Blue Sky (Eat a Peach)

This is the point in summer where we have three things to argue over and nerves get a little raw. We state opinion as fact and wait for someone to challenge, then we’re off! One of the things I claim around this point is that we can predict opening night if we try. Can we?

THE ATHLETIC!

Give The Athletic as a gift or get it yourself and join the fun! Offer is here, less than $4 a month! I find myself reading both the hockey (Willis, Dellow, Pronman, et cetera) and the baseball coverage a lot, it’s a pure pleasure to visit. We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge.

PROJECTED 2017-18 ROSTER (AUGUST 1, 2017)

I projected the opening night roster on August 1 a year ago (here) and the actual opening night roster is here. I missed on two players: Kailer Yamamoto and Iiro Pakarinen made the roster, while my roster had three players who didn’t make the cut: Anton Slepyshev (on a rehab so technically a roster player), Ryan Stanton and Jesse Puljujarvi. You never know.

A lot can change in a year, my projection included Laurent Brossoit, Eric Gryba, Yohann Auvitu, Anton Slepyshev, Mark Letestu, Patrick Maroon and Jussi Jokinen. Losing teams are in perpetual motion, that’s a bad thing.

PROJECTED OILERS 2018-19 OPENING NIGHT ROSTER

  • I have 13 forwards, 8 defencemen, 2 goalies. We could see three goalies, the roster looks quiet fluid from here.
  • The Oilers could still make a trade.
  • I doubt Drake Caggiula will be on the fourth line but Jujhar Khaira was far more productive so we’ll slot him there.
  • For the second year in a row, I have Kailer Yamamoto on the outside looking in. I am not confident in this coming true.
  • There’s a chance the Oilers will have an extended roster for the Euro trip but if I recall correctly the team still has to declare their opening night roster.
  • Tobias Rieder is manna from heaven, ladies.

PROJECTED CONDORS 2017-18 ROSTER

  • I’ll get to this year’s list in a second, but wanted to run last year’s and count the actual prospects.
  • My list has Nick Ellis, Caleb Jones, William Lagesson, Ziyat Paigin, Ethan Bear, Ryan Mantha, Joe Gambardella. That’s seven.
  • Lagesson didn’t come over, and the rest struggled with injury or poor play.
  • Ethan Bear had a good season, after that it was not good. Ryan Mantha is at an early career crossroads, Nick Ellis retired, Ziyat Paigin r-u-n-o-f-t to Russia. Lordy that’s not much for a winter from your farm team.

PROJECTED BAKERSFIELD 2018-19 ROSTER

  • The Condors are going to be a better team than last year, even if they don’t win many games in the strong Pacific Division.
  • The forwards are mostly prospects, welcome news and something that has been a rare occurrence for the Oilers (not so much for the Jets or Lightning).
  • A big season for guys like Cameron Hebig, Tyler Vesel and Nolan Vesey. There looks to be room on skill lines for at least one, maybe two. Can Vesey push Joe Gambardella out of the way? Will Hebig get power-play time ahead of some of the draft picks?
  • Cooper Marody, Tyler Benson and Kailer Yamamoto look to be the feature forwards among the group entering pro this fall.
  • Caleb Jones will have some pressure on him this winter after a tough debut pro season. Ethan Bear had a more promising year and could get more NHL team this season. I’m worried about Ryan Mantha.
  • The most intriguing newcomer among defenders is William Lagesson. He could surprise and jump over some of these other prospects.
  • Goalies are kind of out there now, I placed Al Montoya in the AHL although he hasn’t played there since 2010-11.
  • I count as legit prospects Caleb Jones, William Lagesson, Ethan Bear, Ryan Mantha, Tyler Benson, Joe Gambardella, Cooper Marody, Kailer Yamamoto, Tyler Vesel, Cameron Hebig, Stuart Skinner, Dylan Wells. That’s 12, the goalies are listed below. Oilers need more than a dozen legit prospects each year, but this is a real improvement from last summer.
  • Jay Woodcroft is one of the most important men in the organization.

PROJECTED 2018-19 WICHITA THUNDER

  • Ostap Safin is likely to play in Bakersfield if he stays in pro, but I think he’ll return for another year in the QMJHL.
  • Justin Lemcke was a quality junior, I’ll be following his progress this season.
  • Evan Polei likely spends most of his time in the AHL but there’s going to be more competition so someone is going to lose out on playing time.
  • Both goalies are turning pro and may play a lot in Wichita. Devan Dubnyk played 43 ECHL games straight out of junior (.921).

FLASHBACK: OCTOBER 9, 2015 IN BAKERSFIELD

I’ll count this as the best opening night roster for the Condors in recent seasons. Leon Draisaitl and Darnell Nurse didn’t spend much time in California, but were there for some opening games. Beyond the two high draft picks, I’d count Laurent Brossoit, David Musil, Joey Laleggia, Jordan Oesterle, Bogdan Yakimov, Kyle Platzer, Jujhar Khaira, Andrew Miller, Iiro Pakarinen and Tyler Pitlick as legit prospects. Maybe this year’s team will be better.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

We’re back, baby! I enjoy holidays but prefer working, that’s a fact. At 10 this morning, TSN 1260, scheduled to appear:

  • Mark Zecchino from Golf Talk Canada. A fascinating Open and a new major winner!
  • Dan Ralph, Canadian Press. A blockbuster CFL trade involving Johnny Football.
  • Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Back to work Eskimos, can Tiger win again?

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

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149 Responses to "Blue Sky (Eat a Peach)"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    I agree with the 23 man roster as I think they will carry 8 d-men while Bouchard is on the roster (assuming he is on the roster through Europe and the Eastern road trip).

    Yamamoto could force himself in there but the only real option to get re-assigned would be Rattie. We know Drake is going anywhere and Aberg is just too cheap.

    I suppose Stanton and Lowe could give Gravel a run for an extra D spot.

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    I agree about William Lagesson.

    I was impressed with him at rookie camp last year and, from all accounts, he had a wonderful season in Sweden this past year, earning the trust of his coach and increasing his minutes materially.

    He is a good skater and passer for a mainly defensive d-man.

    He has played pro hockey now as well which should help.

    Of course, he shouldn’t take much time to re-acclimatize to the North American dimensions.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    What a wonderful thing it is to to see the projected Condors roster and see real prospects on there and more than just one and in more than just one position.

    No, there are not any “can’t miss” prospects in the list but the depth of “real prospects” in the organization is increasing and that is key. The organization does not need all these prospects to “make it” but just one or two over the next few years and some consistency in graduation.

    Next year will be another big influx of talent – Maksimov, Safin (if he doesn’t play in the AHL this season), Samorukov, McLeod, Berglund, Bouchard (potentially).

  4. 36 percent body fat says:

    too much money spent on the 4th line,

    Wells start in ECHL, no need for skinner to go pro.

    Safin in AHL instead of Christoffer, lets not keep chasing Euro talent out.

  5. Richard S.S. says:

    Until Darnell Nurse’s Agent decides to sign, the Oilers could do very well without him.
    Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
    Andrej Sekera – Evan Bouchard
    Kris Russell – Matthew Benning
    Kevin Gravel.
    They will be better with him, but there’s no rush to sign the Agent’s desired contract. We could debate the merits of Nurse’s talent, but there is no way he gets to be the highest paid D on this Team.

  6. Jaxon says:

    Such a minor quibble, but I think I’d have Hebig on the 3rd line ahead of either Vesey or Russell.

    Potential Injury Call-ups, Position-dependent:
    Marody C/W
    Yamamoto RW
    Bear RD
    Lowe LD
    Benson LW
    Montoya G

    Oh yeah, and sign Tristen Nielsen!

  7. deardylan says:

    Yes, another week of life! Wishing you all at LT a productive week doing what you love, connecting with others who you love and bringing your A+ game to the world so you hit the highest part of your own statistical bell curve. #thegameoflife

  8. BONE207 says:

    Blue sky, eating peaches (nectarines) & watching Bugs Bunny. Yup…sounds like my kind of summer.

    Connor is manna from heaven. Tobias may be reliable & plug a hole that we wanted from Pouliot & others.
    Jay Woodcroft…his coaching will certainly come under scrutiny. Let’s hope that prospects blossom.

  9. anjinsan says:

    Lucic at 2 LW? Why? He can’t keep up. Glaring high-end GM hockey IQ error that will clang and bang on in the chain dragged by Chiarelli’s ghost of trades and signings past.

  10. Bank Shot says:

    36 percent body fat:
    too much money spent on the 4th line,

    Wells start in ECHL, no need for skinner to go pro.

    Safin in AHL instead of Christoffer,lets not keep chasing Euro talent out.

    Safin had one point in nine AHL games last season. Seems like another year of junior could be good for him.

    Also its a great place for kids. They can focus solely on hockey.

    Bakersfield is a shithole anyway. He won’t miss it.

  11. Scungilli Slushy says:

    anjinsan:
    Lucic at 2 LW?Why?He can’t keep up. Glaring high-end GM hockey IQ error that will clang and bang on in the chain dragged by Chiarelli’s ghost of trades and signings past.

    He did have good possession numbers, he’s a player type that if the team wants to attract and/or keep players of his rep has to be given opportunity to prove himself before demotion.

    The other side to this is that if his puck luck returns, his SH% approaches career levels, he will be far easier to move. A decent scoring Lucic is still a player many teams/GMs want.

    I hope he recovers his game to a decent level and contributes. They can find him a US zip code or have a player doing what they hired him for.

    I also don’t think he’s slow, he’s just not quick at that weight. If he has linemates that play normal NHL hockey he’ll benefit from it. I think erratic young players harm him in that he doesn’t have the agility and first step to react to unexpected play or constant broken plays.

    Maybe he’s done, I hope not and the possession numbers suggest he’s still doing good things. Hopefully the new coaches realize what he can do and put in a place to do it. Moving that contract would be yuge.

  12. jm363561 says:

    “Losing teams are in perpetual motion, that’s a bad thing.”

    Interesting comment, which you sense is probably correct. Are there cold hard facts to support this?
    ==
    P.S. Every time I see the projected roster I get the sense of impending doom. Across North America 20+ sets of fans are likely projecting bounce backs, break outs, better health, better coaching, yada yada yada. IMHO the only reason for optimism is that a year ago the Oilers were second favourites for the Cup and Vegas were not even in the conversation. Two years ago the Oilers were not even in the conversation. So who knows? (When we look back a year from now maybe we will see that locking up 13F / super sniper Drake Caggiula for two x $1.5m was the Chia master stroke that turned the tide ……. hahaha.)

  13. Richard S.S. says:

    1) A very sucessful Draft is usually a very lucky draft as well. Just drafting well may not be enough.
    2) Milan Lucic might want to be traded. The Oilers might want to trade him. Some people think he can be an important piece for this Team going forward. Others will disagree. The only way to maximize Milan Lucic’s value is to hope last year was an outlier. Best place to make sure it’s possible is 2LW.
    3) Teams trade players/players’contracts for just two reason, gain Cap Space/Floor or with an upgrade coming back. Sometimes it’s both. Trading someone who can do neither is foolish.

  14. defmn says:

    //For the second year in a row, I have Kailer Yamamoto on the outside looking in. I am not confident in this coming true.//

    I agree that this will be one of the battles that makes TC interesting to watch. If he wins a spot on the team on merit and still gets sent to Bakersfield I would consider that a sign of progress for this team just because it would show that depth is starting to form.

    My guess is 20 games in California.

  15. bendelson says:

    Boy, did I wear the hell out of my ‘Eat a Peach for Peace’ concert t-shirt from the early nineties…
    One of my favourite shows, to be sure… a strange but friendly mix of university students, hippies and bikers – all there to bask in the aura that was Greg Allman. Music!

