TRUE GRIT

So far this spring, the Oilers have been adding futures, although I think Drake Caggiula may end up playing some in 2016-17. Word this morning that Peter Chiarelli is about to make a move with one of the team’s free agents.

The one-year aspect is a positive tell, reflects caution (which is warranted) and the fact Kassian clearly has value to the team. I don’t think he is yet a lock as a full time member of the top 9F, but that could come this season. Before 2015-16, Kassian posted 27 points per 82 NHL games—Benoit Pouliot averages 39 per 82, Nail Yakupov 36 per 82—and the rugged winger may have found a home.

kassian capture

OILERS PROJECTED 50-MAN LIST (37)

  1. G Cam Talbot. No. 1 next season.
  2. G Laurent Brossoit. Projects as NHL backup/AHL starter, signed a two-year deal.
  3. G Nick Ellis: Newly signed college free agent.
  4. G Eetu Laurikainen, AHL backup, he is signed for next year.
  5. D Oscar Klefbom, likely top pairing, needs to stay healthy.
  6. D Andrej Sekera, top 4D, important part of the team.
  7. D Brandon Davidson, top 6D, maybe even top 4D if he continues on current track.
  8. D Mark Fayne, I question Oilers ability to find three better RH this summer.
  9. D Darnell Nurse, probably top 6D next season, ideally in Bakersfield.
  10. D Griffin Reinhart, may spend another year in the minors. Could be dealt.
  11. D Andrew Ference, they will buy him out (if able). LTIR is my guess.
  12. D Joey Laleggia, AHL D matriculating.
  13. D Dillon Simpson, AHL D, matriculating.
  14. D Ben Betker, AHL D, matriculating.
  15. D Caleb Jones, WHL D. Newly signed, definite slide rule.
  16. C Connor McDavid, Giant.
  17. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, quality NHL center.
  18. C Leon Draisaitl, emerging NHL talent.
  19. C Mark Letestu, checking NHL C.
  20. C Anton Lander, they may find a buyer.
  21. C Jujhar Khaira, he is a good bet to make the roster in the fall.
  22. C Bogdan Yakimov, a chance he comes back. Has NHL tools, speed concern.
  23. C Kyle Platzer, AHL C matriculating.
  24. L Taylor Hall, impact NHL player. Many fans want him gone.
  25. L Benoit Pouliot, underrated by many. Trade rumors.
  26. L Patrick Maroon, big winger has been exceptional since arrival.
  27. L Lauri Korpikoski, Oilers should try to offload him this summer.
  28. L Matt Hendricks, checking NHL W.
  29. L Drake Caggiula. A nice addition, let’s not go crazy on projecting him. 
  30. L Jere Sallinen, Newly signed, you can never have too many Finns.
  31. L Mitch Moroz, AHL winger/enforcer, matriculating.
  32. L Braden Christoffer, rugged winger, matriculating.
  33. R Jordan Eberle, scoring winger could be in play.
  34. R Nail Yakupov, gone baby, gone.
  35. R Zack Kassian, gigantic one year opportunity to become a legit part of the team.
  36. R Anton Slepyshev, talented winger should push for NHL time.
  37. R Greg Chase, minor league winger, matriculating.

The Oilers have work to do on RW—chances are Nail Yakupov will be dealt—and Kassian has a chance to fill a role on a significant line. Edmonton did not have a bona fide 3line this past year, Kassian and Benoit Pouliot/Patrick Maroon could be the solution on the wings. We will see about how dear the contract, but I am generally pleased by today’s news.

pakarinen condors

WAITING IN THE WINGS (CONTRACTS?)

  1. R Iiro Pakarinen, suspect he will push for a spot next fall. RFA
  2. D Jordan Oesterle. Suspect he signs. RFA.
  3. D Adam Clendening. Foot speed will cost him. RFA.
  4. D David Musil. Three straight solid seasons in the AHL. RFA.
  5. R Adam Cracknell. I have no idea if he will be back. UFA.
  6. R Rob Klinkhammer. No feeling either way. UFA.
  7. D Adam Pardy. He played well, doubt there is room. UFA.
  8. D Eric Gryba, UFA. A chance he signs. UFA.
  9. D Nikita Nikitin, UFA. Ufa alright.
  10. D Brad Hunt. Skills are duplicated elsewhere. UFA.
  11. L Josh Winquist. Best offensive prospect in the AHL currently—but does not have an NHL deal.
  12. R Josh Currie At 23, he forced his way into the lineup and played very well. Can also play center.
  13. C Marco Roy. Began slowly, but fought his way up the depth chart and emerged as a solid option.
  14. R Tyler Pitlick. Young veteran is RFA again. If he could only stay healthy.
  15. G Niklas Lundstrom. Signed with Bjorkloven for next year.
  16. L Kale Kessy. Rugged winger, skills duplicated on roster. RFA.
  17. R Andrew Miller. He may have traded himself. No chance he returns imo. UFA.
  18. L Ryan Hamilton. May receive another deal from the Oilers.

DRAFT CHATTER

tkachuk capture1

I think we may see some craziness at this year’s draft. Elliotte Friedman talked about the team at No. 3—the Blue Jackets—during his 30 thoughts.

  • Friedman: Much of the trade speculation around the upcoming draft surrounds Edmonton at number four, but is it possible things really begin with Columbus one pick higher? The conventional wisdom is the Blue Jackets will go with Jesse Puljujarvi there, as Toronto and Winnipeg are expected to take Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine one-two. Columbus needs centres as much as anything. If the Jackets believe Puljujarvi can play there long-term, it’s a no-brainer. If not, could they trade down a couple spots, add an asset and still get, say, Logan Brown? Might be something to consider. Source

I am not certain Edmonton would be interested—Dubois, Tkachuk and Juolevi are not in the same range with Puljujarvi based on what we are told—but if the levee breaks early, maybe we will see action.

  • More Friedman: As for the Oilers, it sounds like they’ve fielded a few calls but nothing that reads as scorching hot. Since they are looking for defenders, they might be willing to drop a little further than Columbus would in my hypothetical situation. But not by much.

