EVERYBODY HURTS

by Lowetide

I read somewhere, many moons ago, that the song most men cry to (that they’ll admit) is Everybody Hurts by REM. Yeah. That’s sounds about right. I can’t bring myself to feel bad about last night’s game. The Oilers needed a third period goal and got it—after that it’s an old fashioned shootout at the O.K. Corral and there’s not a team alive that has a good chance of beating this Blackhawks team in that situation. Last night’s point is a chance to breathe, to take heart. The Edmonton Oilers are hitting line drives into opposition gloves, but at least they took it to extra innings last night.

HARD NUMBERS, HARD CANDY

  • Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
  • Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
  • Oilers in November 2015: 2-4-1
  • Oilers in 2014 Oct/Nov: 6-14-4
  • Oilers in 2015 Oct/Nov: 6-12-1
  • Oilers Goal Differential in 2014 Oct/Nov: -34
  • Oilers Goal Differential in 2014 Oct/Nov: -12

That -34 number comes from NHL.com, who have led me astray from time to time in these reviews. When the demons dance and the online loons come calling, pay heed to that goal differential and know last night’s Corgi barks (52-41) came against a mature, veteran team. The turn north is coming. I can feel it.

sekera capture

Let’s chat about the big news before last night’s game—the sudden availability of a perfect-fit defender in Travis Hamonic. The fact he was the slam man on Taylor Hall at the 2010 Memorial Cup gives the idea of his acquisition some kind of weird logic, and based on his actual skills we’re talking about a fabulous solution to one big damn problem.

TRAVIS HAMONIC

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.52
  • 5×4 points per 60: nil
  • Qual Comp: No. 1 among D
  • Qual Team: No. 1 among D
  • Corsi Rel: 11.1 (No. 1 among D)
  • Corsi for % 5×5: 52.8 (No. 1 among D)
  • Zone Start: 48.5
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 37 shots
  • Boxcars: 19GP, 0-3-3

The Oilers would be better in a heartbeat if they acquired Hamonic. The cost? Well, I’m not sure Edmonton has what they’re looking for:

  • Elliotte Friedman: Several sources indicate Snow is not interested in a picks or prospects type of return. He’s looking for equal-level replacement. That’s reason No. 1 this hasn’t happened yet. There aren’t a lot of these players available. Source

The Oilers don’t have that player, unless you can find a DeLorean and drive to Darnell Nurse’s 25th birthday (or possibly Klefbom’s). There’s another consideration: Edmonton has two clusters, the Hall train and the McDavid learjet. Peter Chiarelli can’t rob the McDavid cluster, and Garth Snow isn’t (likely) interested in prospects and draft picks. It’s a painful reality, I’d love to see Hamonic here tomorrow for something future—I don’t think it happens.

Fantastic performance from that line, very impressed with the group (more below). I have to say that Korpikoski is a player I’ve always liked but have not been impressed with him as an Oiler (if with the two goals). Both were very useful players last night. More please!

OILERS BLUE, LAST NIGHT

oilers d nov 18

Stupid good V6 here, plenty of torque and some exceptional, violent movements. The following are my favorite plays by each man:

  • Davidson and Reinhart covered off wonderfully on a Toews (iirc) sortie. Davidson offered support as Reinhart was driving Toews deep, and BD recovered the puck and sent it behind the net. Reinhart grabbed the puck and things settled. Really nice exchange, would like to see more.
  • Nurse driving deep into the zone and passing to Pouliot was an 80s Oilers moment, tremendous and powerful. Sekera (for me) really showed his value, calm feet and a real sense of grabbing the open lane and getting the puck to safety. He’s in his zone now, that’s a fact.
  • Klefbom and Fayne faced the toughest line (what the HELL was that) and chased quite a bit, but it’s hard to be really critical of them. Klef was 5-7 against Kane, I’ll take that. Ridiculous talent over there. We’re in a zone now where Klefbom is emerging as something else again, finding another level. Holy man.

