SHOOT THE MOON

by Lowetide

There is a certain sadness that comes with change, something that brings the melancholy in real time. When my kids were small, Mrs. Lowetide and I would pick them up from school on the last day (report cards, goodbyes) and take them to lunch. For the first few years it was so much fun (little kids love going to restaurants, my daughter would order pancakes and my son grilled cheese sandwiches) but they have their own dreams and you have to let them sail on down the line. If I had one wish, it would be to roll through those years more slowly, to enjoy their laughter and discovery. People keep making big decisions about their lives, and I have to let it happen. I keep thinking I didn’t sign up for this, comes the answer you sure as hell did.

SAIL ON, TIMRA RED EAGLE

It was all there in black and white, in the original scouting report.

  • Elite Prospects: A very smart two-way player with excellent hockey sense. Lander reads the game well and makes mature decisions with and without the puck. Plays with some intensity, but his skating needs some improvement. Is a capable playmaker that protects the puck very well and usually comes out with the puck from the corners and along the boards. Defensively aware and with leadership skills.

Lander stayed in Sweden until 2011 fall, when he was the talk of the town. His foot speed had improved and coach Tom Renney liked him enough to keep him up with the big club. The other worry, offense, made itself abundantly known in that season and really Anton’s entire Oilers career was spent bouncing between AHL dominance and NHL anonymity.

The record shows Anton Lander played in 215 NHL games, that’s a successful number for a No. 40 overall pick. He spent the last six years running up that hill, finding the range only during that very brief time Todd Nelson was at the helm. Anton Lander leaves for Europe at 26 years old, starting a new life and finding a brand new day. Sail on, Anton Lander, I very much wish you had come to us when the organization was standing in peaceful waters. Your decisions are finally your own, and that’s worth celebrating.

Although it’s not front and center and top of mind, I’m sure Peter Chiarelli will spend this summer on the lookout for a shooter for Connor McDavid’s line. Patrick Maroon, Leon Draisaitl, Jesse Puljujarvi and Drake Caggiula are roster players who may see time with him and the other roster forwards may emerge as candidates, too.

I think the Oilers need to grab some shooters this summer, draft and pro procurement. The WHL doesn’t have shot stats available for public consumption, but progressive leagues like the QMJHL, OHL and USHL do allow shot stats to be released. If you grab shots-per-game from draft eligibles, it results in a very interesting list:

  1. R Owen Tippett 4.73
  2. LR Eeli Tolvanen 4.73
  3. L Jonah Gadjovich 4.58
  4. L Jason Robertson 4.41
  5. LC Nico Hischier 4.05
  6. RC Nick Suzuki 4.02

Most of these men will be long gone by the time Edmonton picks, but men like Jonah Gadjovich and  Jason Robertson could be chosen at No. 22 (or later). A volume shooter of note will be available when the Oilers pick.

https://twitter.com/NicholsOnHockey/status/867467480016470016

You know, I think that’s so. As you will see below, Edmonton could add more than a baker’s dozen to their 50-man list before fall and they are going to be extremely active. The expansion draft, the changing of the Western Conference guard and the fact that almost all Eastern Conference clubs are about equal means it’s go time all over hell’s half acre. If you are the general manager in Boston, watching the Senators push Pittsburgh to G7, how motivated are you to get just a little better this summer?

THE PRO’S

I have looked high and low for possible wingers to place alongside Connor McDavid in the coming season and into the future. There are two ways (I think) to approach the idea: Volume shooters and snipers.

TOP VOLUME SHOOTERS

Here are the leaders in 5×5 shots-per-60 based on who may be available.

  1. Patrick Sharp 10.93
  2. Jakob Silfverbeg 9.76
  3. Patrick Eaves 9.27
  4. Michael Grabner 8.52
  5. Radim Vrbata 8.35
  6. Source

Thoughts? We have all of these names surrounded save Grabner, and perhaps he should be on the list. He costs $1.65 million for one more season, maybe the Rangers would make a deal.

SNIPERS

This is top shooting percentage 5×5, players over 500 minutes and who could be available. Keep in mind there is luck involved and repeating a monster shooting percentage is easier said than done.

  1. Brett Connolly 18.92
  2. Michael Grabner 15.62
  3. Justin Williams 13.77
  4. Tyler Johnson 12.94
  5. Nino Niederreiter 10.96
  6. Source

Grabner again! Interesting. All of the names here are at least somewhat attractive although Williams on a line with McDavid would be more expensive than Grabner. I still think Strome is the more likely New York forward to be heading here.

