You Never can Tell

The Edmonton Oilers signed Ty Rattie yesterday. It’s a fabulous opportunity for the player, who has been trying to get a regular gig in the NHL since the fall of 2013. Rattie had a rather short audition but the Oilers are bringing him back for 2018-19. He won’t be the only option for McDavid’s right-wing but he will be the most cost effective.


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  • Ty Rattie is an important signing in that it gives some cover for the right-wing position. Plenty of work to do at the position—ideally there’s so much depth Kailer Yamamoto is forced to Bakersfield—and I do think one veteran addition is required at this spot.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jujhar Khaira are listed here as left-wingers, possible based on the team’s current depth chart. That leaves an opening at 4C, Bob Stauffer has been mentioning Derek Ryan quite a bit this spring.
  • Edmonton needs more forwards who can play successfully away from the puck. Remember Radek Dvorak? Fernando Pisani? Shawn Horcoff? A couple of those forwards will help this group enormously.
  • I’m not against acquiring a RHD this summer, I just think the cost will be too dear.


  • The McDavid line appears here as it ended the season. I’m not certain Rattie can hold the job and the organization will likely attempt to add a veteran, but the signing makes a lot of sense even if the trio lasts 25 games next season. Edmonton needs to find as many skill guys who can play with 97 as possible—and paying them less than $1 million a year is ideal.
  • The Draisaitl line should be able to push the river, I’d look for two new linemates for the big man. His passes are sublime, ideally the team could find a shooter to run with him. James Neal? JVR? I don’t think the Oilers have enough heavy heavy fuel to get that done.
  • The Strome line as above is intriguing, they just didn’t score enough. Ideally, one of McDavid or Draisaitl takes Puljujarvi under their wing beginning in the fall. JP has responsibility too, of course, I wonder how great the disconnect between player and coaches on the calibre of his shot. JP can hammer it but takes a lot of time to release. Is there a way to speed it up?
  • Klefbom—Larsson is a strong combination because the two men complement each other’s skills. Larsson can shut it down and Klefbom can lug that puck out with style.
  • Nurse—Benning would be my choice for second pairing, at least until Sekera establishes he’s back to 100 percent. I’m not sure Nurse can anchor a second pairing but he had several months of quality play in 2017-18.
  • Sekera—Russell would be a strong third pairing if Rej is healthy, in my opinion. Sekera has taken a lot of criticism for his 5×4 play but he’s terrific with fewer men on the ice. I think he and Klefbom can probably handle the power play minutes next season and would rather see that tried than some wacky trade for a RHD with power-play chops.
  • Cam Talbot should regress but I would get him a strong option to serve as insurance and perhaps push the starter.


Bakersfield ended its season last night, in the last couple of weeks the team found the range offensively and made the playoff race interesting. Some strong performances last night from prospects:

  • Joe Gambardella scored again, added an assist and finishes his rookie pro season 50, 13-6-19. He has a strong two-way reputation and the late season offensive spark breathes some life into his prospect status.
  • Dmitri Samorukov had an assist, finishing 5, 0-2-2 in his audition. Samorukov was drafted out of the OHL, so will be heading back to junior next season. Based on reports, he looked very capable at the AHL level. A good arrow.
  • Cooper Marody played well enough to create a buzz among Oilers fans currently. He finished 1-2-3 and was dangerous in each game. Like Gambardella, we should at least allow for the possibility he spends some time in Edmonton next season.
  • Tyler Vesel doesn’t have a contract but showed well (11, 3-3-6) in his pro audition. All three goals came in the final four games, suggesting he found the range. I wonder if the Oilers attempt to sign Vesel to an AHL deal.
  • Ethan Bear had two assists, finishing his AHL rookie season 37, 6-12-18 (NHLE: 19.4). I think he’ll start next season in the minors but there’s a player here. I love his passing ability 5×5, was less enamored with the power-play work, although relying on a rookie to fix an addled power play is a poor idea. I’m pleased with his season.
  • Laurent Brossoit stopped 22 of 23 last night and finishes the year 29, 2.68 and 9.12. I have zero idea what the plan might be for Brossoit and what the player might want for his own future.