OILERS CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

OILERs c nov 18

  • The Lander trio dominated the Garbutt group but could not score—that’s actually a big part of the game. Despite the dominance, and that’s a helluva Corsi, no goals for the trio. Of the SIX individual scoring chances, one for Lander. He was also excellent in the faceoff circle.
  • Draisaitl and his line matched up against the Toews line and the Seabrook pairing most often, and looked like Beliveau again—FIVE individual scoring chances! Jesus, Mary and Joseph! I’m running out of rhymes.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his line took on the Kane wizards and the Keith pairing—that’s the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank. You’re going to hear a bunch of “Nuge isn’t that good” crap today, I recommend we put those people on the “Taylor Hall shun” list as of now. Fabulous player.
  • Mark Letestu and his line faced the Shaw trio, you’d like to see those numbers are little higher, to be honest. That’s really the third line and they didn’t execute well.

OILERS WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers w nov 18

  • As mentioned above, the two Finns had some nice runs up the ice and really (despite being the 4line) it would be fine to keep them together. Have to score, though. Pakarinen had three individual scoring chances and Korpikoski had two high danger scoring chances (this is all via war-on-ice).
  • Jordan Eberle scored a beautiful goal (he always seems to) off a brilliant feed from Brandon Davidson. He looked dangerous at other times too, but the ‘Hawks sent out the chance machines against them. God Almighty I hope we’re done with this team for the season. Three individual scoring chances, two of them were of the dangerous variety..
  • Benny Pouliot skated miles last night, scored a goal and looked dangerous in other places. He also drew an offensive zone penalty, I don’t do grades but he’d get a good one in my books.
  • Taylor Hall is so brilliant he’s compiling numbers even on a night when it looks like he’s lost the season. You’d think I would be used to his insane acrobatics, but last night’s stick-in-shoe was a scary item. A brilliant hockey player, entering his prime.
  • Teddy Purcell looked great again to my eye, you must give him credit for a fantastic play on the tying goal, gaining position and then making a simple pass to Hall in order to get the ball rolling. If this is his push for a contract, I’m noticing. Lordy.
  • Nail Yakupov had one dangerous chance and honestly I thought he had scored. Edmonton needs McDavid back and Yak does too. I admire the effort, he needs help, Mr. Chiarelli.
  • Hendricks and his line struggled against Tuesday Thursday and his rambling crew, but they had some great shifts too. I don’t think he’s yet at 100% and he probably has more to give. As it is, he was noticeable in a good way.

LSD

pac no 19

The Edmonton Oilers now have two lines rolling, some possibilities for a third and two legit pairings plus a pair of rookies who looked good together last night. I don’t think they can win a wildcard spot, but am here to tell you, at the beginning of the winter’s snowfall, that I, Lowetide, being of sound mind and with full liquor cabinet, believe they could secure that final (third) spot in the Pacific division.

Right now, it looks like 82-85 points could gather the position (although someone, maybe Edmonton, will go on a hot streak). The Oilers, in order to make it to 85 points, would have to go like stink:

  • Current record: 19GP, 6-12-1, 13points
  • Needed run: 63GP, 30-21-12, 72points

Be honest, there’s some madness required to even suggest such a thing. That said, the things that trouble this team—goaltending, lack of a stud defender, defensive depth, injury—are taking their own sweet time coming together. However, Darnell Nurse is inside the top four, Oscar Klefbom is pushing toward a new tomorrow in terms of what he brings, and that third pairing showed real promise last night.

Finally, Anders Nilsson. If he continues to grab the No. 1 job, this is going to be a helluva story. Like, I mean a ‘we found Fernando Valenzuela pitching to a goat in Los Hombres’ kind of story. We’re on the edge of a new reality, today. I believe it. I believe it!

JOHANSSON

LOWDOWN LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Will he be the sober voice of reason, or has he gone crazy like me?
  • B.D. Gallof, The Fourth Period. He covers the Islanders, we’ll get to the bottom of these Hamonic sounds.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. A range of topics, CFL playoffs, Oilers turning north and Blue Jays offseason.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Three-on-three, trade winds and the All-Star Game.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. It’s going to be a blast!

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TheGreatMutato

Woodguy:
sliderule,

Can’t win face offs and gets knocked off puck in corners.
I wouldn’t trade him for Hamonic but he might be better playing wing.

RNH is 10th in the NHL with 17 take aways.

For as nebulous as that stat is, by eye he steals waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more pucks than he loses so your “weak on the boards” statement is just wrong.

Tied for eighth by whomever tracks the stat at TSN. For those keeping score, that is one behind Jonathan “Intermission Special Feature” Toews, who, by eye, intangibles!

Woodguy

sliderule,

Can’t win face offs and gets knocked off puck in corners.
I wouldn’t trade him for Hamonic but he might be better playing wing.