I keep hoping No. 4 overall is enough to get a legit top 4D, but you have to wonder if it happens. It would seem a more likely scenario sees the Oilers trading down to No. 7 and picking up an extra pick, then dealing their own second to Boston in order to satisfy the Chiarelli ransom. Teams may want to deal up for forwards Dubois and Tkachuk—but don’t discount Clayton Keller. I spoke to Corey Pronman yesterday, he is very high on him and an NHL team could feel the same way. It only takes one.

Mr. Friedman also talked about WHC free agents, so please click through and read all about it.

  • Craig Button, TSN: “Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles is a blend of skill and power who reminds me of Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn. Dubois is smart, can create or finish, and is comfortable playing in the hard and challenging areas.”

9:25 REVEAL

At 9:25 this morning, I will join Nielson and Fraser and offer them my offseason plan for the Oilers. Be prepared to be underwhelmed!

chiarelli draft capture

CHIARELLI ASSET LIST

  1. Jordan Eberle or a center (Faulk? I think CAR may want a center)
  2. Nail Yakupov (if they get a reasonable offer, he is exiting the system)
  3. Cap space (Edmonton might be able to get a player like Bozak on the cheap because of it)
  4. Young LHD (Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart, Brandon Davidson)
  5. Benoit Pouliot (Anaheim for Vatanen?)
  6. No. 4 overall selection (May not have the hoped value)
  7. 2017 1st round selection (certainly in play)

I have changed up the list based on Friedman’s comments, for me even if a trade of the pick occurs we may be talking about two picks for the No. 4 overall selection—and not an actual NHL player. The RW depth chart could get a complete makeover this season, with Kassian and Pakarinen joining some free-agent additions. Unlikely, but it could happen.

QUICK HIT

  • Garrioch has the Senators walking Wiercioch. Source

FLASHBACK, SPRING 2013

dreger

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

  • Frank Seravalli from TSN will join me to talk about the NHL playoffs, Kassian signing and more. We will also preview the WHC game between Canada and Sweden (short show today) and the Raptors. TSN1260, at 10. @Lowetide on twitter, 10-1260 text.

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55 Responses to "TRUE GRIT"

  1. Bad Seed says:

    Nobody has discussed the Oilers moving up to 3 to take Puljujarvi. What would that take? Perhaps 4 and a 3rd?

  2. monsterbater says:

    Blake Caggiula? lol

    edit: I see you’ve fixed it now LT. I was hoping it would catch on as a new nickname.

  3. dustrock says:

    LT if it was any team but the Oilers I think I’d take Keller at 4, but not sure this roster makes sense for him. Extremely skilled player and I’m not as high on Puljujarvi as some people, I think you could argue Keller at #3, though people will laugh at me.

    Scoring like Eichel and Matthews for the USNDTP should mean something.

  4. Lowetide says:

    dustrock:
    LT if it was any team but the Oilers I think I’d take Keller at 4, but not sure this roster makes sense for him.Extremely skilled player and I’m not as high on Puljujarvi as some people, I think you could argue Keller at #3, though people will laugh at me.

    Scoring like Eichel and Matthews for the USNDTP should mean something.

    Yeah, I think a team might look at Keller as their guy. Chiarelli might yet get lucky at No. 4 overall. If they take the pick, imo it will be between Tkachuk (so much offense), Dubois (PF potential) and Juolevi (complete skill set save rugged style).

  5. Truth says:

    Bad Seed:
    Nobody has discussed the Oilers moving up to 3 to take Puljujarvi.What would that take?Perhaps 4 and a 3rd?

    I think the jump from 4 to 3 costs a lot more than a team in the 5-9 range jumping to 4. So if that’s all it would take it is useless for the Oilers to try to trade down within that range.

    I’d think Columbus would be asking for Nuge or Draisaitl instead of picks.

  6. Truth says:

    Kassian is (will be?) a welcome signing. I’d much rather have a player with his size/skill on the roster than a Korpikoski. Kassian also brings a level of crazy and unpredictability in protecting his teammates, something that has been missing in Edmonton for a while. There’s a potential for a good story here if he proves that he has turned his life around.

  7. Ducey says:

    Can the Oilers offer Kassian a contract with a base and bonuses? Seems like a good way to make sure he stays on the straight and narrow.

    He is more of a project than someone guaranteed to be useful though. He had some decent numbers for the Casmucks and has a decent tool shed (good shot, ability to carry the puck, skating) so there is some upside.

    Weircioch ? I thought we were only allowed to talk about RH players.

  8. thehop says:

    Dominik Furch….. Keeping the Czechs in the game against Uhmerica. Great game… Can’t wait for McJesus to light up the Vikings!!!!

  9. who says:

    Truth:
    Kassian is (will be?) a welcome signing.I’d much rather have a player with his size/skill on the roster than a Korpikoski.Kassian also brings a level of crazy and unpredictability in protecting his teammates, something that has been missing in Edmonton for a while.There’s a potential for a good story here if he proves that he has turned his life around.

    I don’t mind the signing depending on the cost but I find this whole Kassian tough guy narrative amusing. I don’t think Kassian is really interested in taking on any tough guys. If and when he decides to it usually ends up with him taking a dumb penalty. I can remember a game against the Islanders when he was challenged by Matt Martin and turned him down. A few shifts later he grabbed some poor schmuck who wasn’t doing anything, and clearly didn’t want to fight, out of a crowd and beat the crap out of him. That didn’t impress me and certainly doesn’t make him a tough guy. I value Kassian for his big body and skating ability, plus I think he has decent hands and some offensive awareness that a lot of fourth liners don’t have. Just don’t see him as a real tough guy or a protector of team mates

  10. tlatos says:

    Forget trading down from 4 to get that second why not trade up from 62 to 60 with a sweetener so basically give up a 3rd and say 6th or 7th instead of the second and a weaker top end pick

  11. Skeeziks says:

    Does anybody else have the feeling that Puljujarvi may be the second coming of Magnus Paajarvi?