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208 Responses to "You Never can Tell"

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  1. NYC-Back-to-Tokyo Oil (Gentleman Backpacker) says:

    How great would it be if Bear is the next Werenski or Gostisbehere?

    It would be great, but he is not as talented as either of those two . By the way, Werenski is more well-rounded than the offensively talented Ghost.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:


    – There is a lot of merit to signing him to the bridge, at sub $3MM for two years

    – Then you have both more cap room, and either he continues to develop and you sign him longer term when Russel/Sek are gone, or trade him later on

    – Given cap growth, I think he costs more than Klef or Larsson at $4.166/year long-term.It’s a tough call: you hurt the dynamics of the team if Nurse is a $5MM guy (and used less than those 2), but if he gets better, he is going to cost more.

    I don’t disagree that there is merit to signing him to bridge for 2 years at a lower cap hit – in fact, I don’t even think its that much of a risk as I don’t think we’ll see his offence spike much higher than it did this year (unless he becomes a PP guy).

    With that said, the issue is the cap hit – less than $3M is unreasonable in my opinion based on his progression and his year. He played top minutes against top competition for a large part of the year and often with very little help behind him on the left side (an injured Klefbom and then not even that).

    400 of those minutes were with Kris Russell on his off-side (I would say about half of those were top pairing minutes when Larsson was out).

    No, he is not a finished product and there are still warts to his have and developing to do, however, I believe that less than $3M, in today’s game, is almost an insult to the player.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    Gret99zky: Yes.That’s why $3.9M is the starting point in negotiations, not the ceiling.Any team would give up a 2nd round pick for Nurse at this price.

    He will probably cost the Oilers between $4-4.5M even on a bridge deal.

    This talk of $2.5M or $3.3M is fantasy.


    Could Chiarelli win a Nurse trade?

    Agreed – anything below $3M really is unreasonable in my mind.

  4. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar: Agreed – anything below $3M really is unreasonable in my mind.

    – Maybe your right, and that is what my gut told me but this article laid out the precedent transactions for Trouba, Dumba, Murray, etc, all who bridged sub-$3MM (I reposted as it was on other page).

    – If the bridge is well north of $3MM, then for sure he wouldn’t have agreed to a Klef/Larsson deal, and $5MM+ longer-term is too much IMO

    – There is less negociation and leverage the players have on the bridge…

  5. godot10 says:

    Teams didn’t offer sheet Trouba because Winnipeg had room to easily match. This summer it will be more difficult for Winnipeg to match. Trouba could and should attract an offer sheet.

    The Oilers are tight to the cap. Nurse could and should attract an offer sheet, particularly since the draft compensation in his salary range is not onerous.

  6. OriginalPouzar says:

    I can’t imagine Nurse getting offered (and signing) an offer sheet that so high they wouldn’t (or couldn’t match) – I simply don’t see an offer sheet coming over $4M or so and that would be matched by the Oilers without hesitation.

    Kinger, thanks for the link and there is so good comparable info there but, without offence to Patrick (who I respect), those are very surface comparisons.

    I’m quite certain that Trouba and Dumba received PP time that would help with their boxcars (whereas Darnell’s offence was all at evens and he was top 40). Also, I can’t say this with any sort of certainty but my guess is that Nurse played tougher minutes this year than they did during the last year’s of their ELCs.

    They are definitely strong comparables for our management to point to. I still think the contract likely has a cap hit starting with a four.

  7. deardylan says:

    Brantford Boy,

    Are you in Thailand or going there?

  8. deardylan says:

    Professor Q: Or if they were like the Titans and came up a yard short (post miss in OT in Finals Game 7).

    Will check out those highlights! yard short and post miss in OT game 7.. Life really is a game of inches!

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