CURRENT 50-MAN LIST

  1. G Cam Talbot. No. 1 goalie, will he play 73 games again?
  2. G Laurent Brossoit. Poised to be the backup in Edmonton, pending expansion.
  3. G Nick Ellis. Splendid first year pro, on par with Brossoit if he can sustain it.
  4. G Shane Starrett. Another college goalie with strong resume. First pro season coming up.
  5. G Dylan Wells. Slide rule, he’ll spend one more year in junior.
  6. LD Oscar Klefbom. Can he hit 40 points? 25 minutes a night? Quality.
  7. RD Adam Larsson. Consistent defenseman, with an edge.
  8. LD Andrej Sekera. He could be out for five months. A massive loss.
  9. RD Matt Benning. Outstanding rookie, can he do it again?
  10. LD Darnell Nurse. Will be relied on more with Sekera out.
  11. LD Griffin Reinhart, RFA. RFA. No. 7D if he survives the expansion draft.
  12. RD Mark Fayne. Luxury recall option and he might play more NHL with Sekera injury.
  13. LD Ziyat Paigin. Wingspan of a Condor, pro experience, shutdown talent.
  14. LD Ben Betker. Big man should get a full AHL season.
  15. RD Ethan Bear. Posted a terrific junior career and should have prominent role in AHL.
  16. LD Caleb Jones. He arrives in pro hockey with good speed and a range of skills.
  17. RD Ryan Mantha. Interesting new arrival. Big man, big shot, good speed.
  18. LD William Lagesson. He’ll spend the year in SHL shutting down Swedish forwards.
  19. LC Connor McDavid. Can he hit 110 points next season?
  20. LC Leon Draisiatl, RFA. Absolutely stunning season. Can he drive a scoring line?
  21. LC Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Shutdown series against the Sharks showed his iron.
  22. RC Mark Letestu. Great utility, can he score 16 again?
  23. LC Jujhar Khaira, RFA. A strong expansion candidate, brings size and rugged play.
  24. LC Joe Gambardella. Strong college career, he could surprise in Bakersfield.
  25. RC Kyle Platzer. He should get a feature role in Bakersfield if they believe in him at all.
  26. L Milan Lucic. He scored 23, played a rugged game and has more to give 5×5.
  27. L Patrick Maroon. His 27 goals last season may be a career season for him.
  28. L Drake Caggiula. He provides skill lines with a different look. Where will he play?
  29. L Benoit Pouliot. He can play, but probably not for the Oilers.
  30. L Braden Christoffer. AHL energy winger.
  31. L Tyler Benson. Slide rule, no update on his health in months.
  32. R Jordan Eberle. Cap and position may doom his return. 20+ goals like clockwork.
  33. R Jesse Puljujarvi. Should spike this year based on phenom history.
  34. R Anton Slepyshev. I think he’ll be a regular, can he score 15?
  35. R Zack Kassian. RFA. He has far more speed than anticipated, could score 10-15.
  36. R Iiro Pakarinen. End of the line for the NHL roster (14F). McLellan likes him.
  37. R Patrick Russell. Scored only 8 times as rookie pro. Needs to fill the net this year.
  38. R Greg Chase. Final year of entry-level deal ahead, has shown only flashes.

The team’s needs (2RD, C-W who can score and riff when Leon moves 2C to 1R, Sekera replacement) at the NHL level are obvious when we scan the roster. Perhaps less obvious is the extreme lack of forwards signed for next year. The list above names 20 forwards, with Tyler Benson likely back to junior. Expect a truckload of additions over the summer in that forward group. The AHL team basically has two centers.

WAITING (UFA, RFA)

  1. G Eetu Laurikainen RFA. Didn’t hear a thing about him after November. Unlikely to return.
  2. LD Kris Russell. Chiarelli sounded like Russell was coming back at his exit interview.
  3. RD Eric Gryba. PC also said the club would talk to Gryba, may depend on Reinhart.
  4. LD Jordan Oesterle. His speed will get him an NHL chance and he may grab a job.
  5. LD Mark Fraser. He was effective in his role, may return.
  6. LD Dillon Simpson RFA.. One of the few still outside who I believe will sign.
  7. LD David Musil RFA.. His “loan” to Tucson signaled the end, just waiting for destination.
  8. LC Anton Lander. Officially signs with Ak Bars of the KHL. 
  9. LC David Desharnais. Scored a huge goal versus San Jose, unlikely to be back.
  10. LC Jere Sallinen. Signed in Sweden (Orebro HK) after unsuccessful season. 
  11. RC Henrik Samuelsson, RFA. Major disappointment after trade. Future unknown.
  12. RC Zach Pochiro RFA. Remnant of Yakupov deal, unlikely to return.
  13. L Matt Hendricks. In the olden days, this is where we start talking roving minor  league coach.
  14. L Joey Laleggia. He scored enough on LW to be considered a bona fide prospect.
  15. R Tyler Pitlick. I would like to see him back, but Pakarinen’s signing confuse.
  16. R Justin Fontaine. He is an interesting player, I could see him signing.