RNH is 10th in the NHL with 17 take aways.

For as nebulous as that stat is, by eye he steals waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more pucks than he loses so your “weak on the boards” statement is just wrong.

Gayfish

Reinhardt would fit the trade in most circumstances.

How about sekera with salary retained for this year, and pouliot for Harmonic and another winger, maybe strome, cizikas, or Lee.

Soup Fascist

The E:60 short on Hamonic is pretty unreal. The kid and his family have some stones, no question.

PhrankLee

RexLibris: Soup Fascist: Two words:
“leap” and “year”
There’s one in every crowd. Sheesh.

Actually they happen once every 4 years…

RexLibris

sliderule:
It sounds like Snow is going public with this to drive up Jets offer.

The young man wants to be in Manitoba for family reasonsbut Jets have defence.

If the oilers playtheir cards right they might get him for Fayne plus Musil and a second.

Snow’s an amateur.

Lowe or Neely would’ve leaked Hamonic’s poor character and work habits to the media by now and gotten a couple of steal 2nd round picks and the rights to Brian Leetch already.

RexLibris

Soup Fascist: Two words:

“leap” and “year”

There’s one in every crowd. Sheesh.

😉

Soup Fascist

RexLibris:
Rex Codex Libris ‏@CodexRex now

I’m predicting Draisaitl hits a slump by February. Why? Because it’s the only month without at least 29 days. That’s analytics!

Two words:

“leap” and “year”

sliderule

Woodguy,

Is 93 really a center.

Can’t win face offs and gets knocked off puck in corners.

I wouldn’t trade him for Hamonic but he might be better playing wing.

Zelepukin

hags9k:
I wouldn’t deal Eberle for Hamonic.That’s too rich for me, Eberle has been fabulous for us and I don’t really see Hamonic as a 5 tool guy.Schultz and prospects/picks or keep the powder dry.

If our 1st is involved, Snow would want to delay as long as possible.He won’t want to give Hamonic more track to get us up out of the basement.

Agreed, Eberle is a losing deal given that Snow is in the weaker position. He’s the one with a player that wants out and now that it’s public, time is an issue.

I’d be offering Jultz and prospects, probably our 1st too.

sliderule

It sounds like Snow is going public with this to drive up Jets offer.

The young man wants to be in Manitoba for family reasons but Jets have defence.

If the oilers play their cards right they might get him for Fayne plus Musil and a second.

hags9k

I wouldn’t deal Eberle for Hamonic. That’s too rich for me, Eberle has been fabulous for us and I don’t really see Hamonic as a 5 tool guy. Schultz and prospects/picks or keep the powder dry.

If our 1st is involved, Snow would want to delay as long as possible. He won’t want to give Hamonic more track to get us up out of the basement.

AsiaOil

We gave the other bunch of losers 9 years to fix this team – so the 2015-16 season seems to be the minimum honeymoon for Chia/TMac. Look at the defense from last night. Fayne is the only holdover from the same date last year – that’s an 85% turnover of the defense – so I’ve got some patience with this team as it’s going in the right direction.

The defense needs a young vet – someone like Hamonic – but nobody is giving Snow an equal return in a 1 for 1 deal. Why bother? If Snow wants a similar defenseman in return the guy will be a pending UFA (Buff), older ((Enstrom) or more expensive (Myers). I used WIN as the example but that holds for everyone else. Honestly the only situation where I can see a relatively equal 1 for 1 happening is with MINN and Spurgeon – but even then Spurgeon will be making much more next season than he is now. NYI will lose this trade – only question is by how much – and leaking the trade request only shows Snow desperation to get a “less bad” deal.

As for the goaltending – the SP stunk last night but I have no problem with the game our goalie played. Those were good goals for the most part and Crawford just plain got lucky multiple times diving across the crease hoping something would hit him. Opposite result 9 times out of 10. As long as the Talbot and the Swede don’t make glaring errors (like Talbot has done a couple of time) then it will be OK. The Swede flat out stole a couple of games already. Really fixing the goalie situation NOW will cost Eberle and Carry Price probably ends up in a similar situation last night if he’s in net for the Oilers. Shyte happens. As for Broissot – he needs one full season to dominate in the AHL as he’s doing – and then spend at least 1-2 years as a backup before even thinking about him as a starter. He’s a non-issue.