  12. Ducey says:

    who: I don’t mind the signing depending on the cost but I find this whole Kassian tough guy narrative amusing. I don’t think Kassian is really interested in taking on any tough guys. If and when he decides to it usually ends up with him taking a dumb penalty. I can remember a game against the Islanders when he was challenged by Matt Martin and turned him down. A few shifts later he grabbed some poor schmuck who wasn’t doing anything, and clearly didn’t want to fight, out of a crowd and beat the crap out of him. That didn’t impress me and certainly doesn’t make him a tough guy. I value Kassian for his big body and skating ability, plus I think he has decent hands and some offensive awareness that a lot of fourth liners don’t have. Just don’t see him as a real tough guy or a protector of team mates

    Kassian is more from the Esa Tikkanen/ Ken Linsmen tree than a tough guy.

    Nothing wrong with that. There is lots of precedent for the Pest.

    I’d rather have someone that goes after the other teams better players than a guy who just squares off against their tough guy.

    Fighting Matt Martin and his 19 points and ~ 8 minutes a night isn’t as useful as getting someone in the top 6 baited into a penalty or off their game.

    How many times have we seen guys go after Hall or Eberle and basically ignore Gazdic?

  13. Ducey says:

    Skeeziks: Puljujarvi

    Careful now. That could be seen as a derogatory comment about MPS. That could get you banned in these parts 🙂

  14. Acumen says:

    Bad Seed:
    Nobody has discussed the Oilers moving up to 3 to take Puljujarvi.What would that take?Perhaps 4 and a 3rd?

    I wonder if #4 and Caleb Jones gets the ball rolling with Seth on the roster and in contract talks.

  15. TheOtherJohn says:

    Realize we may have slightly overpaid for Griff Reinhart but could we call Winnipeg and ask if we could trade Griff to them for Kyle Connor? Connor went 17th in his draft. Griff went 4th OV in his draft. Isn’t that how you sell trades like this

    Who says no?

  16. Melman says:

    There’s some real pressure in Van. to tidy up last year’s “rebuild on the fly” that flopped, and it appears the chosen solution is the FA route and there are quite few holes to fill. The contract they might want to move is Jannik Hansen so they can open the vault for Lucic. Great wheels, coming off his best year solid 2RW, exceptional 3RW and can PK. 2 years left at $2.5M. If you could get him on the cheap I think it would be a good move. His contract lines up with 97, he’s an actual NHL player and if Van. uses the $ to bury themselves in a Lucic contract that’s a bonus.

    Would you?

    Edit: I’m assuming the carrot of playing with 97 gets him to waive his NTC

  17. pocession charge says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Realize we may have slightly overpaid for Griff Reinhart but could we call Winnipeg and ask if we could trade Griff to them for Kyle Connor? Connor went 17th in his draft. Griff went 4th OV in his draft. Isn’t that how you sell trades like this

    Who says no?

    I think Winnipeg says no.

  18. who says:

    Ducey: Kassian is more from the Esa Tikkanen/ Ken Linsmen tree than a tough guy.

    Nothing wrong with that. There is lots of precedent for the Pest.

    I’d rather have someone that goes after the other teams better players than a guy who just squares off against their tough guy.

    Fighting Matt Martin and his 19 points and ~ 8 minutes a night isn’t as useful as getting someone in the top 6 baited into a penalty or off their game.

    How many times have we seen guys go after Hall or Eberle and basically ignore Gazdic?

    Yeah I guess I get that. I just don’t respect it. I really don’t put a lot of value on agitators or pests. To me you can either play or you can’t, and In a case like Kassians it seems like everytime he tries to play that role he ends up taking a dumb penalty and accomplshes nothing.

  19. Caramel Batman says:

    Watching the Penguins absolutely and completely dominate the Lightning I am reminded that the idea of a top six and bottom six is an awful way to build a hockey team. The Penguins have three scoring lines, a checking line that can score, and no fourth line. That’s how you win. Full stop.

    Now obviously not every team has the talent to do this, but that doesn’t change the idea. You need to build towards three scoring lines and no fourth line.

    Remember this when you talk about having to give up something to get something. The Oilers don’t have an excess of anything, not even forwards. Hence they can’t trade from a position of strength to address the defense. They have no strengths.

    Trade only for talent. Always. No trades that take a small loss in talent to supposedly address balance. That makes you worse in the long run. A trade that isn’t a win in talent is a loss.

    So how do you get better? You have to win trades straight out and you have to find guys who are undervalued.

    Case in point. The Penguins stole Kessel from the Leafs. An absolute fleecing because Kessel was a star player with a bad reputation that stemmed from playing on a bad team.

    Case in point II. The Penguins turned one year of Jordan Staal into Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and Derrick Pouliot. They then turned Sutter into Nick Bonino.

    That’s how you get better. Kessel, Bonino and Dumoulin are very good players. They won all of those deals flat out, and it was clear at the time. Three great trades. Every time they gave up less talent than they acquired.

    Chiarelli has to do the equivalent.

  20. Caramel Batman says:

    And I forgot about the Hagelin deal, another great deal.

    Every single time the Penguins got the better player at the time, or as in the case of the Staal deal, traded one year of the equivalent and about to be expensive player, for an equal player plus a first round pick, plus a guy who became a top four D.

  21. Truth says:

    who,

    Ducey pretty much summed up my thoughts. Kassian is the agitator that will fight if need be. Not the agitator that runs from a fight, a la Alex Burrows.

    His NHL fights since 2012-2013 Season via hockeyfights.com
    – Ben Eager
    – Ryan Clowe
    – Antoine Roussel
    – Chris Stewart x 2
    – Tim Jackman
    – Luke Schenn
    – Daniel Carcillo
    – Roberto Bortuzzo
    – Brian Strait
    – Cody McLeod

  22. Barcs says:

    Acumen: I wonder if #4 and Caleb Jones gets the ball rolling with Seth on the roster and in contract talks.

    I wonder if that would be enough for Columbus. Would you do 4, 32, and Jones?

    I know prospects are always the shiny new toy, but Puljujarvi could be an excellent fit on the Oilers for a very long time.

  23. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    Is Magnus Paajarvi hurt? I really haven’t watched much of the SJS/StL series but haven’t seen him when I have.

