SLEPYSHEV TO BAKERSFIELD, MILLER TO THE SHOW

by Lowetide

One of the ongoing issues facing the Edmonton Oilers is the center position. As you’ll recall, the 2014-15 season saw the train leave the station with two centers and mud, and with the Connor McDavid injury the issue of center depth returns. Todd McLellan can run Nuge, Leon, Mark Letestu and Anton Lander, or he can keep Leon on the top line and run Matt Hendricks in the middle. Are there other options? The Oilers may see Andrew Miller as a possible option, he was recalled this afternoon.

BAKERSFIELD

Andrew Miller played center in college, and in training camp this fall—most of his pro career has been at RW for Edmonton since he signed. Miller was recalled earlier this year (for one game) and is having a good start to his AHL season (8GP, 2-4-6) while playing center in Bakersfield.

The other men who played up the middle this weekend in Bakersfield (Bogdan Yakimov and Jujhar Khaira) are interesting prospects but haven’t shown the kind of offensive potential Edmonton would be looking to place on a skill line. Is this a possible lineup for Friday night?

  • Hall—Nuge—Draisaitl
  • Pouliot—Miller—Yakupov
  • Pakarinen—Lander—Eberle
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Purcell

Eberle is just coming back into the lineup, so bringing him along in a lesser role may make sense. Todd McLellan could also use him liberally on the power play. Or is this a better plan?

 

  • Hall—Nuge—Eberle
  • Pouliot—Draisaitl—Yakupov
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Purcell
  • Pakarinen—Lander—Miller

Thoughts? Miller could also play on the top line Friday night if Eberle isn’t ready to go. Miller did play 87 minutes at 5×5 with Taylor Hall last season, recording three points. Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli may have factored that number into today’s decision.

SLEPSYHEV

Anton Slepyshev has been impressive (10GP, 0-1-1) in many areas this season, but the pucks aren’t going in and he was losing playing time to Iiro Pakarinen and others. I don’t think he’s going to be in the AHL long—Peter Chiarelli is likely to unload Teddy Purcell at some point this winter—but getting lots of playing time in the AHL is the right play. Peter Chiarelli telegraphed the demotion in a recent conversation with Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun.

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Lewis Grant

G Money: 1 – Yak played (and scored) pretty well with Derek Roy as his C. I used Cult of Hockey numbers to assess my view of “seen him good”, and CoH concurs – Yak was the second best player on the ice for the Oilers the last 20 games of the season, neck and neck with RNH.
2 – IMO, I think Yak’s resurgence has as much or more to do with coaching than with his C. Yak was scared to play anything but a vanilla third-line-plugger’s game under Eakins, and it showed. Loss of confidence is a horrible thing to have happen to someone whose offensive and creative instincts work at an elite level (which Yak’s Jr results clearly show to be the case).
You have to let those players play and discover what works and what doesn’t at the NHL level. To bench them when they make a mistake (given that those mistakes are fundamental and critically important to the development process) is the worst possible thing you can do. IMO we lost two years of development in Yak’s game, and this is a crime that the Oilers and Eakins and MacT can never repay the young man, or the game of hockey.
3 – Yak actually played fairly sturdy hockey with Drai as his C last year. They had pretty good possession numbers but poor puck luck (I say by both eye and by stat).
This has certain implications from my perspective:
If TMc wants to keep Hall/RNH/Drai together, then likely we see Poo/Lander/Yak or maybe Poo/Miller/Yak as LT thinks, with Ebs getting eased back into the game on the third line.
But if that second line struggles to score, I think the logical think is to move Ebs back with RNH/Hall, a combo we know also can work really well, and try Dry Yak Poo again.
Having both Drai and Yak playing confident games can make all the difference in the world.

I hope you’re right. I don’t think Yak should be traded for anything less than full value. And I think there’s at least a possibility that he can put it together with Drai/Pou. But it’s much less certain. To do that is to put a guy who’s trying to prove himself and may need to play with established players (Yak) with another guy who’s trying to prove himself and may need to play with established players (Drai).

