). Again, the speed at lactate threshold is more significant than the actual value itself.

    Think of VO2 max as an athletes aerobic potential and the lactate threshold as the marker for how much of that potential they are tapping.

  127. Adam Wu says:

    Snowman,

    The science on genetic limitations is far less settled than what you are claiming here, I think. The idea that genes can set an absolute limit on a range that the organism CANNOT cross is to my knowledge not demonstrated for this or any other trait. Genes produce proteins (and some RNA), and other aspects of genetics regulate other genes. Phenotype are produced by interactions with the environment (which includes the results of the activities of other genes, in the same or other organisms). Ranges so produced are most likely to be statistical distributions – ie they have tails which may well not end, but the probability of achieving the extremes steadily drops.

  128. Bag of Pucks says:

    Snowman:
    On the discussion of VO2 max….

    A person is born with specific limitations. Its somewhat simiiar to intelligence. Everyone is born with a potential based on their genetics and you can’t exceed that potential no matter what you do. You can maximize it within your genetic range but you can’t move past those genetic limitations.

    You are born with certain physiological traits that essentially put your VO2 max within a certain range. You can train to increase your V02 max but once you hit your ceiling as determined by your genes that its. There’s nothing else you can do. You can’t even cheat to improve it. And its unique in that the specific range of VO2 is relatively narrow so that within the population there are significant differences in VO2 max that can’t be overcome. It’s not like muscle building where you can increase your mass by 100%. There’s a narrow range, you can maximize your potential within that range but you can’t increase it beyond that.

    So somebody having a higher VO2 max than somebody else is really pretty meaningless in determining the effectiveness of their training even in endurance sports. The elite endurance athletes were born with a very high genetically determined range and then they train to maximize it. That’s why some people can get off the couch and run a 10k without training and some people train for years and struggle to complete one.

    So Duncan Keith might have a freakishly high genetic range for example (and Andrew Ference) and for lack of a better example Taylor Hall might have a lower range but they can all only maximize their performance within that genetic range. You can do absolutely nothing to overcome it. Not steroids or blood doping or any other form of cheating. VO2 max is what it is.

    Thanks Snowman. It’s really interesting when you consider it in conjunction with genetics.

    Must be great to be one of those folks that have superior cardio without having to train like crazy.

  129. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    SwedishPoster: Ryan Whitney quits hockey due injury.

    Sail on, Ryan.

  130. Pouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks: Thanks Snowman. It’s really interesting when you consider it in conjunction with genetics.

    Must be great to be one of those folks that have superior cardio without having to train like crazy.

    Genetics plays a major role in a persons VO2 max (11) and heredity can account for up to 25-50% of the variance seen between individuals.

    11) Bouchard C, Dionne FT, Simoneau JA, Boulay MR. Genetics of aerobic and anaerobic performances. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 1992;20:27-58

  131. RexLibris says:

    Cameron,

    So they are going to trade both goalies, both 2nd pairing defenders from last season, and trade two boat anchors on the cap and on the ice in Engelland and Bollig and everything will be just fine?

    Add in Jones as a UFA and you’ve just removed seven regular roster players with no clearly identifiable replacements in the system.

    Can Gillies replace Hiller? He’s a fine prospect, but he hasn’t yet shown anything in the professional ranks yet.

    Wotherspoon doesn’t look like he’s going to be more than a 3rd pairing player at this point and Andersson is only a few months from his draft date.

    Ferland was tremendously sheltered last season and will need to show a greater aptitude in playing tougher competition this year if he is to replace Byron.

    The Flames are in a cap situation going into next season and they simply don’t have the prospect depth ready-at-hand to strip and replace all those extra parts on the fly.

    It is a problem on the horizon and has become a trend in Burke’s teams.

  132. book¡je says:

    G Money: AAAARGH.VO2MAX CANNOT BE CONFIGURED FOR HOCKEY.

    Vo2max is a physiological measure.

    It’s like saying “blood pressure” or “heart rate” can be configured for hockey.No.They can’t.

