THE THIRD RULE OF ACQUISITION

by Lowetide

Today, we’re going to have a chat about Sam Pollock. Pull up a chair, cut it in half, cut in half again. Keep the smallest piece, mail the rest to Sam. That’s the quick version. The long version is over 400 pages and I am going to write it all down when I retire. After I’m dead, Mrs. Lowetide can take out all of the profanity and it should come in around 185 pages.

I can still see them in my mind’s eye, as they were when I came in. A team designed to replace age with youth in awesome and perfect rhythm. Sam Pollock’s Montreal Canadiens were so deep the AHL team could have won the West. The best example I ever saw was 1971, when John Ferguson, that generation’s Milan Lucic, was a spent force. I mean he was a ragged old Hab, slow and plodding and defeated. I enjoyed every shift. Ferguson’s linemate (on the RW) that year was Rejean Houle, a young two-way winger who was a brilliant hockey player from the word go. I knew who he was, this Houle, he had been chosen No. 1 overall in 1969 by Pollock’s Habs in yet another weird rule twist that favored the one guy who didn’t need any help.

I watched old fogey Ferguson and mannish boy Houle crush my Bruins, or at least hold them at bay so Frank Mahovlich could do it. Enormous, unending, pain. Ferguson retired at the end of the season, Houle was just beginning. The Habs circle of life. That’s the goal, although the modern era would never allow it.

TODAY

Get good players, keep good players. The Al Arbour-Bill Torrey wisdom has an additional line these days (“and make sure they have value contracts”) and that’s what the Oilers need if they’re to trade Jordan Eberle today.

That doesn’t necessarily mean getting equal value for him. For instance, a trade that brings back a useful (but lesser) player while freeing up important cap space may mean the roster improves. That’s the kind of trade we should be looking for in the next 24 hours: By talent, by cap room, by roster maneuverability, the trading of Jordan Eberle must make the club better. Otherwise, why bother?

OILERS NEEDS LIST

  1. Negotiate the expansion draft rapids without giving up a valuable piece of the future.
  2. Find a second pairing D with two-way acumen.
  3. Find a stopgap measure to replace Andrej Sekera’s minutes until he returns.
  4. Find a C-R who can help the offense and cover off where Leon isn’t at the time and to replace Jordan Eberle if he’s dealt. Ideally a first-person shooter.
  5. Make enough cap room to get everyone in under the number with enough room to spare for the trade deadline.

OILERS AVAILABLE LIST

  1. Jordan Eberle
  2. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  3. Jesse Puljujarvi
  4. No. 22 overall
  5. Caleb Jones
  6. 2018 first-round selection
  7. Benoit Pouliot
  8. Anton Slepyshev
  9. Cap Space
  10. Jujhar Khaira
  11. Ethan Bear
  12. Griffin Reinhart

When Bob McKenzie says he thinks Eberle will be traded, best to listen. Some of the rumored names don’t match up tradewise, so we may see some three-way dealings (Colorado, for instance) if this comes to pass. I wonder if PC will get a second-round pick during his shopping today.

TARGETS, DEFENSE

  1. LD Kris Russell FREE AGENT. GM and coach like him, good chance he’ll return.
  2. RD Travis Hamonic, NY Islanders. The drums are beating loudly. 
  3. RD Alex Petrovic, Florida Panthers. Rugged D, good possession numbers.
  4. RD Mark Pysyk, Florida Panthers. Panthers young and emerging blue.
  5. RD Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes. It would take the Nuge.
  6. RD Kevin Shattenkirk FREE AGENT (80gp, 13-43-56). One year at big coin?
  7. RD Sami  Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks. Talented, inconsistent.
  8. RD Cody Franson FREE AGENT. His fancy stats: Out of the blue and into the black.
  9. RD Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild. Power play option, chaos in his game.
  10. RD Josh Manson, Anaheim Ducks. A dream solution to 2RHD
  11. RD Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers. Duck killer, if acquired.
  12. RD Jason Demers, Florida Panthers. Veteran D visited Edmonton as UFA last summer.
  13. RD David Savard, Columbus. Rarely mentioned but an interesting option.
  14. LD Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks. Someone said he was available.
  15. LD Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets. Doesn’t seem a fit.
  16. RD Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche. Seems to be in the mix. 
  17. RD Colin Miller, Boston Bruins. If available, interesting option.
  18. LD Brian Campbell FREE AGENT (80gp, 5-12-17). The man can still wheel.
  19. LD Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins. Played over 23 minutes a game this past season.
  20. RD Cody Ceci, Ottawa Senators. Late entry, 37 percent of 5×5 icetime against elites.
  21. RD Michael Stone FREE AGENT (64gp, 3-12-15). Last chance Texaco.