I was in favour of re-signing Derek Roy purely because of the chemistry he had with Yak. I’m even more strongly in favour of it now. At this point, you could probably get him for league minimum.

As for a trade, I am convinced that we need a top-level defenseman, and that will require trading someone we don’t want to trade. And Yak’s pedigree will artificially inflate his value unlike anybody else we can offer in a trade.

Water Fire

GCW_69: You trade Yak anytime someone makes you an offer of a defender good enough to make the whole team better.You can always slot Eberle in with McDavid.

For me too. Can’t expect to keep everybody and get a good player unless a UFA miracle happens. Yak is great but I would rate McD RNH Eberle Hall Drai above him. Easy enough to fill that 4th skill winger position as opposed to a good D.

Good players get moved every year, due usually to management cranial meltdowns. The thing for me us our guy has a shot at them for a change, has his ear to the ground. MacT seemed surprised when it happened, Tambellini didn’t seem to be aware that perhaps he could get those guys for his team too.

Great news about the clavicle.

Pouzar

blainer: 99.9% of us would never trade Nuge.. BoP and Veradad being the exceptions..

BoP hates good hockey players.

The Stats say so.

Nate780

G Money,

G Money: Lewis Grant, 1 – Yak played (and scored) pretty well with Derek Roy as his C. I used Cult of Hockey numbers to assess my view of “seen him good”, and CoH concurs – Yak was the second best player on the ice for the Oilers the last 20 games of the season, neck and neck with RNH.2 – IMO, I think Yak’s resurgence has as much or more to do with coaching than with his C. Yak was scared to play anything but a vanilla third-line-plugger’s game under Eakins, and it showed. Loss of confidence is a horrible thing to have happen to someone whose offensive and creative instincts work at an elite level (which Yak’s Jr results clearly show to be the case). You have to let those players play and discover what works and what doesn’t at the NHL level. To bench them when they make a mistake (given that those mistakes are fundamental and critically important to the development process) is the worst possible thing you can do. IMO we lost two years of development in Yak’s game, and this is a crime that the Oilers and Eakins and MacT can never repay the young man, or the game of hockey.3 – Yak actually played fairly sturdy hockey with Drai as his C last year. They had pretty good possession numbers but poor puck luck (I say by both eye and by stat).This has certain implications from my perspective:If TMc wants to keep Hall/RNH/Drai together, then likely we see Poo/Lander/Yak or maybe Poo/Miller/Yak as LT thinks, with Ebs getting eased back into the game on the third line.But if that second line struggles to score, I think the logical think is to move Ebs back with RNH/Hall, a combo we know also can work really well, and try Dry Yak Poo again. Having both Drai and Yak playing confident games can make all the difference in the world.

I agree with all of this, well said. Also, he had the same points/60 playing with Arcobello. Eakins just never gave him any consistency and was hell bent on playing him as a LW.

But I think the line combos, should they need to be changed, will hopefully look like this

Pouliot-Nuge-Ebs (one of the best lines in the league end of last year)
Hall-Drai-Yak (all have shown a glimpse of decent chemistry playing together)

This is IMO the most balanced way to deploy the top 6 without Mcdavid.

Pouzar

RexLibris: I have ordered a complete set of “Sweating to the Oldies” from K-Tel records.

Hey Rex,

I live right by their head office her in the Peg. I’ll walk over and grab those for ya 🙂

GCW_69

Lowetide:
Good grief, are we trading Yak NOW?

You trade Yak anytime someone makes you an offer of a defender good enough to make the whole team better. You can always slot Eberle in with McDavid.

elgruntus

Zelepukin:
I really hope they don’t drop Drai down to 2C. I know it’s inevitable but lets see if we can find any 2nd line combo that can still be an offensive threat.

Drai, with Lander and Yak worked very well in the pre season. Why not give them a few games?

blainer

Yak has just about always been the most talked about in a trade.. 99.9% of us would never trade Nuge.. BoP and Veradad being the exceptions..

