The 2018-19 Oilers: Never Kept a Dollar Past Sunset

The Edmonton Oilers 2016-17 will long be remembered as the group that pulled the franchise out of the depths and allowed the fanbase to dream of Stanley again. The breathtaking Connor McDavid and emerging Leon Draisaitl provided ample torque for the team, while Cam Talbot was outstanding all year long for Edmonton. This past season, all that progress seemed to wash away in one devastating deluge. Today, we are here, after the rain.

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.

THE MCDAVID CLUSTER

One year ago, the McDavid cluster counted four men (97, 29, 25 and I’m trying to shoe-horn Puljujarvi in, maybe he grabs the future this season), there are three more names added and we’ll see if they have sustain. It would be so very good if all three of the new hires blossomed and played lots of NHL games this season, there are no wild and crazy bonuses owed to any of the newcomers to my McDavid cluster list.

One thing I am keeping track of? Players who were in the McDavid cluster who failed to stick around. That list includes Nail Yakupov, Griffin Reinhart, Anton Slepyshev. Players who were part of the 97 cluster early and graduated to the veteran cluster include Jujhar Khaira and Drake Caggiula.

The McDavid cluster, above, is the heart of the Edmonton Oilers.

THE PRIME CLUSTER

On a traditional team, this would be the heart of the order. With McDavid still in the youth department, this section lacks the star power but there is substantial talent here. RNH, Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson are important pieces. I believe Matt Benning may get there, and other candidates include Ryan Strome, Jujhar Khaira, Tobias Rieder and the others listed here.

Those falling off since McDavid arrived include Brandon Davidson, Anton Lander, Iiro Pakarinen, Tyler Pitlick. Anton Slepyshev and Laurent Brossoit sang drift away this summer.

THE VETERAN CLUSTER

There’s a lot of turnover in this category, recent exits include Matt Hendricks, Jordan Eberle, Benoit Pouliot, Patrick Maroon, Jussi Jokinen, Mark Letestu. Teddy Purcell was once on this list.

THE MCDAVID CLUSTER BY YEAR

  • 2015-16: 301 games, 46-90-136 .452
  • 2016-17: 236 games, 65-131-196 .831
  • 2017-18: 334 games, 85-146-231 .692

In all three seasons of 97’s career, youth has been served. The most explosive group is the young set, with 2016-17 shining like a diamond (those 236 games were posted by McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse and Puljujarvi). Share of games increased in 2017-18 but the group wasn’t as productive. There are some promising names bubbling up, Yamamoto could be a key contributor as soon as this season.

THE PRIME CLUSTER BY YEAR

  • 2015-16: 584 games, 85-131-216 .370
  • 2016-17: 507 games, 72-123-195 .385
  • 2017-18: 651 games, 95-130-225 .346

On a perfectly balanced team, this group would be the most productive. Part of the issue is McDavid-Draisaitl driving the department of youth, but it’s also true that trading Hall and Eberle made this cluster less productive. Nuge, Klefbom and Larsson are nice pieces, but there’s no one to push the river in this group.

THE VETERAN CLUSTER BY YEAR

  • 2015-16: 611 games, 68-190-258 .422
  • 2016-17: 560 games, 65-148-213 .380
  • 2017-18: 439 games, 43-104-147 .335

Hall and Eberle never reached this sector but the Oilers have had some productive players from this group over the three seasons (Andrej Sekera, Teddy Purcell, Benoit Pouliot, Patrick Maroon, even Mike Cammalleri brought some good things).

Last season the group didn’t deliver much offense, 43 goals between Milan Lucic, Patrick Maroon, Mark Letestu, Andrej Sekera et cetera is not a productive campaign.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A full boat this morning, starting at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Andy McNamara, TSN 1050, TSN4Downs. Johnny Football takes the field, NFL training camps.
  • Cam DaSilva, RamsWire. LA Rams training camp news, including Aaron Donald’s holdout.
  • Rob Vollman, NHL.com and ESPN. How much business is there left to do?
  • Stu Walters, TSN1040 Vancouver. What’s up Trevor Linden?

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

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99 Responses to "The 2018-19 Oilers: Never Kept a Dollar Past Sunset"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    Interesting that Klefbom is not part of the McDavid cluster…..

    Too old?

    Oh, wait, I see multiple clusters now…..

  2. 36 percent body fat says:

    Caggulia has graduated?

    Too what? He may not be the worst player in the league but he might have the worst effect on his team. How do you bring down the best player in the world so bad, as well as another superstar center. The evidence is clear, he makes the team worse, and he brings nothing towards goal scoring or defense, the two keys to a team winning.

  3. Lowetide says:

    36 percent body fat:
    Caggulia has graduated?

    Too what? He may notbe the worst player in the league but he might have the worst effect on his team.How do you bring down the best player in the world so bad, as well as another superstar center.The evidence is clear, he makes the team worse, and he brings nothing towards goal scoring or defense, the two keys to a team winning.

    He graduated from the McDavid cluster to the prime cluster.

  4. Psyche says:

    I enjoy how you broke out the clusters LT. Thanks for putting this info together. I really appreciate your work.

    When is Nurse’s arbitration hearing scheduled for?

  5. frjohnk says:

    McDavid almost has half the points for the “McDavid Cluster”

    Guess that is why its called the “McDavid Cluster”

    EDIT: I wonder if this team, with everything else the same, did not win that lottery and instead drafted Strome, where it would be.

  6. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    In the “Veteran Cluster” Patrick Maroon left twice! Impressive!

    Just being an A**!

  7. J-Bo says:

    Psyche,

    Nurse is not eligible to elect for arbitration.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Psyche:
    I enjoy how you broke out the clusters LT. Thanks for putting this info together. I really appreciate your work.

    When is Nurse’s arbitration hearing scheduled for?

    No are for Nurse, just waiting for him to sign.

  9. BONE207 says:

    Never kept a dollar past sunset…Dear Dylan…words to live by for a day or 2. Yesterday’s postings had everything but plumbing tips. The one thing I needed…damn renters!!!
    What an eclectic group. I come to read LTs hockey blog & come away learning about music, cooking, drugs & even languages (VOR & Ricki) . What bold new frontiers do we conquer today. Let the knowledge begin to flow.

  10. BONE207 says:

    frjohnk:
    McDavid almost has half the points for the “McDavid Cluster”

    Guess that is why its called the “McDavid Cluster”

    EDIT: I wonder if this team, with everything else the same, did not win that lottery and instead drafted Strome, where it would be.

    Never wonder….just nod your head & say thank you

  11. Psyche says:

    Lowetide,

    Excellent. Thank you for the clarification.

  12. Caribbeerman says:

    Lowetide – given that defensemen take a little longer to mature/develop would it be better to age adjust the McDavid cluster & include d-men who are 25 years old like Klefbom, Larsson and Benning?

    Also – just writing that sentence – I can’t believe Larsson is 25!! His game is so mature and his presence on the ice is so calming and I don’t think that his game has peaked at all.

    My McDavid Cluster would be:
    McDavid
    RNH
    Draisaitl
    Nurse
    Puljujarvi
    Yamamoto
    Bouchard
    Bear
    Klefbom
    Larsson
    Benning

  13. vinotintazo says:

    Psyche: When is Nurse’s arbitration hearing scheduled for?

    nurse has no arb. I guess he could hold out? but I doubt it.

  14. flyfish1168 says:

    I view the Mcdavid cluster as the ones that will be the group protected from Seattle. Unfortunately, that maybe include Lucic, Sekera and Russell. 🙁

  15. 106 and 106 says:

    Also hoping for a bounceback season from Drake.

    He had a rough year last year, like most of the team, and fancies see him bad till the sunsets, but there is a player there – maybe not as much as sideburns and Slepyshev.

    But he’s a burner on a team with slow boots.

    15G and a regression to saw off the opposition would be a win imo.

  16. Jaxon says:

    Caribbeerman:
    Lowetide – given that defensemen take a little longer to mature/develop would it be better to age adjust the McDavid cluster& include d-men who are 25 years old like Klefbom, Larsson and Benning?

    Also – just writing that sentence – I can’t believe Larsson is 25!! His game is so mature and his presence on the ice is so calming and I don’t think that his game has peaked at all.

    My McDavid Cluster would be:
    McDavid
    RNH
    Draisaitl
    Nurse
    Puljujarvi
    Yamamoto
    Bouchard
    Bear
    Klefbom
    Larsson
    Benning

    I agree with this. D seem to develop and peak about two years later than forwards and goalies another two years after that. So prime forwards at 24,25,26, D at 26,27,28, G at 28,29,30. McDavid cluster F at 19-23, D at 21 to 25, G at 23 to 27. Vets F at 27 or older, D at 29 or older, G at 31 or older.

  17. J-Bo says:

    The clusters are a little awkward to me. I think it is because one is called the McDavid cluster while the rest are categorized differently. Also the Prime cluster being 2 years feels short in comparison to the other two. Nurse will move there next year and that will be odd to not have him in the McDavid cluster. Then in a few years McDavid will move in and the Prime cluster will be renamed? It might make more sense to me to have categories like “The Young Possibles” (Those young enough and talented enough to graduate to The Heart of the Order), “The Heart of the Order” (The true heart of the team), “The Pisani’s” (Mentor group of veterans outside the heart), and “The Last Chance Charlie’s” (Those veterans who are looking on the edge due to age or injury or newer/younger guys that need to do something or they’ll be gone).

