The NHL chronicles its history via awards, post-season All-Star teams and Stanley Cups. Each of these measurements are important and all of them rely heavily on individual greatness and peak performance. Last night, in the flashiest place on earth, Connor McDavid continued his assault on all available hardware.
“To the city if Edmonton, we’ll be back I promise.”
Give The Athletic as a gift or get it yourself and join the fun! Offer is here, less than $5 a month and your Dad will love a unique gift. I find myself reading both the hockey (Willis, Dellow, Pronman, et cetera) and the baseball coverage a lot, it’s compelling reading and a pure pleasure to visit. I’ll be running draft articles for my contribution to The Athletic now through next weekend, come aboard!
- New Lowetide: The maturation of Daryl Katz, or heading down a dangerous road?
- Lowetide: Oilers top 10 prospects in front of the 2018 draft.
- Jonathan Willis: The framework of a hypothetical Milan Lucic trade
- Mitch Brown: Tracking the best CHL blue in five data tracking categories
- Lowetide: A tough and important week for Peter Chiarelli
- Corey Pronman: 2018 Mock Draft.
- Jonathan Willis: Ranking the 2018 draft based on statistical performance.
- Lowetide: The WHL draft pool 2018: Where are the forwards?
- Lowetide: Can the Oilers repeat the 2017 draft haul?
- Lowetide: Embracing a two-way mentoring role key for Ryan Strome
- Lowetide: Oilers coveted righty defenceman could come in Round Two of the draft
- Tyler Dellow: Milan Lucic’s transition into rush player wiped out much production
- Lowetide: Shopping Milan Lucic for another problem contract.
- Tyler Dellow: The value of draft picks and reasonable trades Canadian teams can make
- Corey Pronman: 2018 NHL draft board.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the USHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Russia: A draft tragedy.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the Republic of Finland
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and Sweden.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the QMJHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers and the WHL.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers draft history and the OHL
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers and the NCAA.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: The Oilers at the draft: Overagers.
- Lowetide: Draft 2018: Oilers scouting directors: A history.
ART ROSS TROPHY
- 7 Wayne Gretzky (1981 to 1987)
- 2 Connor McDavid (2017, 2018)
CONN SMYTHE TROPHY
- 2 Wayne Gretzky (1985, 1988)
- 1 Mark Messier (1984)
- 1 Bill Ranford (1990)
- 8 Wayne Gretzky (1980 to 1987)
- 1 Mark Messier (1990)
- 1 Connor McDavid (2017)
- 5 Wayne Gretzky (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987)
- 2 Connor McDavid (2017, 2018)
- 1 Mark Messier (1990)
SHOPPING NO. 10 OVERALL
- Bob McKenzie: “As much as they’d be prepared, for the right player, to give up the 10th overall pick in the draft, they don’t see that player out there right now. Yeah, they’d like a right shot offensive defenceman. Everyone wants one of those. And Edmonton desperately needs one, but if they had a really good left shot offensive defenceman who became available, they’d certainly look at that too for that 10th pick or some other assets. That’s their number one priority, their number one goal is to try and get that. The guy they really want, I think, is not available. His name is Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators. A year left on his contract. David Poile’s number one priority is to extend him this summer. If he doesn’t get extended then he could perhaps become available but not in time for this weekend.”
Lots to unload here, notably the Oilers are shopping in a very nice neighbourhood (Ryan Ellis). As we get through today, if there is no trade involving a veteran, I do think the No. 10 overall selection becomes the pressure point.
Justin Faulk is available, maybe Tyson Barrie. My hope is the Oilers make the pick at No. 10, and see how this thing plays out over the next 12 months. Grab some wingers, a No. 4 center and a couple of penalty killers and you’re good to go.
My top 100 rankings for the NHL Draft is now available. Tell your friends.
— Blue Bullet Brad (@BlueBullet1981) June 20, 2018
Blue Bullet is a must read every year, fascinating process and worth looking back years later to see how things rhyme. He’s made a lot of astute predictions over the years.
HOW MANY GOALS?
