DECONSTRUCTING THE LEFTORIUM

by Lowetide

The hills are are alive with the sound of music, with Kris Russell about to sign for a thousand years. Probably $8 million a season. I kid, but just barely. Oilers twitter has gone full Rodgers and Hammerstein these days, and it is certainly understandable. However, since the Peter Chiarelli quote was “at some point, we’ll talk about an extension” best to put off the appointment with the ledge.

The quote does offer some interesting avenues moving forward. First stop: Lefty-righty. We know for a certainty that Peter Chiarelli is aware of—and values—the left-right rule of acquisitions.

  • Peter Chiarelli: “We’ve brought in Adam Larsson, a high pedigree player, although not as well known to this community as in other hockey circles. He’s a right shot, that’s important in the righty/lefty scheme of things.”

The lefty-righty scheme of things has improved under Chiarelli, as he has added Larsson and Matt Benning at the NHL level, and some interesting players bubbling under (Ethan Bear, Filip Berglund, John Marino). Next step? Cull the herd.

ALL THAT LEFT

Let’s say you and I are at Timmy’s, and we latch on to the idea of how the Oilers should deploy their lefty blue in 2017-18. Here is how I see things for next season (assuming Kris Russell signs with the team).

  1. Andrej Sekera—He has been the best defender on the team this year, posting 32, 4-9-13 +10 in 21:33. He can be utilized in all three disciplines effectively, and his 51 percent Corsi for 5×5 percentage includes helping his partners elevate their games when playing alongside.
  2. Oscar Klefbom—A big part of the future also fills some tall boots in real time. Klefbom is over 20 minutes a night (21:27), 32gp, 5-7-12 -4 and he is healthy this year. He and Larsson are the top pair and are over 50 percent in possession together—and that is a good sign for the future. He also has 74 shots—easily the most among Edmonton defensemen.
  3. Kris Russell—He is 25gp, 0-5-5 +5 in 21:34 per night with Edmonton. The Oilers have used him heavily on the penalty kill, suspect that would continue if Russell is signed to an extension. Russell, Sekera and Eric Gryba have been top PK men by minutes/average this year. I think the most likely pairing for Russell is Sekera—they are 47.3 Corsi for as a tandem 5×5. Current wisdom has playing on your off side costing three to six percent, so with Russell at 45.8 for the year, we can put him in the range of 49 percent possession this year. Fair? He is at 445 minutes now.
  4. Darnell Nurse—Assuming Larsson matches up with Klefbom next year, and Sekera with Russell, Nurse slides into a night spot with (probably) Matt Benning. He is 25gp, 3-2-5 -3 in 17:40 a night, lots of PK time. Great possession recovery (53.2) season over season and he has played well with Matt Benning, Eric Gryba and others. Still a lot of hesitation from many in regard to his progress, the injury occurred at a bad time.
  5. Brandon Davidson—We now reach the sticky wicket portion of our tour. If Edmonton is going to sign Russell, I can’t imagine he agrees without assurances of expansion protection. That backs up Davidson, and puts him as No. 6-7D (the four men above, plus Larsson) along with Benning. It also makes him vulnerable to the expansion draft. Would Edmonton consider trading him? I can’t see the value being there, despite great performances in the NHL. I can see Chiarelli making a deal with Las Vegas to stay away from Davidson in exchange for a sweetener.

I would take these five men, along with the two righties, and feel pretty good about next season. However, here is the problem: The current issues (RH who can help on the power play, second pair RHD—the Russell spot) remain the current issues.

  • Fact: If Peter Chiarelli signs Russell, we can be assured there will be at least one pairing next season that is two lefties.

I think Todd McLellan probably signs off on those seven names, and if you gaze at the rest of the pro roster (projected) there is some interesting depth as well.

  • Klefbom—Larsson
  • Sekera—Russell
  • Nurse—Benning
  • Davidson

Is that a playoff defense? I like the veteran aspect, dislike the lefty-lefty second pair alignment (no one is talking about the impact of playing on the offside, but if we are fair to Russell it is a factor based on what we know) and wonder about the big shot from the point. The No. 1 D is going to be Klefbom in this model, and I do think he is trending overall in a good way:

OSCAR KLEFBOM 15-16

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.93 (1st among regular D)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.11 (2nd among regular D)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 52.4
  • Qual Comp: 172 minutes against elite (No. 3, behind Sekera/Larsson) (via WoodMoney)
  • Corsi for 5×5 % REL: 2.0
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 74 shots/6.8 percent
  • Boxcars: 32gp, 5-7-12
  • Information via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference.

