CHANGES IN ATTITUDES, CHANGES IN LATITUDES

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers probably hurt themselves short term with yesterday’s demotion of Leon Draisaitl. He could absolutely help that 3line offensively but the Oilers want him to succeed and be a complete player. In the meantime, there are more than enough rookies on the club and staggering entry to the NHL makes sense.

Peter Chiarelli:What we told him was – and I don’t know how much he heard, but we have to look at the big picture – ‘You had a good camp, you outplayed some people, no question there, play ramps up, things change, dynamics of the games change as games progress into the regular season. When we call you up, we want you to stay here for good. You have to work on the 200-foot game. Offensively you can play in the NHL right now, you have to work on the 200 foot game, the little stuff on the defensive side of the puck.’ Whether it’s at wing or centre – he’ll play predominantly centre down there – he now has another asset to his game because he can play both sides on the wing. We tried to send him down with a good message, he was upset but I think at the end of the day he’ll realize it was the right move.” Source

Well. That’s a tough lesson for young Leon, but when he’s 25 and playing in important games for this franchise, it may well make a difference. I would have kept him, gotta say. We can pretend that Lauri Korpikoski will provide the same level of creativity on the Lander line, or we can pretend that Rob Klinkhammer is a more important player, but we’d be lying.

Edmonton sent down a 19-year old player (imo) because he was the least responsible of the three young skill forwards (McDavid, Slepyshev) and because he is one of the players carrying significant bonus possibilities. I had him playing 41 games in the 2015-16 RE, still seems about right.

The Oilers want Leon to succeed as a complete player and they want that badly enough to rob the current team of a substantial element and turn the third line into something vanilla. I’m thrilled at their attention to the long term, and baffled by their short sightedness. And yes, it’s possible to be thrilled and baffled at the same time.

hemsky55

The Edmonton Oilers have a 2013 draft pick on their roster but not the one they selected No. 7 overall. No. 88 selection Anton Slepyshev made the grade and joins an impressive group of talented players. The club also has exactly 23 players—a full roster—from their past drafting.

  • 2015: Connor McDavid
  • 2014:
  • 2013: Anton Slepyshev
  • 2012: Nail Yakupov
  • 2011: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oscar Klefbom, Tobias Rieder (ARI)
  • 2010: Taylor Hall, Martin Marincin (TOR), Brandon Davidson
  • 2009: Anton Lander
  • 2008: Jordan Eberle
  • 2007: Sam Gagner (PHI), Riley Nash (CAR)
  • 2006: Jeff Petry (MTL)
  • 2005: Andrew Cogliano (ANA), Chris VandeVelde (PHI)
  • 2004: Devan Dubnyk (MIN)
  • 2003: Kyle Brodziak (STL)
  • 2002: Jarret Stoll (NYR), Matt Greene (LAK)
  • 2001: Ales Hemsky (DAL)
  • 2000:
  • 1999:
  • 1998: Shawn Horcoff (ANA)
  • 1997: Jason Chimera (WAS)

OILERS ROOKIE SCORING RECORDS (F)

  1. Jari Kurri (80-81) 75gp, 32-43-75
  2. Jason Arnott (93-94) 78gp, 33-35-68
  3. Dave Lumley (79-80) 80gp, 20-38-58
  4. Glenn Anderson (80-81) 58gp, 30-23-53
  5. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (11-12) 62gp, 18-34-52
  6. Sam Gagner (07-08) 79gp, 13-36-49
  7. Andrew Cogliano (07-08) 82gp, 18-27-45
  8. Jordan Eberle (10-11) 69gp, 18-25-43
  9. Taylor Hall (10-11) 65gp, 22-20-42
  10. Raimo Summanen (85-86) 73gp, 19-18-37
  11. Miro Satan (95-96) 62gp, 18-17-35
  12. Magnus Pääjärvi (10-11) 80gp, 15-19-34
  13. Jaroslav Pouzar (82-83) 74gp, 15-18-33
  14. Mike Grier (96-97) 79gp, 15-17-32
  15. Nail Yakupov (12-13) 48gp, 17-14-31
  16. Kyle Brodziak (07-08) 80gp, 14-17-31
  17. Rem Murray (96-97) 82gp, 11-20-31
  18. David Oliver (94-95) 44gp, 16-14-30
  19. Ales Hemsky (02-03) 59gp, 6-24-30
  20. Jozef Beranek (91-92) 58gp, 12-16-28
  21. Todd Marchant (94-95) 45gp, 13-14-27
  22. Dean McAmmond (93-94) 45gp, 6-21-27
  23. Linus Omark (10-11) 51gp, 5-22-27
  24. Martin Gelinas (89-90) 46gp, 17-8-25
  25. Mats Lindgren (96-97) 69gp, 11-14-25

