COMMANDER CODY

by Lowetide

Peter Chiarelli has already had an unusual summer in free agency. He bought in bulk July 1, found a couple of gems a week later in Jussi Jokinen and Yohann Auvitu and is looking for savings down every aisle late in the process.

I’ve written on the subject at length (most recently here) and a one-year deal would give the Oilers some cover and offer up another actual NHL defenseman for the group. I don’t see a lot of negatives and Edmonton has more cap room (potentially) than Chicago.

CODY FRANSON 2016-17

  • 5×5 points per 60: 0.89 (No.1 among regular Sabres defensemen)
  • PP points per 60: 1.22 (No. 5 among regular Sabres defensemen)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 50.8
  • Corsi Rel 5×5 %: +1.8
  • DFF Elite 5×5 %: 50.5
  • DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: 3.2 (31 percent of TOI v. elites)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 93 shots/3.2%
  • Boxcars: 68, 3-16-19
  • (All numbers via Puck IQNatural Stat Trick and hockey-reference)

I’d run Klefbom-Larsson, Russell-Benning and Nurse-Franson, your mileage may vary. I like the idea of Yohann Auvitu or Eric Gryba as No. 7D and it allows the new kids on the block a full season of development. Men like Keegan Lowe and Dillon Simpson would probably see less NHL time. We wait.

ROOKIE CAMP DEPTH CHART 2017

There are no lottery selections this time and frankly the number of prospect forwards who are tied to the Oilers is alarming. Benson, Safin, Gambardella, Yamamoto and Maksimov count five and only four of these men are likely to play. On the other hand, there are six defensive prospects and three goalies worth watching. The three best prospects for my money: Kailer Yamamoto, Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear.

ROOKIE CAMP DEPTH CHART 2015

Three best prospects in this group? Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse, with Anton Slepyshev a nice kicker at the end. Jones and Bear have been at this tournament a time or two. This tournament had some surprises, including Braden Christoffer getting a pro contract and Loik Leveille turning heads. Tyler Soy also showed well.

ROOKIE CAMP DEPTH CHART 2010

Three best here? Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Jeff Petry. I do like Magnus Paajarvi and Martin Marincin, plus Brandon Davidson turned out well. Which team had the best goalies? I’ll go with 2017.

I’ve written on this subject several times, Yamamoto forces his way into the conversation because his strength is the collective weakness of the gathered group of youngsters: Offense. Kailer Yamamoto is younger and smaller, but his skills will fit in at a high level on this Oilers club.

NHLE FOR OILERS PROSPECTS, 2016-17

Yamamoto is in the top range and is five years younger than Joe Gambardella. If Yamamoto tears through the Young Stars Tournament and hangs with an actual NHL skill forward in the early days of the preseason, we’re going to have ourselves an open competition. If Yamamoto wins it, where that puts Puljujarvi God only knows.

50-MAN ROSTER

This is the current 50-man, if Edmonton signed Cody Franson and Yamamoto made the team it would mean entering the season at 50 contracts. I suspect we might see a minor deal offloading one of the players who is in a bubble position. That might be anyone from Iiro Pakarinen to Dillon Simpson. We could also see a LHD cashed, Oilers have to do something there anyway (although the glory days of the Leftorium appear to be a thing of the past).

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning on the show, beginning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Alex Thomas, The Oilers Rig. Cody Franson, Kailer Yamamoto, Red Sox clocks and Patriots season.
  • Guy Flaming, The Pipeline Show. A ton of WHL kids heading to Oilers rookie camp. Who are these guys?
  • Amanda Nunes. She will fight Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 215 from the Rogers Place arena on Saturday. She has no fear.
  • Matthew Cauz, TSN. We’ll chat CFL and the crazy week that was.

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

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Pescador

OmJo: Yager!
Meister!

Let me buy this blog a round

OmJo

Lowetide: Probably good news for Kailer Yamamoto, but may also signal a training camp invite.

Yager!

OmJo

I think I would rather the team just play Fayne instead of sign another slow RD.

Also…

“If Yamamoto wins it, where that puts Puljujarvi God only knows.”

Playing Yamamoto in the NHL and Puljujarvi in the AHL seems like the Oiler thing to do for the last decade. I hope we’re no longer doing things like that.

jtblack

LMHF#1,

Another question on top of your question. I always thought it would be a good idea to run the second power-play unit at the beginning of the power play against the top pairing D man / penalty killers ; let them have a short 45 second shift and then put out the number one PP unit for a 1: 15 against lesser competition.

Can only be done at home obviously and there are probably flaws to my thinking but I always thought it might be a way to create an advantage for pp1

geowal

Thinker: I’d be worried. We aren’t talking about a proven nhl player. Could have a hard time getting back

“Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it’s time for our viewers to crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside?
Yes I would, Kent. “

OriginalPouzar

If Slepy isn’t ready to play in Game 1 almost a month from now then I would think he’s more than “a little banged up”.

