STROMEHOLD

by Lowetide

This is the time of year when I take the estimated TOI for Oilers 2017-18 and marry it to performance. You saw some of that in our discussion about Leon Draisaitl yesterday. I find it fun to do, gives me a chance to project next season and see what I can see.

When it comes to Ryan Strome, I can’t project him well. His numbers don’t make sense to me, there’s no distinction in any area, nothing rhymes. He played the minutes, he scored, but there’s not a lot to identify him in the numbers.

RYAN STROME’S WOODMONEY

  • This is all courtesy Puck IQ and the men who built the boat that will save us all. Bless you, men.
  • The Islanders regarded Strome (rightly) as a mid-level player, he got the bulk of his playing time against the middle competition.
  • Strome did not dominate that middle, nor did he dominate the soft parade. His rel number remains the same through all three levels of competition. Whatcha doing Ryan Strome?
  • His 5×5 shooting percentage was 13.58 percent, but he shot at the rate of once every 10 minutes.
  • He scored better with Jason Chimera and Nikolai Kulemin than with the bigger names on the roster. Weird year.
  • I think Strome will get a lot of power-play time compared to a year ago, and he was 69, 11-11-22 at even strength in 2016-17. We might see a season similar to that of Milan Lucic as an Oiler last year. If Edmonton gives Strome a chance in the Letestu role, and that is my projection, we could see 20 goals from the new hire.

DEFENSE WOODMONEY

I’ve been reading a few comments lately about Darnell Nurse as the most logical player to step into the top 4D next season. As Puck IQ shows, Matt Benning is clearly the better option based on last season’s numbers. Now, we should be aware that young players can surprise you (good and bad) but the first option should be Benning.

The problem with going that route (Klefbom-Larsson, Russell-Benning, Nurse-Gryba/Auvitu) is the third pairing gets left out in the cold. Suspect it may end up being Klefbom-Larsson, Auvitu-Russell, Nurse-Benning.

KAILER YAMAMOTO (5.075, 153)

  • Corey Pronman: He’s a plus skater, puck handler and passer. Yamamoto has great agility on his edges, combined with a good top gear. He can create when he is carrying the puck due to his skill, creativity and ability to see the ice. He can come down the wing with speed one shift and quarterback a power play the next. At the WHL level as an 18-year-old, he showed he could be decent defensively, but the main concern going forward is how will he do away from the puck at his size. I have reasonable concerns about that, and it’s why I don’t think he’s at the level of say, Mitch Marner at the same age. However, there is still a lot of promise in his game.
  • HockeyProspect.com:  He is a hound for the puck, as Yamamoto goes anywhere to get it including directly at puck carriers. Kailer plays with explosive feet and attacks sticks when he isn’t possessing the puck using his high tempo motor to cover ground and pressure opponents to make plays, making him quite effective on the penalty kill and in creating shorthanded chances. Below the goal-line, Yamamoto is elusive and can carve his way to the net using extremely strong outside edges. In viewings this season, he consistently skates his way to the net, surprising defenseman with the speed he generates without taking a stride. Yamamoto possesses a dynamic wrist shot that cleanly beats goalies with power and speed, he can shoot from multiple body positions, in motion and off balance with little effect on his shot quality.

I’ve written about the possibility of Yamamoto making the team several times, often get reactions like “why don’t you just be patient?” or “do you seriously believe they would do that?” from readers. First, my preference isn’t really the point. We’re talking about this player and the Oilers organization. The team has been brazen over the last decade in sending kids to the NHL right out of the box. I know this young man is small, but he has terrific speed, something Sam Gagner wasn’t gifted with when the organization gave him a push fall 2007. Taking into account skill set, team need, franchise proclivity, I think there’s a chance this happens.

NEXT YEAR’S FREE AGENTS

I wrote this five days ago, but have been asked about it overnight so will re-publish the free agent list for 2018 summer. Some of these men will get signed but a lot will be spending their final winter in Edmonton.