  24. dustrock says:

    Skeeziks:
    Does anybody else have the feeling that Puljujarvi may be the second coming of Magnus Paajarvi?

    Probably a but harsh but I think his skill set gets closed out at the pro level.

  25. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    Caramel Batman,

    Isn’t there a little bit of hindsight going on here? Phil Kessel had his worst regular season points wise since 2010 this year and came around during the playoffs, ditto for Bonino, and Hagelin was absolutely bad on the Ducks before they sent him over (ironically the Ducks were the best team in the NHL slightly before but definitely after he left, weird coincidence). The team as a whole caught fire around the ASB and have rode that through March and April. Throw in an unbelievable run for the rookie Matt Murray and a depleted Lightning team relying on a goaltender who hasn’t won since February and I think you may be getting ahead of yourself.

    Yes the Pens have been on a tear and last night was fun to watch but less than a year ago folks were wondering if they had wasted the prime years of Crosby/Malkin. A lot can happen in 12 months (in the case of the Pens lets make that 6) so I don’t know if I’d be trumping Rutherford as an absolute genius yet.

    Melman,

    I like the player and like his style. Two years at that price to shore up RW, can put up decent offence and as you say can take a spin on the PK when the inevitable injuries arise I like the call here.

  26. LoDog says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Is Magnus Paajarvi hurt? I really haven’t watched much of the SJS/StL series but haven’t seen him when I have.

    Don’t worry he is fine up there in the press box, he is just not good at playing hockey.

  27. Caramel Batman says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!,

    They did waste years of Crosby and Malkin. They wasted them on two scoring lines and bad goaltending. Now they have three scoring lines which combined with the firing of a terrible coach, has made them an excellent team. Three scoring lines is key. It’s not a unicorn it is a necessity.

  28. Drew says:

    who: I don’t mind the signing depending on the cost but I find this whole Kassian tough guy narrative amusing. I don’t think Kassian is really interested in taking on any tough guys. If and when he decides to it usually ends up with him taking a dumb penalty. I can remember a game against the Islanders when he was challenged by Matt Martin and turned him down. A few shifts later he grabbed some poor schmuck who wasn’t doing anything, and clearly didn’t want to fight, out of a crowd and beat the crap out of him. That didn’t impress me and certainly doesn’t make him a tough guy. I value Kassian for his big body and skating ability, plus I think he has decent hands and some offensive awareness that a lot of fourth liners don’t have. Just don’t see him as a real tough guy or a protector of team mates

    he had a great tilt with Martin a couple of years ago. Do not know how to post the link but google finds it easy.

  29. godot10 says:

    Skeeziks:
    Does anybody else have the feeling that Puljujarvi may be the second coming of Magnus Paajarvi?

    No. A bigger stronger faster right-shooting Jere Lehtinen.

  30. su_dhillon says:

    If Kassian is 1 x $1.5M then its another smart cheap bet for Chia. He wasn’t great to end the season but maybe coming back with a full summer helps. Even if he comes back and just isn’t good, at that price well worth the risk

  31. godot10 says:

    Well Oiled and Enthusiastic:
    Is Magnus Paajarvi hurt? I really haven’t watched much of the SJS/StL series but haven’t seen him when I have.

    No. St. Louis is just incredibly deep at forwards, and Hitchcock prefers to play a useless player in Steve Ott rather than Jaskin or Paajarvi.

    Top 3 lines: wingers (3 are converted centres)
    Steen
    Berglund
    Schwartz
    Tarasenko
    Fabbri
    Brouwer

    Extras:

    Ott, Upshall, Reaves, Jaskin, Paajarvi.

  32. Ducey says:

    SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!:
    Caramel Batman,

    Isn’t there a little bit of hindsight going on here? Phil Kessel had his worst regular season points wise since 2010 this year and came around during the playoffs, ditto for Bonino, and Hagelin was absolutely bad on the Ducks before they sent him over (ironically the Ducks were the best team in the NHL slightly before but definitely after he left, weird coincidence). The team as a whole caught fire around the ASB and have rode that through March and April. Throw in an unbelievable run for the rookie Matt Murray and a depleted Lightning team relying on a goaltender who hasn’t won since February and I think you may be getting ahead of yourself.

    Yes the Pens have been on a tear and last night was fun to watch but less than a year ago folks were wondering if they hadwasted the prime years of Crosby/Malkin. A lot can happen in 12 months (in the case of the Pens lets make that 6) so I don’t know if I’d be trumping Rutherford as an absolute genius yet.

    Agreed. Teams get hot. Goalies get hot. Lines get hot. Its a mistake to turn that into an absolute truth.

    I support the idea for the Oilers but a .928 sv % from your goalie makes the unicorns look warm and fuzzy. If he was at .900, they would back in Neverland.

    If Letang was knocked out of the series, the unicorns suddenly wouldn’t look so swell either.

    I note that Hagelin – Bonino – Kessel likely doesn’t qualify as a unicorn line anyway. Hagelin has never had more than 35 points in 4 seasons for the Rangers and was stuck in the mud with them again this year. Bonino had 49 points once with Ducks, then 39 with the Canucks and only 29 with the Penguins this year.

    They are hot, but also just as likely to turn back into pumpkins sometime soon (like when they are getting pounded by the Western Conference champ).

  33. Well Oiled and Enthusiastic says:

    godot10,

    Thanks.

  34. Rondo says:

    McDavid not playing well today.

  35. vinotintazo says:

    Mckenzie confirms 1.5M for kassian. 1-Year Deal.

  36. Lowetide says:

    That is a good number for Kassian.

  37. stush18 says:

    I know we need RH dmen but I think I would be happy with keeping fayne for the year, grabbing weircoch, and trading for someone like Barrie or demers.

    This is weircoch a first year with a corsi below 50%, at 48.8%. His all around possession metrics look pretty good, and this year he finished with just barely half his shifts starting in the offensive zone. I think this is a good opportunity to get a good player.

    He’s 6’5″ and had a down year stats wise. I’m not sure why Ottawa has never been in love with this player but I like him.