    Vo2max is UNCORRELATED with hockey success.For every Duncan Keith with a high Vo2max, there is an Andrew Ference.You will find plenty at the other end of the scale.

    If you don’t understand either of those points, or the critical importance of specificity of training for hockey (which PRECLUDES training for maximizing vo2max), I don’t know how much more I can explain to you.

    I don’t understand. I think VO2 makes people great hockey players because all hockey players need to breathe. Can you explain it to me in a post that preferably exceeds 1200 words.

  133. Snowman says:

    Adam Wu,

    I’m not stating that there’s a limitation among a species of organisms. I’m saying there’s a limitation to individuals. I have absolutely no idea if there is an absolute limit on human VO2 max.

    I’m saying that I have a genetic limitation based on lung capacity, circulatory system efficiency, types and numbers of muscle fibers among other things and I cannot exceed what my genetic limitation is based on those factors. I can increase my lung capacity to a certain extent but my individual capacity for increase is capped by my own individual genetics. Everyone has a personal maximum. The thing that makes it unique is that humans only have a narrow capacity for individual improvement in the factors that influence VO2 max. I can increase the size of my biceps by 100% or more, or any other muscle for that matter probably (I’m an accountant after all). The thing that makes VO2 max somewhat unique is a major proportion of the factors that increase it cannot be improved by huge margins in any individual by training. So each person is born in their range but the ability to increase is very limited. Everybody has a ceiling in VO2 max.

    So you’re right VO2 max is distributed along a normal distribution of probabilities among a population which actually agrees with what I’m saying. Some people have a huge capacity out of the gate. The difference between this and other traits like muscle mass is there is a much narrower capacity for improvement so an individual cant move from the middle quartiles of the distribution to the top end of the distribution like can be achieved with muscle mass.

  134. RexLibris says:

    wheatnoil,

    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 39m39 minutes ago

    #Oilers assign Ethan Bear (Seattle), Caleb Jones (Portland), Loik Leveile (Cape Breton) & Cole Sanford (Medicine Hat) to junior clubs.
    17 retweets 29 favorites
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 37m37 minutes ago

    #Oilers also assign Ben Betker, Alexis Loiseau, Connor Rankin, Ty Rimmer & Marco Roy to the Bakersfield @Condors of @TheAHL.
    15 retweets 18 favorites
    Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 36m36 minutes ago

    The #Oilers training camp roster now includes 50 players (5 goalies, 16 defencemen & 29 forwards). Spilt-squad vs. Calgary tomorrow.

    But how are they supposed to evaluate these players if they don’t give them at least seven pre-season games and a few regular season matches to challenge them?

  135. book¡je says:

    Woodguy: ….but I’m not informed enough on it to comment.

    I’m pretty sure that is not required by the rules of the internet.

  136. SwedishPoster says:

    A couple of things on VO2max. A high aerobic ability won’t hurt your explosive ability, ofc if you spend all your time focusing on endurance you will lose explosiveness and for a game like hockey that would be foolish but one doesn’t exclude the other. A high aerobic ability will have your muscles recover faster, which will help you avoid injury and also increase your efficiency when going through tougher periods of explosive training. In an NHL season where you play 82 games plus playoff I’m certain it holds value as well.
    As snowman mentioned above the VO2MAX test after a certain point is a lot about genetics so someone scoring 60 or 70 doesn’t say that much really. However to claim a high aerobic capacity to be useless for a hockey player is false, it will certainly hold value, if only to increase the number of efficientsstrength and explosiveness workouts you can perform without needing longer rest.
    If a player starts doing nothing but long distance stuff that’s a mistake for sure but I doubt everyone in hockey would praise Ference fitness if he performed like a marathon runner in the other tests.
    My guess is he kills it across the board and that’s why everyone is so impressed and I think his exceptional aerobic ability helps him in this regard because it means he can work harder and more efficient in other areas as well.
    Still doesn’t make him good at hockey though.

  137. RexLibris says:

    book¡je: I don’t understand.I think VO2 makes people great hockey players because all hockey players need to breathe.Can you explain it to me in a post that preferably exceeds 1200 words.