Connor McDavid and Anton Slepyshev, you’re up! Jari Kurri’s number has never really been threatened, of course it was a different era and he had Gretzky at center (a small advantage, but I thought it should be mentioned) as a rookie.

Looking at that list, I’m struck by just how many players were solid rookies and then sent away over the years. From Martin Gelinas to Miro Satan to Andrew Cogliano and back to Kyle Brodziak, the Oilers have been bleeding young players AFTER successful rookie seasons since about 1990. Are all teams like this?

schultz common1

OILERS ROOKIE SCORING RECORDS (D)

  1. Tom Gilbert (07-08) 82gp, 13-20-33
  2. Paul Coffey (80-81) 74gp, 9-23-32
  3. Randy Gregg (82-83) 80gp, 6-22-28
  4. Justin Schultz (12-13) 48gp, 8-19-27
  5. Marc-Andre Bergeron (03-04) 54gp, 9-17-26
  6. Steve Smith (85-86) 55gp, 4-20-24
  7. Dan McGillis (96-97) 73gp, 6-16-22
  8. Kevin Lowe (79-80) 64gp, 2-19-21
  9. Tom Poti (98-99) 73gp, 5-16-21
  10. Oscar Klefbom (14-15) 60gp, 2-18-20

Griffin Reinhart and Brandon Davidson, go! The 1980s blue is here (save Charlie Huddy, who had a time-released debut over two seasons), I loved watching them as rookies because you could see the potential. Among modern blue, Oscar Klefbom looked like the most complete player in years to debut and I suspect he’ll cover that over the next 10 seasons. This could also be the rookie season for Darnell Nurse, so I’ll mention him here.

https://twitter.com/WattyYEG/status/651387905160515584

IS THE ROSTER SET?

Not sure. As I mentioned yesterday afternoon, there are some interesting names on the waiver wire this morning:

  • D Frank Corrado, Vancouver. Surprised he’s available, this is a pretty nice hockey player. He’s 22, has 28 NHL games to his credit and a range of skills. Effective at moving the puck, good defender. Undersized for the NHL game, I would be pleased if Edmonton grabbed him. RH D.
  • R Linden Vey, Vancouver. It’s easy to overlook this player but Vey is 24, scored 10-14-24 in the NHL last season. His possession numbers aren’t grand and Vey won’t be a match for every team, but NJD or similar probably should take a look.
  • G J-F Berube, LAK. He’s .913SP in the AHL the last two seasons, 24-years old and probably as good as a bunch of NHL backups.
  • L Jonathan Marchessaul, Tampa Bay. He’s a small (5.09) skill winger who is at a point-per-game in the AHL, age 24.

For the Oilers, only Corrado holds a great deal of interest but he’s worth looking at for sure. I saw him good (lots of people saw him good) and his skill set is a really nice match for the modern game. We’ll see, it would require someone going on IR to make room but this is a good player who addresses an area of need (RH D who can move the puck) so one hopes Edmonton has at least thought about it overnight. I’d replace Gryba with him today and consider it a substantial upgrade—he might be a very nice fit for Griffin Reinhart.

WHO SO OPTIMISTIC?

