NEVER KEPT A DOLLAR PAST SUNSET

The Edmonton Oilers lost in Chicago last night, a game that saw little offensive flair,  the defense exposed again, and a (wasted) solid effort by Cam Talbot. In a world where we are gifted with the power of logic and reason, I see no need to rip most of the defensemen who dressed for the game. They were playing too high on the depth chart and a good team like the Blackhawks is going to thrive in that kind of atmosphere.

ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • 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: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-2-0
  • Oilers after 33 in 2014-15: 7-21-5, 19 points (-47 GD)
  • Oilers after 33 in 2015-16: 14-17-2, 30 points (-13 GD)

Oilers are 1-2-0 on this road trip, I suggested at the outset 1-2-1 would be my line in the sand and that is certainly manageable this week. Colorado is playing well now, Edmonton could be wearing their ass for a hat Saturday night if they have another flat.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

This graph is a little misleading, as the Nurse—Sekera pairing played massive minutes against both the Toews and Kane lines.

  • Sekera faced Toews 9:13 at evens (mostly with Nurse) no other defender faced Toews more than 3:15.
  • Sekera faced Kane 8:02 at evens (mostly with Nurse) no other defender faced Kane more than six minutes.

Not much left to say here, beyond the fact Peter Chiarelli must have identified Justin Schultz, Eric Gryba and Andrew Ference as men who aren’t long-term solutions. Based on usage, one suspects Todd McLellan agrees. I do think Niki Nikitin may actually get traded for something at the deadline, his speed is a negative but he does have passing ability and is playing better than I have seen him since his arrival in our city.

SCORING CHANCES AGAINST, LAST NIGHT

  • Andrej Sekera, Darnell Nurse 6
  • Brandon Davidson, Eric Gryba 8
  • Nikita Nikitin, Justin Schultz 9

Say what you will, and I agree Darnell Nurse should be playing down the depth chart, but when you look at the TOI totals and then check the scoring chances against (War-on-Ice), there isn’t much doubt in my mind who needs to go. It is one thing to make mistakes or lose position, but the galling thing for me is the indifference displayed in those moments and the incredible lack of progress. If you have five year’s experience your employer can project you into the future. If you have one year’s experience five times, you are not part of the future. We are here.

CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

It was a weird night for matchups, as it looks like Chicago presented only two lines. Fact is Edmonton had a sliding set of lines and the Kane trio saw Matt Hendricks (as center) often but I have listed him on the wing. Individual high-danger scoring chances according to WOI included Letestu (2), Hendricks (2), Lander (1). That matched what I saw, as the two drivers at center all year long didn’t look at all dangerous last night (Toews and his line owned).

I said last night in the comments section, and truly believe, that sometimes we are so busy beating the daylights out of our team for sins real and imagined, while forgetting to give the other man his due. For me, there was a lot of credit that should be accorded to the Chicagos. That said, Nuge and Leon need to be better, and Todd McLellan pulled the chute on both of them in terms of playing time—perhaps recognizing they would be best saved for another day.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

By eye and number, Matt Hendricks and Lauri Korpikoski were the best wingers on the night. Hall hung out with Nuge for 4:22 but nothing rhymed. Again, I get back to Chicago, who had their best defensemen out against Edmonton’s best. Keith spent about 12 minutes against Eberle, Hjalmarsson-Seabrook spent 12 minutes against Hall. Individual high-danger scoring chances according to WOI included Lauri Korpikoski (2), Luke Gazdic (2), Jujhar Khaira. A quiet night overall, especially for the top two lines.

Folks, the Hawks are going to be a mittful of trouble even when all hands are on deck and the chimes ring in time. Edmonton is missing key parts, and they did not bring their entire game to the evening. Aside from a regrettable series of breakdowns that sewered Talbot’s save percentage on the night, I was not surprised or disappointed by the score.

NINE MEN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The lesson Chicago teaches us every year is this: The men who make a real difference matter, the rest of the roster need only play the game to evens. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brent Seabrook, Corey Crawford, that is your foundation. The Hawks may well add to that list long term with a trio of fine adds who look fantastic (Anisimov, Panarin, Teravainen) but generally speaking if the Kane line doesn’t kill you the Toews line will.

The Oilers are working on their list of difference makers. Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle are the established veterans in Edmonton. The Oilers have a large number of candidates who have been added or are pushing up from the draft (Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Cam Talbot) and we should know more by season’s end.

That is pretty much the key in the modern NHL. Nine men who make a difference, fill in with capable veterans who won’t cost you through stupidity. My list would be McDavid, Hall, Leon, Nuge, Eberle, Klefbom, Sekera, Nurse, Talbot, your mileage may vary.

FRUSTRATION

My frustration comes in the inability to properly evaluate because of defensive indifference and general tomfoolery. Cam Talbot is trying to show the Oilers he is bona fide, and last night—late into the game—he was holding his team in at 2-0. I was genuinely disappointed in the Oilers effort in that part of the game, absolutely left their goalie out to dry.

I don’t think Edmonton will get a good enough read on Talbot before the deadline, and some team is probably going to get a good goaltender because of it. On a night when the goaltender was confident, effective and determined to make a difference, Edmonton’s defense were slow to get off the ice for a line change, effective only in aiding the enemy on a goal, and in some cases galling in the highest.

And as I said above, tough to blame (most of) a defense we know is ill-suited to the roles they are being asked to fill. In his two outings on this road trip, Cam Talbot is 1-1 with a .930 save percentage. If his Oilers had not been actively aiding the enemy in the third period, the record would still be 1-1 with a .953 save percentage. I do not believe the six men who played last night for the Oilers are better than Mark Fayne. No sir.

No doubt in my mind Cam Talbot cost this team early, he was not sharp and it impacted his playing time. He used the time between starts to build up his game, and maybe he is the answer. I hope the Oilers give him the best chance they can to show well. The wrong guy is in Bakersfield and one of the guys who played last night should be in the pressbox Saturday. Amazingly, it is not Nikita Nikitin.

remick

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Friday! A busy and fun show, 10 this morning TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jeff Hauser, Radio Hauser. NFL weekend, can the Eagles win the division of suck?
  • Antony Bent, FC Edmonton. Major week in the EPL.
  • Travis Yost, TSN. Bizarre decisions from the Senators, Stamkos and his offensive falloff.
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. Oilers in Chicago, what to expect in Denver.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. Talk soon!

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146 Responses to "NEVER KEPT A DOLLAR PAST SUNSET"

  1. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    No wonder the Hawks beat us with TuesdayThursday in the lineup. Not fair to have a two-for-one day.

  2. Unwashed Oilfan says:

    Outside of ‘Ders and Talbot, I do not know about the options that may be available on the cheap as Chia acquired for these two. Talbot has the ability, we have to provide him with more help. I know there were fancy stats provided that the Rangers defence was not greatly superior to the Oil but I disagree heavily. That was a team that went to the Semi’s.

    Go another year with our current tandem and focus on the defence. Stability in goal may be just what we need for a change.

  3. flyfish1168 says:

    Lt my bet is you were talking about Justin to the press box?? is this correct? Last evening you comment he was lost out there, I commented he will be gone.

  4. Samson Loveblast says:

    Was at the game last night, poor game obviously, they were flat, many errant passes, missed assignments, no pressure etc. Just not great to watch.

    One thing I’ll also say, Hawks fans are some of the absolute worst, I’ve been to a lot of different NHL arenas and you won’t find a more obnoxious smart mouthed bunch. Winning the cup 3 times can obviously do that.

  5. Gret99zky says:

    Samson Loveblast,

    Agreed.

    Hawks fans need to be more like the rest of the league’s fans: Just feel sorry for us.

    “Oh, I see you are wearing Oiler gear…sorry. Try not to get too down, you guys are going to have a good team one day. The Hawks are only playing this well because they got beat up by the Avs…sorry.”

  6. jimmers2 says:

    By my quick count, it is 29 games till the trade deadline. Assuming that Nilsson and Talbot trade starts, on average until then, is 14 to 15 starts enough to get a read on Talbot’s potential?

  7. Really? says:

    There is no doubt that Chiarelli has some work to do around the trade deadline. Given that McDavid will be returning to the line up, I would love to see him deal for a solid D man, or two.

    What he does not need to do is go “whale hunting”.

  8. Pouzar says:

    I think Chia is going to making a bold move or two in the next 6 months.

  9. Halfwise says:

    At 8:40 pm MST last night in the Hawks’ zone where the Oilers had possession, sort of, and then lost it. Jultz at the time was making a beeline from his point to the faceoff dot but the ENTIRE FECKING GAME was headed the opposite direction at that instant. LT commented right then how lost Justin Schultz was. I mentioned it at the same moment.

    And then there he was also in the picture as the Hawks scored the goal that bled the Oilers right out.

    Man I wish that had been the first time we’d seen that and how shocked and surprised we were, wondering what had got into our gifted right shot defenseman. But instead, for me it drained the last drop of goodwill that Jultz had somehow created in the first few games of this season before his injury.

    Hope dies, doesn’t it?

  10. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Where’s knighttown these days? Wanted to check in to see how he and his son got on in NYC.

  11. Jordan says:

    Watching this team play, all I can think about were those spectacular passes Ryan Whitney used to make before he got injured because the ice was crap at Rexall Place.

    He was the last player to play here who could make the tape-to-tape stretch passes through the Neutral zone to the forwards at full speed consistently.

    Without Treble Klef, we’re in trouble, Cliff.

  12. p3rsonman says:

    The Schultz experiment ends this season. In 222 NHL games he has shown no progress. Some could argue he’s gotten worse. NO defensive awareness. MINIMAL offensive awareness. He’s terrible on the blueline in the PP, has no shot, passes into the skates, and makes poor decisions on both ends of the ice. Add to that he’s actually quite a slow skater so he can’t recover from his mistakes.

    His only asset is he can sneak into the rush sometimes. That’s literally all the “good” in his game.