  16. Professor Q says:

    deardylan:
    Yes, another week of life!Wishing you all at LT a productive week doing what you love, connecting with others who you love and bringing your A+ game to the world so you hit the highest part of your own statistical bell curve. #thegameoflife

    I’m on holidays, so I doubt I’ll be productive. Yet I share and wish the same sentiments and all the best to all.

  17. Professor Q says:

    bendelson:
    Boy, did I wear the hell out of my ‘Eat a Peach for Peace’ concert t-shirt from the early nineties…
    One of my favourite shows, to be sure… a strange but friendly mix of university students, hippies and bikers – all there to bask in the aura that was Greg Allman.Music!

    And you didn’t even have to move to the country?

  18. Pescador says:

    Richard S.S.:
    1) A very sucessful Draft is usually a very lucky draft as well.Just drafting well may not be enough.
    2) Milan Lucic might want to be traded.The Oilers might want to trade him.Some people think he can be an important piece for this Team going forward.Others will disagree.The only way to maximize Milan Lucic’s value is to hope last year was an outlier.Best place to make sure it’s possible is 2LW.
    3) Teams trade players/players’contracts for just two reason, gain Cap Space/Floor or with an upgrade coming back.Sometimes it’s both.Trading someone who can do neither is foolish.

    Luck is important yes,
    but there is nothing ‘unlucky’ about drafting a coke machine with terrible skating &
    even worse offensive numbers

  19. Thorin says:

    You know, it always amazes me how much outreach the Oilers players do. I realize it’s to get people interested and invested, and to get players’ names on people’s lips outside of the rink, but in the Edmonton market I don’t know if that’s really needed. I mean, we recognize these players as they’re walking down the street, in restaurants, even on beaches in far-off lands. And yet, they still participate in outreach events.

    I am the parent of a child with autism who cannot handle large crowds and lots of noise. Their brain simply doesn’t filter out background noise from the important noise of the conversation they’re in. I’ve heard it described as having a flashlight shone in your eyes, but instead of light it’s noise in your ears.

    The Oilers have again sent players to help out with K-Days Monday Morning Magic, where children like mine can experience the midway with less noise and crowds. When they next run into a neurotypical child, they’ll be able to talk about the rides and midway with each other, erasing yet one more little difference that would otherwise mark them as “different”.

    I know at its heart, this is a business decision to increase visibility of new players and the Oilers brand as a whole, and that it is not entirely necessary in this hockey-crazy town. But that doesn’t stop it from being an absolutely positive experience for the kids, and I applaud the Oilers for being involved, as they do with so many other good causes.

  20. Pescador says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Until Darnell Nurse’s Agent decides to sign, the Oilers could do very well without him.
    Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
    Andrej Sekera – Evan Bouchard
    Kris Russell – Matthew Benning
    Kevin Gravel.
    They will be better with him, but there’s no rush to sign the Agent’s desired contract.We could debate the merits of Nurse’s talent, but there is no way he gets to be the highest paid D on this Team.

    Too soon to expect Bouchard to handle top 4 minutes,
    As soon as his agent stops pouting Nurse will sign his bridge contract.
    Darnell strikes me as the type to see it as a challenge, highly doubt he holds out.
    You’re wrong,
    The Dcore needs more NHL depth, not less

  21. --hudson-- says:

    jm363561:
    “Losing teams are in perpetual motion, that’s a bad thing.”

    Interesting comment, which you sense is probably correct. Are there cold hard facts to support this?

    Are they in perpetual motion because of losing or are they losing because of the perpetual motion?

  22. Pescador says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    What a wonderful thing it is to to see the projected Condors roster and see real prospects on there and more than just one and in more than just one position.

    No, there are not any “can’t miss” prospects in the list but the depth of “real prospects” in the organization is increasing and that is key. The organization does not need all these prospects to “make it” but just one or two over the next few years and some consistency in graduation.

    Next year will be another big influx of talent – Maksimov, Safin (if he doesn’t play in the AHL this season), Samorukov, McLeod, Berglund, Bouchard (potentially).

    I count the Admiral as can’t miss

  23. anjinsan says:

    Scungilli Slushy,

    All good points. But I see worse, not better, from Looch, for these reasons.
    There is no question as to his character. We know he’s trying his best.
    He’s a veteran and a mature leader so we know his mental composure is stout.
    He was given tons of opportunity to succeed.
    One can hope but if he was doing his best and he had lots of opportunity, then the facts speak for themselves, sadly and at very high cost.

  24. v4ance says:

    A number of posters have stated their opinions that Lucic will have a rebound year as if it’s a foregone conclusion. I’m not sure if we will even be able to trade him for a 7th round pick, if he continues his pattern of decline.

    By the numbers, he’s had 2 consecutive years where his 5v5 points have approached career lows. Last year, his 5v5 primary points was one of the lowest amongst the forwards on the team, even with most of the first half of the season on McDavid’s or Draisaitl’s wing. He was only scavenging points off the efforts of the two best offensive forwards on the team. His giveaways hit new career highs and his hits were way down from previous years.

    Using the eye test, he wasn’t physically engaged, he lost the puck battles almost immediately on most zone entries, he fumbled the puck on a majority of passes and he skated slower than molasses in winter.

    I know he’s a proud and competitive individual but when you lose your hands, your skating and your fire to compete on a game to game basis, AND you draw a salary of a first line winger? Well… this has “untradeable buyout proof” contract written all over it if he has a 3rd straight bad year.

    ***

    A ran acrosss a tidbit on twitter about the NYR team consistently selecting depth forwards who had tended to demonstrate higher than average career shooting percentages. The mindset being, they would collect the most accurate shooters they could find on the cheap so that even if they didn’t win the Corsi battle, they might win the goals war.

    I began to think: what would I try to do as a GM?

    For forwards, I would try to collect players who have a history of winning their GF% on a consistent basis, I would crosscheck the numbers by looking at WOWY data to see if they were winning this battle on merit or if they were being carried by more talented teammates.

    David Staples and the crew over at Cult of Hockey were looking at scoring chances. It has some merit but it can reflect the biases of the reviewers and skew the results, They look at the process from the input side whereas, I would concentrate on the output side and just focus on who drives the results AKA the goals.

    Have enough people winning the GF% battle on every line, you can win with a 4 line attack.

    For defencemen I would also look at selecting for GF%, A secondary filter would be to look at defencemen who consistently prevent zone entries and or help on zone exits/zone entries. The mindset would be spend as little time defending in our zone and as much time as possible transitioning it into the opponent’s end.

    Goalies are voodoo so just pick guys with great SV% and roll the dice.

  25. deardylan says:

    Professor Q: DEARDYLAN

    Thanks Professor Q. What does your holiday entail?! Love to hear stories about all your unproductiveness 😉

  26. digger50 says:

    Jaxon:
    Such a minor quibble, but I think I’d have Hebig on the 3rd line ahead of either Vesey or Russell.

    Potential Injury Call-ups, Position-dependent:
    Marody C/W
    Yamamoto RW
    Bear RD
    Lowe LD
    Benson LW
    Montoya G

    Oh yeah, and sign Tristen Nielsen!

    Hello Jaxon, you posted late, late a few days ago about Maroon. It sounded like you had not heard the latest. In an interview he stated he got zero offers this summer. None. He was not getting your estimated number nor did he act on a hometown discount. He fired his agent and then took the only offer on the table.

    This was on “spitting chicklets”

  27. JimmyV1965 says:

    anjinsan:
    Scungilli Slushy,

    All good points.But I see worse, not better, from Looch, for these reasons.
    There is no question as to his character.We know he’s trying his best.
    He’s a veteran and a mature leader so we know his mental composure is stout.
    He was given tons of opportunity to succeed.
    One can hope but if he was doing his best and he had lots of opportunity, then the facts speak for themselves, sadly and at very high cost.

    I wonder if something happened to Lucic at the Christmas break. Before the holiday he had something like 8 pts in 11 games. After the break he had one secondary assist in the first eight games. He fell off the face of the earth very suddenly.

    I might also question his on ice leadership. He threw way too many tantrums on the bench. It’s okay to slam your stick occasionally and slam the bench door, but he did it continually. After awhile that could be distracting for the other players on the bench.

  28. Geranium Lover says:

    Professor Q: And you didn’t even have to move to the country?

    Millions of peaches, peaches for me! 🙂

  29. JimmyV1965 says:

    digger50: Hello Jaxon, you posted late, late a few days ago about Maroon. It sounded like you had not heard the latest. In an interview he stated he got zero offers this summer. None. He was not getting your estimated number nor did he act on a hometown discount. He fired his agent and then took the only offer on the table.

    This was on “spitting chicklets”

    I’ll have to listen to the chicklets podcast because I also read a direct quote from Shero saying he offered Maroon a contract. If Maroon didn’t receive a single contract offer, and I find that highly unlikely, it’s a huge fail for his agent.

  30. bendelson says:

    Professor Q: And you didn’t even have to move to the country?

    Your post has given me a Canned Heat earworm…

  31. Geranium Lover says:

    bendelson: Your post has given me a Canned Heat earworm…

    I have The Presidents of the USA Peaches stuck in my head.

  32. Mustard Tiger says:

    Richard S.S.,

    Agreed

  33. Side says:

    digger50: Hello Jaxon, you posted late, late a few days ago about Maroon. It sounded like you had not heard the latest. In an interview he stated he got zero offers this summer. None. He was not getting your estimated number nor did he act on a hometown discount. He fired his agent and then took the only offer on the table.

    This was on “spitting chicklets”

    That whole situation is something else.

    If you’re PC and you know Patrick Maroon wants to come back to your team and your winger depth is crap, wouldn’t you at least reach out to Maroon even if you think he may be wanting more than you can afford?

    I would imagine the list of free agents that want to play for Edmonton isn’t so long that PC didn’t have time to even entertain Maroon as an option.

  34. bendelson says:

    Geranium Lover: I have The Presidents of the USA Peaches stuck in my head.

    Yeah, that’s unfortunate…

  35. Melvis says:

    bendelson: Your post has given me a Canned Heat earworm…

    Dammit!

  36. blainer says:

    Side: That whole situation is something else.

    If you’re PC and you know Patrick Maroon wants to come back to your team and your winger depth is crap, wouldn’t you at least reach out to Maroon even if you think he may be wanting more than you can afford?

    I would imagine the list of free agents that want to play for Edmonton isn’t so long that PC didn’t have time to even entertain Maroon as an option.

    This seems very strange to me for sure. Chia obviously believes that Reider can and will bring more this year than Maroon.

    Chia could have very easily signed him at 2 million or even 4 mil over two years. Big miss i think.

    43 points in 74 games are nice numbers. If Reider does not perform well you can bet there will be many posters on here pissed Chia passed on Maroon… me included.

    I do think Reider will work out and wonder if Chia was trying to find a way to trade Kassian in order to sign maroon.

  37. Geranium Lover says:

    bendelson: Yeah, that’s unfortunate…

    LOL it’s not that bad.

  38. John Chambers says:

    digger50,

    If nobody was interested in Maroon at $2M, it’s probably safe to say there was a short list of suitors for Milan Lucic at $6M x 5.

  39. digger50 says:

    blainer: This seems very strange to me for sure. Chia obviously believes that Reider can and will bring more this year than Maroon.

    Chia could have very easily signed him at 2 million or even 4 mil over two years. Big miss i think.

    43 points in 74 games are nice numbers. If Reider does not perform well you can bet there will be many posters on here pissed Chia passed on Maroon… me included.

    I do think Reider will work out andwonder if Chia was trying to find a way to trade Kassian in order to sign maroon.

    It’s very disappointing.

    Disappointing for Maroon – he earned a decent contract and nothing materialized.

    Disappointing for returning players, they liked him.

    For the team this year, I understand that many wanted to shoot higher than Maroon. Fair enough. But it shouldn’t be about this guy versus that guy. It should be continuous improvement pushing guys off the bottom of the roster. It should be Rieder and Maroon and Brodziak if that makes us better. It should be push Caggs, or Pontus or Rattie out of the line up.