G Money

RexLibris: Wait, you’re doing homework on a guy before offering up players at random for him?
What is the matter with you? Don’t you understand how this is supposed to work?
Seriously, though, I’d be very interested to see your results, keeping in mind the small factor of the West games all being away games and therefore losing the matchups.

I know, what the hell is wrong with me, right?

Actually, that’s an excellent point about the road. I’ll pull the East away games as a control.

Ca$h-McMoney!

Funny thing is, and the people I was watching the draft with can attest to this, when they announced the trade it went like this:

“The Oilers trade the 16th and 33rd pick to the New York Islanders in exchange for…”

“Holy shit we’re getting Hamonic”

“Griffen Reinhart”

“F*$K!””

So getting him now would be nice. Hence why I think a package for him and Barzal with a good forward and mediocre Dman going the other way makes sense.

OilClog

Only Spec would trade possibly the best Left Wing in the league for a defender that is not anywhere near the best.

commonfan29

Undisclosed_Personal_Reasons: Drai has almost fully replenished my joy-to-watch meter after McDavid went down.

McDraisus.

Woodguy

@Left_Wing_Lock: RT @Razor5Hole: Ovechkin “Gr8” Numerology:
– sweater number…8
– goals…8
– assists…8
– plus/minus…+8
– shots on goal…88
#statsper8…

I’m going to buy?8 lottery tickets.

Woodguy

G Money:
Woodguy,

I have to give his CF% and TOI and QoC top marks – they clearly put him at 1D on a pretty good team.

My big fear with Hamonic (even assuming we have a realistic shot at him) is that the transition from East to West is not easy.The size and toughness of the teams, not to mention the travel, knocks players down a peg.

I’m pulling Hamonics CF%, CA/60, and DFA/60 just against West teams last year to see how that stacks up.

A big drop-off will be a big red flag in my books.If he keeps it close, that will be very encouraging.

Hamonic’s drop off away from De Haan is mostly due to the next two most common partners being MacDonald (5MM/yr in AHL…I miss Holmgren) and Strait who’s a slightly better version of Gryba or a worse version of Fayne.

I bet Qc has a lot to do with the drop w/ Hamonic, but you still don’t like to see it. He’s young and will get better.

RexLibris

G Money: I’m pulling Hamonics CF%, CA/60, and DFA/60 just against West teams last year to see how that stacks up.

A big drop-off will be a big red flag in my books. If he keeps it close, that will be very encouraging.

Wait, you’re doing homework on a guy before offering up players at random for him?

What is the matter with you? Don’t you understand how this is supposed to work?

Seriously, though, I’d be very interested to see your results, keeping in mind the small factor of the West games all being away games and therefore losing the matchups.

RexLibris

Drew: would be a bit of a reach but is doable…

Not as much of a reach as what I had in mind.

When Bruce said go for their tongues the first thought that crossed my mind was from which orifice would we say they were speaking.

Decided to take the high road, instead.

G Money

Woodguy,

I have to give his CF% and TOI and QoC top marks – they clearly put him at 1D on a pretty good team.

My big fear with Hamonic (even assuming we have a realistic shot at him) is that the transition from East to West is not easy. The size and toughness of the teams, not to mention the travel, knocks players down a peg.

I’m pulling Hamonics CF%, CA/60, and DFA/60 just against West teams last year to see how that stacks up.

A big drop-off will be a big red flag in my books. If he keeps it close, that will be very encouraging.

Snowman

Woodguy:

Mentioning Hall would only come from an idiot who doesn’t know what they are watching at a hockey game so I’m not surprised it came from Spector.

How do you really feel WG?

striker

TheGreatMutato 2.0: Chiarelli is not interested in improving this team and should be fired for failing to already get Hamonic.

We get it Verdad. Chiarelli’s spit struck you after that game which leads you to constantly call for his resignation but in all fairness you had to expect something after you called him “pretty boy”

Back and to the left and all that jazz

Woodguy

G Money:
WOWY visualization chart for Hamonic:

http://i.imgur.com/5VGULN7.png

Reminder: the name location tells you where that player is without Hamonic.The arrow tells you how they do as a pairing.

The ‘perfect’ defenseman would move every to the right, and possibly up.The worst defenseman would move everything left, and possibly down.

Hamonic’s most common partner by far (de Haan) does move a bit to the right, which is good.

The rest are a mixed (but mostly bad) bag.