ETHAN BEAR!

  • Ethan Bear: “It has been a really exciting couple of years, but I know I still have a lot of work in front of me. I loved watching Edmonton play this season and I want to be a part of that. That’s my goal.” Source

Bear delivered two exceptional performances in his seasons after being drafted and things look very good for him as he enters pro hockey. I love his mention of the amount of work, and believe we should be patient with his progress. This blog receives emails quite frequently suggesting Bear can step right in, best to assume AHL and then be pleasantly surprised when he gets the NHL call.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

10 this morning, TSN1260. A cross section of subjects with Oilers front and center. Scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Fixing the blue, Adam Larsson, Game 7’s of the past.
  • Derek Taylor, TSN. CFL camps are open and the excitement is building!
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Ottawa versus Pittsburgh, this doesn’t look close but it’s Game 7!

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. 90 minutes!

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Dixs35

stephen sheps,

Amazing. In tears.

VOR

JDI/knightown,

Since the lockout not only has no Stanley Cup final featured the top two seeds (1 in East and 1 in West) the average is two 4 seeds meeting. Only twice has a one seed won the Stanley Cup since the lockout, less than 20% of the time. In 2004 a 1 seed won out of the East (Tampa) against a 6th seed (Calgary), in 1994 a 1 seed won against a 7th seed, Vancouver.

All I am trying to say is that luck is part of hockey. On any given night during the regular season any team can beat any other team. And in a 7 game playoff series the differences between the teams are narrowed by the playoff selection process and again outcomes are highly unpredictable. It has always been so.

jtblack

knighttown,

I think the bigger issue that the Regular season is meaningless in the NHL, besides qualifying for the playoffs. There is No advantage to for Top Teams. The League and Media sell they hype that Home Ice is a Big advantage, but the stats don’t back it up . Any team can beat any team in the playoffs, whether they start on the road or at home. We are trained to believe the match up advantage is also a huge deal. If it was such a big deal, again the stats would suggest home ice is far more of an advantage.

I do not have a solution, but I wish teams that finished higher in the standings reaped some type of reward. IE: Like the NFL bye for division winners .. HUGE Advantage ..

VOR

JDI,

1992, 1994, and 2004 are pre-lockout the 2012 Stanley Cup was between the 6th seed and 8th seed. The 2013 Stanley Cup was between the 4th seed in the East and 1 in the West. Again, the two top seeds didn’t make it through. Which was my point. No Stanley Cup final since the lockout has featured the two top seeds. Zero.

Luck clearly plays a role in every Stanley Cup Playoff and since the lockout luck combined with parity has always terminated at least one top seed before the final.

jtblack

russ99,

the refs swallow the whistle come playoff time.” – and why is this acceptable? If the League wanted, they can simply tell the refs to call the same game from October to June. The NFL doesn’t stop calling pass interference or roughing the passer in the Playoffs? The NBA doesn’t quit calling fouls in the paint? MLB – do they quit calling strikes later by the World Series?

Of course not. Those 3 Leagues continue to call the rules the same. It;s better for the players, the fans and the overall game.

Unfotunately, by NOT calling penalties in the playoffs, that are clearly called all season, the NHL (refs), do impact the game – Negatively

the game can be called the same and it’s still a tough game, a hard game, a man’s game, etc …

--hudson--

stephen sheps: what a travesty that was. any time anyone tells me they love Boucher (mostly because of his personality and that sweet scar), I remind them of that and it tends to shut them up.

On a tangent, I believe Guy Boucher was the first NHL coach to employ the 1-3-1 powerplay formation that almost every team uses now (including the Oilers). Interesting that he innovated a pp system that could be so dangerous while playing such a conservative 5 on 5 style.

On a tangent of my own tangent, it’s amazing how many teams have their forwards blow the zone early to push back the defense. I am super critical of the Oilers doing it however lots of other teams are doing the same and being successful with it.

JD_Wry

VOR,

1992, 1994, 2004, or 2012?

VOR

I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade but would you like to know how many times since the lock out the #1 seed in the west has met the #1 seed in the east in a Stanley Cup Final? Zero times.

Want to know what the worst loser final was in that time? In 2011-2012 New Jersey 6th seeded in the east met Los Angeles who were 8th seeded in the west.