We shall see what Yak can do without CMD.. I am hoping his confidence is still really good and will have to be very aware on the D side of the puck..

I will continue to say what I have always said here from the day I started posting .. Can we PLEASE just get league average goaltending.. Keep Hall and Drai together for now.. with yak ?

jp

Магия 10: It’s spelled Ganger.

lol

Kmart99

Walter Sobchak,

I like it.

Poo-RNH-Ebs was so strong last season.

Hall has looked great with Drai. He has looked great with Yak in the past as well. This would be a great opportunity to see if Drai is ready to fill in as a 2C.

ruotsalainen

Jared Spurgeon is the ideal target and would be a fantastic get. I probably rate him higher than some of the others here, but he just does so many things really well, and has the fancy stats to back them up.

Not the largest of players, but he plays a lot bigger and “heavier” than he is.

Is a good possession player, can take and make a pass, and is in the right age group.

My two cents.

Zelepukin

Walter Sobchak:
I’m not sure anyone’s mentioned this yet but it would it not make sense given Eberles return Friday vs Pitt. To run.

Poo-RNH -Eberle

With an easy minutes line of

Hall – Drai – Yakupov

Keeping Hall and Drai together seems like the smart play given the chemistry they’ve shown together.

What? I don’t think that’s how it works. For starters, the league’s 4th highest scorer is not getting easy minutes against anyone.
Secondly, chemistry between wingers is no where near as important as it is between the C and wingers. The interaction between Drai and Hall as both wingers is going to be drastically different when Drai is asked to do Nuge’s C job with Hall.

delooper

JDï™,

Probably you’d want to ask for a few promising rookies, too. Asking for only a handful (or two) of established league-leading vets is underselling McD by a bit.

JD_Wry

Walter Sobchak: Keeping Hall and Drai together seems like the smart play given the chemistry they’ve shown together.

Walt and Jessie showed some great chemistry together, but that didn’t end up being the smart play.

Walter Sobchak

I’m not sure anyone’s mentioned this yet but it would it not make sense given Eberles return Friday vs Pitt. To run.

Poo-RNH -Eberle

With an easy minutes line of

Hall – Drai – Yakupov

Keeping Hall and Drai together seems like the smart play given the chemistry they’ve shown together.

JD_Wry

delooper:
stush18,

I would take a McDavid for Crosby + Ovechkin + Toews + Doughty + Malkin + Weber at 1/4 salary, any day.

As long as McDavid pays back his signing bonus…

delooper

Medicine has evolved but it’s all about lasers and beep beep beep music. Blip blorp. Nobody needs that stuff.

JD_Wry

Mr. D.: I think medicine has evolved since 82.

Pfft… that’s exactly what they WANT YOU TO THINK!

😉

N64

jp: I believe Gagne makes him expendable. Sell high. That’s what I hear anyway.

(I was on board with that whole theory btw)

It’s spelled Ganger.

N64

As noted earlier blue chips don’t move on short term results. By the time Yak has blue chip trade value he’ll probably be TMac’s model of flooding the net with pucks and bodies.

jp

Lowetide:
Good grief, are we trading Yak NOW?

I believe Gagne makes him expendable. Sell high. That’s what I hear anyway.

(I was on board with that whole theory btw)

Centre of attention

Lowetide: I agree with this, to a point. I think Jared Spurgeon is substantial and would be a terrific target. That may not be a ‘big name’ but it’s an effective one.

Exactly. A complementary player may end up being a *huge* move because it will help ease the pressure on the Oscar Klefboms of the world.

Less is more in a trade nowadays, especially if that means you get to keep your star-studded talent together.

One astute, measured move could have a very positive effect on this team. Doesn’t mean were going LOLOLHALLFORWEBERLOLOL

delooper

stush18,

I would take a McDavid for Crosby + Ovechkin + Toews + Doughty + Malkin + Weber at 1/4 salary, any day.

Centre of attention

The big D man trade is less likely to happen then most people think.