Hunter 1909 is doing his fine work in collecting projections from the group, I appear to be among the more optimistic in the group (no surprise, I’m a overly positive fellow). There are many reasons I believe Edmonton will be substantially better this season, including Todd McLellan, Connor McDavid, Andrej Sekera and the Hall cluster entering their prime. The biggest reason—for me—is goaltending. Let’s assume that Cam Talbot delivers only average goaltending for the Oilers this season and let’s also assume he sees exactly as many shots as Ben Scrivens did a year ago. The difference would be amazing:

  • Ben Scrivens: 1542 shots, 1372 saves, 170GA, .890SP
  • Cam Talbot: 1542 shots, 1411 saves, 131GA, .915SP

That’s a saving of 39 goals. The GAA would go from 3.16 (Scrivens) to 2.43 (Talbot) if the new goalie can stop more pucks (and he can). We haven’t even talked about shot suppression and the penalty kill, etc. and you laugh but simply beginning the season with a roster designed to win hockey games sets a different tone.

If you’re looking for areas of improvement, or trying to make yourself feel better about the impact of a Leon demotion for that 3line, spend some time looking at last year’s even strength and penalty-killing goaling. It. was. not. good.

kelly

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy show today, 10 this morning on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey and Oilers Nation. Jon and I both agreed the smart play was sending Anton Slepyshev to Bakersfield. What happened? Is this another ‘Keeping Lander’?
  • Scott Zerr, TSN1260 and Oilers Nation. By eye, this Bakersfield Condors team is the best minor league outfit Edmonton will ice in many years. We’ll talk about the exhibition games on the weekend and all that talent in California.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. Rosters are cut down and there are a lot of rookies on NHL teams this year. Calder candidates include McDavid, Eichel, Bennett. Should we be talking Ehlers? Fabbri? Larkin?
  • Guy Flaming, TSN1260. Oil Kings seem to be playing in thrillers every night, we’ll touch base on a fascinating early season. Also, the NCAA season is ramping up, we’ll discuss some of the bigger stories as the campaign begins.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk in 90 minutes!

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PhrankLee

Really?: Caption for the picture with Chia, young Katz, Katz the elder and MacT
“Son, I told you that eating that stuff would give you gas!”

Ha ha. I was going to submit:

No, no, son… Let’s walk down and fuck them all…

maudite

Hunter:

30 wins 36 losses

16 ot – 7 wins 9 losses
83 points

PunkInDrublic

Caption: “Keep your voice down son… MacT still thinks he’s GM.”

AsiaOil

böök¡je,

I’d expect it’s the same cap hit as if he’s in the minors. Basically replaced Nikitin with Davidson and saved abut $400,000 in cap room. Omsk might be willing to pay something close to Davidson’s actual salary – so replacing Nikitin with Davidson costs nothing but $4 million of Batman’s money and lost opportunities to sign useful players. Still a brutal brutal signing……

böök¡je

Woodguy,

I wonder if it’s the full cap hit or the same as if he were in the minors.

AsiaOil

Agree that a GR-Davidson 3rd pair might work. Davidson is a rookie himself – but he was the leader on OKC defense last year and was comfortable mentoring younger guys. Gryba has his uses though – and the St Louis game might just be one where his physical game can be helpful. As long as Ference does not see the ice I’m happy.

The bad contracts (Ference, Nikitin) and lack of certainty about the young guys (Klef, GR, Nurse and even Shultz) make fixing the defense this year almost impossible. You have to be really careful not to spend big assets or get tied up in a long contract to fix a problem that might not be there in 12-24 months depending on how the young guys develop. A lot of this will be clearer next summer and it’s poor judgement to force a answer when you are not even sure you are asking the right question. Hard to be patient anymore but at least we can have some confidence that the people making the decisions are capable.

N64

Photo Caption:

“Thanks Son. That was a great suggestion to hire Chia to work with MacT”

“Great Dad. Now can I recommend someone different to work with Chia?”

Woodguy

As per Gregor:

Nikitin looking at playing for Omsk in KHL.

Doesn’t mean they’ll mutually agree to terminate the contract though.

Speculation is Omsk will pay Oilers some $ to allow him to play there.

Cap hit won’t go away in that scenario.

wintoon

Caption for the picture with Chia, young Katz, Katz the elder and MacT

“Son, I told you that eating that stuff would give you gas!”

wheatnoil

Woodguy: 4 prospects in the top 6.

Sanity.

Finally.

2 prospects and 1 vet per line.

I like it.

5 in the Top 6 if you count Miller. He’s older but has a non-zero chance of playing some NHL games this year.

böök¡je

G Money:
böök¡je,

aka

Garbage ¡n, Garbage öut?