This year, if Ottawa triumphs then the 6th seed in the east will meet the 8th seed in the west.

If Pittsburgh wins then the 2 seed in the east will meet the 8 seed in the west. I am sure Oilers’ fans can remember a time in the not too distant past where that happened.

Apparently luck matters in hockey and the effect goes back to at least the lock out.

admiralmark

JDI:
Great segment with Fraser on 1260 just now:

Jason Gregor‏Verified account @JasonGregor 5m5 minutes ago


“The officials need direction and they need to know exactly how the league wants them to call the game. The league decides.” Fraser #NHL

Unfortunately for both fans and players we have buffoons giving that direction for the foreseeable future. 🙁

JD_Wry

stephen sheps: avoid giving yourselves a concussion

Smarten up, or I’m going to file for full custody!

Ducey

Lowetide: I would argue that one of the things that makes Fayne more valuable than Gryba is that he doesn’t take costly penalties.

No offense LT, but your opinion doesn’t matter (on this) 🙂

I guess it may be of some solace to poor Mark, while he grinds away in the AHL, that noted hockey expert LT thinks he should be in the Show, (I am sure that keeps MAP warm at night too) but the guys that matter (NHL GM’s) all passed on him. He needs to do something different to get their love. Their are lots of guys who reinvented themselves when their career was on the line. I am hoping he can. It would sure help the Oilers if their 2nd highest pair RHD could actually contribute.

stephen sheps

JDI:
stephen sheps,

Me too, although I think you have about 75% of it.

Ha! hardly… especially this week. I’m barely functioning right now. And with your rapid-fire joke delivery system, I think it’s 60/40 favouring you

Note to the blog – try to avoid giving yourselves a concussion at the gym the week before you’re supposed to go to a conference. The writing has been painfully slow. I’m cleared to travel (yay Taiwan!), but it’s been slow going

JD_Wry

stephen sheps,

Me too, although I think you have about 75% of it.

stephen sheps

JDI,

sometimes I feel like we share a brain.

JD_Wry
stephen sheps

JDI: Bingo:

https://www.nhl.com/news/hockey-world-reacts-to-flyers-lightning-tactics/c-600195

what a travesty that was. any time anyone tells me they love Boucher (mostly because of his personality and that sweet scar), I remind them of that and it tends to shut them up.

Scungilli Slushy

stephen sheps: As much as I agree with the vast majority of your comment (down with trappy mctrapface!), I don’t think you can put Nashville in the same category as Ottawa. RyJo and Forsberg, while not ‘elite’ are both excellent offensive players, and Arvidsson might be one of the most underrated young forwards in the game. The D-core they have is absolutely ‘elite’. Plus Laviolette’s systems are the polar opposite of Boucher’s. In fact, if I recall correctly, wasn’t Laviolette the flyers’ coach when Boucher’s lightning played the single worst and most embarrassing hockey game in the dead-puck-cap era?

Ultimately the model you describe – a scrappy team of good but not great forwards, good depth and players who fit the system is not so much an indictment of McTrapface, but more of Bettman’s NHL and the parity he’s forced upon us. Unless a team hits a home run or 3 in the draft, the model you describe is essentially the entire league. Makes me count our blessings every day that the Oilers won the right to draft McDavid, and that MacT blundered into a possible home run with Leon.

Well said. I do believe some teams have success out of later rounds because of luck, but also that they are identifying the right traits in the young players, and finding those that fit their idea of hockey.

For years the Oilers made what I found as baffling, and in the end wasted, picks. They would pick talent, say Rajala, but in a player so small there is not a snowball’s chance they would ever give him a shot.

They strongly disliked ‘light’ players, wouldn’t develop them properly because they instantly had sideburns, and would swing polar opposite to immobile large players that could never contribute at an NHL level.

Chiarelli has already proven he is far more dialed in on what they are after, and he has already put two young guys on the team that have contributed, and look to have upside, along the lines of what we see on other teams.

The playoffs skew what we see on other teams. Every year some middle pack player has a moment or a good run, they often get overpaid if it’s a contract year, but they return to low middling production again as they had in the regular season.

For example Silfverberg had a great playoff run and we all want him now, but he is the same age as Eberle, is under 200 pounds, and this 49 pt reg season was his first over 40. He is at his peak age wise for a forward. I believe Caggiula, Slep and JP have as much offensive potential depending on usage.

The Oilers have some good things in that area, when balance is found and everybody has a competent centre and D pair I think they’ll do as well as many on other teams. I think Chiarelli will find more.

JD_Wry

stephen sheps: Laviolette the flyers’ coach when Boucher’s lightning played the single worst and most embarrassing hockey game in the dead-puck-cap era?