    Please move on from this player Chia. I would take Reinhart any day of the week over Jultz.

  13. Jordan says:

    Keepers:
    Davidson (value 5-6), Sekera (3), Klefbom (2-3), Nurse (developing, best on bot pairing).

    Not ready yet….
    Joey legs, Griff, Musil

    Trains out of town:
    Ference, Nikitin, Schultz

    Fence:
    Fayne, Gryba

    We need to find a way to turn any combination of the non-keepers and other non-core pieces this team has into a #1D and a #2-4 D.

    Any thoughts?

  14. Oil2Oilers says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    Where’s knighttown these days? Wanted to check in to see how he and his son got on in NYC.

    This time of year I imagine it was a fairy tail

  15. OilClog says:

    Who is this Mark Fayne?

    Never heard of him

  16. Ribs says:

    I’m just glad they’ve tempered 19’s minutes to less than twenty a night. That was just insane.

  17. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Jordan,

    Joey Leggs might be a winger. They moved him up and he’s playing well. Still allows for him to get blue line minutes on the PP without embarassing himself, but plays into his game and fills a need for some scoring up front.

    Kinda like Justin.

    Exactly like Justin (except for the blue line PP comment, no thanks)…..

  18. Quinlan says:

    re: Schultz

    I remain convinced there is a player there, but if he ever shows himself, I do not think it will be with the Edmonton Oilers. He reminds me a lot of Michael Del Zotto, who appears to have come a long way from his days as a Blueshirt, but is on his 3rd team at the age of 25.

    I don’t know what you can get for him, I suspect he still has value around the league (he’s famous), but at this point I don’t know if it even matters.

    There was a huge opportunity for him in Edmonton. He didn’t get it done.

  19. OilClog says:

    Jultz won’t battle wingers for beautiful glory as it is…

    Why would he battle for glory as a winger?

    It will last about two shifts.

  20. fifthcartel says:

    In Matheson’s Short Shifts article a pro scout suggests moving Schultz to the wing:

    “Another veteran pro scout, who has assessed scores of players over decades of work, definitely likes Justin Schultz’s talent level but says he’s miscast. “With his skating I’d move him to forward, play him on the wing. He’s got raw ability, for sure, but, for me, he’s missing some hockey sense. He can go end-to-end but he doesn’t see the ice like the good ones do. They control the game, they’re like quarterbacks. And if they don’t want him, a lateral trade might work, for somebody else’s player who hasn’t panned out,” he said.”

    I think they just trade him at the deadline instead.

  21. Really? says:

    When Chiarelli was in Boston he rolled through a number of D men during his first couple of seasons before he got to what worked. Now that he and the Toddler have had some time to assess the Oilers D men, I expect him to start taking steps to rectify the problem(s).

    Schultz is definitely a candidate to move, along with both Nikitin and Fayne. Even if all the Oilers get is draft picks for these players, they will benefit from freeing up their roster spots.

    Given the problems in acquiring a #1RD, is it reasonable for the Oilers to run with a good quality defense by committee?

  22. SwedishPoster says:

    Chicagos passing game is quite easily the best in the league. They move the puck so well as a team. Passing is a bit of a lost art in the NHL these days, very few teams that actually use a passing focused game to move up the ice. A lot of north-south, getting traffic and shots on net.

    It wasn’t really close last night. Oilers top lines sort of went through the motions but never felt truly dangerous. Nurse is struggling, zero poise with the puck and goes chasing a lot and while his skating and strength have him winning quite a few battles he isn’t really helping the team structure as a whole, luckily for him Sekera is really finding his game or that pairing would get crushed. Nurse needs some easier assignments, I say give Davidson Nurse’s minutes, at least for a game or two, the guy just keeps playing solid game after game. He may very well fall apart with bigger responsibility but with Nurse having a rough time they should give him a shot imo.

  23. russ99 says:

    It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens when Schultz excels somewhere else.

    Are we going to bemoan lack of foresight, or are we going to remember how the fans drummed him out of town Poti-style? Also, how past coaches misused him, and the current coach puts the system above all despite the strengths and weakness of our players and opponents?

    Not to mention who he’s been paired with. He’s done well with Sekera, Davidson and Klefbom, and not well with Ference, Gryba and Nikitin. Coincidence, I think not.

  24. GCW_69 says:

    fifthcartel:
    In Matheson’s Short Shifts article a pro scout suggests moving Schultz to the wing:

    “Another veteran pro scout, who has assessed scores of players over decades of work, definitely likes Justin Schultz’s talent level but says he’s miscast. “With his skating I’d move him to forward, play him on the wing. He’s got raw ability, for sure, but, for me, he’s missing some hockey sense. He can go end-to-end but he doesn’t see the ice like the good ones do. They control the game, they’re like quarterbacks. And if they don’t want him, a lateral trade might work, for somebody else’s player who hasn’t panned out,” he said.”

    I think they just trade him at the deadline instead.

    Trying Schultz on the wing while Yak is out makes a lot of sense, so of course the Oilers won’t do it.

  25. RexLibris says:

    russ99: It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens when Schultz excels somewhere else.

    He’s had several years here now with no noticeable improvement, and arguably displayed regression.

    In my opinion he hasn’t even hit the Gagner “one-year’s experience x times” so there’s no evidence to suggest he’ll necessarily excel anywhere else.

    I won’t dispute that Schultz has suffered from multiple head coaching changes, but he’s also had the benefit of working with well-regarded defensive coaches like Ramsay with no discernible improvement.

    If the Oilers trade him at the deadline I wonder if they don’t target a pending UFA rental defenseman in exchange as I doubt they’d re-sign Schultz and they could instead test-drive the FA for a time before making a decision on offering a contract.

  26. RexLibris says:

    fifthcartel:
    In Matheson’s Short Shifts article a pro scout suggests moving Schultz to the wing:

    “Another veteran pro scout, who has assessed scores of players over decades of work, definitely likes Justin Schultz’s talent level but says he’s miscast. “With his skating I’d move him to forward, play him on the wing. He’s got raw ability, for sure, but, for me, he’s missing some hockey sense. He can go end-to-end but he doesn’t see the ice like the good ones do. They control the game, they’re like quarterbacks. And if they don’t want him, a lateral trade might work, for somebody else’s player who hasn’t panned out,” he said.”

    I think they just trade him at the deadline instead.

    Read that same piece this morning and what really stood out was even though the scout said they should move him to the wing he added, almost simultaneously, that he just doesn’t read the game well enough to be of much assistance.

    Schultz skates beautifully and handles the puck well outside of pressure, but he does not pass well and I have questions about his shooting ability relative to other top-six wingers in the league.

  27. vinotintazo says:

    I’m ok with moving on on schultz, you can’t say he hasnt gotten the chances to show what he can do.

    unfortunately you cannot pay 4M to a guy who doesnt score or defend verywell.

    Lets face it, Chia wants guys who are heavy (on sticks and playing).

    if you’re not heavy then you better be Elite if you want to stay here.

    Only Dman I brink back next year

    Klef-xxx
    Nurse-Sekera
    Davidson-xxx.

  28. Woogie63 says:

    Poti to Gilbert to Petry to Shultz, maybe the fans should not be in charge of trading defensemen.

  29. RexLibris says:

    By this time in the season last year, and with a far worse defense corps, Jeff Petry had been a healthy scratch when he was already one of the best defenders available.

    We have a different coach and GM and an improved defense but have not yet seen Schultz as a healthy scratch.

  30. RexLibris says:

    Woogie63:
    Poti to Gilbert to Petry to Shultz, maybe the fans should not be in charge of trading defensemen.

    One of these things is not like the other.

    I enjoyed the play of the first three, each one had identifiable strengths that made them valuable players within a defensive rotation.

    I have not yet discovered an identifiable strength that Schultz executes consistently and capably that would make him a valuable player within this defense corps.

  31. vinotintazo says:

    RexLibris: We have a different coach and GM and an improved defense but have not yet seen Schultz as a healthy scratch.

    I think he’s been handled well, reduced ice time, PP time, put in position to succeed.

  32. fifthcartel says:

    RexLibris,

    Yeah, I don’t think a move to forward is even worth it for the Oilers. He still makes 4m and I’d rather they move/not qualify him and just sign a RW in the summer.

    I don’t think this is a Poti/Gilbert/Petry situation. He just doesn’t have the passing or puck-moving ability that people thought he did, and his defensive zone play isn’t worth the skills he does have, which seems like it’s only sneaking into the play and getting a good scoring chance in deep.

    I think others have brought this up before, but Chiarelli really doesn’t have anything riding on Schultz being successful. He didn’t recruit him and he didn’t give him a glowing review when asked about him before the system.

    Like Lowetide alluded to with the ice-time, when Davidson and Nurse are playing above Schultz he’s probably not in the plans.

  33. Lloyd B. says:

    The parity in the league this year makes things very interesting. In the span of 4 days and 2 games we have gone from 3rd in the division and in a playoff spot to 3 points out of DFL.

    I would be very careful with that 1st round pick in next years draft. Tossing it into trade proposals at this time as “filler” could be extremely costly. If it’s lottery protected the return drops.

    On a different note I had the opportunity to watch lots of Winnipeg games the last 2 years as I was working in MB. I’m not as big on Buff as some here. When the mood strikes him he’s very good. Unfortunately, the mood only strikes one shift a period. Maybe two. I’m an old school eye guy so the fancies may show different.

    I’m really leary of trading much for an UFA on a 31 year old D man who wants big money and term for his last contract. Perhaps Shultz as Rex has suggested would work with a pick from the Jets as some sort of sweetener for the RFA status Shultz has. Maybe Buff will like it here and sign for 3-4 years at resonable money. Not going to hold my breath.

  34. Woogie63 says:

    RexLibris,

    You don’t think Shultz’ skating is elite?

  35. Caramel Obvious says:

    Schultz is terrible on the powerplay.

    You could live with everything else if he helped the powerplay. He might even be a positive player then.

