We are about one year into the Peter Chiarelli era, and the range of views about his work in those 12 months is wide. Some feel there is little or no progress—and any that has taken place is due to improvement of the youths—while others feel the long road north has now been joined and it is only a matter of time. All agree that the trade and procurement record is uneven and not easily explained.


  • 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: 4-5-2
  • Oilers in February 2015: 5-6-1
  • Oilers in February 2016: 4-8-2
  • Oilers in March 2015: 5-6-3
  • Oilers in March 2016: 6-5-0
  • Oilers after 75 in 2014-15: 22-40-13, 57 points (-71 GD)
  • Oilers after 75 in 2015-16: 29-39-7, 65 points (-38 GD)

Nelson’s Oilers G76 marched into Denver and won 4-1, and at that point were running down some teams ahead of them. From tonight through the end of the year, Edmonton went 2-4-1 to finish 24-44-14, 62 points. If the Oilers can match it, and that is a tall order based on this week’s road trip, McLellan’s crew will finish 31-43-8, 70 points. The GDs remain markedly improved year over year.

DEFENSE, 2015-16


  • As we get deeper into this discussion, I think there is some room for a conversation that brings back Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom and Brandon Davidson on LH side, and then a (mostly) new set of blue on RH side. Fair? Assuming Klefbom and Davidson are healthy?
  • Mark Fayne is signed for two more years, and trading him may involve sending an extra asset or retaining. Why do that? Seems to me he could play a role here, and allow the Oilers to push down the prospects to the AHL for recall (remember, 14 D have played in Edmonton this season).
  • Jason Demers is a player who looks like a reasonable bet and he costs only money. If the Oilers add (via trade) a legit defender, and run Demers and Fayne, does that work?

demers capture

  • Klefbom—Jason Demers
  • Sekera—Sami Vatanen
  • Davidson—Fayne
  • (No. 7 could be any number of players)

If you can make a deal for Vatanen, sign Demers, and keep Fayne, the starting six have plenty of experienced men, a reasonable option for the PP (Vatanen is 4-14-18 on the PP and has 133 shots on goal this year). What would it take? Don’t know.

CENTERS, 2015-16






  • Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Taylor Hall, Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Eberle all scored 2.00/60 at 5×5 or damn close this season. That is a tremendous foundation for a bona fide offense—and the Oilers badly need one. The last Oilers team to outscore its goaltending? The Pronger Oilers.
  • Ryan Nugent—Hopkins, Patrick Maroon, Mark Letestu, Zack Kassian and a right-handed shooter for the power play might get this crazy bird turned around.
  • If you could address the defense without upsetting the forwards, would you?


  • Pouliot—McDavid—Eberle
  • Hall—Draisaitl—Laine
  • Maroon—RNH—Kassian

Can the Oilers afford to add Demers, Vatanen and Laine, while saying goodbye to only Nikita Nikitin, Andrew Ference (LTIR)—while also factoring in the additions of Talbot and Klefbom’s new deals? The NHL Cap could go as to $74.4 million according to recent estimates.

  • Goal: Cam Talbot $4.167 million; Laurent Brossoit $750,000 (TOTAL: $4.917 million)
  • Defense: Andrej Sekera $5.5 million; Jason Demers $5.0 million(est); Oscar Klefbom $4.167 million; Mark Fayne $3.625 million; Sami Vatanen $5.0 million(est); Brandon Davidson $1.425 million; Eric Gryba $1.0 million (estimate). (TOTAL: $ 25.717 million)
  • Center: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins $6 million; Connor McDavid $3.775 million; Leon Draisaitl $3.4 million; Mark Letestu $1.8 million; Anton Lander $988,000. (TOTAL: $15.963 million).
  • Left Wing: Taylor Hall $6 million; Benoit Pouliot $4 million; Patrick Maroon $1.5 million; Jujhar Khaira $894,000. Lauri Korpikoski $2.7 million. (TOTAL: $12.394 million).
  • Right Wing: Jordan Eberle $6 million; Patrik Laine $3.775 million (estimate); Zack Kassian $2.4 million (estimate); Matt Hendricks $1.85 million; Iiro Pakarinen $1.0 million (estimate). (TOTAL: $15.025 million).
  • OVERALL: $74,016,000.
  • Is there a way to shoe-horn Kyle Okposo onto this roster? No.
  • I have moved Nail Yakupov and Lauri Korpikoski from the roster for the purposes of this conversation. Yakupov should be a fairly easy move, far less certain about the Finn.
  • Patrik Laine was added via No. 2 overall selection.
  • Sami Vatanen was added via Darnell Nurse and sundry items. I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in hell this happens, but wanted to see if we could cobble together an improved defensive roster without impacting the forwards.
  • I do think Nurse has substantial trade value. Having seen him live, his dynamic combination of size and speed is impressive. The fact he could be ineligible for the coming expansion draft adds to his value in a deal like the one I am suggesting with Anaheim.
  • Yesterday, I made a list of assets in play, based on reaction it is probably a good time to publicly proclaim that I don’t hate any of the people mentioned in the piece, you the reader, or really anyone. Discussing trade options does not equal hatred, anger, stupidity, ‘boner’ or any such thing. Thanks.
  • In this model, we address top pairing defense (Demers), second pairing plus power-play qb (Vatanen) and RH sniper (Laine). We also retain the strength at center and leave the wingers in place, sans Yakupov. I didn’t replace Lander, but Chiarelli will this summer.


