See the sky about to rain

Smart hockey people tell us to watch the AHL kids in two parts: October through December and then January to April. Idea being it takes some time to settle in. We have the entire bucket from the first half and seven games of the second half. How are things going?

THE ATHLETIC!

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THE CONDORS THREE

Caleb Jones has the fastest boots, giving him an edge and perhaps a quicker route to the NHL. Bear and Mantha have offensive potential, both men possessing massive shots from the point. I don’t think any of these gents is likely to spend much or any time in the NHL before the end of  the season, but all three have some good arrows and a story to tell. Jones has turned a corner in January, we’ll check in a little later. One curio? Keegan Lowe. He was 21-17 through end December and is 8-1 in January, for an EV GF-GA total of 29-18 on the season (this is Eric Rodgers’ work and then me counting things up in the seven January games). There is a relationship between Lowe and good runs from Bear and Jones.

CONDORS F

Jeff Veillette is a fine writer, a good person and a man who asks unique questions and then goes in search of an answer. That’s my kind of guy. He recently wrote a bible on the AHL and teams who are getting a lot of value out of their minor league teams. As you might guess, the Oilers are doing it wrong. Veillette’s measuring stick is (among other things) games played by age, with the prime group age 18 to 23.

The Edmonton defensemen are fine, Oilers have 61.7 percent of their total GP tied up in players aged 18-23, a number that ranks Bakersfield No. 10 among all AHL teams. Good number.

The forwards? Another story. Bakersfield’s F troop grabbed just 28.4 percent of the overall games played this year. That’s awful. Is that Peter Chiarelli’s fault? Let’s have a look. In order for it to be Chiarelli’s fault, the ‘window’ of forwards who could be included in the study would have to be drafted inside his time with Edmonton. That’s only partially true. The age 18-23 model is basically everyone in an entry-level deal, and since someone drafted in 2013 is in the final year of his entry deal, let’s look at forwards from the 2013-18 drafts.

  • 2013 (MacT, Stu MacGregor). Marco Roy, Bogdan Yakimov and Anton Slepyshev all made it to pro, although Roy on an AHL-only deal. Yakimov is in the KHL, didn’t take a liking to the AHL. Slepyshev is about to get traded, I think he should be regarded as a success. Jackson Houck and Evan Campbell didn’t work out, but Edmonton signed Kyle Platzer and Greg Chase, both of whom have played in the AHL for the Condors this season.
  • 2014 (MacT, Stu MacGregor). Leon Draisaitl was a lottery pick, after that the Oilers curiously went walkabout with tier two players Liam Coughlin and Tyler Vesel. Both men remain in college.
  • 2015 (Chiarelli, Bob Green). Connor McDavid was the only forward chosen.
  • 2016 (Chiarelli, Bob Green). Jesse Puljujarvi was chosen in the lottery, signed and would be considered a success in the Veillette study.

I think Chiarelli can be ticketed for dealing all of those 2015 picks, but the bizarre draft behaviour in 2014 and the poor quality of the 2013 selections have the Oilers here. Plenty of blame to go around. One area that I don’t believe should come under heavy criticism? The scouts. You can’t blame the scouts for trading No. 16 and No. 33, in fact the only area since 2015 where the scouts appear to have gone walkabout is 2016 third round (although I am bullish on Filip Berglund). Any hoo, the Oilers haven’t drafted enough forwards and will need to add some names to Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson for the fall.

INCOMING?

  • Bruce Garrioch: The talk among league insiders is the San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks may all be in the market for a forward at the deadline. Source

Oilers clearly won’t be in the market for an expiring contract, but the Senators have several interesting options. I’ve written about Mike Hoffman and his skill set being a strong match for Connor McDavid, but Jean-Gabriel Pageau would be an excellent pickup who could help in all areas. The Senators want to offload dollars. If Ottawa is listening, the Oilers need to be pitching. I wonder if Dion Phaneuf is part of a deal? And no, I’m not trying to scare you, just looking at things from the other side.