    They need to adjust the Vo2Max test, though.

    The current incarnation is positively medieval.

    Case in point: they don’t factor breathing through your eyelids.

  138. Centre of attention says:

    Hey guys, I have a stupid question. I have Rogers game center live subscribed for this season, how come I can select the Nashville game that is on right now but the stream wont work. Its weird because I can watch last seasons pre-season just fine. *edit* I can watch the Boston-New jersey one that is about to start just fine as well. Weird….

  139. John Chambers says:

    Adam Wu,

    Agreed that we’re likely to get a glimpse of Justin Schultz’s ceiling this season around a more reliable set of defensemen and McLellan’s coaching.

    After seeing his ceiling it might still be in the team’s interest to trade him.

  140. G Money says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Didn’t really get much of that. Seems some have tried to come up with a skating treadmill version, which makes sense. When measured Vo2max correlates poorly with on ice performance, among the things it makes sense to try incorporate into your protocol would be e.g. skating efficiency.

    That doesn’t seem to be what the U of A and the Oilers are doing though. The protocol they are describing (discontinuous with blood lactate) is used in many sports, and I can find references to it as far back as 1985.

    Two interesting facts did come up:

    One is that the Toronto Maple Laffs, on the advice of a sport scientist, did in fact dispense with the cycle/treadmill based Vo2max, declaring it to be of minimal use in measuring hockey performance. So last year, they went with a purely on-ice measure. My comment earlier about having the players wear the measuring equipment on-ice as being too unwieldy is therefore untrue. Not sure if they are doing the same thing this year.

    The other hilarious point is that, given the controversy on his being out of shape, it seems that the highest scorer of the 2010 NHL combine Vo2max test duration was … Martin Marincin!

  141. Adam Wu says:

    Snowman,

    I am specifically disputing the claim in your first post that genetics sets a limit for an individual that he can never, under any circumstance, break. That an athlete has a genetic maximum that, once reached, he can never exceed, no matter how much or what kind of additional training he does. I am saying that the ranges for individuals are also probability distributions based on environmental interactions with the genes. The boundaries is are probability functions, not absolute numbers.

  142. John Chambers says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Still doesn’t make Ference good at hockey but kudos to him for having the desire to train like a madman and come to camp in excellent shape. Regardless of where he plays in the lineup (or doesn’t play), Ference isn’t taking his paycheque for granted and will inspire his teammates to train and practice hard.

  143. spoiler says:

    hags9k:
    Well, I’m off to beer league to test my VO2min once again.I just hope the defibrillators are charged and standing by.

    But it’s ok because I’m not thecaptain.

    Hilarious.

  144. hunter1909 says:

    Cameron: more than enough to give the core players their raises and keep the playoff band together.

    Enjoy your playoff bubble hockey team.

  145. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Centre of attention: Rogers game center live

    I thought GCL only provided regular season games, which I guess doesn’t help you much.

    Not sure how you’re viewing GCL, but tne thing I’ve found with hockeystreams is that browser-based video streaming can be frustrating. Chrome seemed to be the best of the bunch for me, but you still had to tweak things to make it work properly.

    What I do now, is log into HS, get the stream started, pause it and then go down the page on the right and copy the direct url to it. I then open that in a player called VLC, which is way better at handling streaming video.

  146. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    hunter1909: Enjoy your playoff bubble hockey team.

    I have an in-law who used to work at the Fed. He says bubbles are the way to go!

  147. Snowman says:

    Adam Wu,

    I disagree with you on that. Your lungs have an absolute volume max that is determined by the size of your chest cavity. There’s a limitation. You can train all you want but you can’t increase the size of your chest cavity substantially to increase your lung capacity beyond a certain point. That’s just one example. Same goes for your heart, you can make it bigger and stronger to a certain extant but then there is a physical limitation (your chest cavity) that eliminates the possibility for further improvement. That’s not very sciency but that’s a hard limitation that can’t be improved in my mind.

