The Edmonton Oilers are heading to the deadline with a lot of balls in the air, according to general manager Peter Chiarelli. His media avail revealed little but there were a few worthy nuggets thrown out for the fan base to mull. One of the prime takeaways? If he’s being replaced in April, pretty clear the general manager is unaware of the coming storm.
- New Lowetide: Oscar Klefbom in danger entering offseason
- New Jonathan Willis: Peter Chiarelli hints at larger trades
- New Jonathan Willis: Kris Russell the right choice for trade
- Lowetide: Is speed the new size in Edmonton?
- Lowetide: Ethan Bear making things happen in Bakersfield
- Lowetide: Nic Petan leads some AHL achievers who could help the Oilers
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Oilers draft history and the OHL
COMING INTO LOS ANGELES, YEAR OVER YEAR
- February 2016: 3-8-0, goal differential -10 (6 points)
- February 2017: 5-6-0, goal differential -3 (10 points)
- February 2018: 3-7-1, goal differential -7 (7 points)
- February 25, 2016: Los Angeles 2, Edmonton 1 (Source)
- February 28, 2017: Edmonton 2, St. Louis 1 (Source)
The last time Edmonton hit California things didn’t go well. The goaltending is a little more settled now, and of course the three teams are pushing in the Pacific Division. There is little separation between Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose as days go down, so a loss to the Oilers by any of these teams would be a dagger. If the visitors are to be effective in a spoiler role, then two wins over the next few days would be required. A tall order.
AFTER 60, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 22-32-6, goal differential -42 (50 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 32-20-8, goal differential +17 (72 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 25-31-4, goal differential -30 (54 points)
- February 23, 2016: Ottawa 4, Edmonton 1 (Source)
- February 22, 2017: Edmonton 4, Florida 3 (Source)
This year’s team could put some real daylight between themselves and the 15-16 team with a win tonight. Last year’s team is long gone and it won’t get any better. How bad is the gap? The 2015-16 team went 9-11-2 to finish 31-43-8, 70 points. Last year’s team went 15-6-1 to finish 47-26-9, 103 points. This year’s team has shown a baffling inability to get on a winning run so 20 points in 22 games (the 15-16 route) is the reasonable expectation.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FEBRUARY
- At home to: Colorado, Tampa Bay (Expected 0-1-1) (Actual 1-0-1)
- On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-3-0)
- At home to: Florida (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
- On the road to: Vegas, Arizona, Colorado (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-2-0)
- At home to: Boston, Colorado (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
- On the road to: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected 0-2-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 5-6-3, 13 points in 14 games
- Current results: 3-7-1, seven points in 11 games
Peter Chiarelli is proceeding with a plan and wanted to be clear there are no plans to blow up the roster. I hadn’t heard that rumor, but it was apparently something management wanted to make clear. Some comments.
- “There is interest in (Maroon and Letestu). We have talked to those two players about re-signing. These are two playoff-proven players from last year. They’re very versatile players. They bring a level of experience and expertise. There is interest there. I don’t like talking about players specifically in the trade context, but it’s a reality. There’s interest there so we’ll see where it goes.”
Surprising item on attempts to re-sign both men, I think we can see Letestu’s replacement (Jujhar Khaira) and Maroon exiting means increased speed likely inside the top-six forwards. There was chatter about getting young, NHL-ready types (the entry-level deals we have discussed) and I imagine it’ll come down to a choice between picks or prospects. Edmonton almost dealt Justin Schultz to the Los Angeles Kings for Nikolay Prokhorkin in 2016 before dealing him to Pittsburgh for the third-round selection that turned into Filip Berglund, that may be the kind of choice we’re talking about with these two UFA’s.
- “As far as hockey deals, we’re looking at a couple. I don’t know where they sit right now. There’s some larger action going on right now and we’re not in it.”
I’ll guess Ryan Strome and Matt Benning but these are guesses from the ‘pissing in the wind’ file. Edmonton making four moves before Monday deadline seems rich. Two? That seems right.
Condors into 7th. Need 26 points over 19 games. Simpson, Currie, Rattie, Bear all extend point streaks. 3 PPG’s. LB solid.
— Ryan Holt (@CondorsHolty) February 24, 2018
Bear is having a solid year, even with the injury issues that cost him a bunch of games. Could he receive a recall before season’s end? Possibly.
Your Spokane Chiefs starters tonight as they take on Prince George:
LW Ethan McIndoe
C Jaret Anderson-Dolan
RW Kailer Yamamoto
D Ty Smith
D Tyson Helgesen
— Spokane Chiefs (@spokanechiefs) February 24, 2018
One of the reasons I have Ty Smith ranked No. 5 on my 2018 draft list is that the offensive package is outstanding. He can defend, skate, pass beautifully and impact offense. We all have our favorites and there’s a pile of fine blue this time but that guy appears to be the real deal. Smith went 3-4-7 +7 last night in a huge game for the draft-eligible defender. Kailer Yamamoto was 1-2-3 +5 on the night.
- Yamamoto 2016-17: 65GP, 42-57-99 (1.52 points-per-game)
- Yamamoto 2017-18: 31GP, 17-35-52 (1.68 points-per-game)
- Yamamoto first 10 games: 1-8-9
- Yamamoto second 10 games: 7-11-18
- Yamamoto third 10 games: 8-14-22
I’m not sure he’ll get to 2.00 points-per-game but he’s having a terrific run now. Yamamoto turns pro this fall and will have an excellent chance to make the big club. I think Peter Chiarelli should do everything he can to force Yamamoto into the AHL, at least at the beginning of the year. Not as punishment, but rather in an effort to improve the overall depth of the organization. The recall quality of this year’s forwards is as poor as I’ve ever seen in this organization. It isn’t all on Chiarelli, that 2014 draft was a strange one, but having an extra offensive winger on the farm with NHL ability would be a wise choice for Edmonton in 2018-19.
The Calgary Flames have deployed several players from their minor league team (the Stockton Heat) this year: Mark Jankowski, Andrew Mangiapane, Garnet Hathaway, Ryan Lomberg, Marek Hrivik among others. Several have performed very well once recalled. That should be the goal for the Oilers and it won’t happen in one summer.
A good start? Once Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson arrive in Bakersfield, play the hell out of them. They need the at-bats from Day 1.