I’m hoping this is a non-issue – if he already has a material issue, our concerns about injuries through the year is starting to come to fruition before camp even starts (Sekera, Slepy).

blainer

I’m not real big on Franson although there was a time a few years back he would have been a great fit.

However he would bring more than just depth he will bring more competition at his position and that is always a big plus. It doesn’t hurt that he is a RT shot either.

This Sleppy talk is a drag. I think he is a dark horse and due to have a big year. I’m not too worried about Rt wing and think we will be just fine there with addition of Strome and Drai switching between center and Rt wing.

Gayfish

NativeNotFrench: How worried are we? More questions for the RW I suppose

I’d be worried. We aren’t talking about a proven nhl player. Could have a hard time getting back

NativeNotFrench

OriginalPouzar: Yes, in a perfect world, we’d have some more “proven” scoring at RW, however, at the end of the day, I’m more concerned about the defensive depth. If the RW is an issue with respect to production, yes, that’s a problem to be addressed but is unlikely to crater the season.If another material injury comes on defence, I think that creates a scenario where we could be fighting for a wild card spot.

Our depth D are question marks as well and we are already weakened in the top 4.

Agree that the D depth scares me way more but if Slepy is out to start the year and it forces someone else into the lineup it’s not ideal. Not going to crater the season but not ideal.

Gayfish

stush18: Patience. Everyone here claimed Davidson and marinicin were the saviours we had hoped for after good rookie years.

It’s reasonable imo to expect a slight regression from benning

Wait until Dillon Simpson is the next coming.

OriginalPouzar

NativeNotFrench: How worried are we? More questions for the RW I suppose

Yes, in a perfect world, we’d have some more “proven” scoring at RW, however, at the end of the day, I’m more concerned about the defensive depth. If the RW is an issue with respect to production, yes, that’s a problem to be addressed but is unlikely to crater the season. If another material injury comes on defence, I think that creates a scenario where we could be fighting for a wild card spot.

Our depth D are question marks as well and we are already weakened in the top 4.

NativeNotFrench

Lowetide,

Hopefully short term but I will heed some wise advice I read somewhere on the internet and light a candle I think

NativeNotFrench

Lowetide: Yes.

How worried are we? More questions for the RW I suppose

NativeNotFrench

https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/905508030422278144

“Because of Sekera injury/uncertainty, I do believe EDM will add an experienced defenceman:”

That was in response to Nielsen asking him if he thinks Oil will sign Franson

EDIT: Was not Nielsen who asked him that. Got my wires crossed

jonrmcleod

Bob McKenzie
@TSNBobMcKenzie
Because of Sekera injury/uncertainty, I do believe EDM will add an experienced defenceman: twitter.com/kgill39/status…

Karman Gill @Kgill39
Replying to @TSNBobMcKenzie
Bob do you think Cody Franson signs with the Oilers?

NativeNotFrench

https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/905507718793793536

“I did hear Slepyshev is a little banged up. EDM RW a fluid situation with Strome, Cagguila, Slepyshev, Puljujarvi and Kassian”

Is this the first we’re hearing of a banged up slepyshev?

Psyche

Oilers open and close the event. I’m curious which team draws the most media and fan interest. I know it’s in B.C., but it may be the Oilers.

Oilers have good spacing amongst their games. Allows for rest and maybe short practices.

Do we know of any Oiler bloggers heading to Penticton to cover the event?

Psyche

Hello Folks,

In case you’re interested:

Young Stars Classic Schedule**
Penticton, BC – September 8-11, 2017

GAME TEAMS DATE TIME
Game 1 Edmonton vs. Calgary Sept. 8 4:00pm
Game 2 Vancouver vs. Winnipeg Sept. 8 7:30pm
Game 3 Winnipeg vs. Edmonton Sept. 9 7:30pm
Game 4 Calgary vs. Vancouver Sept. 10 2:00pm
Game 5 Winnipeg vs. Calgary Sept. 11 10:30am
Game 6 Vancouver vs. Edmonton Sept. 11 2:00pm

**Game dates, times and opponents subject to change.

LMHF#1

stush18: That’s sort of what Columbus did with gagner.

Honestly what we did with letestu too.

I think bender son is right though. It would piss off your top guys if done excessively.

To some extent – though I’d choose a different sort of player than Letestu.

LMHF#1

bendelson:
LMHF#1,

Well that depends doesn’t it?