SIGNING KRIS RUSSELL

If you have been reading this blog all spring, you’ll know the author believed Edmonton would sign Kris Russell. In my RE earlier a few weeks ago, I wrote “I’ve said they would all along and remain convinced. Russell will sign with Edmonton and play LH side until Sekera returns. Suspect he switches to RHD at that time.” Source

Would I sign Kris Russell? No. Do I understand why Peter Chiarelli is going to do it? Yes. His coach played the hell out of him and the Oilers won a bunch of hockey games. Russell blocked shots, worked hard, plays a rugged style. I don’t know anyone who is flatly against bringing him back, but rather the money and term ($4 million times four is reckless in my opinion) and the deployment (he should play left side) make the fit less than ideal.

One other important thing we also covered in the RE: Connor McDavid’s numbers with and without Russell are stark:

  1. McDavid with Russell: 2.48/60, 48.7 Corsi for 5×5.
  2. McDavid without Russell:  3.07/60,  54.8 Corsi for 5×5.

If the goal is optimize the McDavid minutes, these two men shouldn’t be on the ice together. Impossible task if Russell plays second pairing, which he will, and that’s in 400 bleeding minutes. You can’t have that, in my opinion.

TARGETS, FORWARDS

  1. LC Martin Hanzal FREE AGENT (71gp, 20-19-39). Has to be high priority.
  2. RC Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning. RFA 2017. 56 points per 82 games.
  3. C-R Ryan Strome, NY Islanders (69gp, 13-17-30). Rumors.
  4. R Sam Gagner FREE AGENT (81gp, 18-32-50). PP savant.
  5. R Justin Williams FREE AGENT (80gp, 24-24-48). Luxury.
  6. LC Nick Bonino FREE AGENT (80gp, 18-19-37). Two-way C.
  7. R Radim Vrbata FREE AGENT (81gp, 20-35-55). Scorer.
  8. R-L Thomas Vanek FREE AGENT (68gp, 17-31-48). Offensive option.
  9. R T.J. Oshie FREE AGENT (68gp, 33-23-56).  Not affordable.
  10. R Brett Connolly FREE AGENT (66gp, 15-8-23). Inexpensive scoring on RW.
  11. R Patrick Eaves FREE AGENT (79gp, 32-19-51). Volume shooter!
  12. RC Derek Ryan FREE AGENT (67gp, 11-18-29). Fine utility player.
  13. L Evander Kane, Buffalo Sabres (70gp, 28-15-43). Buy low power forward.
  14. RC Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers. Averages 46 points per 82gp.
  15. LC Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche. Please please please Baby Jesus.
  16. LC Vladimir Sobotka, St. Louis Blues. Signed to a nifty $3.5 million times two.
  17. L Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey. Splendid KHL season, he’s coming back.
  18. L Patrick Marleau FREE AGENT. (82gp, 27-19-46). New addition.
  19. R Brett Ritchie, Dallas Stars (78gp, 16-8-24). Shoots the puck a lot.
  20. RC Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche. UFA 2023. Would cost the moon.
  21. R Jaromir Jagr FREE AGENT (82gp, 16-30-46). Now 70, still going.
  22. RC Derek Stepan, NY Rangers. He would be higher, cap hit is very big.
  23. R Kris Versteeg FREE AGENT (69gp, 15-22-37). What he brings has value.
  24. R Ales Hemsky FREE AGENT (15gp, 4-3-7). Still brilliantly creative.
  25. LC Dominic Moore FREE AGENT (82gp, 11-14-25). PK and FO option.
  26. R Drew Stafford FREE AGENT (58gp, 8-13-21). Chiarelli type.
  27. LC Brian Boyle FREE AGENT (75gp, 13-12-25). He is on their list.
  28. R Jarome Iginla FREE AGENT (80gp, 14-13-27). He can still shoot the puck.
  29. L Patrick Sharp FREE AGENT. Depending on health and price.
  30. R Tyler Pitlick FREE AGENT (31gp, 8-3-11). Finally emerged, could return.