    Even if you managed to deal fayne for something useful, you could run

    Sekera-demers
    Klef-Barrie/vat
    Davidson-weircoch

    Of course it all depends what he’s asking for, but I’m sure he’d be a positive piece to add

  38. zatch says:

    stush18:

    This is weircoch a first year with a corsi below 50%, at 48.8%. His all around possession metrics look pretty good, and this year he finished with just barely half his shifts starting in the offensive zone. I think this is a good opportunity to get a good player.

    He’s 6’5″ and had a down year stats wise. I’m not sure why Ottawa has never been in love with this player but I like him.

    It’s weird here in Ottawa. They’re a lot like Calgary in that the team and the fans are “old fashioned” by which I mean they worship grinders, require a “tough guys” 4th line and when they can, draft and play local boys over better players. Mark Borowiecki is the best example of this. He’s a bad, low level AHL player, but this year Cameron would do anything to keep him in the line-up, including using him as a forward (!!!!). Melnyk saved the team and so is revered but he’s lost a lot of money. He meddles too much, can’t spend to the cap, and derides any kind of analytics, which is odd considering they need any edge they can get. Guys like Bruce Garrioch carry the teams water.

    tl;dr They don’t play Weircoch because they don’t know what the hell a good player even looks like. Poorly run team.

  39. dustrock says:

    http://ohlprospects.blogspot.ca/2016/05/my-final-top-50-ohl-players-for-2016.html

    I’m sure LT will be referring to this but here’s Brock’s breakdown of the top 50 OHL draft eligibles.

    Guys I’m interested in:

    -Mascherin
    -Givani Smith
    – Katchouk (ironically how “Tkachuk” is really pronounced)

    Top 10 players should be posted tomorrow.

  40. John Chambers says:

    Caramel Batman:
    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

    They did waste years of Crosby and Malkin.They wasted them on two scoring lines and bad goaltending.Now they have three scoring lines which combined with the firing of a terrible coach, has made them an excellent team.Three scoring lines is key.It’s not a unicorn it is a necessity.

    It’s just a shame they didn’t solicit your advice back in about 2010. They could’ve been parading toward their 4th Stanley by now.

  41. dustrock says:

    guess Talbot’s okay then.

  42. John Chambers says:

    vinotintazo:
    Mckenzie confirms 1.5M for kassian. 1-Year Deal.

    If I’m not mistaken it’s beneath last year’s salary, or basically near the low point of whatever Qualifying Offer Kassian would’ve needed to receive.

    Seems Kassian fears his NHL livelihood and is happy to have a 1-way contract to try and re-ignite his career.

    Very well played by Chiarelli in both acquiring the player and minimizing the expense.

    With the cap space that we’ll have I can feel one or two FA signings a coming.

  43. SwedishPoster says:

    On the draft. One of my favourite swedes in this draft D man Lucas Carlsson almost lost an eye a couple of weeks ago when some misguided fireworks hit him in the eye during holiday celebrations. Luckily for him he just got some minor bleeding in the eye from gunpowder splashes and he’ll be fully healed without any loss of vision. He was probably not even an inch from his hockey career being ruined just a few months from the draft. Don’t know if you should call him extremely lucky or unlucky.

    A similar thing almost happened to my friend one new years when some drunk idiot dropped some lit fireworks on the ground and it took off right towards his head. If it wasn’t for me saying “watch out” and his quick reactions it might have ended terribly. He had gunpowder on his collar from the rocket just barely missing him.

    On that happy note I’m off to bed after watching the worst swedish roster in 20 years getting steamrolled by Canada. Congrats!

  44. stush18 says:

    zatch: It’s weird here in Ottawa. They’re a lot like Calgary in that the team and the fans are “old fashioned” by which I mean they worship grinders, require a “tough guys” 4th line and when they can, draft and play local boys over better players. Mark Borowiecki is the best example of this. He’s a bad, low level AHL player, but this year Cameron would do anything to keep him in the line-up, including using him as a forward (!!!!). Melnyk saved the team and so is revered but he’s lost a lot of money. He meddles too much, can’t spend to the cap, and derides any kind of analytics, which is odd considering they need any edge they can get. Guys like Bruce Garrioch carry the teams water.

    tl;dr They don’t play Weircoch because they don’t know what the hell a good player even looks like. Poorly run team.

    Ya they’ve made a lot of weird choices. They used to be a fave of mine when spezza and heatley were there. Followed them since.

    I am not a fan melnyk. He seems like a very cheap owner, and someone who doesn’t seem to understand that winning correlates to money. How they convinced him to take on phaneufs contract I have no idea.

    I was upset they traded away prince as well. Or how they refuse to pay Hoffman.

  45. Lowetide says:

    SwedishPoster:
    On the draft. One of my favourite swedes in this draft D man Lucas Carlsson almost lost an eye a couple of weeks ago when some misguided fireworks hit him in the eye during holiday celebrations. Luckily for him he just got some minor bleeding in the eye from gunpowder splashes and he’ll be fully healed without any loss of vision. He was probably not even an inch from his hockey career being ruined just a few months from the draft. Don’t know if you should call him extremely lucky or unlucky.

    A similar thing almost happened to my friend one new years when some drunk idiot dropped some lit fireworks on the ground and it took off right towards his head. If it wasn’t for me saying “watch out” and his quick reactions it might have ended terribly. He had gunpowder on his collar from the rocket just barely missing him.

    On that happy note I’m off to bed after watching the worst swedish roster in 20 years getting steamrolled by Canada. Congrats!

    Wow. That is crazy. So glad things worked out for both Carlsson and your friend. As for the Canada win, well the Swedish roster doesn’t represent the talent in that country. A tough tournament for that group I am sure.

  46. LadiesloveSmid says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Klefbom’s not even on the team, I can’t consider Sweden 100%

  47. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: Agreed. Teams get hot. Goalies get hot. Lines get hot. Its a mistake to turn that into an absolute truth.

    I support the idea for the Oilers but a .928 sv % from your goalie makes the unicorns look warm and fuzzy. If he was at .900, they would back in Neverland.

    If Letang was knocked out of the series, the unicorns suddenly wouldn’t look so swell either.