Loosely speaking, if the difference between your top line and your 4th lines 5×5 pts/60 is greater than the difference between your traditional #1 unit PP pts/60 and your proposed specialized 4th line PP unit pts/60, with all else being equal, then, well, maybe…of course, those specialist PP pts/60 would have to be completely speculative, making the entire exercise rather pointless… I suppose you could use existing numbers to determine what PP pts/60 the proposed specialist PP unit would need to achieve to make the approach even remotely worthwhile…

(Yeah, I should really stick with non-hockey related inquires… such as – hey, didn’t someone mention Robert Guillaume the other day?Robert Guillaume.Awesome).

Was mostly just wondering if the numbers backed up something about the value at ES vs the value at PP.

Eyeballing it and thinking strategically I’d like to see it tried. Partially because of those 20 safe ES minutes from your top line controlling the game, and partially because I’d rather keep talented guys at the bottom of the roster and deploy them (even if one dimensional) where they can succeed. Having that fourth line need to take a regular ES shift stinks.

LMHF#1

Ca$h-McMoney!: Interestingly it would also drive down the cost of your top guys, because at the end of the day it’s total points rather than more advanced analysis that is the major driver of compensation.

It would similarily drive up the cost of your secondary guys, but you’d just have to sell them (likely above market value) more regularly.

You’d really piss off your top guys though.

Maybe – but with Connor and Leon locked in, it really doesn’t cause a difference for them. I’d imagine they care most about winning for the next 8 or so years. If you were starting from scratch or had expiring deals with your top guys it’d be more of an issue.

Yes, you’d wind up selling more. That’s part of what I believe should be in the team philosophy. Teams get far too attached to bottom 6 forwards and bottom 2 D, when these should either be prospects on the rise or disposable/replaceable parts.

stush18

LMHF#1:
Question for the numbers folks:

If you could run your top unit 20 mins at ES, and had a reasonable group of secondary scorers to play the powerplay, would you?

I’m basically asking if 20 ES minutes would be more valuable than 15+5 or what have you.

I’ve always wanted to see a team try this. It basically allows you to turn your 4th line into specialists.

That’s sort of what Columbus did with gagner.

Honestly what we did with letestu too.

I think bender son is right though. It would piss off your top guys if done excessively.

bendelson

LMHF#1,

Well that depends doesn’t it?

Loosely speaking, if the difference between your top line and your 4th lines 5×5 pts/60 is greater than the difference between your traditional #1 unit PP pts/60 and your proposed specialized 4th line PP unit pts/60, with all else being equal, then, well, maybe… of course, those specialist PP pts/60 would have to be completely speculative, making the entire exercise rather pointless… I suppose you could use existing numbers to determine what PP pts/60 the proposed specialist PP unit would need to achieve to make the approach even remotely worthwhile…

(Yeah, I should really stick with non-hockey related inquires… such as – hey, didn’t someone mention Robert Guillaume the other day? Robert Guillaume. Awesome).

Ca$h-McMoney!

LMHF#1:
Question for the numbers folks:

If you could run your top unit 20 mins at ES, and had a reasonable group of secondary scorers to play the powerplay, would you?

I’m basically asking if 20 ES minutes would be more valuable than 15+5 or what have you.

I’ve always wanted to see a team try this. It basically allows you to turn your 4th line into specialists.

Interestingly it would also drive down the cost of your top guys, because at the end of the day it’s total points rather than more advanced analysis that is the major driver of compensation.

It would similarily drive up the cost of your secondary guys, but you’d just have to sell them (likely above market value) more regularly.

You’d really piss off your top guys though.

N64

Steve4: Ooohhh! Those meddling prospects are the worst!

~ Go easy on young Harrison. Can’t evaluate prospect owners until their 5th pro year. ~

OriginalPouzar

Snowman:
stush18,

Franson played big pp minutes last year (2nd most I believe for Buffalo) and only had 2 pp points. Not sure he should be on any powerplay.

Franson was 2nd among their D for PP minutes but 9th in overall PPTOI/G with only 1:27/game.

Professor Q

Steve4: Ooohhh! Those meddling prospects are the worst!

We would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for them…

Steve4

36 percent body fat:

flip these guys for some forward prospects.Yes they arent worth anything but it might be worth a reclamation project, or even a meddling prospect.

Ooohhh! Those meddling prospects are the worst!

LMHF#1

Question for the numbers folks:

If you could run your top unit 20 mins at ES, and had a reasonable group of secondary scorers to play the powerplay, would you?

I’m basically asking if 20 ES minutes would be more valuable than 15+5 or what have you.

I’ve always wanted to see a team try this. It basically allows you to turn your 4th line into specialists.

stush18

OriginalPouzar: Klef would still be PP1.

Franson could fight with Benning for PP2

Why though?

Franson has a history of being a good puckmover and PP option. Before they started feeding his minutes to Risto in BUFF, he was the go to guy.

Franson opens up the cross ice pass to letestu (or whoever) because the high forward has to protect against his onetimer.

