Cautionary Tales

There’s not a fan base in captivity that can properly rate the prospect list of their favourite teams. Even if you can agree on question marks and mysterians, it’s a short chat before getting right back to projecting seventh-round picks as future scoring stars. The author of this blog is guilty as charged, but over the years math, logic and reason have aided us in getting a better view of reality. If I asked you how many prospects with bright NHL futures played at least 10 games last season in Bakersfield, what would your answer be?

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.

PLAYERS 21 AND UNDER

  • 1999-00: RW Daniel Cleary (58, 22-52-74), LW Michel Riesen (73, 29-31-60), C Peter Sarno (67, 10-36-46), LW Jason Chimera (78, 15-13-28), RW Alexander Volchkov (25, 2-6-8), D Chris Hajt (54, 0-8-8), RW Maxim Spiridonov (10, 5-2-7), Chad Hinz (18, 1-4-5), D Alex Henry (60, 1-0-1).
  • 2003-04: D Doug Lynch (74, 11-25-36), D Jeff Woywitka (53, 4-18-22), C Dan Baum (37, 4-6-10), D Mathieu Roy (30, 0-2-2).
  • 2007-08: LC Rob Schremp (78, 23-53-76), LW Liam Reddox (65, 16-28-44), LW Slava Trukhno (64, 14-21-35), RW Stephane Goulet (36, 9-5-14), D Theo Peckham (59, 6-7-13), D Sebastian Bisaillon (21, 3-7-10), F Ryan O’Marra (31, 2-7-9), Cody Wild (13, 1-2-3), D Bryan Young (74, 0-7-7), G Devan Dubnyk (33, 3.12 .904).
  • 2017-18: RD Ethan Bear (37, 6-12-18), LD Caleb Jones (58, 2-15-17), RD Ryan Mantha (41, 3-7-10), RW Jesse Puljujarvi (10, 1-4-5).

When I was writing the Ethan Bear piece for The Athletic (link above) I noticed how closely Doug Lynch and Ethan Bear performed on a point-per-game basis as AHL rookies. Lynch’s numbers, as a 20-year old rookie, are identical to Bear (although Bear played half the games). We didn’t get to see Lynch’s career, as a wrist injury had a major impact on his trajectory. Perhaps Bear’s career will solve a mystery.

Pretty much all of the good NHL players who begin their pro careers in the AHL are delivering quality play by age 21. There are four men in this entire group of prospects who played 400+ games in the NHL (Cleary, Chimera, Bergeron, Dubnyk) and three of them are in this group.

Note: Three of the men who played for Bakersfield in 2017-18 should have a major impact on this organization over the next decade.

PLAYERS 22 TO 23

  • 1999-00: C Brian Swanson (69, 19-40-59), LW Dan Lacouture (70, 23-17-40), D Matthieu Descoteaux (49, 5-7-12), C Paul Comrie (12, 3-3-6), D Kevin Bolibruck (54, 1-4-5), RW Brian Urick (14, 2-1-3), D Ryan Risidore (45, 3-13-16), G Eric Heffler (47, 3.13 .910)G Mike Minard (38, 3.08, .904).
  • 2003-04: LW Tony Salmelainen (58, 19-25-44),RW Jani Rita (64, 17-24-41), C Joe Cullen (69, 14-16-30), C JJ Hunter (56, 12-16-28), LW Sean McAslan (62, 12-15-27), RW Michael Henrich (58, 14-10-24), RW Brad Winchester (65, 13-6-19), D Marc-Andre Bergeron (17, 4-3-7).
  • 2007-08: C Marc Pouliot (55, 21-26-47), LW Patrick Thoresen (29, 13-13-26), C LW JF Jacques (38, 11-14-25), RW Colin McDonald (73, 12-11-23), Tim Sestito (77, 7-10-17), RW Troy Bodie (62, 9-6-15), C Tyler Spurgeon (12, 1-7-8), C Fredrik Johansson (25, 4-1-5), , C Jonas Almtorp (37, 2-2-4), G Jeff Deslauriers (57, 2.90 .912).
  • 2017-18: LW Joe Gambardella (50, 13-6-19), RC Kyle Platzer (44, 8-7-15), LW Braden Christoffer (63, 6-9-15), RC Tyler Vesel (11, 3-3-6), LD Ben Betker (42, 1-4-5), LC Colin Larkin (16, 0-2-2).

Lots of talent in this group, but it’s surprising how few men became NHL regulars over a significant period. A long list of players 22 plus who we still held out hope for (Rita, Pouliot, McDonald) didn’t establish themselves as NHL regulars. When I do the Farm Workers piece every year, I use the phrase “pretty much every player who is in the AHL past age 21 has some issues and is going to do some meandering.” Meandering indeed.

Note: Tyler Vesel and Joe Gambardella, college men, are the two players I could see getting some NHL time from the current group.

PLAYERS 24 TO 26

  • 1999-00: RW Kevin Brown (54, 21-38-59), D Sergei Yerkovich (72, 2-28-30), LW Sean Selmser (72, 14-12-26), D Alex Zhurik (54, 2-16-18), D Brad Norton (40, 5-12-17).
  • 2003-04: RW Nate DiCasmirro (71, 17-18-35), C Chad Hinz (74, 11-23-34), C Mike Bishai (48, 11-22-33), D Bobby Allen (56, 5-10-15), G Mike Morrison (27, 2.52 .913).
  • 2007-08:  D TJ Kemp (73, 8-38-46), D Mathieu Roy (20, 2-8-10), D Mike Gabinet (19, 0-3-3).
  • 2017-18: RC Josh Currie (68, 20-26-46), RW Ty Rattie (53, 21-22-43), LW Joey Laleggia (68, 15-28-43), RW Patrick Russell (68, 14-13-27), LD Dillon Simpson (61, 4-14-18), LD Keegan Lowe (52, 2-12-14), R Iiro Pakarinen (18, 9-4-13), G Laurent Brossoit (29, 2.68 .912).

It’s a tough sled 24+ to build an NHL career. Brad Norton from the 1999-00 team (124 games) is the class of this group.

Note: Ty Rattie has a great chance to catch on with the Oilers, we’ll see about the rest.