  • Patrick Maroon, UFA. I think it’ll be a quick negotiation either way. If Maroon scores 27 again, he will have earned a handsome raise. Suspect Edmonton will make an offer well below market value and Maroon will sign elsewhere. This is going to be a theme among McDavid wingers for the next decade.
  • Mark Letestu, UFA. He was the No. 2 playoff scorer this spring and brings lots of utility. He is also 32, so PC will need to be aware of erosion. Suspect Letestu gets a two-year deal.
  • Mark Fayne, UFA. He will not receive an offer from Edmonton.
  • Matt Benning, RFA. Too soon to know, but he may emerge as the most valuable signing next summer. Could $4 million times five get it done? If he repeats his rookie season, getting a long-term deal in place will be a big priority. Has a chance to become the new Dan Boyle in Todd McLellan’s scheme.
  • Darnell Nurse, RFA. A lock to sign long term, the question here is cap. I’ve heard intelligent people suggest $2.5 million times whatever, but doubt that gets it done. This may end up being the most interesting negotiation of the year.
  • Ryan Strome, RFA. If he delivers a strong season, Strome gets signed long-term next summer. The cap hit will probably be mid-level ($4 million?) but he has a chance to be part of the cluster if things break right.
  • Anton Slepyshev, RFA. Anything could happen here, from a trade to long-term deal. Slepyshev is in a good spot but will need to deliver quickly, as the organization will be more patient with Jesse Puljujarvi.
  • Drake Caggiula, RFA. A Chiarelli signing, I expect the second contract gets signed quickly and without fanfare. He plays a physical style and may cash more in year two (had tons of chances). Outside chance he emerges as 97’s scoring winger, hopefully they sign him before that happens.
  • Laurent Brossoit, RFA. His upcoming season will tell us a lot and the range of possibilities is large. He could get a multi-year deal or lose the backup job, or could get thrust into a starting role due to injury. Could also lose ground due to the emergence of another goalie in the system.
  • Iiro Pakarinen, RFA. A fringe winger, tough to say how things roll out. Pitlick’s exit gets him in a better spot to make the team and he does have some scoring ability. If he plays well in a support role, expect the Oilers to bring him back again.

I’ll bet on Matt Benning, Darnell Nurse, Ryan Strome, Drake Caggiula, Anton Slepyshev and Laurent Brossoit returning. After that it’s about what’s left to the cap.

It will have to happen soon if it is going to happen at all. Arizona? No. Nashville? Unlikely. New Jersey? Carolina? Capgeek numbers here.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, your texts will get their own segment (11:25) so send them in! Starts at 10, TSN1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Are the Oilers better? Where do you play Strome? Who partners with Kris Russell?
  • Ryan Pike, Flames Nation. Jagr in Calgary?
  • Keegan Matheson, MLB.com. Jays! Are they sellers or straight on ’til morning?

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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wchay

I haven’t read all comments so apologize if someone already made this point….

I think “franchise proclivity” is a mistake to consider. It’s not the same franchise as the one that pushed Gagner in ’07. New leaders everywhere: management, coaching, scouting, etc. Oiler “tendencies” from the decade of darkness probably need to be significantly downplayed in relevance to future plans.

sliderule

For those wondering about Yamomotos skating there is testing done for CHL players at top prospect game.
Weave agility he was second
Weave agility with puck he was first
Reaction. He was third

In straight ahead speed with or without the puck he was not top three so we don’t know how he ranked.All the NHL teams would have this data and no idea why they don’t publicize it.

The weave agility would show he has great edge control much like Marner showed in his testing when he ranked just below Connor .

frjohnk

Bruce McCurdy:
At least one of Nurse/ Benning will be signed to a shorter-term bridge deal. Their UFA years are a long ways off. Hard to imagine the club locking up its entire top 6 into the next decade.

I think the best play is to bridge these two for at least 2 years.

Dumba was bridged for 2 years at 2.5M after a 26 point season.
Orlov was at 2M for 2 years and 2.5M for 1 year after his ELC
Trouba was bridged for 2 years at 3.3M and 2.8M ( because he started after the season started)
R.Murray was bridged for 2 years at 2.8M ( he signed during his 25 point season)

These would be some of the recent comparables of what the bridge signings for Benning and Nurse could look like.

Maybe we could get both for 5.5M all in.