As we have discussed at length, any trade that moves out RNH must also bring back a center. If the Oilers make the trade suggested by Mr. Solbak, a Frans Nielsen would also have to be added. Not ideal, especially considering there is no guarantee Nielsen signs in Edmonton.

Pronman is a smart guy and he definitely has access, so this is an interesting confirmation of what I have been reading/hearing. Juolevi’s NHLE is in the range with the other three defensemen I have in my top 10 (Chychrun, Sergachev, Jake Bean), so this (somewhat) late break should come as no surprise. It also means there is every chance we will see a ‘Cam Fowler slide’ this year—a consensus top 10 selection falling outside the top 10 overall.

Dustin Nelson has a piece out about the expansion draft and teams who could be giving up something very good. I will write a lot about the coming expansion draft, but history teaches us that the first draft of the expansion rules has no real relationship to the final one. The chances of the final draft of that document being released before the activities of this summer are not high based on history. We wait, but Nelson did a fine job of taking a photo of the current situation.

we hoped for the best


At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. Oilers in Arizona, Oilers over summer, Oilers when the walls fell.
  • Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. Oil Kings in Medicine Hat tonight for a one-game entry into the playoffs. The Tigers ran over the OK in the regular season. Can Edmonton turn it around?
  • Kerry Miller, Bleacher Report. March Madness continues, we will talk about the upsets and the new favorites to win it all.
  • Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst. I want to drill down on this movement among defensemen at the top of the draft.

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

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415 Responses to "G76 2015-16: OILERS AT COYOTES"

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  1. Mustard Tiger says:

    Capitalizing on your scoring chances is a skill, and as a team, the Oilers are very bad at this skill. It has been that way pretty much all season.

  2. Evilas says:

    Caramel Batman,

    Osterle is great with the puck on his stick and a little bit of room, but he got rocked a lot and he was like a boy amongst men on many of his shifts. He couldn’t cope with the size and strength of many of the Arizona forwards. Despite some success, I predict he will be given the Andrew Miller treatment.

  3. G Money says:

    These are my stats lines for ReinOes:


    Apart from that one goal, they were both very very good.

  4. Evilas says:

    G Money,

    I concede, lol, I just came back here from your game summary.

    But I did see at least 4 instances where Oesterle was basically a mosquito that was easily swatted away in the D-Zone, this can leave as big an impression with some of these “seen em good” hockey guys as end to end rushes. But Chia is a smart man, I am pretty sure he “gets it”.

    I retract my prediction.

  5. G Money says:


    Ha ha, I wasn’t responding specifically to your post, just adding some info.

    I think what you saw is reflected in the ‘iHitA’ column (individual hits against). Oesterle was hit three times, as was Reinhart. But Reinhart dished out two of his own, Oesterle zero.

    And I suspect also that Oesterle came out of the hits a lot worse than did Reinhart.

    Now that doesn’t change that they both had very effective games overall, but it does jive with that aspect of your impression.

    But it is a good demonstration of why its so valuable to check your observations with the numbers – our brains are wired to remember those big events (whether positive or negative), but not really notice the small effective plays through the course of the game.

  6. Lowetide says:

    That last hit saw Oesterle hammer the boards and that is a concern. Slight chance we see boaty mcboat in California.