    The Young Possibles
    Bouchard
    Yamamoto
    Bear
    Puljujarvi
    Benning
    Khaira
    Caggiula
    Koskinen

    The Heart of the Order
    McDavid
    Draisaitl
    Nurse
    Nuge
    Klefbom

    The Pisani’s
    Larsson
    Strome
    Rieder
    Lucic
    Kassian
    Russell
    Talbot

    The Last Chance Charlie’s
    Brodziak
    Sekera
    Malone
    Gravel
    Rattie
    Aberg
    Montoya

    This would give players like Puljujarvi and Bouchard a chance to graduate to the McDavid Cluster and keep the main hope as the main men (Nurse not graduating). It would give us lots to discuss as well, like is Lucic a “Last Chance Charlie” due to performance or a “Pisani” due to contract? What about Sekera or Caggiula? Maybe this won’t measure what you are hoping to measure LT, but I like that it is more reflective of how a person might see the players categorically instead of being largely based on age. It would also give us a chance to see the impact each group made come year end and who is moving where categorically based on performance.

    *Edit – The goalies would make for good discussion as well when categorized this way.

  18. blainer says:

    frjohnk:
    McDavid almost has half the points for the “McDavid Cluster”

    Guess that is why its called the “McDavid Cluster”

    EDIT: I wonder if this team, with everything else the same, did not win that lottery and instead drafted Strome, where it would be.

    We would have Matthews instead as we would have finished last with Strome the next season as the last place team won the lottery the year.

  19. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – In baseball a typical World Series team has 3 good to great starting pitchers (with a Stud), a closer, and a strong middle of order batting

    – Then the bullpen comes together, you get strong defensive play, and guys in the 6-9 hit well…

    – If you take this concept to Hockey, using LT’s clusters, and compare this team to the Washington team that just won, the Pitts team, L.A., Chicago, from the last 10 or so years its similar

    – When we win Cups, you will have McD and Drai lighting it up. You need a stud winger to emerge from Pool, Kailer, etc. RNH is one of those sub-superstars that all Cup teams have.

    – While we don’t have the elite stud D a la Doughty, Carlson, Letang, Keith, Lidstrom which seems to be a “template” of recent Cup winners, perhaps one can emerge

    – The narrative on this team could change really quickly with the emergence of a player or two who hangs with Drai and McD: and I think that is likely to happen quicker than many think.

    – I think all of Larsson, Klef and Nurse have upside from their current best historical sample sizes of excellent play over different periods. Maybe Bouchard emerges as the missing D

    – The rest of the roster: these are just guys like MacT, Lowe, Essa Tikanen, Graves, Gelinas, etc. I mean that you just find the right guys to fill in a roster that is led by 3-4 elite players: Mess, Kurri and Anderson in that year.

    – There is a tendancy to look at winning teams secondary guys and over-value them. Teams that win the cup: these secondary guys have typically career years, puck luck, chem, clutch, whatever.

    – And when we win: our goalie will be just awesome in the playoffs: do not pass go without a sick playoff goalie

    – It’s McD, Drai, RNH and another guy or 2 that will step up that make or break this team IMO

  20. deardylan says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Kinger, Not sure if you saw my post in yesterdays post entry to you. Here is the post so you don’t have to go looking for it:


    Kinger, Yes would be great to connect with you and even better to meet you for a coffee.
    Can you send me a quick hi at ” deardylan at gmail dot com ” and let me know the best way to get ahold of you. Thanks.


    deardylan,
    – You are looking for a job in T.O.? My “hobby” is connecting people:
    – One of my first jobs I got after meeting someone who knew of an opportunity, and he called that guy I got an interview, and then the job. When I asked him how I could thank him he just said: “promise to help anyone who needs a job to meet with them and listen” I’ve been doing it ever since, and its a reward in life.
    – I would love to meet up if you are so inclined.

  21. godot10 says:

    frjohnk:
    McDavid almost has half the points for the “McDavid Cluster”

    Guess that is why its called the “McDavid Cluster”

    EDIT: I wonder if this team, with everything else the same, did not win that lottery and instead drafted Strome, where it would be.

    They would still would have had a Hart Trophy winner in Hall. And #JustSayNoah (Hanifin). And Barzal/KyleConnor and Brandon Carlo. And Nelson would have been coach. They would have Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins at centre.

    Nelson and Krueger managed 70 something point paces with far less. McLellan has produced two 70 something point seasons with McDavid.

    The Hall and Reinhart trades and not hiring Nelson really equalize the with McDavid and without McDavid scenarios.

  22. Professor Q says:

    godot10: They would still would have had a Hart Trophy winner in Hall.And #JustSayNoah (Hanifin).And Barzal/KyleConnor and Brandon Carlo.And Nelson would have been coach.They would have Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins at centre.

    Nelson and Krueger managed 70 something point paces with far less.McLellan has produced two 70 something point seasons with McDavid.

    The Hall and Reinhart trades and not hiring Nelson really equalize the with McDavid and without McDavid scenarios.

    Hall never won the Hart with Edmonton. No one knows if he would have with McDavid, either.

  23. godot10 says:

    godot10: They would still would have had a Hart Trophy winner in Hall.And #JustSayNoah (Hanifin).And Barzal/KyleConnor and Brandon Carlo.And Nelson would have been coach.They would have Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins at centre.

    Nelson and Krueger managed 70 something point paces with far less.McLellan has produced two 70 something point seasons with McDavid.

    The Hall and Reinhart trades and not hiring Nelson really equalize the with McDavid and without McDavid scenarios.

    Todd Nelson

    Talbot (they claim the deal was in the works)

    Nurse, Klefbom, Hanifin, Carlo,

    Hall, Eberle, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins, one of Barzal/Connor

  24. Bag of Pucks says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Another interesting way of looking at this is to ask yourself the questions:

    1) Trailing a goal late in a must win playoff game, what 5 players can they throw out on the ice to get that equalizer?
    2) Protecting a lead late in a must win playoff game, what 5 players can they throw out on the ice to absolutely stifle the opposition?

    I always like using the NJ Devils of yore as examples of this as Lou did an absolutely amazing job building teams where every player had a well defined role on the hockey club.

    For the former task (i.e. getting the equalizer), they would be looking at players like Elias, Sykora, MacLean, Lemieux etc. upfront and Niedermayer and Rafalski on the backend.

    When the task turned to protecting that lead, you were seeing players like Madden, Holik, MacKay, Stevens and Daneyko.

    If we’re to plug this in for the Oil now, I think you can see the gaps particularly on the ‘protecting the lead side of the ledger.’ This team sorely needs that Carbonneau/Madden type two way pivot down the middle. It’s either that or Leon becomes Kopitar or McDavid as Crosby. Either way, their defensive games have to improve substantially. The Top Pairing shutdown D is yet to be established AND the offense is lacking from the D for the ‘must get goal’ gang along with the obvious gap at 1RW.

  25. godot10 says:

    106 and 106:
    Also hoping for a bounceback season from Drake.

    He had a rough year last year, like most of the team, and fancies see him bad till the sunsets, but there is a player there – maybe not as much as sideburns and Slepyshev.

    But he’s a burner on a team with slow boots.

    15G and a regression to saw off the opposition would be a win imo.

    Caggiula is in his mid-twenties and can’t play a whit of defense. Ditto Rattie. They are injury subs at best.

  26. Bumblebpete says:

    J-Bo,

    I like it

  27. Bag of Pucks says:

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  28. N64 says:

    flyfish1168:
    I view the Mcdavid cluster as the ones that will be the group protected from Seattle. Unfortunately, that maybe include Lucic, Sekera and Russell.

    If there is a lockout we need the expansion lottery to be held after the lockout. Makes sense that all 32 GMs know the new CBA first. I can see 31 GMs wanting the compliance buyout again and BEFORE the expansion draft to have the option to drop NMCs . Especially if the expansion draft protection rules are same as VGK. Lucic, Sekera and Russell would all be eligible if a compliance buyout is for $3M+ salaries again.

  29. stephen sheps says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    1) Trailing a goal late in a must win playoff game, what 5 players can they throw out on the ice to get that equalizer?
    2) Protecting a lead late in a must win playoff game, what 5 players can they throw out on the ice to absolutely stifle the opposition?

    I like this little thought experiment. I’ll bite.

    1) 93-97-29; 77-83 (*18 as the 6th player if the net is empty)

    If you’re going to go for it, load up the big guns all in one place. On D it’s not an ideal set, but Klef can fire the puck when healthy (and he is now), Benning can scoot and when looking at his numbers a bit more closely seems like he is on the positive side of the ‘drive the play forward’ ledger, especially if this is an O-zone start.

    2) 97-93-16/22; 25-6

    Fastest player alive, best defensive C currently on the team, and JJ seems the sort of ‘lay it all on the line’ type a la Langenbrunner or Grant Marshall (to stick with your devils comp). Nurse is mean. Larsson is mean. Of the D currently on the roster, those are the 2 I would feel most comfortable throwing over the boards to protect the lead. RIcki-box protection, speed and meanness plus the ability to cycle break.

    Are these the best combinations? No. Can these combinations perform the way we as fans hope they can if they’re playing their best? Probably. And given where the team is at, that’s really all we can hope for.