Snowman

stush18,

Franson played big pp minutes last year (2nd most I believe for Buffalo) and only had 2 pp points. Not sure he should be on any powerplay.

stush18

Dominoiler,

No problem.

Used to be a big sabres fan when Hasek played there, and Detroit is my favourite team, so I catch a lot of there games.

I really think yakupov signing there would have been best for his career.

OriginalPouzar

stush18:
If franson signs will you adjust Klefboms RE, LT? Can’t see him grabbing those PP minutes with franson here.

Klef would still be PP1.

Franson could fight with Benning for PP2

Dominoiler

stush18,

Thanks for adding nuance to the numbers, cheers

stush18

russ99:
Benning is a better player than Franson at this point, especially in our zone without the puck.

I’d rather we not chance a one-dimensional defenseman that would make Talbot’s job harder (pair him with Nurse and it’s a tire fire), save the cap space for the deadline, and give Benning the ice time he needs to progress.

Patience. Everyone here claimed Davidson and marinicin were the saviours we had hoped for after good rookie years.

It’s reasonable imo to expect a slight regression from benning

stush18

If franson signs will you adjust Klefboms RE, LT? Can’t see him grabbing those PP minutes with franson here.

stush18

Dominoiler:
I have full confidence in Benning, but just in case he falters early then Franson would provide some cover while he re establishes himself.. Gryba does not provide such cover (nurse would have to move up, leaving Gryba to anchor the third pair, not ideal.. ps, i do like Gryba on the team, but within the 6-7 role)

Edit: you did it, LT, after years of beating the Franson Drum, some of us have finally come around on the rally call of “Depth!”

PS Franson’s pp/60 number from last year is crap, no?.. so should that part of the narrative be rewritten or is the bet that he still has the skill set even if the results have dried up?..

The sabres have eichel and reinhart on their PP, and both run from the right side wall.

Also Risto took most of the minutes. I think franson on the top pairing revisiting one timers from mcdavid would make his numbers pop

russ99

Benning is a better player than Franson at this point, especially in our zone without the puck.

I’d rather we not chance a one-dimensional defenseman that would make Talbot’s job harder (pair him with Nurse and it’s a tire fire), save the cap space for the deadline, and give Benning the ice time he needs to progress.

Dominoiler

I have full confidence in Benning, but just in case he falters early then Franson would provide some cover while he re establishes himself.. Gryba does not provide such cover (nurse would have to move up, leaving Gryba to anchor the third pair, not ideal.. ps, i do like Gryba on the team, but within the 6-7 role)

Edit: you did it, LT, after years of beating the Franson Drum, some of us have finally come around on the rally call of “Depth!”

PS Franson’s pp/60 number from last year is crap, no?.. so should that part of the narrative be rewritten or is the bet that he still has the skill set even if the results have dried up?..

Durag

flea,

Agreed that trying to fit Sekera and Franson into the same lineup is a nice problem to have. It means:

1. Klefbom, Larsson, Russell, Nurse and Benning are all healthy
2. Franson is playing well enough that he can’t be taken out of the lineup

Pink Socks

OriginalPouzar:

I’m just concerned about a situation where another injury or two hit and, not only are Lowe and Stanton playing on our third pair, we’ve got Nurse on the first pair with Benning on the 2nd pair, etc.

Very good point here. If Larsson or Klefbom or even Russell go down in the first 20-40 games for an extended period we are up a creek without a paddle.

McNuge93

OriginalPouzar:

I have memories of some of the defensive units we threw out over the last decade.

Yes, such past notable pairings as Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Larry and Curly Joe with Moe in the press box.

GMB3

Could Chad butcher be our Tyler Johnson?

OriginalPouzar

Valid points I must admit.

I may be overly concerned about our defensive depth right now. We sure have a lot of players the could fill in, however, not players that we really want playing more than a game or two – not if we are thinking about winning Stanley Cups.

I’m just concerned about a situation where another injury or two hit and, not only are Lowe and Stanton playing on our third pair, we’ve got Nurse on the first pair with Benning on the 2nd pair, etc.

I have memories of some of the defensive units we threw out over the last decade.

dustrock

New #Oilers jersey numbers! Caggiula changed to 91, Khaira switched to 16, Slepyshev is now 58, Jokinen will wear 36 & Auvitu will be 81.

geowal

OriginalPouzar,

While teams go through a lot of D men, what is being missed is how much the bottom tier play. How often, if ever, does a team’s callup with the fewest games played play more than 1 game? With Franson, Jones can plausibly be placed 15th (with Bear) on the depth chart. There is almost no chance he plays more than 2 games. If he does, it’s good experience with a negligible effect on the team.
If you’re about to send Simpsons or the like through waivers and a GM who is very late in the waiver order offers you a pick or a non waiver forward of interest, you do it. I doubt there is that much interest in Simpson, but if it’s there…