    I note that Hagelin – Bonino – Kessel likely doesn’t qualify as a unicorn line anyway. Hagelin has never had more than 35 points in 4 seasons for the Rangers and was stuck in the mud with them again this year. Bonino had 49 points once with Ducks, then 39 with the Canucks and only 29 with the Penguins this year.

    They are hot, but also just as likely to turn back into pumpkins sometime soon (like when they are getting pounded by the Western Conference champ).

    I don’t think Unicorn means what you think it means.

  48. Ducey says:

    Woodguy: I don’t think Unicorn means what you think it means.

    Guess not.

    Letestu is apparently nowhere close. He had 25 points this year. Bonino apparently is, he had 29. Perhaps the cutoff is 27? 🙂

  49. Fog of Warts says:

    It’s my special day today. I was just “included” in a test Google is running on a new card-style search results display.

    Google continues testing new search results interfaces, including wider & card–styled results

    It’s not like I’ve spent more time scanning results from the classic Google format than most people alive have spent reading. If I’m feeling the least bit stubborn, my Google tab runs upwards of 1000 searches in a single day.

    By now, I’m sure my mind is 5% Borg. I’ve probably been north of 100 searches per day since Alta Vista over dial-up. I think I was account number 30 on the first public ISP in Toronto. It was called io.org, and it sometimes ran most of the time. Every time I Fermi estimate my lifetime Internet search quantity, it comes out somewhere around 1.5 million. Yes, I have eyeballed a list of ten dubious elements to spot the needle over a million times. Today my gut-reaction scanning speed dropped from 400 ms to about 4000 ms, as somehow my brain refuses to scan in parallel this new display format.

    If all the coffee on planet earth had become Stevia–hazelnut–pumpkin flavoured over night, I would presently be better off—because I can stop drinking coffee.

    ———

    TED put a good talk up recently. It starts slow, and the man has a substantial accent, but the payload is worth the pain.

    This is your brain on communication

    Here’s something I discovered yesterday. Goldman’s Which Lie Did I Tell? was originally titled The Big Campfire.

    Originally to be called The Big Campfire, the inspiration for the title came when Goldman was in the office of a Hollywood producer who was talking on the phone to one of his associates. Suddenly he cupped his hands over the receiver, snapped his fingers and said “Bill, Bill! Which lie did I tell?”

    The version in the book is much better. Bill calls his buddy an “asshole”.

    The campfire metaphor shows up in the lions chapter, and I recall using the word “campfire” in my post about heroism that “doesn’t shoot”. I picked up the central importance of the campfire metaphor in this chapter the moment I saw it. In fact, it clicked immediately that Lowetide functions as a kind of virtual campfire (alongside its spear-whittling Talmudic dissection of RHD).

    In some sense, I tell campfire stories. My lemon tree loves a proper campfire story. She reads a lot of genre fiction, I don’t. She likes my writing in a mostly abstract kind of way, but she doesn’t really warm to anything I write unless it’s a proper campfire story. I don’t tell many of those. The story of the broken lamp and the shoes was a notable exception.

    ———

    In his TED talk, at around 10m50, Uri begins to talk about priming effects, which for me, immediately, became mentally situated as priming effects shared around the campfire. For some people—fearful people huddled in their suburban fortresses—the campfire is FOX News. Satisfaction of the human need to feel small and threatened does not come easily in a cavernous Mini-Me McMansion. (That remark all by itself ought to get the bunch of them riled up to Defcon 3—”Air Force ready to mobilize in 15 minutes”.)

    Now this might come as a surprise to people, but I don’t hold with the Fox News perspective on “balance”, which roughly consists of averaging out one helping of the old ridiculous (as seen a thousand times before) against one helping of new ridiculous (as you could never have even imaged it), then crowning the ghost town of Sliver Peak as “middle” America.

    Silver Peak gained some fame during California’s 1999 electric power crisis. In the first major act of the power crisis causing an outage, on March 25, 1999, Enron energy traders allegedly rerouted 2,900MW (megawatts) of electricity destined for California to this small Nevada community. This caused a large shortage on the California power grid because the largest power feeder from this area to California had a capacity of 15MW (about 0.5% of the required wheeling capacity).

    News accounts claim this single action created an estimated $7 million of revenue for Enron. The company was fined $25,000 for their action, which their accounting staff mistakenly coded as a bar tab, before the error was uncovered at month end.

    However, my real objection to this kind of “balance” isn’t about where it’s placed on the continental chessboard. It has more to with those pernicious priming effects described by Uri Hasson in his talk.

    So to test it in the lab, we did the following experiment. We took a story by J.D. Salinger, in which a husband lost track of his wife in the middle of a party, and he’s calling his best friend, asking, “Did you see my wife?” For half of the subjects, we said that the wife was having an affair with the best friend. For the other half, we said that the wife is loyal and the husband is very jealous. This one sentence before the story started was enough to make the brain responses of all the people that believed the wife was having an affair be very similar in these high-order areas and different than the other group. And if one sentence is enough to make your brain similar to people that think like you and very different than people that think differently than you, think how this effect is going to be amplified in real life, when we are all listening to the exact same news item after being exposed day after day after day to different media channels, like Fox News or The New York Times, that give us very different perspectives on reality.

    A straight-up campfire story is about voluntary human synchronicity. It’s where—ideally—the power of priming is used for good, and not evil. Of course, the downside of synchronicity is group think.

    ———

    My own question—quest really—is this: How can one write in a strong voice without inducing group synchronicity? Just as I am as of this morning Google’s newest guinea pig, the lifers around here have been the subject of my verbals experiments for the last five years or so.

    What I’ve learned so far: synchronicity has trouble gaining hold if people can’t figure out where you’re going. The trick, I think, is to induce different people into latching onto different loose ends, without sacrificing coherence completely. I suspect I often fail.

    One of the challenges with this—in its lowest form (definitely what keeps me coming back)—is that you can’t become too predictable in how you shake people off the scent. The form requires an almost insane level of daily reinvention. (It bears repeating: my goal is not to confuse people, it’s to prevent two people reading my words in two different places from generating the same precipitation of brain waves in response.)