    The catch of course is Cap constraints you have to work within, but fundamentally keep looking to add.

    The other strange part for me is that I want to give Peter credit this summer. It sounds as if he was very active. He was involved, he was looking, he was trying. If he does that yet holds up because the deal wasn’t right I’m okay with that.

    This Maroon deal flies contrary to that. If he could have signed him two years at 2.5 he should have done it and then go back and make the dollars work.

    I know this came from Maroon himself but it also feels like there should be more to this story.

  40. digger50 says:

    John Chambers:
    digger50,

    If nobody was interested in Maroon at $2M, it’s probably safe to say there was a short list of suitors for Milan Lucic at $6M x 5.

    Yeah, or even the seemingly more digestible 4m x 5

    Did everyone get the memo about increasing league speed at the same time?

  41. Bank Shot says:

    digger50: Yeah, or even the seemingly more digestible 4m x 5

    Did everyone get the memo about increasing league speed at the same time?

    The Washington Capitals didn’t.

  42. Professor Q says:

    Geranium Lover: I have The Presidents of the USA Peaches stuck in my head.

    You could say that they were put there by a man.

  43. PokeCheck says:

    digger50: Hello Jaxon, you posted late, late a few days ago about Maroon. It sounded like you had not heard the latest. In an interview he stated he got zero offers this summer. None. He was not getting your estimated number nor did he act on a hometown discount. He fired his agent and then took the only offer on the table.

    This was on “spitting chicklets”

    I don’t know the timing of that interview, but Ray Shero has publicly stated that the Devils offered more money and term than St. Louis, which Pat turned down in order to return home.

  44. flea says:

    digger50,

    Maroon is hurt too, he had surgery to repair a herniated disc and will be out until sometime into training camp.

    http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/24059681/st-louis-blues-sign-forward-patrick-maroon-1-year-deal

    Likely affected his value. I doubt he would come back to Edmonton on a deal like this either, he’d prob want $3M up here.

  45. digger50 says:

    PokeCheck: I don’t know the timing of that interview, but Ray Shero has publicly stated that the Devils offered more money and term than St. Louis, which Pat turned down in order to return home.

    Sounds like somebody isn’t telling the truth.

  46. digger50 says:

    flea:
    digger50,

    Maroon is hurt too, he had surgery to repair a herniated discand will be out until sometime into training camp.

    http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/24059681/st-louis-blues-sign-forward-patrick-maroon-1-year-deal

    Likely affected his value. I doubt he would come back to Edmonton on a deal like this either, he’d prob want $3M up here.

    He stated he was looking for something in the 12 to 16M range. Felt he earned it and was surprised. He listed a few comparable.

    Said that he felt St Louis had good centres and offered him some opportunity. Next year he is hoping for a two year deal.

    He never spoke about the back injury – he acknowledged it but went on like it wasn’t a factor. It is the type of thing that could become a rumour and close doors though.

  47. Paddy Morans Jockstrap says:

    No basis for Starrett in the AHL behind Montoya. He’s a low level prospect with little potential. Leave him down in the ECHL with Wells who needs to start at that level as well.

    Skinner, on the other hand, is the team’s top prospect in net who’s coming off a brilliant second half of the 2017-2018 season. He was likely the best goalie in junior hockey in the second half of the season and playoffs. He should be the backup behind Montoya who can play an important role next season as mentor for Skinner and legit NHL depth in Bakersfield. The AHL team could be really well set up with a solid NHL journeyman and rising star in net.

    All of the above based on merit as shown in training camp.

  48. OriginalPouzar says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Until Darnell Nurse’s Agent decides to sign, the Oilers could do very well without him.
    Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
    Andrej Sekera – Evan Bouchard
    Kris Russell – Matthew Benning
    Kevin Gravel.
    They will be better with him, but there’s no rush to sign the Agent’s desired contract.We could debate the merits of Nurse’s talent, but there is no way he gets to be the highest paid D on this Team.

    Having a just drafted teenage d-man play second pairing minutes with a d-man that is likely still not 100% from major knee surgery is not conducive to doing “very well” in my opinion.

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jaxon:
    Such a minor quibble, but I think I’d have Hebig on the 3rd line ahead of either Vesey or Russell.

    Potential Injury Call-ups, Position-dependent:
    Marody C/W
    Yamamoto RW
    Bear RD
    Lowe LD
    Benson LW
    Montoya G

    Oh yeah, and sign Tristen Nielsen!

    I would have Stanton on that list as well. I think he battles for a roster spot out of camp with Lowe and Gravel (although I don’t imagine that Gravel won’t be the guy that sticks).

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bank Shot: Safin had one point in nine AHL games last season. Seems like another year of junior could be good for him.

    Also its a great place for kids. They can focus solely on hockey.

    Bakersfield is a shithole anyway. He won’t miss it.

    He did only have one point but, from accounts, although inconsistent and uneven, there were games where he played quite well.

    I still don’t know if he’ll turn pro or go back to the Q, I can make arguments each way.

    Lets not forget, he’s had a full summer to grow and train, alot can happen in 5 months at that age.

    Caveat: From his Instagram he is still VERY much a teenager and I’m thinking his training isn’t quite what it could be (I believe Puljujarvi has suffered from this in the past and is changing things up this year).

  51. Geranium Lover says:

    Professor Q,

    👍

  52. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    –hudson–: Are they in perpetual motion because of losing or are they losing because of the perpetual motion?

    – It’s actually one of the primary reasons for my active support of keeping Chia and Coach

    – In the absence of malice, or unethical, or lying, keeping both Chia and Coach was the right organziational move for sure. Of course, another season like the last, and they are likely both gone, but I don’t think a repeat of last season is likely…

    – The moves have been fair and measured. People in organizations that are treated with fairness and accountability thrive.

    – In Toronto, Babcock is safe, and Dubas won a promotion, despite losing in the 1st round and being exposed somewhat IMO. I’m not sure who the Dubas in waiting is here (would love to get Hunter), and maybe Chia is still safe given the plethora of wine-summit losers who aren’t employable elsewhere (and Nicholson keeping score).

    – I really think the departure of any/all of Howson/MacT/Lowe/Wayne Gretzky, and replaced by actual hockey management talent that have a fresh different perspective and add value is one of the missing ingredients.

    – Anyway, while LT advocates the firing of Chia and LT, he recognizes the importance of not being in constant motion.

    – Let it grow, continue to draft well, develop players, bring in better hockey people (they did so on the coaching side, and these weren’t Coach hires, or his buddies)

    – I’m glad for the none of the full on re-boot that many touted. I bet the team will reward us

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy: He did have good possession numbers, he’s a player type that if the team wants to attract and/or keep players of his rep has to be given opportunity to prove himself before demotion.

    The other side to this is that if his puck luck returns, his SH% approaches career levels, he will be far easier to move. A decent scoring Lucic is still a player many teams/GMs want.

    I hope he recovers his game to a decent level and contributes. They can find him a US zip code or have a player doing what they hired him for.

    I also don’t think he’s slow, he’s just not quick at that weight. If he has linemates that play normal NHL hockey he’ll benefit from it. I think erratic young players harm him in that he doesn’t have the agility and first step to react to unexpected play or constant broken plays.

    Maybe he’s done, I hope not and the possession numbers suggest he’s still doing good things. Hopefully the new coaches realize what he can do and put in a place to do it. Moving that contract would be yuge.

    I wrote about exactly this earlier today:

    If Milan Lucic can make plays in transition on that 2nd line and bounce back to decent overall production in the realm of 20-25-45, it would do wonders for this team going forward. It would allow a player like Tobias Rieder to play on the 3rd line and solidify a potentially fantastic third line along with Jujhar Khaira and it would allow Khaira himself to continue to develop in the bottom 6. If Milan Lucic could bounce back to be a 2nd line left winger, even a bottom end 2nd line left winger, it could set the team up for some real success this season.

    Further, if Lucic is able to produce lower end 2nd line production, it would also help the ability of management to move Lucic and his contract in the off-season. He is currently seen as a complete boat anchor with negative value and the organization and management need Lucic to increase that value this season in order to help structure an impending trade out of Edmonton.

    ——————————————————–

    I’m going to keep Dustin Brown in my head – he had two season of 5 on 5 P/60 below 1.15 prior to bouncing back big time the last couple of years. There is hope.

  54. Scungilli Slushy says:

    I’m at work so won’t put numbers up here. I looked through Lucic’s numbers wondering if things changed after moving from Boston.

    Most of his numbers are in line with career norms. His SH% spiked in LA. The Oilers rocked him a bit but overall the patterns looked the same. Like many players he has had some ups and downs with various metrics. The biggie is SH% and scoring numbers.

    Nobody including him knows what will happen. Still this doesn’t look like many players who are past it where there is a general collapse in underlying and scoring numbers. He is a unique and limited player. Coaches using him for what he does well with linemates that fit would likely get things going in the right direction again.

    To me that is far different than trying to maximize the success of tweeners with highly limited games that need significant carrying. Lucic by his possession numbers doesn’t need to be ‘carried’ as much as set up to succeed. There is a useful player there at some level with a contract that would be very beneficial to move. Check out NST or Corsica, it’s true!

  55. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar: I wrote about exactly this earlier today:

    Further, if Lucic is able to produce lower end 2nd line production, it would also help the ability of management to move Lucic and his contract in the off-season. He is currently seen as a complete boat anchor with negative value and the organization and management need Lucic to increase that value this season in order to help structure an impending trade out of Edmonton.

    ——————————————————–

    I’m going to keep Dustin Brown in my head – he had two season of 5 on 5 P/60 below 1.15 prior to bouncing back big time the last couple of years. There is hope.

    – Dustin Brown aside, Lucic was a 2nd line LW last year in terms of what you are seeking. Hiis 34 points was 48th amongst LW: with possession numbers much stronger than his points

    – At 45 points, this is borderline 1st line production

    – We don’t know what happened to Milan except that he was a 1st line winger pre-Christmas, then scored like 1 goal in the 2nd half

    – An additional 10 points from Milan would help to be sure, but average sv% from our goalie, or healthy D that play 65-70 games, or special teams help way way more than 10 more points from Milan. Or McD or Drai finding another gear, or one of Reider/Pool/Kailer etc braking out, etc

    – Yes Lucic replaced Hall as a winger. He doesn’t explain barely our poor last season IMO

    – We would all love a bounce-back, and you are right, it would be helpful those 10 points, but not so much in terms of the proportion of energy and analysis of this team’s future .

  56. Nix says:

    jm363561:
    “Losing teams are in perpetual motion, that’s a bad thing.”

    Interesting comment, which you sense is probably correct. Are there cold hard facts to support this?
    ==
    P.S. Every time I see the projected roster I get the sense of impending doom. Across North America 20+ sets of fans are likely projecting bounce backs, break outs, better health, better coaching, yada yada yada. IMHO the only reason for optimism is that a year ago the Oilers were second favourites for the Cup and Vegas were not even in the conversation. Two years ago the Oilers were not even in the conversation. So who knows? (When we look back a year from now maybe we will see that locking up 13F / super sniper Drake Caggiula for two x $1.5m was the Chia master stroke that turned the tide ……. hahaha.)

    Respectfully, we have the #1 reason on the entire planet to be optimistic and it rhymes with Smonnor McBlavid.

  57. frjohnk says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Dustin Brown aside, Lucic was a 2nd line LW last year in terms of what you are seeking.Hiis 34 points was 48th amongst LW: with possession numbers much stronger than his points

    – At 45 points, this is borderline 1st line production

    – We don’t know what happened to Milan except that he was a 1st line winger pre-Christmas, then scored like 1 goal in the 2nd half

    – An additional 10 points from Milan would help to be sure, but average sv% from our goalie, or healthy D that play 65-70 games, or special teams help way way more than 10 more points from Milan.Or McD or Drai finding another gear, or one of Reider/Pool/Kailer etc braking out, etc

    – Yes Lucic replaced Hall as a winger.He doesn’t explain barely our poor last season IMO

    – We would all love a bounce-back, and you are right, it would be helpful those 10 points, but not so much in terms of the proportion of energy and analysis of this team’s future .