Yep, something that gets missed a LOT in real world applications.

wheatnoil

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/blog.htm?pg=1&id=23

Dreamy McDreamerson is a go for the season opener.

“Klefbom said his injury was just some soreness in his foot and he’s fully ready to play when the Oilers open the season against St. Louis on Thursday. Sitting out was a precaution to limit the regular season games he’d miss to start. It turns out, he won’t miss any.”

JD_Wry

kinger_OIL: VUKOTA: sounds like a slavic super-model on the cover of the next SI Swimsuit issue…

No no no – it’s Abe Vukota. He played Fish on Barney Miller, which would explain his fondness for the Sharks…

Woodguy

Lowetide:
Uncle Tigger ‏@akaRCN7m7 minutes ago
#Oilers AHL @Condors lines:
Pakarinen-Draisaitl-Miller
Hamilton-Yakimov-Pitlick
Moroz-McRae-Ford
Christopher-Khaira-Platzer
Winquist-Kessy

4 prospects in the top 6.

Sanity.

Finally.

2 prospects and 1 vet per line.

I like it.

Edit: Oops 5/6 prospects in the top 6

I didn’t mentally have Miller as a prospect given his age.

I don’t think Chia has him as a prospect given his size.

wheatnoil

Lowetide:
Oilers sign Braden Christoffer to a three-year entry level deal. Impressive.

Interesting. This is a scenario where there was little benefit to waiting a year and then signing him. Christoffer is 21 now, so signs a 3 year ELC. Had they waited to sign him next year, he’d be a 2-year ELC. So the Oilers didn’t give up any years of control by signing him now vs later. Instead, the young man just got a reward for an excellent rookie camp and preseason.

I wonder if this might help entice future AHL-only contracts?

Snowman

Lowetide:
Oilers sign Braden Christoffer to a three-year entry level deal. Impressive.

Good for him. He jumped a long way up the prospect list in a hurry. Liked the urgency in his game.

Pouzar

RexLibris: Like I said.

Just publish, baby, just publish!

You never know what may work. Sometimes the simplistic models have the best predictive power because they let the intricacies negate each other and look at the larger whole.

Or at least that’s what I tell myself when I’m too lazy to break down 1st and 2nd unit PPs and PKs.

Thx gentlemen.

kinger_OIL

– VUKOTA: sounds like a slavic super-model on the cover of the next SI Swimsuit issue…

– And she had same point total as I for the prediction: I like, her, a lot…

Pouzar

Lowetide:
Oilers sign Braden Christoffer to a three-year entry level deal. Impressive.

WOW.

BlueNoteNorth

Caption – “I look at it this way; one is brain trust, the other brain fart.”

Woodguy

LadiesloveSmid:
wow, Pens demote Maatta?

is that not like Edmonton demoting Klefbom? what gives?

give them a ring PC

Cap compliance thing.

Maatta is playing 2nd pair and will be back right away.

Woodguy

RexLibris: WG has been on the Ellis train for some time now.

If Yakupov can come on this season I think that’s where we want to be, moving a winger with pedigree and potential for a defenseman of same.

Understanding, though, that Yakupov’s stock needs to come up more than a little for that to be possible.

I like Ellis a lot but I’m not sure he can handle 1RD without a good 1LD and I’m not sure there’s one on the roster. Maybe Klef in a few years.

Two reasons:

1) I think Ekholm might be the driver in that pairing (Ekholm has been with Jones in pre-season)

2) I don’t think is QC is as close to Weber’s as most of the QC metrics show.

I manually looked at who both Weber and Ellis played in the last two years and how they did.

Weber gets heavy, heavy minutes and Ellis TOI vs the best just didn’t compare.

GCW_69

Pouzar:
Who the hell is Vukota????

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nhl-western-conference-predictions-using-analytics/

Makes my 75 point prediction look pretty good!

BlueNoteNorth

Caption – “He’s got his hand in my pocket again.”

Glad that PC wants Nurse and Draisaitl to continue to work on their game in the AHL.

It certainly helped Klefbom and Lander.

Have been waiting for years for the Oilers to take this approach rather than rushing kids to the NHL.

Bravo PC. Bravo!

wheatnoil

JDï™: Sloppy sevenths?

I don’t know whether you win the thread or are suspended from future threads with that comment.

N64

RexLibris: Mischief and possession of a controlled substance (7th degree possession!!! – what in the hell is 7th degree possession

apparently one rung below the 6 degrees of felony.

GCW_69

Caramel Obvious: That team wouldn’t fit under the cap.You can have Petry or you can have Sekera but you can’t have both.

The fantasy scenario is to trade a forward for one of Nashville’s D, Ekholm or Ellis.They are cheaper and so easier to fit under the cap, plus they’ll cost at least one young NHL forward (i.e. Yakupov), which creates cap space as well.

That’s the only real way to make a real improvement in the team in the short term.

That defence is well within average spend on the top six. The problem would have come next season when they would need to pick between Schultz and Fayne to accommodate Klefbom’s new deal.

Would have needed to buy out Ference and pay someone to take Nikitin, but it should have been doable.

JD_Wry

RexLibris: what in the hell is 7th degree possession?

Sloppy sevenths?

wheatnoil

Lowetide:
Uncle Tigger ‏@akaRCN7m7 minutes ago
#Oilers AHL @Condors lines:
Pakarinen-Draisaitl-Miller
Hamilton-Yakimov-Pitlick
Moroz-McRae-Ford
Christopher-Khaira-Platzer
Winquist-Kessy

Lots of prospects in the Top 6 with only Hamilton as the non-prospect. Seems reasonable. Injuries and the eventual Drai call-up will open doors for Platzer and the AHL signings will have to work hard to steal someone’s lunch money. Only Kessy starts off on the short end of the stick… but I thought there was an injury there?

RexLibris

Not sure how this hasn’t been mentioned here yet: http://www.tsn.ca/report-former-nhler-avery-arrested-1.372713

Mischief and possession of a controlled substance (7th degree possession!!! – what in the hell is 7th degree possession? Is that like somebody even Kevin Bacon doesn’t know was holding?)

RexLibris

NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker": Well,it’sa good thing the Oilers will have traded Hall and a pick for OEL already. OEL and something else should get us Pietrangelo

By then Pietrangelo will be near the end of his contract.

We’ll have to flip him at the deadline for picks or a prospect.

It’s the Oiler way.

stevezie

Caption:
“They own the city, but we own them.”

MOAR WINZ PLEEZ

hunter1909,

89 points, homage to Sam Gagner

Ducey

NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker": Well,it’sa good thing the Oilers will have traded Hall and a pick for OEL already. OEL and something else should get us Pietrangelo

No, no. Once we have OEL for 2 years, we will flip him and something else for scoring. Someone like Hall would be nice.

dustrock

St. Louis and San Jose are 2 teams that interest me.

I thought the Sharks did some decent things to try to get back into the playoffs this year.

The Blues, I’m not so convinced. They’re a hard team to figure out.

RexLibris: There’d be a lineup out the door for his services.

He and Backes are two that jump off the page for me.

Tarasenko won’t be going anywhere.

Well, it’s a good thing the Oilers will have traded Hall and a pick for OEL already. OEL and something else should get us Pietrangelo

Czar

I’m a fan of models too, lingerie in particular.

RexLibris

böök¡je,

I agree.

For instance, the Calgary prediction for VUKOTA heavily emphasizes sh% and other “finishing” skills that our own GMoney has shown to have little statistical repeatability. Whereas the other two correlate closer to possession metrics which we also know to have a very strong relationship over time to wins.

VUKOTA is nice as a complementary tool, it aligns well with about 80% of the other two in that table, but the outliers are notable and extreme.

G Money

RexLibris,

Damn, I thought it was kind of clever¡¡¡

RexLibris

G Money:
böök¡je,

aka

Garbage in, Garbage öut

*whistle*

Unsportsmanlike use of umlauts. Gmoney.

Five yard penalty.

Repeat 1st down.

G Money

böök¡je,

aka

Garbage ¡n, Garbage öut?

böök¡je: I think the changes in coaching and management are big in Edmonton. I also think the predictive models used struggle with McDavid and the Oiler goalies, none of which have a long term record to draw upon.