TYLER BENSON

Tyler Benson has been held without a point for the last three games, no biggie but one worries about injury recurrence. Benson was in Edmonton recently, and spoke to Tyler Yaremchuk about his situation, mentioning soreness at that time. Just the rigors of a long season? We wait.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

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

  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. What to expect from the management meetings.
  • Keegan Matheson, Blue Jays Reporter. Some big MLB stories breaking over the last 36 hours.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. Magical NFL weekend, trade deadline, Canada’s best NHL team.
  • Ryan Holt, Condors PBP. How are the kids doing down on the farm?

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

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224 Responses to "See the sky about to rain"

« Older Comments
  1. Dominoiler says:

    Younger Oil:
    The Oilers could have Eberle, Barzal, Beauvillier, and Debrincat in the lineup right now over Strome in the lineup now, and Benson in the System.

    Chia basically turned the assets to gain/retain four top 6 forwards into a 3rd line winger and a middling prospect.

    It is sickening that 90% of armchair GM’s could do a better job than someone getting paid millions to do the job.

    That’s without even mentioning the Lucic and Russell contracts.

    He as more or less provided this team with the framework to guarantee that the Oilers will not have success in the McDavid era, and that is absolutely inexcusable.

    This!

  2. Extend Russell says:

    Cassandra,

    I’ll simply reply that you probably didn’t feel this way after we upset SJ last year, and almost took out a willy veteran squad that swept the flames in the ducks.
    I still believe in this team. Half a season of mostly disappointing results will not get me on the “fire the gm bandwagon 2018” yet.
    If we were dead last maybe
    But their not dead yet

  3. hags9k says:

    The Russell NMC might be the worst of all the moves.

    Maroon (one of our only bonafide wingers left in the SYSTEM) sails on down the line and we contemplate trading Nuge because we gave a NMC to the stay at homiest, stay at home defenseman that ever stayed at home? Fuckmerunnin.

  4. hags9k says:

    Extend Russell,

    I agree that they are not dead yet. Plenty of time to light torches and pitchfork GMs once they are mathematically eliminated. Keep the faith, not many believers out there at the moment..

  5. Fuge Udvar says:

    Younger Oil,

    All reports at the time were saying we were picking Svechnikov in that spot. Even if we didn’t trade those picks we would never have had Barzal. I see people saying this all the time

  6. deardylan says:

    Or an egotistical fool that thinks the team is foolish not to employ .

    Extend Russell:

    Extend Russell,

    I agree with much of what you say. Although I wonder do you really mean what you said when calling people on this board… “egotistical fool” and “born an asshole”? Whats going on?

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Fuge Udvar:
    Younger Oil,

    All reports at the time were saying we were picking Svechnikov in that spot. Even if we didn’t trade those picks we would never have had Barzal. I see people saying this all the time

    Barzal would have been panned as another potential Yakupov, or Schremp if they thought they could get away with it lol

  8. hunter1909 says:

    Extend Russell:
    Cassandra,

    I’ll simply reply that you probably didn’t feel this way after we upset SJ last year, and almost took out a willy veteran squad that swept the flames in the ducks.
    I still believe in this team. Half a season of mostly disappointing results will not get me on the “fire the gm bandwagon 2018” yet.
    If we were dead last maybe
    But their not dead yet

    It’s good to see a few still have hope(I lost mine at Christmas)

  9. Fuge Udvar says:

    hags9k:
    The Russell NMC might be the worst of all the moves.

    Maroon (one of our only bonafide wingers left in the SYSTEM) sails on down the line and we contemplate trading Nuge because we gave a NMC to the stay at homiest, stay at home defenseman that ever stayed at home?Fuckmerunnin.

    It turns into a partial NMC after next year. After that Russel submits a list of 10 teams for 2019-20 season and a 15 team list in 2020-21. We should be able to offload Russel pretty easily if we retain 2 million even with a 10 team list. It wasn’t a smart move but I don’t think it will be as a big of an anchor as people think. Hopefully one of the young D will be pushing him out by then.