    The kind of “balance” I find most interesting is where ten different people can read a piece, and come to ten different conclusions about the dominant theme, but who still feel like they’ve read the same thing. Maybe that’s a fine line, I don’t know.

    I suppose I’m trying to point out along the way our capacity to self-prime: that what we get out of reading a piece depends on what we put into the piece, in the most concrete possible way. I don’t mean the old “E for effort” equation. I mean getting to a different place at the other end because of where your beliefs began about the character of the wife (or eyeballs vs math).

    It used to be—the seventies are forever with me—that we all had to work to achieve social synchronicity. We felt insufficiently connected. Unless we talked about Radar or Fonzie the morning after. Now we’re all over-connected, and the task of the day runs in the other direction. We need to find new ways to not all end up experiencing the same thoughts played though the same neurological patterns.

    ———

    That cool metronome demonstration from the TED talk would be more revealing still if there had been two different types of metronomes, where each type synchronized with its own, to realized two perfectly synchronized populations, with the two distinct world views clicking along a perfect 180 degrees out of phase.

    Newt Gingrich believes that the least government is the best government, and he’s managed to fiddle the D.C. metronomes to run just like that, or so claims It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, which I plan to read soon, a book authored—if you believe that’s even possible in this climate—from both sides of the aisle.

    It could be that Newt has perpetrated the greatest hack on balance of my lifetime. It works like this: first you must synchronize, before you divide, before you derail.

    We’ve all now been trained up good in levernomics. “It’s the Coke Machine, stupid.” Size of government equates to quality of government (with half the metronomes clicking in tune on “small equals good” the other half clicking in tune on “large equals good”).

    No—actually—what matters it that those who govern can make and take a pass, if we’re going to split hairs. You can build large teams, you can build small teams, there are different ways to get there in the end. Look around. The nation state comes in many fine flavours.

    ———

    Solitude doesn’t suit the lazy. In solitude, if your thoughts suck, who can you blame? Nothing beats looking around the room for other chins bobbling in unison to avert critical thought achieving Defcon 10 (somewhere in the house—you’re almost positive you saw it a year ago—there’s a fifteen-year-old earthquake emergency kit).

    The Newsroom is all about the loss of traditional standards of media. What we’re dealing with here is bigger than that. We’ve lost the campfire itself. It’s no longer recognizable. Sometimes it seems more like a tire fire. There are now two types of toasty marshmallows: black and blacker.

    ———

    I was speculating to myself yesterday that the origin of human language could actually be telling wordless stories around campfires—baby talk sound effects with hand puppets would turn the trick, at first.

    The Moral Life of Babies

    This would account for how the origin of sign language (speech with the hands) seems to run as deep as spoken language, why the origin of music might run even deeper, and why cooing so reliably follows wooing.

    ———

    Just to indicate how much I don’t give a shit about politics as traditionally inflamed, I’m going to give the last word to William Goldman.

    First he pumps the tires of George Abbott something fierce (“if you are a sports fan, think of the Babe or Wilt”).

    As I was going through my second draft of Absolute Power madness, I remembered a Mr. Abbott moment. He was coming from back stage during rehearsals, and as he crossed the stage into the auditorium he noticed a dozen dancers just standing there. The choreographer sat in the audience alone, his head in his hands.

    “What’s going on?” Mr. Abbott asked him.

    The choreographer looked at Mr. Abbott, shook his head. “I can’t figure out what do to next.”

    Mr. Abbott never stopped moving. He jumped the three feet from the stage to the aisle. “Well, have them do something!” Mr. Abbott said. “That way we’ll have something to change.”

    The choreographer got off his ass, started moving the dancers.

    Among other connections (each to your own), that’s I how I feel about words.

    The other thing that Goldman said (previously related) is that back stories are suicidal to campfire mystique.

  50. AsiaOil says:

    Good deal for Kass and the Oilers. I like the tag team bad-ass game he and Maroon can play. Slowly we are becoming unpleasant to play against and Chia is doing it the right way by making small deals that build incrementally. Add Khaira, Hendricks and one more new guy and we will be tough enough for the west.

    Tampa is injured and not that great to begin with and PIT rode a hot goalie past Washington. They will be lucky to win a single game against either SJS or STL. Aside from WAS the east is mediocre to crappy.

  51. kinger_OIL says:

    – Any chance we could get Yandle (a darling on this blog in years past?)

    – And if you got him on 2-yr overpay, plus Demers: that’s huge with just cash spent.

    – Cash is there with Nikitin$, Ferrence’s and unused cap room.

    – Then you have all of 4 Sek Fayne Yandle Demers who you know who you have, keep Gryba: hopeful upside on Klef and Davidson, and no more pressure on Nurse Griff.

  52. Pajamah says:

    Fog of Warts:
    It’s my special day today.I was just “included” in a test Google is running on a new card-style search results display.

    Google continues testing new search results interfaces, including wider & card–styled results

    It’s not like I’ve spent more time scanning results from the classic Google format than most people alive have spent reading.If I’m feeling the least bit stubborn, my Google tab runs upwards of 1000 searches in a single day.

    By now, I’m sure my mind is 5% Borg.I’ve probably been north of 100 searches per day since Alta Vista over dial-up.I think I was account number 30 on the first public ISP in Toronto.It was called io.org, and it sometimes ran most of the time.Every time I Fermi estimate my lifetime Internet search quantity, it comes out somewhere around 1.5 million.Yes, I have eyeballed a list of ten dubious elements to spot the needle over a million times.Today my gut-reaction scanning speed dropped from 400 ms to about 4000 ms, as somehow my brain refuses to scan in parallel this new display format.

    If all the coffee on planet earth had become Stevia–hazelnut–pumpkin flavoured over night, I would presently be better off—because I can stop drinking coffee.

    ———

    TED put a good talk up recently.It starts slow, and the man has a substantial accent, but the payload is worth the pain.

    This is your brain on communication

    Here’s something I discovered yesterday.Goldman’s Which Lie Did I Tell? was originally titled The Big Campfire.

    The version in the book is much better.Bill calls his buddy an “asshole”.