History tells us to pay close attention to the top group, saving some attention for the second crew, and to view the third category as a ‘bonus’ region. Here are the numbers from the three groups above combined:

  • Players 21 and under (99-00, 03-04, 07-08): 23 players, 3,386 games (147.2 games per player)
  • Players 22 and 23 (99-00, 03-04, 07-08): 26 players, 2378 games (91.5 games per player)
  • Players 24 to 26 (99-00, 03-04, 07-08): 13 players, 268 games (20.6 games per player)

THE 2018-19 BAKERSFIELD CONDORS

  • Players 21 and under: RW Kailer Yamamoto, LW Tyler Benson, RD Ethan Bear, LD Caleb Jones, RC Cooper Marody, RW Ostap Safin, G Stuart Skinner, D Dylan Wells.
  • Players 22 and 23: RD Ryan Mantha, LD William Lagesson, C Cameron Hebig.
  • Players 24 to 26: R Ty Rattie, RC Tyler Vesel, RC Josh Currie, LW Joe Gambardella, LW Nolan Vesey, RW Patrick Russell, LC Colin Larkin, LD Keegan Lowe, G Shane Starrett.

The 2018-19 club should have more firepower than the previous Condors, who averaged just 2.76 goals per game. That Pacific Division of the AHL is a low scoring enterprise, Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona’s farm) led the 68-game group with 3.15 goals per game.

The single season goal-scoring leader in Condors’ history remains Matt Ford, who scored 27 in the team’s first season as the Oilers’ farm team. No. 1 in points in a season? Anton Lander, 55 (in 42 games) in 2016-17.

The all-time leader in points is Joey Laleggia (108) although Josh Currie (106) is sure to win that race with Laleggia heading to the St. Louis system. All-time goals? Currie, 52.

PROJECTED CONDORS (WITH NHLE)

There are some nice prospects in this group, the top three forwards (Benson, Marody, Yamamoto) are well qualified to enter pro hockey. I’m not convinced Yamamoto spends a lot of time in the minors but he should score anywhere from .750-1 point per game while in Bakersfield.

Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones will get a lot of attention again this season, as will William Lagesson. I hope Ryan Mantha has a strong season and pushes forward despite the setback of one year ago.

Is Matt Ford’s 27 goals or Anton Lander’s 55 points in danger of being eclipsed? Maybe, but the nature of the minor leagues suggests Josh Currie is more likely to break those totals than Yamamoto. Cooper Marody may push toward those numbers, as he’s likely to stay most or all of the year.

In my Oilers RE GP estimates, I have Yamamoto (44), Marody (7), Gambardella (4) and Benson (1) getting some NHL action. Among defensemen, Ethan Bear, Keegan Lowe, Caleb Jones and Evan Bouchard see NHL time. The estimates are here.

I used to do a Bakersfield RE but it’s almost impossible to properly estimate that many moving parts. It was a fun exercise for me, here’s the RE estimates for Bakersfield 2015-16:

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73 Responses to "Cautionary Tales"

  1. Psyche says:

    I saw Colin Larkin’s NHLE and wondered: Out of 4 Larkins how did the Oilers manage to sign the least successful (based on NCAA level of play)?

    http://www.larkinhockeyschool.com

    For every positive move (or two) there seems to be a head scratcher. I guess being Mark Carney’s best bud and Brancato’s son-in-law has its’ perks!

  2. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    A 3-year contract for a soon to be 26 year old that hasn’t played 60 NHL games and hasn’t been able to play 40 games in a season for 3 straight years? That contract by Dallas is a huge stretch.

    Lets not get ahead of ourselves on Pitlick here.I like the player but he had one more goal than Drake last year and hisCorsi Rel, GF% Rel and xGF% Rel were all in the negative.

    You’ve staunchly and frequently defended Chiarelli for not offering an equivalent contract to Pitlick (that he got from Dallas).

    I find your position on this perplexing.

    Pitlick got a three year contract for a million dollars per year. The entire contract can be buried in the AHL. If he gets injured, the contract is insured. I don’t see that as a huge risk to Dallas. What am I missing?

    Then you further defend your position by comparing it to Drake who scored one goal less last year (also has neg rels) and cost $500 k more per year for the next two seasons. I can’t even recalll how many goals Drake scored playing with McDavid.

    I don’t see the loss of Pitlick as a huge deal myself, but I also don’t follow your thought process on this one. I’d rather have two more years of Pitlick for a million per than Drake at a million and a half myself.

  3. OriginalPouzar says:

    That is a killer current 21 and under group – all of them have a chance to be material NHL players.

    I would say the only player from the later two age groups with a real shot is Lagesson (maybe Hebig bu I do consider him a bit of a distant bell.

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    I do wonder if Safin is AHL bound this year – he is eligible as he was drafted out of Europe prior to being taken in the CHL import draft.

    The Sea Dogs have two shiny news imports and teams are only allowed two – there is a chance they may move Safin to a better team – would that factor in to the Oilers decision on where to play Safin this coming season?

  5. OriginalPouzar says:

    The RW depth on the Condors looks pretty bleak – in particular when Yamamoto is called up (and he may not even play any AHL games).

    I don’t know about those goalies. I think it might be Montoya and Skinner splitting duties.

    I really hope they don’t trade Montoya and that he clears waivers.

    If his attitude is right, he should be a good mentor and, importantly, injury cover. Without him, who is the injury call-up? There is noone else that should be dressed for an NHL game this year.

  6. --hudson-- says:

    Lowetide, curious why did you list prospects for the 2000, 2004 and 2008 teams while skipping over the intermediate years? Only reason for asking is it seems to miss Pisani and Chimera. I could see how there wouldn’t be enough room in the article for every season so some successes and failures are due to be missed. Just curious on how you chose the years you went with.

  7. David says:

    Oilers prospects that can be reasonably projected as impact NHL players:
    Yamamoto
    Bouchard
    (and Puljujarvi)

    Oilers prospects that are good bets to have NHL careers:
    Bear
    Benson (if healthy)
    Marody
    McLeod (unsure if even he should be here)

    Every other prospect is in the wait and see category. We get all excited about them like Schremp, Omark, Yakimov, Hamilton, Martindale and then they never make the jump. It just about having a large pool of prospects who have good arrows year over year so that while 95% of them don’t make it a couple graduate every couple of years.