So Klefbom has played the third most difficult minutes, and the bet here is that he and Larsson can play top pairing one year from now. If Peter Chiarelli signs Kris Russell, that is my bet for the top pairing 2017-18. Thoughts?

The lockout season was an anomaly, but even there the Oilers are tracking ahead of that team:

  • Current record: 32gp, 15-12-5, 35 points
  • 2012-13 record: 32gp, 12-13-7, 31 points
  • Source

TRADE TALK

Based on online comments, tis the season for trade proposals. Early in his time with the Bruins, Chiarelli made several in-season deals—mostly to address the defense. I imagine he is at least somewhat satisfied with the defense (after all, he is at least considering negotiations with the only major UFA), so any trade is likely to involve a forward. We can probably narrow the field even more, to shooter—and righty shooter. Let’s take a look at the leading shooters this season and some of the righties who may or may not be available:

  1. C-R Nathan Mackinnon 28gp, 8-12-20, 102 shots
  2. R Blake Wheeler 32gp, 8-14-22, 87 shots
  3. R Radim Vrbata 29gp, 8-11-19, 86 shots
  4. L Artemi Panarin 32gp, 11-15-26, 82 shots
  5. R Patrick Eaves 30gp, 11-8-19, 76 shots
  6. Source

These men are righties, inside the top 50 shooters this season, and you could create a scenario where Edmonton might be able to pry each of them from their current team. I am sure your initial reaction is to ask if I took my meds, but there are things to consider. Take Panarin, as an example. Chicago has $60 million on the books for next season and only 14 players signed. Could Chiarelli pluck Panarin for a major package? Don’t know, but we can discuss the idea in my opinion, because there is a reckoning out there for Chicago. It is extremely unlikely Nathan Mackinnon ever gets traded, but if you look at the Avalanche roster there is a real balance issue—perhaps the team will re-set after what is looking like a disappointing year. Anyway, if Peter Chiarelli decides he needs to find a sniper for 97, he might as well aim high, as I have done here.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A fun day on the show, beginning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Pouliot as an option with McDavid, Russell signing and what may come, Brossoit versus Gustavsson.
  • Ryan Smyth! Former Oilers great will be on to talk about a New Year’s Eve bash out in Spruce Grove, and answer a few hockey questions, too. I am hoping he will battle Lt_Eric in the corner, flatten him, and then drive to the net with the puck! Please send any questions to the comments section below and I will get to as many as I can.
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. We will chat about the Oilers season, and about Peter Chiarelli’s mind set as we get closer to the trade deadline.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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[…] • “The hills are are alive with the sound of music, with Kris Russell about to sign for a thousand years. Probably $8 million a season. I kid, but just barely. Oilers twitter has gone full Rodgers and Hammerstein these days, and it is certainly understandable. However, since the Peter Chiarelli quote was ‘at some point, we’ll talk about an extension’ best to put off the appointment with the ledge.” [Lowetide] […]

Ryan

Ryan: Sold for pennies on the dollar?

I wish that the Oilers owned a bank. They’d pay me $500 k to borrow $100k with no interest.

Ryan

hunter1909:
A simple Oilers IQ test quiz question. Apparently dug out from the dumpster behind the new arena:

Dubnyk, Justin Schultz, Gagner…

What do these Former Oilers have in common with Eberle+RNH this season?

Sold for pennies on the dollar?

GMB3

Haha the handling of Anton Slepyshev is a joke. He would probably look better of McDavids wing than Caggiula, just like Yak looked good with McDavid. But this organization hates Russians

Mantis

hunter1909:
Time to start a new pool:

Which of the following Oiler players/prospects do you think might be the next player to join the “Get Out Of Town” list(which currently has Eberle and RNH) leading the annual drive to lose good players?

Reinhart.

I believe he’d have a healthy lead on everyone else if he was up here. (Out of sight…) I’m not a fan of the trade, but like our host, I always hoped for the best for him.

I try to view him for the player he is, and not for the cost to acquire. His play last year after the call-up had me hopeful he’d take a step this year (ala Nurse), but thus far that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Also, having read through the comments and articles everyday since the Hall trade, I believe a portion of the fan base would be livid if he were up here and under-performing. Seeing his name in the MSM/blogs/etc would be a constant reminder of the overpay, and the vitriol would flow like water.

JD_Wry

Woogie63,

Agreed. I don’t recall Slepy getting any minutes gifted to him on McDavid’s wing. Jesse has scored better than Slepy in the NHL, but not enough in my opinion, considering usage.