  148. G Money says:

    spoiler: Pretty sure Hall beat you to the punch by a few months.

    Ha, I thought he made his comments towards the end of the season.

  149. G Money says:

    wheatnoil,

    Huh. Based on the last two years, I could have sworn that teams were not allowed to send players away from the team in the month of September.

    Are these new rules or something!?!

  150. Cameron says:

    RexLibris:
    Cameron,

    So they are going to trade both goalies, both 2nd pairing defenders from last season, and trade two boat anchors on the cap and on the ice in Engelland and Bollig and everything will be just fine?

    Add in Jones as a UFA and you’ve just removed seven regular roster players with no clearly identifiable replacements in the system.

    Can Gillies replace Hiller? He’s a fine prospect, but he hasn’t yet shown anything in the professional ranks yet.

    Wotherspoon doesn’t look like he’s going to be more than a 3rd pairing player at this point and Andersson is only a few months from his draft date.

    Ferland was tremendously sheltered last season and will need to show a greater aptitude in playing tougher competition this year if he is to replace Byron.

    The Flames are in a cap situation going into next season and they simply don’t have the prospect depth ready-at-hand to strip and replace all those extra parts on the fly.

    It is a problem on the horizon and has become a trend in Burke’s teams.

    What I gave was a list of possible moves, not all necessary moves.

    Adding Hamilton, Morrisson and Nakladal (and maybe Ryan Wilson) made Wideman, Russell, and Smid expendable. Signing Ramo to a 1 year deal and progress from Ortio and Gillies made Hiller expendable. Ferland (who wasn’t on the team most of last year) makes Byron or (more likely) Jones and his big ticket expendable. Adding Frolik makes Colborne and Shore expendable. Raymond, Engelland, and Bollig were always expendable.

    Stajan is playing 4C (beind Monahan, Backlund, and Bennett) and has a $3M+ hit, and while I like him, he could easily be made obsolete as well.

    My point being there are lots (and lots) of places BT can make changes to improve the cap situation as necessary.

    Will I sleep better when Engelland and Bollig are gone? Absolutely.

  151. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I’m not sure I understand this argument at all.

    I can (with no prior knowledge) except either premise:

    premise a: Vo7 ultimate is a very good exercise for hockey players

    premise b: Vo1 supreme is a moderate to poor exercise for hockey players

    and still come to the reasonable conclusion that any player’s goodness at Vo9 hot oil is of minor import to their goodness at hockey.

  152. Centre of attention says:

    JD¡™ David O’Connor’s Reel: I thought GCL only provided regular season games, which I guess doesn’t help you much.

    Not sure how you’re viewing GCL, but tne thing I’ve found with hockeystreams is that browser-based video streaming can be frustrating. Chrome seemed to be the best of the bunch for me, but you still had to tweak things to make it work properly.

    What I do now, is log into HS, get the stream started, pause it and then go down the page on the right and copy the direct url to it. I then open that in a player called VLC, which is way better at handling streaming video.

    I use chrome lol and its not a problem with the stream. I can’t even select the “watch” section to start actually watching the game. I can see the box score, the preview, and everything.I can select the New Jersey game off the list and it works fine.. Its the Nashville game that I can’t even select. It just says that the stream is not available. I called support and they said it doesn’t have anything to do with the regional blackouts. He told me it should work. I hope Oiler games arn’t blacked out because I actually live in Edmonton lmao.

  153. Cameron says:

    hunter1909: Enjoy your playoff bubble hockey team.

    I can’t hear you all the way out here from the 2nd round of the playoffs.

  154. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    Centre of attention,

    They might be blacked out, although this may have changed. Last time I used GC was the shortened season, and for Oiler games I had to install a plugin called Stealthy, which spoofed where you were and allowed locally broadcast games to be viewed. It was kind of a pain to use though, because you had to try a few times before it worked. I regularly missed the first 5 minutes of the game.

    I think a better option would be to use a vpn service.

  155. JD¡™ David O'Connor's Reel says:

    TIL: Defeating a bad team in the first round, and getting your hat handed to you in the second, is something to brag about!

