WHEN SINATRA SINGS AGAINST NELSON RIDDLE’S STRINGS

by Lowetide

About 12 weeks ago, the Edmonton Oilers signed Milan Lucic. Two days earlier the club acquired Adam Larsson and just days before that draft Jesse Puljujarvi. This is Connor McDavid’s team, but the Bruinization of the roster hit full stride this summer.

  • Todd McLellan, September 2015 : “We still have 70% of last year’s players who were not capable of getting it done. There are some big changes, play-wise and commitment-wise, that have to happen.” Source

By my calculations, Edmonton will have as many as 13 Chiarelli-McLellan additions (Cam Talbot, Jonas Gustavsson, Andrej Sekera, Adam Larsson, Griffin Reinhart, Eric Gryba, Connor McDavid, Drake Caggiula, Milan Lucic, Patrick Maroon, Zack Kassian, Kris Versteeg, Jussi Puljujarvi) in the lineup opening night. Bigger men, but they can play and this team should approach .500 in goal differential and rise in the standings, God willing and injuries under five a week.

WAIVERS!

NHL teams are going to be sending out waiver eligible kids early and late in the days leading up to opening night. Here are some defenders and RHC’s who may be of interest:

  1. RD Ryan Sproul, Detroit Red Wings. The young man has been in the AHL for three years and is NHL-ready. He just signed a two-year deal and the smart bet has him making the Detroit club.
  2. RC Mark McNeill, Chicago Blackhawks. There are things about him (RH, two-way center, better speed than Lander) that would make him an attractive addition. I wonder if the Oilers end up trading for him if he doesn’t make the Hawks this fall.
  3. LC Derek Grant, Buffalo Sabres. I didn’t understand why he hadn’t received a long NHL look—apparently Buffalo agreed. Grant went 27-18-45 in 36 AHL games last season, followed by 15 games where he averaged 11 minutes a night. Good in the faceoff circle.
  4. RD Connor Carrick, Toronto Maple Leafs. An interesting young player. Has scored 45 points per 82 AHL games and may have enough to help an NHL team. Toronto has a strange roster (Lupul, Cowen, Horton) so one wonders how they get all of these kids onto the roster in the moments before they can LTIR everyone. I have been assured Toronto will have Carrick on the roster, and that is probably true. Still, I list him because Carrick is a perfect fit for Edmonton.
  5. RD Stefan Elliott, Nashville Predators. He remains RFA and is in the journeyman portion of his career, but Elliott posted 24 points in 84 games and is a righty—a player who could help the Oilers organization.
  6. RD Scott Mayfield, NY Islanders. Edmonton liked him in his draft year and Mayfield has shown some progress. He is a defensive defender with size, Edmonton has a bunch of those types—but Mayfield is a righty. There is a chance he makes the Islanders.

OILERS ON WAIVERS!

Edmonton has lost some interesting prospects over the years via waivers (Ray Whitney, Rob Schremp) and Brandon Davidson must have come very close to being exposed one year ago. Here are some names who will need to be sent down (probably) over the next few weeks, and placed on waivers:

  • LD David Musil—In some ways, Musil on waivers is probably the right thing to do. If he clears, the player will have his answer (29 teams pass, the parent team sends you down, that is a clarifying moment). The Leftorium really does him no favors, and I know he can play RH side.
  • RD Mark Fayne—He makes too much money ($3.625M times two years) but if the Oilers choose to send him down another team could look at him. There may be a trade opportunity (Edmonton retaining some salary) but that seems more likely next season. I like him as a bona fide top 6D for the Oilers, but it is down to me and three other guys who hang out at the Southgate dumpster.
  • R Iiro Pakarinen—Although he clearly has the confidence of the coach, Pakarinen will be in tough now with the addition of Kris Versteeg. Long shot to be claimed, but he has played in the league.
  • C Anton Lander—Edmonton has some options for his spot and Lander is vulnerable this fall. He was fantastic in pre-season a year ago, so the normal verbal (he needs a strong camp) may not apply.