  8. --hudson-- says:

    Is Josh Currie any relation of Dan Currie?

    The Dan Currie who played on the 90s farm team with Steven Rice and Shaun Van Allen.

  9. Lowetide says:

    –hudson–:
    Lowetide, curious why did you list prospects for the 2000, 2004 and 2008 teams while skipping over the intermediate years?Only reason for asking is it seems to miss Pisani and Chimera.I could see how there wouldn’t be enough room in the article for every season so some successes and failures are due to be missed.Just curious on how you chose the years you went with.

    Completely reasonable question. The answer is that the seasons I chose were random and I do this every 5-10 years. I could do different seasons but it’s easier to copy and paste, then compare the past to the present.

  10. Lowetide says:

    David:
    Oilers prospects that can be reasonably projected as impact NHL players:
    Yamamoto
    Bouchard
    (and Puljujarvi)

    Oilers prospects that are good bets to have NHL careers:
    Bear
    Benson (if healthy)
    Marody
    McLeod (unsure if even he should be here)

    Every other prospect is in the wait and see category. We get all excited about them like Schremp, Omark, Yakimov, Hamilton, Martindale and then they never make the jump. It just about having a large pool of prospects who have good arrows year over year so that while 95% of them don’t make it a couple graduate every couple of years.

    I think it is down to entry deals now. sink or swim on the entry deal.

  11. Lowetide says:

    –hudson–:
    Is Josh Currie any relation of Dan Currie?

    The Dan Currie who played on the 90s farm team with Steven Rice and Shaun Van Allen.

    Elite prospects says no

    https://www.eliteprospects.com/player/45243/josh-currie

  12. Woogie63 says:

    Two 15 year old begin this first midget hockey season one at the Edge sports school the other the for a city geographically based team and attends the closes high school.

    The Edge player

    Skates 3-4 a day as part of his school
    On the ice he plays with a hand selected group of players and the +18 year Calgary Hitmen
    Off ice his class list is nutrition, psychology, dryland day training, and the normal school classes
    The team has two well paid coach “teachers” that focus on the players
    The team has tutors to ensure players get passing grades
    The team with travel to 6 best on best international tournaments and 5 best on best fly to tournaments
    Great players keep coming expecting to play on the team

    The other kid

    Skates for 1-2 hours a night as part of his practice
    If the team needs reinforcements for an injuries player they reach back to their 14 year old team
    Players attends regular high school classes, rushes to complete homework, dinner to get to practice
    One paid coach in his first paid position
    Team expects players to passing grades
    Team plays in a “local” hockey league with teams within 3 hours of home, then a national play-off
    Team will attend 4-5 flyin tournaments
    The team’s farm is the 13-14 year team in the same quadrant of the city

    Do both kids need the same development time as they get older?

  13. godot10 says:

    Ryan:

    I don’t see the loss of Pitlick as a huge deal myself, but I also don’t follow your thought process on this one. I’d rather have two more years of Pitlick for a million per than Drake at a million and a half myself.

    Contrast the goal share of Lander-Letestu-Pitlick in 2016-2017 with any combination of 4th liners last year. Plus Lander and Pitlick can PK. Lander can also win a faceoff.

    The Oilers let two 4th liners go just as they because cheap useful contributors.

  14. jp says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    The RW depth on the Condors looks pretty bleak – in particular when Yamamoto is called up (and he may not even play any AHL games).

    I don’t know about those goalies.I think it might be Montoya and Skinner splitting duties.

    I really hope they don’t trade Montoya and that he clears waivers.

    If his attitude is right, he should be a good mentor and, importantly, injury cover. Without him, who is the injury call-up?There is noone else that should be dressed for an NHL game this year.

    The RW depth after Yamamoto is bleak, but:

    1) Callahan was a very solid player for years prior to last season. Last year was bad, and he’s not a prospect, but good chance he rebounds and can contribute.
    2) If Hebig’s NHLe translates at all he (or Marody) are more likely to play top 9 wing than 4C.
    3) There’s quantity (if not quality) on LW. Safin for instance could easily slide over to RW if he’s contributing (he plays both wings I think).

    The improved overall quality and depth gives the team options to shuffle players around, hopefully it all works out to 3 solid lines.

    And agreed about Montoya. Hopefully he sticks around to provide depth, mentorship, and ensures quality netminding for Bakersfield.

  15. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: Contrast the goal share of Lander-Letestu-Pitlick in 2016-2017 with any combination of 4th liners last year.Plus Lander and Pitlick can PK.Lander can also win a faceoff.

    The Oilers let two 4th liners go just as they because cheap useful contributors.

    Certainly the Oilers have been less smart than smart or they wouldn’t be where they have been.

    New GM, new players. Lander was lost in a no man’s land of not being a strong skater, not being big, not being assertive like Cags, and not scoring unless with top players. He is also not playing for another NHL team, so nobody was seeing it with him, even if he was a ‘good’ player in many ways.

    With Pitlick I just think they lost interest because he was so often not playing, although I think they liked him because he was fast and got after it when he played, and was bigger which is Oiler manna.

  16. Lowetide says:

    The decisions on Lander and Pitlick et cetera are often due to changes in management. I was always a believer in Tyler Pitlick but signing him long term has its own risks.

    The bigger concern is evaluation of Drake Caggiula as a guy to commit to, that suggests a flaw in a very important area.

  17. Wilde says:

    Woogie63:
    Do both kids need the same development time as they get older?

    I’d say yes. I don’t think player development is some jar you can fill and it stays at that fullness(or non-fullness) until you begin filling it again. I think it empties on its own by the tides of time, and additionally it has a hard cap, meaning you can overfill it but it won’t do any good.

    By opposite logic, you could put maximum ‘developmental effort’ into a kid for the first, say, four years and then just leave him on his own after that because the jar is full.

    And, for the kid who got less when he was younger, I don’t think you can catch him up much. You’ll never be able to retroactively do something like that.

    All of this, though, gets sorted out. I think parents do too much sorting of things that will sort themselves, but that’s a load of shit coming from someone like myself who’s young and childless.

    Really good question.