    Lucic didn’t replace Hall.

    He replaced Pouliot. The Pouliot before Lucic came here.

    Similar 5 on 5 production.

    For $2M we got a Big upgrade on toughness

  58. Revolved says:

    Lowetide,

    Losing teams are in perpetual motion, that’s a bad thing.

    ————

    I think this is a wonderful statement that should speak to everyone who has watched the Oilers over the last decade. It goes for organisations as well as for teams themselves, and somehow the Oilers are still in constant motion even after all this time.

    Of all the factors that went into the Oilers horrible season last year, I am of the belief that coaching had a fairly large part to play. Ricki has suggested that the tactics between last year and this year switched between a HD area defence to a perimeter pressure strategy. I have not watched enough tape to know if that’s true, but it would go along with some other questionable decisions McLellan made this year.

    One of the things that players apparently complained about most in their exit interviews was not having stable line mates. I think most people here have heard of the blender and perhaps questioned its effectiveness. I was curious about this as well, so I went through the top two centres on every team (please let me know if you want to know who exactly I used) and looked at the percentage of their total 5×5 ice time was spent with their top two most common wingers.

    This is what comes out:

    Rank Team % of top two team centre’s 5×5 ice time spent with top two wingers
    1 Calgary 78.15
    2 Colorado 77.80
    3 Nashville 73.29
    4 Vegas 72.43
    5 Toronto 72.33
    6 Dallas 67.15
    7 Winnipeg 66.59
    8 New York Islanders 66.19
    9 Anaheim 65.01
    10 Boston 64.61
    11 Tampa Bay 59.96
    12 St. Louis 58.43
    13 L.A. 57.76
    14 Philadelphia 55.77
    15 San Jose 54.09
    16 Minnesota 52.40
    17 Vancouver 51.78
    18 Detroit 51.73
    19 Pittsburgh 50.59
    20 Chicago 50.48
    21 Florida 48.79
    22 New Jersey 47.83
    23 Montreal 47.30
    24 Carolina 47.08
    25 Washington 47.07
    26 Arizona 46.83
    27 Columbus 44.58
    28 Ottawa 43.65
    29 New York Rangers 40.53
    30 Buffalo 39.00
    31 Edmonton 37.51

    Now, this number is not a direct coaching decision, as injuries, trades and other factors affect the availability of players, but the Oilers being at the bottom of this list probably does not surprise many people. This is most likely because of the shift late in the year to having Nugent-Hopkins instead of Draisaitl on McDavid’s wing (for this number I used Draisaitl and McDavid, but the same was true of Nugent-Hopkins), which meant that McDavid and Draisaitl/Nugent-Hopkins were the only top two centers in the league to have each other as most common line mates.

    The rank correlation of the value above, which I think represents coached line stability fairly well, and the final rank in standings points is -0.554. For reference, this is better than a lot of genetic systems variables that I have looked at, and suggests that stable lines are often good for winning.

    It may be because bad teams don’t have the quality of players to build stable lines with, but it might also just be the coaches choice who he puts together. It is notable that Calgary did not make the playoffs despite super stable lines, so I think another message is that moderation is always a good thing. This is why it is so important that McLellan finds and sticks with the most productive lines he can.

  59. Nix says:

    Todays vacation talk inspired me this morning and is much appreciated. Lived in Vegas for years and the first thing you learn is to avoid the strip like botulism. Ive recently returned home to the Carolina coast (after a brief stint in Phx) but despite living a few blocks from Myrtle Beach Ive yet to go, even though its literally behind a row of trees near my backyard. Always read about the benefits of vitamin D with a detached acknowledgement but when some random on twitter framed it properly it really hit home. Said ‘your skin is a solar panel and we derive power from the sun’. What a great way to paint a picture that Id never considered before. So… with that and LTs post in mind, this kid from Scotch-Irish stock headed for the sand and it was absolutely glorious. I do 100% feel recharged. This isnt a political statement as Im firmly on a side many wont like, but with all the doom and gloom everywhere it felt so good to have fun and do something wholesome and healthy. Please tell someone you love how much they mean today. Do those 20 pushups youve been thinking about since 2005. Kiss a baby. Or a kitten. Or a baby kitten. Flirt with that cute nerdy chick at the checkout counter. Do something epic this afternoon for no other reason than it just feels really really really good. Yall are all welcome for world class bbq and local craft beer if you ever fly south this way. We have daisy dukes and hot sauce on deck.

  60. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I’m going to keep Dustin Brown in my head – he had two season of 5 on 5 P/60 below 1.15 prior to bouncing back big time the last couple of years. There is hope.

    LA changed the coach, and the style of play.

  61. godot10 says:

    frjohnk: Lucic didn’t replace Hall.

    He replaced Pouliot. The Pouliot before Lucic came here.

    Similar 5 on 5 production.

    For $2M we got a Big upgrade on toughness

    Pouliot plays a lot tougher than Lucic. when the coach isn’t on his ass for the bad penalties, although he always drew more than he took.

    Pouliot can still get to the hit and was interested. Lucic is to slow to get to the hit, and wasn’t much interested in hitting anyone anymore.

  62. Leroy Draisdale says:

    godot10,

    Not vouching for the quality of said hits, but Lucic was second in the league for hits last year.

  63. Richard S.S. says:

    OriginalPouzar: Having a just drafted teenage d-man play second pairing minutes with a d-man that is likely still not 100% from major knee surgery is not conducive to doing “very well” in my opinion.

    Alternatives?

  64. Side says:

    godot10: Pouliot plays a lot tougher than Lucic. when the coach isn’t on his ass for the bad penalties, although he always drew more than he took.

    Pouliot can still get to the hit and was interested.Lucic is to slow to get to the hit, and wasn’t much interested in hitting anyone anymore.

    Benoit Pouliot from 2014 – 2018 has made 214 hits.

    Milan Lucic in the 2017 – 2018 season has made 254 hits.

    Tell me more how Benoit plays a tougher game and Milan cannot make hits, and is not “interested” in hitting anymore.

    Also, the 2017 – 2018 season for Milan had 52 more hits than his 2016-2017 season.

    Curious to see how the goal posts will shift on this argument of yours…

  65. Wilde says:

    I don’t have any contributions today of actual rigorous intellectual discipline so I’m just going to spew alternating optimistic/pessimistic thoughts out as I’m capturing video again:

    1) The possibility that Ty Rattie runs 800+ minutes with 93 & 97 is far greater than 0% and I believe the population of reasonable skepticism in this community is actually underselling the likelihood of the scenario by a fair amount

    2) If the Oilers did not run man in the Dzone and ran a simple diamond on the PK with Iiro Pakarinen as an everyday 4RW + 1PK they would have shaved 30+ GA to say nothing of the GF crater of deployment, and although the man who remains in charge will not repeat the exact same mistakes there’s no reason to believe the underlying philosophy has changed and won’t lead down similarly destructive paths

    3) Ethan Bear will either click on coverage or he won’t, and if he does you’ll notice it in the AHL this year and the Oilers would be wise to draft a LD with the 2019 first rounder(Cam York?) because they’ll have top 10 RD depth but need to move Sekera/Russell

    4) Milan Lucic will not rebound as a 5v5 scorer past 3rd line primary rates. This does not mean he will not be useful.

    5) There is an absolute maximum of 25 centres as good or better than Leon Draisaitl and only 5* of them are in his age range. Just an insane duality of strength and processing.

    6) Peter Chiarelli’s hobby of collecting college forwards without offense who remind him of himself will lengthen the turnaround process of Bakersfield’s F group and ultimately hurt the ceiling of the team’s successes

    7) Connor McDavid is the most dominant even strength player since Gretzky

  66. Revolved says:

    jm363561:
    “Losing teams are in perpetual motion, that’s a bad thing.”

    Interesting comment, which you sense is probably correct. Are there cold hard facts to support this?

    –hudson–: Are they in perpetual motion because of losing or are they losing because of the perpetual motion?

    I had not seen your posts when I put mine up, and though I don’t think we can completely answer your question Hudson, I hope I’ve provided some numbers that such churn is a bad thing.

  67. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bank Shot: The Washington Capitals didn’t.

    They’re still working off the “skill on 3 lines and vets on the 4th with a quality top 4” memo, which is leads to more winning than the “speed” memo.

  68. maudite says:

    He also changed is off season training to try and increase speed to be able to keep up with CMD. This meant he came in lighter. While I applaud the effort I hope this has been reversed.

    You are right if nothing else he should be physically engaged and causing problems on the walls. I think he will rebound if they set up the lines correctly. They need him to be part of an effective line. They honestly really need him to be of some tangible value (if only to be tradeable without being a negative aspect).

    We aren’t likely cup finalist next year. That’s fine. My main missions this year would be:

    1. qualify for playoffs if possible
    2. keep CMD and Drai on their own lines if possible
    3. put best top 6 RW in system (JP) in a position to succeed and don’t punish mistakes harder than Drake Cag
    4. find a way to change narrative on Lucic. put as best as possible in a position to succeed (including on one of PP’s)

    If we make the playoffs and Lucic gets in range of 50 pts. We are laughing next year IMO.

    v4ance:
    A number of posters have stated their opinions that Lucic will have a rebound year as if it’s a foregone conclusion.I’m not sure if we will even be able to trade him for a 7th round pick, if he continues his pattern of decline.

    By the numbers, he’s had 2 consecutive years where his 5v5 points have approached career lows.Last year, his 5v5 primary points was one of the lowest amongst the forwards on the team, even with most of the first half of the season on McDavid’s or Draisaitl’s wing.He was only scavenging points off the efforts of the two best offensive forwards on the team.His giveaways hit new career highs and his hits were way down from previous years.

    Using the eye test, he wasn’t physically engaged, he lost the puck battles almost immediately on most zone entries, he fumbled the puck on a majority of passes and he skated slower than molasses in winter.

    I know he’s a proud and competitive individual but when you lose your hands, your skating and your fire to compete on a game to game basis, AND you draw a salary of a first line winger?Well… this has “untradeable buyout proof” contract written all over it if he has a 3rd straight bad year.

    ***

    A ran acrosss a tidbit on twitter about the NYR team consistently selecting depth forwards who had tended to demonstrate higher than average career shooting percentages.The mindset being, they would collect the most accurate shooters they could find on the cheap so that even if they didn’t win the Corsi battle, they might win the goals war.

    I began to think: what would I try to do as a GM?

    For forwards, I would try to collect players who have a history of winning their GF% on a consistent basis,I would crosscheck the numbers by looking at WOWY data to see if they were winning this battle on merit or if they were being carried by more talented teammates.

    David Staples and the crew over at Cult of Hockey were looking at scoring chances.It has some merit but it can reflect the biases of the reviewers and skew the results,They look at the process from the input side whereas, I would concentrate on the output side and just focus on who drives the results AKA the goals.

    Have enough people winning the GF% battle on every line, you can win with a 4 line attack.

    For defencemen I would also look at selecting for GF%,A secondary filter would be to look at defencemen who consistently prevent zone entries and or help on zone exits/zone entries.The mindset would be spend as little time defending in our zone and as much time as possible transitioning it into the opponent’s end.

    Goalies are voodoo so just pick guys with great SV% and roll the dice.

  69. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Revolved:
    Lowetide,

    Losing teams are in perpetual motion, that’s a bad thing.

    ————

    I think this is a wonderful statement that should speak to everyone who has watched the Oilers over the last decade. It goes for organisations as well as for teams themselves, and somehow the Oilers are still in constant motion even after all this time.