Bingo:

https://www.nhl.com/news/hockey-world-reacts-to-flyers-lightning-tactics/c-600195

stephen sheps

knighttown: Forced to cut costs at forward you’ll see teams follow the Ottawa/Nashville model of decent but not great forwards, good depth and players that will play your system no matter what.

As much as I agree with the vast majority of your comment (down with trappy mctrapface!), I don’t think you can put Nashville in the same category as Ottawa. RyJo and Forsberg, while not ‘elite’ are both excellent offensive players, and Arvidsson might be one of the most underrated young forwards in the game. The D-core they have is absolutely ‘elite’. Plus Laviolette’s systems are the polar opposite of Boucher’s. In fact, if I recall correctly, wasn’t Laviolette the flyers’ coach when Boucher’s lightning played the single worst and most embarrassing hockey game in the dead-puck-cap era?

Ultimately the model you describe – a scrappy team of good but not great forwards, good depth and players who fit the system is not so much an indictment of McTrapface, but more of Bettman’s NHL and the parity he’s forced upon us. Unless a team hits a home run or 3 in the draft, the model you describe is essentially the entire league. Makes me count our blessings every day that the Oilers won the right to draft McDavid, and that MacT blundered into a possible home run with Leon.

Scungilli Slushy

Sour grapes from Hall just looks bad on him, and probably impacts national team considerations more than he might realize. The clique doesn’t appreciate gripers. Really, they insist on everybody towing the old boy line, hence so little new blood in so many aspects of the back end of hockey.

Professor Q

hunter1909: Thinking it from Taylor Hall’s perspective:

Oilers go from 10 seasons out of the playoffs to 103 points as soon as they trade him to another perennial loser franchise in New Jersey. They cap this by not only taking out last year’s WCF finalists, but also only lost out in the playoffs from pure inexperience against a veteran savvy Quacks team.

Assuming Hall’s not as stupid as he looks then:

Next season McDavid’s set to go nuclear…add 15 points to the regular season and at least another playoff round next spring. Taylor Hall’s probably going to play on another lottery candidate.

Stanley Cup finalists, by the way. Not just Western Conference finalists.

JD_Wry

He’s on his way to becoming an Oiler:

Anaheim Ducks‏Verified account @AnaheimDucks 1m1 minute ago

Murray said Hampus Lindholm will require shoulder surgery…

Cassandra

Knightown is pretty clearly right. It is one of the reasons I am not so sanguine about the future of the Oilers.

And to those who say it has always been thus, that is nonsense. Hockey has always been a tough game, but it has never been the way it is now.

That said, though I agree with Knightown, here are some questions to challenge the hypothesis.

1) Does overtime in the playoffs last longer than it used to?
2) If it doesn’t last longer, why not? Why do goals come faster in overtime?
3) Are shots down?
4) If shots aren’t down, then is it really harder to create scoring chances or is the difference goaltending?

Regardless of the answers to these questions, Kinger is right, the playoffs are a bit of disgrace. Blatant penalties are ignored, until they aren’t. Not just cheap shots, though plenty of cheap shots, not just holding in the neutral zone, though plenty of holding, but breakaways and clear chances to score taken away by slashes and hooks on the hands.

And Ashley is right, this has nothing in common with soccer, where skill trumps grit time after time.

Being a referee would be an easy job if they just called everything. It is only hard because they try and toe an arbitrary line such that no matter what they do they are going to do a bad job. Being a ref in the NHL right now is mission impossible, but that’s a failure of will, not something inherent in the game.

stephen sheps

Rondo:
stephen sheps,

I think Oilers will look at Klim Kostin at #22 if he is available he is a goal scorer.

sorry for the delayed reply – I also think they’ll look but probably not touch. The talent is there, but the talent was there with Benson last year, too. I’m not so sure an injured player (or talented + injury prone player) is worth the risk, and without knowing all of the facts (or, really any of them), my uninformed gut tells me that P.C. and the management team recognizes that they need players closer to ‘sure thing’ than an injured but talented kid playing in the 2nd tier Russian league.

JD_Wry

Great segment with Fraser on 1260 just now:

Jason Gregor‏Verified account @JasonGregor 5m5 minutes ago

“The officials need direction and they need to know exactly how the league wants them to call the game. The league decides.” Fraser #NHL

JD_Wry

kb: Klef – Lars
Russel (or vet D man) – Benning
Nurse – Fayne
Gryba/Reinhart

Does that get you through the first half of the season. Maybe you add a D man last minute come the fall?