Defense for 18-19

Sekera 5.5
Klef-4.1
Larsson 4.1
Russell 4
Nurse 2.75
Benning 2.75
Gryba .9

That’s 24.1M for the 7 D.
That would be 31.2% of a $77M salary cap.
7 players is 30.4% of the 23 man roster.

Munny

frjohnk,

Bruce McCurdy,

Agreed on the bridge deal(s). And I doubt Broissoit is going to double his salary. There’s elbow room, but there’s likely to be a little fancy dancing along the way nonetheless.

LT might be on to something with putting Strome at C. This year could be a test run to see if he can replace Nuge (with easier opp) for less money.

It’s not a bad bet to make, especially considering you should get a do-over, if you want/need one, with the future Nuge trade. If the bet doesn’t work out, you get a serviceable winger closer to the cluster than Ebs.

misfit

I’ve always seen Nurse as Sekera’s ultimate replacement. Signing him to a 2 year bridge deal would take him to Sekera’s final year. At that point, he should have around 300 games under his belt and there should be little question as to whether or not he’s capable of replacing Andrej.

If we need the space, Sekera is very movable at that point. He’ll be 33, with only a year left on his deal that pays him a million less than his cap hit, and he should still have a couple of good years of hockey left. Teams will have interest.

Russell would probably be my preferred cap casualty, but I wonder how much interest other teams would have in trading for him despite being $1.5M lower cap hit and $2M cheaper in real dollars.

Or maybe you offer 2 year deals to both Benning and Nurse for the same reason (to replace the incumbent 2LD and 2RD)

Chachi

Ca$h-McMoney!: Marian Hossa scored 26 goals last year and is generally considered one of the better defensive wingers in the game.That’s tied for 11th among RWs in the NHL last year.All with a cap hit of 5.25million/year.

I get the Blackhawks wanting to get out from under that deal eventually, but I don’t see why they would be in a rush to do it next year.

More likely, the medical condition he’s complaining about is an actual medical condition.

His shooting percentage was 15.6%. His best since he was in Ottawa in 2003/2004. He had the lowest shots on goal total he’s had for a full season in his entire career. He is done being an impact player as you would imagine would happen to someone his age. I have no doubt his medical condition is real. I have no doubt he would play through it if it came down to playing or not getting paid. LTIR is a win-win for the team and the player.

GMB3

treevojo:
Loving the the Nurse doubt.

He will earn every bit of his next contract starting this year.

I won’t be surprised if he is top 2 even toi amongst defenders from Christmas on.

He is going to be a stud.

I seriously doubt he gets more TOI than Larsson and Klef

treevojo

Loving the the Nurse doubt.

He will earn every bit of his next contract starting this year.

I won’t be surprised if he is top 2 even toi amongst defenders from Christmas on.

He is going to be a stud.

Bruce McCurdy

At least one of Nurse/ Benning will be signed to a shorter-term bridge deal. Their UFA years are a long ways off. Hard to imagine the club locking up its entire top 6 into the next decade.

dustrock

Munny: On draft day, I posted a tweet from ISS here stating that Makar and Yamamoto were the only two prospects with skating they ranked as “elite”. That might have been it.

Yeah, I posted the same thing on Yamamoto and Makar being the only “elite” level skaters.

LadiesloveSmid

GMB3:
Is Kris Russell tradeable this season? Say Sekera comes back from injury without missing a step, and one of Benning or Nurse can prove they can play in the top 4?

That’s my dream

NMC for 2 years and then partial NMC

Professor Q

GMB3,

Why would you trade him this season? If they’re doing that well then depth would help for a Cup run.

GMB3

Is Kris Russell tradeable this season? Say Sekera comes back from injury without missing a step, and one of Benning or Nurse can prove they can play in the top 4?

That’s my dream

LadiesloveSmid

What is Nurse gonna do this year to deserve more than 2-2.5M. Not going to put up much for points and not particularly good defensively.

Bending id be worried about, taking Sekera’s PP spot.

frjohnk

Lowetide: That is some interesting ciphering.

Not saying that the window is closing, but when McDavids contract kicks in there will be an adjustment period. Meaning we will have to lose some higher priced players and add more cheap options to fill the roster.

Ca$h-McMoney!

