SMOKE ON THE WATER

The Edmonton Oilers needed a win last night, and they got it. It took until the shootout, but the point for this team in 2015-16 is to chase the second season, push away from the second division, and hopefully find themselves in a new place, in a brand new day. Yes. Last night was important.

MACHINE HEAD, 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: 7-6-1
  • Oilers in January 2015: 5-7-1
  • Oilers in January 2016: 1-0-0
  • Oilers after 40 in 2014-15: 9-22-9, 27 points (-52 GD)
  • Oilers after 40 in 2015-16: 16-21-3, 35 points (-22 GD)

The long December gave us reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last. It started well but faded, but most of the difference in this team’s record year over year comes from the twelfth month. Oilers are on pace for 72 points now, that would represent a 10-point increase, and the best season since Tom Renney’s second campaign in Edmonton. Chiarelli and McLellan both talked about pain in their opening media avails, this is us.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

oilers blue nov 30

  • Some very nice performances in the game yesterday afternoon. Overall, the defense gave up three goals, but the deployment by Todd McLellan appeared solid.
  • Nurse—Scultz played together and saw (mostly) either the Richardson or Vermette line. Nurse was 3-8 against Boedker and 5-6 against the Richardson line, with the duo dominating the Domi line. Schultz was 4-9 against Boedker and 4-1 against Richardson. Schultz had a great chance in OT but couldn’t cash, Nurse had his best moment point blank against Boedker, his worst on the first GA when he was neither fish nor foul. You have to defend or be aggressive, but you can’t be neither. I think McLellan is wise to give the rookie a lesser role.
  • If Nurse—Schultz was the third pairing, I would be fine with it. Seriously. This was the first game since returning from injury that Schultz appeared to be on target with his passes. It is a big deal.
  • Hunt—Gryba were the third pairing and saw the Richardson line a lot. One weird item: In terms of TOI with the Leon-Hall line, this duo received over half (Hunt was on for 8:08 of Hall’s total EV TOI). Someone mentioned it in the GDT and it appears to be true. Something to follow—this would be an extension of the Klefbom-Schultz pairing of a year ago—in that McLellan appears to be actively seeking offensive situations for Hunt.
  • Sekera—Davidson saw the top line more than anyone (Sekera saw Boedker 8:43, Davidson 8:20, Schultz saw him 4:55) so their deficit at 5×5 comes from tough opposition (AS 8-12 v Boedker). I liked the pairing overall, both have excellent cover and recover skills—hope we see them again. Sekera’s passing wasn’t at normal levels and Davidson made a dog whistle pinch that cost a goal, but good lord the shot was perfect so I am not upset enough to suggest this pairing should be broken off.
  • OEL saw D the following TOI at evens: Sekera 8:09; Schultz 8:08; Davidson 7:43; Nurse 7:16; Hunt 4:45; Gryba 4:03.
  • There is no doubt in my mind the Oilers have been feeding minutes to Nurse in an effort to get him indoctrinated, but the young man is having some tough moments. No matter how good he is, Nurse can’t go fast enough to get there early. Defense is a tough position to play well. If he sees Bakersfield again, don’t panic.

CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c nov 30

  • Leon Draisaitl and his line once again got a bit of a matchup break (Richardson 6:44; Tikhnov 3:36; Vermette 2:15, Chipchura 1:16) on the forward group, but saw OEL more than the Nuge line (7:01 to 5:31), so pick your poison. His trio cashed on a fantastic goal to tie it 1-1, and that pass for the goal was sublime. Wonderful player, opposition are starting to take some shots, though. Took a vicious (uncalled) elbow.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to my eye had a fine game. Great pass to Eberle on the tying goal (with major credit to the goal scorer) and his group saw the Vermette line for 6:03 (7-6). I think this line was far more engaged on the evening (they grabbed five points). Looks to me as though everyone is back to do health-wise, that is probably part of the performance we saw in this game.
  • Anton Lander may end up with a great possession number, but he seems to be also in photo on any offensive opportunities this year. I am in full fret mode over his Oilers future. Had one individual scoring chance according to War-on-Ice, I scooped the information from them again.
  • Mark Letestu was -2 on the night, but picked up an assist on a PP goal. I think he might end up as a utility player on this team when they’re good. Weird skill set, kind of opposite Zack Smith (who I wanted for this role). I wish he had more creativity at 5×5.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oilers f nov 30

  • Hall—Purcell were effective to my eye, felt Hall was a going concern all game, seven shots and pushed the river. I feel sorry for people who don’t get how special he is as a player. Purcell got a point, sent the puck in a smart direction and is textbook consistency.
  • Pouliot—Eberle were high event and I think we are about to see this line take off in a good way. Too many penalties from Pouliot, but I like his physical play and he was involved. Eberle is ridiculous.
  • Khaira—Klinkhammer had one or two moments, Khaira seems to have a decent idea about getting the puck to the net and is a good passer. He had two shot attempts, one scoring chance in 6:41, doubt he will be in the NHL when everyone is back but this was a nice first look. Klinkhammer is dogged on the fore and backcheck, that is kind of his deal. Is it enough?
  • Korpikoski—Hendricks didn’t have much going on the night to my eye, but I do like the effort of this line. They show up every night.

talbot capture 3

I thought the goalie had a good game, the EV SP is a little low but one of the goals was a perfect shot (seriously, look at that damn thing) and the first goal involved some spectators from his side. Talbot has a nice opportunity here and I liked his overall play and the rebounds didn’t seem to be sponsored by Kevlar (to my eye, far from an expert). Got two points, didn’t get run over by the Zamboni—that is a good night.

It was an important win for the Oilers, and I think the fans deserve a nice winning streak as payment for a dull two weeks around Christmas. One of the things Edmonton appears to be doing a lot on defense is showcasing, and that may or may not involve all of Justin Schultz, Brad Hunt and Eric Gryba. The only keepers I see for Edmonton’s defense next year and beyond are Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Brandon Davidson and Griffin Reinhart.

I think Marcy frames the issue well here, there are components to that trade that are important to make clear. In trading No. 16 and No. 33 for a defenseman currently in Bakersfield, Peter Chiarelli made a tactical error that is impacting his team. In not buying out Nikita Nikitin during the Justin Schultz window—followed by signing Cody Franson—he robbed this year’s team of badly needed defensive oxygen.

None of that has to do with Griffin Reinhart the player, who did not make the trade and can only impact the league he plays in. I saw him (and other Condors) last night for a couple periods, and here are my quick hits on some players:

  • Laurent Brossoit was incredible, making great saves in waves. There was one in OT that defied logic and reason—breathtaking.
  • Zack Kassian moved well, hit and got hit, missed an open net by a mile but he is one prospect in Bakersfield we know has NHL ability. He played a lot, suggesting the Oilers want him up to speed in a quick hurry.
  • Griffin Reinhart played a steady game save for the spectacular defensive sortie late in the game where he impeded progress enough for a certain goal (might have been a penalty).
  • Jordan Oesterle can fly. Holy hell.
  • Joey Laleggia supplied offense on every shift and quarterbacked the power play effectively. A very creative offensive player.
  • Anton Slepyshev was barely noticeable.
  • Greg Chase had some nice moments, I think he is going to be one of the better AHL rookies down there this season.

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204 Responses to "SMOKE ON THE WATER"

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  1. John Chambers says:

    Hey I just noticed RNH has 27 points over the first half of the season … meaning he’s on pace for his first ever 50+ point season.

  2. Mr DeBakey says:

    Davidson made a dog whistle pinch that cost a goal

    That pinch was on the right boards.
    If Davidson had been on his forehand instead of his backhand, would he have made the play?

    Davidson was also on the right side for the Nurse the Goalie goal.

    Love them Bonus Points baby.
    Keep ’em comin’.

  3. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Benoit Pouliot takes too many penalties?! I am shocked, shocked to find illegal gambling in this establishment!

    Did we not trade #16 and #33, not #15 ?

  4. leadfarmer says:

    Well there it is, you are finally coming around. Nurse should have been playing in the Ahl playing 25 min a night, taking Hunts pp minutes, working on his shot, positioning, and most of all working on gaining 20 lbs. The NHL is not a development league, this team hasn’t gotten that memo. I really hope that Chia realizes how much help this defense needs and it will not come from players growing. I’m really hoping for a d corpse that looks like
    Sekera. Buff
    Klefbom. Hamonic
    Nurse Davidson
    Reinhart

    Then we will be ready to talk about playoffs.

  5. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Well there it is, you are finally coming around.Nurse should have been playing in the Ahl playing 25 min a night, taking Hunts pp minutes, working on his shot, positioning, and most of all working on gaining 20 lbs.The NHL is not a development league, this team hasn’t gotten that memo.I really hope that Chia realizes how much help this defense needs and it will not come from players growing.I’m really hoping for a d corpse that looks like
    Sekera. Buff
    Klefbom. Hamonic
    Nurse Davidson
    Reinhart

    Then we will be ready to talk about playoffs.

    Meh. I have been saying for a long time he should be backed off, and I don’t think it is necessary to send him down. Could happen, though.

  6. kinger_OIL says:

    – Great write-up LT!

    – LT says: If Nurse—Schultz was the third pairing, I would be fine with it. Seriously

    _ Kinger_OIl concurs. It would be interetesting if you had Shultz on 4x$2.5mm, played him 17 minutes on 3rd line, like last night. Plus with term he’s tradeable, as a 3rd pairing D.

    – Not his fault he’s been overpaid, and over-played. Accept what he is, and actually develop him

    = LT: you might be right about Griff, but Davidson has outperformed, in this D corpse is where it should be expected: 2015 Actual Davidson = Expected Griff. Net same D corps for 2015

  7. jm363561 says:

    The only keepers I see for Edmonton’s defense next year and beyond are Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Brandon Davidson and Griffin Reinhart.

    ==========

    All five are natural LHD. I would be surprised if all are here next year.

  8. PhrankLee says:

    Hey LT great post.

    I’m so happy to see toi being spread around with more balance. Last year we had RNH playing 21 min/night or so.

    I also think Nurse would benefit from a month in Bakersfield. And I wouldn’t panic one bit. I would smile.

    Kassian served a bench minor for illegal starting line up infraction!? Ha ha. But once served Kassian’s first shift was a doozy. Menacing. I’m happy if they do not fast track him but think a cleaned up Kassian on the Oilers make them much more to worry about for opposing coaches.

    Lander, Lander, Lander. He is a cult hero. He has been given every opportunity to blossom and has at every discipline except scoring at the NHL level. It’s surreal.

  9. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    One scenario I have been mulling…

    Eberle and his 6m still moved for a D…let’s say hypothetically the Oilers find a 3rd dance partner for the Isles and Hamonic.
    Purcell gets moved at the deadline for a pick.
    Schultz’ rights get moved at the draft for a pick.

    Money going out:
    Nikitin 4.5m
    Purcell 4.5m
    Schultz 4m
    Eberle 6m
    Money going out: 19m

    Chiarelli makes 2 signings this summer:
    6 years x 7m for Byfuglien
    5 years x 6m for old flame Loui Eriksson, who is a more defensively responsible RW than Eberle

    Let’s say Chia has a plan here
    Kassian behaves for the balance of this year and gets another one year deal.

    Money coming in:
    Buff 7m
    Eriksson 6m
    Hamonic 4m
    Kassian 1.5m
    Total: 18.5m

    Hall-Draisaitl-Eriksson
    Yak-McDavid-Kassian
    Pouliot-Nuge-Slepyshev (or other option)
    Korpikoski-Letestu-Hendricks
    Lander

    Sekera-Buff
    Klefbom-Hamonic
    Nurse-Davidson
    Reinhart

    Talbot
    Nilsson/Brossoit

    I’m just mulling what a team with Chia’s paw prints might look like. I could see him thinking Eriksson could be an upgrade on Eberle in terms of playing style.

    All this is moot if Boston re-signs him, of course.

    Alternatively, if we play along with your suggestion from New Years

    Hall-Nuge-Drai
    Pouliot-McDavid-Eriksson
    Yak-Richards-Kassian

    Rest remains the same.
    That might be even more Chia style?

    I don’t want to trade Eberle, but if Eriksson does hit the market and he would be willing to come here, Ebs is the most replaceable part in that mix with similar money (losing Yak to add Eriksson doesn’t work under the cap) and if he fetches a D back that can help, I can see something like this going down.

  10. Lloyd B. says:

    Something to follow—this would be an extension of the Klefbom-Schultz pairing of a year ago—in that McLellan appears to be actively seeking offensive situations for Hunt.

    Agreed. We certainly don’t want them actively seeking defensive situations for him.

  11. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Loui will be 31 at the start of next season. Are you sure you want to go that long and with that money on him?

    Concussion history too, right?

  12. leadfarmer says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I’m guessing Buff and Lucic are putting in a loading dock to accept the pile of money Chia is going to give them.

  13. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Loui will be 31 at the start of next season. Are you sure you want to go that long and with that money on him?

    Concussion history too, right?

    I didn’t say I want to. I’m speculating on what Chia might do. Not like you to not read properly, Rom! 😉 Welcome back and happy new year!

  14. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Oil now 8-7 in the second 25 game segment.
    They need to go 4-6 for me to win my bet with The Other John. Otherwise, he wins. For a second I think he was sweating the 6-0 start to this segment but all is as it should be in Oiler land once again. If they can play .500 during this stretch, which they are, and 97 and 77 return at some stage during the next 10 games, I still think this team is set up for a good finish that will take them over 80 points and the town talking about how next year is the year.

  15. leadfarmer says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    He’s playing at almost ppg. He’s going to get that money. Don’t think it’s from us.

  16. Concur says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker",

    Biggest thing you forgot was the money to be spent on the goaltending. Talbot and Nillson will not resign for the same money.

    Also I do not think that Loui would cost the same as Eberle and you could probably shorten it by a year. The same goes for Byfuglien, one year less, maybe the same money, possibly under 7m.

  17. theres oil in virginia says:

    In trading No. 16 and No. 33 for a defenseman currently in Bakersfield, Peter Chiarelli made a tactical error that is impacting his team.