The way Chiarelli is talking gives me the feeling an addition would be more of a complementary player who can help the youngin’s be really effective and grow into that #1 and #2 studs we need them to be.

Were not getting Weber. Were not getting Jones. Were not getting anybody like that.

If we get anything at all, it won’t be that all-stud stud we all want.

stush18

The only way I see us getting a different dman through trade is to

1- give up a talented player upfront. That was the point if drafting these high scoring forwards. We need to become unattached and evaluate them as numbers and not people.

2- collect draft picks and move them for developing dmen that teams are losing interest in. We’ve seen this lots, and gms get trucked into the flavor of the month. Like Reinhart, we likely pay a premium, however I think it is worth it.

3- we make a hockey trade, such as fayne for a bottom pairing puck mover. Probably warts for warts.

Of these, I think option three is most likely to occur during the season, and one of the first two opting will happen at the draft, depending where we are picking.

Perhaps fayne for orlov, etc

Don’t wanna get into trade proposals about our forwards, because every player but nuge and McDavid are tradeable and can have a case made about them.

Mr. D.

JDï™,

I think medicine has evolved since 82. I have heard it was broken cleanly but possibly in more than 1 place thus the need for screws/plates and reinforcing and that even the doctors are not giving a rehab time.

Centre of attention

Crosby scores. Holy crap was that due. Never has a goal been more due then that one.

delooper

I’d be comfortable trading Hall and Nugent-Hopkins away when they’re so old and fragile they need a walker to make it to the rink. That’s about 30-40 years from now, at worst I imagine.

Eberle, prick has a house in Calgary. I dunno about him.

RexLibris

Lowetide:
Good grief, are we trading Yak NOW?

Well, we’ve already moved Hall, Eberle, and Nugent-Hopkins, so based on seniority it would seem to be his turn.

Next week we fire McLellan, the following week Chiarelli.

Centre of attention

For the record I’m not the guy whos always calling for player X to be traded. I have an Eberle #14 Jersey so my future RW roster projections are obviously biased. These stupid theoretical trade situations will not happen right away either.

The people who wanted to trade Nuge were crazy.

Trade Hall? Never.

Trade Drai? Are you freaking crazy?!?! Imagine if we didn’t have him right now while McDavid is out!!

RexLibris

Lowetide:
Edmonton Oilers rookie sensation Connor McDavid apparently avoided damage to the tissue surrounding his broken left clavicle suffered Tuesday in a collision involving two Philadelphia Flyers defensemen, according to Darren Dreger.

Dreger said he was told that McDavid’s labrum was fully intact as surgeons repaired a “clean” break of the collarbone, and hypothesized that the best-case scenario for his return is seven-to-eight weeks.

http://www.thescore.com/news/872996

I have ordered a complete set of “Sweating to the Oldies” from K-Tel records.

We will see which arrives first, Connor McDavid to the Oilers’ roster or Richard Simmons to my front doooo-OHMYGOD! What have I done?

stush18

frjohnk: Not a shot directly at you.Maybe indirectly

But it seems like every 10 days or so we go through the roster and everybody but McDavid gets traded.

I think it has to stop.

But I do realize that we are lacking on the backend and understand people are just thinking of ways to plug some of the holes.

And we do seem to have a wealth of talent upfront.

Hmmm.I wonder……. would Yak and Fayne get us Carlson? Do we need to add?

Can’t see trotz getting rid of a dman for yak, especially for a playoff team.

I could see maybe a fayne for picks deal. But Washington is tight on the cap. They need another dman tho. They have a mishmash of players on the bottom pairing.

Gayfish

frjohnk,

We already did draisaitl.

Bulging Twine

Hey Paajarvi played tonight

frjohnk

Centre of attention:
frjohnk,

In my defense I was merely stating that Yak isn’t just a bum to other teams. Doesn’t mean I would trade him. I love the sound of a ~50-60 point producing $2.5 million dollar winger.

In the perfect world he plays out this year, and next year at the deadline if hes not resigned to a team-friendly contract hes traded IMO.