  18. Glovjuice says:

    Lowetide:
    The decisions on Lander and Pitlick et cetera are often due to changes in management. I was always a believer in Tyler Pitlick but signing him long term has its own risks.

    The bigger concern is evaluation of Drake Caggiula as a guy to commit to, that suggests a flaw in a very important area.
    OP ?! – the guru has spoken.

  19. godot10 says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Certainly the Oilers have been less smart than smart or they wouldn’t be where they have been.

    New GM, new players. Lander was lost in a no man’s land of not being a strong skater, not being big, not being assertive like Cags, and not scoring unless with top players. He is also not playing for another NHL team, so nobody was seeing it with him, even if he was a ‘good’ player in many ways.

    With Pitlick I just think they lost interest because he was so often not playing, although I think they liked him because he was fast and got after it when he played, and was bigger which is Oiler manna.

    Arguably Lander chose the KHL because also gave him the once in a lifetime opportunity to represent his country in the Olympics. Remember he supposedly committed to the KHL well before the season was over and didn’t wait around till free agency on July 1.

    I expect someone might give him a shot next year after his KHL contract is up.

  20. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    The decisions on Lander and Pitlick et cetera are often due to changes in management. I was always a believer in Tyler Pitlick but signing him long term has its own risks.

    The bigger concern is evaluation of Drake Caggiula as a guy to commit to, that suggests a flaw in a very important area.

    I sure the Oilers would not have add to offer Pitlick 3 years when they had exclusively negotiately rights. Another NHL contract, two years max, maybe even one would have done it.

  21. leadfarmer says:

    godot10: Arguably Lander chose the KHL because also gave him the once in a lifetime opportunity to represent his country in the Olympics.Remember he supposedly committed to the KHL well before the season was over and didn’t wait around till free agency on July 1.

    I expect someone might give him a shot next year after his KHL contract is up.

    I doubt anyone looks at BeLanders skating and says we want that. His 9 goals also don’t inspire much confidence. He’s a player made for the clutch and grab era and not made for the let the thoroughbreds run era

  22. Andy Dufresne says:

    Woogie63:
    Two 15 year old begin this first midget hockey season one at the Edge sports school the other the for a city geographically based team and attends the closes high school.

    The Edge player

    Skates 3-4 a day as part of his school
    On the ice he plays with a hand selected group of players and the +18 year Calgary Hitmen
    Off ice his class list is nutrition, psychology, dryland day training, and the normal school classes
    The team has two well paid coach “teachers” that focus on the players
    The team has tutors to ensure players get passing grades
    The team with travel to 6 best on best international tournaments and 5 best on best fly to tournaments
    Great players keep coming expecting to play on the team

    The other kid

    Skates for 1-2 hours a night as part of his practice
    If the team needs reinforcements for an injuries player they reach back to their 14 year old team
    Players attends regular high school classes, rushes to complete homework, dinner to get to practice
    One paid coach in his first paid position
    Team expects players to passing grades
    Team plays in a “local” hockey league with teams within 3 hours of home, then a national play-off
    Team will attend 4-5 flyin tournaments
    The team’s farm is the 13-14 year team in the same quadrant of the city

    Do both kids need the same development time as they get older?

    Awesome Post!

  23. Melvis says:

    If I asked you how many prospects with bright futures played at least 10 times last season in Bakersfield, what would your answer be?

    Errr – Balderrama, Rodriguez, Borjas, Martinez, and Farfisa?

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Woogie63:
    Two 15 year old begin this first midget hockey season one at the Edge sports school the other the for a city geographically based team and attends the closes high school.

    The Edge player

    Skates 3-4 a day as part of his school
    On the ice he plays with a hand selected group of players and the +18 year Calgary Hitmen
    Off ice his class list is nutrition, psychology, dryland day training, and the normal school classes
    The team has two well paid coach “teachers” that focus on the players
    The team has tutors to ensure players get passing grades
    The team with travel to 6 best on best international tournaments and 5 best on best fly to tournaments
    Great players keep coming expecting to play on the team

    The other kid

    Skates for 1-2 hours a night as part of his practice
    If the team needs reinforcements for an injuries player they reach back to their 14 year old team
    Players attends regular high school classes, rushes to complete homework, dinner to get to practice
    One paid coach in his first paid position
    Team expects players to passing grades
    Team plays in a “local” hockey league with teams within 3 hours of home, then a national play-off
    Team will attend 4-5 flyin tournaments
    The team’s farm is the 13-14 year team in the same quadrant of the city

    Do both kids need the same development time as they get older?

    Nice try, but this really doesn’t hold water.

    For a start, two people are going to have two different sets of natural ability. Had you stated that there are two players of 100% identical theoretical ability this wouldn’t be getting brought up, despite the fact that it’s almost impossible to judge.

    Reminds me of when I was a teenager studying kung fu. People would ask dumb shit(myself included) like…who would in in a fight…kung fu or boxing or Tai Chi or Wrestling etc… then we’d get frustrated with the perfectly sane answer that people have different innate levels of talent and therefore it’s not the system, it’s the person that wins the contest.

    Therefore, if you tell me that a 15 year old Joe Sakic is going up against a 15 year old Nail Yakupov, with 100% hindsight I’m going to be able to give a super smarmy answer and pick Burnaby Joe over “that Russian”(KLowe/MacT quotation marks). No matter which system is chosen.

  25. Wilde says:

    hunter1909,

    I mean, that’s not a perfectly sane answer, that’s issuing a correction on the concept and then avoiding answering it entirely.

    Of course, for the question to be meaningful it has to be between two of equal ability.

    But all you have to do in your answer is mention that at the beginning, and then answer what everyone knows is the actual question, /among two of the same ability/ who is better off?

    Perhaps 30 years ago you could answer the martial arts version that way, but the question people were actually asking has been answered and not in the overly simplistic way of that whoever is the better person will win and not the system. This has not been what has occurred when different styles of martial arts meet, practices like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai are so much more potent that a lesser artist can win using them provided their opponent practices something lower on the totem pole.

