Sharp Edge of a Razor

The Oilers new general manager will be juggling like the Peiro Brothers on Ed Sullivan’s show when he arrives in town. Hockey ops shuffle, trades, draft, free agency, coaching hires, might want to set up an ensuite next to the office. For Oilers fans expecting Sam Pollock Jr., lay off the ether. For Oilers fans expecting an aggressive approach and a three-year process to get back into the playoffs, I think you are being a little doomsday. I think this team might contend for a playoff spot in 2019-20, and then spend most of the next decade pushing for Stanley. Maybe the Oilers make the playoffs this spring:

  • Connor McDavid:What I look forward to coming back from the break is trying our best to prove everyone wrong. There’s a sense of negativity with the media, with everyone around the team, and we get to prove people wrong. We get to decide how we’re going to finish the second half.Source

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton brought it yesterday, there’s a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group. Outstanding offer is here.

  • New Lowetide: Caleb Jones has impressive first showing in the NHL with Oilers.
  • New DGB: Weighing the pros and cons of some top candidates for the Edmonton Oilers GM job.
  • New Scott Burnside: Connor McDavid answered unwanted Oilers questions with poise and defiance, which is a good thing. (this is a terrific article).
  • Tyler Dellow: Four questions that the Oilers should be asking candidates for the GM job
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: New Oilers caretaker Keith Gretzky caught between earning playoff berth and keeping future assets
  • Lowetide: Bob Nicholson’s press conference attempts to set the tone for Oilers moving forward.
  • Craig Custance: How desirable is the Oilers GM opening and what questions are prospective candidates asking?
  • Jonathan Willis: With Peter Chiarelli gone, this is what the Oilers need to do next
  • Pierre Lebrun: Possible candidates to replace Peter Chiarelli as Oilers GM
  • Lowetide: Peter Chiarelli’s inability adjust, poor trades and free-agent misses at the centre of his firing.
  • Jonathan Willis: Rushed Mikko Koskinen deal was one Peter Chiarelli should not have been allowed to make.
  • Tyler Dellow: What can the NHL’s last three turtle derbies tell us about the playoff race in the West?
  • Lowetide: Oilers sign Mikko Koskinen long term, signalling the end of the line for Cam Talbot in Edmonton.
  • Lowetide: The Oilers’ way forward and the smartest route to finding an impact winger this summer.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Goalless Tobias Rieder hopes to follow Zack Kassian and Milan Lucic and end his offensive funk.
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects, Winter 2018

A MATTER OF TRUST

A year ago, in an article for The Athletic that asked Oilers fans if they trusted Peter Chiarelli, I wrote “Oilers fans are mindful of the potential ceiling this club had that seemingly no longer exists. The real tragedy is that promise being extinguished by the team’s management. That could (and possibly has) caused a fracture between club and fans that may not have a solution, at least not in the short term.”

The number one job for the new general manager is to bring hope back to town. After that, he must assure fans there are no ‘five-year’ plans. He can’t trade for “Taylor Hall 2016 summer” but if I were him I’d get as close as humanly possible. There is much to do. Mandelbaum, Mandelbaum, Mandelbaum. It’s go time.

CURRENT 50-MAN

  • Three slides: Safin, Maksimov and Samorukov are going to turn pro this fall.
  • RFA’s I believe will return (moving target): Jujhar Khaira, Jesse Puljujarvi, Joe Gambardella, Joel Persson, Shane Starrett.
  • RFA’s I believe will not return: Tobias Rieder, Ty Rattie, Tyler Vesel, Colin Larkin, Robin Norell.
  • That’s a guess. I can say that history teaches us that ALL of the RFA’s are more vulnerable today than they were under Chiarelli (he recruited most of these names). General managers are historically ruthless with this group of players.
  • UFA’s I believe will be back: Alex Chiasson, Patrick Russell
  • UFA’s I believe will be gone: Alex Petrovic, Kevin Gravel, Cam Talbot, Al Montoya, Mitch Callahan, Brad Malone, Ryan Stanton.

BUYOUTS

  • Milan Lucic buyout gets you a roster spot, saves $2.375 million in 2019-20, but only $375,000 in the second and fourth buyout years. Once the four year contract is concluded, there’s an additional $625,000 per year for four years tacked on.
  • Ryan Spooner’s buyout would save the team about $2 million next year and cost the club $1 million in 2020-21.
  • Andrej Sekera is more complicated, if he’s hurt the team won’t be able to buy him out. If they can, it’s a $3 million saving for the next two years, then two seasons of $1.5 million as a penalty.

For our purposes today, I’m going to assume the team decides not to buy out Lucic and Sekera.

ENTERING THE SYSTEM

I’m going to guess Ryan McLeod, Hayden Hawkey and Filip Berglund get signed and the rest are either sent away or stay in amateur hockey or Europe.

PROJECTED 50-MAN

  • Things that need help: No. 2 left-wing, No. 3 center (Khaira moving over to LW), No. 2 right-defense and a goalie of considerable ability. Agree?
  • The checking center and the goalie shouldn’t cost a huge amount in dollars or cap. Edmonton could trade for either and perhaps someone will be available on a reasonable free-agent deal (it got crazy last year, Riley Nash went for $2.75 million times three, Derek Ryan signed for $3.125 million times three).
  • I do believe the pick and some prospects might be part of a deal for a Nikolaj Ehlers, but maybe they can sign a player in his 20’s long term. It didn’t work last time, but maybe Brock Nelson, Mark Stone, Jeff Skinner, Ryan Dzingel, Anders Lee will shake loose at an affordable price.

RECENT TRADES USING FIRST-ROUND PICKS AND PROSPECTS.