    Of all the factors that went into the Oilers horrible season last year, I am of the belief that coaching had a fairly large part to play. Ricki has suggested that the tactics between last year and this year switched between a HD area defence to a perimeter pressure strategy. I have not watched enough tape to know if that’s true, but it would go along with some other questionable decisions McLellan made this year.

    One of the things that players apparently complained about most in their exit interviews was not having stable line mates. I think most people here have heard of the blender and perhaps questioned its effectiveness. I was curious about this as well, so I went through the top two centres on every team (please let me know if you want to know who exactly I used) and looked at the percentage of their total 5×5 ice time was spent with their top two most common wingers.

    This is what comes out:

    RankTeam% of top two team centre’s 5×5 ice time spent with top two wingers
    1Calgary78.15
    2Colorado77.80
    3Nashville73.29
    4Vegas72.43
    5Toronto72.33
    6Dallas67.15
    7Winnipeg66.59
    8New York Islanders66.19
    9Anaheim65.01
    10Boston64.61
    11Tampa Bay59.96
    12St. Louis58.43
    13L.A.57.76
    14Philadelphia55.77
    15San Jose54.09
    16Minnesota52.40
    17Vancouver51.78
    18Detroit51.73
    19Pittsburgh50.59
    20Chicago50.48
    21Florida48.79
    22New Jersey47.83
    23Montreal47.30
    24Carolina47.08
    25Washington47.07
    26Arizona46.83
    27Columbus44.58
    28Ottawa43.65
    29New York Rangers40.53
    30Buffalo39.00
    31Edmonton37.51

    Now, this number is not a direct coaching decision, as injuries, trades and other factors affect the availability of players, but the Oilers being at the bottom of this list probably does not surprise many people. This is most likely because of the shift late in the year to having Nugent-Hopkins instead of Draisaitl on McDavid’s wing (for this number I used Draisaitl and McDavid, but the same was true of Nugent-Hopkins), which meant that McDavid and Draisaitl/Nugent-Hopkins were the only top two centers in the league to have each other as most common line mates.

    The rank correlation of the value above, which I think represents coached line stability fairly well, and the final rank in standings points is -0.554. For reference, this is better than a lot of genetic systems variables that I have looked at, and suggests that stable lines are often good for winning.

    It may be because bad teams don’t have the quality of players to build stable lines with, but it might also just be the coaches choice who he puts together. It is notable that Calgary did not make the playoffs despite super stable lines, so I think another message is that moderation is always a good thing. This is why it is so important that McLellan finds and sticks with the most productive lines he can.

    Thanks for the info.

    Good stuff.

  70. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I agree with the 23 man roster as I think they will carry 8 d-men while Bouchard is on the roster (assuming he is on the roster through Europe and the Eastern road trip).

    Yamamoto could force himself in there but the only real option to get re-assigned would be Rattie.We know Drake is going anywhere and Aberg is just too cheap.

    I suppose Stanton and Lowe could give Gravel a run for an extra D spot.

    Cagguila was payed too much money! This training camp is the ideal time to put him on waivers. When he clears fine, let him learn to play defense in the ahl. His price point is worse than kassian’s in that Kassian brings more to the table. It would also protect McLellan from himself much like the trade of Letestu did lasr year!

  71. VOR says:

    –hudson–: Are they in perpetual motion because of losing or are they losing because of the perpetual motion?

    I want to take a shot at answering this question.

    Let’s use roster size as a proxy for perpetual motion

    Based on the roster sizes listed at hockeyreference.com for all teams since 2005

    Average roster size: 34.1
    Average roster size of teams with records below .500: 37.3
    Average roster size of teams with records between .500 and .599: 32.8
    Average roster size of teams with records .600 and above: 32.6

    2017-2018

    League average roster size: 34.3
    Below .500: 36.8
    .500 to .599: 32.9
    .600 and above: 33.3

    Poor teams definitely have more roll in their rosters.

    But is roll the problem or an attempt to find a solution?

    Very large roster sizes (38 or more people on the roster) correlate with losing seasons.

    For example in 2017-2018 7 teams had rosters of 38 or more, only 1 (Anaheim) had a record of more than .500. This is typical across many seasons.

    Teams that are bad for long periods of time have numerous seasons of large rosters Edmonton for example starting with 2006-2007 have had rosters of 35, 34, 34, 40, 35, 37, 31, 43, 43, 38, 33, 34.

    I am guessing when a bad team has a large roster and neither the poor performance or the roster size are explained by injury that the team is searching for answers but that the roll itself becomes a problem.

    So my theory is that bad teams roll players looking for solutions and that the roll itself prevents them from finding those solutions.

    However, the effect seems weak though I haven’t done statistical analysis on the data.

  72. Lowetide says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:

    – Anyway, while LT advocates the firing of Chia and LT, he recognizes the importance of not being in constant motion.

    Kinger, I’ve been very patient, more patient than I would have been if you were constantly framing someone else’s views (as you have done time and again). This is final warning, there won’t be another one.

  73. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I agree about William Lagesson.

    I was impressed with him at rookie camp last year and, from all accounts, he had a wonderful season in Sweden this past year, earning the trust of his coach and increasing his minutes materially.

    He is a good skater and passer for a mainly defensive d-man.

    He has played pro hockey now as well which should help.

    Of course, he shouldn’t take much time to re-acclimatize to the North American dimensions.

    I agree and he brings an element of physical play that the Oiler fans will love! Left shot Larsson light so to speak!

  74. Georges says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    – In the absence of malice, or unethical, or lying, keeping both Chia and Coach was the right organziational move for sure.

    “… malice, or unethical, or lying…”

    Nice.

  75. Georges says:

    VOR,

    “So my theory is that bad teams roll players looking for solutions and that the roll itself prevents them from finding those solutions.”

    How about teams that are out of the running call up prospects? i.e., having blown this year, they get a head start on looking for solutions for next year.

  76. VOR says:

    Revolved:
    Lowetide,

    Losing teams are in perpetual motion, that’s a bad thing.

    ————

    I think this is a wonderful statement that should speak to everyone who has watched the Oilers over the last decade. It goes for organisations as well as for teams themselves, and somehow the Oilers are still in constant motion even after all this time.

    Of all the factors that went into the Oilers horrible season last year, I am of the belief that coaching had a fairly large part to play. Ricki has suggested that the tactics between last year and this year switched between a HD area defence to a perimeter pressure strategy. I have not watched enough tape to know if that’s true, but it would go along with some other questionable decisions McLellan made this year.

    One of the things that players apparently complained about most in their exit interviews was not having stable line mates. I think most people here have heard of the blender and perhaps questioned its effectiveness. I was curious about this as well, so I went through the top two centres on every team (please let me know if you want to know who exactly I used) and looked at the percentage of their total 5×5 ice time was spent with their top two most common wingers.

    This is what comes out:

    RankTeam% of top two team centre’s 5×5 ice time spent with top two wingers
    1Calgary78.15
    2Colorado77.80
    3Nashville73.29
    4Vegas72.43
    5Toronto72.33
    6Dallas67.15
    7Winnipeg66.59
    8New York Islanders66.19
    9Anaheim65.01
    10Boston64.61
    11Tampa Bay59.96
    12St. Louis58.43
    13L.A.57.76
    14Philadelphia55.77
    15San Jose54.09
    16Minnesota52.40
    17Vancouver51.78
    18Detroit51.73
    19Pittsburgh50.59
    20Chicago50.48
    21Florida48.79
    22New Jersey47.83
    23Montreal47.30
    24Carolina47.08
    25Washington47.07
    26Arizona46.83
    27Columbus44.58
    28Ottawa43.65
    29New York Rangers40.53
    30Buffalo39.00
    31Edmonton37.51

    Now, this number is not a direct coaching decision, as injuries, trades and other factors affect the availability of players, but the Oilers being at the bottom of this list probably does not surprise many people. This is most likely because of the shift late in the year to having Nugent-Hopkins instead of Draisaitl on McDavid’s wing (for this number I used Draisaitl and McDavid, but the same was true of Nugent-Hopkins), which meant that McDavid and Draisaitl/Nugent-Hopkins were the only top two centers in the league to have each other as most common line mates.

    The rank correlation of the value above, which I think represents coached line stability fairly well, and the final rank in standings points is -0.554. For reference, this is better than a lot of genetic systems variables that I have looked at, and suggests that stable lines are often good for winning.

    It may be because bad teams don’t have the quality of players to build stable lines with, but it might also just be the coaches choice who he puts together. It is notable that Calgary did not make the playoffs despite super stable lines, so I think another message is that moderation is always a good thing. This is why it is so important that McLellan finds and sticks with the most productive lines he can.

    I would say your data set indicates coaches of losing teams blenderize their top lines more than winning teams coaches do. And mine indicates GMs of losing teams roll their rosters more. I bet, but can’t figure out how to prove that both behaviours become a cause of bad play, leading to more line churning and more roster roll and less success.

  77. pts2pndr says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Until Darnell Nurse’s Agent decides to sign, the Oilers could do very well without him.
    Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
    Andrej Sekera – Evan Bouchard
    Kris Russell – Matthew Benning
    Kevin Gravel.
    They will be better with him, but there’s no rush to sign the Agent’s desired contract.We could debate the merits of Nurse’s talent, but there is no way he gets to be the highest paid D on this Team.

    He is not going to get more than Sekera’s 5.5 so how you figure he would become this teams highest payed D! He is 23 and the teams best skating D! If speed is the new skill how much should he be payed? I really don’t know! I do agree that the contract has to fit within the salary structure.

  78. Wilde says:

    Another one that’s both optimistic and pessimistic:

    Pontus Aberg was acquired for Mark Letestu and played as a wholesale all-aspect upgrade on Drake Caggiula.

    However this should be filed under the Yohann Auvitu Inquiry of whether or not the GM and HC are on the same page with anything.

  79. Silver Streak says:

    Nix:
    Todays vacation talk inspired me this morning and is much appreciated. Lived in Vegas for years and the first thing you learn is to avoid the strip like botulism. Ive recently returned home to the Carolina coast (after a brief stint in Phx) but despite living a few blocks from Myrtle Beach Ive yet to go, even though its literally behind a row of trees near my backyard. Always read about the benefits of vitamin D with a detached acknowledgement but when some random on twitter framed it properly it really hit home. Said ‘your skin is a solar panel and we derive power from the sun’. What a great way to paint a picture that Id never considered before. So… with that and LTs post in mind, this kid from Scotch-Irish stock headed for the sand and it was absolutely glorious. I do 100% feel recharged. This isnt a political statement as Im firmly on a side many wont like, but with all the doom and gloom everywhere it felt so good to have fun and do something wholesome and healthy. Please tell someone you love how much they mean today. Do those 20 pushups youve been thinking about since 2005. Kiss a baby. Or a kitten. Or a baby kitten. Flirt with that cute nerdy chick at the checkout counter. Do something epic this afternoon for no other reason than it just feels really really really good. Yall are all welcome for world class bbq and local craft beer if you ever fly south this way. We have daisy dukes and hot sauce on deck.

    My vote for post of the year !!

  80. Wilde says:

    Georges:

    Nice.

    Nice.

  81. Revolved says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    No problem, I’m happy to sometimes contribute to this place, and I was curious about this particular question. I just hope that McLellan gets the message that he needs to change strategies. I cannot stand the blender!

  82. VOR says:

    Georges:
    VOR,

    “So my theory is that bad teams roll players looking for solutions and that the roll itself prevents them from finding those solutions.”

    How about teams that are out of the running call up prospects? i.e., having blown this year, they get a head start on looking for solutions for next year.

    As I said I think the teams start out looking for solutions and certainly one approach is bringing up prospects. But if you bring up too many you risk none of them getting enough ice time and coaching attention to know if they are part of the solution. It is not inconceivable that you could so disrupt your farm team that even the players who aren’t called up suffer. So the following year they are still looking, still not sure where their prospects stand.