Fancystats and defensemen.Aaargh.

Hamonic is in the Petry/Sekera class of Dman except he brings more of a physical presence and is on a sweetheart deal.

Everyone is losing their mind if they mention Nurse, Klef etc.

Mentioning Hall would only come from an idiot who doesn’t know what they are watching at a hockey game so I’m not surprised it came from Spector.

I trade Eberle for him though.

I think the 3 way is a good idea (NAS)

NAS has decent wingers and needs centers but 29, 93, 97 are all worth waaaaaay more than Hamonic and you don’t trade centers, you move them to wing.

N64

RexLibris:
Rex Codex Libris ‏@CodexRex now

I’m predicting Draisaitl hits a slump by February. Why? Because it’s the only month without at least 29 days. That’s analytics!

That’s vague, Nostradumus. Is that slump starting in Feb ending in Feb or all over long before Feb? Asking for a friend who wants to bet his house when he visits Vegas.

Drew

RexLibris: By way of their eyeballs?

would be a bit of a reach but is doable…

RexLibris

G Money:
RexLibris,

I cannot refute this argument.The logic and the numerical analysis are flawless.

I used SN hockey commentator thinking which as we all know is airtight.

As in “no air can get in”.

ct69

RexLibris:
Rex Codex Libris ‏@CodexRex now

I’m predicting Draisaitl hits a slump by February. Why? Because it’s the only month without at least 29 days. That’s analytics!

2016 is a leap year so no slump!

G Money

RexLibris,

I cannot refute this argument. The logic and the numerical analysis are flawless.

RexLibris

Rex Codex Libris ‏@CodexRex now

I’m predicting Draisaitl hits a slump by February. Why? Because it’s the only month without at least 29 days. That’s analytics!

RexLibris

Bruce McCurdy: No no, if they were in the same room, I’d be going for the tongue.

By way of their eyeballs?

Oddspell

G Money,

Ah, just making sure.

Maybe a chart where x-axis = zone starts, y-axis = QoC, and the arrows change colour on a gradient to reflect corsi for %?

If the Oilers can acquire Hamonic without giving up Hall, Eberle, Drai, Yak, McDavid, Nuge, Nurse or Klefbom we need to build a statue for Chia.

What if the trade for Reinhart had a future considerations component? “Say Pete, between us Hamonic asked for a trade back home. He prefers Winnipeg but if I can’t make it happen, Alberta is in the conversation. Would you throw in the 33rd as well on this Reinhart trade?”

16th plus 33rd plus 2016 1st plus Schultz plus Slepyshev for Reinhart and Hamonic?

One can dream.

G Money

Oddspell,

No question. I have looked, and Hamonic definitely played 1st comp last year, and did well.

So a lot of that move left for some of the lesser players reflects the fact that when they pair with Hamonic, they’re probably taking a big step up in QoC. But it’s tough to show that on any one chart (which is why I ‘aaargh’).

sliderule

Hamonic would be nice but the oil don’t have much that they can give.

Eberle!!

Give me a break.The oil are 18 th in goal scoring and you would give them our best goal scorer.

The defence has three young first rounders who are perfect for Connor.Despite all the moaning and groaning it’s not the defence that is the real problem.

The lack of goal scoring and poor goal tending is the problem and until they find a tender and players like Yak and Nuge start to play like first overalls it will continue to be so.

Oddspell

G Money,

I keep hearing that Hamonic plays the top comp. I haven’t actually looked to verify this but couldn’t deployment account for the movement left?

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

blainer,

Agreed 100%

Sekera is rounding into form me thinks. Injury rust and all.

LT said be patient, LT is probably right with Sekera.

McSorley33

Caramel Obvious,

The Hall request is absurd. Everyone knows that. He might as well ask for Sidney Crosby.
*************************************************************************************************
Just as absurd as offering Mark Fayne….

G Money

WOWY visualization chart for Hamonic:

http://i.imgur.com/5VGULN7.png

Reminder: the name location tells you where that player is without Hamonic. The arrow tells you how they do as a pairing.

The ‘perfect’ defenseman would move every to the right, and possibly up. The worst defenseman would move everything left, and possibly down.

Hamonic’s most common partner by far (de Haan) does move a bit to the right, which is good.

The rest are a mixed (but mostly bad) bag.

Fancystats and defensemen. Aaargh.

blainer

Bag of Pucks: I hope that’s true. We know they are going somewhere – into a new arena next season.