    He traded two prospects far out to sea for one closer to shore. I don’t see how that impacts the team this year. He mistakenly identified the closer prospect as being ready to land – that is impacting this year. Sorry if that’s parsing.

    In not buying out Nikita Nikitin during the Justin Schultz window—followed by signing Cody Franson—he robbed this year’s team of badly needed defensive oxygen.

    I don’t agree that he should have bought out Nikitin this year. He stinks, no doubt, but the smell will be gone come August, rather than that lingering smell of Febreze (and something less pleasant) that just doesn’t seem to go away.

  18. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Concur:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Biggest thing you forgot was the money to be spent on the goaltending.Talbot and Nillson will not resign for the same money.

    Also I do not think that Loui would cost the same as Eberle and you could probably shorten it by a year.The same goes for Byfuglien, one year less, maybe the same money, possibly under 7m.

    I didn’t forget that at all. That’s not part of the equation I am discussing.

    There will be money for goaltending. The problem comes, regardless, when it is time to re-sign McDavid. Then decisions have to be made.

    Why wouldn’t Loui command 6mm? 60 point defensively strong wingers aren’t abundant and he is well regarded. The cap has gone up since Eberle signed his deal.

    So maybe it’s 4 x 6m or 5 x 5.5m but it will be close to that.

    Buff is going to get paid by someone.

    Also, the point of my estimates is to err on the HIGH side so that it works, even with bad assumptions for money and term.

  19. oilersjo says:

    Good day to all from Prince Albert. I have watched Davidson quite a bit in junior. Every time I saw he he had improved. His calm feet and sharp mind are the result of 150 AHL games. He is not an exception but rather the result of proper grooming. Betker is following the same path ECHL then AHL learning their craft away from the bright lights. This is how these young men learn and is the right way to bring them along. Seems like many do not pay attention to the player but the spot and number he was drafted.

  20. Lowetide says:

    oilersjo:
    Good day to all from Prince Albert.I have watched Davidson quite a bit in junior.Every time I saw he he had improved.His calm feet and sharp mind are the result of 150 AHL games.He is not an exception but rather the result of proper grooming.Betker is following the same path ECHL then AHL learning their craft away from the bright lights.This is how these young men learn and is the right way to bring them along.Seems like many do not pay attention to the player but the spot and number he was drafted.

    Great point, and a reason why Reinhart playing in the AHL this year is not a bad thing.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”: I didn’t say I want to. I’m speculating on what Chia might do. Not like you to not read properly, Rom! Welcome back and happy new year!

    As a long time LTer you should recognize the phrasing “are you sure you want to do that” as a general kind of rhetorical interjection, not an especially targeted approach. 😉

    but, for clarity, let’s read “you” as “one.” avoids the confusion of propriety.

    and, let’s stipulate that Chia may feel burned by the Seguin trade.

  22. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: As a long time LTer you should recognize the phrasing “are you sure you want to do that” as a general kind of rhetorical interjection, not an especially targeted approach.

    but, for clarity, let’s read “you” as “one.” avoids the confusion of propriety.

    and, let’s stipulate that Chia may feel burned by the Seguin trade.

    I didn’t recognize the “are you sure you want to do that” bit because a) it has been a while since it has been used around these parts, b) for a return use of it after months and months on the shelf you masked it too well in the sentence instead of making it obvious to a fool like me, c) I haven’t had my morning coffee yet and d) I’m a fool like me.

    Great to have you back, thanks for the reminder, and a slow clap for Leon D.

  23. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    And Drouin’s agent publicly requests a trade. Wow.

    That is going to ruffle more than a few feathers around the league’s OBC.

  24. GCW_69 says:

    NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker":
    One scenario I have been mulling…

    Eberle and his 6m still moved for a D…let’s say hypothetically the Oilers find a 3rd dance partner for the Isles and Hamonic.
    Purcell gets moved at the deadline for a pick.
    Schultz’ rights get moved at the draft for a pick.

    Money going out:
    Nikitin 4.5m
    Purcell 4.5m
    Schultz 4m
    Eberle 6m
    Money going out: 19m

    Chiarelli makes 2 signings this summer:
    6 years x 7m for Byfuglien
    5 years x 6m for old flame Loui Eriksson, who is a more defensively responsible RW than Eberle

    Let’s say Chia has a plan here
    Kassian behaves for the balance of this year and gets another one year deal.

    Money coming in:
    Buff 7m
    Eriksson 6m
    Hamonic 4m
    Kassian 1.5m
    Total: 18.5m

    Hall-Draisaitl-Eriksson
    Yak-McDavid-Kassian
    Pouliot-Nuge-Slepyshev (or other option)
    Korpikoski-Letestu-Hendricks
    Lander

    Sekera-Buff
    Klefbom-Hamonic
    Nurse-Davidson
    Reinhart

    Talbot
    Nilsson/Brossoit

    I’m just mulling what a team with Chia’s paw prints might look like. I could see him thinking Eriksson could be an upgrade on Eberle in terms of playing style.

    All this is moot if Boston re-signs him, of course.

    Alternatively, if we play along with your suggestion from New Years

    Hall-Nuge-Drai
    Pouliot-McDavid-Eriksson
    Yak-Richards-Kassian

    Rest remains the same.
    That might be even more Chia style?

    I don’t want to trade Eberle, but if Eriksson does hit the market and he would be willing to come here, Ebs is the most replaceable part in that mix with similar money (losing Yak to add Eriksson doesn’t work under the cap) and if he fetches a D back that can help, I can see something like this going down.

    If Chiarelli is going to spend $6M on a winger it will be Lucic.

  25. Woogie63 says:

    If Nurse goes the AHL for a month, how good is that defence core,

    Nurse – LaLeggia
    Reinhart – Musil
    Oesterle-Simpson
    Gernat

    Seven prospects good enough to keep NN out of an AHL line up?

  26. Seymore says:

    Love the 3 on 3, very exciting. If the Oilers are looking for an identity it should be to do whatever it takes to make it to OT. That is where the Oilers shine, having all that same talent skill set shift after shift is soo nice. Arizona was lucky to make it to the shootout for a shot to take the extra point.

  27. GCW_69 says:

    “Oilers are on pace for 72 points now, that would represent a 10-point increase, and the best season since Tom Renney’s second campaign in Edmonton. ”

    I am going to quibble with this a bit since Krueger’s Oilers were on pace for 77 points playing only in the West when the West was much better than the East. That’s the best the Oilers have done since Renney and it’s not even close.

  28. Centre of attention says:

    I believe I was the one who mentioned Hunt-Gryba being deployed primarily with the Leon line.

    That would be an interesting stat to follow, see how Todd matches the D with his forwards.

    Looking a bit deeper you can see he puts out the top D pairing with the 4th or 3rd lines to help them get out of their own zone.

    He then puts the 3rd D pair with the top line of forwards who should be able to assist the less capable D in getting the play moving up ice.

    Fascinating.

  29. leadfarmer says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    During the misguided era of don’t draft dmen high I and a few other people made the argument that as long as the defenseman can skate they usually are a safe option. It’s the small skilled wingers that unless they are clearly the best player such as Kane, you really must be careful. Now Drouin adds another bullet point

  30. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    During the misguided era of don’t draft dmen high I and a few other people made the argument that as long as the defenseman can skate they usually are a safe option.It’s the small skilled wingers that unless they are clearly the best player such as Kane, you really must be careful.Now Drouin adds another bullet point

    No. Drouin, like Yakupov, is a gifted young offensive player with holes away from the puck. Offensively, he can help and I expect Drouin will have a fine career. Agree on his being one dimensional, but the dimension is the hardest thing to do in the game. A very valuable young player imo. 40 points in basically one full season of NHL play screams potential.

  31. jake70 says:

    Didn’t Cooper just get extended 3 years? Stamkos situation, now Drouin with the trade request. Who’s next?

  32. stush18 says:

    Lowetide: No. Drouin, like Yakupov, is a gifted young offensive player with holes away from the puck. Offensively, he can help and I expect Drouin will have a fine career. Agree on his being one dimensional, but the dimension is the hardest thing to do in the game. A very valuable young player imo. 40 points in basically one full season of NHL play screams potential.

    Agreed. He was point per game player until the injuries started hitting him, and then he started getting scratched.

  33. Professor Q says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    And Drouin’s agent publicly requests a trade. Wow.

    That is going to ruffle more than a few feathers around the league’s OBC.

    With everything transpiring, I think he could be had for quite less than he’s worth.

  34. OilClog says:

    Oilers were taking the Swedish defender at #16, as they took a Center earlier in the round. Barzal was not on the Oilers name call. So how mad would people be if the Oilers took the Swede over Barzal?

    And just how would the Oilers incorporate another 18yr old forward onto the team? Once they took McDavid there was zero chance a forward was being selected at 16.. Zero.

    Barzal would be nice behind Nuge, Mcdavid, and Dry.. Lots of opportunity there ?

  35. prefonmich says:

    Although I loved the McLellan hire I am definitely worried about some players slipping through with his handling. McLellan has shown some lineup choices that reflect his belief in some players over others that I do not agree with (not saying I’m right but it is my belief).
    1. Letestu has taken Lander’s role and the game recently where Lander had been practising with the PP and was apparently very excited for this ‘opportunity’ he played his best game of the season. Now they’ve gone back to Letestu.- I think the only time Lander has truly been given a full opportunity on this team beyond 4 line minutes is when Nelson was coaching. I think he is better (and cheaper) than Letestu but he needs more 5×5 minutes and PP time (where he has had some NHL and lots of AHL success- why is Letestu on the PP???)
    2. Fayne sitting out and putting a LHD with Sekera on top pairing is a mistake IMO- I thought Fayne was starting to come around and with Klefbom out he should certainly be used as a top 4. Davidson and Nurse require more sheltered minutes IMHO, and shouldn’t be used on right hand side- Davidson had his struggles last night on the right. He’s been amazing this year but that’s like throwing him to the wolves when you have a guy perfectly capable sitting in pressbox?!
    3. I am glad that Chia is seeming to wait to see all the pieces he’s got before making any big moves. I think this is wise. Hopefully we’ll see some time with close to a full lineup as the injuries this year (despite not being recognized by Eastern media, particularly) have certainly played a significant role on results.

  36. John Chambers says:

    OilClog,

    And to your point, where would Reinhart have been drafted if matched up with the 2015 draft class? Probably behind Werenski who went 8th, and ahead of Zboril who went 13th.

    So #16 and #33 for ~#11 is a bit high in price but necessary to be paid in order to obtain a player at a position of need and three years ahead development-wise.

    Plus Barzal doesn’t score goals, so don’t expect him to be more than a 2nd line NHL’er, and likely not for 3-4 years anyway.

  37. OilClog says:

    GCW_69:
    “Oilers are on pace for 72 points now, that would represent a 10-point increase, and the best season since Tom Renney’s second campaign in Edmonton. ”

    I am going to quibble with this a bit since Krueger’s Oilers were on pace for 77 points playing only in the West when the West was much better than the East.That’s the best the Oilers have done since Renney and it’s not even close.

    This is correct, Ralph’s team progressed from Toms team, only to become St.Eakins sacrifice. This team is playing at Ralph levels. Hopefully there are no Smithsons in this chapter

  38. lynn says:

    Slepyshev is playing like he isn’t happy in Bakersfield.

  39. Eastern Oil says:

    Centre of attention,

    Now imagine if we had a D pairing that could also push the river and move guys down!

    He’s making due with what he has but we are chasing our tail filling in gaps. Frustrating at times with the firepower on the top lines.

  40. OilClog says:

    John Chambers:
    OilClog,

    And to your point, where would Reinhart have been drafted if matched up with the 2015 draft class? Probably behind Werenski who went 8th, and ahead of Zboril who went 13th.

    So #16 and #33 for ~#11 is a bit high in price but necessary to be paid in order to obtain a player at a position of need and three years ahead development-wise.

    Plus Barzal doesn’t score goals, so don’t expect him to be more than a 2nd line NHL’er, and likely not for 3-4 years anyway.

    I don’t know, I think any year a big big man defender like griff that’s a memorial cup champion, will always be drafted right around where he was drafted. Size+Multiple memorial cup runs where you were a positive deciding factor in a big way.. That’s gonna get you a mighty fine draft spot.

  41. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    Unfortunately that skill seems to not be as valued unless the player is over 6’1 and 200 lbs in today’s NHL. I mean the rumors are that Isles wouldn’t trade Hamonic who publicly requested a trade for Eberle is just ridiculous given Eberles established level of goal scoring. When Chia trades one or both of Eberle and Yak, or when Skinner gets traded for pennies on the dollar you’ll see that most Gms would rather have a 6 ‘ 4 winger who gets 40 points than a 5 10 winged who gets 55

  42. Yegfoundation says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    In trading No. 16 and No. 33 for a defenseman currently in Bakersfield, Peter Chiarelli made a tactical error that is impacting his team.

    He traded two prospects far out to sea for one closer to shore.I don’t see how that impacts the team this year.He mistakenly identified the closer prospect as being ready to land – that is impacting this year.Sorry if that’s parsing.

    In not buying out Nikita Nikitin during the Justin Schultz window—followed by signing Cody Franson—he robbed this year’s team of badly needed defensive oxygen.

    I don’t agree that he should have bought out Nikitin this year.He stinks, no doubt, but the smell will be gone come August, rather than that lingering smell of Febreze (and something less pleasant) that just doesn’t seem to go away.

    It impacts this year because Reinhart isn’t a top 4 defenceman on the Oilers this year, and based on his pro career it’s possible he never gets there. Using two valuable trading bullets on a player who isn’t filling any holes in our roster in a poor, poor trade. And on top of that he plays the wrong side.

  43. Fog of Warts says:

    The NHL is not a development league for teams that are already good.

    There are two kinds of rebuild.

    One is where you dip your net into the water, and it’s the Grand Banks fishery of 1967.

    The other is where you dip your net into the water, and it’s the Grand Banks fishery of 1995.