The model I ended up going with was light on the in-season analytics (SCF%, PPSF/60, PKSA/60), but tried to add a subjective up or downtick for the offseason, including coaching & management, goalie changes, D changes, and F changes.

I suspect that’s why the results don’t appear to suffer much compared to these other, more comprehensive, models. I attached the spreadsheets to my article if anyone feels brave enough to discombobulate and customize them.

böök¡je

I should add that I am a fan of statistics, modelling, etc and they often are really good at countering the failings of human analysis. However, in many cases, there are easily discernible weaknesses in the models that are rooted in the data which they are fed.

böök¡je

RexLibris: VUKOTA is a predictive system.

It actually has some strong merits and LT has written about it in the past.

If you want to parse this table though, pay close attention to the “model deviation” column.

Almost every one is = or <5.00 save St. Louis, Colorado and Calgary who vary wildly between the three systems being used.

The WAR and xGV% columns are really intriguing because they are early models of “all-around stats” and are still being hammered out.

That those two have the Flames at 24 and 21 with VUKOTA sitting at 4, man, that’s some very serious deviation and worth paying close attention to.

Interesting also that the Oilers’ point spread is essentially 4 points from low to high.

Suggests that everything we think we’re seeing with the Oilers will, alas, still come to naught once the season ends.

The problem is that the models are largely based upon past performance. In cases where there is a lot of continuity, that will work fine, but in cases where a lot of things change, it is going to be less successful. I think the changes in coaching and management are big in Edmonton. I also think the predictive models used struggle with McDavid and the Oiler goalies, none of which have a long term record to draw upon.

With that said, I am an optimist and likely assess too much influence to coaching and new player hype.

With that noted, models are only as good as their data and there are a lot of statistical models that would suggest that Eberle will score some points in the first 10 games of the season. I, on the other hand with my ‘human’ advantages suspect he will not score a lot of points early on.

RexLibris

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
RexLibris,

If they decide to blow it up, gotta think Pietrangelo would be a godsend for this team. (Runs off to make voodoo dolls in Blues gear)

There’d be a lineup out the door for his services.

He and Backes are two that jump off the page for me.

Tarasenko won’t be going anywhere.

RexLibris

Neato Gaston
‏@bookofloob

breaking news: Johnny Gaudreau has stolen a zamboni

—–

Matt Henderson ‏@Archaeologuy 10m10 minutes ago

He’s lucky that he’s still a minor and this won’t be on his record

——–

Tempest ‏@tempest9 6m6 minutes ago

@Archaeologuy I’m just impressed he can reach the pedals.

RexLibris,

If they decide to blow it up, gotta think Pietrangelo would be a godsend for this team. (Runs off to make voodoo dolls in Blues gear)

RexLibris

G Money:
Pouzar,

I published an article on NerdAlert last night estimating how the Oilers would do over the course of the year assuming a .500 record and then based on the strength of the competition over the year.

As part of that, I put together a simplistic standings model that incorporated shot metrics and special teams as the measure of difficulty.I was thinking of publishing an Alert specifically on the standings model, but I dismissed doing so because it struck me as having a somewhat naive and amateurish result.(Rigorous, and good enough for my schedule estimation purposes, but still simplistic)

Irony factor: you could put the results of that model up against any of the three that they published in that article and I think it would stand up well.

Like I said.

Just publish, baby, just publish!

You never know what may work. Sometimes the simplistic models have the best predictive power because they let the intricacies negate each other and look at the larger whole.

Or at least that’s what I tell myself when I’m too lazy to break down 1st and 2nd unit PPs and PKs.

RexLibris

G Money: The Blues will need to beat the Oilers with skill rather than intimidation.

And one wonders how easily that will be accomplished sans Oshie.

I’m going to be watching the Blues closely this year (or as closely as I can ever stand to watch that team – something about them I just find very boring) to see where things go.

The Oshie deal has all the hallmarks of a “we gotta get over the hump here so we’ll fix what ain’t broke” moves that teams make when they are stuck spinning their wheels.

I think this is Hitchcock’s last season with the team unless they are sitting atop the Central division by Christmas.

The question then becomes, who can best pick the bones of an organization that has lost it’s way.