DENNIS WIDEMAN

I think the Oilers will be very interested in Mark McNeill if he doesn’t make the Blackhawks and Dennis Wideman is also a name to keep in mind. For two weeks in a row, Frank Seravalli of TSN mentioned Wideman as a player of interest for Edmonton when he appeared on the Lowdown. The deeper into training camp we get, other possible options may fade and Wideman could end up in an Oilers uniform. I wrote about Wideman here.

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frjohnk

“RD Mark Fayne- I like him as a bona fide top 6D for the Oilers, but it is down to me and three other guys who hang out at the Southgate dumpster.”

You know, everyday, you have quotes in your blog post, that make me chuckle. This was todays.

Id come to the dumpster if there is a fire. 🙂

Woogie63

are we singing Sinatra songs at that dumpster fire?

hunter1909

Woogie63:
are we singing Sinatra songs at that dumpster fire?

Friendly advice:

Avoid “My Way”.

fifthcartel

I’m not a fan of adding Wideman, I’d much prefer Franson, but if the Oilers go down this route they should be getting a good prospect or pick coming back with Wideman. It sounds like they’ve been trying to dump his salary for a while, and recent trades have shown pretty good prospects can be had with cap dumps.

Carolina got Teuvo Teravainen for taking on Bickell’s last year. The Devils got a 2nd for taking Savard’s contract, and the Coyotes got Crouse for Bollands albatross, but that has three years left. If taking on 1 year of Bickel got the Canes TT, then Rasmus Andersson or a similar prospect should be coming back with Wideman to Edmonton.

Unless they just really like Wideman, which could be possible, and just want to give a team in their division cap space to sign their star player and improve their defense. I wouldn’t put this past the Oilers.

Jethro Tull

I usually hang out at the dumpster on kingsway. Better quality garbage burns brighter.

Though we may not make the playoffs, I think this team is a dapper Dan team. It’s bona fide.

supernova

Lowetide

I think Colin Miller is also a waivers player in Boston.

RH D PP guy

———

I prefer Lander to McNeill but think Oilers likely ready to move on from Lander and maybe give McNeill a chance. I haven’t ever been much of a fan of his, seen him quite a bit in junior. Needs more jam IMO

Oilspill

Well I’m not a Fayne fan and shot proxies are not my criteria of reference.
Weak in front of net(plays loose)
Weak along boards (trouble maintaining or gaining poss.)
Does not intimidate (forces opposition to fast pass thus lose poss.)
Average first pass (at best)(he is imitated by big forecheck)
Wont go into offense.
If he improves in these areas then maybe there’s hope.

jm363561

As far as I know Nakladal is still available. Why is no one talking about him? RD, PP hammer, tricky name to spell. He would fit like a glove.

Woogie63

This year I don’t want anyone off the waiver wire.
This year I don”t want the “Widemans” of the NHL
This year I don’t want to scramble for a goalie in ‘November.

Ducey

jm363561:
As far as I know Nakladal is still available. Why is no one talking about him? RD, PP hammer, tricky name to spell. He would fit like a glove.

Too old. Not enough O. Little NHL experience. Bad sideburns.

I’d rather have Gryba

Ducey

I have not looked at each team’s goalie situation. Maybe a goalie on waivers? Anyone a monster upgrade?

cabbiesmacker

Sinatra songs?

Very doubtful that McNeill makes the Hawks so if the Oilers were to do Something Stupid and go after him with High Hopes, it’d take half a season for his theme song to be Fly Me to the Moon (Sun).

If they need C depth in Bakersfield then fine but overall a huge Meh.

Nothing to see here folks. Move along now.

hags9k

I like the fact that we are looking at a slightly more substantial list of Oilers who could be on waivers than in past years. It has to be a good thing.

Frank the dog

I’m wondering how many legitimate 1st line players and legitimate top 2 D we have this year compared to the last 5?

jm363561

Ducey: Too old. Not enough O. Little NHL experience. Bad sideburns.