It’s difficult to guesstimate the forward coming in because there are so many options. Not a lot of rumors around either, there’s a bunch of useful players here. Expansion is going to make the prices go up, so this may be a trade as opposed to a free-agent addition.

EBERLE GUESSES

Since it may happen today, I thought it would be cool to see how close we get. Please post your prediction in the comments section, I’ll park mine here.

  • Oilers trade Jordan Eberle and Benoit Pouliot to the NY Islanders for RD Travis Hamonic and G Jaroslav Halak. Oilers retain $822,000.
  • Oilers trade R Jordan Eberle to Ottawa for RD Cody Ceci.
  • Oilers trade R Jordan Eberle to Colorado for RD Tyson Barrie.
  • Oilers trade C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to Colorado for RD Tyson Barrie.

Haha. Hahahaha. Oh my God. Please understand the wretchedness of this possibility. I mean, it’s incredible! Oh. My. GOD! I have a terrible sense of humor, but this made me laugh out loud. Thanks, RCN! You’re trying to trade your $6 million winger, have some interest, and a guy who the company employed since the Lester Pearson PM years flies to a new town and kills your trade. Oh gentle lord that’s a giggle.

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Bruce McCurdy

gadot10: PDO adjusted please.How can anyone assert a GF% anymore without simultaneously stating the PDO?

Because the data are not provided on a player by player basis right at the source. Hockeyanalysis gives 2 stat categories for WOWY, Corsi & Goals. Sh% / PDO is based on actual shots, not Corsi, so it’s apples & oranges to try to pull one from the other.

Russell’s overall PDO was 1013 which is good but just 10th among 20 Oilers with 300+ minutes 5v5. McDavid meanwhile was #1 at 1031 so it stands to reason he pulled everyone’s PDO up a few points.

gadot10

Bruce McCurdy: Hmm, I clicked on the link & it showed the Oilers scored 3.21 goals & allowed 1.46 per 60 when the McDavid-Russell duo were on the ice. A 68.8% GF%, +1.75 /60. That seems pretty OK.

PDO adjusted please. How can anyone assert a GF% anymore without simultaneously stating the PDO?

highgloveside

Pulujarvi for Charlie Coyle and 2nd
Eberle for Strome and 2nd
Eberle, Pulujarvi and Pouiot ($13.5 mill) for Coyle, Dumba and Pominville ($11.3 mill )
Pulujarvi for Zibanejad

commonfan14,

You nailed it on the last sentence.

Fast
Very good on draws
Versatile

vs.
Slower
Doesn’t take draws
Plays one position only and is, these days more a complementary player.

Agreed that the scoring gap favors Eberle but the Avs last year were a historically awful team. Eberle played on a good Oilers team.

Duchene still worth more than Eberle at this time.

Blackwolf

Kinger_Oil.redux:
– Great post LT!Set up nicely for the weekend! Wouldn’t it be funny if Ebs/RNH don’t get traded!

– Anyway, last time probably to post this for all the arm-chair GM’s: winner gets a Lowetide paypal:

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 send back in the following format:
1 poulliot
2 suzuki
3 yes.
4 yes
5 lb
6 0
7 8 9.7
8 8 6.7
9 faulk hainsey
10 thornton
11 no
12 2

Ribs

I’ll guess Eberle and #22 overall for #7 overall and Duclair from Arizona.

commonfan29

I continue to be baffled by the nearly unanimous perception that Duchene is worth a king’s ransom while Eberle needs to be packaged, dumped or sent out with salary retained.