  30. Material Elvis says:

    godot10: They would still would have had a Hart Trophy winner in Hall.And #JustSayNoah (Hanifin).And Barzal/KyleConnor and Brandon Carlo.And Nelson would have been coach.They would have Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins at centre.

    Nelson and Krueger managed 70 something point paces with far less.McLellan has produced two 70 something point seasons with McDavid.

    The Hall and Reinhart trades and not hiring Nelson really equalize the with McDavid and without McDavid scenarios.

    Revisionist history at its finest Godot. Yes, they would have had Draisaitl and RNH. Hanifin hasn’t been impressive thus far, they were never going to draft Barzal or Connor, Krueger’s team’s pace was trending down (badly) at the end of season. The Reinhart trade was a train wreck, the Hall trade was a value loss, the difference between Nelson and McLellan is negligible. The team would have still sucked.

  31. digger50 says:

    106 and 106:
    Also hoping for a bounceback season from Drake.

    He had a rough year last year, like most of the team, and fancies see him bad till the sunsets, but there is a player there – maybe not as much as sideburns and Slepyshev.

    But he’s a burner on a team with slow boots.

    15G and a regression to saw off the opposition would be a win imo.

    I will Also throw my support behind Caggs.

    He’s fast, he hits, he gives everything he’s got. That’s a good thing.

    If his contribution is still lacking for an NHL team they need to push him down by obtaining better talent until he is pushed down and off the roster.

    If he is overpaid that is on the GM. If he is misused that is on the coach. If he is poor defensively he needs coached. If he doesn’t improve and still played above other options then it’s back to the coach.

    The Drake brings it every game and the Oilers could use more of that. I understand why people want to replace him in order to get better, but I can’t understand being down on the player himself. He is what he is. And on a positive note, he may be another who finds stability and a steady role this year allowing substantial improvement.

  32. digger50 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Another interesting way of looking at this is to ask yourself the questions:

    1) Trailing a goal late in a must win playoff game, what 5 players can they throw out on the ice to get that equalizer?
    2) Protecting a lead late in a must win playoff game, what 5 players can they throw out on the ice to absolutely stifle the opposition?

    I always like using the NJ Devils of yore as examples of this as Lou did an absolutely amazing job building teams where every player had a well defined role on the hockey club.

    For the former task (i.e. getting the equalizer), they would be looking at players like Elias, Sykora, MacLean,Lemieux etc. upfront and Niedermayer and Rafalski on the backend.

    When the task turned to protecting that lead, you were seeing players like Madden, Holik, MacKay, Stevens and Daneyko.

    If we’re to plug this in for the Oil now, I think you can see the gaps particularly on the ‘protecting the lead side of the ledger.’ This team sorely needs that Carbonneau/Madden type two way pivot down the middle. It’s either that or Leon becomes Kopitar or McDavid as Crosby. Either way, their defensive games have to improve substantially. The Top Pairing shutdown D is yet to be established AND the offense is lacking from the D for the ‘must get goal’ gang along with the obvious gap at 1RW.

    Really interesting way of looking at the application of this roster.

    Yes, you can visualize some gaps but they are still young; and second some of those defensive peices can be obtained for relatively low cost. Wallet is just empty right now.

    Edit: we also see this during overtime. After Connor and Drai with Klefbom come off they are looking up and down the bench. “Who else we got?” “Nuge, your up….with uuummm…”

  33. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    digger50,

    – Going back to my point of the secondary guys. Caggs “sucks” because the team sucks

    – On a better team, this same player you describe: fast, hits, hustle, etc his numbers better

    – These type of guys don’t rise the tide: but on good teams, they are the ones where the narrative is “he’s the glue guy”, etc. When this team is good, Caggs, or guys with his exact skill-set will have better numbers, as the team will be scoring more, letting in less goals, and winning more games.

    – He’s part of the messy-middle that on a good year, on a good team will help the team win the Cup, unitll then he’s just another guy on a team that is not very good.

  34. JimmyV1965 says:

    digger50: I will Also throw my support behind Caggs.

    He’s fast, he hits, he gives everything he’s got. That’s a good thing.

    If his contribution is still lacking for an NHL team they need to push him down by obtaining better talent until he is pushed down and off the roster.

    If he is overpaid that is on the GM. If he is misused that is on the coach. If he is poor defensively he needs coached. If he doesn’t improve and still played above other options then it’s back to the coach.

    The Drake brings it every game and the Oilers could use more of that. I understand why people want to replace him in order to get better, but I can’t understand being down on the player himself. He is what he is. And on a positive note, he may be another who finds stability and a steady role this year allowing substantial improvement.

    Ya. I don’t get the Drake hate either. Sure he’s 24, but he’s only played 127 games. It’s on the coaches to teach him how to play defence. It’s amazing how many people have written him off because of poor defence. He was amongst the team leaders in +/- in the NCAA. I get that he was likely zoomed by linemates in college, but it’s not irrational to think he can improve defensively.

  35. Bag of Pucks says:

    stephen sheps: I like this little thought experiment. I’ll bite.

    1) 93-97-29; 77-83 (*18 as the 6th player if the net is empty)

    If you’re going to go for it, load up the big guns all in one place. On D it’s not an ideal set, but Klef can fire the puck when healthy (and he is now), Benning can scoot and when looking at his numbers a bit more closely seems like he is on the positive side of the ‘drive the play forward’ ledger, especially if this is an O-zone start.

    2) 97-93-16/22; 25-6

    Fastest player alive, best defensive C currently on the team, and JJ seems the sort of ‘lay it all on the line’ type a la Langenbrunner or Grant Marshall (to stick with your devils comp). Nurse is mean. Larsson is mean. Of the D currently on the roster, those are the 2 I would feel most comfortable throwing over the boards to protect the lead. RIcki-box protection, speed and meanness plus the ability to cycle break.

    Are these the best combinations? No. Can these combinations perform the way we as fans hope they can if they’re playing their best? Probably. And given where the team is at, that’s really all we can hope for.

    On the surface, these look like reasonable combinations. But the challenge becomes exponential when you consider who they might have to match up against.

    For instance, does Kharia work to protect the lead when the Pens are throwing Crosby, Malkin and Kessel over the boards or the Caps are bringing Ovey, Backstrom and Kusnetsov?

    Similarly is Matt Benning getting it done when the Preds have Josi, Ekholm, Forsberg, Johansen and Arvidsson out?

    The Oil undoubtedly have players they can slot into these roles now, That’s quite different from having players that can outscore or outdefend vs. elites in these roles.

    The Bruins were a great example from this past playoff. The depth isn’t there throughout the roster yet for the Bs, but when they threw out Bergeron/Marchand/Pastrnak with Chara/McAvoy, man did they become a difficult team to contend with.

    To a lesser extent, the Oil had one of these 5 man units the year before last with McDavid/Drai/Maroon/KBom/Larsson. The challenge obviously was the dropoff after that core. And imo you still need that shutdown unit in addition to your outscorers. The ability to protect a lead is huge in the playoffs especially. What encourages me is I think both Connor and Leon want to be that kind of two way force.

  36. Paddy Morans Jockstrap says:

    godot10: They would still would have had a Hart Trophy winner in Hall.And #JustSayNoah (Hanifin).And Barzal/KyleConnor and Brandon Carlo.And Nelson would have been coach.They would have Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins at centre.

    Nelson and Krueger managed 70 something point paces with far less.McLellan has produced two 70 something point seasons with McDavid.

    The Hall and Reinhart trades and not hiring Nelson really equalize the with McDavid and without McDavid scenarios.

    Wow that is some kind of rose-colored world you describe. You seem to forget how truly bad things were on April 23, 2015. The franchise was about to implode before they won the McDavid lottery.

    Mgmt and coaching was in total turmoil and nobody of merit was walking into that mess without McDavid. They would have missed the playoffs badly the next year with an AHL defense. No UFAs would sign (Sekera was not coming, no how, no way) and If they completed the Talbot trade he would have left as a UFA the next summer. I bet Hall would have demanded a trade by the end of the year.

    Without the McDavid lottery win the franchise would still be out of the playoffs for a dozen years, likely in complete chaos, and maybe in peril of moving.

  37. OilClog says:

    Just because it appears that Caggiula really lays it all on the line out there when he decides he’s got a hit lined up or a possible shot high n wide doesn’t mean he needs to be rewarded or praised for any of it.

    All that apparent effort with shit ugly results.

    If he played defence with the same level of energy as he does skating in straight lines maybe he’d be a better hockey player.

    Caggs is 4th line replacement at best and any successful team should be aiming higher.

  38. godot10 says:

    Paddy Morans Jockstrap: Wow that is some kind of rose-colored world you describe. You seem to forget how truly bad things were on April 23, 2015. The franchise was about to implode before they won the McDavid lottery.

    Mgmt and coaching was in total turmoil and nobody of merit was walking into that mess without McDavid. They would have missed the playoffs badly the next year with an AHL defense. No UFAs would sign (Sekera was not coming, no how, no way) and If they completed the Talbot trade he would have left as a UFA the next summer. I bet Hall would have demanded a trade by the end of the year.

    Without the McDavid lottery win the franchise would still be out of the playoffs for a dozen years, likely in complete chaos, and maybe in peril of moving.