I’d rather have Gryba

28 is too old – Lucic? Fair point about the sideburns though – I always felt that was Marincin’s downfall!

Silver Streak

Does anyone now when the club will release the player size stats……very curious how much muscle the kids have put on the past 7 months……Nuge, Nurse,and McDavid especially.

böök¡je

I can’t find my keys. Did I leave my keys somewhere here?

If anyone finds my keys, let me know. I can’t get into my shed to get my hockeybrain out. I locked it up in there last spring for the first time in years. I meant to get it out sooner (rookie camp, world cup start, etc) but then I couldn’t find my keys.

If I find them, I’ll pop by and let you all know.

hags9k

Silver Streak,

Darnell Nurse is seven feet tall! Darnell Nurse killed fifty men! Fifty if it was one.

Jethro Tull

böök¡je,

Okay, bookie, calm down. Where did you last see them? Have you checked down the back of the sofa? See if you put them in the crap drawer in the kitchen. I hope you find them!

blainer

I agree with the possible waivers both as an option and having to put a good player on waivers ourselves.

One problem with waivers is the contract limit and the PTO’s. I would assume if pcking up someone on waivers means one or both of KV and Gryba don’t make the team.

On another note .. boy does Maroon ever look good. He came to camp to try and claim the top spot with CMD. I think he could actually outscore Poo this year. He has the hands and given the opportunity i think he can score 40 to 50 points.

I have the oilers winning their division IF they stay healthy !!

Professor Q

Silver Streak:
Does anyone now when the club will release the player size stats……very curious how much muscle the kids have put on the past 7 months……Nuge, Nurse,and McDavid especially.

Hopefully some of them have had growth spurts that might occur around that age. I’ve seen some NHL players up close that are 2-3 inches taller than their listed height (and probably have more muscle weight on, too).

innercitysmytty

blainer,

I thought we currently have 46 contracts after the two slides. This leaves room to sign Gryba and Versteeg and still pick up one waiver claim. If they sign both PTOs and pick up a waiver claim they’ll also likely try to dump either Musil or Lander on waivers to free a spot.

innercitysmytty

Professor Q,

The reverse is also true. I remember seeing Smyth at the gym in the late 90s and he had no shoulders. There was no way he was playing at whatever weight he was listed at.

John Chambers

It sure is encouraging to see Yakupov’s continued development into a productive NHL player being a priority for Chia / TMac.

My guess is that we see Versteeg as the veteran RW with Lucic and McDavid, RNH centring Ebs and Poo, and Puljujarvi sent to the AHL.

Balance … At least for the forwards.

cabbiesmacker

blainer:

I have the oilers winning their division IF they stay healthy !!

Say what? Oh man.

The team has made changes. Some fans haven’t.

tcho

innercitysmytty,

Absolutely. I remember walking by Comrade Horcov on the street shortly after the ’06 cup run. I think he was officially listed at 6′ or 6’1″. I’m 6’2″, and he was noticeably shorter than me.

commonfan29

So Yak will go for a 6th round pick early next month. RIshaug was laying the groundwork for it on the radio yesterday in exactly the same way he did prior to the Hall trade – passing on management’s sound bytes like and making it sound vaguely like analysis.

He had the Hall trade exactly right, and I’m sure he has this one right too. Management feels they’ve now created enough depth as RW to move on from Yak for zero return “in good conscience.’

Cut to October 28th, when Versteeg goes down in the first period in Vancouver with a bad injury on a Friday night.

A recently-struggling Puljujarvi gets pressed into even tougher service and the results are poor, with his 9th game looming on Sunday.

Suddenly, the Oilers are staring at a RW depth-chart of Eberle, Kassian and… ?

Management will fret about their bad luck, and dispatch MacT to find himself an apartment in Brandon so he can keep close tabs on the Wheat Kings.

Man, this can be a hard team to love sometimes.

fifthcartel

Yakupov will put up 45 points in Buffalo.

Klima's_Bucket

frjohnk: it is down to me and three other guys who hang out at the Southgate dumpster.”

