Broken Arrow

The Edmonton Oilers held a playoff position for close to two weeks leading up to last night’s loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning—technically the team remains tied for the No. 8 (and final) spot. Oilers fans hope the team will see the Western Conference’s first division (top 8) again this season and there are reasons to believe. Better health among the defensemen would improve things and a stumble or two from the teams ahead of them would be a Godsend. This isn’t what anyone was hoping for at Christmas, but there are 46 games to go and this team is in the race.

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. Outstanding offer is here.

  • New Lowetide: Total recall—Who should be next on the Bakersfield-to-Edmonton shuttle?
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Oilers’ Rattie still figuring out how to play for new-old coach Ken Hitchcock.
  • Lowetide: No. 8 prospect Winter 2018: Kirill Maksimov.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Condors coach Jay Woodcroft has a lifetime of hockey knowledge to share and the notebooks to prove it.
  • Jonathan Willis: The Ryan Spooner for Ryan Strome trade has yet to pay dividends for the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Lowetide: Ken Hitchcock, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and finding that elusive perfect fit on the Oilers No. 2 line.
  • Jonathan Willis: Milan Lucic should not be an everyday player for the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 7 prospect Winter 2018: Caleb Jones
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 6 Prospect winter 2018: Cooper Marody
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 5 Prospect winter 2018: Ethan Bear.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 4 Prospect winter 2018: Ryan McLeod.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 3 Prospect winter 2018: Tyler Benson.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 2 Prospect winter 2018: Kailer Yamamoto.
  • Lowetide: Oilers No. 1 Prospect winter 2018: Evan Bouchard.

OILERS AFTER 36

  • Oilers in 2015: 15-18-3, 33 points; goal differential -16
  • Oilers in 2016: 18-12-6, 42 points; goal differential +5
  • Oilers in 2017: 17-17-2, 36 points; goal differential -5
  • Oilers in 2018: 18-15-3, 39 points; goal differential -1

Ths 2018 Oilers are losing touch with the 2016 Playoff McDavids, but that might be a short term situation. I think Ken Hitchcock has a better idea about his team now and we might see some changes in the everyday lineup. The team is on pace that would see the season end at 82, 41-34-7, 89 points. I predicted 90-94 points. That would represent a 12-16 point year-over-year improvement. That’s significant.

OILERS IN DECEMBER

  • Oilers in December 2015: 6-3-2, 14 points; goal differential -5
  • Oilers in December 2016: 6-2-3, 15 points; goal differential +2
  • Oilers in December 2017: 7-4-0, 14 points; goal differential +9
  • Oilers in December 2018: 6-4-1, 13 points; goal differential +4

Amazing that all four December McDavids started like a house on fire and then faded heading into Christmas. The performance last year in the late December period and into January included some of the most galling hockey in memory. Avoiding that kind of stretch will be vital for the organization.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DECEMBER

  • At home to: Vegas (Expected 0-1-0) Actual (1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Dallas, St. Louis (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota, Calgary (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 2-0-0)
  • On the road to: Colorado,Winnipeg(Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-0-1)
  • At home to: Philadelphia (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver (Expected 1-0-0) (Actual 0-1-0)
  • At home to: St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, San Jose, Winnipeg (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 0-2-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
  • Current results: 6-4-1, 13 points in 10 games

Three losses in a row have December resembling the first two months of the season and we certainly shouldn’t expect a wildly different result in the coming games. A healthy Klefbom is the great hope now, the Oilers need to be within range on the day he returns.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Nurse-Larsson were 19-18 in 19:40, 10-15 shots, 0-3 goals and 4-9 HDSC. Nurse played 27 minutes and pinched in bad spots. He’s playing too much. I thought Larsson played well despite the minus 4. Pairing went 10-13 in 11:18 against Point-Kucherov-Johnson with the Lightning line scoring thrice while the pairing was on the ice.
  • Garrison-Benning went 10-14 in 11:30, 5-11 shots, no goals and 2-0 HDSC. De facto third pairing is low on the coach’s trust meter but the overall numbers were okay on the night. Went 1-4 in 3:37 against Palat-Stamkos-Gourde.
  • Gravel-Jones were 14-20 in 16:04, 5-12 shots, 1-1 goals and 1-5 HDSC. Faced Miller-Cirelli-Killorn, going 3-12 in 7:51, 0-7 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-3 HDSC. A team can get a lot from a season outside the playoffs, increasingly I believe Caleb Jones is one. Gravel got caught on the power play goal, but I’m not certain he made the wrong decision. Sometimes you have to give the other man his due.
  • Mikko Koskinen stopped 37 of 41 at 5-on-5, .902, 39 of 44 (.886) overall. He was easily one of Edmonton’s best players.
  • NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Rieder-Draisaitl-Chiasson went 12-11 in 11:45, 5-7 shots, no goals and 1-4 in HDSC. Leon needs a better left winger, but the line held its own. Both Leon and Chiasson scored on the power play, so the overall thrust of the evening was productive. I like Rieder’s game but the Oilers need more torque on this line. Went 8-5 in 7:01 against McDonagh-Cernak, 4-2 shots and 6-3 scoring chances (no goals). Went 5-6 in 6:28 against Hedman-Stralman, 1-5 shots and 1-2 HDSC. I like this line, needs more skill on left wing.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Puljujarvi were 14-14 in 13:55, 8-13 shots and 1-3 in goals, 2-5 HDSC. The first goal was beautiful, Puljujarvi with a deft chip pass to Nuge, to 97, to Nuge, goal. Music! The evening changed for the line when JP mishandled the puck at the Lightning blue (a Nurse pass that was a dart) and it ended up in a goal against. These things happen, no biggie, but Pulju’s game changed afterward. He didn’t sulk, I’d say he tried too hard, but the result was turnovers and eventually a move down the depth chart in-game. What rotten damned luck, the young man looked fine until then. McDavid committed a sin on at least one later goal, he’s been tighter on those this season. Went 9-1 against McDonagh-Cernak, 6-1 shots but no goals and only 1-0 HDSC. I’d absolutely bring the line back for the game after Christmas.
  • Caggiula-Spooner-Zykov went 6-8 in 6:01, 2-6 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-4 HDSC. Spooner was awful, turning over the puck seemingly each time he touched it. Oilers missed Khaira. Caggiula was out of position at times and not strong enough to hold his position at others. I don’t remember a lot from Zykov so can’t comment on his game.
  • Lucic-Broziak-Kassian went 8-16 in 11:04, 5-11 shots, no goals and 2-2 HDSC. I consider success for this line an evening with zero goals against, but the ‘keeping the puck 200 miles from the Oilers net’ storyline has faded. I didn’t like Brodziak’s game (looked a little late) but Lucic had some looks and Kassian looked good with Leon and Rieder (5-0 Corsi events 5-on-5) in about 2.5 minutes.