And Slepy just looks more NHL ready, with speed, toughness and a deceiving shot.

Woogie63

JDï™:
Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 13m13 minutes ago


#Oilers recall Taylor Beck from @Condors & assign Anton Slepyshev. Beck currently leads @TheAHL in points (30) & assists (21).

Team would be better if JP was sent down today

JD_Wry

Edmonton Oilers ‏@EdmontonOilers 13m13 minutes ago

#Oilers recall Taylor Beck from @Condors & assign Anton Slepyshev. Beck currently leads @TheAHL in points (30) & assists (21).

Klima's_Bucket

Dino: maybe Bjustad from Florida I know he’s injured but it’s a perfect opportunity to buy low.

Bjugstad is no longer injured, he’s just playing like complete horseshit.

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

leadfarmer,

I agree on all accounts but I just couldn’t resist the ball being placed on the tee haha

hunter1909

Time to start a new pool:

Which of the following Oiler players/prospects do you think might be the next player to join the “Get Out Of Town” list(which currently has Eberle and RNH) leading the annual drive to lose good players?

1- Klefbom

2 – Nurse

3 – Reinhart

4 – any name off the roster

hunter1909

Hall – “Sugar Daddy” Chiarelli didn’t like him.

Schultz – No coach ever played him to his strengths

Gagner – Tried his best and once scored 8 points – not good enough for the Oilers

Dubnyk – Not good enough to play for the Oilers.

Yakupov – spitefully developed, presumably for either being Volga Tatar, Muslim or Commie to the Lowe+MacT 6 rings know everything about winning cult.

Eberle – former Team Canada future surefire bet – now in the hallschultzgagnerdubnykyakupov Doghouse

RNH – former number 1 draft pick brought up to the NHL – now also in the hallschultzgagnerdubnykyakupov Doghouse – one reason given at the time was in case some nasty kid in the Western Hockey league targeted him; instead NHL adults get to beat him up as he proceeds to get flattened early and loses his moxie; that is, until he’s traded LOL

Rebilled

If i was drinking coffee i would have spit it out when i read MacKinnon on that list.

No chance Sakic trades him. I’d love it but never happens.

Scungilli Slushy

Confused:
According to the journal, slepy to condors

Anyone got any insights?

Time to get somebody else paid NHL money, and they know what they have.

leadfarmer

SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!,

There’s more to wheelers game then scoring and he’s played with scrubs all season while Little has been injured and Scheiffele has been mentoring a rookie on another line. Hall’s been injured

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

Confused,

Gryba came off the IR today, Pakarienen “could’ be coming off the IR soon or Lander coming up would be my three guesses

Confused

According to the journal, slepy to condors

Anyone got any insights?

treevojo

leadfarmer: Hes got to put the booze down?

But in all seriousness how many teams could top a line of Hall, Seguin, Wheeler.That is 3 all star caliber forwards with an outside chance at the Hall of fame, although Wheeler’s slow start to his career will likely prevent him.

I know of a gm that traded the 1st and 2nd all time scoring fwds and 2nd all time scoring dman all in their prime

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

krakman,

The year Chia traded Wheeler at the deadline was the year Boston won a Cup.. Addition by subtraction? (returns to cover)

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

leadfarmer,

McDavid, Drai, Eberle and Lucic are all ahead of Wheeler and Hall in scoring this season… (ducks for cover)

leadfarmer

krakman: What does it say about our GM who gave away Wheeler, Seguin, and Hall?

Hes got to put the booze down?

But in all seriousness how many teams could top a line of Hall, Seguin, Wheeler. That is 3 all star caliber forwards with an outside chance at the Hall of fame, although Wheeler’s slow start to his career will likely prevent him.

Chachi

hunter1909:
A simple Oilers IQ test quiz question. Apparently dug out from the dumpster behind the new arena:

Dubnyk, Justin Schultz, Gagner…

What do these Former Oilers have in common with Eberle+RNH this season?

They’ve never been in my kitchen.

Oilspill

He’s a Tory Krug without the offense and his defense is pretty much shot blocking. He’s horrible in front and in the corners. Big teams own him.

TO10801:
treevojo,

What if Russel received an offer for 3Mx4yrs from teams on July 1. There was a report that he had some offers. If Russell decided that he is better than what he showed in Dallas last year and decided to bet on his own ability how can you say his agent failed him. If he has a good year and signs a contract for 4.5Mx5yrs this July than his is in a better financial position. That being said, you are correct if he signs a one year deal again next summer than maybe his FMV is only 3M on a long term deal. The market will show us what his true value is in the league, time will tell.

hunter1909

A simple Oilers IQ test quiz question. Apparently dug out from the dumpster behind the new arena:

Dubnyk, Justin Schultz, Gagner…

What do these Former Oilers have in common with Eberle+RNH this season?

SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo!

adamjames,

So this wasn’t funny… Not at all…

Now that we got that out of the way

Lots of good verbal from team videos today. Nobody seems happy or complacent which is a great thing. Coach and Looch very aware that the forecheck and back check aren’t what they were to start the season so that’s good to hear.

Very light day today, weight room day for those that wanted it and then a trip over to the Stollery in the afternoon. Back at it hard tomorrow.

CalVag

krakman: What does it say about our GM who gave away Wheeler, Seguin, and Hall?

adamjames:
Hmm. Veteran with term. Leadership. Used to be a scorer. Cup ringzzzz. Dustin Brown, ladies and gentlemen. Lottery protected 1st for Brown would make everyone forget the Hall trade REAL quick. HA!

Hah. Oh my. Thanks for this. Ruined my day in 6.5 seconds. It was going so well too.

adamjames

Hmm. Veteran with term. Leadership. Used to be a scorer. Cup ringzzzz. Dustin Brown, ladies and gentlemen. Lottery protected 1st for Brown would make everyone forget the Hall trade REAL quick. HA!

krakman

leadfarmer: And I would bet you they are not.Wheeler would be the best forward we had on this team since early 90s until McDavid came. I saw a first and Pouliot offer for him yesterday, Lolz.the guy is a captain on a young team that needs him (see him supporting Laine after scoring on his own goal), plays hard in all three zones and is good for 80 games a year.He would not be a “we will take him off your hands” transaction. You would have to pay full value for him

What does it say about our GM who gave away Wheeler, Seguin, and Hall?

leadfarmer

Side: I recommend you re-read the article.

Or go write your own.

Because I would guess that the chances of Wheeler being traded are higher than LT editing his article and removing Wheeler.

And I would bet you they are not. Wheeler would be the best forward we had on this team since early 90s until McDavid came. I saw a first and Pouliot offer for him yesterday, Lolz. the guy is a captain on a young team that needs him (see him supporting Laine after scoring on his own goal), plays hard in all three zones and is good for 80 games a year. He would not be a “we will take him off your hands” transaction. You would have to pay full value for him

wintoon

Would there be any traction for a trade with Colorado involving MacKinnon and Barrie for RNH, Reinhart and Eberle? There could be benefits for both teams.

treevojo

TO10801:
treevojo,

I just don’t get how you think his agent screwed up. If his highest offer was 3mx4, are you saying he should have taken that instead of 3.1×1? IF that is your argument, sure he lost out on term, but do you think his value will go down from what it was a year ago?

I think a player at his age would be crazy to pass up on 3 x 4 for 3.1 x 1.

As far as his value. No one knew before the season including himself and his agent how this season would go.

This isn’t an Rfa like suban betting on himself.

It is a 30 year old undersized defenseman with quick feet.

Having just about finishing up my 30s I know when the bottom falls out there is no turning it around.

Anyway I gotta run. Kids and sports.

magneto

treevojo,

I feel that way very frequently, as soon as he signed I could feel it in my bones

Like a specter passed through my body, I could feel the hours drain from my life

treevojo

magneto,

I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

That is an hour I can’t get back spent thinking about Russell.

TO10801

treevojo,

I just don’t get how you think his agent screwed up. If his highest offer was 3mx4, are you saying he should have taken that instead of 3.1×1? IF that is your argument, sure he lost out on term, but do you think his value will go down from what it was a year ago?

Oilspill

Only idiots look at the individual as the sole paramrter to critique the player. This is a team game. Put any skilled player with a BALANCED club and he will do better. The problem is we really don’t have a balanced team. Our offense and defense just doesn’t cut it.

anjinsan:
Yo, LT:

Justin Schultz currently leads the NHL in +/-, at +18!
Playing 16:59 a game for 30 games, he has 5g, 12a, and 17pts.
This hoser, like Dubnyk, was ridiculed out of Edmonton.

Of course Hall was locker room poison, Yak a bust, and Petry an under-performing liability.

treevojo

LadiesloveSmid:
Klef-Larsson
Sekera-Benning
Davidson-Gryba

might be the best D they’ve iced in years, really too bad how much they like Russell

6 Russell’s would also be the best D they’ve iced in years.

magneto

treevojo,

I would inclined to agree if he wasn’t making a career high in dollars, that tells me the Oilers had to either bid for him or agreed to meet his demands for no reason.

treevojo

magneto:
TO10801,

treevojo,

I think that GM’s didn’t want to go long on guys they were unsure of because of expansion, and Russell fell into that category. I think he will cash in for more than he is making now for sure, and for about 4 years. Taking the deal from Edmonton was a great move for player and agent, as long as he stays healthy and keeps getting the praise that he is getting.