Without a significant addition to the blueline to compensate for Sekera’s absence, I would be very tempted to split up the Två Swedes to help the 2nd pairing. It was very limited minutes, but Nurse and Larsson weren’t too bad together, and Reihno Gryba were low event.

So:

Nurse Larsson
Klef Benning
Reihno Gryba
Russell as the 7th defender, spot duty on the PK and possibly PP. Hell, maybe spot him on the 4th line LW.

Why don’t more teams dress 7 defenders?

hunter1909

Kinger_Oil.redux: The NBA and NFL have figured out that their fans like scoring.

You must be a fan of that crazy red puck gimmick.

hunter1909

Younger Oil:
Hall: Nice to see the Oilers eliminated from the playoffs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH3OzR0uhSg

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone so publicly against their former team.

I’m sure Hall is beyond sick about being asked about Edmonton, but come on. Is it so hard to say you are happy for your former teammates/friends and the fans?

Be mad at Chia all you want, but don’t publicly demean the team.

Thinking it from Taylor Hall’s perspective:

Oilers go from 10 seasons out of the playoffs to 103 points as soon as they trade him to another perennial loser franchise in New Jersey. They cap this by not only taking out last year’s WCF finalists, but also only lost out in the playoffs from pure inexperience against a veteran savvy Quacks team.

Assuming Hall’s not as stupid as he looks then:

Next season McDavid’s set to go nuclear…add 15 points to the regular season and at least another playoff round next spring. Taylor Hall’s probably going to play on another lottery candidate.

kb

In event of mid season injury or for 2018-2019, doesn’t one of these 6 have to prove the are ready for a cup of tea? Looks like a pretty solid (but young) stable of AHL d men?

4.LD Jordan Oesterle. His speed will get him an NHL chance and he may grab a job.
13.LD Ziyat Paigin. Wingspan of a Condor, pro experience, shutdown talent.
14.LD Ben Betker. Big man should get a full AHL season.
15.RD Ethan Bear. Posted a terrific junior career and should have prominent role in AHL.
16.LD Caleb Jones. He arrives in pro hockey with good speed and a range of skills.
17.RD Ryan Mantha. Interesting new arrival. Big man, big shot, good speed.

Could this be why Charelli wants to keep his powder dry signing/acquiring D men long term?

Klef – Lars
Russel (or vet D man) – Benning
Nurse – Fayne
Gryba/Reinhart

Does that get you through the first half of the season. Maybe you add a D man last minute come the fall?

Kinger_Oil.redux

ashley: This is a thoughtful and insightful post which I like, particularly, because I agree with all of it.

This is the biggest threat to the NHL as a business.In no previous year/era has luck played such a large role in who wins the games.Fans don’t want to hear that their team won because they were lucky or lost because they were unlucky.So they will cease being fans.

Someone suggested it’s becoming more like soccer which I disagree with.It’s perhaps more like soccer in the sense of low scoring/better defensive play, but there is usually nothing lucky about the outcome of a soccer match decided in regular time.Almost all good scoring opportunities take tremendous effort, positioning and skill.

An entire hockey game can consist of goals that inadvertently deflect off a player in front of the net.There are many GWG that are flukey bounces.That’s hardly something to cheer about.

– The NBA and NFL have figured out that their fans like scoring. MLB liked guys going yards (except for that steriod thingy). But at the end, all the leagues do a good job of identifying the right “champion” IMO

– In the NBA, pretty much every year, the winner of the league is the consensus best team (there are rarely 7-game upsets

– Baseball has a 162 game season, and save the one-game wild card, you tend to get the best teams (but Baseball is so much more random, hence rarely repeat winners

– In the NFL, the good teams get their Championships

– Mostly you get the best cluster of teams winning in NHL: save Carolina 11 years ago:

– But I agree its hard to win, injury means a lot, and 2 or 3 Cups in 8 years is a Dynasty now: see Pittsburgh/Kings/Blackhawks: the best of the last 10 years

– And I also agree the playoff product sucks: war of attrition, gooning it up, B.S. hits cross-checks galore: we all like tough, but the aesthetics of the game aren’t great IMO…The worste of all professional sport. The NFL tries to innovate every year and tweaks rules, MLB expanded playoffs, NBA has turned into a run and shoot scoring highlight reel

– We’re stuck with cave-man playoff hockey.

JD_Wry

JDI: ’91 series against the Flames

Two things stand out for me in that series:

1) Tikk was in full beast mode.

2) Doug Risebrough might be my 3rd favorite NHL GM ever.

russ99

ashley: This is a thoughtful and insightful post which I like, particularly, because I agree with all of it.