    I haven’t yet looked at the various sources/causes of a typical over size roster or specific examples. So intuitively I think your right but can’t prove it. I’d expect prospect call ups are the most common source of extra roster bodies and that the number of call ups would increase as the season went on.

    This might also explain why Detroit one of the worst teams in hockey had the smallest roster (27) last year. Sticking to their guns and over ripening prospects rather than bringing them up.

  83. Lowetide says:

    New for The Athletic: Two summers ago, Oilers fans were fretting about Nail Yakupov and wondering where Griffin Reinhart fit—Kris Russell not yet on the radar. What twists and turns will we see between now and opening night 2018-19?

    https://theathletic.com/441861/2018/07/23/lowetide-tracking-oilers-training-camp-six-weeks-out/

  84. Revolved says:

    VOR,

    I agree that our data fit together, but probably arise from different decision makers. The Oilers are bringing up lots of young wingers, which creates turnover, but McLellan has a history of blending, and I think it’s hurting the team.

  85. godot10 says:

    Leroy Draisdale:
    godot10,

    Not vouching for the quality of said hits, but Lucic was second in the league for hits last year.

    The Rogers Place Stat keeper hit inflation.

  86. who says:

    OriginalPouzar: I wrote about exactly this earlier today:

    If Milan Lucic can make plays in transition on that 2nd line and bounce back to decent overall production in the realm of 20-25-45, it would do wonders for this team going forward. It would allow a player like Tobias Rieder to play on the 3rd line and solidify a potentially fantastic third line along with Jujhar Khaira and it would allow Khaira himself to continue to develop in the bottom 6. If Milan Lucic could bounce back to be a 2nd line left winger, even a bottom end 2nd line left winger, it could set the team up for some real success this season.

    Further, if Lucic is able to produce lower end 2nd line production, it would also help the ability of management to move Lucic and his contract in the off-season. He is currently seen as a complete boat anchor with negative value and the organization and management need Lucic to increase that value this season in order to help structure an impending trade out of Edmonton.

    ——————————————————–

    I’m going to keep Dustin Brown in my head – he had two season of 5 on 5 P/60 below 1.15 prior to bouncing back big time the last couple of years. There is hope.

    People keep wanting to grade Lucic’s play on his total points.
    Or on his 5×5/60. Or on his possession numbers.
    I have seen posters here use their favorite metric or stat to claim he’s a 1LW. Or a 4LW. Or anything in between.
    I prefer the eye test. By my eye Lucic hasn’t been a top 6 forward since he got to Edmonton. He simply doesn’t have the puck skills to really compliment high end players.
    At least not for long (40 games) stretches of time.

  87. Richard S.S. says:

    Connor McDavid has no top end yet, so projecting him for less than 130+ Pts. with 50+ Goals might be underestimating him again. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should have a huge season, his best ever. Anything less than 85+ Pts. with 30+ Goals might be an underestimation. Getting the right/correct/proper RW for Connor’s Line might be possible this year. At least three candidates exist for the position, so each will be given a chance to succeed. Expecting less than 20+ Goals and 70+ Pts. might be a big mistake. This line will dominate games, it’s up to the rest to crush the opponents.

  88. Georges says:

    Wilde,

    If you care to share, what does “… capturing video again…” mean?

  89. godot10 says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Connor McDavid has no top end yet, so projecting him for less than 130+ Pts. with 50+ Goals might be underestimating him again.Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should have a huge season, his best ever.Anything less than 85+ Pts. with 30+ Goals might be an underestimation.Getting the right/correct/proper RW for Connor’s Line might be possible this year.At least three candidates exist for the position, so each will be given a chance to succeed. Expecting less than 20+ Goals and 70+ Pts. might be a big mistake.This line will dominate games, it’s up to the rest to crush the opponents.

    Knowing McLellan, he will trial the RW options for McDavid in the worst possible order, not getting to the right one, Rieder** until Valentine’s Day.

    **Conceivably Puljujarvi or Yamamoto might take big steps forward and be ready, but I expect McLellan to throw the season away overplaying Rattie and Caggiula.

  90. Wilde says:

    Georges:
    Wilde,

    If you care to share, what does “… capturing video again…” mean?

    I’m trying to tackle specific narratives through video analysis and this means getting (non-scoring play) film from last season of situations where presumably the narrative arose. Right now this means going through and clipping those situations, and then next I’ll do the video editing and then eventually the actual analysis.

    This is for the purpose of putting memory-tricks half of the eye test under scrutiny. There are more than a few commonly accepted viewpoints on what the 2017-18 Oilers were that are based on months-old recollections of what happened during a fast-moving, complex game.

    The two failings of the eye tests are the natural faults of memory and the natural human biases: I’m looking to rectify the faults of memory with the recordings and in turn I hope my biases in my own analysis are then criticized by the readers and we can inch closer to the truth.

  91. OriginalPouzar says:

    Richard S.S.: Alternatives?

    If Nurse isn’t in the lineup? Benning is the 2RD (as he is even with Nurse in the lineup).

    I don’t see Nurse not being in the lineup though – this contract will get done.

  92. blainer says:

    While I have to say TMac had me pissed much of the season I am happy he has new assistants. Question is will he listen and work with them or will he just keep screwing with the wrong deployment of players again .. Time will tell..

    The one thing I must give Chia credit for is the complete turnaround of the D both at the pro level and more impressively the prospect Rt shot D pool. I predict we will be in a position of strength by the the 19/20 season for sure.

    Bouchard
    Bear
    Berglund
    Persson
    Kemp

    I really think that these players all have a good shot to be good NHLer’s. The downside is we are gonna lose a good player in the next expansion draft. Nice problem to have.

    Add in Benning and Larsson and the D is looking real strong in another year or so.

    Health is soooo important but when you get deep like this injuries are much less of a factor.

  93. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: Cagguila was payed too much money! This training camp is the ideal time to put him on waivers. When he clears fine, let him learn to play defense in the ahl. His price point is worse than kassian’s in that Kassian brings more to the table. It would also protect McLellan from himself much like the trade of Letestu did lasr year!

    I don’t disagree with your theory in principle but we both know the head coach likes what Caggulia brings to the table and the player is going to be in the National Hockey League – not to mention, he’d have a $400K plus cap hit even is he is in the AHL.

    Further, assuming Yamamoto is also in the AHL, the replacement is Brad Malone which does not make the team better.

    I don’t imagine we will see Caggulia hit the waiver wire.

  94. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: The Rogers Place Stat keeper hit inflation.

    Milan Lucic was 6th in the NHL in hits on the road…… Next!

    As an aside, Benoit Pouliot was 332nd in the NHL in hits on the road.

  95. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: People keep wanting to grade Lucic’s play on his total points.
    Or on his 5×5/60. Or on his possession numbers.
    I have seen posters here use their favorite metric or stat to claim he’s a 1LW. Or a 4LW. Or anything in between.
    I prefer the eye test. By my eye Lucic hasn’t been a top 6 forward since he got to Edmonton. He simply doesn’t have the puck skills to really compliment high end players.
    At least not for long (40 games) stretches of time.

    The piece spoke to the eye test as well – In fact, it has a section entitled “The Eye Test”.

  96. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    VOR: I would say your data set indicates coaches of losing teams blenderize their top lines more than winning teams coaches do. And mine indicates GMs of losing teams roll their rosters more. I bet, but can’t figure out how to prove that both behaviours become a cause of bad play, leading to more line churning and more roster roll and less success.

    I think it’s the egg, not the chicken.

    I haven’t determined which side is the egg.

  97. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georges:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    – In the absence of malice, or unethical, or lying, keeping both Chia and Coach was the right organziational move for sure.

    “… malice, or unethical, or lying…”

    Nice.

    Standard

  98. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: LA changed the coach, and the style of play.

    My point with Lucic. Leaving Boston hurt his game. He is a limited player, but useful in the right usage. I also believe he did perform his primary function of being a player that players don’t trifle with.

    It doesn’t stop injuries but to my eye there has been far less shenanigans against the Oilers since he came. And although it’s not all on him a more professional attitude around the team.

    Many skill players mention how they like knowing there is significant backup on th the team even if it’s a placebo effect. Lucic as voted by the players is considered the second toughest after Reaves. I don’t know why Chara isn’t ahead but there it is. Still matters if the league won’t properly protect the talent.

  99. rickithebear says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I agree about William Lagesson.

    I was impressed with him at rookie camp last year and, from all accounts, he had a wonderful season in Sweden this past year, earning the trust of his coach and increasing his minutes materially.

    He is a good skater and passer for a mainly defensive d-man.

    He has played pro hockey now as well which should help.

    Of course, he shouldn’t take much time to re-acclimatize to the North American dimensions.

    As a strong dman at what dmen are suppose to do, defend against scorable shots.
    He also understands dmens Off limitation by structure and the pocession efficiency in getting the puck to the 270 – 300 forwards Superior in even goal production.

    Thought I would Paraphrase for you.

  100. Scungilli Slushy says:

    OriginalPouzar: Milan Lucic was 6th in the NHL in hits on the road…… Next!

    As an aside, Benoit Pouliot was 332nd in the NHL in hits on the road.

    Pouliot’s career is on the ropes because he can’t score enough to please teams and won’t use his perceived size and edginess in an NHL way. He can’t stick anywhere. Lucic doesn’t have that problem.

  101. Georges says:

    v4ance:
    A number of posters have stated their opinions that Lucic will have a rebound year as if it’s a foregone conclusion.I’m not sure if we will even be able to trade him for a 7th round pick, if he continues his pattern of decline.

    By the numbers, he’s had 2 consecutive years where his 5v5 points have approached career lows.Last year, his 5v5 primary points was one of the lowest amongst the forwards on the team, even with most of the first half of the season on McDavid’s or Draisaitl’s wing.He was only scavenging points off the efforts of the two best offensive forwards on the team.His giveaways hit new career highs and his hits were way down from previous years.

    Using the eye test, he wasn’t physically engaged, he lost the puck battles almost immediately on most zone entries, he fumbled the puck on a majority of passes and he skated slower than molasses in winter.

    I know he’s a proud and competitive individual but when you lose your hands, your skating and your fire to compete on a game to game basis, AND you draw a salary of a first line winger?Well… this has “untradeable buyout proof” contract written all over it if he has a 3rd straight bad year.

    ***

    I began to think: what would I try to do as a GM?

    For forwards, I would try to collect players who have a history of winning their GF% on a consistent basis,I would crosscheck the numbers by looking at WOWY data to see if they were winning this battle on merit or if they were being carried by more talented teammates.

    David Staples and the crew over at Cult of Hockey were looking at scoring chances.It has some merit but it can reflect the biases of the reviewers and skew the results,They look at the process from the input side whereas, I would concentrate on the output side and just focus on who drives the results AKA the goals.

    Have enough people winning the GF% battle on every line, you can win with a 4 line attack.

    So, as a GM, you would’ve signed Lucic.

    (Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you.)

  102. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Milan Lucic was 6th in the NHL in hits on the road…… Next!

    As an aside, Benoit Pouliot was 332nd in the NHL in hits on the road.

    His reputation precedes him.

  103. Munny says:

    godot10: His reputation precedes him.

    As does yours.

  104. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: His reputation precedes him.

    Hit counts or whatever Lucic is a devastating hitter. Players like Cags flying around ‘nailing ‘ people at his weight is disregarded by most players, being 20+ pounds heavier than he is. Everyone catches someone good at times, he doesn’t make shake anyone up much that I see. And he gets hurt.

    It’s obvious that when Lucic hits players notice. He also doesn’t do flyby nudge slam the boards to get him the stat hits many players do. Token hits. He doesn’t Cooke people, but if it’s there he lets them have 240 of it.

    Perhaps you haven’t played contact sports? It’s clear as day to me.

  105. OriginalPouzar says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Hit counts or whatever Lucic is a devastating hitter. Players like Cags flying around ‘nailing ‘ people at his weight is disregarded by most players, being 20+ pounds heavier than he is. Everyone catches someone good at times, he doesn’t make shake anyone up much that I see. And he gets hurt.