  156. hunter1909 says:

    Cameron: I can’t hear you all the way out here from the 2nd round of the playoffs.

    Excellent point!

    That’s the fundamental difference between the two teams:

    You see, Flames and their fans are happy with a 5-8 finish; Oilers prefer to count their multiple Stanley Cups.

    Flames(who thanks to Lowe+MacT I currently quite like) got through the second round? Great. Oilers now have McDavid, and are setting themselves up to destroy the rest NHL for years to come.

    I’m not currently hoping an asteroid hits the Saddledome soon. Enjoy your well organized, second rate Flames.

  157. RexLibris says:

    Cameron,

    So the Flames can jettison the supporting cast because the kids can carry the mail?

    And unproven prospects are more than capable of settling into that role without any veteran backup?

    And Stajan’s limited NTC will three more years at $3.25 million isn’t an issue to another team?

    The Flames have backed themselves into a situation that is at least partially due to Burke and Treliving. That should be a concern.

    They are dangerously close to becoming the Senators of the early 2000s – a one-line offensive team with some good defenders that struggles to find balance and depth.

    Or rather, they are in danger of rejuvenating the Flames’ situation from 2004 to 2009 – good, but not quite good enough and no cap space to improve.

  158. koots11 says:

    John Chambers,

    He’s had a 52 point season in 62 games as a rook, and two of 56 points. Not sure where you’ve been bud. He’s cracked 50 points from the first year. This year he’ll have 30 ginos and 40-50 apples. Write that down.

  159. Cameron says:

    hunter1909: Excellent point!

    That’s the fundamental difference between the two teams:

    You see, Flames and their fans are happy with a 5-8 finish; Oilers prefer to count their multiple Stanley Cups.

    Flames(who thanks to Lowe+MacT I currently quite like) got through the second round? Great. Oilers now have McDavid, and are setting themselves up to destroy the rest NHL for years to come.

    I’m not currently hoping an asteroid hits the Saddledome soon. Enjoy your well organized, second rate Flames.

    If Chiarelli’s plan works you guys might be relevant in 5 years. Talk smack to me then.

  160. Caramel Obvious says:

    Adam Wu:
    Snowman,

    The science on genetic limitations is far less settled than what you are claiming here, I think. The idea that genes can set an absolute limit on a range that the organism CANNOT cross is to my knowledge not demonstrated for this or any other trait. Genes produce proteins (and some RNA), and other aspects of genetics regulate other genes. Phenotype are produced by interactions with the environment (which includes the results of the activities of other genes, in the same or other organisms). Ranges so produced are most likely to be statistical distributions – ie they have tails which may well not end, but the probability of achieving the extremes steadily drops.

    I logged on to say exactly this. Genetics don’t work at all the way Snowman describes it.

    Ironically, his post was designed to dispute the internet pseudo-science of Gmoney and friends. So a lot of pseudo-science in this thread.

  161. Pouzar says:

    Cameron: If Chiarelli’s plan works you guys might be relevant in 5 years. Talk smack to me then.

    Right after multiple Flame Cup Championships I’m sure.

  162. Cameron says:

    RexLibris:
    Cameron,

    So the Flames can jettison the supporting cast because the kids can carry the mail?

    And unproven prospects are more than capable of settling into that role without any veteran backup?

    And Stajan’s limited NTC will three more years at $3.25 million isn’t an issue to another team?

    The Flames have backed themselves into a situation that is at least partially due to Burke and Treliving. That should be a concern.

    They are dangerously close to becoming the Senators of the early 2000s – a one-line offensive team with some good defenders that struggles to find balance and depth.

    Or rather, they are in danger of rejuvenating the Flames’ situation from 2004 to 2009 – good, but not quite good enough and no cap space to improve.

    I have a hard time seeing a team with both Monahan and Bennett down the middle (and Backlund to play the hard minutes) as a one-line team.

    Hudler and Giordano were the key vets last year, and we added more vets in Frolik and Hamilton, and have a healthy Backlund back. Is Jones some kind of irreplaceble part? Byron? No.