  10. JD_Wry says:

    Pescador: I wasn’t born an asshole,

    I don’t think anybody is. I know I have to work at it every day, and some times I have to add alcohol for a little extra boost.

    Dinks, well that’s a different matter entirely. You can be born a dink.

  11. deardylan says:

    KARMA BOOMERANG

    We are 10 points out of a wildcard spot and today in the Mock Draft Oilers selected Andrei Svechnikov.

    We traded him right away to the Islanders for their 2 first round picks…Evan Bouchard RD and Jacob Oloffson LC. Thanks Calgary for making the playoffs!

    Check out EB and JO on LT’s recent post:
    https://lowetide.ca/2018/01/15/the-31-best-players-in-the-2018-draft/

    Years later Svechnikov would be talked about on Islanders hockey boards for years and years like we talk about Reinhart-1st round debacle

  12. OriginalPouzar says:

    hags9k:
    Extend Russell,

    I agree that they are not dead yet. Plenty of time to light torches and pitchfork GMs once they are mathematically eliminated.Keep the faith, not many believers out there at the moment..

    Even I don’t imagine that they will make the playoffs (if I’m being realistic) but I will definitely be in front of the TV on Saturday night watching them play like every other game night/day and I will be cheering for a win.

    When the wins don’t come, I dream of the draft. Silver linings!

    Go Oilers

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    Fuge Udvar:
    Younger Oil,

    All reports at the time were saying we were picking Svechnikov in that spot. Even if we didn’t trade those picks we would never have had Barzal. I see people saying this all the time

    This may be true but that does’t relieve the management and scouting team of culpability.

    The question to ask is why they wouldn’t have drafted Barzal who had fallen in the draft.

    On the other end, why did he fall (injury plus WJCH)? Its not like we were going to be the only team to pass on him as he slid.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Fuge Udvar: It turns into a partial NMC after next year. After that Russel submits a list of 10 teams for 2019-20 season and a 15 team list in 2020-21. We should be able to offload Russel pretty easily if we retain 2 million even with a 10 team list. It wasn’t a smart move but I don’t think it will be as a big of an anchor as people think. Hopefully one of the young D will be pushing him out by then.

    1) We need the cap space (and the improvement in the 2nd pair) next year. I’m patient and we’ll have to wait for it but it would be nice to have some more flexibility this off-season

    2) Signing a player to a 4 year contract thinking that is tradeable in 2 years if half the cap hit is retained is the sign of a bad contract.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar: This may be true but that does’t relieve the management and scouting team of culpability.

    The question to ask is why they wouldn’t have drafted Barzal who had fallen in the draft.

    On the other end, why did he fall (injury plus WJCH)?Its not like we were going to be the only team to pass on him as he slid.

    Just think if they had the internet in the 80’s. Nearly 40 years ago every team in the NHL could be crying why didn’t they pick Messier.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Every draft – I mean why did every team pass of Colton Parayko 2 or 3 times back in 2012?

  17. meanashell11 says:

    OriginalPouzar: 1) We need the cap space (and the improvement in the 2nd pair) next year.I’m patient and we’ll have to wait for it but it would be nice to have some more flexibility this off-season

    2) Signing a player to a 4 year contract thinking that is tradeable in 2 years if half the cap hit is retained is the sign of a bad contract.

    Again, there is a lockout coming. There will be buyout opportunities where we can get out of these handcuffs.

    As for the rest of the season, if I am being realistic they are not going to make it but I will still watch every game!

  18. Snowman says:

    The fact is not every team passed on Barzal. In fact, at the top of the draft you can argue a lot of those players were good picks for where they were taken. There are definitely a few teams that whiffed before Barzal was picked. But you cannot say that every team passed.

    NYI didn’t pass. They moved up to get him.

    And yes you can say that the Oilers were going to take Ek or Svechnikov. You can also still ask why they didn’t have Barzal in that spot. It’s a reasonable question. It should be asked.