    It’s obvious that when Lucic hits players notice. He also doesn’t do flyby nudge slam the boards to get him the stat hits many players do. Token hits. He doesn’t Cooke people, but if it’s there he lets them have 240 of it.

    Perhaps you haven’t played contact sports? It’s clear as day to me.

    Tenacity/60 is valued by the coaching staff.

    Its also something that, while Drake needs to do it to keep an NHL job, given his stature, I imagine it will continue to lead to yearly injuries.

  106. Georges says:

    Wilde,

    Laudable. Looking forward to it.

  107. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Wilde: I’m trying to tackle specific narratives through video analysis and this means getting (non-scoring play) film from last season of situations where presumably the narrative arose. Right now this means going through and clipping those situations, and then next I’ll do the video editing and then eventually the actual analysis.

    This is for the purpose of putting memory-tricks half of the eye test under scrutiny. There are more than a few commonly accepted viewpoints on what the 2017-18 Oilers were that are based on months-old recollections of what happened during a fast-moving, complex game.

    The two failings of the eye tests are the natural faults of memory and the natural human biases: I’m looking to rectify the faults of memory with the recordings and in turn I hope my biases in my own analysis are then criticized by the readers and we can inch closer to the truth.

    That’s a lot of work.

    Godspeed sir.

  108. Oilman99 says:

    who: People keep wanting to grade Lucic’s play on his total points.
    Or on his 5×5/60. Or on his possession numbers.
    I have seen posters here use their favorite metric or stat to claim he’s a 1LW. Or a 4LW. Or anything in between.
    I prefer the eye test. By my eye Lucic hasn’t been a top 6 forward since he got to Edmonton. He simply doesn’t have the puck skills to really compliment high end players.
    At least not for long (40 games) stretches of time.

    Totally agree, nobody on the team killed more offensive rushes last winter than Lucic. His inability to take a pass or make a pass was absolutely frustrating. So many good scoring chances wasted because he wasn’t ready or able to react fast enough.

  109. hunter1909 says:

    Milan Lucic intimidates so much even Darnell Nurse gets to keep out of trouble. That cheap shot artist in Calgary whose name starts with a T skates around like a meek lamb when he plays the Oilers. Milan Lucic takes the time to chat to the opposition goalies and defence, because even though these are supposed to be uber wonderful NHLers Lucic possesses the same qualities as John Ferguson brought with the Montreal dynasties when they routinely had to fend off earnest attacks from lower teams. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Lucic gets the respect given only to a rare few pro athletes.

    Of course we can hope that the refs protect McDavid, like when the Flyers intentionally led the rookie into the boards. Of course we could give Lucic 20 games into the next season, you know, since he’s still integral to the success/failure of the team and one with any freaking intelligence would at least be prepared to see whether he can rebound but no, most just bring out pitchforks and torches.

    I hate you all.

  110. Oilman99 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Tenacity/60 is valued by the coaching staff.

    Its also something that, while Drake needs to do it to keep an NHL job, given his stature, I imagine it will continue to lead to yearly injuries.

    $6.0 m for a guy running around to make a hit is a waste of $5.0m

  111. pts2pndr says:

    Wilde: I’m trying to tackle specific narratives through video analysis and this means getting (non-scoring play) film from last season of situations where presumably the narrative arose. Right now this means going through and clipping those situations, and then next I’ll do the video editing and then eventually the actual analysis.

    This is for the purpose of putting memory-tricks half of the eye test under scrutiny. There are more than a few commonly accepted viewpoints on what the 2017-18 Oilers were that are based on months-old recollections of what happened during a fast-moving, complex game.

    The two failings of the eye tests are the natural faults of memory and the natural human biases: I’m looking to rectify the faults of memory with the recordings and in turn I hope my biases in my own analysis are then criticized by the readers and we can inch closer to the truth.

    Thanks! I am very interested in what your research will uncover.

  112. Wilde says:

    In re, Benoit:

    Guy’s clearly a bastard to play against. Not easy on the wrists, the gut or the ribs.

    You’re missing something if you don’t know this, anecdotally I once read the story of a guy that golfed with some NHLers and when he asked who the under-the-radar dirtiest player was Pouliot’s name came up.

    It’s a big part of his game. What I’m not saying is that he’s as physical or intimidating as Lucic or anything of the sort, but I’m reading a very one-sided set of discourse here.

  113. pts2pndr says:

    Oilman99: $6.0 m for a guy running around to make a hit is a waste of $5.0m

    If he is running around I would agree but to be effective Lucic has to play physical! By playing physical he give both himself and his linemates more room to operate!

  114. Jaxon says:

    Woodguy v2.0: VOR: I would say your data set indicates coaches of losing teams blenderize their top lines more than winning teams coaches do. And mine indicates GMs of losing teams roll their rosters more. I bet, but can’t figure out how to prove that both behaviours become a cause of bad play, leading to more line churning and more roster roll and less success.

    I think it’s the egg, not the chicken.

    I haven’t determined which side is the egg.

    I suspect there will be a definite correlation between man games list to injury and roster size. After eliminating that there will probably be a very small correlation between losing teams and roster size, but that will also be largely affected by man games list to injury as that is the reason many teams are losing. The blender also comes out when injuries happen and the coach has no choice but to shuffle lines.

  115. Pescador says:

    Nix:
    Todays vacation talk inspired me this morning and is much appreciated. Lived in Vegas for years and the first thing you learn is to avoid the strip like botulism. Ive recently returned home to the Carolina coast (after a brief stint in Phx) but despite living a few blocks from Myrtle Beach Ive yet to go, even though its literally behind a row of trees near my backyard. Always read about the benefits of vitamin D with a detached acknowledgement but when some random on twitter framed it properly it really hit home. Said ‘your skin is a solar panel and we derive power from the sun’. What a great way to paint a picture that Id never considered before. So… with that and LTs post in mind, this kid from Scotch-Irish stock headed for the sand and it was absolutely glorious. I do 100% feel recharged. This isnt a political statement as Im firmly on a side many wont like, but with all the doom and gloom everywhere it felt so good to have fun and do something wholesome and healthy. Please tell someone you love how much they mean today. Do those 20 pushups youve been thinking about since 2005. Kiss a baby. Or a kitten. Or a baby kitten. Flirt with that cute nerdy chick at the checkout counter. Do something epic this afternoon for no other reason than it just feels really really really good. Yall are all welcome for world class bbq and local craft beer if you ever fly south this way. We have daisy dukes and hot sauce on deck.

    Silver Streak: My vote for post of the year !!

    meh,
    only post of the summer for me

  116. hungoverman says:

    Thorin,

    My son is also disabled. Monday morning magic is great and all the athletes and celebrities are great. Thanks for the note.

  117. OriginalPouzar says:

    Oilman99: $6.0 m for a guy running around to make a hit is a waste of $5.0m

    If that’s stat line is true then Drake, who I was talking about, it only overpaid by $500K.

    I wasn’t saying I agree with the coaching staff but simply presenting my opinion on what they value in Drake.

  118. hunter1909 says:

    Thorin: I am the parent of a child with autism who cannot handle large crowds and lots of noise.

    I happen to like Autistic people. I have all the time in the world for them.

  119. Lowetide says:

    Thorin:
    You know, it always amazes me how much outreach the Oilers players do.I realize it’s to get people interested and invested, and to get players’ names on people’s lips outside of the rink, but in the Edmonton market I don’t know if that’s really needed.I mean, we recognize these players as they’re walking down the street, in restaurants, even on beaches in far-off lands.And yet, they still participate in outreach events.

    I am the parent of a child with autism who cannot handle large crowds and lots of noise.Their brain simply doesn’t filter out background noise from the important noise of the conversation they’re in.I’ve heard it described as having a flashlight shone in your eyes, but instead of light it’s noise in your ears.

    The Oilers have again sent players to help out with K-Days Monday Morning Magic, where children like mine can experience the midway with less noise and crowds.When they next run into a neurotypical child, they’ll be able to talk about the rides and midway with each other, erasing yet one more little difference that would otherwise mark them as “different”.

    I know at its heart, this is a business decision to increase visibility of new players and the Oilers brand as a whole, and that it is not entirely necessary in this hockey-crazy town.But that doesn’t stop it from being an absolutely positive experience for the kids, and I applaud the Oilers for being involved, as they do with so many other good causes.

    Great post and insight, thanks for this. I can say the Oilers have been doing this kind of thing since the beginning, going way out of their way (players and organization).

  120. Pescador says:

    hunter1909:
    Milan Lucic intimidates so much even Darnell Nurse gets to keep out of trouble. That cheap shot artist in Calgary whose name starts with a T skates around like a meek lamb when he plays the Oilers. Milan Lucic takes the time to chat to the opposition goalies and defence, because even though these are supposed to be uber wonderful NHLers Lucic possesses the same qualities as John Ferguson brought with the Montreal dynasties when they routinely had to fend off earnest attacks from lower teams. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Lucic gets the respect given only to a rare few pro athletes.

    Of course we can hope that the refs protect McDavid, like when the Flyers intentionally led the rookie into the boards. Of course we could give Lucic 20 games into the next season, you know, since he’s still integral to the success/failure of the team and one with any freaking intelligence would at least be prepared to see whether he can rebound but no, most just bring out pitchforks and torches.

    I hate you all.

    Monday drinking

  121. hunter1909 says:

    Pescador: Monday drinking

    Scotch-Irish.

    I rest my case.

  122. hunter1909 says:

    I’ll still stand by my words. Lucic brings elite value.

    And I like to say the word fuck.

    PS: Two prospects; a veritable Prince and the pauper situation with “The Admiral”(literally the best hockey nickname of all time) … with poor little rich boy Keegan Lowe who I’d happily wager money on to make it in the NHL, simply by the expression on his face.

  123. Pescador says:

    OriginalPouzar: If that’s stat line is true then Drake, who I was talking about, it only overpaid by $500K.

    I wasn’t saying I agree with the coaching staff but simply presenting my opinion on what they value in Drake.

    the rapper- sorry, artist?

  124. hunter1909 says:

    Pescador,

    Reminds me of the one and only time I went to a live horse racing track – by 9pm all of the nice people had left, leaving the hard core losers.

    PS: I learned about “each way” betting that night and managed to come out ahead thanks to one horse that caught my eye early in the night’s program, lol.

  125. Fuhr and Lowething. says:

    Nix:
    Todays vacation talk inspired me this morning and is much appreciated. Lived in Vegas for years and the first thing you learn is to avoid the strip like botulism. Ive recently returned home to the Carolina coast (after a brief stint in Phx) but despite living a few blocks from Myrtle Beach Ive yet to go, even though its literally behind a row of trees near my backyard. Always read about the benefits of vitamin D with a detached acknowledgement but when some random on twitter framed it properly it really hit home. Said ‘your skin is a solar panel and we derive power from the sun’. What a great way to paint a picture that Id never considered before. So… with that and LTs post in mind, this kid from Scotch-Irish stock headed for the sand and it was absolutely glorious. I do 100% feel recharged. This isnt a political statement as Im firmly on a side many wont like, but with all the doom and gloom everywhere it felt so good to have fun and do something wholesome and healthy. Please tell someone you love how much they mean today. Do those 20 pushups youve been thinking about since 2005. Kiss a baby. Or a kitten. Or a baby kitten. Flirt with that cute nerdy chick at the checkout counter. Do something epic this afternoon for no other reason than it just feels really really really good. Yall are all welcome for world class bbq and local craft beer if you ever fly south this way. We have daisy dukes and hot sauce on deck.

    Wow. Cool….

    I live in Shallotte, work in Calabash, super cool to see another poster that’s practically a neighbor!

    I’m down for a beer anytime!

  126. hunter1909 says:

    Pescador: the rapper- sorry, artist?