Chachi: It’s fun to joke about it, but teams have and will find new and novel ways to get out from self-inflicted salary cap issues. The NHL’s treatment of the Marian Hossa jock itch LTIR will be a fascinating one to follow.

Marian Hossa scored 26 goals last year and is generally considered one of the better defensive wingers in the game. That’s tied for 11th among RWs in the NHL last year. All with a cap hit of 5.25million/year.

I get the Blackhawks wanting to get out from under that deal eventually, but I don’t see why they would be in a rush to do it next year.

More likely, the medical condition he’s complaining about is an actual medical condition.

frjohnk

Looking at cap friendly at the Oilers roster for next year and if we sign the following players over the next year

Draisaitl at $8M
Cags at $1.5M
Sleppy at $1.5M
Nurse at $3M
Benning at $3M
Broisant at $1.5M
4th line center at $1.5M
Strome at $4M
Maroon at $4M
Pak at $1m
Jokinen $1m

gives us a cap hit of $83.2M, plus there is the bonus of $2.5M with JP.

If we get rid of RNH and Maroon and replace with $1m forwards, this shaves off $8M.

Depending on how much the cap rises next year, and also if one of the young prospect D are ready for full time duty in 18-19, we may need to lose one of Benning/Nurse to shave off another $2M or so.

Munny

Thinker:
Should just use a base 12 number system.

Sexagesimal never gets any love any more. Was a hot prospect once upon a time.

frjohnk

Chachi: It’s fun to joke about it, but teams have and will find new and novel ways to get out from self-inflicted salary cap issues.

yup.

Munny

Durag,

I think you and I have different notions of “have to.”

Durag

Munny,

Well and Connor is getting a $9M raise…

I’m not saying the sky is falling, I’m saying we’re going to have to trade away one or both of our current promising 3rd pairing guys and replace them with someone cheaper.

Chachi

frjohnk: I also heard Katz hired Mike Richards as a driver to move “supplies” back and forth across the border. Richards may need Lucic and/or Russells help next summer.

It’s fun to joke about it, but teams have and will find new and novel ways to get out from self-inflicted salary cap issues. The NHL’s treatment of the Marian Hossa jock itch LTIR will be a fascinating one to follow.

Munny

Durag,

That’s all of $700k more than Nurse, Benning and Fayne’s present collective cap hit. You can take care of most of that by signing a cheaper Gryba or Letestu, or by not doubling your backup’s salary. And that’s not including a cap increase or other trades.

Not liking the Russell contract for something that hasn’t–and might never–happen seems a little strange, but to each their own.

frjohnk

Chachi: I hear that both Russell and Lucic have problems with their equipment. It makes them really itchy. This year they’ll be fine to play, but next year that darn itch might get real bad. Not enough to retire or anything, but one or both of them may have to go on LTIR because of that darn itch…

I also heard Katz hired Mike Richards as a driver to move “supplies” back and forth across the border. Richards may need Lucic and/or Russells help next summer.

Chachi

frjohnk: They have to bridge Nurse and Benning until they can trade Russell and or Sekera
If Benning and Nurse are not bridged and get $7M + between them next year, then one of them is probably gone.

No way Nuge is here next July.He will be gone for picks/prospects

Same with Maroon.He will be an in house rental.We will lose him to UFA.

Strome at over $4M next year will make things interesting.Maybe he is gone as well.

I hear that both Russell and Lucic have problems with their equipment. It makes them really itchy. This year they’ll be fine to play, but next year that darn itch might get real bad. Not enough to retire or anything, but one or both of them may have to go on LTIR because of that darn itch…

Chachi

Durag: For argument’s sake, let’s say Benning and Nurse come in at a combined cap hit of $7M next year. That’s just a hair under $25M committed to your top 6. Let’s conservatively estimate Leon at $7.5, add him to Connor and Lucic and that’s another $26M. Assume Broissoit or another backup makes $1.5, and that’s $5.5M committed to goalies. That’s $56.5M gone, and you still need to pay a 7th defenceman and 10 more forwards with $18.5M. The NHLPA already used the escalator this year, so I’m not sure you can confidently state that the cap is going up. I can’t see it working.