    Nelson would have also rehabilitated Yakupov and Schultz.

    So one would have been looking at a D-core of Nurse, Klefbom, Hanifin, Schultz, and Carlo

    Too bad for the Petry blunder, or it would have also included him.

    Hall Draisaitl Xxx
    Pouliot, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
    Yyy Barzal/Connor Yakupov
    Zzz Lander Pitlick

    Klefbom Schultz
    Nurse Fayne
    Hanifin Carlo

    And Nelson as coach

  39. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    godot10,

    – At 2015 season, CmD’s first season, this was the optimal D:

    Sek-Fayne
    Klef-Jultz
    Nurse-Gryba
    Davidson

    – Now if you kept the winners, sold the losers, and rode the development of Klef-Jultz-Nurse, for three years and added other D, what would have the non-Chia , better-GM have done with the D

  40. Jethro Tull says:

    godot10: Nelson may have also rehabilitated Yakupov and Schultz.

    FIFY.

  41. doritogrande says:

    Just clarifying LT but your clusters ages are not set in stone, but rather moving timelines? This would be the reason that, for example, Klefbom (24 year old) is not in the same cluster around McDavid as Bouchard (18 years old) despite being the same age difference away from the heart of said cluster?

    Further, when does McDavid graduate to the “prime” cluster in your opinion?

  42. OriginalPouzar says:

    Psyche:
    I enjoy how you broke out the clusters LT. Thanks for putting this info together. I really appreciate your work.

    When is Nurse’s arbitration hearing scheduled for?

    He wasn’t arbitration eligible – no hearing coming. The two sides are, presumably, working on a the contract diligently.

    I anticipate this doesn’t get done until a few weeks in to August.

  43. OriginalPouzar says:

    flyfish1168:
    I view the Mcdavid cluster as the ones that will be the group protected from Seattle. Unfortunately, that maybe include Lucic, Sekera and Russell.

    Sekera’s NMC is gone before the scheduled expansion draft.

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    N64: If there is a lockout we need the expansion lottery to be held after the lockout.Makes sense that all 32 GMs know the new CBA first. I can see 31 GMs wanting the compliance buyout again and BEFORE the expansion draft to have the option to drop NMCs . Especially if the expansion draft protection rules are same as VGK. Lucic, Sekera and Russell would all be eligible if a compliance buyout is for $3M+ salaries again.

    The league and the players have the option to require early termination of the CBA via notice next September, after the 2018/19 season. If notice is provided, the existing CBA will terminated on September 15, 2020.

    Presumably the parties will have been working diligently on the new CBA and it will be in settled prior to that date.

    Of course, it may very well not be and their could be work stoppage.

    The expansion draft, if expansion is confirmed for the 2020/21 season, will occur in June 2020, prior to the expiry of the current CBA.

    If there is a lockout, the expansion draft will already have occurred.

  45. stephen sheps says:

    Bag of Pucks: On the surface, these look like reasonable combinations. But the challenge becomes exponential when you consider who they might have to match up against.

    For instance, does Kharia work to protect the lead when the Pens are throwing Crosby, Malkin and Kessel over the boards or the Caps are bringing Ovey, Backstrom and Kusnetsov?

    Similarly is Matt Benning getting it done when the Preds have Josi, Ekholm, Forsberg, Johansen and Arvidsson out?

    The Oil undoubtedly have players they can slot into these roles now, That’s quite different from having players that can outscore or outdefend vs. elites in these roles.

    The Bruins were a great example from this past playoff. The depth isn’t there throughout the roster yet for the Bs, but when they threw out Bergeron/Marchand/Pastrnak with Chara/McAvoy, man did they become a difficult team to contend with.

    To a lesser extent, the Oil had one of these 5 man units the year before last with McDavid/Drai/Maroon/KBom/Larsson. The challenge obviously was the dropoff after that core. And imo you still need that shutdown unit in addition to your outscorers. The ability to protect a lead is huge in the playoffs especially. What encourages me is I think both Connor and Leon want to be that kind of two way force.

    Sorry for the delay getting back to you. I had to actually do some work today…

    I see what you’re saying and don’t necessarily disagree. That being said, your question was about 1 line in each of those situations, and I think that this team has enough pieces to put out 1 line against Nashville or Winnipeg’s top lines either pressing for a tie or defending a lead. Do they have the depth beyond a monster line to come over and handle the 2nd toughs? That’s where it starts to fall apart. At least against a Kings or Ducks roster that is older and slower, maybe the kids can hang. Against a Nashville or Winnipeg roster that comes in waves, or an on-paper Blues team that would be the best in the Pacific but #3 with a bullet in the Central, who’s going to get that game tying goal when the top guns are off the ice? JP? Yamamoto? Strome? Lucic (I kid – it won’t be Lucic… 🙁 )

    I think the players that slot into these roles (i.e. Benning paired with Dreamy in an O-zone pressure situation) could grow into it. Benning could become the Oilers’ Ellis (as in a very good 2RD – note Ellis is a top pairing defender IMO – it just so happens that PK is also on that team… man that team is good) The problem is twofold however:

    1) What happens if they can’t do it? (i.e Benning is more Matt Irwin than Ryan Ellis)
    2) Where is the cavalry?

    The lack of depth is the killer here. Boston is a great example – one line to rule them all and some nice pieces mixed in on the 2 and 3 lines that should grow into their roles, especially with the coaching staff and veteran leadership that team has (I would kill or potentially sacrifice a kidney to have 3 years ago Bergeron on this team). And those kids are now battle-tested, too.

    The Oilers kids aren’t battle tested and the veterans who have been through a few rounds of playoffs (Pou – bought out for some reason; Hendo – thought he was done and probably is, but whatever; Maroon – became Marody I think; Eberle – while he had a bad playoff is still a real NHL 2RW) are all gone from the miracle team. This is bad. When LT speaks of clusters and we see who is gone, I see the heart of the order. McDavid and Leon can’t do it alone.

  46. pts2pndr says:

    digger50: I will Also throw my support behind Caggs.

    He’s fast, he hits, he gives everything he’s got. That’s a good thing.

    If his contribution is still lacking for an NHL team they need to push him down by obtaining better talent until he is pushed down and off the roster.

    If he is overpaid that is on the GM. If he is misused that is on the coach. If he is poor defensively he needs coached. If he doesn’t improve and still played above other options then it’s back to the coach.

    The Drake brings it every game and the Oilers could use more of that. I understand why people want to replace him in order to get better, but I can’t understand being down on the player himself. He is what he is. And on a positive note, he may be another who finds stability and a steady role this year allowing substantial improvement.

    I grew up on a homestead in NE Alberta. Our homestead was a mixed farming operation. Much of our food supply came by the way of hunting. To that end my father convinced my mother that we should get a pure bred retriever at some cost. That fall after my father had the dog trained he took Rover out to get some ducks. After sneaking up and pot shooting some ducks he sent Rover into the slough to bring back the ducks. Rover jumped in the water swam out to the ducks and promptly swam back with no ducks. Dad sent him out three times with the same result each time. He waded in brought the ducks in himself and went home with the ducks and non retrieving dog.
    Cagguala is to the Oilers as Rover was to us! He looks good,gets to where he needs to be but same results as Rover.
    Rover never did retrieve a duck but became quite good at retrieving muskrats which made us a few dollars. Maybe we can find a hockey type muskrat role for Drake!

  47. godot10 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    godot10,

    – At 2015 season, CmD’s first season, this was the optimal D:

    Sek-Fayne
    Klef-Jultz
    Nurse-Gryba
    Davidson

    – Now if you kept the winners, sold the losers, and rode the development of Klef-Jultz-Nurse, for three years and added other D, what would have the non-Chia , better-GM have done with the D

    Like I said, if you didn’t win the draft lottery and McDavid, the Oilers could have drafted Hanifin instead. And if they didn’t make the Reinhart trade, Barzal or Connor or Boeser and Carlo. If Nelson was the coach they prolbably might have been able to re-sign Marincin.

    Chiarelli did a lot of destructive things that first summer.

    Like I said, no McDavid, the Oilers could have had Nurse, Klefbom, Hanifin, Schultz, Carlo, and Marincin…plus Fayne as the D.

  48. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    JimmyV1965: Ya. I don’t get the Drake hate either. Sure he’s 24, but he’s only played 127 games. It’s on the coaches to teach him how to play defence.It’s amazing how many people have written him off because of poor defence.He was amongst the team leaders in +/- in the NCAA. I get that he was likely zoomed by linemates in college, but it’s not irrational to think he can improve defensively.

    It’s not “hate’

    It’s judging a player by his results.

    His are very poor.

    24 year olds can develop a bit, but they pretty much are what they are.

    He’s an undrafted player that was a good signing when they got him out of college.

    Now, 2 years later we have a lot of information on him and its not good.

    This happens all the time.

    ” undrafted free agent not good enough for the NHL” is pretty common.

    Most don’t even get as far as he has.

    But none of this makes his a NHLer today and they should aim higher, not give him a 2 x 1.5 extension.

  49. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    – While we don’t have the elite stud D a la Doughty, Carlson, Letang, Keith, Lidstrom which seems to be a “template” of recent Cup winners, perhaps one can emerge

    Carlson doesn’t helping in that group.

    Best Dman on WSH is Niskanen and its not close.