  26. Melvis says:

    Woogie63,

    I once had a similar discussion with a friend in law who was a guest at Gretz’s wedding and pretty good at the hockeying. After a couple of drinks, he got kinda bitter over the fact that in-between school, farm chores, and practice – the rich man’s kid (a lesser talent) , eclipsed him because he could afford all the extra time, the tutor, the perks – plus hockey school.

    And a similar discussion with a good friend who housed a PA Raider or two She and her husband were childless, hockey mad, and went all out for those kids.

    And I’m still kinda pissed about a youth coach, who, over the course of four seasons, favoured about six kids (and their parents) – to the exclusion of the other 16.

    I find the nature/nurture question quite interesting.

  27. godot10 says:

    Woogie63:
    Two 15 year old begin this first midget hockey season one at the Edge sports school the other the for a city geographically based team and attends the closes high school.

    The Edge player

    Skates 3-4 a day as part of his school
    On the ice he plays with a hand selected group of players and the +18 year Calgary Hitmen
    Off ice his class list is nutrition, psychology, dryland day training, and the normal school classes
    The team has two well paid coach “teachers” that focus on the players
    The team has tutors to ensure players get passing grades
    The team with travel to 6 best on best international tournaments and 5 best on best fly to tournaments
    Great players keep coming expecting to play on the team

    The other kid

    Skates for 1-2 hours a night as part of his practice
    If the team needs reinforcements for an injuries player they reach back to their 14 year old team
    Players attends regular high school classes, rushes to complete homework, dinner to get to practice
    One paid coach in his first paid position
    Team expects players to passing grades
    Team plays in a “local” hockey league with teams within 3 hours of home, then a national play-off
    Team will attend 4-5 flyin tournaments
    The team’s farm is the 13-14 year team in the same quadrant of the city

    Do both kids need the same development time as they get older?

    I believe there is now evidence out there that “The Edge” formula harms more individuals than it helps in hockey and in overall life skills. So you may be flipping a coin hoping your child is the one that is advantaged by intensive training and development over those harmed by it.

    The thing is, one doesn’t definitely know, and that one should listen to and observe your kid carefully.

  28. marconiuse says:

    –hudson–:
    Is Josh Currie any relation of Dan Currie?

    The Dan Currie who played on the 90s farm team with Steven Rice and Shaun Van Allen.

    The infamous VCR line! I had such high hopes. I remember at one point the Oilers called up the 3 of them and played them together as a line. I was certain they would light it up.

  29. leadfarmer says:

    Andy Dufresne,

    Big reason why the NCAA route is becoming more and more a better route than CHL. Dont throw out players for 35 min a night for 3 consecutive nights so your “Next big thing in Coaching” coach can get a promotion. Developing for future doesnt matter, results now matter.
    NCAA focuses more on practice time, weight room, and doesnt do the beat down of the CHL schedule on developing young bodies.

  30. Woogie63 says:

    Melvis:
    Woogie63,

    I once had a similar discussion with a friend in law who was a guest at Gretz’s wedding and pretty good at the hockeying. After a couple of drinks, he got kinda bitter over the fact that in-between school,farm chores, and practice – the rich man’s kid (a lesser talent) , eclipsed him because he could afford all the extra time, the tutor, the perks –plus hockey school.

    And a similar discussion with a good friend who housed a PA Raider or two She and her husband were childless, hockey mad, and went all out for those kids.

    And I’m stillkinda pissed about a youth coach, who, over the course of four seasons, favoured about six kids (and their parents) – to the exclusion of the other 16.

    I find thenature/nurture question quite interesting.

    If you have Netflix, check out QB1…. Bishop Gorman “High School” must be a crazy competive place to grow up.

    This documentary is binge worthy

  31. Ryan says:

    leadfarmer: I doubt anyone looks at BeLanders skating and says we want that.His 9 goals also don’t inspire much confidence.He’s a player made for the clutch and grab era and not made for the let the thoroughbreds run era

    10 goals. He has 10 career NHL goals!

    Just took him 215 games to get them.

    If you add up his last two seasons, you get 83 gp. 2 goals. 7 points.

    Lander just couldn’t bat over the Mendoza line. There’s no mystery why he’s no longer in the NHL.

    You’re right about the slow boots.

  32. leadfarmer says:

    Ryan,

    Well the 9 goals was in the KHL. Not exactly killing it there

  33. hunter1909 says:

    Wilde: practices like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai are so much more potent that a lesser artist can win using them provided their opponent practices something lower on the totem pole.

    Not quite.

    There are people out there without any martial arts training who can beat the daylights out of almost anyone, regardless of system. Russians particularly fit my case. They’re just a hard race of people. Please don’t extrapolate this to mean all Russians can defeat all MMA fighters.

    I don’t really go for MMA – reminds me too much of the fights I had as a little kid with my brothers. Endless grappling on the floor. It’s overhyped, just like everything else in the commercial world.

    Re martial arts/combat training in general: Someone suggested that a 100% super trained Navy Seal has no better than a 50/50 chance against an average Stalingrad veteran, if both were placed in a trench with each armed with sharpened spades for weapons(for some reason sharpened spades were a fave weapon in Stalingrad). The Stalingrad vet never even took a single BJJ lesson.

  34. Melvis says:

    Ryan: The road to the NHL is not an easy one.

    Ii wasn’t entirely self deluded in that regard, although reasonably good in every sport going. Reasonably good doesn’t cut it, but it didn’t preclude dreaming about playing in the bigs in some capacity, somewhere along the line.

    I deliverd the Star Phoenix to a couple of interesting households. Dave Balon was on that route. So was Rick Duccomun’s mom and dad.

    Rick and I used to walk to school together, shuckin’and jivin’, thinking and planning our escape from under the cloud of that oppressive anti-cultural provincialism.

    From the burbs, he ended up playing Tom Hanks neighbour in the ‘Burbs. I thought he was pretty good in that, although his career seemed to wander off from there. I suspect the yayo played a role.

    Meanwhile, I was busy evading “that hole out in the Valley they were digging just for me.”, as Donald Fagen put it.

    Unfortunately, we lost touch before similr background might have leavened some of those latter day, adult, experiences.

  35. rickithebear says:

    Missed yesterday’s.
    Oxycodone pain day.

    So a little something.
    The to this days.