After my post yesterday, I received quite a lot of pushback on the idea of dealing the first rounder. My basic premise is dealing the pick and a prospect (say Puljujarvi) for a player who is an established 20-goal scorer and who has significant track left on his contract. Here are some deals from recent history that were somewhat similar:

  • St. Louis used a first and a second, plus prospect Tage Thompson, to acquire Ryan O’Reilly from the Buffalo Sabres. Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund were included to make the money work.
  • St. Louis acquired Brayden Schenn for a first and a conditional first, while also sending away Jori Lehtera.
  • Toronto acquired Frederik Andersen from Anaheim for a first and a second in 2016.
  • Pittsburgh sent a first and a third, plus Kasperi Kapanen and other pieces to Toronto for Phil Kessel and a pick.

I use Nikolaj Ehlers because he fits. Signed for $6 million a year times six and he’s 22 and has scored 25 and 29 goals, with 30 possible this season. Maybe Winnipeg never trades him, but you know they have some major cap pressures. Let me re-state what I wrote yesterday:

  •  The new general manager should probably buy the best scoring forward the 2019 first-round pick and other pieces can buy. I think the Oilers can do better on the draft floor. You might see the first, second, Jesse Puljujarvi and more heading out.

I didn’t suggest one-for-one, I suggested a trade similar to the ones listed above. What could the Oilers receive draft week in exchange for the first-round pick, Jesse Puljujarvi and (say) Jujhar Khaira? What could the team get for Darnell Nurse and the first? The Oilers need an additional impact forward to replace Taylor Hall. I think there’s wisdom in going out and getting it this summer. Signed long term and someone who can be fit under the cap.

After that, it’s a matter of proper evaluation. One of the things I find interesting is how quickly people have moved past the idea of Keith Gretzky winning the general manager’s job outright.

It’s my belief the Oilers drafting has improved (2017 and 2018) and that Bakersfield has also taken a giant leap forward. Defensemen in 2017-18 (Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Ryan Mantha) announced their presence with authority and a year later forwards (Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, Cameron Hebig) emerged.

Keith Gretzky is going to get credit for that, and things like Kirill Maksimov in the fifth round. I know it’s going to be an exhaustive search, but NHL teams are likely to tell Edmonton to take a hike until after the trade deadline. There’s a window of opportunity here, I think he might take advantage and find a way to make the job his own. I’m surprised how little attention that idea is getting.

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287 Responses to "Sharp Edge of a Razor"

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  1. Bag of Pucks says:

    OriginalPouzar: Supply and demand – market willing to pay the price.

    What would you rather do, sell 50,000 beers at $12 a pop or 350,000 beers at $8 a pop?

    Sadly, greed is always defensible. But it’s not the only way and it doesn’t excuse this franchise foisting a poor fan experience on us especially when we’re funding the build AND revenues for their pleasure palace.

    But hey, maybe they need to jack the beer prices cos they didn’t build enough friggin’ bathrooms.

  2. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Johnny Larue: He packed up and moved more than 6 months ago. I had heard he was angry that he didn’t get a substantial role in the organization. Not sure about anything with the preds

    For a team so poor at puck battles and net front you’d think they could have used his prowess at that in teaching at least.

  3. JJ says:

    LT wrote:

    After my post yesterday, I received quite a lot of pushback on the idea of dealing the first rounder. My basic premise is dealing the pick and a prospect (say Puljujarvi) for a player who is an established 20-goal scorer and who has significant track left on his contract. Here are some deals from recent history that were somewhat similar:
    =======================

    I respectfully disagree.
    I think Jesse would be a 20+ goal scorer next year if he were deployed on the 1st or 2nd line.
    I also believe he would some bad turnovers like Hall used to do and Leon has been doing lately.

    Keith Gretzky would NOT be my choice.

    I would hire an established but forward thinking POHO who understands that analytics is part of the decision-making process.

    I would hire a progressive GM who knows that analytics is the starting point for decision-making.

    I would hire two analytics people to work together to “develop a model and a book on every player and prospect in the NHL And all feeder leagues”. They would report directly to the GM. They would recommend targets for acquisitions, especially teams that have to shed salary.

    I would hire new professional scouts adding to what is there. Over time they would self-select into the new way or out of it. Focus on skill and skating first.

    I would hire a new negotiator to limit too long of terms, signing bonuses, NMC, and NTC.

    I would draft and develop. Find cheap vets to hold places until prospects graduate.

    Focus on moving out contracts without giving up the future. This may take time. Manning and Russell are possible movables at the trade deadline.

    Sekera might be able to assist Yawney coach the defense, if he has to retire due to career ending injury.

    I would keep Hitch so everyone understands “that playing defense means the entire team must work together to regain possession as fast as possible once the puck is lost”. That is how you get to spend time on offense.

  4. YKOil says:

    jtblack:
    YKOil,
    “– biggest issue isn’t on wing – it is with getting a 1st or 2nd pair RD that can move AND pass the puck effectively out of the zone and can facilitate a transition game”

    Do you think Bouchard can assume this role next year?or too , much too soon.
    I would like to see him on 3RD, and 1st / 2nd PP.ease him in .

    Re: Bouchard

    See also: Yamamoto

    Develop him slowly. Oilers management has treated every prospect that shows even a hint of higher level compete in training camp like the 2nd coming of the glory days. They gotta stop doing that.

  5. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    For any fan/poster/etc. to be disapointed that Yamamoto isn’t further ahead at this point means, to me, they had unreasonable expectations for the player’s development path.

    Eberle was drafted 22nd in 2008 and made his NHL debut in 2010/11.

    Yamamoto was drafted 22nd in 2017.

    He should have been no where near the NHL until 2019/20.

    I know Yama played an extra WHL season due to his age, but its still very Because Oilers that they rushed him.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that MacT’s last season was 08/09 so wasn’t around in 09/10 to keep Eberle on the roster…..

  6. Scungilli Slushy says:

    pts2pndr: Manning should be moveable at the deadline for a mid round draft choice. Experienced D are one of the main aquisitions by playoff teams as insurance.