This is the biggest threat to the NHL as a business.In no previous year/era has luck played such a large role in who wins the games.Fans don’t want to hear that their team won because they were lucky or lost because they were unlucky.So they will cease being fans.

Someone suggested it’s becoming more like soccer which I disagree with.It’s perhaps more like soccer in the sense of low scoring/better defensive play, but there is usually nothing lucky about the outcome of a soccer match decided in regular time.Almost all good scoring opportunities take tremendous effort, positioning and skill.

An entire hockey game can consist of goals that inadvertently deflect off a player in front of the net.There are many GWG that are flukey bounces.That’s hardly something to cheer about.

Good points, but it’s still a tough, brutal, man’s league, and when good teams in the playoffs are against the wall. it’s going to be tough sledding, and goals will be earned, not skated into the net.

So while it would be fantastic if they clean up the utter garbage the Ducks are pulling, and find ways to limit obstruction and the trap, but there’s no way we’re going to see clean offensive play in the playoffs.

Also, this is a league that historically has come up with myriad rule changes to open up the game and clean up the goonery, the refs swallow the whistle come playoff time.

The 80s Oilers who were the greatest offensive juggernaut in NHL history had to get through worse than what our boys saw this postseason and were able to play tough, show big effort and still win, so I don’t get how some fans think these Oilers can keep playing firewagon hockey and not need to adapt to win.

Doug McLachlan

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– Great post LT!I love that reference from Nichols: it could truely be astounding off-season for this team, and set us up for the next decade.So many moving parts

– So that’s my pitch for the “ArmChair GM 2017 Prognosticate Contest” (with apologies to Hunter:

– Winner gets a LT paypal contribution and respect!:

1) Which Oil player will Vegas select?:
2) Who is our first pick in the Entry Draft?
3) Does Ebs get moved? (bonus if you pick for who)
4) Does RNH get moved (bonus if you pick for who)
5) Who is our back-up G on game 1?
6) Total $ amount/years for Russell (0 is an answer)
7) Total $ amount/years of McDavid’s contract?
8) Total $ amount/years of Drai’s contract?
9) Which 2 D dress with Larsson/Klef/Nurse/Benning on game 1?
10) Biggest off-season F acquired in terms of salary?:
11) Is Jessie playing in NHL game 1?
12) How many roster trades does Chia make?

– Please answer in following format:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Ok, let’s do this!

1 – Pouliot (at cost of 2018 2nd)
2 – Kristian Vesalainen
3 – Not this off-season.
4 – Not this off-season.
5 – Laurent Brossoit
6 – 1yr $3.5M
7 – 5x $9.7M
8 – 7x $7.0M
9 – Russell and Reinhart
10 – Patrick Sharp, 1yr $4M
11 – Yes
12 – 2 (Pouliot and Maroon)

Jaxon

godot10: Dallas is only using the #3 pick to get a proven top 4 defensemen.They don’t get that in your deal.They are likely to deal that pick to Vegas for adefensemen claimed in the expansion draft (modulo stuff).

I’ve read on one site that their biggest need may be RW. Eaves was traded at the deadline. Sharp may have a career ending injury and is a UFA. Hemsky had injury issues and is a UFA. Hudler had a terrible season and is a UFA. That leaves just Brett Ritchie who is better suited for a 3rd line role and Adam Cracknell who is only suited for a 4th line role and is a fringe NHLer at best. Maybe they can buy a RW in free agency, but that is never a sure thing and is always expensive. Eberle would be a great fit there with Seguin and Benn on the top line.

I’ve modified it to include Texas born Caleb Jones and I took out Stephen Johns. That’s got to be pretty attractive to them.

JD_Wry

Bob asked Craig Simpson about the ’91 series against the Flames on Oilers Now, and that got me interested in if the video backs up the memories:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcsgPmoNEhc&index=1&list=PLSsPklTYuRV2SjV-bY0dqOTtqTvlxhB3f

Short answer – yes.

BlueNoteNorth

Nice post LT.

Acquiring a RW shooter for McDavid is likely very high on Chia’s to-do list. McDavid’s production dropped noticeably when Draisaitl moved to 2C. imo, it was as big a flag in the last two Ducks games as Nuge, Eberle and Pouliot not scoring against a soft parade.

There have been enough in-house auditions – Eberle, Cagguila to name two.

Foo would be an interesting addition. Hopefully he makes a decision before July 1 so Chia knows his options.

season not played

Ducey: I think he was talking Hall.

So is Hall

ashley

knighttown:
On an unrelated note we seem to be heading into a deeper dead puck era.