    ———

    In the first case, the vending machine at “Go” malfunctions, and starts dispensing $100 bills like a Gatling gun with an epileptic firing pin.

    In no time at all, the guy charged with shoveling loose bills into your wheelbarrow is a 27-year-old family man, three-time world champion lumberjack, and former regional bank manager. You’re holding auditions in obscure local gymnasiums just for the opportunity to show up and practice shoveling big heaps of Monopoly money—until you’re well and truly ready for the real deal.

    ———

    In the second case, the vending machine at “Go” malfunctions, and starts dispensing $200 bills like Rockford’s backseat business-card printer.

    In no time at all, several shadowy-lipped teenagers from down the street have gathered around the machine to battle it out over the proper inking technique. Every so often—at first—a bill comes off the machine that looks like a genuine, authentic $200 bill.

    Then some entrepreneurial soul notices that “200” held upside down “kind of looks like 500, dunnit?”.

    “Rejoice!” goes up the collective cry (several voices of which crack into high C at the open-throated “joie”).

    Ink colours are carefully adjusted one by one (between pressings, so as not to miss a beat)—now the girdled stacks are being passed out the Firebird’s passenger window on Munich-sized beer trays while “earn money fast!” posters go up on telephone poles everywhere, backed by a small Fort Knox of ready compensation.

    “More pink rubbers!” cries a mostly husky voice from the heat of production.

    Sometimes husky voice: In our house, we call them ‘rubber bands’.

    Mostly husky voice: My dad just calls them ‘rubbers’.

    Nervous, sometimes husky voice #2: Your dad is weird.

    Sometimes husky voice #1 (for those who are counting along): Yeah, in your house, do you go to the office or the bedroom to find yourself a fresh box of pink rubbers?

    Sullen, mostly husky voice elects to leave this rhetorical question alone.

    Nervous, sometimes husky voice #2: I prefer lavender.

    Mostly husky voice: Just shut up! Shut up, shut up, shut up!

    Mostly nervous, sometimes husky voice #2: Aaarrr … aaarr … umph … umph!

    This unusual noise demonstrates several interesting items of note about the back seat of metal-tint Pontiac Firebird’s of the era:

    ———

    Item of note #1:

    The leather half-cheeks in back of a 1970s Pontiac Firebird were classified as a “seat” (excepting Sweden) only because the 1970s (excepting Sweden) still believed that toddlers are best protected by least restraint; while their parents are being “thrown free” from opposite front windows (back in Wikipedia BCE, the centrifugal force was still able to work this way), the toddler impact-management strategy of consensual preference was to have them bounce around like plump, soggy Yodas (minus the unnaturally prehensile stabilizer flaps), absorbing the brunt of the impact in bite-sized increments (soon becoming known to the family dentists everywhere as “under bites”—no worries, we’ll have these tiny underbites all wired up in no time—batteries not included, heh heh, but I will send you home with a free box of straws).

    ———
    [*] While it’s not true that Yoda hadn’t been invented yet, it is true Yoda was lying extremely low at this point, being mainly engrossed in decade-long exercises similar to crossing and uncrossing your eyes by the sheer power of will, but more in the vein of otorhinolaryngology than ophthalmology.
    ———

    Item of note #2:

    There simply isn’t room back there to complete a full atomic wedgie with main engine separation and fall away after the primary lift phase.

    ———

    Item of note #3:

    Hasty attempts to perform a two-handed atomic wedgie with multiple seat mates under such crowded conditions were liable to MIRV right off the pad.

    ———

    This second lot, with unsurprising regularity, soon find themselves doing hard time in a hardened league well above their level, grappling with hard lessons about the hard life as best they can.

  44. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Lowetide,

    Unfortunately that skill seems to not be as valued unless the player is over 6’1 and 200 lbs in today’s NHL.

    Of the top 10 point-getters this morning, Kane, Karlsson, Tarasenko, Gaudreau, Pavelski and Sedin do not meet your requirements. Value is value, Drouin has it.

  45. Yegfoundation says:

    OilClog,

    The return on the traded draft picks is the problem.

  46. Lowetide says:

    The reference to the Rockford Files made my day. Sweet, sweet memory, thanks for bringing it back.

  47. leadfarmer says:

    lynn,

    IMO he should have developed in the KHl for at least another year. I know he had good stats but his playing time was very limited. I don’t think these guys like coming half way around the world to take a big pay cut to play in the AHL which at the same time lowers their chances to be selected for the national team. I worry about their willingness to come back once they return home. I don’t think Yak2 is coming back until he’s guaranteed a roster spot

  48. robertosanchezzz says:

    Yak for Drouin???

  49. OilClog says:

    Yegfoundation: It impacts this year because Reinhart isn’t a top 4 defenceman on the Oilers this year, and based on his pro career it’s possible he never gets there. Using two valuable trading bullets on a player who isn’t filling any holes in our roster in a poor, poor trade.And on top of that he plays the wrong side.

    At 21? He’s playing top pairing minutes in the development league.

    The big league team has two rookies playing in their 6. One took 5 years to get to where he is, one is a monster.

    Oilers are actually doing what’s best for Griff, slow cook. Let him dominate the minors and bring him up when the team can properly position him. Best for everyone, still not a bust, still very high quality, all the chance in the world to develop still into that top 4.

  50. Professor Q says:

    OilClog: I don’t know, I think any year a big big man defender like griff that’s a memorial cup champion, will always be drafted right around where he was drafted. Size+Multiple memorial cup runs where you were a positive deciding factor in a big way.. That’s gonna get you a mighty fine draft spot.

    I think the Portland, Halifax, London, and Saint John teams experienced the same effect around Reinhart’s era, too. Although they produced more NHL-calibre defencemen quicker than Edmonton.

  51. Centre of attention says:

    I wonder if Tampa would want another young forward with upside in return for Drouin or a defenseman.

    This will be interesting to follow, for sure. Anyone here think it gets done at the deadline?

  52. teddyturnbuckle says:

    I thought Brad Hunt looked great again! His ability to make a play on the blue line is a welcome skill. He looks confident out there and is outplaying Justin in my mind. I noticed J.S. struggling to get his shot through again and if he does its 6 feet in the air. Schultz has almost zero touch around the net but has great skating ability. TMac is using him to kill penalties and I think thats where he game is going.

  53. OilClog says:

    Yegfoundation:
    OilClog,

    The return on the traded draft picks is the problem.

    Because the Oilers pick gems in the second round?

    Would people rather have the swede defender over Griff? It was never going to be Barzal.

    So griff or the swede?

  54. Water Fire says:

    Professor Q: With everything transpiring, I think he could be had for quite less than he’s worth.

    Sam Gagner and others have quenched my thirst for one dimensional undersized players that aren’t Kane, with a fire hose.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Peter Chiarelli made a tactical error that is impacting his team. In not buying out Nikita Nikitin during the Justin Schultz window—followed by signing Cody Franson—he robbed this year’s team of badly needed defensive oxygen.

    Disagree vehemently.

    The Oilers are over run by 3rd pairing Dmen and having Nikitin’s buyout + money/term spent on Franson would hamstring the Oilers going forward and not help them.

    Here’s BUF’s 5v5 TOI/GM for their Dmen:

    Zach Bogosian 19:48
    Rasmus Ristolainen 19:35
    Josh Gorges 18:18
    Jake McCabe 17:09
    Mark Pysyk 15:44
    Carlo Colaiacovo 15:32
    Cody Franson 14:23
    Mike Weber 14:09

    The 3rd coach in a row has decided that Franson isn’t top 4 material.

    To get him would have added $1.5MM (Nikitin buyout) and $3.35 (Franson) for a total of $4.85 next year for yet another 3rd pairing Dman.

    That $4.85 is better spent this summer on someone who can play at the top of roster, not the bottom.

    Even if Franson added enough to help them make the playoffs (something I seriously doubt) its simply not worth it in the long run.

  56. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    I should have added the qualifier unless you are an established elite player. But the players you listed are established elite players with a established ppg level in the NHL, which Drouin is no where near at this time. Secondly Karlsson is a defenseman, Sedin was drafted in another era and other than Kane none of these guys were drafted in top 10. In fact Tarasenko is the only other forward that is a first round pick and he doesn’t quite meet the criteria as being 220 lbs does not make him small even though he’s not that tall

  57. Centre of attention says:

    Woodguy,

    Agree 100x on all points. I was originally on the Cody Franson bandwagon but after seeing him struggle somewhat in Buffalo (Risto is eating his lunch) I’m not quite sure hes what we needed.

    And remember, we would of had to out-bid Buffalo. He clearly wanted to go back to the east as well so I imagine his ask was around 4 million from the Oilers.

    I think Chiarelli made the right call, keep the powder dry. This off season is going to be insane. Absolutely bonkers.

  58. Ryan says:

    leadfarmer,

    I think that there are actually two factors in play in this case with respect to an Eberle/Hamonic trade.

    First, GM’s tend to live in the here and now when valuing players. Eberle by his own standards is not having an auspicious year. 27 gp: 10-6-16 -12 is not sexy. Trying to get a good return on a winger with those bodcars-particularly one who doesn’t bring any ‘intangibles’ and costs $6m per is not an easy task.

    Second, I think there’s some evidence that GM’s tend to undervalue player who have played their entire career for a poor franchise. See: Petry, Jeff vs. David Perron. Perron got a far better return even though he was having a terrible season. Wingers also usually have lower value in this market, particularly for deadline deals.

  59. theres oil in virginia says:

    John Chambers: And to your point, where would Reinhart have been drafted if matched up with the 2015 draft class? Probably behind Werenski who went 8th, and ahead of Zboril who went 13th.
    So #16 and #33 for ~#11 is a bit high in price but necessary to be paid in order to obtain a player at a position of need and three years ahead development-wise.

    Exactly, and it seems to me that the only issue arises in Chiarelli’s assessment of Reinhart being ready for prime time at the start of the season.

  60. theres oil in virginia says:

    Yegfoundation: It impacts this year because Reinhart isn’t a top 4 defenceman on the Oilers this year, and based on his pro career it’s possible he never gets there. Using two valuable trading bullets on a player who isn’t filling any holes in our roster in a poor, poor trade.And on top of that he plays the wrong side.

    I read this comment as indicating that you didn’t understand a thing I wrote. Maybe its just me.

  61. Receptor Antagonist says:

    I was wondering if something Eberle for Droid + Garrison, except Garrison is another lefty.

    Food for thought though.

  62. flyfish1168 says:

    Water Fire: Sam Gagner and others have quenched my thirst for one dimensional undersized players that aren’t Kane, with a fire hose.

    Some guy name johnny yahoo on the phlegms is a pretty good one dimensional player too.

  63. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Lowetide,

    First of all these are established elite players with a established ppg level in the NHL, which Drouin is no where near at this time.Secondly Karlsson is a defenseman, Sedin was drafted in another era and other than Kane none of these guys were drafted in top 10.In fact Tarasenko is the only other forward that is a first round pick and he does quite meet the criteria as being 220 lbs does not make him small even though he’s not that tall

    I am using your stated requirements, you can’t move the chains after the game has started. Leadfarmer, I believe Drouin will be a quality offensive player in two seasons if he ends up on a good team that will be patient. That has tremendous value. Now, I am not saying Edmonton should trade for him (they already have a similar player—although not in style—in Yakupov) but suspect he has a very nice career ahead of him. If I am Vancouver, he is a target.

  64. Yegfoundation says:

    OilClog: At 21? He’s playing top pairing minutes in the development league.

    The big league team has two rookies playing in their 6. One took 5 years to get to where he is, one is a monster.

    Oilers are actually doing what’s best for Griff, slow cook. Let him dominate the minors and bring him up when the team can properly position him. Best for everyone, still not a bust, still very high quality, all the chance in the world to develop still into that top 4.

    This team needs a top 4 NHL defenseman this year and not another LH prospect.

  65. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    When Eberle or Skinner get traded for a meh return while Lucic gets signed for a pile of money I think that it will make my point better. Unless you are a ppg forward or very close to that if you are small forward you are not valued much in today’s NHL. I’m not saying it’s a good thing but it is my observation

  66. RexLibris says:

    Lessons learned:

    Draisaitl chased his player into the boards and got a nasty high elbow reminiscent of the one Sekera threw a few weeks ago to another young player whose name escapes me.

    Leon thought he’d draw a penalty on such a play but was quickly disabused of such childish beliefs.

    He is unlikely to extend the same benefit of the doubt next time and will be both on guard against the opposing player and perhaps less gentlemanly as well.

    Chiarelli likely heeded the advice of his council in MacTavish and Howson in regard to the incumbents on the defense, namely Nikitin, Fayne, Ference and Schultz.

    He and his veteran coach have since had the opportunity to earn their own opinion of those players and have made notable decisions on at least three of the four.

    Management has received the reports from their staff and have by now likely changed the ringtone on their phones accordingly.

    If he is being polite, Chiarelli will announce new positions and responsibilities for MacTavish and Howson that are less related to Hockey Operations. If he is being more direct we will hear about new opportunities on the horizon for at least one if not both of those men that they will be pursuing with other organizations sometime between the trade deadline and the draft.

    Very real possibility if MacTavish does not join the ranks of “greener pastures freelance amateur scouting staff” that the next we see of him will be in a few years’ time when they have “Craig MacTavish the Player Nostalgia Night” at the new building.

    Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear are two prospects who may be floating Bob Green’s resume against the tide of opinion framing the previous regime’s performance.

    Remember we used to say that Todd Nelson saved Anton Lander? Jones and Bear may save Green.

  67. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    OilClog: This is correct, Ralph’s team progressed from Toms team, only to become St.Eakins sacrifice. This team is playing at Ralph levels. Hopefully there are no Smithsons in this chapter

    The evidence that Ralph’s team improved over Tom’s is limited to the high-variance kind (SH and SV % at all disciplines; W/L record; etc.)

    The best case for Ralph is that he was never given enough time to improve the team. But, as MacT said, life’s not fair.

  68. Ryan says:

    theres oil in virginia: Exactly, and it seems to me that the only issue arises in Chiarelli’s assessment of Reinhart being ready for prime time at the start of the season.