    Unfortunately, Schultz is terrible on the powerplay.

    He’s untradeable at this point. Someone might make a Cam Barker type deal for him. Maybe.

  36. Halfwise says:

    russ99:
    It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens when Schultz excels somewhere else.

    Are we going to bemoan lack of foresight, or are we going to remember how the fans drummed him out of town Poti-style? Also, how past coaches misused him, and the current coach puts the system above all despite the strengths and weakness of our players and opponents?

    Not to mention who he’s been paired with. He’s done well with Sekera, Davidson and Klefbom, and not well with Ference, Gryba and Nikitin. Coincidence, I think not.

    Which of the many coaches stopped him from giving full effort? He may well have untapped abilities, who knows. But the willingness to compete is internal and it enables any player to make the most of his abilities.

    Watch Nurse, or Gryba for that matter. Different potential and different experience, but no one is saying that those players appear indifferent.

    As for the pairings, I strongly agree with your point. If they are going to play Jultz, at least give him the best chance to succeed. With that said, it strikes me as odd that a player who has been given the most ice time of anyone can’t carry any other player on the team.

  37. Snowman says:

    Woogie63,

    Sure Schultz skates well. The problem is he skates to the wrong place at the wrong time and when he gets where he’s going he doesn’t really do anything useful if he happens to be in a position where he has that opportunity.

    With every passing shift I see Schultz as having less and less of a future in the NHL.

    He’s not that young. He’s not that strong. He lacks hockey IQ. He doesn’t have a big shot. He can’t break a cycle. He doesn’t pass that well in transition. His only real skill is skating. You need something else to compliment.

  38. Soup Fascist says:

    Even if you believed there was a glimmer of hope that Schultz might one day become an effective 3-6 NHL defenseman – and I don’t – you can’t risk $4 million in cap space for multiple years to cover that bet.

    As Gary Bertire said in Remember the Titans ….. “sometimes you just gotta cut a man loose”.

    Truer words were never spoken.

  39. vinotintazo says:

    Soup Fascist: Even if you believed there was a glimmer of hope that Schultz might one day become an effective 3-6 NHL defenseman – and I don’t – you can’t risk $4 million in cap space for multiple years to cover that bet.

    my point exactly.

    Guys like Reinhart, Davidson, Musil, etc. Can be a 3-6 Dman of the future.

  40. LoDog says:

    Glad I only watched a few minutes last night, went about the way I thought it would.

    On Fayne, whether you think he is one the best 6 dmen is a bit besides the point. He can not or will not play the system so he won’t be playing for the Oilers.

  41. Quinlan says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    Schultz is terrible on the powerplay.

    You could live with everything else if he helped the powerplay.He might even be a positive player then.

    Unfortunately, Schultz is terrible on the powerplay.

    He’s untradeable at this point.Someone might make a Cam Barker type deal for him.Maybe.

    The idea that our opinion of Schultz makes him untradeable is a little supercilious wouldn’t you say?

    I mean, just because you wouldn’t trade for him doesn’t mean there isn’t a GM out there who would.

    One thing about NHL GMs – there are many of them who are convinced that their organization is the missing ingredient that will bring a player to the next level. And who knows? One of them may be right.

  42. Quinlan says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    And I say this as someone who wouldn’t trade for him. Ha!

  43. Melman says:

    I’ve been saying forever that Jultz is Del Zotto version 2.0….that may have been a reach.

    He might be best as a converted winger, but what team wants to spend $4.0 on that experiment. I suspect he gets flipped for nothing higher than a 4th rounder at the deadline as with his contract he is basically a UFA and his style of play doesn’t exactly scream playoff hockey.

    Edit: If Chia can get it done sooner than the deadline, that would be excellent

  44. stevezie says:

    Quinlan,

    1. This is our only hope. Whenever I despair, I remind myself an NHL GM traded for Andy Macdonald AND THEN extended him for five years. So who knows On the other hand, he had amazing shot-block totals. What stat are we using to claim Schultz has value?
    2. I have long loved the word supercilious. Not 100% sure it fits here, but the last time I challeneged someone one a word we looked it up and the definition was broader than I thought. Somewhat ironically, the word was “pedantic”. Anyway, let it fly.

  45. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RexLibris:
    By this time in the season last year, and with a far worse defense corps, Jeff Petry had been a healthy scratch when he was already one of the best defenders available.

    We have a different coach and GM and an improved defense but have not yet seen Schultz as a healthy scratch.

    By this point in the season last year, Schultz himself had been a healthy scratch. This after being benched in a game at Dallas when he lollygagged on a bad line change (yes, both things) & the Stars scored the go ahead goal as a result. So Eakins, who had few enough options on the blue, chose to sit out Wonderboy to try to grab his attention.

    More than we’ve seen from McLellan (yet) though in his defence Schultz has only appeared in 19 games. Instead he’s cutting back on ATOI which seems judicious. Last night Schultz played the fewest minutes of Oilers D, despite the score line. Used to be if Oilers were behind Schultz would play more, sometimes 25 minutes.

    The comp to Michael Del Zotto is a good one that I have made myself (or maybe i should say “to” myself, not sure i ever went on the record). Breaks in, looks good at first, but fails to improve on weaknesses or on strengths for that matter. The real puzzling thing about Schultz is the utter absence of occasional moments of offensive brilliance to offset Any of the cost of doing business. He used to be a creative player, now he is meh in all three zones.

    Whereas a guy like Keith Yandle (high end comp) will look like a stumblebum for long stretches but then do something that makes you go “oh yeah, That’s why he’s here”. Trying to remember the last such moment for Schultz, & was it even this season?

  46. Bruce McCurdy says:

    And as I write that, Travis Yost tells Lowetide that Schultz is the least effective offensive defenceman in memory.

  47. Woogie63 says:

    Snowman:
    Woogie63,

    Sure Schultz skates well. The problem is he skates to the wrong place at the wrong time and when he gets where he’s going he doesn’t really do anything useful if he happens to be in a position where he has that opportunity.

    With every passing shift I see Schultz as having less and less of a future in the NHL.

    He’s not that young. He’s not that strong. He lacks hockey IQ. He doesn’t have a big shot. He can’t break a cycle. He doesn’t pass that well in transition. His only real skill is skating. You need something else to compliment.

    IMO there are a lot of huge (dangerous) heaps in your logic.

    Shultz is 25 years old, has played 222 NHL and can skate with the top third of the league, we can handle a bridge contract next year and the year after, all NHL teams use 8-10 dman over a year.

    The guy is JUST geting started.

  48. barry.moore23 says:

    Chicagos passing game is quite easily the best in the league. They move the puck so well as a team.

    This ^^^

    I watch a lot of hockey (at least I think I do) and am always amazed watching the Hawks move the puck around. No other team is even close. Whether it’s at the blue line or below the goal line they keep the play flowing almost at will. Damn that.

    Happy Friday, gang.

  49. Quinlan says:

    stevezie,

    Ha! I was leery of using it… but I went with it anyway. There’s just something about Caramel, and I say this in the nicest possible way, that conjures up the sensation of supercilious airs.

    Maybe it’s imagined.

  50. rickithebear says:

    LoDog: On Fayne, whether you think he is one the best 6 dmen is a bit besides the point. He can not or will not play the system so he won’t be playing for the Oilers.

    Fayne in NJD #1 box protection d man in Game.

    Fayne Eakins/nelson 2nd best box protection D in 7 years.

    W/ Tmac Struggling last games and sent down.

    NJD system Cup finalist with Fayne as #1 comp D 2012

    Tmac system no cup finals!

    About that system?

    I think the wrong thing got sent down!

  51. stevezie says:

    Woogie63: The guy is JUST geting started.

    The question isn’t, “Does Schultz have a hope in the NHL?” It’s, “could we possibly justify qualifying him at 4 million?”

    No, we cannot.

    Can we justify his place in the top 6 this second?

    I think the answer is no. His strong reputation ironically makes it hard to develop him.

    It made sense to cut Tim Thomas when we did too. If Schultz puts it together, good for him.

  52. Snowman says:

    Woogie63,

    Its pretty common to say something like it takes 250 NHL games to see what you have in a defense man. Please tell me what you see in Justin Schultz this season that suggest he can contribute anything to a playoff caliber hockey team. 25-30 is regarded as prime age for NHL players. This is literally as good as he is likely to get. He’s as strong and as fast as he is likely to get.

    He can skate. That’s it. That’s all he’s got.

    Its not near enough to warrant paying him. You can’t offer him a bridge. He needs to be qualified at $4M.

    He’s not worth even half that. He’s not a good NHL player.

  53. Centre of attention says:

    Sportsnet (TMZ) reporting Connor is skating with the team.

    Squeee!!!

  54. PhrankLee says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    And as I write that, Travis Yost tells Lowetide that Schultz is the least effective offensive defenceman in memory.

    He exhibits Lander like shot numbers. They both may be a shot per game guys at best.

    Shot per game. Defensive stalwart Klefbom has double that. Nurse has double the shots in only 4 or 5 more games than Schultz.

    We had the chance to walk away from Schultz without losing anything more than the dollars spent developing him.

    Instead we are here.

    Because MacT is comfortable moving forward.

    These sins need to be paid for but the clean start Schultz was given by the new coach has worn out.

    LT says it best with 1 yr experience 5 times.

  55. blainer says:

    p3rsonman:
    The Schultz experiment ends this season. In 222 NHL games he has shown no progress. Some could argue he’s gotten worse. NO defensive awareness. MINIMAL offensive awareness. He’s terrible on the blueline in the PP, has no shot, passes into the skates, and makes poor decisions on both ends of the ice. Add to that he’s actually quite a slow skater so he can’t recover from his mistakes.

    His only asset is he can sneak into the rush sometimes. That’s literally all the “good” in his game.

    Please move on from this player Chia. I would take Reinhart any day of the week over Jultz.

    We are soooo lucky he wasn’t signed to a long term deal.