    I rank Larsson close to Niskanen and both above Carslon.

  50. Bag of Pucks says:

    stephen sheps,

    It seems they were close to having that single 5 man unit that could outscore the elites the season before last and given their results that year, and how the Bruins did in the playoffs this year, it should give us encouragement that should the Oil simply solve that issue alone they could return quite quickly to being a contending team.

    As you say, depth throughout the roster will ultimately determine whether you’re Cup worthy or not, and certainly that has to be the endgame pursuit for Chiarelli via draft and development,

    But if this team could simply find a viable 1RW for Connor without having to use Leon in that spot and they get that expected positive regression from Larsson, Klefbom and Talbot, we could see a highly competitive team this year based on those developments alone.

    ‘One line to rule them all.’ This may have to be the Oilers path to consistent competitiveness until the kids develop enough to achieve true roster balance/depth.

  51. Bag of Pucks says:

    Does anyone else see the 3L as the absolute lynchpin to this team this year?

    Connor’s line is going to outscore because ‘generational’

    Given the right linemates, Leon should outscore but at the very least he should saw off against tough comps.

    But the likes of Strome, Lucic, Kharia, JP, Aberg, etc.? There’s not really a stellar two way player in the bunch.

    MacLellan may be truly screwed with that lot. If he doesn’t play them against the soft parade, they could conceivably get caved every night. Hence the need for the Madden/Carbonneau type C I’m pining for.

    If we had a stud two way 3C, they could conceivably pull some tougher comps away from Leon when we have last change at home or when they’ve having a good night on the road. If Strome could actually elevate enough to do this, it makes the Eberle swap a win for the Oil. Dare to dream. Maybe Ryan will be one of those players like Cogliano who reinvents himself into this role mid career? Wouldn’t that be found money?

  52. Bag of Pucks says:

    pts2pndr: I grew up on a homestead in NE Alberta. Our homestead was a mixed farming operation. Much of our food supply came by the way of hunting. To that end my father convinced my mother that we should get a pure bred retriever at some cost. That fall after my father had the dog trained he took Rover out to get some ducks. After sneaking up and pot shooting some ducks he sent Rover into the slough to bring back the ducks. Rover jumped in the water swam out to the ducks and promptly swam back with no ducks. Dad sent him out three times with the same result each time. He waded in brought the ducks in himself and went home with the ducks and non retrieving dog.
    Cagguala is to the Oilers as Rover was to us! He looks good,gets to where he needs to be but same results as Rover.
    Rover never did retrieve a duck but became quite good at retrieving muskrats which made us a few dollars. Maybe we can find a hockey type muskrat role for Drake!

    For about six sentences, I was convinced this story was going to end with MacLellan taking Caggiula into the back forty to put him down.

  53. Wilde says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Another interesting way of looking at this is to ask yourself the questions:

    1) Trailing a goal late in a must win playoff game, what 5 players can they throw out on the ice to get that equalizer?
    2) Protecting a lead late in a must win playoff game, what 5 players can they throw out on the ice to absolutely stifle the opposition?

    I’ll start by saying I think a hockey team should play the exact same way regardless of game state.

    Ditto deployment.

    You’re correct that the Oilers have a lead problem, though, a couple weeks ago(?) I mentioned that the Oilers gave up goals against while leading at the highest rate in the league… 3.65 goals an hour(5v5).

    It bumps up to four goals against per hour at all strengths. They spent only 15 and a half minutes per game leading.

    Here’s the league context for those (5v5) numbers:

    EDM – 3.65

    OTT – 3.32

    CAR – 3.15

    FLA – 3.02

    TOR – 2.85

    NYI – 2.81

    VGK – 2.78

    CGY – 2.78

    CHI – 2.77

    PHI – 2.67

    PIT – 2.63

    MTL – 2.58

    SJS 2.55

    NYR – 2.52

    WSH – 2.52

    DET – 2.52

    NJD – 2.52

    TBL – 2.51

    ARI – 2.44

    BUF – 2.39

    NSH – 2.36

    STL – 2.32

    WPG – 2.28

    VAN – 2.27

    COL – 2.25

    CBJ – 2.17

    MIN – 2.09

    BOS 2.02

    DAL – 1.92

    ANA – 1.71

    LAK 1.45

  54. Bank Shot says:

    Wilde: I’ll start by saying I think a hockey team should play the exact same way regardless of game state.

    Ditto deployment.

    You’re correct that the Oilers have a lead problem, though, a couple weeks ago(?) I mentioned that the Oilers gave up goals against while leading at the highest rate in the league… 3.65 goals an hour(5v5).

    It bumps up to four goals against per hour at all strengths. They spent only 15 and a half minutes per game leading.

    That’s odd because according to NHL.com the Oilers had the 13th best winning % when leading after one period, and the 8th best winning % when leading after two periods.

    18-5-0 after one.
    21-1-1 after two.

    So they must have been one of the top teams in the league at scoring more goals when leading as well.

    The anti-defensive shell?

  55. Lowetide says:

    doritogrande:
    Just clarifying LT but your clusters ages are not set in stone, but rather moving timelines? This would be the reason that, for example, Klefbom (24 year old) is not in the same cluster around McDavid as Bouchard (18 years old) despite being the same age difference away from the heart of said cluster?

    Further, when does McDavid graduate to the “prime” cluster in your opinion?

    Yes. It’s an arbitrary line, basically you can end the 2012 draft and that’s the end of the Nuge cluster, the 2013+ drafts are the McDavid cluster. I will move McDavid into the prime cluster when he is 24, but he’s all prime all the time. 🙂

  56. Wilde says:

    Bank Shot: That’s odd because according to NHL.com the Oilers had the 13th best winning % when leading after one period, and the 8th best winning % when leading after two periods.

    18-5-0 after one.
    21-1-1 after two.

    So they must have been one of the top teams in the league at scoring more goals when leading as well.

    The anti-defensive shell?

    That’s part of it, there’s also the part that you could give up your leads very quick and then just get the next goal while tied and still win.

    They were 2nd in the league at 5v5 GF/60 while leading, behind Tampa who just absolutely stomped teams out of games, they scored 3.31/60 with Edmonton at 2.97.

    Net result of those two effects aka the GF% for Edmonton while leading was 44.83%.

    So they were very very good at scoring while leading, but so earth-shatteringly, pants-shittingly bad at preventing goals that the net result was 7th worst in the NHL.

    Also, has anyone mentioned the Vancouver situation??

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    stephen sheps,

    But if this team could simply find a viable 1RW for Connor without having to use Leon in that spot and they get that expected positive regression from Larsson, Klefbom and Talbot, we could see a highly competitive team this year based on those developments alone.

    I anticipate both Puljujarvi and Yamamoto will make strong strides towards that this year and the future looks bright on the right side.

  58. Wilde says:

    Another tidbit about leading in hockey games:

    A small while ago Travis Yost had in a part of an article a few sentences talking about how turtling teams will give up more perimeter shots and that drives the score effects bump of CA/60 while leading.

    Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) then corrected him saying that the extra shots against given up actually come from /inside/ the perimeter.

    I’ll have to go digging to find the evidence for this claim, but that’s something I was entirely unaware of when it comes to score effects in hockey.

  59. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    Does anyone else see the 3L as the absolute lynchpin to this team this year?

    Connor’s line is going to outscore because ‘generational’

    Given the right linemates, Leon should outscore but at the very least he should saw off against tough comps.

    But the likes of Strome, Lucic, Kharia, JP, Aberg, etc.? There’s not really a stellar two way player in the bunch.

    MacLellan may be truly screwed with that lot. If he doesn’t play them against the soft parade, they could conceivably get caved every night. Hence the need for the Madden/Carbonneau type C I’m pining for.

    If we had a stud two way 3C, they could conceivably pull some tougher comps away from Leon when we have last change at home or when they’ve having a good night on the road. If Strome could actually elevate enough to do this, it makes the Eberle swap a win for the Oil. Dare to dream. Maybe Ryan will be one of those players like Cogliano who reinvents himself into this role mid career? Wouldn’t that be found money?

    I see a team that will have a roster full of speed and skill, and only one regular that shouldn’t play regularly in Cags, or at all.

    There are only 3 players on the team now that are average or less skaters in Lucic, Drai and Rattie. The first two have straight ahead speed, but not agility or a good first step. Rattie lacks both it seems.

    When was the last time the Oilers had a roster like that?

    No team is stacked for long anymore. There are enough capable players now to be a good team. If the coaches can’t work with this group it’s on them IMO. The Oilers also get the bump from having a player like Connor. They need to maximize what they have as TM said. I’m not sure he can do it, but with those assistants there is nothing in his way now as I see it.

  60. Wilde says:

    Did Hudson post a transcript of McLellan’s avail?

  61. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Wilde: That’s part of it, there’s also the part that you could give up your leads very quick and then just get the next goal while tied and still win.

    They were 2nd in the league at 5v5 GF/60 while leading, behind Tampa who just absolutely stomped teams out of games, they scored 3.31/60 with Edmonton at 2.97.

    Net resultof those two effects aka the GF% for Edmonton while leading was 44.83%.

    So they were very very good at scoring while leading, but so earth-shatteringly, pants-shittingly bad at preventing goals that the net result was 7th worst in the NHL.