Thanks for the Southgate dumpster shoutout LT.
We’ve had a lot of good times there.

Klima's_Bucket

Ducey,

The Panthers have Luongo, Reimer and Reto Berra.
I would imagine Berra gets sent down and would have to clear waivers.
Not sure if he is an upgrade on Gustavsson.
Although most goalies are so he probably is an upgrade.

Pete

böök¡je:
I can’t find my keys.Did I leave my keys somewhere here?

If anyone finds my keys, let me know.I can’t get into my shed to get my hockeybrain out.I locked it up in there last spring for the first time in years. I meant to get it out sooner (rookie camp, world cup start, etc) but then I couldn’t find my keys.

If I find them, I’ll pop by and let you all know.

Glad to see your old confused self posting here.

Re: poor benighted Mark Fayne, I’m one of the very few not named LT or Fayne that has no real beef with him, but then I’m prone to rummaging through dumpsters, so I’m probably one of the guys referenced above.

The whole Fayne thing is interesting – he’s been pretty bad, yeah, but the Oilers don’t exactly have an embarrassment of riches on RD, so it’s strange how many people want to turf him completely, despite his being a legitimate NHL player (admittedly on the mediocre and overpaid side). Perhaps it’s because he has the MacTavish stink on him. If I remember correctly (slim chance of that), Fayne was a bit of an advanced stats darling, so his relative crappiness serves as ammo for those who aren’t fans of the whole stats scene. Meanwhile, those of us who have more time for the numbers mostly had high hopes for MacT, and his abysmal tenure as GM felt almost like a betrayal of sorts, so grim reminders of his terrible player evaluations don’t sit too well. Poor Fayne is a symbol of the failures of the past regime, so he gets it from both sides.

Glad to see an improvement in the quality of discourse around these parts since the explosion the other day. This site has been quite a wonderful resource for many years now, and the recent level of disrespect to other posters shown by a large-ish minority has been extremely frustrating to watch – let alone the disrespect shown to the host, which is really unforgivable. Very pleased to see the recent change of tone: may the Oilers’ season go well, and may everyone remain in a magnanimous mood.

A gentle reminder to some: if you’re 100% convinced you’re the smartest guy in the room, you almost certainly aren’t.

Professor Q

innercitysmytty:
Professor Q,

The reverse is also true. I remember seeing Smyth at the gym in the late 90s and he had no shoulders. There was no way he was playing at whatever weight he was listed at.

Oh yes, and that’s the usual observation (or at least more frequent than the one I experienced), and seems to happen a lot with the perceivably more “skilled” forwards.

I just really hope the kids grew, as it looked like at the WCH (even with the Nuge!), rather than shrunk like Maroon. 😛

Woodguy

Klima’s_Bucket:
Ducey,

The Panthers have Luongo, Reimer and Reto Berra.
I would imagine Berra gets sent down and would have to clear waivers.
Not sure if he is an upgrade on Gustavsson.
Although most goalies are so he probably is an upgrade.

Lou is coming off hip surgery and they may start him on LTIR

He said on the 22nd that he’s good to go, so its up in the air right now.

Berra was one of the best available FA goalies last year and is a significant upgrade on Gustavsson.

Might be a fit there.

Oilspill

Granted Fayne has struggled and in whole the team has as well. It’s just when you look at his size/skills portfolio it’s not really too promising then add in what he earns then it’s an issue.

Pete: Glad to see your old confused self posting here.

Re: poor benighted Mark Fayne, I’m one of the very few not named LT or Fayne that has no real beef with him, but then I’m prone to rummaging through dumpsters, so I’m probably one of the guys referenced above.

