It seems as though the Edmonton Oilers are getting better performances from their AHL callups this season. Sunil Agnihotri was on the Lowdown yesterday and pointed out that Condors have been arriving ready from the farm. The most recent example, Griffin Reinhart, enjoyed a strong game just before the break. Of course, the most famous example is Leon Draisaitl with Darnell Nurse not far behind. Here are the performances of the Condors in their first five games after recall to Edmonton this season:
- Andrew Miller, October 19 (sent back October 22: 1gp, 0-0-0 in 8:28 TOI)
- Iiro Pakarinen, October 22 (5gp, 1-0-1 with six shots after recall)
- Darnell Nurse, October 26 (5gp, 1-1-2 with seven shots after recall)
- Joey Laleggia, October 28 (sent back October 29)
- Tyler Pitlick, October 28 (sent back October 29)
- Leon Draisaitl, October 29 (5gp, 3-4-7 with 13 shots after recall)
- Andrew Miller, November 4 (5gp, 0-0-0 with three shots)
- Anton Slepyshev, November 12 (1gp, 0-0-0 and sent back November 13)
- Jujhar Khaira, November 26 (5gp, 0-1-1 with seven shots)
- Ryan Hamilton, December 5 (sent back December 6)
- Nikita Nikitin, December 9 (5gp, 0-1-1 with eight shots)
- Mark Fayne, December 20 (5gp, 0-0-0 with five shots)
- Brad Hunt, December 26 (5gp, 0-0-0 with 12 shots)
- Ben Scrivens, December 28 (traded)
- Zack Kassian, January 13 (5gp, 1-1-2 with eight shots)
- Rob Klinkhammer, January 19 (1gp, 0-0-0 with one shot)
- Griffin Reinhart, January 22 (1gp, 0-1-1 with four shots)
That is some impressive help. The Oilers would appear to have called up most of those worth looking at this year, although I would like to see Laurent Brossoit, David Musil and second looks at Anton Slepyshev and Jujhar Khaira.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 17, 2016
LAST 10 GAMES
- Taylor Hall 10, 2-5-7 -9 (EV scoring has been tremendous this year, struggled in Jan.)
- Jordan Eberle 10, 1-5-6 +1 (Has been inconsistent this year, injury a big hurdle)
- Leon Draisaitl 10, 3-2-5 -7 (Led the team in goals over the last 10 gp)
- Benoit Pouliot 10, 2-3-5 E (They need to keep him on the wing. Solid winger)
- Justin Schultz 10,2-3-5 -4 (Offense coming around, defense continues to mystify)
- Teddy Purcell 10, 2-2-4 -4 (Faded a little offensively in this 10-game stretch)
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 7, 0-3-3 +1 (Effective center, gone for most of the rest of the year)
- Zack Kassian 6, 1-1-2 E (Absolutely rock solid as an Oiler. Keep it up)
- Lauri Korpikoski 7, 0-2-2 E (He is an unusual player)
- Mark Letestu 10, 2-0-2 -2 (His role will increase, having passed Lander long ago)
- Iiro Pakarinen 9, 1-1-2 E (Very effective with Kassian, they are terrors at times)
- Andrej Sekera 10, 1-1-2 -2 (Strong 10 games, he and Fayne are an emerging pairing)
- Nail Yakupov 6, 2-0-2 -4 (I think he would be higher on this list with better linemates)
- Mark Fayne 8, 1-0-1 -1 (Impressive run with Sekera, I am happy he is here)
- Matt Hendricks 7, 1-0-1 +1 (Gritty forward had an eventful January)
- Darnell Nurse 10, 0-1-1 -5 (Wheels are insane, he has struggled this month)
- Griffin Reinhart 1, 0-1-1 +1 (I didn’t see a thing written about his skating on Sunday)
- Cam Talbot 8, 1.85, .935 (Enormous run during this month. A monster)
- Anders Nilsson 2, 4.35 .852 (A tough stretch for him. Can he recover?)
— Jouni Nieminen (@OnsideWithJouni) January 26, 2016
I used to watch him from the cheap seats (radio didn’t pay big money then) and took Jo several times while 99 was an Oiler. Watching him from high up gave you a unique view of Gretzky, who played the game about 20 frames ahead of everyone else. I know you know the records, but perhaps even more impressive was the total number of chances he would get in a game. It seemed the entire time he was on the ice, the opposition was in full sell out mode, just trying to avoid disaster. Happy birthday, Wayne Gretzky. If they counted high-danger scoring chances in your day, you might have 1,000 in season. Crazy talent, crazy era.
MCDAVID CHANGES EVERYTHING
In theory, the Oilers should have an advantage (McDavid!!!) in free agency beginning in the spring with college graduates, and then into summer with Euro hopefuls, NHL free agents and over-age juniors from the CHL. I spoke to Tom Lynn this week, and he talked about the importance of the player making his own decision. His job (this is from Lynn) is to lay out each opportunity, address the possible risks, and then wait for the player’s decision. In the case of Panarin, Lynn told me ”over 20 had interest, 6 made it to his final list and offered #1 overall contracts” so opportunity, winning and possible linemates probably had some impact on his final destination. The only barrier for Panarin might have been his own belief in his abilities (Chicago doesn’t throw top 6F opportunities around often), but this was a perfect fit for both sides. Oilers fans should hope the same opportunity arises for their team in the coming years.
The Oilers are not the Blackhawks, but part of winning culture is getting the best players and surrounding them with supreme help in the way of complementary players. I don’t know who will eventually become the ‘to-Kurri’ portion of the McDavid legend, but chances are the guy is not currently on the roster.
McDavid scored at 3.47/60 5×5 with Nail Yakupov (and close to that with Benoit Pouliot), that could be the best trio we see, all three men scoring bunches of goals over the next decade. I think Jordan Eberle gets a shot, and also believe we will see tinkering along the way. Brett Callighen, Blair MacDonald, Don Ashby, Esa Tikkanen, Dave Semenko, the list is long, but they eventually settled on Jari Kurri as best available for 99—and that was a helluva good decision.
The Oilers have some time to find McDavid’s Kurri, but he might come to us in a Panarin kind of way. When this team begins to turn north, they should start winning some of the extremely important free-agent battles. One college man I would like to see Edmonton sign is here.
YOU MAKE THE CALL!
I suspect Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan have made their decisions on who is staying and who is going to be heading out of town. Care to list your candidates for exit? A lot of this depends on trade opportunity over summer, but I think we can safely list a few players who are unlikely to be here in September. Thoughts? I will say this: Any player making over $3 million probably wants to be fast, contributing to the offense, and at least somewhat responsible defensively.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Another fun show today, 10 on the button this morning TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. Jon will explain the Oilers defense.
- Dan Marr, Director of of NHL Central Scouting. We discuss the top of the draft.
- Kent Wilson, Flames Nation. Are the Flames sellers?
- Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. We will drill down on the college free agents and CHL over-age players who may be available this spring.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!