    He has another overpaid year on his contract which makes it much harder. Expiring contract maybe.

  7. Sierra says:

    Lowetide: The more we find out about the available trades, the more we wonder about the evaluation process at the pro level.

    And we are still wondering given the moves involvng Spooner, Petrovic and Manning.

  8. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    Sierra: Does this mean that in addition to MacT, Howson, Sutter and the rest the new GM also must keep K. Gretzky???

    This will work out well.

    When Nicholson said that the new GM “needed to fit into Oiler culture” I threw a book at my phone (was listening via my phone in a Vegas hotel room)

    Oiler culture is missing the playoffs 12/13 years and keeping some of the same faces around for most of those years.

    It’s that culture which needs to be swept out of the org, not try to find a GM who fits into it.

    I doubt Nicholson and Katz see it that way.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy v2.0: When Nicholson said that the new GM “needed to fit into Oiler culture” I threw a book at my phone (was listening via my phone in a Vegas hotel room)

    Oiler culture is missing the playoffs 12/13 years and keeping some of the same faces around for most of those years.

    It’s that culture which needs to be swept out of the org, not try to find a GM who fits into it.

    I doubt Nicholson and Katz see it that way.

    Katz. I know he’s “rich” but one of the most important things I can take from this life is I haven’t had to try to pay women to sleep with me. Now, I might not know what I’m missing and I have nothing against the practice either including Katz if that’s the way he wants to go but attempting to bribe young actresses is palookaville X 10

    If he wasn’t such a putz he would go and get a similar type and LA is probably full of them. I mean that’s why he wants to be there, right?

    Like with the Oilers, methinks Katz left it too late in life to start chasing the chicks.

    Someone should tell Katz that if he sacks the OBC he’s going to start scoring with women bigtime.

  10. HT Joe says:

    Woodguy v2.0: It’s that culture which needs to be swept out of the org, not try to find a GM who fits into it.
    I doubt Nicholson and Katz see it that way.

    Of course Bob doesn’t see it that way… if he did, he may feel compelled to step down.

    Give Katz another couple years of missing the playoffs (and playoff revenue) and maybe he’ll get there at some point. For the sake of the on-ice product, I hope the ticket and luxury box sales are down this offseason.

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Joe G. with the empty netter and the Condors are about to win their 8th straight (and 2nd on the road against a very good Tucson team) and will leapfrog Tucson in to 2nd place in the Pacific.

    I would have to say they were outplayed in this one and kind of hung on. Starrett must be named first star – a great weekend from Starrett.

    Great job by the Condors – that is a good hockey team.

    Bear did leave the game in the 2nd with what I believe was an ankle issue (I missed it on a conference call) – he didn’t return.

    6 days off for the Condors – well deserved.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Condors win again, Gambardella at 19 goals (he’s my small p Pisani) and Shane Starrett with another solid outing. It’s been many years since the AHL Oilers have had this much going on.

  13. GordieHoweHatTrick says:

    commonfan29:
    One of the most incredible things about the last few years is that Chia and Bergevin didn’t just hook up on a Subban for Hall deal.That probably would have worked out great for both teams, but instead they both opted for disaster.

    I have on good authority that Subban was offered for Hall but the Oilers turned it down. I apologize I cannot support this statement with a link.

  14. Bos8 says:

    The Condors beat all the top teams in the division for their 8 and 0 record. Thirteen games in twenty six days.

    A lot of bus mileage.

  15. Glovjuice says:

    Constantines – ‘Shine a Light’ is a good album.

  16. OriginalPouzar says:

    who: I don’t think the signing of Koskinen devalues Talbot in the trade market.
    Why would it? The Oilers don’t have to trade him.
    If they don’t sign Koskinen how does that increase Talbots trade value?
    R
    There are reasons to not like the contract. But Talbots trade value isn’t one of them.
    In fact, tradingTalbot before you signed Koskinen would probably be worse.

    I was thinking that WSH may be interested in Talbot given the struggles of Holtby and the team in general.

    One issue is that the Caps are “capped out” just like the Oilers and have used LTIR relief. They look to have about $1M of deadline cap space.

    Given he’s not a material player on their current roster, I wonder if they’d be willing to give up Burakovsky and his $3M cap hit – he’s got 12 points this year and been regressing for years.

    If required, the Oilers could retain $500K on Talbot which would make the deal cap neutral.

    He needs to be qualified at $3.25M in order to retain his RFA rights but the Oilers can give him a 25 game trial and see if he’s worth a qualify at that price – he’d have to regain some prior potential. If he doesn’t, then the Oilers simply don’t qualify him and there is no big loss as Talbot isn’t going to be re-signed. Maybe he forms some chemistry in the top 6 and we find a winger?

    I think this is an explorable idea.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: I can see why they like him at the NHL level, he can get to pucks and turn them over. At the AHL level he hasn’t yet dominated so there’s certainly room to play him there. Agree, and said, they should have sent him down EARLY last year (2017 fall) so as not to be tempted.

    I recall you stating that during camp last year, multiple times.

    As an aside, Kailer hasn’t done much in his two game in Bakersfield since he was re-assigned – he’s take a few penalties though.

    Spooner has looked better, in particular on the PP. He sniped a big goal off the rush today – the winning goal.

  18. jtblack says:

    YKOil: Re: Bouchard

    See also: Yamamoto

    Develop him slowly.Oilers management has treated every prospect that shows even a hint of higher level compete in training camp like the 2nd coming of the glory days.They gotta stop doing that.

    +1. I am in agreement. Slow play until the player makes it impossible to keep off the roster.

  19. --hudson-- says:

    Bos8:
    The Comdors beat all the top teams in the division for their 8 and 0 record.Thirteen games in twenty six days.

    About 20 more consecutive wins and the Oilers will have the next Jon Cooper.

  20. Glovjuice says:

    Ben:
    Woogie63,

    Not totally sure what’s being represented here.