    I’m not sure if you’re the type of guy that likes to look at comparables.

    If you are, then young Willis frames the issue pretty well in this article.

    http://oilersnation.com/2015/12/1/griffin-reinhart-needs-to-win-a-job-with-the-edmonton-oilers-soon

  69. Lowetide says:

    theres oil in virginia: Exactly, and it seems to me that the only issue arises in Chiarelli’s assessment of Reinhart being ready for prime time at the start of the season.

    Yes, but that is a massive mistake IF you are counting on him, and PC’s post-draft comments indicated same. I like Chiarelli, think he has done some good things, but the Reinhart deal—and I like Reinhart—was imo designed to add a substantial player immediately. He could very well be that player, but is not that player now.

    If he had taken (say) Ek and Stephens, would they have value in a trade this coming summer? Suspect so. The thrust of the trade was imo twofold. The first shoe never dropped.

  70. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    The reference to the Rockford Files made my day. Sweet, sweet memory, thanks for bringing it back.

    I was chatting with family this Christmas about James Garner and his many roles. Rockford Files was a television staple in my house growing up.

    Same with Hill Street Blues.

    Watched Support Your Local Sheriff a few years back and that is a wonderful Garner western that really only he could pull off and still be lightheartedly entertaining.

    Hell of a man and his type are sorely missed these days.

  71. Professor Q says:

    Water Fire: Sam Gagner and others have quenched my thirst for one dimensional undersized players that aren’t Kane, with a fire hose.

    Gagner-Kane
    Henrique-Hall
    Galchenyuk-Yakupov
    Phillips-Huberdeau
    MacKinnon-Drouin

    There does seem to be disparity there, but I wouldn’t discount any of them simply due to Gagner and Phillips.

    Although I also didn’t necessarily mean Edmonton to be the receiving party. Simply that he might be had for cheap.

    Might be a bit much for Edmonton anyway, if they are to sign Richards as well. :p

  72. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “small skilled” is really a misnomer and not helpful.

    “limited skill set” vs. “range of skills” is more insightful.

  73. Lowetide says:

    leadfarmer:
    Lowetide,

    When Eberle or Skinner get traded for a meh return while Lucic gets signed for a pile of money I think that it will make my point better.Unless you are a ppg forward or very close to that if you are small forward you are not valued much in today’s NHL.I’m not saying it’s a good thing but it is my observation

    I doubt Lucic makes it to free agency, but do agree Chiarelli will spend big money on him, given the opportunity.

  74. RexLibris says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
    And Drouin’s agent publicly requests a trade. Wow.

    That is going to ruffle more than a few feathers around the league’s OBC.

    We’ll see.

    Yakupov’s agent more or less hinted at the same thing when things went sour during that East Coast road trip a while back.

    He was brought back into the fold, although it involved the young man outliving his coach and GM and I don’t see that happening in Tampa Bay.

    They could certainly trade him and there would be no shortage of GMs interested.

    This is the sort of situation Sather used to be all over.

  75. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    There’s no moving the chains. My point is unless you are established elite size disadvantaged player teams don’t value you that highly. I’m not saying that Drouin will not get there but being small, not very successful so far, and asking for a trade has knocked his value a lot.

  76. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    “small skilled” is really a misnomer and not helpful.

    “limited skill set” vs. “range of skills” is more insightful.

    Accidentally un-muted the Flames intermission commentary last night.

    Guys were talking about Bennett saying he does so many things well away from the puck that the points are bound to come and that he is destined to be one of the best young players in the game.

    I agree he has many of the skills we look for, and his hitting right now is taking the place of offensive production while not taking him out of position, but the contrast of what is being said about him versus the years of dross that was said of Oilers player who more or less found themselves in the same position was…frustrating.

    I found that mute button again pretty quickly.

  77. leadfarmer says:

    RexLibris,

    His agent stated they requested a trade in November and is now making it public since nothing has been done about it, so I think the possibility of reconciliation is long gone.

  78. leadfarmer says:

    RexLibris,

    Skating around the ice and hitting guys is a prized skill in many sectors of the NHL and is especially high in commentators. I wonder how he would do in front of our D corpse instead of the Phlegms

  79. Yegfoundation says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    My comment was in response to your second paragraph. My bad if I misread it.

  80. John Chambers says:

    Lowetide,

    Thing is Reinhart also has value in a trade, perhaps more so than Ek given that he’s becoming a known quantity – playing well in the AHL soon to crack an NHL lineup.

    I guess the question for me is: how does the depth in our system look without Reinhart in it? Would his absense (with a skilled F or 19 year old D like Chabot instead) provide more comfort? To me no. I’m pleased there’s an almost NHL-ready D on an ELC about to take away Gryba’s job because he’s going to do it better.

    Without Reinhart In the system the reasons also become all the more compelling to trade an Eberle or RNH for an actual top-4 defender, and now that pressure due to the emergence of Davidson and evolution of Reinhart, is lessened.

  81. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Accidentally un-muted the Flames intermission commentary last night.

    Guys were talking about Bennett saying he does so many things well away from the puck that the points are bound to come and that he is destined to be one of the best young players in the game.

    I agree he has many of the skills we look for, and his hitting right now is taking the place of offensive production while not taking him out of position, but the contrast of what is being said about him versus the years of dross that was said of Oilers player who more or less found themselves in the same position was…frustrating.

    I found that mute button again pretty quickly.

    What I find frustrating is that exact tone is available on all national broadcasts. Taylor Hal needs to find consistency, Sam Bennett is moments away from 100 points. It is crazy.

  82. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: Yes, but that is a massive mistake IF you are counting on him, and PC’s post-draft comments indicated same. I like Chiarelli, think he has done some good things, but the Reinhart deal—and I like Reinhart—was imo designed to add a substantial player immediately. He could very well be that player, but is not that player now.

    If he had taken (say) Ek and Stephens, would they have value in a trade this coming summer? Suspect so. The thrust of the trade was imo twofold. The first shoe never dropped.

    As you mention, when Chiarelli didn’t move Nikitin and bring in Franson the die was cast for the season (and subsequently degraded by the injuries).

    So what if Chiarellli brought in Reinhart with immediacy in mind as the best-case scenario but also understanding that he wasn’t going to build a contender this year and was willing to buy a defender like Reinhart this past June, when his first target was off the table (Hamilton), even if it meant he had to wait one more season to develop because the rest of the team may or may not be ready?

    My point is, I think he wanted Reinhart to be NHL-ready now, but knew that it was possible he might not be and given the rest of the teams issues had an extra development year as his fallback position going into the trade.

    It changes the perspective on the trade to one of a big gamble gone wrong to one of a calculated risk with a fair contingency option.

  83. Yegfoundation says:

    OilClog: Because the Oilers pick gems in the second round?

    Would people rather have the swede defender over Griff? It was never going to be Barzal.

    So griff or the swede?

    If the two picks don’t solve a roster problem them keep them as trading bullets.

  84. Soup Fascist says:

    Am I alone in thinking signing Byfuglien to an expensive long-term deal is a terrible decision?

    Undoubtedly someone will do it. A $7M x 7 year contract is likely a slam dunk. But I really don’t want a huge commitment to a guy whose idea of off-season conditioning is spending the summer on the lake drinking 6 packs, eating Cheetos and breaking out the occasional spliff.

    The guy is a phenomenal talent and athlete – right now – but what happens on the other side of 30? I really do not see this ending well.

  85. Picturesque says:

    OilClog: Because the Oilers pick gems in the second round?

    Would people rather have the swede defender over Griff? It was never going to be Barzal.

    So griff or the swede?

    This is totally spot on – because Chia was asked about this and he said that #16 would have been a defenceman who was still available. It was never going to be Barzal, so people need to factor this into the conversation about trading the #16 pick for Reinhart.

  86. Lowetide says:

    John Chambers:
    Lowetide,

    Thing is Reinhart also has value in a trade, perhaps more so than Ek given that he’s becoming a known quantity – playing well in the AHL soon to crack an NHL lineup.

    I guess the question for me is: how does the depth in our system look without Reinhart in it? Would his absense (with a skilled F or 19 year old D like Chabot instead) provide more comfort? To me no. I’m pleased there’s an almost NHL-ready D on an ELC about to take away Gryba’s job because he’s going to do it better.

    Without Reinhart In the system the reasons also become all the more compelling to trade an Eberle or RNH for an actual top-4 defender, and now that pressure due to the emergence of Davidson and evolution of Reinhart, is lessened.

    Agree with everything there. The trade gave value for certain, like Reinhart a lot.

  87. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: What I find frustrating is that exact tone is available on all national broadcasts. Taylor Hal needs to find consistency, Sam Bennett is moments away from 100 points. It is crazy.

    The frustrating narrative surrounding these players aside…

    It worth mentioning how good an object lesson they are for how poor “small skilled” is as a description…

    Drouin, Bennett, Hall are all “small skilled” players but, if I told you that, you’d learn basically nothing from me.

  88. Ryan says:

    John Chambers,

    Did you just make the point that you’re glad Chiarelli traded a 16 and 33 in a deep draft to shore up our AHL defensive depth in the following season and our bottom pairing the year after that?

  89. kinger_OIL says:

    – To the extent that you can believe a GM (which I don’t as a rule), Chia was clear that he thought Griff was part of the D solution, good to go as a starting NHL top-6D, for the start of this season.

    – That doesn’t make it a bad trade yet, but clearly a mis-evaluation. There is still time for it to work

  90. Yegfoundation says:

    theres oil in virginia: Exactly, and it seems to me that the only issue arises in Chiarelli’s assessment of Reinhart being ready for prime time at the start of the season.

    Are we sure Griff is going to step into the top 4 next year? We can’t judge the entirety of the trade today but Griff not solving a roster hole this year means PC is currently behind.

  91. Marc says:

    Woodguy:
    Peter Chiarelli made a tactical error that is impacting his team. In not buying out Nikita Nikitin during the Justin Schultz window—followed by signing Cody Franson—he robbed this year’s team of badly needed defensive oxygen.

    Disagree vehemently.

    The Oilers are over run by 3rd pairing Dmen and having Nikitin’s buyout + money/term spent on Franson would hamstring the Oilers going forward and not help them.

    Here’s BUF’s 5v5 TOI/GM for their Dmen:

    Zach Bogosian19:48
    Rasmus Ristolainen19:35
    Josh Gorges18:18
    Jake McCabe17:09
    Mark Pysyk15:44
    Carlo Colaiacovo15:32
    Cody Franson14:23
    Mike Weber14:09

    The 3rd coach in a row has decided that Franson isn’t top 4 material.

    To get him would have added $1.5MM (Nikitin buyout) and $3.35 (Franson) for a total of $4.85 next year for yet another 3rd pairing Dman.

    That $4.85 is better spent this summer on someone who can play at the top of roster, not the bottom.

    Even if Franson added enough to help them make the playoffs (something I seriously doubt) its simply not worth it in the long run.

    Was in the middle of a post making exactly this point when I saw that Woodguy had already said everything I wanted to, better than I could.

    Damn him.

  92. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: What I find frustrating is that exact tone is available on all national broadcasts. Taylor Hal needs to find consistency, Sam Bennett is moments away from 100 points. It is crazy.

    Crazy is being polite.

    I’ve given up providing the benefit of the doubt and now believe the commentary falls into one of being willfully disingenuous, explicitly prejudicial or entirely opportunistic with no integrity of belief.

    There are those, Friedman being one, who offer their opinion based on evidence and the thoughts of others in management around the league and who leave open the possibility of changing their mind when new evidence is presented.

    But the vast majority choose a very different approach.

    That they do so is only a partial indictment of them.

    They are chosen by media outlets often because they offer opinions in this manner (I think of it as the Bryan Hall model) and are then often rewarded with greater spotlights when they increase their inflammatory or grandiose statements.

    So the media outlets who place them in the position to do so and encourage it are also at fault there.

    We are surrounded by people in numerous walks of life right now who are doing just that.

    My response is to not pay any direct attention to those people and try to get my information through sources that are either at arm’s length or at the very least are the least offensive practitioners in their field.

  93. Soup Fascist says:

    Here is the issue with Reinhart.

    If he gets good and plays at the level he is “capable” of – assuming top end projections – we don’t notice him.

    There is not going to be anything flashy in Griff’s game. Best case is likely a #4 who keeps the waters calm when he is on the ice. And that would be fine – management would be ecstatic if that were the case.

    But there will NEVER be a time that anyone will say, “boy Chia kicked the ever-loving shit out Snow on that trade”. It just can’t happen, given the type of player Reinhart might, best case, turn out to be.

  94. RPG says:

    Terrible, just awful. Laying all the blame at the feet of a young man.
    https://twitter.com/JasonPHT/status/683707272069910528

  95. Pouzar says:

    Bakersfield Condors ‏@Condors 33m33 minutes ago
    The Condors have signed Garrett Taylor to an ATO and will back up today. Laurikainen not on trip to Stockton. #Condorstown

  96. RexLibris says:

    Soup Fascist:
    Here is the issue with Reinhart.

    If he gets good and plays at the level he is “capable” of – assuming top end projections – we don’t notice him.

    There is not going to be anything flashy in Griff’s game. Best case is likely a #4 who keeps the waters calm when he is on the ice.And that would be fine – management would be ecstatic if that were the case.

    But there will NEVER be a time that anyone will say, “boy Chia kicked the ever-loving shit out Snow on that trade”. It just can’t happen, given the type of player Reinhart might, best case, turn out to be.

    The only element Reinhart brings that will make fans notice is when he occasionally lays the body heavily on someone.

    It wasn’t his go-to move in junior, as I recall, but he certainly was capable of it.

    That was more Musil’s schtick than Reinhart’s.

    But yes, I agree. If his NHL resume reads like his WHL/AHL one it will be one of “gives his coach 15 to 20 quiet minutes a night” but will also include good passes out of the zone.

    I’ve seen it in his game. It isn’t as developed as Davidson, but it is there and from what little I saw this season it was trending in the right direction.