I think Eberle signs a long-term team-friendly contract.

This is all pie-in-the-skying but I have a hunch Eberle wants to be an Oiler.

Not a shot directly at you. Maybe indirectly 🙂

But it seems like every 10 days or so we go through the roster and everybody but McDavid gets traded.

I think it has to stop.

But I do realize that we are lacking on the backend and understand people are just thinking of ways to plug some of the holes.

And we do seem to have a wealth of talent upfront.

Hmmm. I wonder……. would Yak and Fayne get us Carlson? Do we need to add?

Centre of attention

frjohnk,

In my defense I was merely stating that Yak isn’t just a bum to other teams. 😛 Doesn’t mean I would trade him. I love the sound of a ~50-60 point producing $2.5 million dollar winger.

In the perfect world he plays out this year, and next year at the deadline if hes not resigned to a team-friendly contract hes traded IMO.

I think Eberle signs a long-term team-friendly contract.

This is all pie-in-the-skying but I have a hunch Eberle wants to be an Oiler.

frjohnk

Lowetide:
Good grief, are we trading Yak NOW?

Just a few days ago it was RNH who we were trading,
a week earlier it was Hall,
and before that Eberle.

Today its Yak’s turn
tomorrow Draisaitl

Johnny skid

G Money:
Lewis Grant,

1 – Yak played (and scored) pretty well with Derek Roy as his C.I used Cult of Hockey numbers to assess my view of “seen him good”, and CoH concurs – Yak was the second best player on the ice for the Oilers the last 20 games of the season, neck and neck with RNH.

2 – IMO, I think Yak’s resurgence has as much or more to do with coaching than with his C.Yak was scared to play anything but a vanilla third-line-plugger’s game under Eakins, and it showed.Loss of confidence is a horrible thing to have happen to someone whose offensive and creative instincts work at an elite level (which Yak’s Jr results clearly show to be the case).

You have to let those players play and discover what works and what doesn’t at the NHL level.To bench them when they make a mistake (given that those mistakes are fundamental and critically important to the development process) is the worst possible thing you can do.IMO we lost two years of development in Yak’s game, and this is a crime that the Oilers and Eakins and MacT can never repay the young man, or the game of hockey.

3 – Yak actually played fairly sturdy hockey with Drai as his C last year.They had pretty good possession numbers but poor puck luck (I say by both eye and by stat).

This has certain implications from my perspective:

If TMc wants to keep Hall/RNH/Drai together, then likely we see Poo/Lander/Yak or maybe Poo/Miller/Yak as LT thinks, with Ebs getting eased back into the game on the third line.

But if that second line struggles to score, I think the logical think is to move Ebs back with RNH/Hall, a combo we know also can work really well, and try Dry Yak Poo again.

Having both Drai and Yak playing confident games can make all the difference in the world.

i could not agree more. posts like this is what makes this site the best.

flyfish1168

wow Blues comes back from a 5-2 deficient to beat the hawks in the United center

flyfish1168

G Money:
Lewis Grant,

1 – Yak played (and scored) pretty well with Derek Roy as his C.I used Cult of Hockey numbers to assess my view of “seen him good”, and CoH concurs – Yak was the second best player on the ice for the Oilers the last 20 games of the season, neck and neck with RNH.

2 – IMO, I think Yak’s resurgence has as much or more to do with coaching than with his C.Yak was scared to play anything but a vanilla third-line-plugger’s game under Eakins, and it showed.Loss of confidence is a horrible thing to have happen to someone whose offensive and creative instincts work at an elite level (which Yak’s Jr results clearly show to be the case).

You have to let those players play and discover what works and what doesn’t at the NHL level.To bench them when they make a mistake (given that those mistakes are fundamental and critically important to the development process) is the worst possible thing you can do.IMO we lost two years of development in Yak’s game, and this is a crime that the Oilers and Eakins and MacT can never repay the young man, or the game of hockey.