    But I wouldn’t call Yamamoto fast.

    Remember when the OIlers brand was firmly linked with speed and tenacity on “the best ice in the league”? Those were fiiiiiiine times.

    He’s not. No separation speed – same as Yak. bad pick. Mark my words.

  21. OriginalPouzar says:

    Woodguy v2.0: This is true.

    It is also true that businesses and individuals in this market have much smaller entertainment budgets today compared to 3 years ago.

    It is also true that apathy has set in for a portion of the ticket buying fans as the 4th year of McDavid is a gong show organizationally andresults-wise.

    I predict the demand will be significantly less this summer for both season tickets and luxury suites.

    and that is fair and may prove to be true, however, the question I was responding to wasn’t with respect to future ticket prices but current ticket prices.

  22. Scungilli Slushy says:

    jtblack: every GM knows Edmonton is not going to sign Talbot to the money he will want, $4 Mil – $5 MIl annually. Edm probaby cannot do it because of the Cap,but they also won’t do it cause it doesn’t make sense to have 2 Goalies at $4.5 Million each.

    So that signals to all GM’s that Pete has put the future GM over a barrell. Everyone knows EDM Has to get rid of him OR he becomes a UFA.

    See why there is no leverage?I am thinking at best maybe a 3rd round pick at the deadline?

    The new GM, afterwards referred to as NGM 😀 could also resign Talbot as backup at what he’ll make elsewhere and save his family the disruption. He’s not getting more than 1M anywhere else.

    NGM has that perogative more than OGM would probably exercise, for the Oilers anyway. Most teams suffer a bit in overpaying good guys.

    They need to be more firm and present the options.

  23. pts2pndr says:

    YKOil:
    Will re-iterate:

    – healthy Sekera and Klefbom makes this a play-off team and I think we will make the play-offs with a healthy and productive Klefbom

    – biggest issue isn’t on wing – it is with getting a 1st or 2nd pair RD that can move AND pass the puck effectively out of the zone and can facilitate a transition game

    Our forwards struggle because our two best movers/passers are both injured (Sekera/Klef).

    A winger that can move the needle would be great but the right RD will float all/far more boats.

    That is exactly as I see it! We have D in the pipeline but none that I see as ready for second pairing right D. For the first part of next year it may be prudent to keep Russel until someone shows ready to take over at second pairing right D.

  24. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack: how has Skinner been doing in the few games he’s played?

    thx

    He’s been fairly good, in particular for a rookie pro.

    2 games since the recall – won them both – let in 2G on apx 20 shots in a blow out win and stopped 33 of 38 in a 6-5 loss. Played better than the 5GA indicate.

  25. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar: I recall you stating that during camp last year, multiple times.

    As an aside, Kailer hasn’t done much in his two game in Bakersfield since he was re-assigned – he’s take a few penalties though.

    Spooner has looked better, in particular on the PP.He sniped a big goal off the rush today – the winning goal.

    He should be impacting things in the AHL, but he’s only been back for a game or two iirc. If he spends the rest of the season in Bakersfield, we should expect him to deliver a point per game imo and he should be a major power-play contributor.

    I’m not in agreement with those who believe he can’t play in the NHL due to size, but he absolutely has to be a difference maker in the AHL or size won’t matter.

  26. Scungilli Slushy says:

    GordieHoweHatTrick: I have on good authority that Subban was offered for Hall but the Oilers turned it down. I apologize I cannot support this statement with a link.

    It makes sense as the Oilers of all teams have an irrational dislike of offensive players and especially on D look for big board hitters. The idea of trading the Reinhart picks for Gudbranson is as silly as for Reinhart.

    I wasn’t convinced on Subban who is iffy as a net gain D IMO, and certainly not for Nurse Drai and the 9th, but Hall straight up, that’s an even trade. Except the dollars, so they add a good pick or prospect.

    The water that needs cleaning is the stuff with this obsession in it.

  27. jtblack says:

    Scungilli Slushy: The new GM, afterwards referred to as NGM could also resign Talbot as backup at what he’ll make elsewhere and save his family the disruption. He’s not getting more than 1M anywhere else.

    NGM has that perogative more than OGM would probably exercise, for the Oilers anyway. Most teams suffer a bit in overpaying good guys.

    They need to be more firm and present the options.

    Do they have to offer him at least what he’s making now? or not, cause he’s a UFA.

    I really don’t see CAm sticking around for less than $3 million. Especially because the gave him the middle finger by signing Mikko when they did .. he’s moving on, even if it’s for LESS $$

  28. jtblack says:

    Lowetide: He should be impacting things in the AHL, but he’s only been back for a game or two iirc. If he spends the rest of the season in Bakersfield, we should expect him to deliver a point per game imo and he should be a major power-play contributor.

    I’m not in agreement with those who believe he can’t play in the NHL due to size, but he absolutely has to be a difference maker in the AHL or size won’t matter.

    From the 2017 draft, only 4 players have played more than 50 NHL games. Almost ALL of that class is honing their skills in the AHL, Europe or Junior. Yammy should stay in the AHL for the rest of this year and possibly start there again next season. ; until he is dominating as LT said

  29. BornInAGretzkyJersey says:

    Scungilli Slushy:The idea of trading the Reinhart picks for Gudbranson is as silly as for Reinhart.

    Except Gudbranson is an actual NHL defenseman, whereas Reinhart was (and is still) an AHL defenseman.

    *note: not to be construed as a personal endorsement.

  30. Glovjuice says:

    LMHF#1: It is not a burden and you’re not asking him to manage the team. Only he will ever truly know what works for him. In modern professional sports, transcendent talents all take on some of this role.

    Just think of how much of a difference using his input and taking DeBrincat like they should have would have made.