I don’t think there’s been a team in the salary cap era that has paid all of its top-6 defencemen $3.5M or more. THis is my reason for not liking the Russell contract and I’m sticking to it.

edit: forgot that Pouliot’s buyout eats up another 1.3!

The sky is certainly falling. Under the current CBA here are the years the salary cap didn’t go up:

frjohnk

Durag: For argument’s sake, let’s say Benning and Nurse come in at a combined cap hit of $7M next year. That’s just a hair under $25M committed to your top 6. Let’s conservatively estimate Leon at $7.5, add him to Connor and Lucic and that’s another $26M. Assume Broissoit or another backup makes $1.5, and that’s $5.5M committed to goalies. That’s $56.5M gone, and you still need to pay a 7th defenceman and 10 more forwards with $18.5M. The NHLPA already used the escalator this year, so I’m not sure you can confidently state that the cap is going up. I can’t see it working.

I don’t think there’s been a team in the salary cap era that has paid all of its top-6 defencemen $3.5M or more. THis is my reason for not liking the Russell contract and I’m sticking to it.

edit: forgot that Pouliot’s buyout eats up another 1.3!

They have to bridge Nurse and Benning until they can trade Russell and or Sekera
If Benning and Nurse are not bridged and get $7M + between them next year, then one of them is probably gone.

No way Nuge is here next July. He will be gone for picks/prospects

Same with Maroon. He will be an in house rental. We will lose him to UFA.

Strome at over $4M next year will make things interesting. Maybe he is gone as well.

Durag

Chachi: Well, Fayne’s 3.6 million comes off the books so that would easily cover the raise to one of Nurse or Benning and hire another d-man to not play on the Oilers just like Fayne for 1 million or less. The Cap probably goes up another 1 or 2 million next off season as well so they’ll have to only find one or two more million to sign Nurse or Benning. It probably means they won’t be able to keep Maroon if he has another big year (which might save the Oilers from themselves), but they will be able to keep all the current roster’s d-men they want to keep and do it fairly easily.There are lots of reasons to dislike the Russell contract without making up more.

For argument’s sake, let’s say Benning and Nurse come in at a combined cap hit of $7M next year. That’s just a hair under $25M committed to your top 6. Let’s conservatively estimate Leon at $7.5, add him to Connor and Lucic and that’s another $26M. Assume Broissoit or another backup makes $1.5, and that’s $5.5M committed to goalies. That’s $56.5M gone, and you still need to pay a 7th defenceman and 10 more forwards with $18.5M. The NHLPA already used the escalator this year, so I’m not sure you can confidently state that the cap is going up. I can’t see it working.

I don’t think there’s been a team in the salary cap era that has paid all of its top-6 defencemen $3.5M or more. THis is my reason for not liking the Russell contract and I’m sticking to it.

edit: forgot that Pouliot’s buyout eats up another 1.3!

Wolfpack

godot10:
The Leafs had the process discipline to send Marner back to junior.They had the process discipline to send Nylander to the AHL.

And they did this without blowing a year of an ELC (Draisaitl) OR a year of the ELC and a year towards free agency (Puljujarvi).

Yamamoto has a kid’s body.15-year olds should not be in the NHL.Let his body mature.

I agree.

I remember seeing Johnny Hockey last year on an After Hours and thinking that he looked like the kids in my daughter’s junior high. He is absolutely tiny. Looked like a hobbit between the two announcers. And as much as I hate to admit it, I am impressed that a guy that size can be successful in the NHL. But he has to be an exception, with Marty St. Louis at the top of that very short list.

Ahhhh, I just realized what I did there…

Anyway, let him grow a bit more in the WHL. He’ll have to put up with a bit more of a physical push now that he is a first round pick.

Primetime

I think a lot of people are underestimating the opportunity that Ty Rattie will be given on the right side.

Remember that Chia tried to grab him already through waivers, and he was one of his first targets in free agency (think Rishaug even sent word of a deal pre-July 1st).

Kailer is the long term Eberle replacement, but I think Ty is the short term answer. I would not be shocked to see him get a long look on the 2RW with Drai-Lucic. Slepy can play on the 4th line or at worst, he’s waiver ineligible, so he can be put somewhere while Rattie gets the long look. If he can hold a place for a few years on the cheap, Kailer (and Jesse for that matter) have time to grow.

misfit

That’s how it’s written. Learn it. Use it. Grow to love it. Make it a part of who you are as a person. Find peace.

classict

Thinker:
Should just use a base 12 number system.