How many goals from the Nuge-McDavid-Rattie line this season? I’m assuming Rattie doesn’t hold the job for the entire year, but his replacement will score some in his absence. Let’s say 80 goals, that’s 40 from 97, 25 from RNH and the rest for Rattie and company. Let’s say Leon Draisaitl spends the season with Matt Calvert and Jesse Puljujarvi. Let’s further say the trio scores 60 goals. That’s 140 goals on two lines. Question: Do you think think the rest of the Oilers roster will score 140 goals combined? What happens when McDavid is at rest is the single biggest problem with Peter Chiarelli’s Oilers. Here’s my quick and dirty ‘projected goals’ for next season. I have 215 goals listed, that’s shy by many.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins —Connor McDavid —Ty Rattie 
- Milan Lucic —Leon Draisaitl —Drake Caggiula 
- Jujhar Khaira —Ryan Strome —Jesse Puljujarvi 
- Pontus Aberg —Brad Malone —Zack Kassian 
- Oscar Klefbom —Adam Larsson 
- Andrej Sekera —Kris Russell 
- Darnell Nurse —Matt Benning 
- Cam Talbot3—Mikko Koskinen
No surprise that #NHLBruins have approached agent for Austin Czarnik about contract extension. 25-year-old has had terrific season with P-Bruins & could fill role in Boston next season. Can walk as UFA on July 1
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) April 27, 2018
Great season for Austin Czarnik, 3rd in AHL scoring with 25-44-69 in 64 gms. Jay Leach: 'He's really raised his level to a place that's very elite in this league. He's clearly shown that he's among the best here & at the same time he went up this yr & played very well in Boston'
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) April 16, 2018
The absence of alternatives clears the mind. Austin Czarnik is a free agent July 1 and I think a strong fit for this Oilers team. He’s a center by trade and is a righty, two things the Oilers can use. Boston has a ton of young players bubbling up, this is a perfect storm for a team like Edmonton to slide in and grab him in free agency.
CHIARELLI’S NEEDS LIST
- A scoring winger capable of sliding up and down the depth chart as required (Rattie insurance and a finisher for Leon’s line).
- A two-way winger who can provide veteran presence on the third line.
- A second-pairing defender (patience may require this solution arrives later).
- A backup goalie (Mikko Noskinen).
I don’t see the RHD for the power play as being the main priority, the Oilers clearly do based on all available verbal. If they get something done today I expect it’ll be on the defense.
CHIARELLI’S ASSETS LIST
- No. 10 overall. Moves up based on what the market is saying.
- Milan Lucic. No idea what the market might be, suspect he goes after July 1.
- Zack Kassian. He’s likely in a few conversations.
- Oscar Klefbom. The OEL signing has him moving down my list (from No. 1).
- Jesse Puljujarvi. He’s vulnerable, suspect they’ll regret dealing the big man.
- Ryan Strome. Oilers may want to reset that third line.
- Andrej Sekera. Injury unknown likely keeps him here.
- Kris Russell. NMC probably keeps him here.
- Cam Talbot. I don’t believe it but his name is out there.
Today is a big day. If we don’t hear anything about trades then it’ll either happen on the draft floor or sometime next week (possibly through salary dump and free agency).
Validation? Winning the Hart didn’t tell Taylor Hall anything that he didn’t already know – but it did validate further the fact the #Oilers made a giant mistake. On a night to forget for Edmonton: https://t.co/MSi1APHpjk #TSN pic.twitter.com/SrctcYDhAQ
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 21, 2018
I was happy to see Taylor Hall win the Hart last night, he’d earned it but isn’t the same as winning the award. Connor McDavid also earned the honor, but the NHL has weird rules and traditions passed down from scribe to scribe since Biblical times. I know there’s a ton of rage on both sides today, for me this was an outstanding result and a deserved result.
I also wanted to mention the awards show itself. I’ll admit to crying a river and ending up a mess during the Humboldt Broncos piece, absolutely devastating to see the images again. It was beautiful to see the healing, a hopeful moment in a tragic story that will never be forgotten. I thought Christina Haugan was so courageous, her speech was perfect for the moment. It must have been very difficult for her to read it, in that situation, but there was a lot of wisdom in her words. Heartbreaking.
Finally, a word about Adam Larsson. I made my opinion on the trade known long ago, but at this point it’s baffling to me why people hammer on the defenseman. He didn’t trade himself to Edmonton, and he is a productive NHL player. I’m all for leveling blame but please have the courage to aim your blows where they belong.
What you really hope, if you’re an Oilers fan, is the organization stays resolute in their plan and refuses to make a deal that bleeds more talent. It may be tempting to change the headline this morning, but that’s unwise if the deal is a net loss. As an example, Oscar Klefbom being dealt would be a very poor decision today unless an equal quality RHD with the same brilliant contract is coming back in return.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
If the Oilers are going to trade a roster player, suspect it happens today. I’ll be all over it on the Lowdown. At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Simon Boisvert, Prospect Insider. Simon will give us his opinion on the right pick for Montreal, Ottawa and Edmonton, plus look at some gems for the second round and later.
- Josh Eberley, Hoop Magazine. NBA draft tonight, Raptors looking to move into the top 10.
- Rob Vollman, ESPN and NHL.com. Rob will give us the best possible ways to get some cap room before July 1.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!