The whole Fayne thing is interesting – he’s been pretty bad, yeah, but the Oilers don’t exactly have an embarrassment of riches on RD, so it’s strange how many people want to turf him completely, despite his being a legitimate NHL player (admittedly on the mediocre and overpaid side). Perhaps it’s because he has the MacTavish stink on him. If I remember correctly (slim chance of that), Fayne was a bit of an advanced stats darling, so his relative crappiness serves as ammo for those who aren’t fans of the whole stats scene. Meanwhile, those of us who have more time for the numbers mostly had high hopes for MacT, and his abysmal tenure as GM felt almost like a betrayal of sorts, so grim reminders of his terrible player evaluations don’t sit too well. Poor Fayne is a symbol of the failures of the past regime, so he gets it from both sides.

Glad to see an improvement in the quality of discourse around these parts since the explosion the other day. This site has been quite a wonderful resource for many years now, and the recent level of disrespect to other posters shown by a large-ish minority has been extremely frustrating to watch – let alone the disrespect shown to the host, which is really unforgivable. Very pleased to see the recent change of tone: may the Oilers’ season go well, and may everyone remain in a magnanimous mood.

A gentle reminder to some: if you’re 100% convinced you’re the smartest guy in the room, you almost certainly aren’t.

Woodguy

Lowetide: Florida is an interesting team to watch on defense, too. I am going to write something about trades at cutdown day, probably tomorrow or Monday.

They are one of the few teams with 4 RD that can all play.

Ekblad
Demers
Petrovic
Pysyk

I like Pysyk a lot.

His numbers last year were a lot like Davidson’s. A good young player who excelled vs 3rd pairing comp so he *probably* can play 2RD.

No offence to his game, but a good defender who can skate and pass.

EDIT: They also have Steve Kampher who got in 47 games last year. 8Dman type guy.

stephen sheps

2nd and final spam alert:

I have rebooted my dormant old blog bringing back the glory after a 16 month (I think) absence. It is a soft reboot, mind you, but a reboot all the same. I basically just took my post-game review posted here yesterday and shoved it over there, but this time with photos!

I will also be using the space to demo ideas from my two work-in-progress hockey projects that I am writing this year while on my (unpaid) sabbatical.

http://bringingbacktheglory.blogspot.ca/2016/09/world-cup-of-hockey-post-game-post.html

End Spam

Thanks Lowetide

Kiltymcbagpipes

Woodguy: They are one of the few teams with 4 RD that can all play.

Ekblad
Demers
Petrovic
Pysyk

I like Pysyk a lot.

His numbers last year were a lot like Davidson’s.A good young player who excelled vs 3rd pairing comp so he *probably* can play 2RD.

No offence to his game, but a good defender who can skate and pass.

EDIT: They also have Steve Kampher who got in 47 games last year.8Dman type guy.

Still think there’s a chance at a Yak for Petrovic swap there.

Woodguy

Lowetide: Florida is an interesting team to watch on defense, too. I am going to write something about trades at cutdown day, probably tomorrow or Monday.

As strong as they are on RHD, they are weak imo on LHD.

Yandle (huge step down from Campbell)
Kindl
Matheson (rookie, but a good rookie)

If I were them I’d look to upgrade the 2LD spot.

They have Racine (3rd round pick 2011) in the AHL and he has to clear waivers this year as well.

stephen sheps

Woodguy: They are one of the few teams with 4 RD that can all play.

Ekblad
Demers
Petrovic
Pysyk

I like Pysyk a lot.

His numbers last year were a lot like Davidson’s.A good young player who excelled vs 3rd pairing comp so he *probably* can play 2RD.

No offence to his game, but a good defender who can skate and pass.

I like Pysyk a lot too, but I fear that because he was an Oil King, he’ll get slaughtered for many of the same, often irrational reasons that Griff gets crapped on.

That said, I agree wholeheartedly about the Davidson comps, just with less scoring. The kid can play and I’d be perfectly happy with him on the team.

Chachi

Woodguy: Lou is coming off hip surgery and they may start him on LTIR

Berra was one of the best available FA goalies last year and is a significant upgrade on Gustavsson.

Might be a fit there.

Berra put up a .901 save percentage in 16 games in the AHL last year. I know he managed a .922 in 14 games in the NHL as well, but how do you figure he is a significant upgrade?