But only for the decimal side

GMB3

Thinker: Which is a stupid way to write it. The 0 tells you nothing.

Username does not check out.

Gayfish

Should just use a base 12 number system.

Jethro Tull

Edmonton_fan:
What does (5.075, 153) under Kailer’s photo mean??? I thought it would be height & weight but methinks I am wrong…

Well, 5.075 feet equals 60.9″ (5.075 x 12), so Yama is only 5′ and 9/10ths of an inch tall.

classict

Thinker: Now you have two zeros, so the first one is still useless.

It’s important if you’re 10 or 11 inches. It’s a placeholder for the 1.
If someone is
5 feet 11.5 inches it’s displayed 5.115
5 feet 7.5 inches it’s 5.075
5 feet .5 inches it’s 5.005

Without the zero you have no way to differentiate numbers >10

Revolved

McNuge93,

2015 Draft combine:

Mitch Marner 5’11” 160lbs ranked top 10 in only anaerobic fitness

Marner scored 2 pts/gm in his draft year

Gayfish

JJS: The zero is a placeholder that becomes important if someone is 5 feet and three quarters of an inch.That would be 5.0075.

Without the extra zero, that person become 5 feet, seven and a half inches.

Now you have two zeros, so the first one is still useless.

Munny

npanciroli:
Wasn’t Yamamoto 1 of 3 prospects in last years drafts ranked with elite skating? I remember Makar being another.

Forget where I saw that.

On draft day, I posted a tweet from ISS here stating that Makar and Yamamoto were the only two prospects with skating they ranked as “elite”. That might have been it.

Edmonton_fan

Joey LaLeggia signed a contract yesterday.

https://www.capfriendly.com/players/joey-laleggia

Yeti

Thinker: Which is a stupid way to write it. The 0 tells you nothing.

Isn’t that the exact point of 0?

JJS

Thinker: Which is a stupid way to write it. The 0 tells you nothing.

The zero is a placeholder that becomes important if someone is 5 feet and three quarters of an inch. That would be 5.0075.

Without the extra zero, that person become 5 feet, seven and a half inches.

McNuge93

I guess a good comparable for Yam is Marner. Anybody have numbers to compare them in their draft years.

Gayfish

Munny: Height and weight… 5′ 7.5″ and 153 lbs.

Which is a stupid way to write it. The 0 tells you nothing.

Chachi

misfit: Wouldn’t those tests (also posted by STRIATIC above) all favour a smaller, lighter player though?I would be very concerned if he DIDN’T rank high in all of those tests.

Some of them would favour a smaller lighter player who is in outstanding shape, sure.

misfit

Chachi: I agree he should not be in the NHL this season, but that “kid’s body” sure placed in the top 10 of an awful lot of combine results: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/2017-nhl-combine-results-top-10-drill/

Wouldn’t those tests (also posted by STRIATIC above) all favour a smaller, lighter player though? I would be very concerned if he DIDN’T rank high in all of those tests.

Shane

Greenberg,

“Almost worth a Pabst Blue Ribbon thinking about that!”

Sooo….not very much then?

Greenberg

Picture this: in the first two exhibition games, with Yamamoto and McDavid on the penalty kill, Yamamoto scores on the first five (over two games) two-on-ones that are set up. Giggle! Giggle.

Now to prevent this from happening and making sure it doesn’t is McLellan’s job. He has to make sure (a) the two of them are not together on the PK and (2) they are not on the ice ever together.

Otherwise, Yamamotor will have his 9-game stay in the NHL guaranteed. Giggle! Giggle!

I hope most of you guys realize that the problems you are talking about now are 375 degrees above the ones you were arguing about two or three years ago. I am just trying to make you see one of the genuine dilemmas that training camp could produce.

Not all dreams come true, and surely this is one that probably won’t. But look again at this little waterbug shimmering around the ice on his video and imagine a McDavid trying to help him out.

Almost worth a Pabst Blue Ribbon thinking about that!