    WG:
    You were not a Karlsson truther for years.
    In fact I remember your disdain for “Off d ( rovers) are OFFENSIVE”

    I have screen captures of Off dmens futility that I posted on other blogs that date back 5-7 years ago.

    There are clear high ratio affects that must be structured and played a certain way to be cup competitive and championship successful.

    As Daryl Sutter said “ we are turning them into robots.”

    Rovers do not belong in that cup success structure.

    Except when they are partnered with an Elite HD dmen who can cover 1D-1G allowing them to potentially shine in the playoffs.
    Orpik
    Hjarlmasson
    Chara
    Martin

    You better have a 4-5M elite 1-1 HD dman to cover for that 8-11M rover.

    You can see strong Evga from a 2 rover pair.
    Who by type will transition pass a lot more and skate the puck up less.
    Causing thier structure and zone minutes to be more 2-1.
    A lot less rover.
    Puck in superior forward pocession than when the are rovers.

    Should look at Keith’s 13-14 to 16-17 seasons and see who his +ve unit Goal differential counts are with.
    Then look at 17-18.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    Psyche:
    I saw Colin Larkin’s NHLE and wondered: Out of 4 Larkins how did the Oilers manage to sign the least successful (based on NCAA level of play)?

    http://www.larkinhockeyschool.com

    For every positive move (or two) there seems to be a head scratcher. I guess being Mark Carney’s best bud and Brancato’s son-in-law has its’ perks!

    I’m not sure its a big head-scratcher – sometimes players are signed with the intent of filling out the AHL roster and helping the AHL team. I can’t imagine this guy ever playing an NHL game and that’s fine. He just takes up a spot on the 50, that’s all and, unlike previous years, we have plenty of room.

  37. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ryan: You’ve staunchly and frequently defended Chiarelli for not offering an equivalent contract to Pitlick (that he got from Dallas).

    I find your position on this perplexing.

    Pitlick got a three year contract for a million dollars per year. The entire contract can be buried in the AHL. If he gets injured, the contract is insured. I don’t see that as a huge risk to Dallas. What am I missing?

    Then you further defend your position by comparing it to Drake who scored one goal less last year (also has neg rels) and cost $500 k more per year for the next two seasons. I can’t even recalll how many goals Drake scored playing with McDavid.

    I don’t see the loss of Pitlick as a huge deal myself, but I also don’t follow your thought process on this one. I’d rather have two more years of Pitlick for a million per than Drake at a million and a half myself.

    I’ve never said that the contract is a risk, i understand its fully buryable in the minors with zero cap hit – I get that. I simply point out that the contract is completely out there for a tweener (yes, he was still not established as an every day NHL player) that literally could not play 40 games for three straight years. Its not about cap risk, its about setting a precedent.

    I only compare him to Drake because of “how bad Drake is” and when Pitlick is mentioned, its offered up as some huge loss – I acknowledge the QOT difference but, at the end of the day, one more goal was scored (in more games played – shockingly).

    Digging in to Pitlick’s metrics does not show him well this past year.

    I simply retort to those that consider this more than a nominal mistake – the term on that contract had about as many comparables as the cap hit on Koskinen’s.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    David:
    Oilers prospects that can be reasonably projected as impact NHL players:
    Yamamoto
    Bouchard
    (and Puljujarvi)

    Oilers prospects that are good bets to have NHL careers:
    Bear
    Benson (if healthy)
    Marody
    McLeod (unsure if even he should be here)

    Every other prospect is in the wait and see category. We get all excited about them like Schremp, Omark, Yakimov, Hamilton, Martindale and then they never make the jump. It just about having a large pool of prospects who have good arrows year over year so that while 95% of them don’t make it a couple graduate every couple of years.

    Having 7 players in those two categories is fantastic to me – considering where we were just a few years ago – 7 player to have solid NHL careers (including 2-3 likely to be fairly high end)? Money!

    There are some VERY good up arrows on players that aren’t listed – I agree, they are “wait and see” but so far so good on a few (namely, Maksimov, Skinner, Samorukov, Lagesson).

  39. Ryan says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Okay, so you’re basically fighting the hyperbole some here have expressed over the loss of Pitlick.

  40. hunter1909 says:

    Melvis: I suspect the yayo played a role.

    Sask people are something else.

    It must be all that space everywhere in Sask. It develops deep thinkers.

    I particularly like Joni Mitchell’s summation of the Baby Boom generation, which has got her flak from the lames who she’s describing to a tee.

  41. hunter1909 says:

    Ryan:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Okay, so you’re basically fighting the hyperbole some here have expressed over the loss of Pitlick.

    Pitlick type players are dime to a dozen.

    What would be nice, would be if the Oilers ever get some 2nd to 4th round pick blowing the doors off at training camp and then goes on to score 30 goals as a rookie.

  42. Scungilli Slushy says:

    godot10: Arguably Lander chose the KHL because also gave him the once in a lifetime opportunity to represent his country in the Olympics.Remember he supposedly committed to the KHL well before the season was over and didn’t wait around till free agency on July 1.

    I expect someone might give him a shot next year after his KHL contract is up.

    Maybe, I hope he gets it if he wants it

  43. rickithebear says:

    When I went back and looked at Prospect discussions.
    The fan boy in me often over shadowed the anslytics side.

    But clear development league specific skater trends become the drivers of my belief in player potential.
    Then partnered with +ve goal diff skills based on high ratio importance.

    I can never give a rank.
    Rather how Goal diff complete are they at this point.

    Sadly this years prospect review has not been done.

    I love LT,s cautious perspective.
    As I am sure we all do.

    Draft +5-6 is the correct mantra.

  44. leadfarmer says:

    rickithebear,

    You were also calling Klefbom a number 1 D two years ago. So who really knows

  45. Melvis says:

    hunter1909,

    A considerable amount of that space resides between my ears.

    Since Court and Spark, I”ve always wanted to work for Joni Mitchell. We’ve brushed up many times in various ways, but only met once, despite the fact she’s dated friends of mine, and her parents house backed up on a couple of others.The Miles of Aisles gig at the Universal Amphitheatre with Tom Scott and the LA Express was the only time we actually shook hands over nascent beginnings….although she’s been a bit of an ass in her dotage.