    Jultz has absolutely ZERO trade value as well. He will waivered when the team is healthy. I predict he will be on the farm and Reinhart back up by Feb.

    It seems the coach is no longer listening to MacT on this player.

  56. Caramel Obvious says:

    I learned the word supercilious while reading Dostoyeski’s House of the Dead. The translation I read used the word on every other page. I remember thinking the original Russian word must be a lot more common.

    I’ve hated the word ever since.

    In any case, since supercilious is a word of negative connotations, with the flavour of not simply arrogance but rather undeserved arrogance, I am quite sure the word does not apply to me.

  57. Melman says:

    rickithebear,

    Are you saying TMac should have been sent down? 🙂

  58. fuzzy muppet says:

    This team is in range and clearly has an identifiable problem on defense.

    Surely some team will gamble on the 1st round pick being a high one? Same old oilers right?

    It would be a damn shame to waste this whole season when the division they’re in can get them in the playoffs almost by default.

    This team needs a morale boost in a huge way. It’s time to do something for a defender.

  59. GCW_69 says:

    fifthcartel: And if they don’t want him, a lateral trade might work, for somebody else’s player who hasn’t panned out,” he said.”

    Let’s trade Schultz for Ryan Johansen!

  60. blainer says:

    russ99:
    It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens when Schultz excels somewhere else.

    Are we going to bemoan lack of foresight, or are we going to remember how the fans drummed him out of town Poti-style? Also, how past coaches misused him, and the current coach puts the system above all despite the strengths and weakness of our players and opponents?

    Not to mention who he’s been paired with. He’s done well with Sekera, Davidson and Klefbom, and not well with Ference, Gryba and Nikitin. Coincidence, I think not.

    Shultz excelling somewhere else..

    Ha !!

    I guess maybe in the KHL…………… Maybe..

    He has no compete level at all.. he will be out of the league by this time next year.

    I said the same about Gagner and it has played out exactly how I called it.

    He went to two teams after the oilers. Gagner won’t even get a PTO next year.

    Shultz will get the same. Two teams and the out of the league by the end of next year.

    Love your glass being half full and as I said about gags I would love to be wrong on this.

  61. Soup Fascist says:

    GCW_69: Let’s trade Schultz for Ryan Johansen!

    Sure why not! Based on the last couple of days, if nothing else we wil have awesome depth at center.

    1C Stamkos
    2C McDavid
    3C Drai
    4C RNH
    Johansen in the pressbox, just in case

    I knew that boob Hrudey was wrong about RNH being a 3C

  62. bendelson says:

    We need to put Schultz in a position where he can succeed.
    I suggest Bakersfield.

    He needs an opportunity to regain his confidence.
    Again, let me suggest Bakersfield.

    Next year, he can move on to another franchise and can continue the process in their farm system.
    If he makes it back to the NHL… good for him.

    Time to move on.

  63. LoDog says:

    No idea why Schultz is still on the PP.

    For a fancy stat blog I never seem to see anyone post actual numbers to back up Schultz’s awfulness.

    Maybe I missed it I don’t see all the threads.

    From what I have seen of Gmoneys work and war-on-ice he is right at or near the top in the stats that usually get a lot of weight around here.

  64. Woodguy says:

    Woogie63:
    Poti to Gilbert to Petry to Shultz, maybe the fans should not be in charge of trading defensemen.

    What fans are you talking about?

    Not the regular posters at Lowetide.ca

    1) Here’s two threads on the Gilbert trade:

    https://lowetide.ca/2012/02/27/oilers-trade-gilbert-for-schultz/

    https://lowetide.ca/2012/02/28/sail-on-bloomington-jaguar/

    Overwhelmingly wanted to keep Gilbert

    2) Here’s two thread on the Petry trade:

    https://lowetide.ca/2015/03/02/monday-monday-cant-trust-that-day/comment-page-1/#comments

    https://lowetide.ca/2015/03/02/sail-on-des-moines-buccaneer/

    Overwhelmingly wanting to form a lynch mob for MacT.

    So I don’t know which fans you are making your sweeping statements about, but its not the fans who regularly post here and since you posted that here I’m assuming that you mean the regulars here.

    If so, you are very, very wrong.

    The Poti trade pre-dates this boards as it happened 13 years ago.

  65. stush18 says:

    I didn’t watch the game so I don’t know how bad Schultz was.

    But if you look at the stats, he didn’t look that terrible. If he can come out positive playing against Kane, that’s a positive, no?

    He was playing much better at the start of the year, this is something everyone here admitted. I’m going to assume it takes a while to get back to top level after a back injury. We’ve cut every other player slack when it happens to them, why not Schultz?

    Could you extend him a contract less than his qualifying offer? Say 2 yrs at 3 mil?

    Just trying to play devils advocate. We ran out petry, Gilbert, and Poti. He obviously is not a driver of play, but as a member of a solid d corps, would he really be that awful? Petry went to be a solid number three playing with a solid group around him.

    Edit* by we, I mean a fan base collectively. Not the lowetidians necessarily.

  66. AsiaOil says:

    That is exactly the issue. It’s not that TMac/Chia exile guys who makes mistakes – they exile guys who make mistakes and refuse to play the system. You would think Fayne could have figured this out watching other guys on 1 way deals head to Bakersfield – and I hope that clearing waivers and riding a bus to games changes his attitude. You buck the coach on this squad and it will cost you.

    LoDog:
    Glad I only watched a few minutes last night, went about the way I thought it would.

    On Fayne, whether you think he is one the best 6 dmen is a bit besides the point. He can not or will not play the system so he won’t be playing for the Oilers.

  67. Melvis says:

    There are 25 yr olds in this league that enjoy elite skating skills. In fact, they can skate with the top third in the league. They have played over 200 NHL games. Some, but not all, enjoy high hockey IQ and good ice vision. Those are debatable points. They’re not playing D or wing. And they’re certainly not making 4 mil a year.

    We generally refer to them as zebras, stripes and refs.

  68. vinotintazo says:

    stush18: player slack when it happens to them, why not Schultz

    I dont think his injury affects his hockey IQ or positioning.

    its permanent, and there is no cure.

  69. stush18 says:

    Justin Schultz has had a corsi of 50.4% and a positive corsi rel the past two years. He averages around 30 points each year. He’s just come back from a back injury, and is playing on a depleted defence core.

    Are we wearing blinders and seeing his singular moments as more than what they are?

    We all remember him playing well at the start of this year right? We aren’t throwing that info out the window?

    If you wanted to convince me that you could acquire and play a dman in Schultz role at little to no cost, than yes I would listen. But I’m not buying anything else. If nothing else, Justin Schultz speed should allow him to work effectively in Tmacs system.

    http://m.hkref.com/m?p=XXplayersXXsXXschulju01.html&t=2

  70. Quinlan says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    I learned the word supercilious while reading Dostoyeski’s House of the Dead.The translation I read used the word on every other page.I remember thinking the original Russian word must be a lot more common.

    I’ve hated the word ever since.

    In any case, since supercilious is a word of negative connotations, with the flavour of not simply arrogance but rather undeserved arrogance, I am quite sure the word does not apply to me.

    Well, that was kind of my point. We can’t be sure that Schultz doesn’t have value. We don’t know that. We don’t “deserve” the certainty/arrogance of that assertion. It would be supercilious of us to designate him as untradeable.

    As you’re fond of saying, we don’t know what we don’t know. And what we don’t know (when it comes to making trades in the NHL) is an awful lot.

    What we don’t know about the morass of “intangibles” that still somehow influence decision making in this league is an awful lot, considering said morass is unknowable.

    All that said, I didn’t intend to offend you with my word choice. Had I known your history with Dostoyeski I would have restrained myself. 😉

  71. Lowetide says:

    I think he is better than he is showing, and if Todd McLellan is willing to invest playing time in him then we can’t write him off. The concern for me is that we are seeing the same thing we have always seen, and these games matter now. I hope Schultz has a long and productive career as an Oiler. Sincerely. I do not think the organization should spend another period waiting on him to progress.

  72. AsiaOil says:

    Shultz, Fayne, Nikitin, Ference – all out – that’s just some disastrous work for the GM that signed those guys.

    Gryba – can live with him as a 6/7 who brings toughness – but would not be crushed to lose him either

    Sekera, Klef, Nurse, Davidson, Reinhart – keepers

    Klef xxx
    Nurse Sekera
    Davidson Reinhart Gryba

    Insert Burns or Weber into xxx spot and this situation turns on a dime from bad to good. Shultz has used up his 9 lives but maybe Fayne will still “get religion” in the AHL. We probably afford to carry him as a 4/5 next year if he can get his act together.

  73. freedomisamyth says:

    I’d like to see Schultz handled differently tactically
    :
    1) On the PP, instead of the point, I think he should be on one of the positions on the boards – his strength used to be more sneaking in from the point, than quarterbacking. He can’t really sneak in on the 1-3-1 as the point man because that’s just asking for a goal against. Have him on the second unit, with sekera bombing shots from the point, and then ebs can look to set him up back door. He also should not be the one bringing the puck up ice, cuz he’s terrible at that and I think that’s the main problem with the 1st unit right now.

    2) TMac should keep on the third pair, but really encourage him to think offensively and aggressively jumping in from the point…I think his issues with getting burned in his first 2 years (a lot of which were because of shoddy covering by the forwards who were supposed to cover for him when he went offensive) have caused him to be gunshy in doing anything aggressive offensively. That’s what got him to the show, and if he’s not going to do it, then he’s useless. He may have a better time of it now, with teammates who seem to have a clue about covering now. Might take some heavy confidence building though, as I think his confidence is shattered.

  74. stush18 says:

    AsiaOil:
    That is exactly the issue. It’s not that TMac/Chia exile guys who makes mistakes – they exile guys who make mistakes and refuse to play the system. You would think Fayne could have figured this out watching other guys on 1 way deals head to Bakersfield – and I hope that clearing waivers and riding a bus to games changes his attitude. You buck the coach on this squad and it will cost you.