    The key is his partner and ideally I think you want Sekera there, but the problem is we want Sekera to mentor all the kids and there’s only so much Sekera to go around.

    Now, if we had Sekera and Petry…

    😉

  97. Pouzar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: The frustrating narrative surrounding these players aside…

    It worth mentioning how good an object lesson they are for how poor “small skilled” is as a description…

    Drouin, Bennett, Hall are all “small skilled” players but, if I told you that, you’d learn basically nothing from me.

    Hall looks like Marian frickin Hossa in his prime out there right now. Beasting it!

  98. stush18 says:

    Soup Fascist:
    Here is the issue with Reinhart.

    If he gets good and plays at the level he is “capable” of – assuming top end projections – we don’t notice him.

    There is not going to be anything flashy in Griff’s game. Best case is likely a #4 who keeps the waters calm when he is on the ice.And that would be fine – management would be ecstatic if that were the case.

    But there will NEVER be a time that anyone will say, “boy Chia kicked the ever-loving shit out Snow on that trade”. It just can’t happen, given the type of player Reinhart might, best case, turn out to be.

    I think a great deal of people here would be happy with that. I know I would be.

  99. RexLibris says:

    RPG:
    Terrible, just awful. Laying all the blame at the feet of a young man.
    https://twitter.com/JasonPHT/status/683707272069910528

    Said this yesterday.

    I’m not terribly impressed with Virtanen’s comments post-game, but the poor kid does not deserve this kind of treatment.

    I hope he demands a trade out of town and rips the Canucks a new one for the next ten years.

    And we complain about the Edmonton media.

  100. John Chambers says:

    Ryan:
    John Chambers,

    Did you just make the point that you’re glad Chiarelli traded a 16 and 33 in a deep draft to shore up our AHL defensive depth in the following season and our bottom pairing the year after that?

    If you can think of a better way to get ice to the Kwik-e-Mart …

    Sure – a guy at a position of extreme need who will certainly play in the NHL next year vs two players years away from delivering any value. Last I checked no top-4 D have been since traded, so it stands to reason Reinhart was the best option for Chia to use his available assets to pursue.

  101. stush18 says:

    I think people are underestimating Reinhart right now. We are clouded by the fact we have so many dmen crowding the roster. We have too many rookies, and he is waiver eligible, and nurse is quick enough to cover his mistakes. That’s no slight against Reinhart.

    I would argue Reinhart IS a top six dman right now, even if only for limited situations. He most certainly will be next year. And prolly close to a top four dman the next year.

    What happened to the Detroit model? Everyone preaches patience, until they start exercising it, and then the player is a bust. Big mobile defensemen do not come around that often. I would argue we have two of the most athletic young dmen in the league over 6’4″. And they’re only 21.

    If Davidson gets enough coverage, and we climb far enough out of the bottom of the draft, I would think he would be packaged with the pick for hamonic or something similar.

  102. Lois Lowe says:

    Woodguy,

    Agree 100%

    I also think the 16 + 33 for Reinhart was a good trade. There was a real need for the player type and the picks weren’t going to make a difference if the Oilers are developing players correctly. I don’t think Reinhart has the footspeed issues that people have started to repeat as gospel around here either. He’s not fast by any stretch of the imagination but it’s really not an area of profound weakness.

  103. Water Fire says:

    flyfish1168: Some guy name johnny yahoo on the phlegms is a pretty good one dimensional player too.

    That is true, but we aren’t talking about him. He is an outlier, like Kane. These guys drive offense all the time but it’s rare.

    I like Gallagher on the Habs for example. He scores and drives offense, gives his all every game, they missed him a lot when he was out. He is a complete player.

    For me if a player doesn’t have a physical element (which I don’t define as large, but contributes to the puck winning battle and offensive possession, does something on the defensive side too) he has to be a top level offensive threat, all the time.

    I also am not a fan of one dimensional players that score because better players do the hard work, unless that player is a top 20 scorer. This kind of player is no help in the playoffs when things get heavier and the refs do an even worse job. It takes a 23 man effort, everyone needs to carry weight.

    I guess I don’t like floaters unless they are lights out good.

  104. godot10 says:

    Woodguy:
    Peter Chiarelli made a tactical error that is impacting his team. In not buying out Nikita Nikitin during the Justin Schultz window—followed by signing Cody Franson—he robbed this year’s team of badly needed defensive oxygen.

    Disagree vehemently.

    The Oilers are over run by 3rd pairing Dmen and having Nikitin’s buyout + money/term spent on Franson would hamstring the Oilers going forward and not help them.

    Here’s BUF’s 5v5 TOI/GM for their Dmen:

    Zach Bogosian19:48
    Rasmus Ristolainen19:35
    Josh Gorges18:18
    Jake McCabe17:09
    Mark Pysyk15:44
    Carlo Colaiacovo15:32
    Cody Franson14:23
    Mike Weber14:09

    The 3rd coach in a row has decided that Franson isn’t top 4 material.

    To get him would have added $1.5MM (Nikitin buyout) and $3.35 (Franson) for a total of $4.85 next year for yet another 3rd pairing Dman.

    That $4.85 is better spent this summer on someone who can play at the top of roster, not the bottom.

    Even if Franson added enough to help them make the playoffs (something I seriously doubt) its simply not worth it in the long run.

    Plus Franson brings the same problem that Fayne has playing McLellan’s system. Neither are good at gap control because they are poor skaters.

    Franson would have been a horrible “system” fit.

    McLellan’s D have to skate, skate, skate.

  105. sliderule says:

    There were a lot of factors in Reinhart trade.

    The oilers and others thought while the draft was deep after the top 15 the drop off was steep.The talk was a third or fourth rounder might work out as well as a second.The Bear/Jones season seems to give some credence to that line of thinking.

    They were about to fire most of their eastern based scouts so there had to be doubt about their assessment of players particularly the consensus ones available in the range of the picks.

    There were rumours that the oilers had tried to get Reinhart that past season.

    Chia wants to kickstart the Connor era and made the gamble that Reinhart will be able to step in and help.start that.

    Chia may have thought that Reinhart was more ready but we will find out more on that after he is brought up after trade deadline.

  106. Halfwise says:

    RexLibris: Crazy is being polite.

    I’ve given up providing the benefit of the doubt and now believe the commentary falls into one of being willfully disingenuous, explicitly prejudicial or entirely opportunistic with no integrity of belief.

    There are those, Friedman being one, who offer their opinion based on evidence and the thoughts of others in management around the league and who leave open the possibility of changing their mind when new evidence is presented.

    So the media outlets who place them in the position to do so and encourage it are also at fault there.

    We are surrounded by people in numerous walks of life right now who are doing just that.

    My response is to not pay any direct attention to those people and try to get my information through sources that are either at arm’s length or at the very least are the least offensive practitioners in their field.

    I’m in the back nine of life, so maybe this is just ‘grumpy old guy’ syndrome:
    It seems to me that whether I’m reading about science, nutrition, international affairs, politics or the economy, never mind sports, most print journalists are crap at both research and writing.

    The ones who are crap but have style seem to rise to the top of their profession and make it onto TV. There, we can’t really tell how badly they write, but we can still tell they are crap by what they say and by what they leave out.

    Edmonton gets less respect than any other Canadian team in part because they have no home broadcast team for the Saturday Night HNIC gig. It’s always homers from some other Canadian city, being homers for their team and not knowing enough about the Oilers.

    My TV speakers get a rest during most game broadcasts and virtually all intermissions. I get better analysis reading the comments here in real time than I get by listening to the groomed buffoons.

  107. RexLibris says:

    Can I just say, this season has been a breath of fresh air.

    Johansen, Hamonic, Duchene and now Drouin all requesting trades out of their respective cities.

    All good young players.

    Not a single Oiler player has requested a trade or had rumours of being disgruntled and wanting out of this “cold northern NHL backwater” this season.

    Nope, instead it was the “surprising, rebuilt, hard-working Columbus Blue Jackets”.

    It was the revived New York Islanders who play on the much-favoured East Coast.

    It was in the beautiful part of the continent and cup contender Tampa Bay.

    Nice for a change.

  108. RexLibris says:

    So this is pretty much what my twitter looks like right now:

    Corsi Jones ‏@vowswithinhb 1h1 hour ago Kingston, Ontario

    Ok fine a more fair offer Russell AND Colborne for Drouin…. 😉

    Rex Codex Libris ‏@CodexRex 11m11 minutes ago

    @vowswithinhb Yeah, you’re going to have to outbid the Canucks’ Virtanen and Markstrom offer, though. Gonna need to throw in Engelland too.

  109. Lowetide says:

    That Virtanen headline is shameful. Canada, as a nation, should read that headline and ask what in Christ have we become? Lordy.

  110. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RexLibris: Draisaitl chased his player into the boards and got a nasty high elbow reminiscent of the one Sekera threw a few weeks ago to another young player whose name escapes me.

    Leon thought he’d draw a penalty on such a play but was quickly disabused of such childish beliefs.

    Meanwhile Benoit Pouliot backtracks and hits an opponent with the puck on his stick and gets called for interference. Benoit doesn’t get the benefit of the call because he lacks the necessary 5000 GP of experience to be considered a veteran** by the zebras.

    (** special definition that applies only to members of the Edmonton Oilers)

    He might as well have elbowed the guy in the face & driven him through the glass and gotten his two minutes worth, or (better) have it considered a hockey play.

  111. theres oil in virginia says:

    Ryan: I’m not sure if you’re the type of guy that likes to look at comparables.

    If you are, then young Willis frames the issue pretty well in this article.

    http://oilersnation.com/2015/12/1/griffin-reinhart-needs-to-win-a-job-with-the-edmonton-oilers-soon

    I agree, the clock’s ticking…

  112. leadfarmer says:

    RPG,

    That’s disgusting. I don’t get why they are calling him up now. He’s going to get chewed up and spit out in no time

  113. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RexLibris: Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear are two prospects who may be floating Bob Green’s resume against the tide of opinion framing the previous regime’s performance.

    Remember we used to say that Todd Nelson saved Anton Lander? Jones and Bear may save Green.

    You mean Jones & Bear & Marino & Paigin, right? We have to wait & see of course, just as we have to wait & see on Reinhart.

  114. Kitchener says:

    RexLibris,

    A fine point.

  115. haters says:

    It’s one more day up in the canyon
    And it’s One more night in Hollywood

    I think Nurse should go to California
    I think he should..

  116. Lois Lowe says:

    Lowetide,

    It’s a function of the ridiculous jingoism that accompanies the World Juniors so that TSN can sell advertising. They have doubled down on it the tournament too since losing their NHL rights to Rogers.

  117. RexLibris says:

    Halfwise: I’m in the back nine of life, so maybe this is just ‘grumpy old guy’ syndrome:
    It seems to me that whether I’m reading about science, nutrition, international affairs, politics or the economy, never mind sports, most print journalists are crap at both research and writing.

    The ones who are crap but have style seem to rise to the top of their profession and make it onto TV. There, we can’t really tell how badly they write, but we can still tell they are crap by what they say and by what they leave out.

    Edmonton gets less respect than any other Canadian team in part because they have no home broadcast team for the Saturday Night HNIC gig. It’s always homers from some other Canadian city, being homers for their team and not knowing enough about the Oilers.

    My TV speakers get a rest during most game broadcasts and virtually all intermissions. I get better analysis reading the comments here in real time than I get by listening to the groomed buffoons.

    Agreed.

    Edmonton will only get respect when it pries it from the MSM’s cold dead hands.

    When it comes to news sources I pick and choose, knowing that what I’m reading comes from a specific angle and agenda and then account for that in the information provided.

    Occasionally you can find sources that report on subjects that are more or less free of bias, but that tends to either be very local or very international. Municipal, provincial and national news is always seen through a biased lens because virtually all the sources are corporately owned and have vested interests at those levels.

    A foreign source likely won’t have political interests in the Canadian involvement in the TPP, for instance, or will offer a more nuanced view of CF-18s in Syria with less influence from partisan politics.

    I spend as much time reviewing who is telling me something as what they are telling me.

    This goes the same for sports, although it is usually easier because they are less subtle in revealing their prejudices and it is the same personalities week after week so we have a book on them based on previous statements *cough3rdlinecentercough*.

  118. prefonmich says:

    RexLibris,

    I don’t know what the love in for the Flames is but I find the commentary during Flames broadcasts very frustrating also. In general, Oilers don’t get recognized for some of the issues that have impacted their record like losing impact players for significant portions of time. While Flames troubles at the start that coincided with TJ Brodie being out get passed off as excusable. i don’t get the different lenses that get used to assess the Oil?!

  119. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide: Yes, but that is a massive mistake IF you are counting on him, and PC’s post-draft comments indicated same. I like Chiarelli, think he has done some good things, but the Reinhart deal—and I like Reinhart—was imo designed to add a substantial player immediately. He could very well be that player, but is not that player now.

    If he had taken (say) Ek and Stephens, would they have value in a trade this coming summer? Suspect so. The thrust of the trade was imo twofold. The first shoe never dropped.

    Yes, I agree. As I said, I was parsing. I still like the trade and the player, but as the JW article that Ryan points to above implies, the clock is ticking. I don’t adhere to any hard and fast rule that it has to happen by such-and-such time, but if he’s not looking good on the NHL club next year…

  120. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: You mean Jones & Bear & Marino & Paigin, right? We have to wait & see of course, just as we have to wait & see on Reinhart.

    I picked Jones and Bear off the top of my head because I’d heard more of them recently.

    I haven’t heard as much about Paigin and Marino (I want to nickname him Woolly or Dan, is that too soon?) so left them out.

    Basically what I’m thinking is that Chiarelli can start to assign responsibilities based on merit and performance and I think this season has pointed him in the right direction.

  121. theres oil in virginia says:

    Yegfoundation:
    theres oil in virginia,

    My comment was in response to your second paragraph.My bad if I misread it.

    I’m still confused, but not to worry, I’ve embraced it as a way of life!

  122. theres oil in virginia says:

    Yegfoundation: Are we sure Griff is going to step into the top 4 next year?We can’t judge the entirety of the trade today but Griff not solving a roster hole this year means PC is currently behind.