    Wideman would be a nice fit to play in a sheltered Yandle role, but he was made redundant the moment Hamilton arrived. Losing his chaos on the back end won’t suck at all. Nor would we even notice if Smid is gone given he has barely been healthy in his time in Cgy. Engelland is a possession black hole. Ditto Bollig. None of those pieces were key in any way shape or form (unless you are suddenly a ‘grtichart’ guy, in which case please by all means, trade for them!).

    What is more, none of this is actually a concern in the present, as the team is under the cap as it stands now, and has imminetly movable pieces. So I simply don’t share your concern.

  163. Cameron says:

    Pouzar: Right after multiple Flame Cup Championships I’m sure.

    Of course I hope this to be true.

  164. Chachi says:

    “Waaaaaaaaah. The other posters on an Oilers-centric blog do not share my hopelessly optimistic view of my irrelevant NHL team!”

    Best of luck to the Flames this year.

  165. v4ance says:

    I think of Ference’s VO2 Max results like this:

    His VO2 max means that he can skate for longer durations on the ice. Throwing out a hypothetical number, he can skate for 4 minutes constantly with intermediate starts and stops before he gets winded.

    Taylor Hall has a lower VO2 max and hypothetically, compared to Ference, he can only skate for 3 minutes 30 seconds before he is in the same drained state.

    It’s great that Ference has the endurance but the problem is hockey is more about top end speed and skating explosiveness/acceleration.

    If you rate Hall, he probably gets to a top end speed of (hypothetical numbers) 48kph and his acceleration from blue line to blue line is 2 seconds.

    Conversely, Ference can only get to 40kph and his explosiveness is only 2.3 seconds blue line to blue line(hypothetical numbers that reflect his on ice results).

    A younger Ference could probably have hit 44kph and 2.25 seconds but with age, he’s slowed down. Previously, even though Hall (or other players) had the speed/explosiveness advantage, Ference could take the right angle, close the gap and pinch them off into the boards. At which point, it’s not a speed/explosiveness battle but a physical battle, which Ference can win often enough to be effective.

    At his current age, Ference can skate for much longer than his younger self but he is usually a step behind so he can’t get close enough to engage physically or slow down opposing skaters.

    In summary, Ference can skate for miles more than his peers but is ineffective as a hockey player because he’s frequently late to the key point of the battle.

  166. hunter1909 says:

    Cameron: If Chiarelli’s plan works you guys might be relevant in 5 years. Talk smack to me then.

    You come into an Oilers blog, to troll, and accuse fans of talking smack?

    To quote Jack Torrance: Are you out of your fucking mind!?

    Enjoy your team’s return to perennial NHL Champion’s sparring partner status.

    If the Flames had 4x 1st overall picks with one of them being McDavid, I’d probably quit watching hockey. It would be too horrible to imagine, lol.

  167. Cameron says:

    hunter1909: You come into an Oilers blog, to troll, and accuse fans of talking smack?

    To quote Jack Torrance: Are you out of your fucking mind!?

    Enjoy your team’s return to perennial NHL Champion’s sparring partner status.

    Yeah, no. If you go back and look at what I wrote, I came here to dispute what Rex expressed about the Flames, not to talk smack about your ongoing rebuild. Your pissing contest bores me. Rex does not.

  168. v4ance says:

    RexLibris,

    I remember logging onto FlamesNation specifically to criticize the signing of Engelland as an instant cap anchor and to warn the Flames fans that this was a landmine waiting to blow up their cap space. A majority of responses said that the overpayment wasn’t going to be a factor through the term of the deal because Engelland would live up to the contract.

    I’m still giggling now.

  169. hunter1909 says:

    Cameron: If you go back and look at what I wrote, I came here to dispute what Rex expressed about the Flames, not to talk smack about your ongoing rebuild. Your pissing contest bores me. Rex does not.

    I don’t care what you think. You’re nothing but another lame Flames fan, desperate to project your 2nd rate franchise as being some kind of contender.