    His injury would exactly affect his positioning actually. If he isn’t at full strength, he will compensate to try and cover, making him appear out of position. Slow dmen often do this by backing up too far, instead of maintaining gap in case they get blown by.

    Seriously. Any time a player has gotten a back injury, many posters, LT, included, have cut them slack. When it happens to Justin, (who is a positive possession player this year and last), we lose our minds and call him weak with no intensity.

    He’s not driving offense. Agreed. But perhaps we miscast him as the next Erik karlsson, and now expect something else? He is an effective defender. If you lose the blinders on being moar big.

    Edit* I’m at work and replied to the wrong poster. Meant for this to be directed at vinny.

  75. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    stush18,

    No, he isn’t.

    I’m sorry, but we’ve seen that base possession metrics are not ideal for telling us which Dmen are performing well. They are fine as part of a basket of ways of looking at Dmen, but alone they aren’t there yet.

    Any stat that tells you Schultz is good at defense isn’t working. I consider myself a stats guy… but I can’t accept that.

  76. Bag of Pucks says:

    Confusing post. Starts off saying the best 9 are the difference (true) then switches gears to suggest that not having Fayne in the lineup is a big issue.

    Try as I might, I can’t get caught up in the debate of whether Fayne is a 5, 6, 7 or 8 or by the same token, what a mistake it is to have Gazdic on the 4th line over Klinkhammer. Fringe players. First world problems?

    Our best got outplayed by their best….again. Looking forward to the days when they show up every night.

  77. Caramel Obvious says:

    Quinlan,

    I was joking, obviously. Not offended.

    Schultz is my least favourite hockey player ever. The worst hockey player (hockey player division) in the NHL.

  78. Water Fire says:

    I feel sorry for Schultz, but then he has become a millionaire for probably failing out of the league. I hope he’s smart with his money.

    At the end of the every player has to win 50%+ of their assignments to be a positive contributor, however they can do it – skill, speed, great stick, strength, determination, anticipation, hopefully all of these.

  79. SwedishPoster says:

    I don’t see Schultz nearly as bad as the majority seem to do. He has struggled offensively but he started the year playing well getting the puck back and moving it up ice. After his injury he’s been ok imo but the timing has been off at times which is to be expected.

    I still think of Anton Strålman in relation to Schultz. Strålman was an offensive D with good/great skating who came to the NHL with some hype but was consider soft, lazy, lacking strength and focus after his first few seasons. He needed Tortorella to bust his balls to figure it out. He came to the Rangers in the 11/12 season and only got into 53 games, was a healthy scratch a lot of nights. That was his 25 year old season and his fifth in the NHL. The year after he finally figured it out. At 26. Someone might point to Strålman having great hockey IQ. That was not the word on the street during his time in Toronto. He was lauded for dumb plays. And after the Columbus spell he was on his way out of the league when NY picked him up as a restoration project.

    I’m not saying Schultz will become Strålman. But I don’t think he’s nearly as bad as the rest of you seem to think and I think he still has room to grow. He’s completely lost his PP mojo though and he needs to be off it. At least until he finds his offensive confidence 5 v 5. Let’s see where he’s at by the end of the season.

  80. LMHF#1 says:

    stush18:

    We all remember him playing well at the start of this year right? We aren’t throwing that info out the window?

    Better. Not well. Furthermore he is still struggling to be anything resembling the player he was in his rookie year.

    These are not good things.

  81. LMHF#1 says:

    SwedishPoster:
    I don’t see Schultz nearly as bad as the majority seem to do. He has struggled offensively but he started the year playing well getting the puck back and moving it up ice. After his injury he’s been ok imo but the timing has been off at times which is to be expected.

    The problem for me is that Schultz makes far too many inexcusable plays where he’s just in the picture making no difference. He got caught doing absolutely nothing on that Toews goal and that happens multiple times a game whether the puck ends up in the back of the net or not. He’s missing so many finer points of the game…which makes no sense for a talented guy like him. Looks like he’s just spaced out half the time.

  82. Woogie63 says:

    Woodguy,

    Fair point, I just re-read those post to help with my POV.

    822 individual posts across 4 articles.

    There is a theme of liked the player …. There is also a theme of I don’t like the return from this trade, which suggested the premise the player should be traded.

    Just my POV

  83. SwedishPoster says:

    LMHF#1,

    I think that’s it. He loses focus for brief moments during the games, can’t do that in the NHL. That’s why I like the Strålman comparison because he had the same problem, he lost focus and looked stupid doing it. When Tortorella started going apeshit every time Strålman messed up he found that focus somehow. Not sure what Schultz need, not sure if it’s someone shouting on him or he just needs confidence enough to relax and not play tense. I know a lot of the time players looking lazy and lackadaisical are just extremely tense and freeze up so it’s actually the other way around. Hard to tell when you’re not in the room.

  84. JorgeR04 says:

    McD skating again woohoo!

    Could a trade of Schultz for Luke Schenn be doable? What would it take? Does that put us in the right direction?

  85. SwedishPoster says:

    On another note. I just watched an extremely onesided pre-WJC game between Sweden and Denmark. Can’t really draw any conclusion on players, especially defensive D like Lagesson, since Sweden was at least two steps above Denmark in quality but it seems the coaches are considering Lagesson for first pairing duty.
    Alex Nylander dominated a weak danish team, will be very interesting to see against proper opponents where he’ll be tested for real but he looks legit. Fantastic skillset, still think his big brother is the better prospect but Alexander looks like he’s taken another step and could challenge for top 5 in the draft. He’s almost got more flair than his brother.

  86. sliderule says:

    The oilers were trapping for most of the first two periods.

    Coaches correctly thought with injuries oilers couldn’t skate with Hawks.

    Hawks played an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck and pinned three of our lines. In our own end.

    You lose your first or second best defenceman ,two top six wingers in Yak and Poo and our best player in Connor and you ave to expect nights like that against a real good team.

    If they shit the bed against Colorado that will be another thing.

  87. Woodguy says:

    Woogie63:
    Woodguy,

    Fair point, I just re-read those post to help with my POV.

    822 individual posts across 4 articles.

    There is a theme of liked the player …. There is also a theme of I don’t like the return from this trade, which suggested the premise the player should be traded.

    Just my POV

    I guess you’re seeing what you want to see.

  88. Water Fire says:

    JorgeR04:
    McD skating again woohoo!

    Could a trade of Schultz for Luke Schenn be doable?What would it take?Does that put us in the right direction?

    I can’t get on board for hockey players that can’t skate well. I dislike watching them play and hamper the team, unless they are opponents, then I like it.

  89. Water Fire says:

    SwedishPoster:
    LMHF#1,

    I think that’s it. He loses focus for brief moments during the games, can’t do that in the NHL. That’s why I like the Strålman comparison because he had the same problem, he lost focus and looked stupid doing it. When Tortorella started going apeshit every time Strålman messed up he found that focus somehow. Not sure what Schultz need, not sure if it’s someone shouting on him or he just needs confidence enough to relax and not play tense. I know a lot of the time players looking lazy and lackadaisical are just extremely tense and freeze up so it’s actually the other way around. Hard to tell when you’re not in the room.

    I agree with LT. Schultz isn’t an awful player, but there has been no progress, none, before injury or ever. We have seen this before, and he has had time. Good players get it together fast. Role players can over years develop into useful players, but rarely top players.

    If Schultz might become a ‘useful player’ still I prefer a different type, more robust, not necessarily big. Schultz puts no pressure on the opponent in any way.

  90. mit167 says:

    Haven’t been on in awhile. Merry Xmas to everyone. Was listening to Oilers now while driving to the cabin on cold lake. They said proposed lines for tomorrow are

    Hall RNH Drai
    Purcell Hendricks Ebs
    Korpi Letestu Paki
    Khaira Lander Gaz

    This doesn’t seem great

  91. Water Fire says:

    Hjarmalsson to me is a similar player to Schultz. He’s not heavy, isn’t that physical or offensive, but he gets the puck and gets it up, and he can do it against all kinds of players. I guess the difference is the stick, winning possession that way. Many Oilers are weak winning stick battles. Wimps 🙂

  92. stevezie says:

    Caramel Obvious: In any case, since supercilious is a word of negative connotations, with the flavour of not simply arrogance but rather undeserved arrogance, I am quite sure the word does not apply to me.

    Quite.

    SwedishPoster,

    For me it is the opposite of MacT’s old saying. it’s now how much he takes away, it is how little he brings.

    What does he do? He doesn’t score, he doesn’t pass that well, he’s certainly not an elite defender…

    I completely understand why some want to have faith. His accomplishments in the NCAA and AHL are no joke, and those are great leagues. His possession numbers have gotten much better and he’s hitting the experience point where defenceman get better. I get all that.

    But when I watch him and look at his offensive numbers, I don’t see anything. Anything at all. I’m wrong all the time and will happily weat the toedasoes this time next year if he gets good, but I could not begin to tell you how that happens. Maybe he gives less away, but what does he bring?

  93. RexLibris says:

    Woogie63:
    RexLibris,

    You don’t think Shultz’ skating is elite?

    I think it is high-end, but not elite.

    He is an effortless skater, but that doesn’t translate to meaning that he is someone with a clear speed advantage or superior edge work that allows him to navigate through or around bodies with the puck nor properly position and adjust when defending.

  94. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: I hope Schultz has a long and productive career as an Oiler. Sincerely. I do not think the organization should spend another period waiting on him to progress.

    I’m curious though, how do you reconcile these two sentences?

    For him to be successful here he needs to progress, but how can he do so unless they invest time and “at-bats” in him?

    They have invested to this point but the returns don’t appear to be coming. So it seems if we want to invest in the first statement, then we must expect a repeat of the results we have seen to-date.