What you see as “all of the Eastern teams are basically equal” I see as the Stanley Cup playoffs evolving into a lottery with the winner being the team that stays healthiest and gets the bounces.

I’d love one of you stats people to do a correlation between being the better team (based on winning percentage) and winning playoff series.I’d bet it’s lower than its ever been and much lower than the other sports.

And if being the better team doesn’t correlate tightly with winning how do you build a winner?

If the Trappy McTrapsters knock off the high-flying Pens it could cause ripple effects through the whole league in fact, I think it’s probably already too late to put the genie back in the bottle.

There won’t be a single elite forward playing in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time ever (if Ottawa wins).

Because the league allows and glorifies the Keslers, it’s easy to game plan for the truly elite by not even allowing them to get the puck.When the Keslers have nothing to do they are completely ineffective as we saw in the Nashville series.

Goals are nothing more than random events that are the result of shots from anywhere directed toward the net so the way to win is to get the puck out of your zone so you are less likely to have a puck bounce in off someone.

So teams will choose not to spend the money on elite forwards and will spend a fortune on elite puck moving defense.Karlsson has been ascendent as have the Big 4 in Nashville and it’s pretty hard to shadow a defenseman especially since they play 50% more than most top forwards.But the ascension of defensemen isn’t a one year blip.I’ve made the same post about Duncan Keith a couple of years ago, then Hedman and then Letang.

Forced to cut costs at forward you’ll see teams follow the Ottawa/Nashville model of decent but not great forwards, good depth and players that will play your system no matter what.Break the puck out under control if possible due to having great defense, gain the offensive zone and work the puck to the point and head to the net.Hope you get a bounce, rinse and repeat.

Add to this the fact that playing a trap is no longer embarrassing for players.Guys like MacArthur are saying their only hope is to bore the other team to death.And finally, the US media is loving hockey (on the surface) because basketball is having the completely opposite problem.The “anyone can win against anyone” philosophy of hockey is being praised compared to the pre-ordained Cavs/Warriors final so you know the suits in New York are more than prepared to double down on parity.

For those planning for an Oilers dynasty I’d take the under if someone set it at 2 Cups.They’ll have a lotto ticket every year due to McDavid ripping apart the regular season but being the best team has very little correlation with winning anymore…ask Washington.

This is a thoughtful and insightful post which I like, particularly, because I agree with all of it.

This is the biggest threat to the NHL as a business. In no previous year/era has luck played such a large role in who wins the games. Fans don’t want to hear that their team won because they were lucky or lost because they were unlucky. So they will cease being fans.

Someone suggested it’s becoming more like soccer which I disagree with. It’s perhaps more like soccer in the sense of low scoring/better defensive play, but there is usually nothing lucky about the outcome of a soccer match decided in regular time. Almost all good scoring opportunities take tremendous effort, positioning and skill.

An entire hockey game can consist of goals that inadvertently deflect off a player in front of the net. There are many GWG that are flukey bounces. That’s hardly something to cheer about.

Professor Q

I wonder what the tidal effects would be if we actually shot the Moon?

Ducey

jtblack:
classict,

Ebs is not in the same class as Subban or Kessel.He may win a cup one day after being cast off, but hes a few Levels below those 2

I think he was talking Hall.

jtblack

classict,

Ebs is not in the same class as Subban or Kessel. He may win a cup one day after being cast off, but hes a few Levels below those 2

russ99

Truth: Does this mean if Russell gets signed by Vegas in this window he counts as their selection from the Oilers?

In reality I’d probably rather Vegas grab Reinhart than Russell, but who knows how stupid the Oilers are going to get with their offer to Russell this may prevent the Oilers from harming themselves.

Yes it does, but obviously the player would need to agree to the contract.

From a hockey player’s perspective, spending 2-3 years in Vegas could be interesting, but most players decide on new teams for competitive reasons and the Golden Knights are going to be bad for 1-3 years.

So how much nightlife, weather and $$$ makes that worthwhile? I don’t forsee a lot of expansion picks coming from FAs.

JD_Wry

Off topic, but some fuel for the Doughty haters out there:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CF-X9mhiGg

Ducey

JDI:
Ducey,

Oooh – water bottle etiquette!

Safety during pre- game warmup!

Ducey

Got this off Spencer Foo’s twitter (that has no update BTW). Pretty funny.

http://www.bardown.com/the-mighty-ducks-had-a-terrible-corsi-a-sky-high-pdo-bombay-should-never-coach-again-1.623908

JD_Wry

Ducey,

Oooh – water bottle etiquette!

Ducey

JDI: Hall will be a valuable mentor to Patrick next season. He can show him the ropes of rehabbing from an injury.

Don’t forget body language.