    Also, has anyone mentioned the Vancouver situation??

    Linden?

  62. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Wilde:
    Another tidbit about leading in hockey games:

    A small while ago Travis Yost had in a part of an article a few sentences talking about how turtling teams will give up more perimeter shots and that drives the score effects bump of CA/60 while leading.

    Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) then corrected him saying that the extra shots against given up actually come from /inside/ the perimeter.

    I’ll have to go digging to find the evidence for this claim, but that’s something I was entirely unaware of when it comes to score effects in hockey.

    Sorry to derail but Yost has a piece about D getting younger, and the league and I had a thought I wanted to put out here.

    The league is getting younger but I think it is a reflection of the change in calls being enforced. What is happening is a change in player types. Players need to be able to skate now or most can’t function well enough- less holding, less grinding, more speed needed to make plays.

    What is happening is players not suited to the league are being replaced by those that are, and those player types are younger.

    Once the ‘purge’ has moved most out which I think is getting close, the average age will rise again.

    Firstly because players that can skate will play longer if healthy, experience will always be valued because playing systems effectively is what wins in the long run, and young players aren’t strong inthis regard.

    The league’s top players are mostly young now, and as they play their long careers the average goes up, the churn goes back to normal levels. Until Bettman alllows rugby on ice again, and a new wave of different player types come in rapidly.

  63. Wilde says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Linden?

    Yes.

    Vancouver looked to be trying to do two things at once, the now meme-ified “retool/build on the fly”.

    They’re tanking except without taking advantages of not needing to be immediately competitive. Instead of signing vets to short term contracts and offloading at the deadline, they’re pairing horrific pro-scouting decisions with long term.

    They have one excess pick in the next 3 years, Washington’s 2019 6th.

    They only have a top 5-10 area prospect pool despite gathering the least points in the NHL the last three years besides Buffalo.

    For every Vanek flip(that they executed poorly) there’s three of these:

    Loui Eriksson 6x6M

    Brandon Sutter 5×4.375M

    Sam Gagner 3×3.15M

    Antoine Roussel 3x4M

    Jay Beagle 3x4M

    Erik Gudbranson 3x4M

    Outside one exception they’ve been drafting in the top 10 since 2013, yet have picked by round like this:

    2013 – 1, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 / / Seven total picks

    2014 – 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 / / Seven total picks

    2015 – 1, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7 / / Seven total picks

    2016 – 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 7 / / Six total picks

    2017 – 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 / / Eight total picks

    2018 – 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 / / Six total picks

    They haven’t been actually stockpiling draft picks, and the two times they had extra 1sts they missed on 3 out of 4(though I like McCann more than most).

    Basically this reeks of ownership meddling, and with Linden walking away to the tune of “Linden not agreeing with the vision/direction of the future of the team” you have to wonder if Benning and ownership actually believe the Canucks aren’t that far away.

    To me it’s either that, or Benning’s placating them and trying to do his best despite it.

    Either way, the Canucks are in a really bad spot moving forward in my view, and from what I’ve seen this opinion is unpopular amongst their fanbase.

    Cheap tickets, though, I’ll enjoy watching Horvat and Hughes in person.

  64. Paddy Morans Jockstrap says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    godot10,

    – At 2015 season, CmD’s first season, this was the optimal D:

    Sek-Fayne
    Klef-Jultz
    Nurse-Gryba
    Davidson

    – Now if you kept the winners, sold the losers, and rode the development of Klef-Jultz-Nurse, for three years and added other D, what would have the non-Chia , better-GM have done with the D

    That lineup is “optimal”? Seriously? Your RD from #1-#3 as Fayne/Shultz/Gryba is AHL quality (and not even that good in the AHL). A young Klef as Shultzʻs LH partner and it would be comedy on ice. They would have finished last again in 2015-16 and “rode their development” to a bottom 5 in the subsequent 2 seasons as well.

    Also if you want to pretend they drafted Barzal in their pre-trade 1st round slot, you also have to assume they took Mitchell Stephens with their pre-trade 2nd round pick (not Carlo).

    Being a GM is pretty easy 4 years after the fact, but maybe not if you actually think a defense that young with a couple of AHL players (Gryba and Fayne) would do anything except fail spectacularly.

  65. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    Does anyone else see the 3L as the absolute lynchpin to this team this year?

    No.

    The lynchpin to every team is the Dcorps and the goalie.

  66. Bag of Pucks says:

    OriginalPouzar: I anticipate both Puljujarvi and Yamamoto will make strong strides towards that this year and the future looks bright on the right side.

    I hope you’re right.

  67. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Does anyone else see the 3L as the absolute lynchpin to this team this year?

    No.

    The lynchpin to every team is the Dcorps and the goalie.

    Ok, I’ll grant that the backend has to be solid or you’re dead in the water.

    What I’m driving at is the 3L is the potential X factor this season. A poor season and they’ll drag Leon’s line into matchup hell. A strong season and we could see the emergence of a legit Cup contender, Strome is a key player for the Oil this season. That seems worrisome.

  68. Bag of Pucks says:

    Wilde,

    Re: The Dys rebuild woes

    This makes me very very happy.

  69. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Wilde: Yes.

    Vancouver looked to be trying to do two things at once, the now meme-ified “retool/build on the fly”.

    They’re tanking except without taking advantages of not needing to be immediately competitive. Instead of signing vets to short term contracts and offloading at the deadline, they’re pairing horrific pro-scouting decisions with long term.

    They have one excess pick in the next 3 years, Washington’s 2019 6th.

    They only have a top 5-10 area prospect pool despite gathering the least points in the NHL the last three years besides Buffalo.

    For every Vanek flip(that they executed poorly) there’s three of these:

    Loui Eriksson 6x6M

    Brandon Sutter 5×4.375M

    Sam Gagner 3×3.15M

    Antoine Roussel 3x4M

    Jay Beagle 3x4M

    Erik Gudbranson3x4M

    Outside one exception they’ve been drafting in the top 10 since 2013, yet have picked by round like this:

    2013 – 1, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 / / Seven total picks

    2014 – 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 / / Seven total picks

    2015 – 1, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7 / / Seven total picks

    2016 – 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 7 / / Six total picks

    2017 – 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 / / Eight total picks

    2018 – 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 / / Six total picks

    They haven’t been actually stockpiling draft picks, and the two times they had extra 1sts they missed on 3 out of 4(though I like McCann more than most).

    Basically this reeks of ownership meddling, and with Linden walking away to the tune of “Linden not agreeing with the vision/direction of the future of the team” you have to wonder if Benning and ownership actually believe the Canucks aren’t that far away.

    To me it’s either that, or Benning’s placating them and trying to do his best despite it.

    Either way, the Canucks are in a really bad spot moving forward in my view, and from what I’ve seen this opinion is unpopular amongst their fanbase.

    Cheap tickets, though, I’ll enjoy watching Horvat and Hughes in person.

    I don’t know if you saw but near the end of the season I commented on visiting the Canucks locker room after a game with my son. Wrong room but it was fun.

    The friend who arranged that works with the Canucks via the business he manages in charity efforts they sponsor.

    Of course I was asking questions to him about the Dys, always curious. It’s scuttlebutt but my friend is not one to speak about things he doesn’t know about, high level corporate type, classy.

    It would would seem the Aquilinis or at least one is very hands on. He described Linden as a great guy but not a significant part of things, more an ambassador.

    He thinks well of Benning as a person at least, I got to shake his hand but the players were more interested in fans. Met Green. For someone who doesn’t rub shoulders with high level people a lot as some of you do it was interesting to see the vibe around the team.

    It’s a strange world. I don’t think teams vary as much internally as we chat about, I think the Oilers and Dys are fairly political environments relatively behind closed doors.

    Like any business it’s hard to create a culture that is stable and causes new people in to submit and buy in, or perhaps the other way around.

    I also believe much of the blood letting we’ve witnessed with the good guys is directly related to culture and closed door politics. Personalities out, for the greater good, intensely wrong headed not a worry.

  70. northerndancer says:

    pts2pndr: I grew up on a homestead in NE Alberta. Our homestead was a mixed farming operation. Much of our food supply came by the way of hunting. To that end my father convinced my mother that we should get a pure bred retriever at some cost. That fall after my father had the dog trained he took Rover out to get some ducks. After sneaking up and pot shooting some ducks he sent Rover into the slough to bring back the ducks. Rover jumped in the water swam out to the ducks and promptly swam back with no ducks. Dad sent him out three times with the same result each time. He waded in brought the ducks in himself and went home with the ducks and non retrieving dog.
    Cagguala is to the Oilers as Rover was to us! He looks good,gets to where he needs to be but same results as Rover.
    Rover never did retrieve a duck but became quite good at retrieving muskrats which made us a few dollars. Maybe we can find a hockey type muskrat role for Drake!

    Great story. But the flaw is seeing Caggiulla as Rover. He is a Drake. Why would he retrieve his own? 🙂
    On the other hand, my dad, also residing in NE Alberta, had a German Short Haired Pointer named Louise Von something or other. He was the UFA of bird dogs, loaned out to local hunters who knew he would come back with the birds. My father was thrown in as the bag of pucks (no relation) as he owned the dog and liked to drink rye whiskey. (hunting 60’s style)

    I would give the Drake another year to bring back the goods. According to a podcast interview done by Patrick Maroon’s St. Louis homies (somewhere on the interwebs) the Drake is the one on the Oilers known for finding the birds.

  71. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Ok, I’ll grant that the backend has to be solid or you’re dead in the water.

    What I’m driving at is the 3L is the potential X factor this season. A poor season and they’ll drag Leon’s line into matchup hell. A strong season and we could see the emergence of a legit Cup contender, Strome is a key player for the Oil this season. That seems worrisome.

    I get what you’re pitching.

    If the top two lines are north of 50% and the 4th is close then its less of an issue.

    The dcorps and goalie are key to all of this.

  72. Richard S.S. says:

    Connor McDavid was brutally assaulted in his first year missing almost half the season. If the brilliant non-thinkers on the site can explain how it happened with the great 2015 Team on the ice at that time I’d like to know. Please note who was on the ice then – where are they now? That’s why Milan Lucic was hired – no other reason for it.

  73. pts2pndr says:

    Bag of Pucks: For about six sentences, I was convinced this story was going to end with MacLellan taking Caggiula into the back forty to put him down.

    The story is true but I came to find out that Rover had caught one of mothers chickens out of its pen and kept taking it to the porch until such time as the chicken was no longer alive. My mother upon finding said dead chicken on the steps was somewhat upset both with the dog and with my father. My father was out so the dog was shall we say harshly chastised and never touched anything with feathers from that time. It just didn’t fit wiyth my cagguala story!😉

  74. pts2pndr says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Does anyone else see the 3L as the absolute lynchpin to this team this year?

    No.

    The lynchpin to every team is the Dcorps and the goalie.

    Last year this was true,as it was not just injuries but almost all were to the D! If not for the emergence of Nurse it could have been even uglier!

  75. Richard S.S. says:

    At the end of the 2015 Season Leon Draisaitl was eligible for a long term contract. At that time, no one knew what he was – do they keep him or trade him was a question asked. There was a question if he could be better that Pouliot. As a result, one year later he got paid very well. Two Players, $21.0 Million for the next seven years. Four defenders, $17.733 Million for the next three years. Two wingers, $12.0 Million the next three years. In other words, eight Players signed for the next three years at $50.733 Million.

    My message, “Don’t complain about hockey players who will work cheap. Better players cost more, something the Oilers can’t afford right now.”

  76. Georgexs says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bag of Pucks,

    Does anyone else see the 3L as the absolute lynchpin to this team this year?

    No.

    The lynchpin to every team is the Dcorps and the goalie.

    If you mean that defensemen and goalies are more important than forwards in determining a team’s success, I’m pretty sure this is wrong.

  77. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lucic will be on the Spittin’ Chicklets podcast tomorrow. I’ll definitely be listening to that.

    As an aside, Maroon was on last week and it was a great listen.

  78. Side says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Connor McDavid was brutally assaulted in his first year missing almost half the season. If the brilliant non-thinkers on the site can explain how it happened with the great 2015 Team on the ice at that time I’d like to know.Please note who was on the ice then – where are they now?That’s why Milan Lucic was hired – no other reason for it.

    And how do you explain all the times McDavid has been assaulted on the ice with Lucic nearby?

  79. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Paddy Morans Jockstrap: That lineup is “optimal”? Seriously? Your RD from #1-#3 as Fayne/Shultz/Gryba is AHL quality (and not even that good in the AHL). A young Klef as Shultzʻs LH partner and it would be comedy on ice. They would have finished last again in 2015-16 and “rode their development” to a bottom 5 in the subsequent 2 seasons as well.

    Being a GM is pretty easy 4 years after the fact, but maybe not if you actually think a defense that young with a couple of AHL players (Gryba and Fayne) would do anything except fail spectacularly.

    – Given the roster they had, that was the optimal D. Those were the D on the team and Ferrence, Clendening, Hunt, Osterle, Nikitin, etc

    – I was merely pointing out that had you kept all the Austins, that was the D corps a GM would be working with. It was an awful D corps.

    – It’s all hind-sight GM’ing of course.

    – Since then the Defense core has improved greatly, more than the departure of Yak/Hall/Eberle /Purcell/Pou etc hurt the offence IMO.

  80. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    Bag of Pucks: For about six sentences, I was convinced this story was going to end with MacLellan taking Caggiula into the back forty to put him down.

    I’m reading this late (Ontario) and I have actual real tears running down my face, I am laughing so hard!

    Well done, sir!

  81. OriginalPouzar says:

    northerndancer:

    I would give the Drake another year to bring back the goods.According to a podcast interview done by Patrick Maroon’s St. Louis homies (somewhere on the interwebs) the Drake is the one on the Oilers known for finding the birds.

    Spittin’ Chicklets

  82. OriginalPouzar says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Connor McDavid was brutally assaulted in his first year missing almost half the season. If the brilliant non-thinkers on the site can explain how it happened with the great 2015 Team on the ice at that time I’d like to know.Please note who was on the ice then – where are they now?That’s why Milan Lucic was hired – no other reason for it.

    I would posit that Brandon Manning would have changed absolutely nothing had the Oilers employed Milan Lucic at the time.

  83. Pescador says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Sorry to derail but Yost has a piece about D getting younger, and the league and I had a thought I wanted to put out here.

    The league is getting younger but I think it is a reflection of the change in calls being enforced. What is happening is a change in player types. Players need to be able to skate now or most can’t function well enough- less holding, less grinding, more speed needed to make plays.

    What is happening is players not suited to the league are being replaced by those that are, and those player types are younger.

    Once the ‘purge’ has moved most out which I think is getting close, the average age will rise again.

    Firstly because players that can skate will play longer if healthy, experience will always be valued because playing systems effectively is what wins in the long run, and young players aren’t strong inthis regard.

    The league’s top players are mostly young now, and as they play their long careers the average goes up, the churn goes back to normal levels. Until Bettman alllows rugby on ice again, and a new wave of different player types come in rapidly.

    The salary cap is a big contributing factor in this as well.
    Teams are filling roster spots with young players on ELC’s because they are cheaper then the old plugger vets, which in turn has helped the league get faster.
    The new breed processes the game faster because of new age brain training techniques.
    They bring speed as well as quickness, because young legs.

  84. OIL ADDICK says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Thank you for reminding all that
    (goal+d) > (Mcd+Whoever)

  85. digger50 says:

    pts2pndr: I grew up on a homestead in NE Alberta. Our homestead was a mixed farming operation. Much of our food supply came by the way of hunting. To that end my father convinced my mother that we should get a pure bred retriever at some cost. That fall after my father had the dog trained he took Rover out to get some ducks. After sneaking up and pot shooting some ducks he sent Rover into the slough to bring back the ducks. Rover jumped in the water swam out to the ducks and promptly swam back with no ducks. Dad sent him out three times with the same result each time. He waded in brought the ducks in himself and went home with the ducks and non retrieving dog.
    Cagguala is to the Oilers as Rover was to us! He looks good,gets to where he needs to be but same results as Rover.
    Rover never did retrieve a duck but became quite good at retrieving muskrats which made us a few dollars. Maybe we can find a hockey type muskrat role for Drake!

    Introducing Drake Caggiula – Muskrat hunter! Surely somebody From the dressing room is reading this today.

    Funny story.

    My position is if a guy gives everything he’s got, congrats to him. If it’s not enough he can still go home proud. That’s why I support him.

    I won’t argue his results. Even his goals which seem decent were boosted. But regardless, if he’s not good enough why do they employ him and even pay him almost as much as Maroon this year?

    We have been over this conversation. It’s on theGM to improve the team enough that borderline players are bumped off – or good point by Kinger – the borderline players are dragged up by better players and fill a support role.

    As the days go by I see more folks looking at the roster again. Most were happy with our pick ups but it really didn’t make us better. Some out – some in, it looks to me like breaking even with the e deletion of an unknown in Koskinen.

    Either Peter did not do enough (again) or he was just out of money. I think in this particular summer he did eat the bushes but not much ch showed up. ( not resigning Maroon was a miss)

    So almost as predicted in spring, the number one potential difference to this team will be the coaching staff. Secondly, internal development.

    I personally think we have enough for third in the Pacifica. Injuries are always a risk. Coaching, systems, roster deployment does not have to be such a risk, it could be a strength. Build the right environment and these players will blossom.

  86. OilSlickster says:

    godot10,

    Also likely Austin Matthews in 2016

  87. northerndancer says:

    With respect to all the emerging stats which seem to me to be interesting and early attempts to capture the moments and to capture the value of the moments, repeated, I think good hockeying benefits from a certain degree of chaos, both offensively and defensively, at least when in pursuit of the puck.
    Really good players can react quickly and feed off of the chaos, the unpredicted, taking advantage before the other players. And they have the skills to do something positive with that moment.
    Players like Drake help create the chaos on the forecheck. LIke Rover with the chicken. A little damage here and again.

    Now, if he would just stop adding to chaos by ineffective positioning inside his own zone. Maybe that is a product of inexperience with a system or maybe just a flaw in his own “hockey IQ”

  88. pts2pndr says:

    digger50: Introducing Drake Caggiula – Muskrat hunter!Surely somebody From the dressing room is reading this today.

    Funny story.

    My position is if a guy gives everything he’s got, congrats to him. If it’s not enough he can still go home proud. That’s why I support him.