    I only care what Oilers fans think.

    Happy Prediction: Once they see McDavid’s effect, Flames fans will be back to shitting themselves, just like the 1980’s, by November 1st.

  170. stevezie says:

    Cameron: I have a hard time seeing a team with both Monahan and Bennett down the middle (and Backlund to play the hard minutes) as a one-line team.

    This looks right to me. Obviously the Flames have some anchors, but i think four really good D and nice top end forwards will keep them in the 7-9 range.

    Obviously superstar goaltending could get them higher but that’s true for anyone.

  171. Cameron says:

    stevezie: This looks right to me. Obviously the Flames have some anchors, but i think four really good D and nice top end forwards will keep them in the 7-9 range.

    Obviously superstar goaltending could get them higher but that’s true for anyone.

    I’d argue it’s just 3 ‘really good’ D, but more or less, I agree. As a Flames fan I hope for continued development from Gaudreau, Monahan, and Bennett so that the question of goaltending is reduced (ala the Chicago model), or that Gillies or Ortio turn out to be high end netminders (my money is on Gillies), or both.

    The really good news for Flames fans is that the team has balance with high-end talent at key positions on the roster (1-2 C, 1-2-3 D, and up and comers in G).

  172. Lowetide says:

    I like to use the Bill James rhythm method during times like these. It consists of asking questions like:

    1. Is he, or was he, perceived as a good defenseman?
    2. What do other good defensemen do that he also does/did?
    3. Are these things important to winning?
    4. Is he doing them now?

    I think the answer here is “doesn’t matter now” but am enjoying the conversation.

  173. Cameron says:

    Lowetide,

    There really needs to be a band called ‘The Bill James Rythym Method’.

  174. G Money says:

    v4ance,

    I suspect this is partially true. At least one of the effects that is established is that for athletes, it often matters more what speed is reached at the time that Vo2max is reached, rather than duration to failure.

    However, the importance of vo2max as an indicator is overstated relative to what the teams measure. The full battery of tests done at the combine is fairly broad:

    Grip Strength
    Bench Press Repetitions (chest muscle strength and endurance)
    Standing Long Jump (test of leg power)
    Vertical Jump (test of leg power)
    Pull-Ups (general upper body strength)
    Pro Agility Test
    Y-Balance Test (strength, flexibility, core control and proprioception)
    Wingate test (anaerobic power as well as explosive leg power and resistance to fatigue)
    And of course the Vo2max.

    The combine still uses a bike, the Oilers use the treadmill now.

    There is also a Functional Movement Screen that tests for specific muscle strength and imbalance that predict possible injury. (The originator of FMS, Gray Cook, introduced it in what is quite a readable book on training. Worth a read.)

    But it makes me wonder why Sam Bennett’s “no pullup” issue, attributed to injury, wasn’t picked up by that. If they were smart, they’d do the FMS before the combine, so they’d know ahead of time if any movements were likely to be problematic. That’s the whole point of FMS.

    I’m certain the Oilers testing is more comprehensive than the combine.

  175. G Money says:

    Caramel Obvious: I logged on to say exactly this. Genetics don’t work at all the way Snowman describes it.

    That Vo2Max is tightly bound to genetics has been known for a long time. A quick look at Noakes (Lore of Running, long my reference on the science of cardiovascular training – though I have the crusty 1991 3rd edition), p. 23:

    “Because vo2max can only be improved by 5% to 15% even with intensive training, it is clear that the average healthy individual will never achieve a Vo2max value anywhere near those of the elite athletes, no matter how much he or she trains. Therefore, because Vo2max is an indirect measure of potential for success in endurance activities, is clear that hereditary factors must play important roles
    in determining who will become champions.”

    I do think it’s now generally accepted that when it comes to endurance sports, it’s not the training program that makes the champion – it’s the genetic ability of the champion to survive and thrive under that training program that makes them a champion. Those without the genetic ability (or the use of blood doping to exceed genetic limitations) simply fail out, either due to plateau or due to injury.