    We’re more into Tekashi 6lx9ine around here.

    Because we’re trendy and hip.

    lol

  127. Georges says:

    hunter1909,

    “Tekashi 6lx9ine”

    Wow.

  128. BONE207 says:

    hunter1909:

    I hate you all.

    What??? Are we out of the playoffs already?

  129. Georges says:

    VOR: I want to take a shot at answering this question.

    Let’s use roster size as a proxy for perpetual motion

    Based on the roster sizes listed at hockeyreference.com for all teams since 2005

    Average roster size: 34.1
    Average roster size of teams with records below .500: 37.3
    Average roster size of teams with records between .500 and .599: 32.8
    Average roster size of teams with records .600 and above: 32.6

    2017-2018

    League average roster size: 34.3
    Below .500: 36.8
    .500 to .599: 32.9
    .600 and above: 33.3

    Poor teams definitely have more roll in their rosters.

    But is roll the problem or an attempt to find a solution?

    Very large roster sizes (38 or more people on the roster) correlate with losing seasons.

    For example in 2017-2018 7 teams had rosters of 38 or more, only 1 (Anaheim) had a record of more than .500. This is typical across many seasons.

    Teams that are bad for long periods of time have numerous seasons of large rosters Edmonton for example starting with 2006-2007 have had rosters of 35, 34, 34, 40, 35, 37, 31, 43, 43, 38, 33, 34.

    I am guessing when a bad team has a large roster and neither the poor performance or the roster size are explained by injury that the team is searching for answers but that the roll itself becomes a problem.

    So my theory is that bad teams roll players looking for solutions and that the roll itself prevents them from finding those solutions.

    However, the effect seems weak though I haven’t done statistical analysis on the data.

    Going back a few seasons (to 05-06), the correlation between points % and roster size is:

    – always negative
    – often statistically significant
    – typically small

    There’s not enough variance in roster size among teams compared to the variance in performance for the effect to be more pronounced. I think it’s fair to say that roster size gives us some information on performance. But, as you point out, hard to figure out what’s driving what. I did notice that roster sizes typically don’t correlate from season to season, suggesting that it’s more teams reacting to what happens than following some philosophy

    I can share the spreadsheet if you’re interested.

  130. Pescador says:

    hunter1909: Scotch-Irish.

    I rest my case.

    https://youtu.be/mXBWSDAFKY4?t=1s

  131. Pescador says:

    hunter1909:
    Pescador,

    Reminds me of the one and only time I went to a guys only Dance club – by 9pm all of the nice people had left, leaving the hard core losers.

    PS: I learned about “each way” betting that night and managed to come out ahead thanks to one horse that caught my eye early in the night’s program, lol.

    fixed
    https://youtu.be/9OH1yEnENG0

  132. Georges says:

    Revolved:
    VOR,

    I agree that our data fit together, but probably arise from different decision makers. The Oilers are bringing up lots of young wingers, which creates turnover, but McLellan has a history of blending, and I think it’s hurting the team.

    Nice work. Worth a closer look.

  133. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t disagree with your theory in principle but we both know the head coach likes what Caggulia brings to the table and the player is going to be in the National Hockey League – not to mention, he’d have a $400K plus cap hit even is he is in the AHL.

    Further, assuming Yamamoto is also in the AHL, the replacement is Brad Malone which does not make the team better.

    I don’t imagine we will see Caggulia hit the waiver wire.

    You are probably right. I was hoping that with any luck a better player would hit the waiver wire that the Oilers could pick up.

  134. VOR says:

    Georges: Nice work. Worth a closer look.

    I’d love to see the spread sheet.

    The more I have thought about revolved’s post the more I wonder exactly how some teams get on those runs where they end up with high roster turnover, big annual roster sizes, and consistently crappy records? It is not like they express the pattern every year. But the trend lines suggest a pattern. For example, the Oilers in the Decade of Drakness or Detroit in the decade before Nick Lidstrom.

    It looks like most bad teams revert to the mean quite quickly both in terms of points and in terms of roster size. But some teams remain outliers for years. Is too much change the problem? If so is it change in coaches, changes coaches implement (too much line juggling) for example, changes in GM, or changes imposed by the GM.

    Is there an optimal age distribution of a roster? An optimal mix of old and new blood? An optimal number of prospects to give ice time? An optimal amount of time together for your top lines? All your lines?

  135. Bank Shot says:

    Every team starts with 23 players on the roster.

    From what I have seen, rosters generally grow faster when teams are eliminated from the playoffs.

    -Bad teams are more likely to make waiver claims
    -Teams with goaltending failures will cycle through guys to try to find one that can stop a puck. I think the Oilers used 6 in 13/14.
    -Bad teams are going to trade their expiring contracts for picks, and those players need to be replaced
    -Bad teams are more prone to giving out cups of coffee in garbage time.
    -Bad teams are more likely to shut guys down with nagging/minor injuries

    So except in the case of injuries to key players causing the roster to grow and also the team to fail, I think a large roster is just a signal that the season ended early for a team.

  136. OilClog says:

    1.5million for Drake Caggiula is 3Million too much for Liam Reddox.

  137. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: You are probably right. I was hoping that with any luck a better player would hit the waiver wire that the Oilers could pick up.

    They very well could pick someone up off the waiver wire or sign a guy like Chimera or Shore (and they should acquire 1 more actual NHL forward in the range of $800K to put another body between the NHL and Malone), I just don’t see Caggulia being waived and assigned.

    At this point, if they carry 14F and Yamamoto is in the AHL, that means Brad Malone is on the team and, to me, Malone on the NHL roster without a few injuries is not a good result.

  138. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bank Shot:
    Every team starts with 23 players on the roster.

    From what I have seen, rosters generally grow faster when teams are eliminated from the playoffs.

    -Bad teams are more likely to make waiver claims
    -Teams with goaltending failures will cycle through guys to try to find one that can stop a puck. I think the Oilers used 6 in 13/14.
    -Bad teams are going to trade their expiring contracts for picks, and those players need to be replaced
    -Bad teams are more prone to giving out cups of coffee in garbage time.
    -Bad teams are more likely to shut guys down with nagging/minor injuries

    So except in the case of injuries to key players causing the roster to grow and also the team to fail, I think a large roster is just a signal that the season ended early for a team.

    Roster limits are 23 players from the end of preseason until the trade deadline (some teams will carry less than 23 players but the minimum is 20 and the max 23).

    After the trade deadline, the roster size has no limit.

  139. Revolved says:

    VOR,

    That really is an interesting question that hits close to home. When organizations rebuild, they sell off their stable veterans for picks, which leaves unstable roster spots for years. Since coaches and GMs need to look like they’re trying, they start shuffling players through the line up. When players can’t learn stable systems together, this is what makes for a team without an identity that plays like an AHL team.

    A good coach and GM can halt this, even in a weak position, by making hard bets on the best options they have. The Oilers have have viable options for their top 6, but McLellan refuses to stick with anything. At some point, it just needs to stop!

  140. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I think we have moved on the from the phrase “line in the sand” or “jumping the shark” as an indicator of threshold.

    The new phraseology is “Brad Malone in the NHL”.

    For example: “Well at least we haven’t got ‘Brad Malone in the NHL’, there’s still some hope!”

    Of course OP, I agree that if we “Brad Malone in the NHL” there is a problem!

  141. russ99 says:

    Oilman99: Totally agree, nobody on the team killed more offensive rushes last winter than Lucic. His inability to take a pass or make a pass was absolutely frustrating. So many good scoring chances wasted because he wasn’t ready or able to react fast enough.

    If you’re looking for Lucic to be a rush player doing fancy give and goes up the ice, your’re looking at the wrong player, this is why he’s not a good fit with RNH, who has issues retaining and distributing the puck on the wall under pressure. RNH is good at the things Lucic is bad at and is bad at the things Lucic is good at. You don’t run water and oil together half a season and expect good things.

    This is my biggest issue with the Oilers last year: the line of Draisaitl, Lucic and Slepyshev was a quality cycle line putting Lucic in the places on the ice where he can be effective, and it didn’t even get a 10 game trial last season with McLellan’s rolling blender.

    Besides, the best rush lines get a quality chance, then they have to play the cycle game, it’s not an either-or proposition. Some players are good at one or the other and a few are good at both. That doesn’t mean the ones who aren’t good at the rush are useless.

  142. OriginalPouzar says:

    1 year – $3M for Edmundson.

  143. Jaxon says:

    VOR: I’d love to see the spread sheet.

    The more I have thought about revolved’s post the more I wonder exactly how some teams get on those runs where they end up with high roster turnover, big annual roster sizes, and consistently crappyrecords? It is not like they express the pattern every year. But the trend lines suggest a pattern. For example, the Oilers in the Decade of Drakness or Detroit in the decade before Nick Lidstrom.

    It looks like most bad teams revert to the mean quite quickly both in terms of points and in terms of roster size. But some teams remain outliers for years. Is too much change the problem? If so is it change in coaches, changes coaches implement (too much line juggling) for example, changes in GM, or changes imposed by the GM.

    Is there an optimal age distribution of a roster? An optimal mix of old and new blood? An optimal number of prospects to give ice time? An optimal amount of time together for your top lines? All your lines?

    The Vegas model kinda flies in the face of the too much change theory. Almost nobody on that team had played together prior to last season and the coach actually juggled lines a fair bit due to both injury, chemistry and youth (some players had very little NHL experience). Outlier? Maybe.

  144. matt says:

    Could Montreal get interested in a Russell trade to backstop Weber?

  145. Revolved says:

    Jaxon,

    I showed above that Vegas actually had one of the most stable top six deployments in the league last year. I think they just show that stability is not something that needs a long time to develop, but it does require trust.

  146. Andy Dufresne says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I think it’s the egg, not the chicken.

    I haven’t determined which side is the egg.

    I can tell you with some degree of confidence…..”Its a chicken omelette”

    Dilly Chicken Omelet Recipe – Pillsbury.com

    In small bowl, combine eggs, milk, onions and salt; beat with fork until well blended. Melt margarine in 9 or 10-inch skillet or omelet pan over medium-high heat; tilt skillet to coat.
    Pour egg mixture into skillet; reduce heat to low. …
    Top omelet with chicken, cheese and tomato.

    (I lack the creative energy to fill the recipe out with hockey metaphors.)

    Dilly Dilly!

  147. Andy Dufresne says:

    As a casual fan I dont like the blender either. Prefer to allow chemistry to flourish.

    But it would seem that the blender would afford some tactical advantages.

    1) upper hand in winning the line matching batlle if your players are able to move easily up and down the lineup

    2) easier to manage injuries as they occur

    3) makes it easier for coach to reward and punish based on player performance

    4) makes it easier for coach to maximize players exhibiting jump in any particular game

    5) makes it easier for coach to deploy the lineup based on the in-game situation…..up by one…down by one….time left in game etc

    6) easier to manage a game full of odd man situations pp’s pk’s

    Etc

    But I would assume the advantages of the blender are realized more with veteran teams than with those populated with more than a couple of first and second year players. And more for teams with set rosters (ie annual roster turnover less than 15%). May also require a certain type of goalie. Obviously requires a high level of bye-in to the system….which may imply players with higher hockey IQs…also easier to deploy with the more centers you have on a team….Oilers have McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge, Strome, Khaira, Brodziak..six of their top 12 forwards are centers.

  148. Andy Dufresne says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    1 year – $3M for Edmundson.

    Is Edmundson a Nurse comparable for “bridge” terms?

  149. Bank Shot says:

    Revolved:
    Jaxon,

    I showed above that Vegas actually had one of the most stable top six deployments in the league last year. I think they just show that stability is not something that needs a long time to develop, but it does require trust.

    Also the Chicago Blackhawks are a good example. In 05-06 their first line was Arnason-Bell-Calder.

    They had tonnes of turnover until they didn’t.

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