    No, but we can’t be sure that RNH will finally score 50 points next year either. Nothing is set in stone.

  123. Kitchener says:

    LB’s outstanding AHL play may lower the price on resigning Nilsson/Talbot. The Oilers appear less desperate than they would without an emerging 2016-17 2G.

  124. RexLibris says:

    prefonmich:
    RexLibris,

    I don’t know what the love in for the Flames is but I find the commentary during Flames broadcasts very frustrating also. In general, Oilers don’t get recognized for some of the issues that have impacted their record like losing impact players for significant portions of time. While Flames troubles at the start that coincided with TJ Brodie being out get passed off as excusable. i don’t get the different lenses that get used to assess the Oil?!

    The media guys like the Flames because they haven’t embarrassed them.

    I think when the Oilers picked Hall a lot of media guys said things like “this young Oilers team will be a team to watch” and when it didn’t happen they felt exposed so now they don’t cut them any slack.

    For a few who played against the dynasty Oilers I think there may yet be some lingering dislike of how that team dominated either them or the team they cheered for when they were younger.

    On that last point, don’t underestimate how much resentment there still exists towards the Oilers for the sins of the 80s.

    I’ve heard from Flames’ fans who still despise in their very soul the Oilers and wish them nothing but trouble and discord for what happened thirty years ago.

    Why would it be any different in Toronto, Vancouver, and the rest of the country?

    The Oilers of today not only have to beat the opponent on the ice, but the ones in the pressbox as well – and I sometimes feel like the ones wearing black and white on too many nights also.

    They’ll get there, and when they do the media will change tack so fast it will make our heads spin.

  125. limit says:

    OilClog:
    Oilers were taking the Swedish defender at #16, as they took a Center earlier in the round.

    No, Ek is a forward and the other option was Svechnikov. There were plenty of value in the high second (Carlo, Bittner, Blackwood).

  126. RexLibris says:

    This headline just showed up in my twitter timeline.

    Financial Times ‏@FT 12m12 minutes ago

    Oil’s prologue signals more drama ahead http://on.ft.com/1OD2dr4

    I’m being trolled by the Financial Times now!

  127. sliderule says:

    theres oil in virginia: I agree, the clock’s ticking…

    The clock would not be ticking if we follow Wings model

    Kronwal and Kindl both first round picks played three years in either AHL or SEL prior to staying in NHL.

    Wings would have Reinhart play one more year in AHL.

  128. theres oil in virginia says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Meanwhile Benoit Pouliot backtracks and hits an opponent with the puck on his stick and gets called for interference. Benoit doesn’t get the benefit of the call because he lacks the necessary 5000 GP of experience to be considered a veteran** by the zebras.

    (** special definition that applies only to members of the Edmonton Oilers)

    He might as well have elbowed the guy in the face & driven him through the glass and gotten his two minutes worth, or (better) have it considered a hockey play.

    I might be a homer, but OEL embellished the hook on the first call, as well. It was definitely a hook, and a stupid penalty, but it should have been evened up.

  129. Ryan says:

    stush18,

    I don’t think the “Detroit model” means what you think it means.

    The Red Wings drafted the defensemen Alexey Marchenko, 6’3″ 210 lbs #210 in the 2011 draft. Granted he’s two years older than Reinhart despite being drafted one year earlier.

    He played 13 NHL games in his draft plus four year.

    This season, in his draft plus five season, he’s played 32 games.

    There are no comparables for an overager Russian defenseman getting drafted #210 ov and playing as a regular in his draft plus five season. That’s the Detroit model.

    There are, however, 24 comparables for Grffin Reinhart–defensemen drafted out of Canadian major junior in the top 15 selections from 2001 to 2011.

    All of the future top four dmen from that list of comparables established themselves as a top four dmen in toi by their draft plus four season.

    Reinhart is miles away from being a top four dman on one of the worst blue lines in the NHL. Hence, my consternation about Reinhart.

  130. geowal says:

    Drouin coming off pretty entitled here. I wouldn’t touch him. Why is he above the AHL? I’m sure Tampa isn’t trying to banish him, probably just want him down there a few weeks to work on some things.

  131. theres oil in virginia says:

    sliderule: The clock would not be ticking if we follow Wings model

    Kronwal and Kindl both first round picks played three years in either AHL or SEL prior to staying in NHL.

    Wings would have Reinhart play one more year in AHL.

    Meaning this year or next year?

    EDIT: I think you mean next year, too.

  132. slopitch says:

    I think Chai’s bet on Reinhart was reasonable. I don’t think he thought Nurse would stick this early either. Reinhart is still developing and stir next time he shows up I expect he’ll be NHL ready.

    Chai wasn’t playing for this year. Even so the team is within range of the playoffs despite dearly missing McDavid and Klefbom. The final 30 games of this season are going to be a lot of fun. The NHL trade deadline is not until March 2. I think Chai should be active in aquiring players he thinks they can resign. The price on ufa pickups has been very light. Petry, Vanek ect to name a few. Given there aren’t a ton of teams with extra dough this year and that the oilers have tons, I think the small price to aquire these players is worth it when negotiating a longer term contract.

  133. Kmart99 says:

    RexLibris,

    Agreed. It’s insanity.

  134. sliderule says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Yes next year would be Reinharts third.

  135. Lowetide says:

    slopitch:
    I think Chai’s bet on Reinhart was reasonable. I don’t think he thought Nurse would stick this early either. Reinhart is still developing and stir next time he shows up I expect he’ll be NHL ready.

    Chai wasn’t playing for this year. Even so the team is within range of the playoffs despite dearly missing McDavid and Klefbom. The final 30 games of this season are going to be a lot of fun. The NHL trade deadline is not until March 2. I think Chai should be active in aquiring players he thinks they can resign. The price on ufa pickups has been very light. Petry, Vanek ect to name a few. Given there aren’t a ton of teams with extra dough this year and that the oilers have tons, I think the small price to aquire these players is worth it when negotiating a longer term contract.

    I think the Oilers should consider sending Nurse down, get his confidence back and have the game slow for him. I would also like to think Reinhart is learning down on the farm, so am hesitant to suggest he be the recall guy. The issue may not be Chiarelli so much as McLellan likes Nurse even with the warts of fhog.

    Either way, I thought last night we saw Nurse playing a lesser role and doing it better. Hope to see more.

  136. Water Fire says:

    godot10: Plus Franson brings the same problem that Fayne has playing McLellan’s system. Neither are good at gap control because they are poor skaters.

    Franson would have been a horrible “system” fit.

    McLellan’s D have to skate, skate, skate.

    Ben Lovejoy would be a great add IMO. 31, Bruce Boudreau said he used him against top opp because he was such a great skater. Losing him and Beauchemin seems to have messed the Ducks up nicely.

    He’s a decent size, cheap, has a positive Corsi Rel and CF% despite being used more defensively. He’s second in TOI for the Pens. He scores occasionally, and the big thing is a vet right shot. Move Schultz, Gryba and Fayne and get another RH vet, be it Byf or Ham.

  137. Mr DeBakey says:

    Soup Fascist: Am I alone in thinking signing Byfuglien to an expensive long-term deal is a terrible decision?

    No
    You are not alone
    Keep the faith, Bro

  138. BONVIE says:

    Mr DeBakey:
    Davidson made a dog whistle pinch that cost a goal

    That pinch was on the right boards.
    If Davidson had been on his forehand instead of his backhand, would he have made the play?

    Davidson was also on the right side for the Nurse the Goalie goal.

    Love them Bonus Points baby.
    Keep ’em comin’.

    If Edmonton forwards finally start remembering what there coaches have been telling them since bantam aged hockey, that high forward needs to cycle to Davidson’s position immediately. Korpikoski blew his assignment as he was the high forward. I see the pinching Dman gets blamed her often but in reality unless your up by two NHL coaches expect their Dmsn to be much more aggressive on the line and on pinching down to keep pucks in compared to any level I’ve ever coached, so just be aware your blaming the wrong guy, unless their up by a few Mcllelan is demanding this out of his blue line.

  139. prefonmich says:

    Soup Fascist,

    It seems to me that part of the problem is McLellan’s preferred defense type. Other than Gryba, all the slow-footed defense on this team have been sent down. The one dimensional defense first guys like Fayne and Reinhart whose strengths are much more subtle than guys like Nurse or Schultz have been sent down or sat while the opposite style strong skating d are playing way above their heads in terms of minutes and matchups. I am not sure Reinhart got an entirely fair shake to prove the effectiveness of his more subtle style.

  140. prefonmich says:

    Lowetide,

    There definitely needs to be a change in the handling of Nurse. Did you notice him shaking his head coming off the ice after thwarting (barely) a sure goal at the side of the net after he had failed to do so earlier. I think the Oil need to be careful with his confidence- they need him to develop his full potential more than any other first round draft pick they have! Don’t screw this one up!

  141. Lowetide says:

    prefonmich:
    Soup Fascist,

    It seems to me that part of the problem is McLellan’s preferred defense type. Other than Gryba, all the slow-footed defense on this team have been sent down. The one dimensional defense first guys like Fayne and Reinhart whose strengths are much more subtle than guys like Nurse or Schultz have been sent down or sat while the opposite style strong skating d are playing way above their heads in terms of minutes and matchups. I am not sure Reinhart got an entirely fair shake to prove the effectiveness of his more subtle style.

    Yeah, I just don’t agree about Reinhart being one dimensional. Call me crazy, but I think he has a nice range of skills.

  142. Water Fire says:

    I am too lazy to gargoyle the article, but Holland’s take on his model of development was that he had an established vet team that could sign free agents and drafted low every year.

    So there weren’t roster spots and the drafted players needed years to develop because they weren’t top echelon players and often small because they chose talent first, meaning they had to have time to gain strength as well.

    He said that if things were different they probably would bring guys up sooner, and would also play a thug game if that’s the type of players they had.

    The thing is to use what you have the best way possible until something changes or can be changed. It isn’t a stretch to say the Oilers are doing that now, checking players out and looking ahead to when things can be reshaped more to their liking which almost has to be an improvement by definition, given the record of the last ten years.

  143. Water Fire says:

    BONVIE: If Edmonton forwards finally start remembering what there coaches have been telling them since bantam aged hockey, that high forward needs to cycle to Davidson’s position immediately. Korpikoski blew his assignment as he was the high forward. I see the pinching Dman gets blamed her often but in reality unless your up by two NHL coaches expect their Dmsn to be much more aggressive on the line and on pinching down to keep pucks in compared to any level I’ve ever coached, so just be aware your blaming the wrong guy, unless their up by a few Mcllelan is demanding this out of his blue line.

    I don’t think the Oiler blue is good, but also feel the forwards poor system play is a big factor in the defensive woes.

  144. BONVIE says:

    theres oil in virginia:
    In trading No. 16 and No. 33 for a defenseman currently in Bakersfield, Peter Chiarelli made a tactical error that is impacting his team.

    He traded two prospects far out to sea for one closer to shore.I don’t see how that impacts the team this year.He mistakenly identified the closer prospect as being ready to land – that is impacting this year.Sorry if that’s parsing.

    In not buying out Nikita Nikitin during the Justin Schultz window—followed by signing Cody Franson—he robbed this year’s team of badly needed defensive oxygen.

    I don’t agree that he should have bought out Nikitin this year.He stinks, no doubt, but the smell will be gone come August, rather than that lingering smell of Febreze (and something less pleasant) that just doesn’t seem to go away.

    I agree 100%.

  145. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers should consider sending Nurse down, get his confidence back and have the game slow for him. I would also like to think Reinhart is learning down on the farm, so am hesitant to suggest he be the recall guy. The issue may not be Chiarelli so much as McLellan likes Nurse even with the warts of fhog.

    Either way, I thought last night we saw Nurse playing a lesser role and doing it better. Hope to see more.

    Possibly after Klefbom returns?

  146. Lowetide says:

    Professor Q: Possibly after Klefbom returns?

    Makes sense. McLellan has backed him off the tough opposition recently, first with Sekera-Fayne and then with Sekera-Davidson.

  147. Water Fire says:

    Soup Fascist: Soup

    His offense and size are nice, but if people are thinking he’s Weber they might be disappointed. And the contract will be an albatros almost certainly.

  148. Ryan says:

    sliderule,

    I don’t think that the wings keep guys in the minors just to “marinate.” You have to keep in mind that the wings were and still are a very good hockey team.

    Kronwall was drafted in 2000 and Kindle in 2005. The Wings won the cup in 2002 and 2008, so the team was especially good when these players were drafted.

    Kindl has a decent Hero card, but he’s heavily sheltered in toi and on the Vollman. In terms of TOI, he’s not a top four defenseman. In that regard, he’s a good example. He spent a ton of time ‘marinating’ in the minors and he’s still not a top four NHL defenseman by toi.

    Anyway, Marchenko’s playing 14.3 vs 14.9 5v5 toi/60 compared to Kindl this season. They didn’t keep Marchenko dunked under water in the minors for a million years to marinate. Instead, they use players when they’re ready and needed.

    In terms of the clock on Reinhart, it’s only about projecting his future ability as a top four defender.

    He can take plenty of time to develop as needed with the caveat that the more he needs going forward, the less likely he’s going to be much of an impact player.

  149. slopitch says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers should consider sending Nurse down, get his confidence back and have the game slow for him. I would also like to think Reinhart is learning down on the farm, so am hesitant to suggest he be the recall guy. The issue may not be Chiarelli so much as McLellan likes Nurse even with the warts of fhog.

    Either way, I thought last night we saw Nurse playing a lesser role and doing it better. Hope to see more.

    I agree that he should get his minutes cut but I think the AHL is a bit of an extreme move given the minutes he is playing. He’s hit the 30 game point and many of his early lessons have been absorbed. I’d be ok with sending him down (there is still time to do it until about the 100 game mark) but Id rather see how he responds after 10 games in a more sheltered role. The intangibles he brings are unique to this team (and Im not talking the fight against Lucic) and should buy him some time. Cant wait till the game slows down for him.