OILERS TODAY

  • It’s fairly easy to answer Hitchcock’s “who’s helping and who’s hurting” statement from last night, the numbers don’t lie.
  • Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are the heart of the order among forwards, with Alex Chiasson (scored No. 16 last night) also in the picture. I believe Jujhar Khaira is an actual NHL player, Jesse Puljujarvi belongs on this roster and that Tobias Rieder, Kyle Brodziak and Zack Kassian are NHL players. That’s nine out of 14 forwards.
  • Drake Caggiula is worth the investment in my opinion, I know many don’t agree and that’s fine, too. For me, any player who has 17 goals in his last 82 games with this team should be part of the 14 forwards until someone better comes along.
  • That leaves us with four forwards who are not contributing: Milan Lucic (big contract, sunk cost), Ty Rattie (I like him but his skills are duplicated), Valentin Zykov (hasn’t moved the needle) and Ryan Spooner (persona non grata based on most recent showing).
  • Among the blue, the three men injured (Oscar Klefbom, Kris Russell and Andrej Sekera) are NHL players. Adam Larsson belongs in this group and Darnell Nurse and his 22:59 TOI per night is an NHL player.
  • Matt Benning and Kevin Gravel are good enough to play on this team and I suspect several others. I’d put them in the Caggiula category, in that you can send them away the moment a superior option arrives. I don’t think that time is now.
  • That leaves us with Jason Garrison and Chris Wideman, who are both in danger of being waived as the veterans get healthy.
  • Mikko Koskinen and Cam Talbot are NHL goalies.

So that leaves as the “outsider” group: Milan Lucic, Ty Rattie, Valentin Zykov, Ryan Spooner, Jason Garrison, Chris Wideman.

SPOT CARRIER

When I started in radio, everyone I knew used the phrase ‘spot carrier’ which was slang for running a non-sponsors commercial during a sponsored event to separate the news from the sports, give the presenters a chance to change places, and keep the format structure intact. This happened often back in the day, as Safeway or Woodward’s Food Floor (as examples) would sponsor the 8am news, but only Tuesday through Friday (Monday was not viewed as a strong advertising day). The station was running a commercial in a prominent position, but the client involved paid no extra fee for the push, as the major consideration was the physical transaction of news to sports. The radio station needed that commercial to be played there, it was important to have something the audience would recognize as part of the format (otherwise you could play a song) and give the old as dirt newsman a chance to haul his carcass out of the way for the badly dressed sports reporter.

That’s kind of what Lucic, Rattie, Zykov, Spooner, Garrison and Wideman are at this time. It doesn’t mean they’ll always be that way, someone from that list might have a substantial career ahead of them, here or in another town.

Right now, they’re seat fillers, like at the Juno Awards. When Tyler Benson and Cooper Marody and Kailer Yamamoto are ready, we’ll see the team say goodbye to Zykov and Rattie (but not Lucic). As Jones proves himself more and more NHL-ready, then Jason Garrison and Chris Wideman lose their holds on NHL jobs. It’s kind of cruel, that’s why I’m talking spot carriers instead of Grandma not being able to keep up on the long journey across the North American heartland to the other coast. The Oilers are still building, and yes the process is moving slower than it should because the general manager has acquired several unproductive veterans, but it also takes time for seeds to grow under the warmth of the sun and the summer rains.

We are here. Bob was tweeting last night about a Yamamoto recall, that might be your next step. Every swinging dick knows what the problem is, the mind bending issue is how to get out of this mess. The answer my friend, is here. Same as it ever was.

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265 Responses to "Broken Arrow"

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  1. hunter1909 says:

    Bag of Pucks: I see fans calling for Katz to replace Chiarelli with Wayne Gretzky?

    Keith.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0: My crystal balls says:

    The Oilers miss the playoffs, but have a late season surge to make it close (the next two weeks are grim).Hitch is kept, Pete is not.

    It will be DAL, MIN and EDM fighting for the last wildcard spot and now that Klingberg is back for DAL I have them with the edge.

    MIN losing Dumba and EDM losing Klefbom just hurt too much for too long at the top of the Dmen roster to keep up with DAL.imo

    The only hope is that much like Justin Timberlake, the new year brings Seksey back and they go +2 in games between now and Feb 2.

    The Oilers 2nd pair: Needing another Actual NHL Dman since they traded Gilbert.

    My crystal ball says:

    The Oilers finish with 92 points, miss the playoffs by three. Hitchcock returns to coach and the Oilers retain the entire front office staff, Wayne Gretzky taking on a senior advisory role alongside Bob Nicholson.

    Edmonton trades Kris Russell in the summer, using that money to sign Chiasson. Also sign Koskinen and Talbot moves on. Sign Jakob Silfverberg, offload Spooner.