    Whereas, if we want to invest in the second statement, then the proverbial leash has just been shortened to almost nil such that we may see him on the Davidson/Reinhart/Fayne rotation that was happening earlier this season.

    Your conversation earlier today with Yost about replacing Schultz with Fayne seemed the best bet to me. Fayne may have some limitations but he has areas in which, while narrow, he is at least competent.

  95. Woodguy says:

    stush18:
    Justin Schultz has had a corsi of 50.4% and a positive corsi rel the past two years. He averages around 30 points each year. He’s just come back from a back injury, and is playing on a depleted defence core.

    Are we wearing blinders and seeing his singular moments as more than what they are?

    We all remember him playing well at the start of this year right? We aren’t throwing that info out the window?

    If you wanted to convince me that you could acquire and play a dman in Schultz role at little to no cost, than yes I would listen. But I’m not buying anything else. If nothing else, Justin Schultz speed should allow him to work effectively in Tmacs system.

    http://m.hkref.com/m?p=XXplayersXXsXXschulju01.html&t=2

    While I’m not a big fan of using corsi for Dmen, if you are going to use it for Schultz then there must be a bit of context.

    14/15
    With Klefbom 51.4%
    Away from Klefbom 48.7%
    Klefbom w/o Schultz 46.7

    15/16
    With Klefbom 53.8%
    Without Klefbom 41.5% (!)
    Klefbom w/o Schultz 48.3%

    Remember the Klefbom is the 22 year old who was a rookie last year and has 107 NHL games while Schultz is the 25 year old in his 4th year 222 games played in the NHL.

  96. LoDog says:

    RexLibris,

    But what is Fayne competent at again?

    Doesn’t Schultz have the better numbers?

  97. kinger_OIL says:

    – Shultz underlying numbers are fine: Corsi above 50 last 2 years, back luck with PDO l (95 this year!).

    – Put him on 3rd line and he’d be ok: the problem is he’s getting paid 4MM: that’s too much for a 5/6D. He will be gone unless he takes a 4 x 2.5MM deal. I’d do that deal

  98. Woodguy says:

    The Oilers need to get to a place where a player who is “ok” isn’t good enough and they aim higher.

    I honestly believe that Chiarelli is going down that path.

  99. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Melvis:

    We generally refer to them as zebras, stripes and refs.

    Maybe in YOUR household. Some of us have alternate terms of endearment for these fellows.

  100. Bootstrap Effexor says:

    What he does not need to do is go “whale hunting”.

    That would be quite the strange nautical walkabout after a five-year push priming the whale farm with growth-enhancing whale tears—right when we already have a prodigious pup nicknamed McMobyIseTheByeWhoPoopoosTheCatchLimit rippling under.

    Hooking up with a tuna is like being connected to a runaway city bus half-piping Valley Valhalla. All you can do is ready your whole body for the job of cranking and lifting without a second’s rest. I’ve seen NFL linemen quit midfight. Anglers who battle giant bluefin often end up with back problems.

    ———

    I lifted that from The Toughest Fish on Earth. Hey, betcha nobody even noticed my seamless hyperbole makeover.

    ———

    Doot dada doot doooo, doot dada doot dooooo—

    Edna snaps out her phone.

    Edna: Darling! Praise if you must, the Muse can wait!

    Deep background voice, sounding gruffly melodious, but in a far flung, seven-string key-signature long since forgotten to history.

    Edna: Stop right there! Stop!! Not another word! You say the last batch of aquamarine tights are tinting to Tiffany? Well, of course you people would know the difference! Just because Homer was too embarrassed to commit all those fruity colour names of antiquity to parchment doesn’t make an entire race and time blind, now does it? … So you kiln dried the whole batch? Oh, I see. You had no idea a Kraken could splash so much. … But no bellows, right? Riiight? Lay off the bellows during the cool-down cycle. It says so right on the supersuit garment care tag—

    Another gruff, taciturn grumble.

    Edna: Sinbad! It’s that scratchy thing at the back of the neck—you people in your era really must work on your reading skills. Did you think we sew on those tags just to make the back of your neck itch? … Oh. You did? And nary a peep amid the Accolades of Ares you showered upon me?

    Sinbad make a grumble verging on grunt.

    Edna: Au contraire my good man, the depredations of fate are so last week . Well, never you mind—1000% satisfied or your money refunded. Expect a complete bundle—yes, of course, aquamarine of the deepest “wine dark” hue—on the next Roc.

    Here Sinbad’s mellifluous grumble gains intensity.

    Edna: My ear! Well that’s your problem, isn’t it? You should have kept the Tiffanies until then. So you lose a few men? Darling, you’ll have spares!

    Sinbad’s grumble now takes on an antiquarian lilt as if he’s reciting poetry that predates Ozymandias—the historical figure, Ramses himself, and most of his bloodline.

    Edna: Hmmm, hmmm … one can’t stump Grande Dame Edna my salty seadog … hmmm, hmmm … roughly it goes “point men with muffin spear jab gettable in dozen by dracma?” Is that about right? … Darling! Of course it sounds better in the original! … That spitting sound you make at the end of the word “dracma” threw off my poetry. Oh! You were spitting! I see.

    Edna continues bravely: But surely you can fill one or two fresh vacancies. Darling! I just know you can. Don’t you remember your happy dance? Sinbad Kahn, Sinbad Kahn, Sinbad Can-can, Sinbad Kahn? Oh, dearest dear, not one measly stick of privacy? … Oh no, not at all! A little vegetation complements jutting majesty. Repeat after me “rocks without vines are not divine.” Next time, bear that in mind. For now it seems you really are stuck between a Roc and a hard place. Har har har, Darling! … Pshaw! … Well, it’s a fine saying in our time! … Good day, then, to you too, crabbycakes!

    Edna snaps her phone back into her perfect vestline, and flinches momentarily. Whatever got into me? I just called Sinbad “Crabbycakes!”

    “Looooo, Looooo” Edna bellows in grand distress.

    Loo appears out of nowhere, as a good butler should.

    Loo: You called, Oh Supreme Grand Seamstress?

    Edna briefly regards Loo—who can be quite the card—over the rims of her twin Jeroboams, flicking her head just so to carve out a severe gunloop under her bunker bangs. If there’s a look—any look—Edna rocks it.

    Edna: “Darkest maritime aquamarine. Double kiln-dry colourfast. On the next delivery Roc! Special extraditionary … uh, expositionary … uh, expeditionary courier—my, my, my I’m so flustered by this little mishap—and make it a well fed Roc.

    Sinbad! Crabbycakes! What was I thinking!

    Loo has little difficulty fielding Edna’s shorthand. Daily though they be, delivery Rocs tend not to work all that hard for a living. Why, in the last go round, even Sinbad was overheard saying “er, have you got anything less special?” before opining vaguely in high Persian patois about the fullness of time.

    Grandly gathering up the full magnitude of her supreme distress, Edna punctuates her terrible foible with a dramatic smack of bunched knucklettes against her forehead (er, where her forehead would notionally be)—without shedding so much as one flake of ash—and plunges into an epic swoon.

    Doot dada doot doooo, doot dada doot dooooo—

    Edna recoils in a heartbeat, and snaps out her phone in a single motion.

    Edna: Darling! Praise if you must, while the Muse morns!

    Loo misses the next bit as he shuffles off to complete his assigned task, but he catches the catnip, as tends to happen more often than not.

    Edna: [Bellowing] My word! Can no one on this planet read worth a single stitch! One does not step into a laser fitting booth to pre-fit a skin-tight sintered asbestos safety-liner right after completing the polar bear swim! I don’t know who scheduled the superhero charity swim on that particular day! Unbelievable. … Noo-uh, I know no such thing! Darling dearest, I’ll have you know that heroes come in all sizes—there’s even a few of your kind with large brains.

    ———

    “No capes,” mutters Loo. “And no cat suits for men, either,” he grins, as he makes a mental note to dial down the laser fitting booth another chilly degree.

  101. Water Fire says:

    Woodguy,

    “Remember the Klefbom is the 22 year old who was a rookie last year and has 107 NHL games while Schultz is the 25 year old in his 4th year 222 games played in the NHL.”

    Top players hit it young in every position. Not that there aren’t mistakes, but the signs of having what it takes are there, simply being refined.

    If at 21-22 you still aren’t sure, that player is very likely a lesser NHL player at best. The caveat is that you KNOW what you’re looking at, or distinctly what you’re looking for.

    MacT | Lowe blew it big time on Dubnyk, and it was a thinking fail. All he could see were the deficiencies, but in Dubnyk’s case the positives outweighed. There were also no clear upgrades. Same with Petry. Schultz however has never shown what Dub or Petry did. He has only had potential, unrealized.

    I believe the new regime knows clearly what they want and whether they are seeing it. It remains to be seen if their vision of NHL hockey is the right one.

  102. Quinlan says:

    kinger_OIL:
    – Shultz underlying numbers are fine: Corsi above 50 last 2 years, back luck with PDO l (95 this year!).

    – Put him on 3rd line and he’d be ok: the problem is he’s getting paid 4MM: that’s too much for a 5/6D.He will be gone unless he takes a 4 x 2.5MM deal.I’d do that deal

    Your point brings up a really interesting reality. If Schultz wants to have an NHL career moving forward, it is inevitable that he will have to take a pay cut this summer to do so. If the Oilers cut him loose, he can expect low salary + short term as a UFA, perhaps even the Jamie McBain treatment.

    If he wants to stay an Oiler, his camp is going to have to look favorably at a cut substantially lower than the qualifying offer he would be guaranteed in a normal RFA scenario.

    Either way, he’s getting a massive pay cut this year.

    Schultz on a $4 million per year contract will not happen. Not with the Oilers. Not with anyone.

    Schultz on a $2.5 million per year contract is likely – its up to him to decide where that will be.

    To be honest, at that $$, I find a 3rd pairing Justin Schultz palatable, though still not ideal.

