Go Easy, Step Lightly, Stay Free

The Edmonton Oilers are making a lot of bets to begin the 2018-19 season, including three rookies, a former WHL sniper on his third organization and a tall tree from Finland by way of St. Petersburg (the one near Moscow). Gird your loins, pick something reasonable as the outer marker (I have 90 to 94 points) and see how they shine. You may hope for Stanley, but inside voices would be best.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Special offer is here, less than $3 a month!

  • New Lowetide: The 2018-19 Oilers are in a period of transition.
  • New Jonathan Willis: How worried should the Oilers be about the preseason struggles of Milan Lucic and Leon Draisaitl?
  • New Jonathan Willis: Oilers bet on Ty Rattie paying off and other lessons learned from training camp.
  • Lowetide: A transaction flurry as Oilers finalize 2018-19 roster
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Leon’s time to shine. This is an amazing piece, exceptional.
  • Lowetide: Oilers waive Aberg, release Jerabek and stand at 25.
  • Lowetide: Oilers prospects Berglund, Maksimov off to fine starts
  • Lowetide: Is this the year an Edmonton Oilers player wins the Calder Trophy?
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Evan Bouchard enlists former figure skater to help improve a weakness in his game.
  • Jonathan Willis: Mikko Koskinen temporarily triumphs over Al Montoya, but the real battle for the backup role has just started
  • Eric Duhatschek: Milan Lucic has made changes to try and get his swagger, and scoring touch, back.
  • Jonathan Willis: What does the preseason performance of Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto mean for the Oilers?

HOLD ON, HOLD ON, HOLD ON

  • Todd McLellan: It’s important to have a dominant #2 centre and we feel we have two of them. We have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Leon Draisaitl. So those aren’t bad options. So everybody wants to put Leon in that hole. We have a young fellow that was picked first overall in Nugent-Hopkins. He’s proven he can score in the league. He’s proven he can check. He’s reliable all over the arena. So there is that option. Obviously Leon being a bigger body and driving his own line on offence is a luxury that we have. And we’d like to play him there. We will start him there. But if it gets stale we can always move people around.” (Source John Shannon/Sportsnet via David Staples/Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal)

When I was first introduced to these words from Todd McLellan (via Matthew Iwanyk yesterday on TSN1260) it didn’t sit right with me. Connor McDavid spoke at length about consistency among linemates, the No. 1 line has been outstanding, and now the coach pulls out this idea on the anniversary of his resurrection shuffle from a year ago?

On further review, I think McLellan’s words are more about options as opposed to a specific line change he is looking at for this season. In yesterday’s game, both Leon Draisaitl and Milan Lucic were lanterns waving at a runaway train on the first goal against Edmonton. I suspect the coach could envision Nuge handling that situation more responsibly. Is it crazy for the coach to argue Nuge at No. 2 center gives the Oilers a better chance to outscore the opposition in 5-on-5 minutes? Even though the goals-for total might be shy? McLellan only has so many horses, you know.

What the Oilers badly need is for Milan Lucic to be productive on the No. 2 line—it’s going to be a big story this season because Edmonton’s coaching and management clearly want the big man to succeed there. It doesn’t help that the available left wingers (Jujhar Khaira, Drake Caggiula, Tobias Rieder) are something less than locks to score 20 goals this coming season. My kingdom for another Patrick Maroon on a ridiculously low contract. I remain convinced the Oilers will flourish if Nuge-Draisaitl are on the No. 2 line together. Need a Maroon-type for McDavid’s left wing. Maybe it’s Khaira.

TODAY’S LINES AND PAIRS

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Connor McDavid—Ty Rattie
  • Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Kailer Yamamoto
  • Tobias Rieder—Ryan Strome—Jesse Puljujarvi
  • Jujhar Khaira—Kyle Brodziak—Zack Kassian
  • Drake Caggiula—Alex Chiasson
  • Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson
  • Darnell Nurse—Matt Benning
  • Kris Russell—Ethan Bear
  • Jason Garrison—Evan Bouchard
  • Cam Talbot (Mikko Koskinen)

The No. 2 line and third pairing are the issues, no real doubt about it. Yamamoto looks good on other lines, but no one has been able to make anything rhyme playing alongside the two big men. Is there anyone who can? Maybe it’s Khaira. Lines via Bob.