    Silfverberg-McDavid-Chiasson
    Nuge-Leon-Puljujarvi
    Rieder-Khaira-Yamamoto
    Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Sekera
    Jones/Gravel-Bouchard

    Koskinen
    Montoya

  3. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bag of Pucks,

    I see fans calling for Katz to replace Chiarelli with Wayne Gretzky? Like that will be a recipe to excelling at the draft. We should be more careful what we wish for.

    I haven’t seen that anywhere. Where did you see it?

    I have seen people suggest Wayne G supplant Nicholson as the POHO’s boss, but not the WG as the actual GM or POHO himself.

    Here’s my guess (not kidding either)

    Keith Gretzky GM
    Kevin Lowe POHO
    Wanye Gretzky Vice Chair OEG

  4. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Lowetide: My crystal ball says:

    The Oilers finish with 92 points, miss the playoffs by three. Hitchcock returns to coach and the Oilers retain the entire front office staff, Wayne Gretzky taking on a senior advisory role alongside Bob Nicholson.

    Edmonton trades Kris Russell in the summer, using that money to sign Chiasson. Also sign Koskinen and Talbot moves on. Sign Jakob Silfverberg, offload Spooner.

    Silfverberg-McDavid-Chiasson
    Nuge-Leon-Puljujarvi
    Rieder-Khaira-Yamamoto
    Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Sekera
    Jones/Gravel-Bouchard

    Koskinen
    Montoya

    A little birdie told me that WPG is looking to move Ehlers after this year to make room for Connor and Laine’s contracts and that EDM is interested.

    They’d want youngens and picks back.

  5. Ryan says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Its OK to trade Petry now that we have Schultz

    Let’s sign him to a one year show me contract so that we can trade him for a third and fifth round pick before his contract expires.

  6. Bos8 says:

    Just as a point of interest on Yamamoto’s three goals. Benson hit the post, Yama scored on the rebound, goalie out of position. Second goal – pass across that bounced in of D shinpad. Third goal – PP, Yama came in off the point, goalie down. I don’t say he played badly but a lot of luck. Prior eight games, one goal, non factor.

    Results don’t justify the hype.

  7. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    Bag of Pucks,

    I see fans calling for Katz to replace Chiarelli with Wayne Gretzky? Like that will be a recipe to excelling at the draft. We should be more careful what we wish for.

    I haven’t seen that anywhere.Where did you see it?

    I have seen people suggest Wayne G supplant Nicholson as the POHO’s boss, but not the WG as the actual GM or POHO himself.

    Here’s my guess (not kidding either)

    Keith Gretzky GM
    Kevin Lowe POHO
    Wanye Gretzky Vice Chair OEG

    I’m not saying Bob’s Big Burgers gets the boot. My guess is that Bob Nicholson is gone to run the IIHF

  8. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bos8:
    Just as a point of interest on Yamamoto’s three goals.Benson hit the post, Yama scored on the rebound, goalie out of position.Second goal – pass across that bounced in of D shinpad. Third goal – PP, Yama came in off the point, goalie down.I don’t say he played badly but a lot of luck.Prior eight games, one goal, non factor.

    Results don’t justify the hype.

    No Oiler currently goes to the scoring areas without the puck.

    Sounds like Yamamto is going to the scoring areas without the puck and is ready for a rebound.

    That would be very welcome on the team.

    That is also how a lot of NHL goals are scored.

    If its not a high danger situation like a pass across the crease the makes the goalie move or a 2-1 its often garbage clean up.

  9. Bag of Pucks says:

    Gret99zky: Perhaps.

    I believe Chiarelli will be fired as GM of the Oilers after this season.Under his management they will have missed the playoffs 3 out of 4 tries despite spending to the cap and McDavid.

    Further, Chiarelli’s tenure in Edmonton, along with his final years in Boston, will ensure he is given about as much opportunity to GM in the NHL as the “armchairs” around here.

    JMHO

    It’s entirely possible and it wouldn’t bother me in the least if they have a more capable candidate waiting in the wings. Contrary to popular perception, I’m not a Chiarelli fan. I’m on record as hating the Hall trade and I think contract/cap management is a weakness of this GM. But I’m also not a fan of demonizing people as utterly incompetent when the reality is it’s a very difficult job to do perfectly and Pete’s done some good things in addition to the bad. Aberg for instance was a good get that the old HC pissed away as he did Brossoit.

    I did think we were making progress at draft and develop, but JP’s development has been questionable and I did not like the Yamamoto pick off the hop. So yeah, like most Oilers fans I’m conflicted. But never enough that I’ll cheer for on ice losses to get off ice changes.

  10. Bos8 says:

    Bag of Pucks: It’s entirely possible and it wouldn’t bother me in the least if they have a more capable candidate waiting in the wings. Contrary to popular perception, I’m not a Chiarelli fan. I’m on record as hating the Hall trade and I think contract/cap management is a weakness of this GM. But I’m also not a fan of demonizing people as utterly incompetent when the reality it’s a very difficult job to do perfectly and Pete’s done some good things in addition to the bad.

    I did think we were making progress at draft and develop, but JP’s development has been questionable and I did not like the Yamamoto pick off the hop. So yeah, like most Oilers fans I’m conflicted. But never enough that I’ll cheer for on ice losses to get off ice changes.

    Good post

    Along with Pulju and Khaira and Kassian and Slepyshev.

  11. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0,

    Twitterverse. So obviously you take it FWIW

  12. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy v2.0: I’m not saying Bob’s Big Burgers gets the boot.My guess is that Bob Nicholson is gone to run the IIHF

    I’ve heard that rumour as well. You could argue that Bobby Nick’s mandate was to build out the Ice District and the heavy lifting on that is done. But you could also speculate that he’s finding the political machinations of the Red Wine Summits as life limiting.

  13. hunter1909 says:

    Ryan: Let’s sign him to a one year show me contract so that we can trade him for a third and fifth round pick before his contract expires.

    “The NHL isn’t a development league.” MacT

  14. jtblack says:

    Woodguy v2.0: A little birdie told me that WPG is looking to move Ehlers after this year to make room for Connor and Laine’s contracts and that EDM is interested.

    They’d want youngens and picks back.

    +1 for Ehlers. excellent Top 6 IMO. Could be a 35 G 70 Pt guy playing with McDavid. Elite skill level

  15. Bos8 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: No Oiler currently goes to the scoring areas without the puck.

    Sounds like Yamamto is going to the scoring areas without the puck and is ready for a rebound.

    That would be very welcome on the team.

    That is also how a lot of NHL goals are scored.

    If its not a high danger situation like a pass across the crease the makes the goalie move or a 2-1 its often garbage clean up.

    No, he wasnt going to the net. He was in the slot and the puck bounced to him. He hit the net with his shot. Goodoh

    The only player that could make an impact on the Oilers is Lagesson. Marody and Benson are 6’ and average skaters. Yamamoto gets pushed down a lot. He needs time to see what’s there. He’s playing with Benson and Vesel.

  16. Bag of Pucks says:

    hunter1909: Keith.

    I’ve seen/heard both. Keith more frequently. Wayne from folks I would best describe as ‘mouth breathers.’

  17. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy v2.0: A little birdie told me that WPG is looking to move Ehlers after this year to make room for Connor and Laine’s contracts and that EDM is interested.

    They’d want youngens and picks back.

    Ehlers reminds me at times of Hemsky. Would love to see Hemmer 2.0.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Bag of Pucks: I’ve seen/heard both. Keith more frequently. Wayne from folks I would best describe as ‘mouth breathers.’

    Why would 99 move down the depth chart?

  19. Bag of Pucks says:

    Lowetide: Why would 99 move down the depth chart?

    It’s rumour mongering. I doubt it has any validity. BUT Wayne does like to be hands on. He went to coaching first not management.

  20. HT Joe says:

    Lowetide: Edmonton trades Kris Russell in the summer, using that money to sign Chiasson. Also sign Koskinen and Talbot moves on. Sign Jakob Silfverberg, offload Spooner.

    Silfverberg-McDavid-Chiasson
    Nuge-Leon-Puljujarvi
    Rieder-Khaira-Yamamoto
    Lucic-Brodziak-Kassian
    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Sekera
    Jones/Gravel-Bouchard
    Koskinen
    Montoya

    Hello Lowetide, I suspect your projected roster (and prediction of Chia still being the GM) is going to be correct. My thoughts:
    – If Chia is still the GM, I bet Chiasson gets multiple years term, and too much money (his current 32% shooting percentage is amazing, but over the previous 4 years, his s% was ~ 12.5%, which would make him a ~ 26 points player playing on the top line).
    – Silfverberg is another < 40 point player, projected to the top line.
    – I think there's no way Chia gives up on Caggiula, so don't be surprised if Chia doesn't re-sign Reider so that Caggs has a roster spot.
    – An older post-injury Sekera may be comparable or slightly worse on RHD to Russel.
    – If the Oilers decide they need the dynamic puck-moving skills of Bouchard, we're going to be living with many rookie learning opportunities throughout the season.
    – If the Oilers decide not to re-sign Talbot, I certainly hope they'll have the foresight to consider trading him at the deadline.
    – Koskinen is currently sporting a 0.925 save percentage (tied for 5th in the league). Can he maintain that level of excellence? I'm NOT suggesting the Oilers don't re-sign him, but next year, he may come down to earth a bit.

    In summary, if Chiasson and Koskinen fall down to Earth, I view the above roster as comparable or a little bit worse than this year. Even with Hitch steering the ship, this team would be a bubble playoff team.

    I have a question: If the Oilers miss the playoffs in 2019 and 2020, do you try to trade Adam Larsson and RNH, who may not wish to re-sign with a losing franchise in the summer of 2021? If you can't re-sign them, they are far too valuable to lose to free agency in 2021, no?

  21. Glovjuice says:

    jtblack: Blind Folded Monkey throw 2 darts.

    Odds on Landing impact player.80%+ Given the 1st 3 off the board (16, 17, 18) are all Impact Players.

    Odds of Landing 2 NHL players.50%.

    Horrible trade at the time – proven by all blog dialogue.

    Worse trade today for 2 reasons.

    1 – Reinahrt was an abject failure
    2 – The players avail (as per above) have prob turned out even better than anticpated.

    Worst trade in Oilers history in terms of overall impact on the half decade to 7 years following said deal.

  22. Lowetide says:

    HT Joe:

    In summary, if Chiasson and Koskinen fall down to Earth, I view the above roster as comparable or a little bit worse than this year.Even with Hitch steering the ship, this team would be a bubble playoff team.

    I have a question:If the Oilers miss the playoffs in 2019 and 2020, do you try to trade Adam Larsson and RNH, who may not wish to re-sign with a losing franchise in the summer of 2021? If you can’t re-sign them, they are far too valuable to lose to free agency in 2021, no?

    You have some players pushing up (Benson, Marody, Lagesson, Bear, Persson) and they should be able to overtake some of the older players. I do think the Oilers are still in rebuild and that may mean 2020 before playoffs. If Nuge and Larsson make it clear in their final years there’s no chance to resign, Oilers would have to make a decision at that time (keep them for a run or trade them) but imo that would be in their walk years.

  23. Glovjuice says:

    bendelson:
    This question is straight out of left field, but… to all you music historians in the group:is ‘Touch Me I’m
    Sick’ from Mudhoney the grungiest of the grunge songs from the grunge era? I suspect it may just be – I’m curious if others here agree.Anybody?

    Lots of Melvins can give it a run for its money. But good choice for sure.

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Glovjuice: Worst trade in Oilers history in terms of overall impact on the half decade to 7 years following said deal.

    Agreed it’s horrible, but:

    Starting from the 2003 Draft Oilers have rewritten NHL history with bad trades, drafting, development, coaching, farm systems and virtually anything else that comes to mind.

    “Worst” when discussing the Oilers is like saying the Horsehead Nebula is “in the neighborhood”.

  25. dessert1111 says:

    I’m not too worried about the defense after next month. It’s next month which is the tough part, as guys come back from injury.

    Do you make a trade as a stop gap? If so, whose cost is small enough but skill is significant enough to be a realistic possibility?

    I’m all for a big 2 for 1 trade on the back end but that’s more likely in the summer.

    But we have enough coming up the pipe that a trade package for a better player might actually be viable.

  26. Glovjuice says:

    Woodguy v2.0: *coughs*

    Are you sure about putting everyone under that blanket?

    Also,

    For someone who constantly tells everyone that don’t know anything because they’re not NHL GMs how can you find people whiffing on Koskinen ironic?

    Ironic like Alanis Morisette ironic which isn’t actually irony?

    LOL – a couple of acerbic men getting into each other.

  27. jtblack says:

    Glovjuice: Worst trade in Oilers history in terms of overall impact on the half decade to 7 years following said deal.

    +1.

    The Hall trade was poor. BUT. Even WITH the loss of value; Edm got back a Top 4 NHL defenseman.

    Had Pete got a top 4 NHL D man for #16 & #33; the deal would have been more palatable.

  28. Lowetide says:

    hunter1909: Agreed it’s horrible, but:

    Starting from the 2003 Draft Oilers have rewritten NHL history with bad trades, drafting, development, coaching, farm systems and virtually anything else that comes to mind.

    “Worst” when discussing the Oilers is like saying the Horsehead Nebula is “in the neighborhood”.

    Satan trade was bad, Messier trade was bad, Gretzky was a sale, there have been a great many that could be candidates for worst.

  29. Glovjuice says:

    hunter1909: Agreed it’s horrible, but:

    Starting from the 2003 Draft Oilers have rewritten NHL history with bad trades, drafting, development, coaching, farm systems and virtually anything else that comes to mind.

    “Worst” when discussing the Oilers is like saying the Horsehead Nebula is “in the neighborhood”.

    Astronomy reference of 2018. Well done – domine, really. True. Playoffs once in 13 years says Glovjuice “no you don’t” with that 16-33 trade be the worst talk.

  30. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Sierra: Is it just me or does this sound like what the Oilers have been doing forever?

    Yes it is in the sense that it’s full of rookies.

    I commented about and coincidentally that night Hitch in his avail talked about figuring out who’s helping.

    The team still struggles in the bottom half of the roster, wingers are needed in the top. Because of the lust for size the Oilers employ limited players (skating or effectiveness) that have repeatedly failed to get the basics of the job done, and it’s holding progress back.

    Because of the cap and limited trading these days, the best options are in house, and that is where all the teams envied here have primarily gained ground on the rest.

    The Oilers need to become more skilled to increase first tempo, and then offense, and need to be quicker getting to pucks. Bigger, skating challenged older players won’t help that.

    The farm now has decent to good options, that hasn’t been the case in years.

    My suggestion is take all of the best players from the farm and use them nest season. They can’t be worse and might be better and have a chance to grow.

    Nuge Connor JP Khiara and Drai we know.

    Yama is only going to make it as a top 6, he is better than any other current option if skill and speed is the goal. He’s also a first rounder and there will be pressure from his camp to get a shot, and that is normally what happens anyway with most teams.

    Benson and Marody have skill, a bit shy on skating, but are a better option than Strome was for offense, and Spooner seems to be.

    Reider is a useful player, is fast and assertive, and can actually PP. He’s fast and can score in support. He’s off right now but is coming back from injury and has a proven record.

    Lucic you have to assume is staying ATM. Brodziak isn’t bad and is right C and wins faceoffs, still useful.

    Gambardella is an older rookie, but is a ferocious forechecker, possession player, is a centre, and can’t score less than Kassian. His history in college was turning forechecking into goals. He’ll undoubtedly take less penalties, and while slower, being able to consistently do something is more valuable, and Kassian isn;t effective most games. He’s also no wilting flower if not a pugilist, but the Oilers don’t need knuckles.

    Pysyk is like Larsson light and can move the puck and should be cheap and more stable than Benning, and can move down.

    Sekera either will be a better vet option than Russell at similar dollars or will be done and can’t be traded.

    Bouchard will be on the team unless something goes off the rails.

    Gravel and Jones are better now than Russell and everyone else not listed IMO.

    Talbot isn’t a good bet for the money the Oilers would have to pay, and will likely get a haircut on his next contract, but the Oilers won’t be able to do that.

    I hope that explains my thinking. Hockey IQ, skating, skill, compete, passing all improved, with a chance at being better defensively than the current roster with a bunch of guys with not much chance of taking a step forward.

    There is also a lot of cap to make any possible SMART moves.

  31. Glovjuice says:

    hunter1909:
    Bolts draft a Russian late in the 2nd round and it turns out to be Kucherov; Oilers meanwhile grab Yakupov then proceed to destroy his confidence/NHL career.

    Devils send a first rate second rate defenceman to the Oilers and receive nothing less than Taylor freaking Hall future Hart trophy winner. Then Jordan Eberle for a bag of pucks busted player…

    Now Oilers have no wingers!!?

    Somebody has to get sacked.

    Hey, Spooner just needs time, man. He’ll be good 😊.

  32. bendelson says:

    Lowetide: Ehlers reminds me at times of Hemsky. Would love to see Hemmer 2.0.

    Ha! I was going to suggest the same thing, but wasn’t sure if Ehlers is first off the ice after practice…

  33. Glovjuice says:

    hunter1909:
    1 – Not sure what the consensus is about the defence, but I think they’re trying as hard as their talent allows them to.

    2 – If Oilers don’t get a defenceman by New Year’s day it only proves Chiarelli’s jettisoned another season for “development”. Just like he jettisoned 2016-17. I hate Chiarelli.

    Abject failure of a GM for the team with a FREE Crosby. This is actually happening, people.

  34. HT Joe says:

    Lowetide: You have some players pushing up (Benson, Marody, Lagesson, Bear, Persson) and they should be able to overtake some of the older players. I do think the Oilers are still in rebuild and that may mean 2020 before playoffs. If Nuge and Larsson make it clear in their final years there’s no chance to resign, Oilers would have to make a decision at that time (keep them for a run or trade them) but imo that would be in their walk years.

    Thanks for the response. Hopefully some of the pushing players you mention are able to help out, but more rookies usually means more rookie growing pains.

    If I were in the shoes of Larsson or RNH, my decision to re-sign would probably be made up based on playoff appearances between now and the summer of 2021. If the Oilers can build a better roster than the reasonable one you proposed, and the Oilers make it to the playoffs in 2020 and 2021, I do believe there’s a good chance both players sign extensions during the summer of 2020.

    If, on the other hand, the Oilers miss the playoffs in 2020, both players will likely be demanding a “show me” year from the Oilers organization. If the Oilers are a bubble team for the playoffs in 2021, and RNH and Larsson aren’t sold on re-signing, that’s like the Florida Panthers and Bouwmeester circa 2009 x2.

    *EDIT* I’m not being clear. I think the Oilers badly need to make the playoffs in 2020. If not, the Oilers could push back the rebuild another 5 years by alienating (and losing) RNH and Larsson in the same off-season.

  35. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Lowetide: Ehlers

    I don’t know about next year’s first, but from existing depth that is interesting. To me the Oilers lack players that attack the net directly and have the speed to do it, outside of Connor. He’d be great with Drai, I think he’d help more there.

  36. Glovjuice says:

    cdammr:
    Loved both the Skee Mask and Shinichi Atobe albums, nice picks!

    I recently put together a similar list, I lean towards a lot more R&B but I think there are some things in there you and Stephen Sheps May enjoy.

    https://buymusic.club/list/chris-dammeyer-chris-favourite-songs-of-2018

    Figures my first ever post on this site after lurking for 9 years would be in response to something music related.

    Thanks for the daily reading LT and everyone here!! You all have made the last several dark years of hockey a little more tolerable.

    Glovjuice:

    stephen sheps:

    Glovjuice:
    Glovjuice music of the year – no specific order:Freedom by Amen Dunes

    7 by Beach House

    Self titled Blackwater Holylight

    Something Else by The Brian Jonestown Massacre

    The Nothing They Need by Dead Meadow

    Ordinary Corrupt Human Love by Deafheaven

    Beyondlessby Iceage

    Singularity by Jon Hopkins

    Nothing is Still by Leon Vynehall

    Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt by Moby

    Pinned by A Place to Bury Strangers

    Heat by Shinichi Atobe

    Compro by Skee Mask

    The Sciences by Sleep

    Used Future by The Sword

    Our Raw Heart by YOB

    Bonus: album of summer aside from many of these is the brilliant Tunnel of Love by the Boss
    Classical Bonus: Organ interpretations of Philip Glass classics called The Grid

    2017 bonuses:

    Modern Kosmology by Jane WeaverRefelections of a Floating World by ElderNightmare Logic by Power Trip

    The Assassination of Julius Ceaser by Ulver

    Cry Cry Cry by Wolf Parade

    Death Song by The Black Angels

    Great list here. Lots of overlap between ours. Nice to see someone else get into both Iceage and Skee Mask. The Venn diagram intersection point of folks who’d listen to both of those records can’t be that big.

    Thanks for sharing yours!

    Cheers mate.

    I didn’t include a number of great extreme metal releases, mostly black metal, as so few like that stuff but metal is just on fire the last half decade.

    Nice to hear from you, CD… Those two you mention are great driving albums. I will check your list out and dive in. What I wouldn’t have done for one of these dam phones and Apple Music in about 92′. Crazy access nowadays.

  37. hunter1909 says:

    HT Joe: Thanks for the response.Hopefully some of the pushing players you mention are able to help out, but more rookies usually means more rookie growing pains.

    If I were in the shoes of Larsson or RNH, my decision to re-sign would probably be made up based on playoff appearances between now and the summer of 2021.If the Oilers can build a better roster than the reasonable one you proposed, and the Oilers make it to the playoffs in 2020 and 2021, I do believe there’s a good chance both players sign extensions during the summer of 2020.

    If, on the other hand, the Oilers miss the playoffs in 2020, both players will likely be demanding a “show me” year from the Oilers organization.If the Oilers are a bubble team for the playoffs in 2021, and RNH and Larsson aren’t sold on re-signing, that’s like the Florida Panthers and Bouwmeester circa 2009 x2.

    *EDIT* I’m not being clear.I think the Oilers badly need to make the playoffs in 2020.If not, the Oilers could push back the rebuild another 5 years by alienating (and losing) RNH and Larsson in the same off-season.

    Just think. A whole bunch of new things to worry about. Shit that wouldn’t have imagined. Stuff that might not even happen. Great stuff. Keep it coming.

  38. Jethro Tull says:

    Lowetide: Ehlers reminds me at times of Hemsky. Would love to see Hemmer 2.0.

    2ns off the ice?

  39. HT Joe says:

    hunter1909: Just think. A whole bunch of new things to worry about. Shit that wouldn’t have imagined. Stuff that might not even happen. Great stuff. Keep it coming.

    Fair enough. *edit* Sorry, getting ahead of myself.

  40. Bos8 says:

    Next year is the influx of talent. Maksymov, MacLeod and the three Swedes plus Bouchard on D.

  41. ArmchairGM says:

    Woodguy v2.0: A little birdie told me that WPG is looking to move Ehlers after this year to make room for Connor and Laine’s contracts and that EDM is interested.

    They’d want youngens and picks back.

    When Ehlers started the season slow I suggested swapping him for Nurse and didn’t see any push-back from Jets fans. Obviously he’s up to speed now so they won’t do a mid-season trade, but it could work in the summer.

  42. OmJo says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I do find it more than a bit ironic that our group of armchair GMs was almost universally wrong on Koskinen. Possibly the actual job is a tad more difficult than the theoretical version?

    I don’t think anybody is saying the GM job is easy. I think many were willing to give Koskinen a chance, but didn’t like the overpay (with NMC) as it showed Chiarelli was still doing a poor job of negotiating. Hindsight is lovely and all but at the time that was as much a gamble as any of Chiarelli’s other moves. It wasn’t until the preseason when I soured on Koskinen. I’ve eaten my share of crow for that.

    Personally I wanted the team to retain Brossoit. IIRC, at the time I said it didn’t matter who the backup was because McLellan simply won’t play them.

    As for the GM job being hard, I don’t think anybody with two brain cells to rub together would deny that. But at the same time, Chiarelli has made his job a lot harder than it had to have been. His good moves are quantity over quality, whereas his bad moves are quality over quantity (ie fewer but more harmful to the team). He’s made so many bets that he was bound to eventually get one right.

  43. Glovjuice says:

    Bos8:
    Just as a point of interest on Yamamoto’s three goals.Benson hit the post, Yama scored on the rebound, goalie out of position.Second goal – pass across that bounced in of D shinpad. Third goal – PP, Yama came in off the point, goalie down.I don’t say he played badly but a lot of luck.Prior eight games, one goal, non factor.

    Results don’t justify the hype.

    Deep trouble you are in now.

  44. Gret99zky says:

    Christ.

    This organization needed a 5 year heads up on the McDavid draft.

    They’ve wasted McD’s ELC and with the salary cap hell they’ve put themselves in they’re gonna keep wasting away until one of the recent draft picks steps up and does some of the lifting.

    Good grief.

  45. Sighduck says:

    I’m going to consider the Isles – Stars result an early present from Santa… Oil in a playoff spot at Hitchmas?

  46. Glovjuice says:

    Lowetide: You have some players pushing up (Benson, Marody, Lagesson, Bear, Persson) and they should be able to overtake some of the older players. I do think the Oilers are still in rebuild and that may mean 2020 before playoffs. If Nuge and Larsson make it clear in their final years there’s no chance to resign, Oilers would have to make a decision at that time (keep them for a run or trade them) but imo that would be in their walk years.

    Has there ever been a pro franchise with one playoff appearance in 1.5 decades?

  47. pts2pndr says:

    Woodguy v2.0: No Oiler currently goes to the scoring areas without the puck.

    Sounds like Yamamto is going to the scoring areas without the puck and is ready for a rebound.

    That would be very welcome on the team.

    That is also how a lot of NHL goals are scored.

    If its not a high danger situation like a pass across the crease the makes the goalie move or a 2-1 its often garbage clean up.

    You can chase the leprecon and hope to find the pot of gold but does not seem to be a great plan!😉

  48. ChiliChunk says:

    Glovjuice: Has there ever been a pro franchise with one playoff appearance in 1.5 decades?

    I guess you don’t follow baseball much. There have been 4-5 MLB teams including Toronto that ended 20+ year playoff droughts in recent years.

  49. Glovjuice says:

    ChiliChunk: I guess you don’t follow baseball much. There have been 4-5 MLB teams including Toronto that ended 20+ year playoff droughts in recent years.

    Wow. I guess it must be the 8 playoff teams out of like 36 teams (or whatever) thing.

  50. pts2pndr says:

    Glovjuice: Has there ever been a pro franchise with one playoff appearance in 1.5 decades?

    You can quantify the success of the franchise any way you want but the bottom line is since they came into the NHL the Oilers have 5 Stanley cups. Since the Oilers came into the league only two other Canadian teams have won the cup. Calgary with one and Montreal with two. The leafs Senators Jets and Canucks have zero. Winning the cup is not a right! Trashing the team management continually does nothing to move the team forward. As an Oiler fan I do not need nor want to be beat on the head by how bad the team is or inept the management is. I can’t change what I have no control over! Your constant negativity is impressive only in the same way the ever ready bunny is to batteries. You complain about the Hall trade which is fair but how many times have the Devils made the playoffs since the trade! Seeing myself out now!

  51. Glovjuice says:

    pts2pndr: You can quantify the success of the franchise any way you want but the bottom line is since they came into the NHL the Oilers have 5 Stanley cups. Since the Oilers came into the league only two other Canadian teams have won the cup. Calgary with one and Montreal with two. The leafs Senators Jets and Canucks have zero. Winning the cup is not a right! Trashing the team management continually does nothing to move the team forward. As an Oiler fan I do not need nor want to be beat on the head by how bad the team is or inept the management is. I can’t change what I have no control over! Your constant negativity is impressive only in the same way the ever ready bunny is to batteries. You complain about the Hall trade which is fair but how many times have the Devils made the playoffs since the trade! Seeing myself out now!