Their contracts are identical, Eberle’s career ppg is slightly higher, and his bad season this year was better than Duchene’s bad season.

I get that Duchene plays C and is faster, but it’s still weird.

blainer

Not sure ebs is getting traded as I think it would be done by now.. but who knows maybe tomorrow.

My trade… Ebs to Florida for Pysyk and Bjustad and a third/4th rounder with money retained on Bjustad’s contract.

JD_Wry
JD_Wry

maudite: I’d rather have eberle.

The thing that sets Drouin apart is his speed.

maudite

It’s so funny to read the narrative around Jonathan drouin and compare it to eberle.

On is an up and coming star coming off a strong season (wirh very heavy 5vs4 production) the other is a player with some issues that the team isn’t just going to give away…700k difference in salary, 3 years age difference and eberle has pretty solid history.

Forward position aside would anyone be happy with a eberle for drouin trade? I’d rather have eberle.

Shane

JDI: Interestingly, a reverse image search on the twit pic only shows twitter results. I thought for sure it was pulled from some dating site or something. So it would appear that the owner of that account has acquired that pic themselves, and that it doesn’t appear anywhere else on the web.

Truth: No BS, I know some people who know some people that worked inside the Oilers offices (not hockey operations) when this account started tweeting.Management was not happy and did perform somewhat of an internal witch hunt. From my understanding their concern had faded as time went on.

Who knows if it was just a coincidence or not that some of the tweets showed some level of accuracy, but it was very interesting in how they handled it internally.

Mhmm. Very interesting indeed…

Truth

Shane:
TreenasOil says:

Oilers and Avalanche close to a trade multiplayer….APG

For what it’s worth. Which is probably not much

No BS, I know some people who know some people that worked inside the Oilers offices (not hockey operations) when this account started tweeting. Management was not happy and did perform somewhat of an internal witch hunt. From my understanding their concern had faded as time went on.

Who knows if it was just a coincidence or not that some of the tweets showed some level of accuracy, but it was very interesting in how they handled it internally.

ashley

Duchene an Oiler? I’m not one that gets excited about trading, but that would get me excited.

JD_Wry

Ribs,

That’s good.

But I equate orange hair and chubby with not only Garfield, but a person very close to ownership. Not Stauffer.

Ribs
JD_Wry

Shane: that Twitter account

Interestingly, a reverse image search on the twit pic only shows twitter results. I thought for sure it was pulled from some dating site or something. So it would appear that the owner of that account has acquired that pic themselves, and that it doesn’t appear anywhere else on the web.

Shane

Lowetide,

Nuge to COL, Duchene to NYI, Hamonic to EDM??

N64

JDI:
Garfield’s getting hungry.

Garfield is laying markers all over the sand box.
Nuge and a laundry list of teams yesterday.
Avs and a Mulligan on which player today.
Nostradameus could park a truck in that wiggle room.

hunter1909

stevezie:
Off topic, but y’all really should hear this Gillian Welch cover of Radiohead’s Blackstar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=attWLjs5WWs

I was able to stand it for 34 seconds.

Shane

JDI:
Shane,

How about that twit pic, eh? Sheesh.

Yea, I don’t think there’s anything ‘real’ about that Twitter account

TO10801

Lowetide: strange. Gotta be the defenseman, but for me that’s a Nuge fit, and I’m not sure the Oilers would want Barrie over Hamonic (given the choice). Maybe this thing is a three-way deal?

Friedman sure sounded like the price on Hamonic was ridiculous. I don’t see what the oilers would want from Colorado besides Barrie. I don’t think they have or want to spend the assets to get a guy like Duchene

Kinger_Oil.redux

Shane:
TreenasOil says:

Oilers and Avalanche close to a trade multiplayer….APG

For what it’s worth. Which is probably not much

– How bout: Ebs + RNH+ Benning for Duchene + Barrie and sumptin’?