KRIS RUSSELL

  • Todd McLellan on Russell playing Saturday: “Right now, I’m saying yes, I haven’t been told by the training staff and the doctor that he won’t be, so I’m planning like he is. There will be some evaluation done later today and we may know more tomorrow, but I have No. 4 penciled in tomorrow unless told otherwise.” (Source)

Having Russell on that third pair will be important on Saturday. Chances are the Devils will have Taylor Hall up against the third pairing as much as possible and you’d prefer an established NHL veteran with either Bear or Bouchard. Edmonton will have to make a roster move if Russell can play, suspect we see Drake Caggiula moved to IR (he has some issues with his nose).

THE CALDER TROPHY

Last week I wrote about Edmonton’s three Calder Trophy candidates (Yamamoto, Bouchard, Bear), arguing opportunity (especially in Yamamoto’s case) might trump all. Corey Pronman has his rookie rankings up here and you might be surprised by his thoughts on the issue.

TRADE

I still think we see a trade soon, possibly Khaira for Petrovic and a pick, or something along those lines. If Larsson’s back is going to be an ongoing issue, if Russell isn’t 100 percent, we know there will be other injuries. Edmonton needs blue.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

I can smell the turkey already! It’s Thursday before the long weekend, so the party atmosphere arrives this morning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. The NFL season is safely underway, and most fans are aghast at their team’s stupidity and poor coaching. In other words, same old same old!
  • Frank Seravalli, TSN. Milan Lucic and Leon Draisaitl aren’t getting enough done at 5-on-5 so far, will the coaching staff remain stubborn on Lucic as No. 2 left wing?
  • Jesse Cohen, All the Kings Men podcast. We’ll talk LAK and expectations in the Pacific.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Turkey is coming!

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230 Responses to "Go Easy, Step Lightly, Stay Free"

« Older Comments
  1. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Or maybe they were just scared of being licked? That’s a definite possibility.

    This.

    This.

    and This.

    It’s also why Lucic acts as unofficial team toughness leader, and why McDavid doesn’t get punked by Matthew T. from Calgary.

    Obviously “modern” hockey has evolved to the point there are entire groups of players who simply don’t fight; including the current Hart trophy winner.

    Meanwhile there are hangovers from the WWE NHL era, while others still look to make trouble for themselves in order to gain fast attention from coaches, like always.

    Oilers either win Saturday, then win vs Boston or else this season could hang in the balance by Halloween.

    It’s a shaky franchise, the Oilers. It leaks oil if it were a car engine. If it’s the Titanic it’s taking in water. And with the “new” arena entering it’s 3rd season Katz’s dream is starting to look more like it’s approaching midnight when coaches turn into pumpkins.

  2. Decidedly Skeptical Fan says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I disagree that there isn’t general vitriol towards the head coach based on the 5 left shot PP set up.

    “Disagrace”, “asshats”, “failing at basic elements of the game” – all used in relation to the PP set up.

    I absolutely did not ridicule anyone for their viewpoints.

    You call the PP setup illogical and, well, maybe it is, however, with respect for everyone in the community, I will take the opinions on a PP of Manny Viverios and the reigning coach of the year over most community remembers and Tyler Dellow.

    Opinions are just that … opinions. They don’t have to be “taken”. It’s perfectly OK to just leave them lying there on the ground.

  3. Bos8 says:

    Decidedly Skeptical Fan: Opinions are just that … opinions. They don’t have to be “taken”. It’s perfectly OK to just leave them lying there on the ground.

    Okay, that was classic.

    Kudos

  4. JimmyV1965 says:

    Did anyone watch the Vegas game and see the interference penalty McDonald got in the third period when he pushed the Vegas player into the goalie. The Vegas player went flying into the goalie and knocked him down. The Flyer dman was called for interference. I’m sure an Oiler player got pushed into the goalie the exact same way the last game, except we got the penalty, but the dman. Can anyone confirm this? Hope I explained it properly.