    I’ve forgotten a lot of that. Thanks for bringing it up.She never stinted on great players. I like this one with Metheny, Pastorius, Brecker, etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLKb9Ms68ME&frags=pl%2Cwn

  46. godot10 says:

    hunter1909: Pitlick type players are dime to a dozen.

    What would be nice, would be if the Oilers ever get some 2nd to 4th round pick blowing the doors off at training camp and then goes on to score 30 goals as a rookie.

    Yes…they are a dime a dozen, but the Oilers didn’t have any last year. The guys they had got caved. With one of them being paid 100% more for three years than what those dime a dozen guys should be paid, and the other rewarded with a two year deal for 50% more than he should be paid and can’t do the job.

  47. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Melvis,

    – Melvis you’ve lived a charmed life. I looked up Rick Ducommun but knew who he was when I did

    – One of my best friends also grew up in Prince Albert: generations after you. He too couldnt’ wait to get out and set the world on fire, which he has done in London in Finance.

    – Must be something about the air and type of families that are raising kids there…

  48. Glovjuice says:

    godot10: Contrast the goal share of Lander-Letestu-Pitlick in 2016-2017 with any combination of 4th liners last year.Plus Lander and Pitlick can PK.Lander can also win a faceoff.

    The Oilers let two 4th liners go just as they because cheap useful contributors.

    Agreed, stunned how little is made of this here – fourth lines matter – all cup teams have this – we had it via our own picks that we WAITED for and then…BAM…gone.

  49. Melvis says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Ha. It was nothing more than an aggressively repressive environment and a boreal forest fire torching my ass that got me out of there. It was that, or more likely, drive a chain saw for Sask Pulp up there.

  50. Johnny Larue says:

    I just wanted to comment on the Karlsson thread from yesterday.!I think the conversation was moot as the Karlsson’s would never come to Edmonton . They are destined for a large city and only Vancouver in Canada would maybe qualify, Edmonton not a hope.

  51. Glovjuice says:

    hunter1909: Not quite.

    There are people out there without any martial arts training who can beat the daylights out of almost anyone, regardless of system. Russians particularly fit my case. They’re just a hard race of people. Please don’t extrapolate this to mean all Russians can defeat all MMA fighters.

    I don’t really go for MMA – reminds me too much of the fights I had as a little kid with my brothers. Endless grappling on the floor. It’s overhyped, just like everything else in the commercial world.

    Re martial arts/combat training in general: Someone suggested that a 100% super trained Navy Seal has no better than a 50/50 chance against an average Stalingrad veteran, if both were placed in a trench with each armed with sharpened spades for weapons(for some reason sharpened spades were a fave weapon in Stalingrad). The Stalingrad vet never even took a single BJJ lesson.

    EPIC !

  52. Melvis says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Also speaking of Le Select in TO when it was on Queen West. Next time you’ re in NYC, check out Raouls for a bit of a throwback.Very similar. If you want to pick up on some of that vibe. That place hasn’t changed much since the 70’s, although everything else has.

  53. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I do wonder if Safin is AHL bound this year – he is eligible as he was drafted out of Europe prior to being taken in the CHL import draft.

    The Sea Dogs have two shiny news imports and teams are only allowed two – there is a chance they may move Safin to a better team – would that factor in to the Oilers decision on where to play Safin this coming season?

    By what I saw of Safin at the young stars he is worth a large investment! With the right mentoring this young man can be something special!

  54. colieo_87 says:

    I’m just got a pessimistic mind set for this upcoming season. Injures always plague this team.

  55. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sounds like Safin left today’s U20 game with an injury (This is the “Four Nations Tournament” in Sweden – similar to the World Junior Summer Showcase that four teams participated in earlier in the summer).

  56. Lowetide says:

    The last two posts made me chuckle, in a “I picked the wrong day to visit the Alamo” kind of way.

  57. OriginalPouzar says:

    pts2pndr: By what I saw of Safin at the young stars he is worth a large investment! With the right mentoring this young man can be something special!

    He’s big (very), can skate and is skilled – lots of work to do but the payoff could be very nice as you allude to.

    I will have to say, I follow Safin on IG and out of everything he’s posted this summer, I’ve seen one video of working out and it was really just he and his buddies goofing around in the gym.

    All his stuff is weird teenage silliness.

    I’m not saying he’s not training and what not but his IG is just so different than the likes of Subban, Chara, etc. where its’ 75% workout videos.

    I wonder what type of training program the junior age kids are provided with and how much direction they have from the organizations that draft them?

  58. pts2pndr says:

    David:
    Oilers prospects that can be reasonably projected as impact NHL players:
    Yamamoto
    Bouchard
    (and Puljujarvi)

    Oilers prospects that are good bets to have NHL careers:
    Bear
    Benson (if healthy)
    Marody
    McLeod (unsure if even he should be here)

    Every other prospect is in the wait and see category. We get all excited about them like Schremp, Omark, Yakimov, Hamilton, Martindale and then they never make the jump. It just about having a large pool of prospects who have good arrows year over year so that while 95% of them don’t make it a couple graduate every couple of years.

    My question to you is the failure rate due to skill level or were they not given the proper opportunity and or development?

  59. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar: He’s big (very), can skate and is skilled – lots of work to do but the payoff could be very nice as you allude to.

    I will have to say, I follow Safin on IG and out of everything he’s posted this summer, I’ve seen one video of working out and it was really just he and his buddies goofing around in the gym.

    All his stuff is weird teenage silliness.

    I’m not saying he’s not training and what not but his IG is just so different than the likes of Subban, Chara, etc. where its’ 75% workout videos.

    I wonder what type of training program the junior age kids are provided with and how much direction they have from the organizations that draft them?

    I agree. Given the investment by the team who does this fall on? Can the organization do better?

  60. David says:

    pts2pndr: My question toyouis the failure rate due to skill level or were they not given the properopportunity and or development?

    Probably lots of reasons:

    Some players such as Schremp and Omark in my opinion are “good enough” to be in the NHL but fall victim to not enough spots available and in the wrong situation.

    Other players might have enough skill but get derailed by injuries.

    Other players might have enough skill but lack the work ethic.

    Other players just look good at lower levels and get us excited but aren’t good enough to move up.