    I think that is true with McDavid as well. I doubt you’ll find his program, especially physically, differs much from anyone else who is a star. He was born with what makes him special, and it showed at a very early age.

    Adam’s point as I read it is that he disagrees with the interpretation. However, he seems to be disagreeing with it at a fundamental level as a viewpoint on genetics, but not anything specific to sport science.

    Most of what I have read over the last decade indicates that the trend is toward the acknowledgement of the increasing importance of genetic factors over environment or training.

    If there’s something specific that indicates a changing viewpoint on the relevance of genetic predisposition for athletic ability, I’d be interested to hear that.

    Caramel Obvious: Ironically, his post was designed to dispute the internet pseudo-science of Gmoney and friends. So a lot of pseudo-science in this thread.

    Which part do you feel is pseudo-science, Vo2Max or specificity of training? Curious to know. Didn’t realize either one had been invented because of the internet.

    In any case, Adam’s points as far as I can tell are entirely tangential to mine. They speak nothing of training specificity, only of genetics.

    But anyway, I’m sure we all appreciate your taking the immense effort of logging in specifically to make sure we hear this profound insight of yours.

  176. Snowman says:

    Caramel Obvious: I logged on to say exactly this.Genetics don’t work at all the way Snowman describes it.

    Ironically, his post was designed to dispute the internet pseudo-science of Gmoney and friends.So a lot of pseudo-science in this thread.

    I wasn’t disputing anyone’s pseudo science. I also know what I said to be rooted firmly in science. There has been extensive research done on the subject of VO2 max improvement. If you take a little time to read about it, you’ll see that what I stated is in fact true. VO2 max cannot be improved past a certain point in an individual. You do some more research and if you find any research anywhere that is peer reviewed that states VO2 max can be improved indefinitely with training than I’ll be happy to retract what I said and consider myself corrected. Until that time, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you on the subject and absolutely continue to agree with the scientific knowledge available that there are limitations on VO2 max improvement.

  177. "Steve Smith" says:

    hunter1909: That’s actually pretty good.

    I have no idea how I came to this, but somehow this reminds me of someone comparing a US Army Navy Seal, all buff and crazy fit and hella trained as having approximately a 50/50 chance of surviving, were he dropped into a ditch with any circa 1943 Stalingrad veteran holding a sharpened shovel.

    I guess the point being, there are many ways to skin a cat.

    This is your best post ever.

    hunter1909: Youth can be overrated. The first time I snuck into a bar I was aged 16. I drank and drank until I blacked out, only to wake up in the back seat of a car vomiting. The next morning(afternoon probably) I remember coming to on my bed, wearing all of my winter clothes, everything completely 100% saturated in puke.

    Whereas these days, I make sure to have a bottle on hand for some hair of the dog.

    This is your second best.

    Lowetide: Probably Forsberg giving a chance to a guy who lost significant time to foot issues. God Forsberg was a great hockey player.

    A couple of years ago, somebody posted a link to a site where you have five minutes to type in as many of the NHL all-time points leaders as you can remember. I spent about two of my minutes typing “Forsberg” repeatedly, thinking that I must have misspelled it all of the previous times. I just couldn’t believe that he wasn’t on there – such a great player.

  178. Robinthe403 says:

    hunter1909: You come into an Oilers blog, to troll, and accuse fans of talking smack?

    To quote Jack Torrance: Are you out of your fucking mind!?

    Enjoy your team’s return to perennial NHL Champion’s sparring partner status.

    If the Flames had 4x 1st overall picks with one of them beingMcDavid, I’d probably quit watching hockey. It would be too horrible to imagine, lol.

    Hunter I read this and immediately had to log in to reply… That quip was the funniest thing I’ve read on the entire Interwebs in a long, long time, possibly ever. I’m not going to lie, I’m gonna use that line about quitting watching hockey on my Falmes Fans work colleagues. I’ll probably butcher it while trying to repeat your eloquence so I may have it tattooed on my forearm to reference. Thank you for making my day and arming me for water cooler confrontations for the foreseeable future.

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