  5. Glovjuice says:

    Ryan: I wouldn’t characterize the current climate as “vitriol” towards the 5L power play as you state. To many, your characterization could be dismissed as hyperbole.

    That being said, many amoung us are offended by illogical decisions made by the Oilers management and coaching staff that are akin to pissing in the wind. Make no mistake, the 5L power play deployed by the Oilers make sink or it may swim, but data informs us that it’s more likely than not that pissing in the wind is the more probable outcome.

    You’re a valued thought contributor here, but you lose popularity when you try to tell people not to be offended by the Oilers pursuing an illogical course of action. Your Achilles heel occurs when you vacillate from debatingideas to criticizing posters en masse in a pedantic tone for forming a logical conclusion.

    I myself am far from a model poster here. However, I always try to debate ideas rather than resorting to ridiculing others for their viewpoints.

    This is stunning brilliance. I generally enjoy the mighty OP’s posts and have tried to express what you did here on occasion – but, have failed.

  6. maudite says:

    Rattle is weak defensively…drai is still finding his way back there in middle…this lineup is cruel.
    PinkSocks,

  7. maudite says:

    Hunter: 90 points, yak 14 g

  8. Bag of Pucks says:

    hunter1909: This.

    This.

    and This.

    It’s also why Lucic acts as unofficial team toughness leader, and why McDavid doesn’t get punked by Matthew T. from Calgary.

    Obviously “modern” hockey has evolved to the point there are entire groups of players who simply don’t fight; including the current Hart trophy winner.

    Meanwhile there are hangovers from the WWE NHL era, while others still look to make trouble for themselves in order to gain fast attention from coaches, like always.

    Oilers either win Saturday, then win vs Boston or else this season could hang in the balance by Halloween.

    It’s a shaky franchise, the Oilers. It leaks oil if it were a car engine. If it’s the Titanic it’s taking in water. And with the “new” arena entering it’s 3rd season Katz’s dream is starting to look more like it’s approaching midnight when coaches turn into pumpkins.

    The light at the end of the tunnel is the front of an oncoming train?

  9. JimmyV1965 says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – there were 5points about fighting I brought up:

    1) fighting someone because you don’t like how their non violent acts is not right
    2) as a parent my views on fighting in hockey have changed and kids are taught not to fight
    3) no other professional sport incorporates fighting into their game
    4) I think fighting in hockey is dumb
    5) society is shifting in its views on violence in sport and that’s a good thing

    – wasn’t a Nannie state observation. And I only alluded to it but I am pleasantly surprised at how the thinking within hockey circles is more advanced on this than you’d think.

    – the way hockey is played is evolving for sure.

    I’m not going to keep rehashing this thing forever, but fighting happens in all sports. Remember the Joey Bats bat flip. He was thrown at by the pitcher his very next at bat and got into a fight the next year because of it. Fights happen in basketball and football too.

  10. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: The light at the end of the tunnel is the front of an oncoming train?

    Ha ha ha ha ha

  11. oilinthepeg says:

    Ok, Hunter, I’m going with 93 pts and YakCity will score 23.

    Thanks for doing this! Hoping the Oil can do better than my prediction, but… … no balance photo, yet. Today’s NHL D need to make passes. Those D to D passes will destroy us, I think… and this whole Lucic thing is pretty irritating. Work your way up from the 4th line if that’s the spot you have earned. I think Drai and Yammo would look great with JJ on the left. At least Cags is starting from the bottom…
    We wait.

    Let’s Go Oilers, Let’s Go! Clap! Clap!

    GOILERS!

  12. hunter1909 says:

    Looking forward to the Knights going under this season. Should this happen, there will be a lot of whining pundits, who picked Vegas to lose last season, now are jumping on the bandwagon, like hockey journalists have done since the invention of hockey tape.

    The Leafs are off to a flying start.

    Edmonton loses early and watch out, because the weak kneed Oilers organisation(Sun Tzu would call Oilers’ management out for habitually providing low moral encouragement) will shake rattle and roll in the face of adversity like it always does. We can also hope that McDavid syarts influencing the other players to start playing a lot better than they’re supposed to. Orr did this for Boston in the 1960’s … taking a fairly crappy team and leading them to the cup.