So, if what you say is true, that means we have to land a #1 D before next October. The fates have spoken!

Btw, possibly Nurse is that player?

Nurse IS that player.

They better not be sending him down when they get healthy. They should be playing him on the PP. Did you see that shot off the crossbar last night ? Predict he would get 50 points plus a season if they do that.

Sekera is looking better too lately. Wonder if Nurse is propping him up.

Melvis

Kudo’s to Rom and others. I saw Drai good in PA with the Raiders while visiting mom’s in PA on a couple of occasions. Exciting, and we know how that’s turning out. However, here’s my burning question of the day. As much as I’d like to see Hamonic in Oilers silks, I also saw Josh Morrissey good on those occasions. By eye, he’s going to bring more good Shultz than bad to the Peg, among other things.

Now I’m wondering if Morrissey plus something… brings Hamonic closer to home than Edmonton…erg. Any thoughts?

leadfarmer

RexLibris,

GMs dont help each other out unless there is a clear benefit for themselves. I don’t see Jets trading Trouba to help Snow out. They just got Meyers so don’t think they want to trade him. Buff doesnt have a contract. Maybe Ernstrom could be sent back. Calgary isnt trading Brodie, and they just re-signed Giordano and Hamilton, and Widemen doesnt have much value so unless they have buyers remorse on Hamilton I don’t see them offering anyone back. Wild are close to the Canadian border but dont quite fit his request for western Canada. They don’t have capspace for him anyway and 2/3 of their topline needs new contracts either this year or next.

I really think its either Van or Edm. Why couldn’t the Islanders hire Lowe and have him accept the first bid we give him.

Bruce McCurdy

Bag of Pucks: Not a Captain Serious fan?

He’s a terrific player, but not exactly an underappreciated secret that two guys have to spend five minutes telling us how great he is.

Uhh, Oilers outshot the Hawks 11-3 that period, how about, say, one sentence on That subject? But no, Sir Jonathan Toews is in the building, doesn’t much matter what the peons are doing.

Bruce McCurdy

RexLibris: Really?

They make me want to rip their ears off.

No no, if they were in the same room, I’d be going for the tongue.

PhrankLee

Bruce McCurdy: Those guys make me want to rip my ears off.

Yeah there was eye rolling a’ plenty here too.

Switched to goalie cam for most of the game. I cant listen to the broadcast at times.

Bag of Pucks

Bruce McCurdy: Not that that stopped John Shannon and Colby Armstrong from spending the entire first intermission giving Toews an extended tongue bath. “Underappreciated” was a word Shannon repeated several times, while both of them fawned over a play where Toews made a move toward the net from a bad angle on the powerplay and weakly stuffed the puck into Nilsson’s pads while Nurse took away all his other options.

Those guys make me want to rip my ears off.

Not a Captain Serious fan?

Bag of Pucks

TheGreatMutato 2.0:
This team goes nowhere until it has a genuine #1 defenceman.

I hope that’s true. We know they are going somewhere – into a new arena next season.

So, if what you say is true, that means we have to land a #1 D before next October. The fates have spoken!

Btw, possibly Nurse is that player?

Alpine

We either have A assets or C assets in our system.
Hamonic is pretty much an A, or B+ where we have Hall/Drai/RNH/McDavid/Klef/Nurse/Ebs in that class.
Yakupov and Schultz are probably B- minuses because we know what they are at this point.
Vancouver has a B defenseman in Tanev and a bunch of B to B+ Forward prospects that can be thrown in accordingly. We don’t have a McCann or Shinkaruk, and arguably no Tanev (Sekera but he’s almost 30).

Bag of Pucks

JustWatt:
Bag of Pucks,

I think that this is the best use of Yak for the team, especially if McDavid and Eberle can be just as productive or better.

I used to think that keeping Drai on the 3 line as a C and acting as an injury replacement for anyone in the top 6 was the smart play. But his magic with Hall and his ability to play RW so dang well makes your idea of pumping Yak’s value up and trading for max value at the deadline/draft is really smart. Good asset management.

This may be one of the greatest gifts McDavid gives us. Not only is he a phenomenal player in his own right, he could conceivably rebuild the trade cache for a 1OV who was very much trending towards a bust. That’s two 1OVs for the price of one!

Is there anything this kid can’t do?

Connor McDavid’s blood may be the cure for cancer.