3 – Yak actually played fairly sturdy hockey with Drai as his C last year.They had pretty good possession numbers but poor puck luck (I say by both eye and by stat).

This has certain implications from my perspective:

If TMc wants to keep Hall/RNH/Drai together, then likely we see Poo/Lander/Yak or maybe Poo/Miller/Yak as LT thinks, with Ebs getting eased back into the game on the third line.

But if that second line struggles to score, I think the logical think is to move Ebs back with RNH/Hall, a combo we know also can work really well, and try Dry Yak Poo again.

Having both Drai and Yak playing confident games can make all the difference in the world.

G Money eloquently written and put. I like how TMac has been patient with Yak. But I have to admit I want to see more from him. He still seems to have positional issues on occasions at both ends of the ice. More video and he needs to keep his skates moving. JMHO

Chachi

I think the plan will be to bump Lander up to the second line, bump letestu up to the third and have Miller draw in on rhe 4th. Huge opportunity for Lander over the next couple of games and if he can work with Yak Pou things will be alright. Hopefully he makes it work.

G Money

Lewis Grant,

1 – Yak played (and scored) pretty well with Derek Roy as his C. I used Cult of Hockey numbers to assess my view of “seen him good”, and CoH concurs – Yak was the second best player on the ice for the Oilers the last 20 games of the season, neck and neck with RNH.

2 – IMO, I think Yak’s resurgence has as much or more to do with coaching than with his C. Yak was scared to play anything but a vanilla third-line-plugger’s game under Eakins, and it showed. Loss of confidence is a horrible thing to have happen to someone whose offensive and creative instincts work at an elite level (which Yak’s Jr results clearly show to be the case).

You have to let those players play and discover what works and what doesn’t at the NHL level. To bench them when they make a mistake (given that those mistakes are fundamental and critically important to the development process) is the worst possible thing you can do. IMO we lost two years of development in Yak’s game, and this is a crime that the Oilers and Eakins and MacT can never repay the young man, or the game of hockey.

3 – Yak actually played fairly sturdy hockey with Drai as his C last year. They had pretty good possession numbers but poor puck luck (I say by both eye and by stat).

This has certain implications from my perspective:

If TMc wants to keep Hall/RNH/Drai together, then likely we see Poo/Lander/Yak or maybe Poo/Miller/Yak as LT thinks, with Ebs getting eased back into the game on the third line.

But if that second line struggles to score, I think the logical think is to move Ebs back with RNH/Hall, a combo we know also can work really well, and try Dry Yak Poo again.

Having both Drai and Yak playing confident games can make all the difference in the world.

Centre of attention

delooper,

Yak has great pedigree, its more like a pump and prove he’s got the stuff.

Other teams have skilled players Yak can excel with.

delooper

I doubt Yakupov gets traded, regardless of his play with/without McDavid. Other GMs won’t care about short-term performance. If they’re trading a solid defender they’re not going to bite on anything that looks remotely like a pump-and-dump, even if it is with a 1st overall.

Centre of attention

JDï™: Duuuuuuuuuuuuude! Roight awun mahun!

*fist bump*

Centre of attention

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:

That’s only .420 hockey.

Woah, man.

Eberle needs to cut down on the .420 hockey, he looks way to baked all the time as it is.

Your a bad influence on this team, NY! LOL

JD_Wry

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: That’s only .420 hockey.

Duuuuuuuuuuuuude! Roight awun mahun!

Lewis Grant

– Losing McD, Yak is going to get lost: he’s shown he needs to play with good players

I think this is likely the biggest implication of the McDavid injury. By the time the trade deadline hits, Yakupov has ~30 points instead of ~60 points. That’s a huge difference on the trade market. At 60 points, Yak+ gets us a very good defenseman. At 30 points, Yak+ gets us someone else’s castoff.

And our most desperate need is for a very good defenseman.

As Jeff Z. Klein and Karl-Eric Reif – the original statheads in the 1980s (look it up!!) – showed us, teams don’t get better when they start scoring more goals. They get better when they start preventing goals.