    The campfire metaphor shows up in the lions chapter, and I recall using the word “campfire” in my post about heroism that “doesn’t shoot”. I picked up the central importance of the campfire metaphor in this chapter the moment I saw it.In fact, it clicked immediately that Lowetide functions as a kind of virtual campfire (alongside its spear-whittling Talmudic dissection of RHD).

    In some sense, I tell campfire stories.My lemon tree loves a proper campfire story.She reads a lot of genre fiction, I don’t.She likes my writing in a mostly abstract kind of way, but she doesn’t really warm to anything I write unless it’s a proper campfire story.I don’t tell many of those.The story of the broken lamp and the shoes was a notable exception.

    ———

    In his TED talk, at around 10m50, Uri begins to talk about priming effects, which for me, immediately, became mentally situated as priming effects shared around the campfire. For some people—fearful people huddled in their suburban fortresses—the campfire is FOX News.Satisfaction of the human need to feel small and threatened does not come easily in a cavernous Mini-Me McMansion.(That remark all by itself ought to get the bunch of them riled up to Defcon 3—”Air Force ready to mobilize in 15 minutes”.)

    Now this might come as a surprise to people, but I don’t hold with the Fox News perspective on “balance”, which roughly consists of averaging out one helping of the old ridiculous (as seen a thousand times before) against one helping of new ridiculous (as you could never have even imaged it), then crowning the ghost town of Sliver Peak as “middle” America.

    However, my real objection to this kind of “balance” isn’t about where it’s placed on the continental chessboard.It has more to with those pernicious priming effects described by Uri Hasson in his talk.

    A straight-up campfire story is about voluntary human synchronicity.It’s where—ideally—the power of priming is used for good, and not evil.Of course, the downside of synchronicity is group think.

    ———

    My own question—quest really—is this: How can one write in a strong voice without inducing group synchronicity?Just as I am as of this morning Google’s newest guinea pig, the lifers around here have been the subject of my verbals experiments for the last five years or so.

    What I’ve learned so far: synchronicity has trouble gaining hold if people can’t figure out where you’re going.The trick, I think, is to induce different people into latching onto different loose ends, without sacrificing coherence completely.I suspect I often fail.

    One of the challenges with this—in its lowest form (definitely what keeps me coming back)—is that you can’t become too predictable in how you shake people off the scent.The form requires an almost insane level of daily reinvention.(It bears repeating: my goal is not to confuse people, it’s to prevent two people reading my words in two different places from generating the same precipitation of brain waves in response.)

    The kind of “balance” I find most interesting is where ten different people can read a piece, and come to ten different conclusions about the dominant theme, but who still feel like they’ve read the same thing.Maybe that’s a fine line, I don’t know.

    I suppose I’m trying to point out along the way our capacity to self-prime: that what we get out of reading a piece depends on what we put into the piece, in the most concrete possible way.I don’t mean the old “E for effort” equation.I mean getting to a different place at the other end because of where your beliefs began about the character of the wife (or eyeballs vs math).

    It used to be—the seventies are forever with me—that we all had to work to achieve social synchronicity.We felt insufficiently connected.Unless we talked about Radar or Fonzie the morning after.Now we’re all over-connected, and the task of the day runs in the other direction.We need to find new ways to not all end up experiencing the same thoughts played though the same neurological patterns.

    ———

    That cool metronome demonstration from the TED talk would be more revealing still if there had been two different types of metronomes, where each type synchronized with its own, to realized two perfectly synchronized populations, with the two distinct world views clicking along a perfect 180 degrees out of phase.

    Newt Gingrich believes that the least government is the best government, and he’s managed to fiddle the D.C. metronomes to run just like that, or so claims It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, which I plan to read soon, a book authored—if you believe that’s even possible in this climate—from both sides of the aisle.

    It could be that Newt has perpetrated the greatest hack on balance of my lifetime.It works like this: first you must synchronize, before you divide, before you derail.

    We’ve all now been trained up good in levernomics.“It’s the Coke Machine, stupid.”Size of government equates to quality of government (with half the metronomes clicking in tune on “small equals good” the other half clicking in tune on “large equals good”).

    No—actually—what matters it that those who govern can make and take a pass, if we’re going to split hairs.You can build large teams, you can build small teams, there are different ways to get there in the end.Look around.The nation state comes in many fine flavours.

    ———

    Solitude doesn’t suit the lazy.In solitude, if your thoughts suck, who can you blame?Nothing beats looking around the room for other chins bobbling in unison to avert critical thought achieving Defcon 10 (somewhere in the house—you’re almost positive you saw it a year ago—there’s a fifteen-year-old earthquake emergency kit).

    The Newsroom is all about the loss of traditional standards of media.What we’re dealing with here is bigger than that.We’ve lost the campfire itself.It’s no longer recognizable.Sometimes it seems more like a tire fire.There are now two types of toasty marshmallows: black and blacker.

    ———

    I was speculating to myself yesterday that the origin of human language could actually be telling wordless stories around campfires—baby talk sound effects with hand puppets would turn the trick, at first.

    The Moral Life of Babies

    This would account for how the origin of sign language (speech with the hands) seems to run as deep as spoken language, why the origin of music might run even deeper, and why cooing so reliably follows wooing.

    ———

    Just to indicate how much I don’t give a shit about politics as traditionally inflamed, I’m going to give the last word to William Goldman.

    First he pumps the tires of George Abbott something fierce (“if you are a sports fan, think of the Babe or Wilt”).

    Among other connections (each to your own), that’s I how I feel about words.

    The other thing that Goldman said (previously related) is that back stories are suicidal to campfire mystique.

    I’m not sure I agree.

  53. dustrock says:

    Pajamah,

    ha ha ha.

  54. Woodguy says:

    Ducey: Guess not.

    Letestu is apparently nowhere close. He had 25 points this year. Bonino apparently is, he had 29.Perhaps the cutoff is 27?

    Kessel career pts/gm 0.772
    Bonino career pts/gm 0.459
    Hagelin career pts/gm 0.488

    They’re not there to check man.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Fog of Warts,

    We haven’t lost campfires.

    We’ve lost BIG campfires.

    The hyper connectivity has created millions of micro campfires.

    Fox on its best day has 10% of the viewership of Cronkite.

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