  13. €√¥£€^$ says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    So much vitriol towards this 5 left shot PP (which the reigning Western Conference Champions are currently deploying) even though the PP looked quite good at times (lots of player and puck movement) and produced at decent rates in the exhibition season and, importantly, the team hasn’t even played a real game yet.

    My goodness the fanbase needs to find things the rail on the organization for. The PP set hasn’t even failed and vitriol. McLellan answers a question and states that if his forward lines get stagnant and don’t produce during the year, he’ll make changes – vitriol

    Vitriol for things that haven’t even happened.

    No vitriol from me, just general disappointment in the lack of material results by the 5L PP1…My exercise below was done to confirm what I saw as superior results from PP2.

    €√¥£€^$ says:
    October 3, 2018 at 11:38 pm
    jp: Based on Dellow’s article 5R PPs have been the best while 5L were the worst.

    So I guess that 2nd unit should be killing it. Maybe the 2 will offset each other.

    Maybe Dellow is on to something…..

    FWIW here are the numbers I counted from the preseason games, I did this all by hand, so my numbers are likely not accurate. Also, I couldn’t find the data from the Kolner game this morning, but I included the PP goal and attempts in my tallies.

    1. Overall the preseason PP scored 10 goals on 21 opportunities.
    2. 7 of the 10 goals were scored by the 2nd unit, but 2 of these 7 goals were assisted by McDeity.
    3. Not counting this morning’s game PP1 generated 16 shots and allowed 8 shots against (I didn’t count the number of giveaways by PP1, but there were a shit ton).
    4. PP2 also generated 16 shots, but only allowed 1 against.
    *Note: I didn’t count individual shot data, as there actually wasn’t very much and didn’t see it as relevant.

    Individual on ice results (keep in mind, some players played more games than others):

    Name TOI G A
    Rattie 5:23 2 0
    Khaira 4:02 1 1
    Strome 6:54 0 1
    Lucic 9:34 2 0
    Draisaitl 11:42 0 2
    Yamamoto 9:34 1 2
    Bear 6:25 1 1
    Bouchard 4:07 0 2
    Klefbom 11:37 0 2
    Cagguila 5:44 0 3
    Nuge 11:35 0 0
    McDavid 12:00 1 3
    Puljujarvi 11:52 2 0

    Benson is the only other player to get PP points, where he had an assist on Rattie’s goal vs “Calgary”

    Benning only played significant PP minutes in 2 games (1:44 @ “Calgary” & 1:37 @ Winnipeg, where there were only 2 PP opportunities in each game).

  14. OilSlickster says:

    LadiesloveSmid,

    Nuge-McDavid-Rattie
    Khaira-Drai-Pulju
    Lucic-Strome-Yama
    Reider-Brod-Caggs

  15. London Jon says:

    Just saw the Athletic survey where one player commented that if you took away McDavid we would be the worst team in the league.

    That immediately made me think what if we hadn’t won the draft lottery. Of course a whole lot of things would have been different or not different but to keep it simple try drawing up a lineup with Dylan Strome instead of McDavid.

    Thank you hockey gods for at least giving us Connor before you gave us Peter!! The hockey gods giveth and the hockey gods taketh away!

    Heathrow to Gothenburg 7am tomorrow morning. Haven’t been this excited about anything for years 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    Great to see Khaira at practice today. Love the lines. Interesting to note Bouchard with Russell today and Bear in the extra pairing (unless Russell isn’t able to play tomorrow). Bear has earned the 3RD spot over Bouchard in my opinion.

    It will be interesting to see what they’ll do to make room for Russell in the roster.

    Oilers in 🇸🇪 Friday:
    RNH-McDavid-Rattie
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
    Khaira-Strome-Puljujarvi
    Rieder-Brodziak-Kassian
    Chiasson-Caggiula

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Benning
    Russell-Bouchard
    Garrison-Bear

    Talbot
    Koskinen

  17. Hockey Project says:

    London Jon:
    Just saw the Athletic survey where one player commented that if you took away McDavid we would be the worst team in the league.