  150. sliderule says:

    Ryan,

    A lot of the top 15 picks are offensive defenceman.

    In most cases they have been given the soft minutes with some PP time.

    Pietrangelo (pardon the spelling) is an example.There are some blues fans say he still needs sheltering.

    The oilers log jam of contracted five six and seven defenceman doesn’t allow sheltering.

    The oil have Nurse Davidson and Schultz playing in top four when on most teams they would be 5.6 or 7.
    There was no room for Reinhart so they decided to give him lots of minutes in AHL.

  151. BONVIE says:

    Lowetide: Yes, but that is a massive mistake IF you are counting on him, and PC’s post-draft comments indicated same. I like Chiarelli, think he has done some good things, but the Reinhart deal—and I like Reinhart—was imo designed to add a substantial player immediately. He could very well be that player, but is not that player now.

    If he had taken (say) Ek and Stephens, would they have value in a trade this coming summer? Suspect so. The thrust of the trade was imo twofold. The first shoe never dropped.

    I think it’s more about Davidson and PC not knowing that he was not only NHL ready but one of the best Dmen on the team. It’s really hard to go with 3 rookie and a 2nd year, and three of them in your top four. I suspect Rheinhart is really close to being called back up anyway. He is an NHL ready Dman riight now I suspect he will play in the top 4 by the All-star break.

  152. theres oil in virginia says:

    sliderule,

    Looks like Kronwall was drafted in 2000, played three more seasons in the SEL (2000-01 through 2002-03), then split the next two seasons between AHL and NHL (2003-04 through 2004-05), and finally played 1 AHL game in 2005-06 and the rest were in the NHL. I’d say full time NHLer by draft plus 5.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=51215

  153. JimRoepcke says:

    My understanding is the Oilers couldn’t buy out Nikitin because he was injured at the end of last season, and you can’t buy out injured players because injured players can’t be placed on waivers, and you have to waive a player before you can buy them out.

    Not sure if you trust @TreenasOil on Twitter, but her last tweet was “Not much interest in Nikitin who may not be bought out (loop hole) APG” – I’m guessing the injury issue is the “loop hole” she spoke of.

  154. Diesel says:

    The only real concern I have with Nurse is him batting too high up the order. The type of game we need from him (and the one he has come this far with) is a ferocious one. Sure he will round it out over time, but we need him to be who he is: wheels to get up ice, turbo-wheels to get back, and snarling when he arrives.

    If we destroy his confidence by feeding him 20+ min a night vs. top comp. the result will be him playing the game from deep in his head. This leads to indecision and defending dead ice — which we are starting to see creep into his game.

    Of course his game requires some polish, to use a McLellan term, but Darnell appears to be the type of player who thrives by playing towards the limits of his abilities. See: E. Karlsson, Subban, P. Kane.

  155. commonfan14 says:

    I hope Chia is in Yzerman’s ear making offers for Hedman while his trade request is still private (I’ll just go ahead and assume he wants out like all the other Tampa high picks).

    It would be pretty amazing if disconnects with Cooper end up costing Tampa both Stamkos and Drouin. Yzerman must really love the guy.

  156. RexLibris says:

    geowal:
    Drouin coming off pretty entitled here. I wouldn’t touch him. Why is he above the AHL? I’m sure Tampa isn’t trying to banish him, probably just want him down there a few weeks to work on some things.

    The same things were said about Turris when he demanded a trade.

    He’s a solid 2C now and the Senators got him for what has turned out to be peanuts (David Rundblad and a 2nd rounder that became Anthony Stolarz).

    I’d take Drouin today if the package were Reinhart and a 2nd round pick.

    I doubt Yzerman takes a defender back in a Drouin deal when he’s on notice about losing Stamkos this summer, though.

  157. RexLibris says:

    Diesel:
    The only real concern I have with Nurse is him batting too high up the order. The type of game we need from him (and the one he has come this far with) is a ferocious one. Sure he will round it out over time, but we need him to be who he is: wheels to get up ice, turbo-wheels to get back, and snarling when he arrives.

    If we destroy his confidence by feeding him 20+ min a night vs. top comp. the result will be him playing the game from deep in his head. This leads to indecision and defending dead ice — which we are starting to see creep into his game.

    Of course his game requires some polish, to use a McLellan term, but Darnell appears to be the type of player who thrives by playing towards the limits of his abilities. See: E. Karlsson, Subban, P. Kane.

    That’s a fair assessment and would apply to 90% of young players, but Nurse has had a number of ups and downs and what I haven’t seen from him is any drop in his confidence.

    For better or worse it looks like he simultaneously expects the best from himself and believe he is capable of doing it as he learns along the way.

    But I would try to move him down the D order as soon as Klefbom returns, if not sooner.

  158. frjohnk says:

    At the draft, Im guessing Chia was targeting Hamonic with the 2nd 1st rounder + when Chia knew he wouldnt be getting Hamilton
    Unfortunately this was before Hamonics request to come west, if Hamonics request was made before the draft, he might be an Oiler today.
    Snow was not interested in moving Hamonic because top 2 D man on value contracts are almost non existent, but was interested in moving Reinhart as he liked Barzal and the Islanders D core was very stable.

    We have to remember at the draft our D core depth was
    Klefbom Fayne
    Nikitin Schultz
    Marincin, Davidson
    Nurse Ference

    Klefbom was the best Oiler D and also had less than 100 games under his belt.
    Fayne was never highly talked about by Chia from day 1.
    Chia probably knew Nikitin was a disaster and wanted to trade him but said nice things about nikitin to not knock his trade value
    Schultz was a huge question mark.
    Chia’s viewing of Marincin was not good when he saw him in OKC’s playoffs. Marincin was definitely not a Chia player
    Nurse was a wild card, was he NHL ready? Chia could not count on him being ready.
    Davidson was another wild card. AHL player or NHL bottom pair D man?
    Everybody knew Ference was done.

    What a mess of a D core ( 1 top 4 D man and he had less than 100 games under his belt) Chia knew he had to add pieces to fix it. Remember this is before we added Sekara as a free agent.

    Right now we have 2 top 4 D men Sekara and Klefbom
    Then Davidson who is probably a 4/5
    and then a bunch of guys like Nurse, Fayne, Schultz, Gryba who are 5/6’s and 7’s.
    then Nikitin who is an 8

    and then way below Ference

    Reinhart is in the 3rd tier of D men. I think he is better than Gryba and Schultz right now and believe Reinhart is among the top 6 D men on this team. But because of numbers and waiver eligibility, Reinhart is in the AHL.

    Chia will get rid of some of the deadwood by the deadline and Reinhart will finish the year with the Oilers.

    Some will say using the those picks to get Reinhart was an overpay and it may well be, but I think Chia was caught in a hard place. The D was a mess and he had to fix it. Snow knew this. Reinhart was the best Chia could get and he had to pay full price.

    I like Reinhart and hope he knocks it out of the park when he gets the chance.

  159. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Lowetide: Yeah, I just don’t agree about Reinhart being one dimensional. Call me crazy, but I think he has a nice range of skills.

    I will call you crazy if you invite us to, but you aren’t wrong on Reinhart. He is a 3 or 4 tool player. He will never be a 5 tool guy and may always suffer from being drafted 4-5 slots too high, but he has valuable skills.

  160. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    frjohnk,

    I think Hamonic had already made his request. Otherwise there is no chance in my opinion that Snow would look to move him during the Tavares cheap contract window given how much of a steal Hamonic’s own contract is.

    Snow probably just kept that to himself at the time and got cold feet on the deal and so they settled on a lesser deal for Reinhart. And then the request became public and all this ensued.

    Just my take on your take.

  161. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    With the Boychuk injury I can’t see Hamonic moving until the draft. If the Oilers are to improve this season on D I think they have to look elsewhere. Personally, I would wait. If the team rallies when McDavid returns maybe making a move makes sense. But as of now? I don’t see a fit that makes sense and if the team continues to struggle a trade for the now may prove very costly (for example, if picks and prospects are moved for Buff but they don’t make the playoffs anyway).

  162. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    RexLibris: The same things were said about Turris when he demanded a trade.

    He’s a solid 2C now and the Senators got him for what has turned out to be peanuts (David Rundblad and a 2nd rounder that became Anthony Stolarz).

    I’d take Drouin today if the package were Reinhart and a 2nd round pick.

    I doubt Yzerman takes a defender back in a Drouin deal when he’s on notice about losing Stamkos this summer, though.

    We discussed this yesterday as well. It’s a move Sather would make. Yeah the need on D is pressing. But If Eberle is moved to address D, a young player with Drouin’s skillset becomes crucial.
    A McDavid-Yakupov-Drouin power play would be interesting

  163. Lois Lowe says:

    RexLibris: The same things were said about Turris when he demanded a trade.

    I’d take Drouin today if the package were Reinhart and a 2nd round pick.

    Drouin is more akin to Yakupov than Turris.

  164. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    Lois Lowe: Drouin is more akin to Yakupov than Turris.

    I know you don’t think he is very good, but there’s still time for both Yakupov and Drouin.

    Turris was no screaming hell to start his career either.

  165. stush18 says:

    Ryan:
    stush18,

    I don’t think the “Detroit model” means what you think it means.

    The Red Wings drafted the defensemen Alexey Marchenko, 6’3″ 210 lbs #210 in the 2011 draft.Granted he’s two years older than Reinhart despite being drafted one year earlier.

    He played 13 NHL games in his draft plus four year.

    This season, in his draft plus five season, he’s played 32 games.

    There are no comparables for an overager Russian defenseman getting drafted #210 ov and playing as a regular in his draft plus five season.That’s the Detroit model.

    There are, however, 24 comparables for Grffin Reinhart–defensemen drafted out of Canadian major junior in the top 15 selections from 2001 to 2011.

    All of the future top four dmen from that list of comparables established themselves as a top four dmen in toi by their draft plus four season.

    Reinhart is miles away from being a top four dman on one of the worst blue lines in the NHL. Hence, my consternation about Reinhart.

    The Detroit model means exactly what I think it means.

    They’ve hand marinated their players. They give hem the reps at the AHL or in Europe. March enjoy played one hundred games in the khl, and another hundred in the AHL. He’s older, and being sheltered on the wings. Reinhart has playedless than 100 pro games.

    Marchenko also only has 4 assists in like 34 games this year.

    Draft position means squat. All it means is those drafted higher usually get more chances.

  166. theres oil in virginia says:

    Looks like Griffin Reinhart was drafted in 2012, played 2 more seasons in the WHL (2012-13 and 2013-14), then split the next two seasons between the AHL and the NHL (2014-15 and 2015-16), although mostly in the AHL last year. He’s only played about half of the available games so far this year after dealing with an “undisclosed” injury. So, he’s in draft plus 4. I’ll be happy if he’s a regular by next year.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=123847

  167. Mr. D. says:

    Do you really think that a player (unless an egotistical superstar with guaranteed employment) is going to demand an out and thus relegated to the PB or worse. Bottom line is the Oilers need to overpay anyone who is a UFA for several reasons.
    Mr Trudeau and his 4% tax increase will chase away many from Canadian teams unless the can make it up on the value of the contract.
    Alberta is a great place but let’s be serious it not a resort destination.
    The media and scrutiny of the fans alone chases players out. Get ragged on here for a bit more money but oodles of taxes or live in anonominity with 20 other US teams WITH MORE take home pay.

    RexLibris:
    Can I just say, this season has been a breath of fresh air.

    Johansen, Hamonic, Duchene and now Drouin all requesting trades out of their respective cities.

    All good young players.

    Not a single Oiler player has requested a trade or had rumours of being disgruntled and wanting out of this “cold northern NHL backwater” this season.

    Nope, instead it was the “surprising, rebuilt, hard-working Columbus Blue Jackets”.

    It was the revived New York Islanders who play on the much-favoured East Coast.

    It was in the beautiful part of the continent and cup contender Tampa Bay.

    Nice for a change.

  168. Frank the dog says:

    Could Chia be considering Zach and Yak as CMD’s partners?

  169. lynn says:

    Lowetide,

    Your evaluation of Jujhar Khaira is fair. Jujhar is green, has done well in his first stint with Oilers, but with more time with the Condors, he will be a better player. He is a talented player with a value contract that the Oilers will need in the next year or two.

  170. stevezie says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    As was recently discussed, Turris was moved for (essentially) two seconds and the hockey world was stunned he was worth so much.

    No screaming hell at all.

  171. Lois Lowe says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    It’s absolutely true that I don’t like Drouin as a prospect and I agree, there is still time for both he and Yak to show what they’re capable of.

    I was pointing more to the fact that trading Reinhart and a 2nd for a Yak comp wouldn’t be high on my priority list given the forward depth on the Oilers.

  172. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m not sure anyone else will like the comp but for me Grif has always reminded me of a young, healthy Nick Schultz. He’s not a wow player, but let’s face it, we don’t need too many more of those.

  173. square_wheels says:

    Frank the dog,

    Doesn’t Zach typically play RW ?

  174. PunjabiOil says:

    A few random thoughts:

    1. Nothing wrong with Reinhart being in the AHL. He just isn’t ready. If he’s not however by October 2016, at age 22, then you have to begin looking at cutting your losses and trading him before value falls further.

    2. Drouin – I’d heavily explore a Yakupov (plus if necessary) trade for him. Heck, even a Reinhart for Drouin straight up trade I would do. Not sure if Tampa would but these are worthwhile moves and allows the Oilers options in the summer.

    3. There is literally nothing out there in the UFA market for goalies this off-season. I’d move Nilsson at the trade deadline (LB as backup next year), and evaluate Talbot until right before the deadline as to whether or not to extend him. The trade market may have to be explored if Talbot does not demonstrate consistency.

  175. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Problem for me with Drouin is he’s quite similar to players they already have stylistically. Maybe you send them Yak for Drouin, but Drouin-McDavid seems like more of the same

  176. square_wheels says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Am I the only one that finds it odd that a pro athlete has requested to play only in western Canada for family reasons ? For the entire season the player is essentially a full time employee of the team, so if he needs to be home or near Winnipeg, unless he’s playing there, what value does living in Western Canada serve ? Its a peculiar situation, I’m not connecting the dots (nor should I) but is it possible Chia has an idea what this is about and wants to stay clear ?