Kiltymcbagpipes

Lowetide: Florida is an interesting team to watch on defense, too. I am going to write something about trades at cutdown day, probably tomorrow or Monday.

From http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2016/09/red_wings_teemu_pulkkinen_faci.html

Red Wings’ Teemu Pulkkinen facing another battle for playing time

– “dominating in the AHL with 65 goals and 121 points in 119 games”
– “with his booming right-handed shot, provides a different dimension for a team dominated by left shooters. He’s a pure sniper with a terrific one-timer.”

Pulkkinen is waiver eligible and was almost waived last year. He would be a perfect trigger man for Drai IMO and should be available given Detroit depth at forward. They need Dmen and RHD in that. I guarantee is available and will be moved soooo…

How about Fayne for Pulkkinen?

Pouzar

jm363561:
As far as I know Nakladal is still available. Why is no one talking about him? RD, PP hammer, tricky name to spell. He would fit like a glove.

No history of shoulder injuries.

Brad

I’d be very interested in getting Wideman here. RH hammer on the PP, and while he’s overpaid by a (very) large margin, there’s just one year left. Maybe Calgary would be interested in a Fayne-Wideman swap. They remove some chaos and free a bit of money this year, while we get our PP dman and clear money next year.

Jethro Tull

fifthcartel:
Yakupov will put up 45 points in Buffalo.

Yakupov will put up more points on the only team worse than the Oilers?

Woodguy

Kiltymcbagpipes: Still think there’s a chance at a Yak for Petrovic swap there.

They have decent forwards. They may be more interested in LD.

You never know.

I like Pysyk over Petrovic

Oiln5

I know its been a tough decade, but please stop trading Yak right now. Consider this season as either the beginning, or the end for Yak in Edmonton. Let’s get behind the guy and hope he blows up on CMD’s wing. It’s possible guys, just BELIEVE.

On Fayne.. I think he’ll do fine in a quieter role this year. He’s also the guy Chia will be looking to upgrade at some point in the next 0.5-2 years.

To me JP is the only question mark on the team. If he forces his way in, I think it’s Hendricks that ends up 13F.

Woodguy

Chachi: Berra put up a .901 save percentage in 16 games in the AHL last year. I know he managed a .922 in 14 games in the NHL as well, but how do you figure he is a significant upgrade?

Both goalies over the last two years: (Berra 64gp, Gustavsson 58gp)

5v5 SV%
Berra .9206
Gustavsson .9156

GSAA
This is Goals Saved Above Average. It takes the “average” SV% on each shot taken against each goalie and compares his SV% to “average” and figures out if he let in more goals than the average goalie, or if he saved more.

Luqvist is the king of GSAA. He makes a poor NYR D look good with +73.11 (!!!) GSAA over the last two years.

GSAA last two years
Berra +1.01
Gustavsson -11.8

I like the GSAA stat because we always wonder “how would he do on a team with better Dcorps” or “he’s average but plays in front of good D” when discussing goalies.

This stat helps us quantify those questions by comparing every save the goalie has made vs. league average.

Same two stats as above, but only counting last year:

5v5 SV%
Berra .9452
Gustavsson .9142

GSAA
Berra +5.52
Gustavsson -5.92

These two measures of their results is why I think Berra is a significant upgrade over Gustavsson

Edit: The reason I use 5v5 SV% and not overall SV% is because 5v5 SV% has been shown to be a repeatable skill by goalies over time, but 4v5 SV% can fluctuate wildly, so 5v5 SV% gives us a stat that we know has more meaning (due to repeat-ability) than overall SV%.

OF17

Kiltymcbagpipes:

How about Yak for Petrovic trade then Fayne for Pulkkinen? Yes please.

Now that I like!

Not a huge fan of trading Fayne and losing that depth, but getting out from under that contract would be a big deal. Means that in a year we could be running Klefbom-Larsson Sekera-New guy Davidson-Petrovic, which I’d really like. Of course Nurse isn’t in there which immediately makes it pie in the sky, but maybe that new guy is Trouba.