    And yes some probably are handled wrongly by the organization but how can we know which ones and for what reasons? I subscribe the the belief that if you want a player to be a scorer they got to be scoring. This is less about NHL/AHL and more about top six/bottom six and are they getting powerplay time plus skilled line mates.

  61. pts2pndr says:

    Lowetide:
    The last two posts made me chuckle, in a “I picked the wrong day to visit the Alamo” kind of way.

    Texans used to be smewhat pretentious at times to which we would say ” remember the Alamo”!
    If I was talented I would be able to make,oney on their varied and sometimes off the wall resonses!

  62. jtblack says:

    godot10: I believe there is now evidence out there that “The Edge” formula harms more individuals than it helps in hockey and in overall life skills.So you may be flipping a coin hoping your child is the one that is advantaged by intensive training and development over those harmed by it.

    The thing is, one doesn’t definitely know, and that one should listen to and observe your kid carefully.

    What are the damages?

    Most Elite Bantam / Midget kids are going the prep route now.

  63. Ryan says:

    godot10: Yes…they are a dime a dozen, but the Oilers didn’t have any last year.The guys they had got caved.With one of them being paid 100% more for three years than what those dime a dozen guys should be paid, and the other rewarded with a two year deal for 50% more than he should be paid and can’t do the job.

    In fairness to Pitlick, a million bucks was very good value last season.

    14 g and 27 points was above average third line production.

    https://hockey-graphs.com/2016/06/03/how-much-is-the-best-fourth-line-in-hockey-worth/

    His 1.16 primary points/60 at 5v5 was average 3rd line production.

  64. OilClog says:

    Hmmm not sure what MMA is being watched to call it endless grappling on the floor, clearly not commercial mainstream. Currently Two 115lbs women have both thrown over a 100 strikes in less then 3 rounds.. the main event won’t have 3 seconds of grappling.

    Nationality also plays no role in your “tough” everyone’s situation is different and in all countries you’ll find pockets of hardened individuals that will eat the 99% of the rest,

  65. Side says:

    hunter1909: The Stalingrad vet never even took a single BJJ lesson.

    No, but he probably took a Sambo lesson or 2 which is an adaptation of Judo. And Judo is an adaptation of jujutsu (which is where BJJ got it’s roots from).

    So I guess what I’m saying is, your stalingrad vet did not take BJJ, but would probably transition over to BJJ faily well based on their Sambo training and vice versa.

  66. Wilde says:

    OilClog:
    Hmmm not sure what MMA is being watched to call it endless grappling on the floor, clearly not commercial mainstream. Currently Two 115lbs women have both thrown over a 100 strikes in less then 3 rounds.. the main event won’t have 3 seconds of grappling.

    Nationality also plays no role in your “tough” everyone’s situation is different and in all countries you’ll find pockets of hardened individuals that will eat the 99% of the rest,

    I’ll admit watching Women’s MMA was jarring at first, but now that I’m used to it it’s an absolute marvel to watch.

    It’s like every fight is Mighty Mouse v Mighty Mouse. Great pace and technique.

  67. Bank Shot says:

    Training is very important in hand to hand combat.

    Being “tough” will get you nowhere against someone with years of training.

    Anyone ever watch that youtube clip of GSP dismantling Laraque in a playfight?

    Laraque’s size and strength advantage meant nothing.

  68. Ribs says:

    Bank Shot: Anyone ever watch that youtube clip of GSP dismantling Laraque in a playfight?

    Laraque’s size and strength advantage meant nothing.

    That’s a pretty silly reference, haha. Not a punch thrown and big Georges laughed through the whole thing! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJQkxuvJVhQ

  69. Bank Shot says:

    Ribs: That’s a pretty silly reference, haha. Not a punch thrown and big Georges laughed through the whole thing!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJQkxuvJVhQ

    It illustrates the point.

    I could use a thousand more examples. People with extensive fight training will pummel the heck out of people with little training almost every time.

  70. Ribs says:

    Bank Shot: It illustrates the point.

    I could use a thousand more examples. People with extensive fight training will pummel the heck out of people with little training almost every time.

    Absolutely zero pummeling happening in that video!

  71. v4ance says:

    hunter1909: Not quite.

    There are people out there without any martial arts training who can beat the daylights out of almost anyone, regardless of system. Russians particularly fit my case. They’re just a hard race of people. Please don’t extrapolate this to mean all Russians can defeat all MMA fighters.

    I don’t really go for MMA – reminds me too much of the fights I had as a little kid with my brothers. Endless grappling on the floor. It’s overhyped, just like everything else in the commercial world.

    Re martial arts/combat training in general: Someone suggested that a 100% super trained Navy Seal has no better than a 50/50 chance against an average Stalingrad veteran, if both were placed in a trench with each armed with sharpened spades for weapons(for some reason sharpened spades were a fave weapon in Stalingrad). The Stalingrad vet never even took a single BJJ lesson.

    I disagree. A well trained Navy SEAL would have hours of sparring practice against some of the best and most experienced edged weapons specialists in the world. The survivors of Stalingrad would have been naturally selected to be better than average hand to hand combat veterans but they wouldn’t be experts.

    It’s still be 60/40 advantage for the SEAL simply because of their rigourous training.

    This reminds me of the time Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame knocked out Jesse Ventura in a bar…

  72. leadfarmer says:

    v4ance: I disagree.A well trained Navy SEAL would have hours of sparring practice against some of the bestand most experienced edged weapons specialists in the world.The survivors of Stalingrad would have been naturally selected to be better than average hand to hand combat veterans but they wouldn’t be experts.

    It’s still be 60/40 advantage for the SEAL simply because of their rigourous training.

    This reminds me of the time Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame knocked out Jesse Ventura in a bar…

    Oh yes. Such a man knocking out a 55 year old Jesse Ventura. I bet he could take on a 90 year old WWII vet as well

  73. Bank Shot says:

    Ribs: Absolutely zero pummeling happening in that video!

    Then watch some videos of Rick Rypien dismantling guys way bigger than him.

    You missed the point of the video. Do you think you or me could take down Laraque in a wrestling match?

    Never. The fact that a guy that weighs 100lbs less than him in GSP can take Laraque down at will shows the superiority of training.

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