    Agreed 100%. Great point. Look at Lebron. Thinking that transformational players shouldn’t take on this role is simply, old school, non-innovative thinking which is the antithesis of what this blog represents. One of the best thoughts I’ve seen posted actually. McDavid is very smart as well – was academic player of the year in junior twice I think. And, makes 12.5 large. Not an unreasonable expectation of someone who is essentially a prodigy. Awesome thought.

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    John Marino with a goal for Harvard tonight.

    JD Dudek with an assist for Boston College.

  32. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Man… doughty looks like crap. Making McDavid and Drai bad. I know it’s only an all-star game, and I really shouldn’t care, but man…

  33. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Gibson also looking like crap. 4-1 central over pacific
    Edit: 5-1

  34. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    6-1 central. If they could pull goalies in an all-star game…
    Edit: 7-1… it’s a laugher

  35. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Yikes… fans booing in an all-star game…

    Don’t think it’s fun for anyone anymore. Even the Central players. 7-1 at the half point. Central got 7 goals in first 9 shots. Gibson would fit right in on the oilers.

  36. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    8-1 central. McDavid looks like he’s getting mad

  37. Material Elvis says:

    Bag of Pucks: What would you rather do, sell 50,000 beers at $12 a pop or 350,000 beers at $8 a pop?

    Sadly, greed is always defensible. But it’s not the only way and it doesn’t excuse this franchise foisting a poor fan experience on us especially when we’re funding the build AND revenues for their pleasure palace.

    But hey, maybe they need to jack the beer prices cos they didn’t build enough friggin’ bathrooms.

    I’ve been to about 20 of the other NHL rinks plus countless MLB stadiums. The beer and food prices are the same everywhere. It might be a buck or two cheaper for beers at some arenas (Arizona) but way more expensive at others (Yankee Stadium). Rogers Place is not overpriced versus the comparables.

  38. StixMalone says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Joe G. with the empty netter and the Condors are about to win their 8th straight (and 2nd on the road against a very good Tucson team) and will leapfrog Tucson in to 2nd place in the Pacific.

    I would have to say they were outplayed in this one and kind of hung on.Starrett must be named first star – a great weekend from Starrett.

    Great job by the Condors – that is a good hockey team.

    Bear did leave the game in the 2nd with what I believe was an ankle issue (I missed it on a conference call) – he didn’t return.

    6 days off for the Condors – well deserved.

    How about that Woodcroft guy? Where have I heard his name before? Maybe he should get a promotion? Oh yeah OBC only rewards incompetence……

  39. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    9-1 central. Central goalies look leagues above the pacific.19-14 shots for pacific
    Edit: 10-1 central

  40. StixMalone says:

    Material Elvis: I’ve been to about 20 of the other NHL rinks plus countless MLB stadiums.The beer and food prices are the same everywhere.It might be a buck or two cheaper for beers at some arenas (Arizona) but way more expensive at others (Yankee Stadium).Rogers Place is not overpriced versus the comparables.

    It’s expensive because they don’t want people getting hammered and really telling and showing their anger while the “truth serum” is engaged…..

  41. texmex says:

    Crazy Pedestrian,

    Heavy night on the booze last night for team pacific it seems

  42. Glovjuice says:

    Paddy Morans Jockstrap:
    A short rant and adieu.

    Been following this team since game 1 in the WHL against Ottawa through good (early on) and bad (most of the last 25 years). I’m done. Chiarelli was a disaster but the common denominators in this generation long soap opera are still employed by the organization. McDavid is a gem but he swims in a sea of sewage that is this organization and the NHL in general. Both the Oilers and the NHL in general are unwatchable most nights with nothing going on but 60 minutes of cycling along the boards and few garbage goals. In the rare “wide open” game that provides actual entertainment everyone acts like it’s forbidden fruit to be enjoyed on the sly and snuffed out as quickly as possible. The league is 30 NJ Devils of varying levels of skill most nights.

    Good luck to all and our host – but I’m going to pursue other more enjoyable uses of my spare time – paddy

    Whatever

  43. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    10-4 now. 4min left

  44. OriginalPouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Joe G. with the empty netter and the Condors are about to win their 8th straight (and 2nd on the road against a very good Tucson team) and will leapfrog Tucson in to 2nd place in the Pacific.

    I would have to say they were outplayed in this one and kind of hung on.Starrett must be named first star – a great weekend from Starrett.

    Great job by the Condors – that is a good hockey team.

    Bear did leave the game in the 2nd with what I believe was an ankle issue (I missed it on a conference call) – he didn’t return.

    6 days off for the Condors – well deserved.

    Lowetide:
    Condors win again, Gambardella at 19 goals (he’s my small p Pisani) and Shane Starrett with another solid outing. It’s been many years since the AHL Oilers have had this much going on.

    Bos8:
    The Condors beat all the top teams in the division for their 8 and 0 record.Thirteen games in twenty six days.

    A lot of bus mileage.

    Stuart Skinner won a couple of the games and played well but Shane Starrett is really playing well right now.

  45. OriginalPouzar says:

    Glovjuice: He’s not. No separation speed – same as Yak. bad pick. Mark my words.

    He’s already shown translatable skills – the ability to turn pucks over and to cause issues for the opposition breakout. This is a player that should be expected to be NHL-ready in about 2 years for now.

    Lack plus skating is not prohibitive of an NHL career as you really suggest.

  46. tileguy says:

    Draisaitl looks lazy out there.

  47. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Only really watched to see some McDavid magic. No goals for Edmonton players, but drai got 1 assist and McDavid got 2. 10-4 result. All star game over for me, don’t care about the rest.

  48. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    tileguy:
    Draisaitl looks lazy out there.

    Yep. At least McDavid turned on the jets a few times.

    Edit: to be fair, most of them looked lazy. Even most the goals the central players got looked lazy. like they didn’t really try to score. Gibson played Uber lazy

  49. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lowetide: He should be impacting things in the AHL, but he’s only been back for a game or two iirc. If he spends the rest of the season in Bakersfield, we should expect him to deliver a point per game imo and he should be a major power-play contributor.