JD_Wry

Shane,

How about that twit pic, eh? Sheesh.

JD_Wry

Garfield’s getting hungry.

Shane

TreenasOil says:

Oilers and Avalanche close to a trade multiplayer….APG

For what it’s worth. Which is probably not much

Professor Q

Truth: FIrstly, that would never all happen. But:

Klefbom – Larsson
Sekera – Hamonic
Benning – Barrie (PP1)

I think that would get a lot done, while replacing Nuge with Galchenyuk (downgrade) and Puljujarvi would be gifted Eberle’s spot.

Edit:I do realize there is an influx of righties as well, but that seems to be a good problem to have for future dealings. Reinhart (if not selected by Vegas) is knocking at the door while Benning goes through his sophomore season issues.

Sekera is out most of the season.

JD_Wry

jtblack,

I was curious too. Lots of dead dollars in the league.

jdhardy

Pouzar: How bout a bear instead?

Unless Barzal *really* enjoyed playing with Bear in Seattle, that seems unlikely. Eberle+Bear+retained for Hamonic+Ho-Sang?

jtblack

JDI,

Thanks for the work! WOW. Some horrendous contracts out there. That Erhoff one is Brutes, among the many others.

stevezie

Off topic, but y’all really should hear this Gillian Welch cover of Radiohead’s Blackstar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=attWLjs5WWs

Truth

Pouzar: or we could get Spurgeon. Maybe.

I think he’s a viable option for that role as well. He would definitely be cheaper to acquire.

greenshifter

Eberle and 3rd for Faksa and a 2nd. Expecting the unexpected. If it’s not a top 4 dman, then I expect a player on an ELC.

Pouzar

Truth: Yes, against elite competition.I would accept him as a top power play option (especially that he faces McDavid at the top of the umbrella), and if the D roster is structured as such that Barrie is not relied upon to play the other team’s best players at all times.There is currently debate about D points not being all that important, as they just rob F points, but he’s averaging 44.5 pts / season the last 4 seasons.With a pretty big slide last season included.

or we could get Spurgeon. Maybe.

Truth

JDI:
Didn’t the Woodmonies sour us on Barrie?

Yes, against elite competition. I would accept him as a top power play option (especially that he faces McDavid at the top of the umbrella), and if the D roster is structured as such that Barrie is not relied upon to play the other team’s best players at all times. There is currently debate about D points not being all that important, as they just rob F points, but he’s averaging 44.5 pts / season the last 4 seasons. With a pretty big slide last season included.

Pouzar

N64: Did you mean a deer or a beer?

F6ck….see????
That’s even better.

I can’t have one f^ckin pun………..

I will get you JDi!!!!!!

N64

Pouzar: How bout a bear instead?

Did you mean a deer or a beer?

Pouzar

JDI: Friedmann says the price on Hamonic will be dear.

How bout a bear instead?

JD_Wry

Didn’t the Woodmonies sour us on Barrie?

N64

TO10801:
Sure doesn’t sound like Friedman thinks Hamonic is coming to Edmonton.

If they would go 8-1 even without Hamonic then no discount before the draft. No difference for them protecting Ebs or Hamonic.

JD_Wry

Friedmann says the price on Hamonic will be dear.

So probably have to add Fayne to Eberle…

Truth

Professor Q: Both righties, though. I mean I know people want to shore that side up but if you then have 1 #1 RHD, 3 #2 RHDs, and 2 #3 RHD, but 3 holes in the LDH spot (including #1), you’re just in the opposite position (while spending more money).

FIrstly, that would never all happen. But:

Klefbom – Larsson
Sekera – Hamonic
Benning – Barrie (PP1)

I think that would get a lot done, while replacing Nuge with Galchenyuk (downgrade) and Puljujarvi would be gifted Eberle’s spot.