    So playing in Edmonton vs Brooklyn, has similar travel times , the only thing different is the passport or work permit. Maybe he has a spouse that can’t work in the U.S. ?

  177. pocession charge says:

    Mr. D.:
    Do you really think that a player (unless an egotistical superstar with guaranteed employment) is going to demand an out and thus relegated to the PB or worse. Bottom line is the Oilers need to overpay anyone who is a UFA for several reasons.
    Mr Trudeau and his 4% tax increase will chase away many from Canadian teamsunless the can make it up on the value of the contract.
    Alberta is a great place but let’s be serious it not a resort destination.
    The media and scrutiny of the fans alone chases players out. Get ragged on here for a bit more money but oodles of taxes or live in anonominity with 20 other US teams WITH MORE take home pay.

    The players in Canada get paid in US dollars but their expenses are in CDN dollars. That is a massive savings — more than enough to offset any tax increase. It should be marketed as a competitive advantage by Canadian teams.

  178. Bruce McCurdy says:

    theres oil in virginia: I might be a homer, but OEL embellished the hook on the first call, as well. It was definitely a hook, and a stupid penalty, but it should have been evened up.

    Gryba got hooked just as hard or harder about 5 minutes later, a bit further from his own net along the back wall, right up around his shoulder, stopped him dead in his tracks. But that was “only Eric Gryba” so it was also “just a hockey play”.

    PS: I might be a homer as well.

  179. godot10 says:

    RexLibris:
    I’d take Drouin today if the package were Reinhart and a 2nd round pick.

    The Oilers need Reinhart more than they need Drouin. Like Tampa, the Oilers don’t have a place for Drouin. They have Hall and Pouliot signed long term (and Lucic is apparently arriving in July)!

    The OIlers shouldn’t be trading away young 3rd pairing D (Reinhart), for small one dimensional forwards.

    Man the Oiler blogosphere hates D. They don’t want to draft them. They don’t want to trade draft picks for them. And they want to trade them away for stuff that the OIlers don’t need.

    Calgary has lousy forwards compared to the OIlers and have been ahead in the standings for the last two seasons. because they have a defense. The most critical thing McDavid (and Draisaitl and any forward) needs is a competent defense.

  180. godot10 says:

    pocession charge: The players in Canada get paid in US dollars but their expenses are in CDN dollars.That is a massive savings — more than enough to offset any tax increase.It should be marketed as a competitive advantage by Canadian teams.

    With that idiotic logic, the NHL will soon be losing players to the KHL, as the bottom has fallen out of the ruble.

  181. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    Whatdo they get paid in there?

  182. JAG-041 says:

    Frank the dog,

    If he is you know ole Gene’s chomping at the bit…

  183. Frank the dog says:

    square_wheels:
    Frank the dog,

    Doesn’t Zach typically play RW ?

    Yes, and Yak is a left hander who prefers right wing. This would allow him to exit the zone on the left, and water bug in the Ozone while ZK helps dig in the corners and adds a net front presence.

  184. Frank the dog says:

    pocession charge: The players in Canada get paid in US dollars but their expenses are in CDN dollars.That is a massive savings — more than enough to offset any tax increase.It should be marketed as a competitive advantage by Canadian teams.

    You can also ask our friend Bookje about the actual tax difference between Canada and the USA.

  185. Bruce McCurdy says:

    prefonmich:
    Soup Fascist,

    It seems to me that part of the problem is McLellan’s preferred defense type. Other than Gryba, all the slow-footed defense on this team have been sent down. The one dimensional defense first guys like Fayne and Reinhart whose strengths are much more subtle than guys like Nurse or Schultz have been sent down or sat while the opposite style strong skating d are playing way above their heads in terms of minutes and matchups. I am not sure Reinhart got an entirely fair shake to prove the effectiveness of his more subtle style.

    I would argue that “more subtle style” takes longer to hone. Lots of d-men who make their livelihood in the defensive zone who are 23 or 24 before they establish themselves. Within the Oilers you have Fayne who was 23 when he broke in, Gryba (24), or Davidson who is 24 now & just finding his way. Reinhart is 2½ years younger than Davidson.

    Granted that none of those guys was a Top 5 draft choice, and Young Willis’s oft-cited post about GR is cautionary to be sure, but not all those comps are the same player type. Reinhart’s forte is as a stalwart presence in his own zone firsst and foremost, even as I agree with LT’s assessment of a “wide range of skills”. I didn’t see speed of foot his biggest issue, but speed of decision-making which is less at the NHL level than one might suppose.

    I saw this player go through the same thing when he arrived as an Edmonton Oil King at age 16, he would get the puck and then hesitate, and sometimes quick pressure/turnovers/chaos would ensue. By his third year he’d get the puck and get it to the good ice, be it still on his stick or a teammate’s or merely in a safe place. And when he did hesitate with the puck, it was because he had already slowed the game down to his pace. Reminded me a little of Pronger and various other greats in that respect, albeit at the junior level.

    But now that pace has quickened again and he has to learn many of the same lessons against men. Highly skilled men, at that. So yes, he has to step it up — almost literally — but I remain confident he can and will do just that. To what degree, who knows? But as an old goalie I come from the school that highly values the Randy Gregg/Ken Morrow class of blueliners. And if they’re on the second or third pairing, well that’s just fine.

  186. square_wheels says:

    frjohnk,

    I don’t think Hamonic wants to be anywhere but Winnipeg. Playing somewhere in the West of Canada has now turned into Colorado and Minnesota, none of his request smells above board. I wouldn’t be surprised if Snow sends him wherever the hell he gets the best deal, and Hamonic and his agent can figure out how in the next 4 years they can find their way back to Winnipeg.

    Maloney stated he called and they couldn’t work out a deal, but didn’t say anything to imply he wouldn’t report if traded to Phoenix.

    So let’s say we land him, does he fly home everytime the team has 48hrs off, risking his fitness, nutrition and rest just to be “at home” during the season ? While Snow and the team put on a professional public face, I’d assume they’re fucking furious with the player and the agent for what seems like a poorly thought out “family request”.

    Whoever lands the player is going to have to know he will sign in Winnipeg as a UFA or worse, decide hockey is no longer his priority over his family.

  187. leadfarmer says:

    square_wheels,

    That is ridiculous. Even though Winnipeg would be his ideal preference he would accept a trade to a handful of places that are close to home including maybe one US team in Minnesota. Just like in the future he would prefer Winnipeg doesn’t mean it will work out that way and he won’t be happy in another team fairly close. What makes you think he would give up hockey. He requested a trade half a year ago and guess what, he hasn’t quit.

  188. godot10 says:

    stevezie:
    godot10,

    Whatdo they get paid in there?

    The average player salary in the NHL is about $3.2 million. Lop off $200K for expenses, (and consideration of the lower tax brackets).

    In Alberta, the top marginal tax rate is going up by about 8%…5% courtesy of Notley, 3% courtesy of Trudeau. 8% of $3 million is $240K. (or in Canadian dollars over $300K).

    Most of an NHL salary is saved and invested, not spent, so pocession charge’s argument makes no sense. The average player in Alberta will have 8% less after tax income to save or invest, and this is massive compared their basic level of living expenses.

    *unless they have good tax lawyers and accountents.

  189. AsiaOil says:

    Drouin is not needed as we have what he brings in Yak/Ebs – we need defense.

    Reinhart will be fine – he is Carl Alzner right down to the draft number in a weak year and style of play – and Alzner is really coming into his own this season as a tough minute defenseman. Davidson blocks GR right now because he will never pass through waivers and we can’t have 3 rookies in the lineup. GR got hurt at an inopportune time – but I would be tempted to recall him and demote Nurse until we can clean out the roster a bit. We have 5 good/promising LH dmen and a couple may have to switch over unless we make trades. Sekera may be that guy who could manage switching over on the 2nd pair.

    Klef xxx
    Nurse Sekera
    GR Davidson

    I argued like hell supporting Davidson in TC – but he’s not a top 4 dman now – and he may never become that. He’s a solid affordable bottom pair guy now and may grow into a 4/5 – we will see. Mr. xxx on the top pair is the key – get him – and everything else is actually pretty easy and solved through development. Klef for Hamonic is a hockey trade but I prefer this cap neutral deal which I suggested a few days ago:

    To NJD – Eberle
    To NYI – Ruutu/Severson
    To EDM: Hamonic/ Zubrus cap

  190. NYCOIL "Gentleman Backpacker" says:

    square_wheels,

    There could be a number of reasons. I have no idea, so won’t speculate.

    But for example, just in totally generic terms, a child custody issue might require one to have residency in one country.

  191. Moose says:

    Kassian scores his first as a Condor tonight.

  192. prefonmich says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Thanks for the insight with your experience of seeing him as an Oil King. I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing to give him more time in the AHL and I do remember the OIlers talking about his decision making speed needing to be quicker. I think the bigger issue is the fact we have too many D who need some degree of shelter and we only have so many 5/6 D spots (2 to be exact).

    It is interesting to me to compare our D to the Flames who supposedly have the best D in the conference (arguably as stated by many media). When TJ Brodie was out at the start of the year it pushed everyone up a level and it didn’t go well. This is what the Oilers have been living for a number of years and of course it hasn’t gone well. With Klefbom out many guys are playing two rungs above where they should be- case in point one Darryl Nurse! We need Kbom back in a quick hurry!

  193. admiralmark says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I would argue that “more subtle style” takes longer to hone. Lots of d-men who make their livelihood in the defensive zone who are 23 or 24 before they establish themselves. Within the Oilers you have Fayne who was 23 when he broke in, Gryba (24), or Davidson who is 24 now & just finding his way. Reinhart is 2½ years younger than Davidson.

    Granted that none of those guys was a Top 5 draft choice, and Young Willis’s oft-cited post about GR is cautionary to be sure, but not all those comps are the same player type. Reinhart’s forte is as a stalwart presence in his own zone firsst and foremost, even as I agree with LT’s assessment of a “wide range of skills”. I didn’t see speed of foot his biggest issue, but speed of decision-making which is less at the NHL level than one might suppose.

    I saw this player go through the same thing when he arrived as an Edmonton Oil King at age 16, he would get the puck and then hesitate, and sometimes quick pressure/turnovers/chaos would ensue. By his third year he’d get the puck and get it to the good ice, be it still on his stick or a teammate’s or merely in a safe place. And when he did hesitate with the puck, it was because he had already slowed the game down to his pace. Reminded me a little of Pronger and various other greats in that respect, albeit at the junior level.

    But now that pace has quickened again and he has to learn many of the same lessons against men. Highly skilled men, at that. So yes, he has to step it up — almost literally — but I remain confident he can and will do just that. To what degree, who knows? But as an old goalie I come from the school that highly values the Randy Gregg/Ken Morrow class of blueliners. And if they’re on the second or third pairing, well that’s just fine.

    The comparable i keep thinking of for Reinhart is Steve Smith. I can see him being that player. And despite the major guffaw.. I think Steve Smith was a valuable commodity.

  194. stevezie says:

    godot10,

    Before I say anything, I will happily admit I don’t know much about money.

    I take your point that most of that money is not going to the grocery store. Obviously housing is going to be a big expense, but that seems to me more of a market to market thing than a country to country one.

    Basically, I get your criticism of PO’s point. I just don’t get your Russian example, as those guys get paid in Rubbles, no? Don’t they? I don’t know.

  195. PunjabiOil says:

    Most of an NHL salary is saved and invested, not spent, so pocession charge’s argument makes no sense. The average player in Alberta will have 8% less after tax income to save or invest, and this is massive compared their basic level of living expenses..

    While some of what you say is true, a few points:

    1. As someone who is an accountant with many NHL player clients, I can tell you in general, NHL love to spend and are not careful with their money. Many of them do not invest/save as they prudentially should be.

    2. Purchasing power parity – they get paid in US dollars. Even if they are saving, those US dollars can yield in more CAD currency for which can be used towards savings and investments. The low CAD currency value is resulting in more gains to the Canadian players, certainly higher than the increased taxes that will be levied against the players.

    Of course the taxes are likely in structurally for a long time. The low Canadian dollar may only be short-term.

    Tax wise – the Alberta cities go from 1-2 to the mid-range in terms of taxes after the increase.

    http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2014/11/personal-income-taxes-nhl-players-teams-salary-caps/

  196. PunjabiOil says:

    Drouin is not needed as we have what he brings in Yak/Ebs – we need defense.

    That itself does not mean you stop seeking opportunities in the market for upgrades in areas of strength.

  197. square_wheels says:

    NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

    Yup, that would do it.

  198. square_wheels says:

    leadfarmer,

    No you’re missing my point. It’s incredibly rare for an athlete to have any “free time” during the season, so any team wanting to pay the incredibly high price Snow demands, has to know there is potentially something more important to him outside hockey. That’s not any slight against the player but why make it public, it’s does nothing but harm to your team and the organization you’ve now handcuffed. It has also been said Colorado is on his list and Maloney didn’t seem to indicate he rejected Phoenix, he just could not work a deal with Snow.

    If it’s a child custody matter I’d understand, but outside of that, I’m just stating my opinion about the players motivation behind putting himself in this situation. In the end, I don’t think Snow will move him for anything less than a large overpay, something that will involve 1st round pics and established top 4 talent and he may not even do it this year or next. I don’t think we should be overly optimistic about acquiring him, I would bet my next cheque once Buff is gone, Winnipeg is packaging up something for him anyways.

    Players and their dumb shit agents need to learn to keep their mouths closed, it doesnt help anyone airing issues in public.

    And who’s to say his new location doesn’t fit in a year, he’s already geographically ballooned the request to include most of Western North America.

  199. pocession charge says:

    godot10: With that idiotic logic, the NHL will soon be losing players to the KHL, as the bottom has fallen out of the ruble.

    They don’t get paid in US dollars in Russia. Do your homework before you start grandstanding please.

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