    I’m not in agreement with those who believe he can’t play in the NHL due to size, but he absolutely has to be a difference maker in the AHL or size won’t matter.

    Yes, he definitely should be impacting the play in the AHL and he has not done that in either of the two games since re-assigned (there have only been 2).

    At the same time, after a slow start on his original assignment to the Bake, he started to impact the game consistently and put up points – of course, the organization saw that and brought him up.

    Now, after a handful of games, he’s back down.

    Recall, after a four point night in his first WHL game last year after being re-assigned, it took him a while to settle in.

    Maybe, just maybe, this player doesn’t do well with being moved all over the place and the organization should realize that he need development time in the minor leagues like most 22nd overall drafted rookie pros.

    There is probably little doubt that he is the Chiasson replacement after the deadline if the team is indeed a seller – it will be yet another poor choice and very disappointing after what the CEO said about bringing prospects up too quickly.

  50. OriginalPouzar says:

    jtblack: Do they have to offer him at least what he’s making now?or not, cause he’s a UFA.

    I really don’t see CAm sticking around for less than $3 million.Especially because the gave him the middle finger by signing Mikko when they did .. he’s moving on, even if it’s for LESS $$

    No, he is a UFA so there is no minimum offer.

    The only minimum offer requirements (well subject to league min) is for RFAs that either need to be qualified at 100% or 110% (depends on certain criteria) of their previous year’s salary (not cap hit but the previous year’s salary). If the team doesn’t tender that qualifying offer, the player becomes a UFA on July 1 and can sign (for any amount) with any team.

    With respect to Talbot, I believe he will be looking for a starter’s job somewhere and is likely still hoping to get a similar salary to the $4M he’s been getting. It seems unlikely but he won’t be signing for cheap back-up money any time soon.

  51. Material Elvis says:

    HT Joe: Good point… where was this level of negotiating incompetence when it came to structuring the deal for building the new arena.“No no no, the Oilers will pay the extra $100 Million… don’t worry Edmonton”.

    The Katz group is represented by a team of lawyers — Daryl Katz didn’t negotiate the arena deal on his own. He should use the same lawyers to negotiate contracts on the hockey side.

  52. who says:

    jtblack: every GM knows Edmonton is not going to sign Talbot to the money he will want, $4 Mil – $5 MIl annually. Edm probaby cannot do it because of the Cap,but they also won’t do it cause it doesn’t make sense to have 2 Goalies at $4.5 Million each.

    So that signals to all GM’s that Pete has put the future GM over a barrell. Everyone knows EDM Has to get rid of him OR he becomes a UFA.

    See why there is no leverage?I am thinking at best maybe a 3rd round pick at the deadline?

    No. I don’t see why this lowers Talbots value.
    The Oilers chose Koskinen. That doesn’t make Talbot any less, or more, valuable. It doesn’t make him any worse, or better, at his job.
    If some team sees him as an improvement to their goaltending situation they will make an offer. Whether Koskinen is signed or not.

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    Maksimov, Samorukov and McLeod each held off the scoresheet tonight.

    JD Dudek adds a goal to his assist and G. McPhee got an assist on it.

    Hayden Hawkey with a 34 save shutout – what a weekend for him (let in one yesterday).

  54. Bos8 says:

    StixMalone: How about that Woodcroft guy? Where have I heard his name before? Maybe he should get a promotion? Oh yeah OBC only rewards incompetence……

    Much to my surprise, Woodcroft is a pretty good coach. Yesterday and Today they were doing short shifts but everyone back, knew their responsibility. There were no tire fires or blown assignments.

    This isn’t some powerhouse. The top two players are Marody and Benson who are 6’, 190, average to good skaters. Most of the forwards are little, quick guys like Gambardella and Currie. On D, Lagesson has been the LH Larsson. He challenges at the Blue Line. The goalies have been steady not spectacular.

    So Woodcroft is doing a job and deserves consideration going forward.

  55. workaroundaccount says:

    Does Bettman have Parkinson’s or something? He looks pretty bad.

  56. healthyscratch says:

    jtblack:
    MY buddy sent me a twitter post that Ryan Smyth is packing up his family and moving to Nashville.Has his Edm home for sale. …..

    wonder if he got work with the Predators??

    I know this post was this morning, but he’s coaching at a hockey school in Nashville. I see him at the local rink occasionally. JP Dumont is also working there.

  57. OmJo says:

    Woodguy v2.0: This is an astute observation.

    When you go to nhl.com/oilers/team/coaches-management MacT is at the top of the list.

    Gave away Petry, wanted to sign Clarkson forever, called out his starting goalie, Skype Ralph for Eakins etc, etc.

    Over the past 13 years the two worst “5v5 Goal Share Best Player off the ice” teams for EDM were MacT’s teams in 13/14 (38.7%) and 14/15 (35.8%)

    The culture of rushing prospects is strong with him as well starting back when he wanted Gagner on the team as a 18 year old.

    Yup.

    The way I look at it, of Katz wants to pay MacT and Howson and any other BoTB to twiddle their thumbs for the rest of their lives, go for it. Idc. But keep them away from the hockey-side of the organization.

    MacTavish even rushed himself into a General Manager role. Did he even go through an assistant phase?

  58. godot10 says:

    workaroundaccount:
    Does Bettman have Parkinson’s or something? He looks pretty bad.

    Hypothesis: Bettman is Gollum.

  59. Gerta Rauss says:

    who: No. I don’t see why this lowers Talbots value.
    The Oilers chose Koskinen. That doesn’t make Talbot any less, or more, valuable. It doesn’t make him any worse,or better, at his job.
    If some team sees him as an improvement to their goaltending situation they will make an offer. Whether Koskinen is signed or not.