Edit: I do realize there is an influx of righties as well, but that seems to be a good problem to have for future dealings. Reinhart (if not selected by Vegas) is knocking at the door while Benning goes through his sophomore season issues.

TO10801

Sure doesn’t sound like Friedman thinks Hamonic is coming to Edmonton.

Jaxon

Nuge and Pouliot to MTL for Gallagher and Plekanec.
Eberle and Jones to CBJ for Jenner and Johnson
Puljujarvi and Mantha for Hamonic and Strome
Sign Foo.

TO10801

JDI: Roughly about $180M in wasted money in the league (buyouts, retained, recapture), not including Despres and the buyouts to come this summer.

If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s not playing hockey. I can not play hockey like a MF-er, and would do it for less than Cowen.

One would think GMs would learn, but nope.

Professor Q

franksterra:
Professor Q,
Hamonic and Barrie it looks like…

Both righties, though. I mean I know people want to shore that side up but if you then have 1 #1 RHD, 3 #2 RHDs, and 2 #3 RHDs, but 3 holes in the LDH spot (including #1), you’re just in the opposite position (while spending more money).

JD_Wry

JDI:
jtblack,

CBJs have one year of Boll @ $566k and three years of Tyutin @ $5M total.

NYI has 12 more years of DiPietro @ $1.5M per year,but it’s a compliance buyout so no cap hit

Wings have 4 more years of Weise @ $7.5M total.

Kings have 2 years of Greene @ $833k per, 3 years of Richards recapture penalty @ $1.3M per, and 7 more years of Richards terminated contract @ $4M total, although I’m not sure if that’s on the cap or not.

Flyers have 10 years of Bryz @ $1.6M per, but is a compliance buyout, and 1 year of Umberger @ $1.5M.

Bruins have 3 years of Seidenberg @ $4.5M total.

Rags have 6 years of Girardi @ $13M total, and 9 years of Brad Richards @ $1M per year but is compliance.

Wild have 1 year of Vanek at $2.5M.

Leaves have 1 year of Gleason @ $1.3M, 1 year of Cowen @ $850k, and 4 years of Grabovski @ $1.8M per, but is compliance, and 5 yrs of retained Kessel @ $1.2M per.

Nucks have 1 year of Higgy @ $833k, 5 years of retained Luongo @ $800k per, and one year of retained Hansen @ $500k.

Perds have 2 years of Stalberg @ $1.2M per, 1 yr of Nystrom @ $1M, 1 year of Jackman @ $666k.

Lightning have 3 years of Carle @ $1.8M per, 10 years of Lecavalier @ $1.7M per, but is compliance.

Avs have 2 years of Beauchemin @ $4.5M total, 1 yr of Stuart @ $1.2M but no cap hit.

Oilers have 1 yr of Korpse @ $1M.

Devils have 1 yr of Volchenkov @ $1.4M but no cap hit, 8 yrs of Kovalchuk recapture penalty @ $250k per.

Flames have 1 yr of Raymond @ $1M.

Sabres have 11 yrs of Err-hoff @ $857k per (compliance), 3 yrs of Leino @ $1.2M per (compliance), 6 yrs of Hodgson @ $790k per (but cap hit is slightly less). Oh, zose Sabres!

Her’canes have 4 yrs of Semin (bites tongue) @ $2.3M per, 1 yr of the Wiz @ $1M.

Yotes have 3 yrs of Ribeiro @ $1.9M per, 1 yr of Vermette @ $1M.

Note, this was done hastily and much rounding/estimating was done, but it should be close. Hey, at least I didn’t make it up this time.

Roughly about $180M in wasted money in the league (buyouts, retained, recapture), not including Despres and the buyouts to come this summer.

If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s not playing hockey. I can not play hockey like a MF-er, and would do it for less than Cowen.

Pink Socks: This will never stop being funny for me.

But DiPietro is no Yashin, and certainly no Bobby Bonilla!

TO10801,

They might pick Reinhart, but they will likely find better D elsewhere. If they pick a forward from the Oil, Khaira makes sense. All I am saying is now it makes more sense.