  7. G Money says:

    I’ll leave this out there in case anyone wants to see one of these at some point:

    Anyone want to see a "NerdAlert" post game on a non-Oiler game? Other than my paragraph of commentary, the whole damn thing is automatic.— Oilers Nerd Alert (@OilersNerdAlert) 23 March 2016

  8. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Johnny skid: adam clendening might have hada hand in that stat also.

    Indubitably. Clendening had a rough night. But Oilers were outshot 12-2 in the 12 minutes Nurse was on with Clendening & 6-1 in the 4 minutes he was on with a different partner. So … yeah.

  9. Bruce McCurdy says:

    That last hit saw Oesterle hammer the boards and that is a concern. Slight chance we see boaty mcboat in California.

    My wife thought it was boarding. Mind you, she was agreeing with me at the time. But we just got rocketed into the wall there, that was ugly.

  10. Bruce McCurdy says:

    G Money:
    I’ll leave this out there in case anyone wants to see one of these at some point:

    Thanks, G.

  11. AsiaOil says:

    Johnny skid: adam clendening might have hada hand in that stat also.

    Seems clear they are going to keep Clendening on the NHL roster until the end of the year to retain his RFA rights. Had some hope he might be worth developing – but it doesn’t look like he will amount to anything more than an AHL callup.

    Oesterle has wonderful wheels and passing but got squished like an irritating bug multiple times tonight. Also assisted GR in totally screwing up on the 3rd goal. Kid could have a career if he puts 20 lbs on that frame, really strengthens his legs, and watches a lot of film on how Spurgeon plays.

    Nurse – the tools are all there but need a lot of honing in the AHL – full season next year please

    Reinhart – he snuck in from the point again to ring one off the crossbar tonight and will get some points at the NHL level. Much more assertive as compared to earlier in the season and was aggressive and abrasive tonight. Here is my take on GR – his skating is not bad – but it’s not a plus either. He’d be a great match for a RHD who is a great skater and puck mover – a guy like Barrie or Vatanen – basically a rich-man’s Oesterle. Terrible match with slugs like Fayne and Gryba. Longterm Nurse GR is interesting even if they are both LHD.

  12. SwedishPoster says:

    G Money:
    I’ll leave this out there in case anyone wants to see one of these at some point:

    Would be a nice little playoff treat for us hockey fans(and nerdalert fans) and as we all know the Oilers don’t do playoffs so…

    On Oesterle he did get smashed a few times but I don’t remember it leading to any big chances against or massive giveaways. He needs to get stronger to be able to contain the bigger forwards and also for him to stay healthy but getting hit is one thing, it will happen, the most important thing is where the puck goes. And so far this stretch it seems to be going in the right direction when he’s got it.

  13. nelson88 says:

    Only caught the highlights so nice to hear Reinhart had a good game with the exception of the 3rd goal. Cheering for the kid.

    Seem to recall Gregor or someone mentioning that the Oil Kings had challenged him to work on his conditioning and he made great strides back in junior. I hope he uses this summer to demonstrate is commitment to improving his leg strength and explosiveness. If he can gain a step he has the opportunity to be a very effective NHL defender.

  14. stevezie says:

    Reinhart hits the crossbar. He has had his best game as an Oiler tonight by my eye.

    This is the best possible news for Nurse lovers. If Reinhart can get his value up, maybe we can trade him for a rhD instead of Darnell.

    It will be weird if they’re both here next September- unless things go bad with Klef or Davidson, which they might.

  15. who says:


    What, where, why, when, how?

    You’ve made a very sweeping statement.

    Yeah too lazy to type anything else last night.
    Okay the first trade you are asking for the devils best dman and best center for Nuge and throw ins or salary dumps. I would break it down as Sev for Griff, Nuge for Henrique and picks. I can almost follow you there but that leaves Fayne and Yak for Larsson. Can’t see that happening
    Second trade is Eberle for Smith and draft picks. But then you are asking for Ellis and Sissons for Letestu (4th line center,salary dump) Musil (waiver loss next fall) and Yakimov (don’t think anyone know what he is yet) If you were Nashville would you make that trade.
    Third trade is a salary dump. Don’t see any GM taking Korp’s contract.
    Got no problem with trades 4 and 5 and I don’t even know who Russo is. Neither one is a blockbuster.

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