I think it was a last resort move when he was left without a chair because he and his agent screwed up.

Saying that, he could come out smelling like roses if he can maintain his health and pdo of 106.

theres oil in virginia

Horcoff-and-die! Ha. Love it.

LadiesloveSmid

Klef-Larsson
Sekera-Benning
Davidson-Gryba

might be the best D they’ve iced in years, really too bad how much they like Russell

magneto

TO10801,

treevojo,

I think that GM’s didn’t want to go long on guys they were unsure of because of expansion, and Russell fell into that category. I think he will cash in for more than he is making now for sure, and for about 4 years. Taking the deal from Edmonton was a great move for player and agent, as long as he stays healthy and keeps getting the praise that he is getting.

treevojo

leadfarmer:
Signing Russell last year when pretty much all options were off the table, great idea; it let Benning get adjusted to the NHL and gave Nurse some space to get on tract.Signing Russell for the future is a terrible idea.We need a RH power play qb for the 2nd par, or even better for the first pair with easier minutes and give Larsson the Vlasic treatment with hard minutes

How do we get one of those?

Side

leadfarmer:
And please remove Wheeler from those trade lists.He is one of the best players in the league on a great contract on a team whose GM is the most cautious in the league.There is no chance he is coming here without a ridiculous package

I recommend you re-read the article.

Or go write your own.

Because I would guess that the chances of Wheeler being traded are higher than LT editing his article and removing Wheeler.

who

leadfarmer:
And please remove Wheeler from those trade lists.He is one of the best players in the league on a great contract on a team whose GM is the most cautious in the league.There is no chance he is coming here without a ridiculous package

Amen brother

TO10801

treevojo,

No, I don’t think that was there plan. I think they were hoping the hype surrounding his “character” in Calgary would be remembered by GMs. It wasn’t so he signed the best contract available in hopes of regaining his perception to get a long term deal. Its hard to say they misplayed the situation because we don’t know what offer he turned down. If, CGY offered money and term than yes his agent did a horrible job evaluating the market

treevojo

TO10801,

I agree that there will be more spots available for defensemen this summer.

No chance kris and his agent thought at the start of last summer that there best plan of attack was to have a show me one year contract with the oilers for 3.1 mil to capitize on the few extra openings this summer

TO10801

treevojo,

Yeah we can agree that it should not be Chia to sign the contract. As for the agent, we have no clue how things worked out. If the agent said “Look Kris your value at your age is around 3M” than its Russell who clearly thought he was better. If it was the other way around than yes your right its the agents fault (assuming he does not get a big contract this summer). Its a tough situation to draw conclusions on though since neither of us know what happened during negotiations last summer.

treevojo

TO10801:
treevojo,

What if Russel received an offer for 3Mx4yrs from teams on July 1. There was a report that he had some offers. If Russell decided that he is better than what he showed in Dallas last year and decided to bet on his own ability how can you say his agent failed him. If he has a good year and signs a contract for 4.5Mx5yrs this July than his is in a better financial position. That being said, you are correct if he signs a one year deal again next summer than maybe his FMV is only 3M on a long term deal. The market will show us what his true value is in the league, time will tell.

Well we don’t know what we don’t know.

I thought I remember something about the leafs offering 10 over 4 and being rejected but that was denied on both sides.

But if he was offered 3 x 4 and he turned it down because he thought he was going to become a more productive player at his age then I blame his agent for not talking some sense into him.

If someone signs him to 4.5 x 5 this summer I sure as hell hope his name isn’t peter.

TO10801

treevojo,

No I’m saying with vegas there will be 6 bottom pair defensemen placed in a top 4 role on various teams. For example if NSH loses Ellis they will have a spot for a top 4 dman, while no existing team has plugged a hole. Theoretically then, a non top 4 dman will have the opportunity to take that place. This means *IF* Kris Russell is considered by GMs to be one of the top 6 bottom pairing defensemen he would now be a top 4 dman. If that’s the case his value will be higher this offseason than it was last year.

Spoils

My bet is Nuge and Ebs will improve as they adjust to living in McDavid’s world. I think it is a confidence issue. They aren’t the young stars with the bright future that can do anything. There’s doubt, maybe even angst…