    I agree with this

    And the Koskinen signing made the Oilers goalie situation known to the public– for all we know Talbot’s name has been out there among the GMs for days/weeks/months prior to the Koski contract

  60. Ryan says:

    godot10: Hypothesis: Bettman is Gollum.

    It looks like an essential head tremor to me, but I’m not a neurologist. His facial expressions were quite animated. You’d expect a flat mask-like face if he had Parkinson’s.

  61. v4ance says:

    frjohnk,

    Thanks Padre. This mirrors alot of what I believe as well.

    The OBC would have approved of most of Chiarelli’s deals because their thinking mirrored his. Chiarelli built the type of team to win the cup in the mould that they were deperately trying to emulate for years.

  62. Glovjuice says:

    HT Joe: The Hall trade made me furious… I had a sour taste in my mouth that whole season, even during the playoffs, where I kept thinking “after 6 years in the wasteland, how could the Oilers be in the playoffs while Hall is lost in New Jersey”.I understand that the trade was not Chia’s worst trade, but it upsets me the most.

    Ya, that playoffs wasn’t as fun for me either without Hall. Sucks.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    Glovjuice: Ya, that playoffs wasn’t as fun for me either without Hall. Sucks.

    How would you know, you never experienced a playoffs with Hall….

  64. Glovjuice says:

    HenryDrix:
    The media in Edmonton is part of the problem, full stop.Stupid questions constantly being asked of the players, it’s gotta suck to play here and face the reporters night in and night out. Every shift or move under scrutiny.There is and has been for years, negativity around the team, and part of that is on the press.

    Agreed. I have posited before that the overall environment (fans, media, need for a fanboy owner to a keep the team here coupled with the emerged social media) in this market make it impossible to win a cup here ever again.

  65. YKOil says:

    pts2pndr: That is exactly as I see it! We have D in the pipeline but none that I see as ready for second pairing right D. For the first part of next year it may be prudent to keep Russel until someoneshows ready to take over at second pairing right D.

    Sekera has also been used as the 2nd pair RD but the point holds, until a good replacement is found then one of Sekera or Russell has to stay and if Sekera isn’t up to snuff – then both.

    RHD is our grailquest.

  66. hunter1909 says:

    OmJo: MacTavish even rushed himself into a General Manager role. Did he even go through an assistant phase?

    Oilers Gang of Four(Lowe, Howson, MacT, Nicholson) operate a “the NHL isn’t a development league” approach/MO for the players, while personally enjoying infinite chances to succeed as managers = with the result being an overwhelming hypocrisy that, due to the fact they’re not particularly bright, hobbles the Oiler’s franchise.

  67. Glovjuice says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Spooner showing some nice vision and puck distribution on the PP..

    AHL Spooner. Crazy. Wow, was I right on this one from day one.

  68. Glovjuice says:

    OriginalPouzar: I have posted this several times on this site.

    For any fan/poster/etc. to be disapointed that Yamamoto isn’t further ahead at this point means, to me, they had unreasonable expectations for the player’s development path.

    This isn’t a top 5 pick.This is a 22nd overall pick who is in his draft plus 2 season and his rookie pro season.He shouldn’t have been expected to have played any NHL games by this point.

    Reasonable expectation for a player drafted in the bottom third of the first round would be back to junior in draft plus 1 and a full season in the AHL in draft plus 2 (or even a second post-draft season in the CHL depending on age).

    ——————-

    The fanbase, media, blogging community always likes to talk about being patient with their prospects but then posit disappointment when a prospect hasn’t “made it” within 2 years of being drafted.

    Its likely the biggest mistake management has made with Kailer is keeping him for a month at the beginning of last season – it propagated these unreasonable player development expectations.

    He’s too slow – that isn’t going to change. What 5.7 player is currently successfull in the league without having plus separation speed? It’s not going to happen 22,5, or 122.

  69. tapper says:

    Wondering about the league’s/owner’s overt collusion and anti-trust in regards to exec employment…

  70. Ryan says:

    Glovjuice: He’s too slow – that isn’t going to change. What 5.7 player is currently successfull in the league without having plus separation speed? It’s not going to happen 22,5, or 122.

    Yup. I agree.

    If you’re an extremely undersized player, you have to have plus skating with separation speed, or you’re not going to make it.

    Yamamoto looks like a dud to me.

  71. Ryan says:

    YKOil: Sekera has also been used as the 2nd pair RD but the point holds, until a good replacement is found then one of Sekera or Russell has to stay and if Sekera isn’t up to snuff – then both.

    RHD is our grailquest.

    As a thought experiment, if Bettman were to grant the Oilers unlimited compliance buyouts, how many would they pursue?

    Lucic, Spooner, Manning, Sekera, Russell, Brodziak. Kassian….

  72. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ryan: As a thought experiment, if Bettman were to grant the Oilers unlimited compliance buyouts, how many would they pursue?

    Lucic, Spooner, Manning, Sekera, Russell, Brodziak. Kassian….

    I might add Koskinen to that list

    I mean, if we’re just spitballin’….

  73. Dr. Taboggan says:

    Ryan: Yup. I agree.

    If you’re an extremely undersized player, you have to have plus skating with separation speed, or you’re not going to make it.

    Yamamoto looks like a dud to me.

    Honest question, is Yamo that slow (I rarely watch games, too depressing)?

  74. Scungilli Slushy says:

    Glovjuice: He’s too slow – that isn’t going to change. What 5.7 player is currently successfull in the league without having plus separation speed? It’s not going to happen 22,5, or 122.

    Point improved his skating to a plus level. The Oiler’s issue is that they employ skills coaches whose efforts don’t seem to lead to any player improvements, at least that show.

    2 goalies have become very good elsewhere with different help.

    Find the best skating coaches there are and make sure the players have access and use them. Some guys may not have the money yet, like Yama, to employ a world class coach, the team needs to make it work for them too.

  75. Ribs says:

    Dr. Taboggan: Honest question, is Yamo that slow (I rarely watch games, too depressing)?

    He’s had a rough go keeping up this season. I am hoping it’s due to injury. He’s been known for his shiftiness and edges in lower levels, so it has been out of character for him.

  76. YKOil says:

    Scungilli Slushy: Point improved his skating to a plus level. The Oiler’s issue is that they employ skills coaches whose efforts don’t seem to lead to any player improvements, at least that show.

    I have often wondered about this. I do recall that Schremp would go train every summer and get better but then the bad habits would set in and it would all be lost – which isn’t on the trainers btw.

    Would like to know really, the difference between the Oilers and other orgs in this regard.

    Demar DeRozan and Sidney Crosby come to mind, athletes who would identify something they wanted to get better at and then go out and put the time in to get better at it.

    I suspect, however, that the elite don’t have an issue in regards to this topic and then I wonder… is a guy like Manning the best skater he can possibly be?

  77. Zelepukin says:

    YKOil: I have often wondered about this.I do recall that Schremp would go train every summer and get better but then the bad habits would set in and it would all be lost – which isn’t on the trainers btw.

    Would like to know really, the difference between the Oilers and other orgs in this regard.

    Demar DeRozan and Sidney Crosby come to mind, athletes who would identify something they wanted to get better at and then go out and put the time in to get better at it.

    I suspect, however, that the elite don’t have an issue in regards to this topic and then I wonder… is a guy like Manning the best skater he can possibly be?

    Was it an Athletic article that interviewed the guy behind McDavid’s power skating training throughout his whole life? I recall reading something along the lines of Point having a very similar skating structure to McD, in that neither actually takes traditional strides from one end of the ice to the other. They do cross-overs the entire length. He said something like he knew from very early on that Point was going to make it in the NHL because of his skating style.

  78. YKOil says:

    Ryan: As a thought experiment, if Bettman were to grant the Oilers unlimited compliance buyouts, how many would they pursue?

    Lucic, Spooner, Manning, Sekera, Russell, Brodziak. Kassian….

    Lucic, Spooner, Manning and, maybe Sekera pending whether he can come back 100% (so, probably). That’s a working range from $11+ to 16+ million.

    Russell can be traded so he doesn’t get bought out. Issue remains that of having someone who can play the game, at the highest level, in those spots. With only one year remaining on Kassian and Brodziak the odds are good they don’t get bought out.

    With that kind of play money things can happen.

    For a RHD it’s hard to not want to break the bank for Karlsson. Changes everything if you get him. Tyler Myers may be the more reasonable (read: affordable) choice; would be a real upgrade on Sekera or Russell or Benning s the case may be. Stralman runs under the radar methinks.

    Stone and Silfverberg are the top RW choices but Donkskoi is an under-the-radar RW that would be of interest to me.

    Panarin and Lee are the LW’s all teams desire. Not sure where I would go with that position group. Panik is interesting, just wonder if those results are real and sustainable.

    Honestly, just improve the D first. The forwards will deliver better results by default.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    Why would a buyout even be in contemplated for Brodziak – his cap his is $1.15M – he can be buried in the AHL for a cap his of under $100K next season.

    Of course, given he is an important penalty killer that actually provides value for his contract, I wouldn’t suggest that either.

  80. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: He should be impacting things in the AHL, but he’s only been back for a game or two iirc. If he spends the rest of the season in Bakersfield, we should expect him to deliver a point per game imo and he should be a major power-play contributor.

    I’m not in agreement with those who believe he can’t play in the NHL due to size, but he absolutely has to be a difference maker in the AHL or size won’t matter.

    I agree with you that Kailor needs to dominate. I do believe size matters somewhat unless you are super high skill and hockey IQ. Kailor isn’t on the same level of Kane or Gaudreau so he needs some size to hold his own. His high watermark maybe junior hockey. A WHL assistant coach friend told me once what made Curtis Lazar so good in junior was his physical strength not his level of skill. Now in the professional ranks, his physical strength is matched and is no longer above anyone. Curtis is now showing that his skill level can’t compete in the higher level. I see Kailor in the same boat but reverse of Lazar

  81. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Why would a buyout even be in contemplated for Brodziak – his cap his is $1.15M – he can be buried in the AHL for a cap his of under $100K next season.

    Of course, given he is an important penalty killer that actually provides value for his contract, I wouldn’t suggest that either.

    I think we can find someone cheaper and faster. I didn’t like the signing. Year to long

  82. Glovjuice says:

    Gerta Rauss: I might add Koskinen to that list

    I mean, if we’re just spitballin’….

    You people are killing me.

  83. Glovjuice says:

    Dr. Taboggan: Honest question, is Yamo that slow (I rarely watch games, too depressing)?

    Yes, and I’m not just trolling OP. I thinking he’s gonna be Yak. His speed is SO far from Johnny or Johnston etc. Crazy how hockey doesn’t have a 40m and a few other timed skating drills at the combine. Hockey is so dumb sometimes.

  84. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hawkeye’s shutout yesterday was his 13th career trying Flames prospect John Gillies for the Providence record.

  85. OriginalPouzar says:

    flyfish1168: I think we can find someone cheaper and faster. I didn’t like the signing. Year to long

    Maybe – still would make zero sense to buyout Brodziak though.

  86. flyfish1168 says:

    hunter1909: Oilers Gang of Four(Lowe, Howson, MacT, Nicholson) operate a “the NHL isn’t a development league” approach/MO for the players, while personally enjoying infinite chances to succeed as managers = with the result being an overwhelming hypocrisy that, due to the fact they’re not particularly bright, hobbles the Oiler’s franchise.

    LOL. Lowe has 6 Stanley cup rings and MacTavish has 4 SCR. So they know something about winning

  87. flyfish1168 says:

    OriginalPouzar: Maybe – still would make zero sense to buyout Brodziak though.

    Agree we can’t buy out everyone. Probably bury it in the AHL

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