The deadline is done, the job openings are known to all and now it’s a horse race. This Edmonton Oilers team is so blessed with elite talent, finding the complementary pieces should be easy. That is the lesson of this season, friends. There was a time in this city when we talked about someday, when the best talent in the league would once again wear the blue and orange. We are here. Now that the Aces and Kings are on the roster, the Oilers are stumbling on the sixes and sevens and nines. Time to find some helpers. Starting now.
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- New Lowetide: Maroon dealt.
- New Jonathan Willis: Oilers quietly disappointing deadline.
- New Lowetide: Letestu dealt, Aberg acquired.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA
DIONNE WARWICK’S SAN JOSE, YEAR OVER YEAR
- February 2016: 3-10-0, goal differential -12 (6 points)
- February 2017: 6-6-0, goal differential -2 (12 points)
- February 2018: 5-7-1, goal differential -6 (11 points)
- February 28, 2018: Edmonton 3, NY Islanders 1 (Source)
- February 2017 schedule completed
Amazing recovery from this year’s group in February, final game could give the team more points in February than any other McLellan crew (in two more games than last year’s Oil). This swing through California has been half daredevil, half sunshine. Will we see the same tonight?
AFTER 62, YEAR OVER YEAR
- Oilers 15-16: 22-34-6, goal differential -46 (50 points)
- Oilers 16-17: 33-21-8, goal differential +17 (74 points)
- Oilers 17-18: 27-31-4, goal differential -29 (58 points)
- February 26, 2016: Anaheim 2, Edmonton 1 (OT) (Source)
- February 26, 2017: Nashville 5, Edmonton 4 (Source)
There was always a gigantic opportunity for this year’s Oilers to regress toward something respectable. A win tonight would put this group at 60 points after 63 games. That’s disappointing overall would mark a nice spike in fortunes after Valentine’s Day.
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 2-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 5-6-3, 13 points in 14 games
- Current results: 5-7-1, 11 points in 13 games
In the last five games, Edmonton is 4-1-0. That’s a nice little run, wonder if they can keep it going? I think Todd McLellan will coach to win right through the end of the season. Six weeks is a long time to push for wins with no hope of the postseason, though.
The Oilers have all kinds of room now for waiver pickups through the end of the season. I’ll have an item up at The Athletic today or tomorrow focusing on the members of this list who are bound for moving on. Nine unrestricted and 11 restricted free agents means 40 percent of this roster is vulnerable even before the Nugent-Hopkins and Klefbom trades. I kid. Probably. Possible lines, when all are healthy and available (next fall):
- It’s been awhile since I updated this, thought it might be a good idea with the new hires coming in. 30 points is a good number.
- Kailer Yamamoto’s number has spiked since our last look, good to see. I know he isn’t everyone’s favorite prospect but those boxcars are in a terrific league.
- Kirill Maksimov and Tyler Benson are showing well, encouraging numbers for both men. Benson cooled off from a strong start but is still hovering around 30 points.
- Those three names (KY, Maksimov and Benson) are the prominent forward prospects at this time. I like Safin and hope he joins the list next 30.
- New addition JD Dudek is well down the list, Tyler Vesel would be a more likely summer signing. Dudek may spike next year (as a senior), suspect Edmonton will give him another year with Boston College before signing him (or not).
- Ethan Bear is playing some good hockey and the numbers suggest his offense has come with him from junior. Bob Stauffer mentioned a possible cup of coffee with the big club by season’s end.
- Filip Berglund is emerging as a solid SHL defender. Averaging 16:52 a night and posting some crooked numbers. We may not see him in the fall, but 2019 might be a different story.
- Dmitri Samorukov has spiked nicely through the season, he’s a legit prospect.
- Caleb Jones has had an uneven season, I think he’ll progress more next season. I’m not sure if he is lagging behind Bear but the underlying numbers aren’t as pristine. Sometimes that’s luck and I remain bullish on the young man.
RAY SHERO LIKES REDUCED PRICES
- Shero: “This was more of a ‘last 10 minutes’ basically. Patrick Maroon we know well, he was on our list. But with any player that was available, there’s a certain price point asset-wise that we’re comfortable with. That price seemed to come down, and that third-round pick is in 2019, so we have 16 months to recoup that, or if Anaheim re-signs Adam Henrique, we can get their pick.” (NJ.com)
The price on Maroon fell in the waning moments of deadline crunch and that happens. Could Peter Chiarelli have gotten more for him Saturday? Maybe, but it would have been hard to anticipate all of the deals stacked up right at the end. I received a mountain of feedback re: My Maroon article at The Athletic yesterday. Most of it defending the general manager and expressing satisfaction with the return. I felt expecting a first-round selection was unrealistic but a 2019 third rounder (for me) was not enough. From my item at The Athletic:
- The prospect in the deal would not rank among the 20-best in Edmonton’s rather modest pipeline at this time, meaning the organization has a good chance (25-to-32 percent from the draft pick odds) of getting no return on Maroon’s rental value. Chiarelli entered trade deadline day with a significant trade chip and a chance to change the narrative. If there was a deal out there that could have changed the conversation, he was unable to find it. Source
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy, short show (done at 11:30 for le hockey) today, 10 this morning on TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Pierre Lebrun, The Athletic and TSN. Trade deadline, who won?
- Darren Dreger, TSN. Where do the contenders go from here?
- Scott Cullen, TSN. Drilling down on the McDonagh and Kane deals.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter.