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

by Lowetide

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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Kinger_Oil.redux

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.

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.

Scungilli Slushy

Pescador: Scung

Definitely part of the process

Jaxon

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.

Kinger_Oil.redux

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.

jp

OriginalPouzar,

Thanks for the transcript. Not bad.

Woodguy v2.0

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?

Woodguy v2.0

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.

OriginalPouzar

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.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

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.

frjohnk

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.

pts2pndr

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.

northerndancer

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”

Leon McMesstzky

godot10,

Also likely Austin Matthews in 2016

digger50

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.

OIL ADDICK

Woodguy v2.0,

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

Pescador

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.

OriginalPouzar

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.

OriginalPouzar

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

Walter Gretzkys Neighbour

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!

Kinger_Oil.redux

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.

Side

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?

OriginalPouzar

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.

Georgexs

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.

Richard S.S.

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.”

pts2pndr

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!

pts2pndr

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!?

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.

Woodguy v2.0

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.

northerndancer

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.

Scungilli Slushy

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.

Bag of Pucks

Wilde,

Re: The Dys rebuild woes

This makes me very very happy.

Bag of Pucks

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.

Bag of Pucks

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.

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.

Paddy Morans Jockstrap

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.

Wilde

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.

Scungilli Slushy

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.

Scungilli Slushy

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?

Wilde

Did Hudson post a transcript of McLellan’s avail?

Scungilli Slushy

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.

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.

OriginalPouzar

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.

Wilde

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??

Bank Shot

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?

Wilde

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

Bag of Pucks

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.

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?

Bag of Pucks

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.