    You should especially be asking that if you are the GM of a team with a spotty drafting record.

    It’s ok to question why the Oilers weren’t going to take Barzal and also acknowledge that some other teams failed to identify him. If the Oilers aren’t having a big pow-wow to figure out why they miss when they do than they really are a horribly run organization who deserves what it gets.

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    meanashell11: Again, there is a lockout coming. There will be buyout opportunities where we can get out of these handcuffs.

    As for the rest of the season, if I am being realistic they are not going to make it but I will still watch every game!

    Again, signing a contract with the hope that there will be the opportunity to get out from under it about half way through is a bad signing.

    To the immediate point, yes, probably a lockout – not for sure (you never know) but probably.

    Lets say there is a lockout, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the agreed upon CBA will include compliance buyouts – that was negotiated in the past but may not be part of the new CBA. If it is, maybe there is only one permitted and maybe we want to use that on Lucic. Maybe there negotiated terms don’t let the team off the hook completely, etc.

    Anyways, the fact that 3 months in to the contract (as was predicted immediately upon signing) we are looking for ways to get out of it shows that it was a bad signing.

    Some have the position that “the Russell contract” isn’t the problem but its the Lucic contract or the Drai contract, etc.

    Fair enough but its another factor in the cap issues and it was signed with full knowledge of the cap crunch coming up and after the other contracts were on the books – it piled on at a time where the organization could not afford it.

  20. Lowetide says:

    Barzal developed into the player he is today, I never see much credit being given to him for those steps. Whatever the reason for his fall in the draft (it wasn’t math, I had him No. 8) it seemed to be somewhat universal in that he was passed on by several teams.

    The Oilers have a talent gap, at the NHL level and bubbling under. The Islanders trade is part of the reason for it, along with all the other 2015 draft trades andthe insane 2014 draft. The club is going to have to dig out from under. Waivers, draft, astute trades. Patience. Is PC the guy for that job?

  21. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide: The Oilers have a talent gap, at the NHL level and bubbling under………The club is going to have to dig out from under. Waivers, draft, astute trades. Patience. Is PC the guy for that job?

    The guy that was at the helm for when the talent gap was stripped and thereby kneecapped the ceiling of how good this team could be, is going to be the one who repairs it?

    Not sure how, but Id love to see it. As much as I would like to see the cannon loaded, Id much rather see the ship righted even if it means its still with Chia. Just want to see the team win.

    If its Chia or whoever, moving forward, the Oiler GM sure has less wiggle room for mistakes in trades, UFA signings, RFA signings and drafting than when Chia took over right after the McDavid lottery win.

  22. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Lowetide: Is PC the guy for that job?

    frjohnk: If its Chia or whoever, moving forward, the Oiler GM sure has less wiggle room for mistakes in trades, UFA signings, RFA signings and drafting than when Chia took over right after the McDavid lottery win.

    I’ve given PC rope but I am seriously wondering now if he has any idea what/who helps winning. As many have commented he likes trading away his best players. He won’t trade Connor but it takes more than one guy to win in hockey.

  23. Extend Russell says:

    This in from a hawks fan/moderator

    Honestly it’s getting ridiculous when certain “fans” in groups on Facebook are b*tching about how it’s Toews fault the Hawks are struggling. Well how about looking everywhere else on the team and the fact Crow is hurt. Funny how our fanbase can turn on our players and want to get rid of them all of a sudden like winning cups doesn’t matter anymore. To you fans who blame our captain and the guys who brought us a cup you can just leave and bandwagon someone else.

    Also, props to #LooseCanon for the #dank assist. #thank homie

    I take a small amount of pleasure in knowing it’s not just happening here
    Hawks will be fine
    Oil will be fine.

    Ottawa? Nsm

  24. OmJo says:

    Thinker: In fact very few adult men are that size.

    Lol hey, I’m that size 🙁

    Well, an inch taller and 2lbs heavier.

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