    50 and probably 33% of the time, after this year, since the trade. Are you satisfied with the Oilers GM’s work since he got here?

  52. Jethro Tull says:

    Glovjuice: Has there ever been a pro franchise with one playoff appearance in 1.5 decades?

    There’s more than a few in here:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/football/the-agony-and-the-ecstasy/2017/may/04/football-league-play-offs-30-1987-finals-championship-league-one-two

    Glory days of shit football, shit coverage and shittier beer.

    Imagine the Oilers in the playoffs…..to stay in the NHL. How confident would we be in a two game series, aggregate score against a Dallas Eakins led Seagulls?

  53. Pescador says:

    Jethro Tull: There’s more than a few in here:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/football/the-agony-and-the-ecstasy/2017/may/04/football-league-play-offs-30-1987-finals-championship-league-one-two

    Glory days of shit football, shit coverage and shittier beer.

    Imagine the Oilers in the playoffs…..to stay in the NHL. How confident would we be in a two game series, aggregate score against a Dallas Eakins led Seagulls?

    Not necessary,
    Dallas Eakins Oilers would have been relegated long before he made it to the Ducks Org.
    Rubbish hockey, Rexall beer. Can’t decide which was worse.
    Only thing missing was the Oiler Casuals

  54. Gret99zky says:

    pts2pndr: You can quantify the success of the franchise any way you want but the bottom line is since they came into the NHL the Oilers have 5 Stanley cups. Since the Oilers came into the league only two other Canadian teams have won the cup. Calgary with one and Montreal with two. The leafs Senators Jets and Canucks have zero. Winning the cup is not a right! Trashing the team management continually does nothing to move the team forward.

    The New York Islanders won the Stanley Cup 4 times in a row and made it to the finals in year 5.

    Ergo, Mike Milbury and Garth Snow were good General Managers.

    *runs for cover*

  55. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy v2.0: Good one.

    Missed him.

    So do the Oilers.

  56. GMB3 says:

    HT Joe: Woof.

    If I’m not mistaken (and I could be), before the 2015 draft day, the Islanders had 0 draft picks in the first 37 and managed to walk away with Barzal and Beauvillier.

    And that GM still got fired while ours is still employed

  57. Wilde says:

    Big ol’ storm out here.

    Lost power for four days or so.

    Just caught up on the Tampa game, what a mess.

    Should have been a 5-on-3 on that last powerplay, but that’s not why they lost.

    After the 2nd or 3rd play by 25, I started tallying the uh, pinches, in my game notes, ended up with seven. It’s not double checked, but woof. There were a couple bad goal-line area plays too.

    The 4th line that the coach likes will end up having Rieder on it.

    I still like Zykov. Wouldn’t mind a swap there.

  58. JimmyV1965 says:

    Ryan: Reply)

    I really dislike this poker analogy. You might think he was chasing a gut shot, but we will never know because he doesn’t have to flop his cards. It was a good signing at the time, provided the proper scouting took place. That’s a big question mark with this team of course. But with a 8% chance of flopping the gut shot winner, isn’t it more likely they did the proper scouting. Apparently, Koskinnen works his ass off in practice. Did one single person mention this prior to the season starting. We didn’t know this, but I assume the scouts did.

  59. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Bos8,

    No, he wasnt going to the net. He was in the slot and the puck bounced to him. He hit the net with his shot. Goodoh

    If he was in the slot and the puck bounced to him he *must* have gone to the net without the puck.

  60. ArmchairGM says:

    drglen: What iti’s a 2 hour flight maybe, .. up, down, up, down… keeps playing.

    Don’t we all wish Edmonton was 2-hours from SoCal!!

  61. Glovjuice says:

    Jethro Tull: There’s more than a few in here:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/football/the-agony-and-the-ecstasy/2017/may/04/football-league-play-offs-30-1987-finals-championship-league-one-two

    Glory days of shit football, shit coverage and shittier beer.

    Imagine the Oilers in the playoffs…..to stay in the NHL. How confident would we be in a two game series, aggregate score against a Dallas Eakins led Seagulls?

    For sure more than I thought. I guess the Cubs story is very romantic for thousands of fans and literally generations of fans where lifetimes were lived without seeing a championship.

  62. godot10 says:

    Gret99zky: The New York Islanders won the Stanley Cup 4 times in a row and made it to the finals in year 5.

    Ergo, Mike Milbury and Garth Snow were good General Managers.

    *runs for cover*

    The Islanders did NOT make the finals in year 5.

  63. pts2pndr says:

    Glovjuice: Worst trade in Oilers history in terms of overall impact on the half decade to 7 years following said deal.

    Chiarelli was the man that took the heat for this and this is very unfair! Chiarelli was given a group of advisers that he shoul trust ( McTavish Green etc ). Yes this was a very bad deal but should not be layed at Chiarelli’s doorstep in my opinion! If you have payed attention his mistakes have been very limited since his acclimation to the management team. Yes he has overpaid for some contracts but I believe all teams have a capololgist. Management is a team effort! Not only was Chiarelli handed a very imbalanced team

  64. pts2pndr says:

    Glovjuice
    Sorry; was interrupted but the management team as a whole failed! We have to move on. They all, in my opinion were working for what they believed was the route to success. It is easy to look at what was done and ascribe their collective failure as incompetence but in my heart I know that is unfair! I think we need to be more understanding. Yes mistakes were made but we must accept that the intentions were for the best interest of the team we are all so invested in,

  65. pts2pndr says:

    LT
    Thank You for all you do! This is a truly an amazing site for us as Oiler fans! Wishing you and yous a very Merry Christmas!
    To all my fellow Oiler fans Merry Christmas! The Oiler family like most familes have our differences but lets celebrate those differences and one another! Merry Chritmas to one and all!

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