  103. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Water Fire: At the end of the every player has to win 50%+ of their assignments to be a positive contributor, however they can do it – skill, speed, great stick, strength, determination, anticipation, hopefully all of these.

    This is a very good take. It’s a rare player that has “all of these” in abundance, but I would argue that your team as a whole needs a balance of all of these things. The full spectrum of LT’s wide range of skills, if you will. If you have a weakness in any one area, NHL teams will exploit the shit out of it.

    Which is why I have more time for Eric Gryba than most who post here. I think he addresses balance on the team scale, in areas that aren’t likely to be captured by possession metrics.

  104. Snowman says:

    kinger_OIL,

    In what way does Schultz positively contribute on a regular basis? What does he bring that any of the other 9 D don’t bring?

    Seriously asking.

    Edit: I hate offering Schultz 4 years of anything. You don’t reward futility with term.

  105. OF17 says:

    Water Fire:
    Hjarmalsson to me is a similar player to Schultz. He’s not heavy, isn’t that physical or offensive, but he gets the puck and gets it up, and he can do it against all kinds of players. I guess the difference is the stick, winning possession that way. Many Oilers are weak winning stick battles. Wimps

    What? Hjalmarsson is nothing like Schultz. Hjalmarsson is like Klefbom and has looked like it since his rookie season. He’s hard on the puck, great defensively, has a good pass, sees the ice well. One of those guys that’s good in so many ways that he’s probably going to get the best of you. He’d probably be our best defenseman, whereas Schultz has only Ference to thank for not being our worst.

    Schultz is MAB if you took away the shot and PP offense. Nasty.

  106. Woodguy says:

    Water Fire:
    Woodguy,

    “Remember the Klefbom is the 22 year old who was a rookie last year and has 107 NHL games while Schultz is the 25 year old in his 4th year 222 games played in the NHL.”

    Top players hit it young in every position. Not that there aren’t mistakes, but the signs of having what it takes are there, simply being refined.

    If at 21-22 you still aren’t sure, that player is very likely a lesser NHL player at best. The caveat is that you KNOW what you’re looking at, or distinctly what you’re looking for.

    MacT | Lowe blew it big time on Dubnyk, and it was a thinking fail. All he could see were the deficiencies, but in Dubnyk’s case the positives outweighed. There were also no clear upgrades. Same with Petry. Schultz however has never shown what Dub or Petry did. He has only had potential, unrealized.

    I believe the new regime knows clearly what they want and whether they are seeing it. It remains to be seen if their vision of NHL hockey is the right one.

    We’ll get a peak at their vision this year and then we’ll know a whole lot more by July 3rd or so.

  107. BONVIE says:

    Woodguy: While I’m not a big fan of using corsi for Dmen, if you are going to use it for Schultz then there must be a bit of context.

    14/15
    With Klefbom 51.4%
    Away from Klefbom 48.7%
    Klefbom w/o Schultz 46.7

    15/16
    With Klefbom 53.8%
    Without Klefbom 41.5% (!)
    Klefbom w/o Schultz 48.3%

    Remember the Klefbom is the 22 year old who was a rookie last year and has 107 NHL games while Schultz is the 25 year old in his 4th year 222 games played in the NHL.

    Very Interesting! I though they played well together last season, and again this season. I think Nikitin is a bad pair for him because he isn’t as sound positionally. I am not sure Nikitin did as well in the minors as the Organization would have us believe, I mean he was minus 7 in the short time he was there. Still hoping that a trade partner can be found without taking back a bad contract I guess. At this point if we could roll him for even an offensive minor leaguer more the Arcobello type player this would be good.

    I’m thinking after the weekend Fayne or Rheinhart or both are called up, can’t blow the season to try to get value out of an old depth Defenseman.

  108. Water Fire says:

    Bruce McCurdy: This is a very good take. It’s a rare player that has “all of these” but I would argue that your team as a whole needs a balance of all of these things. If you have a weakness in any one area, NHL teams will exploit the shit out of it.

    Which is why I have more time for Eric Gryba than most who post here. I think he addresses balance on the team scale, in areas that aren’t likely to be captured by possession metrics.

    Thanks. How I see it on a player level, mobility is the bottom line. Beyond that a player can’t be one dimensional and be a contributor unless they are an elite scorer like Kane. On the Oilers (and likely any team) the more rounded players are the contributors carrying those who are limited.

    On a team level, I agree there needs to be a variety of players, to accommodate a variety of opponent styles. I’m not on board with those distinctions being too defined though, because over reliance on one player leads to big trouble when they get injured. Teams that are more rounded are the ones who keep it rolling.

  109. Woodguy says:

    Water Fire:
    Hjarmalsson to me is a similar player to Schultz. He’s not heavy, isn’t that physical or offensive, but he gets the puck and gets it up, and he can do it against all kinds of players. I guess the difference is the stick, winning possession that way. Many Oilers are weak winning stick battles. Wimps

    Hjarlmasson is a very good defensive Dman who is *always* in the right position, has a very good stick and uses his body to either stop the sortie or remove puck from man and then makes a good first pass. Doesn’t throw “thundering” checks though.

    Nothing like Schultz really.

  110. Woogie63 says:

    LoDog,

    I hope we get to a place where the guy coming into the line-up has beat out the player coming out of the line-up.

    At this point I see Shultz as one of our 6 best options on defense to win “tonight”. I would have a discussion on Fayne v. Shultz, but the rest of the options aren’t as good as 19.

  111. Water Fire says:

    OF17: What? Hjalmarsson is nothing like Schultz. Hjalmarsson is like Klefbom and has looked like it since his rookie season. He’s hard on the puck, great defensively, has a good pass, sees the ice well. One of those guys that’s good in so many ways that he’s probably going to get the best of you. He’d probably be our best defenseman, whereas Schultz has only Ference to thank for not being our worst.

    Schultz is MAB if you took away the shot and PP offense. Nasty.

    Hjarmalsson is a rounded player, but he doesn’t have Klef’s size or physicality. He doesn’t play a strength game that I’ve seen, although I missed last night’s game. I meant more in the physicality of play.

    Of course the problem is Schultz can’t win a stick battle and has issues with hockey IQ part as far as he’s showing. He is nowhere near Hjarm. But that’s where he would be if playing like he’s been getting paid.

  112. Water Fire says:

    Woodguy: We’ll get a peak at their vision this year and then we’ll know a whole lot more by July 3rd or so.

    truth

  113. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Maybe in YOUR household. Some of us have alternate terms of endearment for these fellows.

    Hmmm, you must use “endearment” differently than I do.

    Or as “Steve Smith” would say…well, you know.

  114. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Water Fire: Beyond that a player can’t be one dimensional and be a contributor unless they are an elite scorer like Kane.

    Ha, I would give a guy like Kane double credit for being both an elite finisher AND an elite playmaker. Not to mention his ability to use a hockey stick & puck to expand & contract time itself.

    Eberle is the poor man’s Kane, can finish, can make plays, can occasionally electrify a game. So I wouldn’t consider him “one dimensional” either, though your mileage may vary.

  115. kinger_OIL says:

    Snowman,

    – He brings a corsi of over 50% last 2 years, and some points, and is different mold than most D’s.

    – Plus he’s had really bad puck luck, as reflected in a PDO of 96 this year, and 98 last year

    – On a good team, with the right D partner, he has the potential be part of of a fine 3rd line pairing

    – And if he’s smart, wants to have a long career, he takes my 2.5MM x 4 develops as does the OIL, not asked to do what he can’t, gets coached up and grows: he’s a complementary piece.

  116. OF17 says:

    The difference between Reinhart and Nikitin at the NHL level right now is small enough that it makes sense keeping Reinhart in the AHL. Reinhart is as close to a guaranteed #5 as prospects come. Whether we get value for that trade will depend on whether he can add the offense and refinement to become a legit top-4 D. That’s more likely to occur in the AHL at the moment.

    One benefit too is that you can play Reinhart-Fayne as an AHL pairing (no idea if they’ve done this or not). It looks like they might be a 3rd pairing in the NHL next year, and if they can develop enough to be able to handle 2nd opposition, that would be a huge boost to one of the top 2 pairs.

  117. Quinlan says:

    Something is definitely broken with Schultz – it has been a long time since he has posted crooked boxcars.

    And still…

    Since he entered the league in 2012/13, he is

    – 33rd in D-man scoring with 94 pts,
    – 27th in goals with 25
    – 24th in PP scoring by a D-man with 41 pts.

    On the Oilers, in that time frame, he is

    – 5th in pts (forwards and defense)
    – 6 pts behind Nail Yakupov

  118. Water Fire says:

    Woodguy: Hjarlmasson is a very good defensive Dman who is *always* in the right position, has a very good stick and uses his body to either stop the sortie or remove puck from man and then makes a good first pass.Doesn’t throw “thundering” checks though.

    Nothing like Schultz really.

    No but it’s how Schultz should play and doesn’t. He’s not going to rush the puck at a top level and can’t shoot, he’s not strong or heavy enough to engage, it’s all that’s there for him IMO to succeed.

  119. BONVIE says:

    Woogie63:
    LoDog,

    I hope we get to a place where the guy coming into the line-up has beat out the player coming out of the line-up.

    At this point I see Shultz as one of our 6 best options on defense to win “tonight”.I would have a discussion on Fayne v. Shultz, but the rest of the options aren’t as good as 19.

    </blockqu

    Bruce McCurdy: This is a very good take. It’s a rare player that has “all of these” in abundance, but I would argue that your team as a whole needs a balance of all of these things. The full spectrum of LT’s wide range of skills, if you will. If you have a weakness in any one area, NHL teams will exploit the shit out of it.

    Which is why I have more time for Eric Gryba than most who post here. I think he addresses balance on the team scale, in areas that aren’t likely to be captured by possession metrics.

    I totally agree with Gryba’s value, and with balancing D pairs. It’s why I found Gryba-Rheinhart a peculiar pairing two guys that bring similar attributes paired together.