    That immediately made me think what if we hadn’t won the draft lottery. Of course a whole lot of things would have been different or not different but to keep it simple try drawing up a lineup with Dylan Strome instead of McDavid.

    Thank you hockey gods for at least giving us Connor before you gave us Peter!! The hockey gods giveth and the hockey gods taketh away!

    Heathrow to Gothenburg 7am tomorrow morning. Haven’t been this excited about anything for years

    To be kind of pedantic, they actually gave us Peter before they gave us Connor.

  18. London Jon says:

    Hockey Project: To be kind of pedantic, they actually gave us Peter before they gave us Connor.

    We’d already won the draft lottery before he was hired

  19. OriginalPouzar says:

    Just a quick note in relation to the verbal about not keeping Brandon Davidson – he’s a healthy scratch on a Hawk defence that is weaker than the Oilers.

  20. OriginalPouzar says:

    Coach says Russell has passed the tests and just needs the trainer’s OK to play.

    Bouchard May make his debut.

    Personally, I disagree with Bouch over Bear in game 1.

    In my opinion, they both bring substantial skills offensively that can help the team but Bear has shown to be further developed in his defensive coverage and awareness.

    While both have plenty of developing to do on the non-offensive side of the game, I saw Bear progress quite a bit through camp and made less high event mistakes as camp went on. Bouch was making fabulous offensive plays but high event mistakes every game leading directly to high danger scoring and de and goals against.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Bouch was making fabulous offensive plays but high event mistakes every game leading directly to high danger scoring and de and goals against.

    “Oilers hockey”

  22. godot10 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Coach says Russell has passed the tests and just needs the trainer’s OK to play.

    Bouchard May make his debut.

    Personally, I disagree with Bouch over Bear in game 1.

    In my opinion, they both bring substantial skills offensively that can help the team but Bear has shown to be further developed in his defensive coverage and awareness.

    While both have plenty of developing to do on the non-offensive side of the game, I saw Bear progress quite a bit through camp and made less high event mistakes as camp went on. Bouch was making fabulous offensive plays but high event mistakes every game leading directly to high danger scoring and de and goals against.

    Bear can be “assigned” to Bakersfield to make room for Russell. Bouchard can’t. Only forwards who don’t have to be waived are Puljujarvi and Yamamoto.

    if Bouchard is staying, he should really be paired with Klefbom, not Russell. Then, Nurse Larsson and Russell Benning.

    I’ll be surprised if Russell Bouchard works.

  23. godot10 says:

    godot10: Bear can be “assigned” to Bakersfield to make room for Russell.Bouchard can’t.Only forwards who don’t have to be waived are Puljujarvi and Yamamoto.

    if Bouchard is staying, he should really be paired with Klefbom, not Russell.Then, Nurse Larsson and Russell Benning.

    I’ll be surprised if Russell Bouchard works.

    And Nurse Larsson see every D zone start.

  24. Rebillled says:

    btw, no one else mentioned that Nurse instagram:

    1. Lars is the best guy in the room
    2. His nickname is the Polisher.

  25. Walter Gretzkys Neighbour says:

    hunter1909:
    Looking forward to the Knights going under this season. Should this happen, there will be a lot of whining pundits, who picked Vegas to lose last season, now are jumping on the bandwagon, like hockey journalists have done since the invention of hockey tape.

    The Leafs are off to a flying start.

    Edmonton loses early and watch out, because the weak kneed Oilers organisation(Sun Tzu would call Oilers’ management out for habitually providing low moral encouragement) will shake rattle and roll in the face of adversity like it always does. We can also hope that McDavid syarts influencing the other players to start playing a lot better than they’re supposed to. Orr did this for Boston in the 1960’s … taking a fairly crappy team and leading them to the cup.

    I have a dictionary app on my phone – everyday a new word. So today it’s schadenfreude. I think how appropriate and pathetic because I feel I am going to enjoy the hockey season only to the extent to which there is massive amounts of schadenfreude!