    I won’t argue his results. Even his goals which seem decent were boosted. But regardless, if he’s not good enough why do they employ him and even pay him almost as much as Maroon this year?

    We have been over this conversation. It’s on theGM to improve the team enough that borderline players are bumped off – or good point by Kinger – the borderline players are dragged up by better players and fill a support role.

    As the days go by I see more folks looking at the roster again. Most were happy with our pick ups but it really didn’t make us better. Some out – some in, it looks to me like breaking even with the e deletion of an unknown in Koskinen.

    Either Peter did not do enough (again) or he was just out of money. I think in this particular summerhe did eat the bushes but not much ch showed up. ( not resigning Maroon was a miss)

    So almost as predicted in spring, the number one potential difference to this team will be the coaching staff.Secondly, internal development.

    I personally think we have enough for third in the Pacifica. Injuries are always a risk. Coaching, systems, roster deployment does not have to be such a risk, it could be a strength. Build the right environment and these players will blossom.

    With his skating,work ethic and smarts,I believe he could become a poor mans Cogliano. Playing in the correct role he could still be an asset He deserves that chance.

  89. frjohnk says:

    Richard S.S.:
    Connor McDavid was brutally assaulted in his first year missing almost half the season. If the brilliant non-thinkers on the site can explain how it happened with the great 2015 Team on the ice at that time I’d like to know.Please note who was on the ice then – where are they now?That’s why Milan Lucic was hired – no other reason for it.

    Hendricks was on the ice when McDavid got hurt. They were killing a penalty. The D ( Klefbom and Davidson) went for a change when McDavid rushed up the ice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z3YfNMBXc0

    If Lucic was hired to protect McDavid, his track record of deterring opposing players who take runs at his teammates is not good.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sco1ZEsDGGY
    Rome destroys Horton.
    Lucic on the ice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b41ufiDRwc4
    Cooke ends Savards career.
    Lucic on the ice.

    I dont blame Lucic one bit for his teammates basically getting their careers ended by cheapshots by idiots, even though Lucic was on the ice. Why? The idiots of the NHL, are going to idiots whether or not Lucic, or Nurse or Kassian or whoever are on the ice. If they can take a shot against McDavid or a star player, they will take it.

  90. Paddy Morans Jockstrap says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Given the roster they had, that was the optimal D.Those were the D on the team and Ferrence, Clendening, Hunt, Osterle, Nikitin, etc

    – I was merely pointing out that had you kept all the Austins, that was the D corps a GM would be working with.It was an awful D corps.

    – It’s all hind-sight GM’ing of course.

    – Since then the Defense core has improved greatly, more than the departure of Yak/Hall/Eberle /Purcell/Pou etc hurt the offence IMO.

    Sorry – misunderstood you.

  91. OriginalPouzar says:

    The Lucic spot on Spittin’ Chickelets is up. An interesting listen.

    Here are a few quotes summarized (thank you to Beer League Heros for the transcription):

    ————————————————

    It’s been a change. I’ll say that. I mean, Whitter (Ryan Whitney) you know what it’s like to deal with the Edmonton winters. It’s not so much the snow or the coldness, for me, the darkness has the been the biggest- and the dryness. I’ve never had to use so much lotion in my life before being in Edmonton but to be honest, it’s been great ever since I’ve been there. The organization treats you like gold.

    I live in a suburb just 15 minutes west of the new arena, which the did an unbelievable job of. I mean, the dressing room is second to none, you get anything you want, anything you ask for they give it to you. The food on the plane we get, the hotels we stay at, all that type of stuff, it’s truly unbelievable. I’ve been lucky the three teams that I’ve played for, all of the organizations have been first class. I gotta say, the Oilers will literally do whatever you want and give you whatever you need in order to succeed.

    My first year there you go in and I’m excited, I just signed a new deal as a UFA, get a chance to play with the best player in the world for hockey and we end up being one win away from going to the Western Conference Final.

    LAST SEASON, WHAT HAPPENED?

    It was almost like too much came at us too fast last year with the Vegas odds pegging us as the second best team to win the cup. So many guys came off a career year. It was almost like we were set up for failure. There was so much expectation that we were set up for failure and there was too much expecting things to happen versus making them happen.

    So I think for us, a lot of guys are excited to come back. I know I’m excited to come back and go back and have that “proove people wrong” kind of mentality and be an elite team all over again and for myself personally be an elite player once again.

    I think it was definitely more of a mental thing. It was almost like everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong for our team and for me personally and it was the snowball effect or the quicksand effect. It was like the more you tried the more you sunk in the quicksand. That’s what it was.

    For me it’s just mentally having fun going to the rink again and mentally looking forward to the challenges we face as a team and as an athlete every single day where I think my mindset got very negative last year. So I was almost my own worst enemy where this year I’m going in with a happy healthier mindset and I think that’ll help me get back to the player I am and I think when you’re playing with the best player in the world it gives you a vote of confidence to try and step up and not let him down.I think we’re all feeling that and we all had fun in the 2016/17 season so we want to get back to being that team and winning on a nightly basis.

    If anything this year, being more focused on being mentally healthy and mentally happy and like you said, I’m a proud person and I’ve been doing everything I can to make sure that I bounce back and be the best player I can be for Oilers this upcoming season.

  92. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OIL ADDICK:
    Woodguy v2.0,

    Thank you for reminding all that
    (goal+d) > (Mcd+Whoever)

    Yeah, that’s exactly what I said.

    Thanks for chiming in.

  93. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Georgexs: If you mean that defensemen and goalies are more important than forwards in determining a team’s success, I’m pretty sure this is wrong.

    Why do you think that?

  94. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Thanks for the transcript. Not bad.

  95. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Georgexs: If you mean that defensemen and goalies are more important than forwards in determining a team’s success, I’m pretty sure this is wrong.

    – Your probably right about this on the extremes. Crosby Malkin really tilt the ice, and their D was not very good. But when you’ve got the puck a lot, and getting lots of scoring chances that’s going to make your D on the ice look good (and your goalie, who doesn’t have to make saves)

    – However I do feel Pittsburgh would have won more cups with better goaltending

    – You only let in goals when the other team has the puck, and the puck changes direction based on what your forwards are doing when they have the puck mostly.

  96. Jaxon says:

    I’ve made an Oilers Cluster Spreadsheet visual aid to show how the Oilers will age and when players will be in their prime. I’ve done different ages for F, D & G for different stages. Of course, better players may get to prime sooner and stay in prime longer but I think it is a good general view of things. Once laid out it becomes apparent that the Oilers prime years will be 20-21, 21-22, and 22-23. I doubt (or I hope) the Oilers won’t have another high pick for some time, so Bouchard may represent the last core piece to be obtained through the draft for a while.

    This is how I’ve demarcated the different stages of careers for each position. I’m not sure they make total sense. I don’t have any data to back this up other than personal observation so your mileage may vary.

    Legend : F , D , G
    Draft : 17-18 , 17-18 , 17-18
    Green : 19-20 , 19-22 , 19-22
    Pro : 21-23 , 23-25 , 23-27
    Prime : 24-26 , 26-28 , 28-30
    Young Vet : 27-29 , 29-30 , 31-31
    Vet : 30-32 , 31-32 , 32-34
    Downhill : 33-35 , 33-35 , 35-37
    Retiree : 36-38 , 36-38 , 38-40
    Jagr : 39+ , 39+ , 41+

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1W9kRR02jI_Hfze-kDH4uRPgQao3QthQKj373RpleDnI/edit?usp=sharing

    PS Will repost on Lowetide’s new post this morning.

    PPS This does not account for expiring contracts. For instance, Sekera, Russell, Larsson, and Nugent-Hopkins have contracts that expire after the 20-21 season therefore that season is very important. Hopefully they can continue forward with new contracts for Nugent-Hopkins and Larsson, but you never know. That also makes 21-22 interesting as some cap space will be freec up. Hopefully it will be the $9.667M in Russell and Sekera contracts.

    PPPS McDavid, Draisaitl, Lucic and Klefbom all have contracts that last at least until the end of 22-23.

  97. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Pescador: Scung

    Definitely part of the process

  98. russ99 says:

    Great post LT.

    Compare our prime cluster to say Vegas’ and things don’t look so good.

    To me Chia’s failure isn’t so much trades, it’s over reliance on an age group to figure things out – seemingly to make up for poor drafting of that group’s draft years, outside of the “Austins”.

    McDavid cluster is gold, Veteran cluster covering the bet, except on offense.

    Prime cluster is the real issue with the roster. We can expect 1 maybe 2 to step up this year, but surely not 5-6, especially if almost all of them won’t be playing with McDavid or Draisaitl.

  99. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    russ99:
    Great post LT.

    Compare our prime cluster to say Vegas’ and things don’t look so good.

    To me Chia’s failure isn’t so much trades, it’s over reliance on an age group to figure things out – seemingly to make up for poor drafting of that group’s draft years, outside of the “Austins”.

    McDavid cluster is gold, Veteran cluster covering the bet, except on offense.

    Prime cluster is the real issue with the roster. We can expect 1 maybe 2 to step up this year, but surely not 5-6, especially if almost all of them won’t be playing with McDavid or Draisaitl.

    – I disagree: Vegas made the cup because their prime cluster ALL had career years, and hot goalie

    – You could not expect that.

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