  120. Water Fire says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Ha, I would give a guy like Kane double credit for being both an elite finisher AND an elite playmaker. Not to mention his ability to use a hockey stick & puck to expand & contract time itself.

    Eberle is the poor man’s Kane, can finish, can make plays, can occasionally electrify a game. So I wouldn’t consider him “one dimensional” either, though your mileage may vary.

    I meant ‘scorer’ in the points sense, sorry. Kane is superb but doesn’t do much else as far as I can see, but he is the type that can get away with that. Eberle is more questionable for me because he can’t play with anyone like Kane and make a line (drive the bus I suppose) , so if he has a fit great, but if not you have to find what fits.

  121. kinger_OIL says:

    BONVIE,

    – Yes Klef is a good D, so he makes his partners Corsi better

    – When Jultz isn’t playing with Klef, which D partners is he with? Worse D of course

  122. Oil2Oilers says:

    Team has a tough couple outings and look poised for a couple more with Klefbom out.

    Spector has his hotline bling and Chia Pete feeds him McDavid has been skating a week with Yak in secret. Working with Pelletier no less.

    Vet GM changing the narrative again?

  123. BONVIE says:

    kinger_OIL:
    BONVIE,

    – Yes Klef is a good D, so he makes his partners Corsi better

    – When Jultz isn’t playing with Klef, which D partners is he with?Worse D of course

    Yeah it’s more the drop in Klefbom’s numbers away from Schultz that caught my eye, not just this year but last as well.

  124. commonfan14 says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Which is why I have more time for Eric Gryba than most who post here. I think he addresses balance on the team scale, in areas that aren’t likely to be captured by possession metrics.

    I sometimes wonder about how to measure of effectiveness of things like toughness. Traditional thinking would be that a guy like Gryba can contribute by finishing his checks hard, which wears down the opposition during the course of the game.

    Based on that premise, it would be interesting to track the team’s EV Corsi in, say, 10 minute increments as the game progresses. You could then overlay a team or an individual’s hit totals during those increments and see if there are any patterns.

    If we begin seeing that more hits by Gryba in the first couple of sections tends to lead to the team having a better EV Corsi in the later sections, that would be a valuable thing to know.

  125. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Water Fire: I meant ‘scorer’ in the points sense, sorry. Kane is superb but doesn’t do much else as far as I can see, but he is the type that can get away with that. Eberle is more questionable for me because he can’t play with anyone like Kane and make a line (drive the bus I suppose) , so if he has a fit great, but if not you have to find what fits.

    Yeah, I’m likely more of a splitter. Who’s going to score goals? Who’s going to set up goals? Who’s going to bring the puck into the zone? Who’s going to get it moving north in the first place? You need all of that on your team, preferably on your five-man unit of the moment but certainly over the course of the 60 minutes. A guy like Kane, or Hall for that matter, can do at least the first three of those things at a high level, which to me makes them multi-dimensional attackers. But it’s just semantics.

  126. Woogie63 says:

    Quinlan,

    And he missed 14 games due to injury… It took Eberle some time to catch up to the speed of the game after his injury as well

  127. Bruce McCurdy says:

    commonfan14: I sometimes wonder about how to measure of effectiveness of things like toughness. Traditional thinking would be that a guy like Gryba can contribute by finishing his checks hard, which wears down the opposition during the course of the game.

    Based on that premise, it would be interesting to track the team’s EV Corsi in, say, 10 minuteincrements as the game progresses. You could then overlay a team or an individual’s hit totals during those increments and see if there are any patterns.

    If we begin seeing that more hits by Gryba in the first couple of sections tends to lead to the team having a better EV Corsi in the later sections, that would be a valuable thing to know.

    Sometimes it’s just a matter of match-ups. If the other team has some gaseous galoot farting in your goalie’s face all night and you look down your bench & see six Justin Schultzes (gord forbid, I’m just exaggerating for effect) then what are you going to do about it?

    But if you can send out Eric Gryba to carve the guy a new tattoo, maybe your goalie gets a better sniff of the puck instead.

    Ideally you have guys like that in your top four — I’m looking at you, Darnell Nurse — but most NHL coaches want at least one “crease clearer” on the back end, and are prepared to pay a price of deficiencies in other areas in the name of filling a team need.

    And for all that Mark Fayne might be one of Edmonton’s six best defencemen, that’s not his game either. Was it a deciding factor? Who knows, but it was likely *a* factor.

    The clearest statement Chiarelli has made towards his desired “heaviness” was (effectively) trading Marincin for Gryba (through a common draft pick). Wanted to change the mix on D.

  128. Snowman says:

    kinger_OIL,

    So I asked what does Schultz do well and you answered: He corsis well and is unlucky.

    To which I reply: He has a good D partner who carries him.

    His career PDO numbers are 98.33, 100.01, 98.63, 96.64 from 2012/13- 2015/16. That suggests to me his unlucky PDO is actually he’s a below average player and he won’t likely achieve an average PDO of 100 on a regular basis like you would expect an average hockey player to achieve.

  129. AsiaOil says:

    Shultz is done. Had his chance but he will never earn that salary. As a 3rd pair guy with a solid defensive player yes – but that’s not worth $4 million. So he’s done and dealt at the deadline to a team that needs short term insurance and we will happily take his cap room along with that from the rest of the expiring contracts.

    This summer or at the deadline is time for the big move. If SJS falls out then they might want to talk about Burns at the deadline and we have some chips they might find appealing (Ebs, GR, Slepy, #1 pick). That is a deal you talk about if Burns is willing to rejoin TMac. Weber or Jossi in NASH might be in play but clearly that’s a conversation that happens in the summer (if at all) and RNH would need to be on the table. Spurgeon from MINN another option in the summer but he’s a 2nd pair guy unless paired with a top pair stud. Larsson in NJD and of course Hamonic – all possible I guess.

    But Burns is the game changer and I give up a lot to acquire and extend him. I’m actually happier with the situation in goal going forward and the forwards will be fine (bottom 6 is not a killer issue). It’s the top pair RH dman that is so clearly lacking o this team – fix that – and we are competing immediately.

  130. haters says:

    Why is WoodGuy so grouchy.
    Some poor Oiler fan gets on his soap box and proclaims his opinion and along comes mean old WG to boot him right off.

    It’s xmas WG. Let them recall things that didn’t happen or have opinions that don’t coincide with yours …it’s ok, after the new year you can go right back at it.

    I think Shultz is a nice young man, and nice young men don’t belong on the blue line. Watch WG will post a link that proves Shultz is not a nice young man just to spite me.

  131. Woodguy says:

    haters:
    Why is WoodGuy so grouchy.
    Some poor Oiler fan gets on his soap box and proclaims his opinion and along comes mean old WG to boot him right off.

    It’s xmas WG. Let them recall things that didn’t happen or have opinions that don’t coincide with yours …it’s ok, after the new year you can go right back at it.

    I think Shultz is a nice young man, and nice young men don’t belong on the blue line. Watch WG will post a link that proves Shultz is not a nice young man just to spite me.

    Where exactly am I grouchy?

    Also,

    Yeah, evidence is a bitch.

  132. BONE207 says:

    blainer,
    We are soooo lucky he wasn’t signed to a long term deal.

    Jultz has absolutely ZERO trade value as well. He will waivered when the team is healthy. I predict he will be on the farm and Reinhart back up by Feb.

    He’ll be back in form of the lockout season in the AHL. I can see him with a future setting up Phil McRai for years. Go Condors…

  133. Woogie63 says:

    Woodguy: Where exactly am I grouchy?

    Also,

    Yeah, evidence is a bitch.

    Is the 822 threads in those 4 posts your evidence?

  134. BONE207 says:

    In addition to this and other comments on his back injury recently. If you have brains, maybe you don’t risk getting out of position to put your partner at risk for an odd man rush. If you have heart, maybe you skate like hell (even in pain) to not put your partner at risk for an odd man rush. If he had either of these, we would be able to tell. As LT says: not another period.

    Lowetide:
    I think he is better than he is showing, and if Todd McLellan is willing to invest playing time in him then we can’t write him off. The concern for me is that we are seeing the same thing we have always seen, and these games matter now. I hope Schultz has a long and productive career as an Oiler. Sincerely. I do not think the organization should spend another period waiting on him to progress.

  135. Woodguy says:

    Woogie63: Is the 822 threads in those 4 posts your evidence?

    Its 822 posts in 4 threads actually.

    Those and multiple posts in multiple threads preceding the Petry trade.

    The Gilbert trade came out of nowhere.

    I perused each thread and there is a common theme among most of the posters.

    If you think the regulars here approved of either trade then I really have nothing else to say.

  136. Woogie63 says:

    Agree to disagree

  137. Woodguy says:

    Woogie63:
    Agree to disagree

    No.

    You are mistaken or blind.

    I do not agree.

    At all.

  138. Woogie63 says:

    You pull that card a lot

  139. haters says:

    Woodguy,

    You just are homie. It’s kay, when the oil are winning you actually aren’t that bad.

  140. Woodguy says:

    haters:
    Woodguy,

    You just are homie. It’s kay, when the oil are winning you actually aren’t that bad.

    2 things:

    1) No one was more upbeat about this team when they were 8 games back than me. I saw a lot of good progress in their game. I also thought they were much better than the reports on them last night.

    2) I am not your homie.

  141. Woodguy says:

    Woogie63:
    You pull that card a lot

    Which card?

    Being right?

    Its not a card, its just a fact(s).

  142. Woogie63 says:

    An aggressive conclusion.

  143. haters says:

    Zing

  144. Quinlan says:

    That got weird.

  145. jm363561 says:

    Our best got outplayed by their best….again. Looking forward to the days when they show up every night.
    ======
    I do not know if Chicago had “their best” out but the Oilers were missing their entire second line and best D. I am still okay with my 77 point prediction; am okay with the progress being shown; and very hopeful next season will be the start of something great. Just wish my love for Anton Lander would be requited.

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