    I want Vegas to tank, Flames to crash, Canucks to flounder, Toronto to embarrass themselves. And a few others maybe.

    The point is I’m not heading into a season with excitement that the Oilers will finally look like a team play like a team engage and entertain, rather I’m hoping a bunch of teams suck MORE.

    Last year I stopped watching ALL hockey pretty much after Edmonton lost to Vancouver and that dick Dorsett spent the entire game mugging McDavid with zero response from referees and even more sadly absolutely no pushback from other Oilers. That and the bullshit rise of Vegas skewered the entire season.

    I headed in to off-season hoping the Oilers would improve, develop, coalesce and emerge but not much has changed. Likely we will see the same product, the same results.

    So bring on the schadenfreude! Also I do truly despise the Flames, Canucks, Leafs, Stars, Canadiens, Vegas, Ducks.

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    With Bouchard practicing with Russell this morning and coach intimating that Bouchard will get some games (not necessarily game 1 but he is here to play), I wonder if they plan on starting Bouchard at 3RD in game 1 and assign Bear to the AHL to make room for Russell.

  27. frjohnk says:

    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour,

    I love watching hockey, and while the Oilers have been my favorite team since I was a kid in the 80’s, I do cheer for other teams.

    -any team that plays against the Flames
    -the Jets
    -the Stars. ( yeah, I know, not everyones favorite here, but Benn and Seguin are fun to watch, and if anybody saw that kid Heiskanen in his first game, you can see why Dallas would not include him in a trade for Karlsson. Kid is gonna be a stud very quickly. Stars are going to be a fun team to watch if you like skilled players.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    godot10: Bear can be “assigned” to Bakersfield to make room for Russell.Bouchard can’t.Only forwards who don’t have to be waived are Puljujarvi and Yamamoto.

    if Bouchard is staying, he should really be paired with Klefbom, not Russell.Then, Nurse Larsson and Russell Benning.

    I’ll be surprised if Russell Bouchard works.

    Well, yes, it looks like they might assign Bear to the AHL to make room to activate Russell. A bit egregious as Bear has been better than Bouchard as camp has gone on but it is what it is.

    Unless they move Caggulia to IR, assign Yamamoto to the AHL (which should be an option but doesn’t seem to be for game 1) or are willing to waive one of the two newly signed veterans (which should be an option), that might be the call.

    Given Bouchard with Russell in practice today, it may be a sign that Bear is re-assigned.

    I understand what you are doing with your pairings but I will have to disagree.

    This team will be counting on Klefbom to play 22 minutes per game (including both specially teams) and many of those minutes will be tough even strength minutes.

    The team will be relying on their top two pairs for 22 plus minutes each, just like 2016/17. The third pairing will see less ice at evens.

    Russell if a very serviceable 3LD. Yes, given his poor gap control and poor ability to defend zone entries, they may end up defencing a bit, however, if managed properly by the coach, they will be seeing bottom 6 lines for the most part.

    They cannot pair Bouchard with a player they are relying on for material minutes.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    Rebillled:
    btw, no one else mentioned that Nurse instagram:

    1. Lars is the best guy in the room
    2. His nickname is the Polisher.

    I mentioned this last week – thought it was great that Nurse named Larsson as the best “personality” in the dressing room. Lars seems quite introverted and reserved but maybe that’s not the case.

  30. godot10 says:

    frjohnk:
    Walter Gretzkys Neighbour,

    I love watching hockey, and while the Oilers have been my favorite team since I was a kid in the 80’s, I do cheer for other teams.

    -any team that plays against the Flames
    -the Jets
    -the Stars. ( yeah, I know, not everyones favorite here, but Benn and Seguin are fun to watch, and if anybody saw that kid Heiskanen in his first game, you can see why Dallas would not include him in a trade for Karlsson.Kid is gonna be a stud very quickly.Stars are going to be a fun team to watch if you like skilled players.

    I have decided to have a 2nd team this year. The Oilers are my team. But I am going to root for and follow the Stars because of Todd Nelson.

    I guess Nelson liked Carrick from watching him with the Marlies when he was with Grand Rapids, which would explain the trade, rather than waiting for the waiver wire.

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